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New 5D Mark II - indecisive on a housing


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#1 CerealKilla808

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 09:35 PM

I recently made the Full Frame leap in the photography world. The Mark II is so much better than my XTi hehe.

I've talked to a few people about housings, and I am caught between opinions and hope you guys can provide me with some more.

1. The local camera shop said to stay away from acrylic which I think Ikelite housings are polycarbonate (big difference) as they see them in the shop for flooding more than others.

2. A friend of mine that does UW Photography for a living mentioned I should go for a metal housing if I can afford it.

3. The local dive shop had a guy in there that said he had experience with Ikelite. Mentioned that they had been around for 20+ years or something and that should mean something.

So the score in my book is:
Metal Housing: 2
Polycarbonate Housing: 1.5
The .5 is from myself doing my own research and finding that its a very cost effective solution and making my own assumptions that there isn't much of a difference.

#2 mexwell

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 02:40 AM

I got myself an Ikleite housing just a few weeks ago and it was the right decision!!!
Best regards

Christian


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#3 Steve Williams

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 08:38 AM

The type of housing you choose is a much discussed and in some ways a very personal decision. What you end up with will depend on how you intend you use it and how well greased your Visa card is. A major consideration is how tough the conditions are that you will be diving in. Deep tech diving would point to an Aquatica for example. Shallow snorkeling with lots of wave action would point me away from the Ike because of the port mount they use. If your going to Bonaire once a year for vacation the plastic housing will be great. If your shooting in a massive current where your strobes get folded up in front of you and your rig is dragging you around the reef, the smaller metal housing is more fun, easier to use and safer for your expensive MkII.

As a point of reference, I've been on two trips recently with pro shooters on board the boats. Out of the twenty photographers who I'd classify as pro's to serious amateurs there were no plastic housings aboard.

There is a huge range of costs for the housings for your camera, from $1500 US for the Ike to $6700 US for the Seacam. (plus the ports, domes, focus rings....) Like everything else you get what you pay for up to a point. Backscatter has a good range to look at. There are subtle differences between housings and I highly recommend you check them out personally for how they fit your hands and the features each has. If I was a professional making my living with my images I'd have the best tools I could get. As a prosumer, if I couldn't afford to get a metal housing and still have money left over to go diving I'd go with the less expensive option. A Subal won't do you any good if you can't afford to get it wet.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!

Cheers,
Steve

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#4 Timmoranuk

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 09:08 AM

Great advice from Steve to which I'd add:

With a FX 5D MkII you have a top of the range DSLR (but you know that anyway) with which you should be able to take a long term view. So, is a less than fine housing going to satisfy you over that period? The cheap option is to buy it right now. Maybe not a Seacam or Subal but a Sea & Sea (if you can reconcile their appalling support) or an Aquatica would be good options. I think you would grow out of the Ike very quickly. Just my tuppence worth...

Whatever, enjoy your new rig and I'm looking forward to seeing your results soon.

Tim
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#5 kornse

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 09:17 AM

I voted metal but i never owned one....

I love my IKE housing, it works perfectly but itīs big even though I only have a canon 350D and with the 8" Dome it Huge.

a friend of mine just bought a Hugyfot-housing for a nikon equivalent to the 40-50D... Man! itīs small compared to the ike

Also iīm not a big fan of the ike-way of connecting ports. It feels a bit flimsy but again i have never had any problems with it.

If i had a lot of extra cash lying around I wouldn't mind changing to alu but i donīt so iīll just keep my trusty old Ike.

Mads(yep itīs a name)

#6 Bent C

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 08:12 PM

I think you would grow out of the Ike very quickly. Just my tuppence worth...


Tim


I do not really see how you grow out of Ikes. There certainly will be more ergonomic and more slimlined housings around, but I have a hard time envisioning how these housings have way more "space" than Ikes. That being said, if you are rich enough, by all means buy one of the more expesive housings. It might be more fun to handle them, but if you belive that they will make a major difference on your pictures, I am pretty sure you will be disappointed! Then again, if you are rich enough, that probably doesnīt matter :(.


Regards

Bent C
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#7 CerealKilla808

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 08:48 PM

I do not really see how you grow out of Ikes. There certainly will be more ergonomic and more slimlined housings around, but I have a hard time envisioning how these housings have way more "space" than Ikes. That being said, if you are rich enough, by all means buy one of the more expesive housings. It might be more fun to handle them, but if you belive that they will make a major difference on your pictures, I am pretty sure you will be disappointed! Then again, if you are rich enough, that probably doesnīt matter :(.


For me its not about picture quality, its about the safety of my camera. The people at my local camera shop mentioned the Ikes had a different seal system than the metal housings. I am not certain I see a difference. Arent all housings technically vacuum sealed once you are down a little ways and pressure sealed toward the surface?

#8 ShadowDiver

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 08:59 AM

I have Ikelite housings and love it. however, since the 5d Mark II has video and audio, there's something i don't like about the housing. it creaks! when viewing video, i can hear the housing creak quite a bit. now i even notice it while diving. might be something to consider if you're shooting video.

#9 Bent C

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 11:39 AM

For me its not about picture quality, its about the safety of my camera. The people at my local camera shop mentioned the Ikes had a different seal system than the metal housings. I am not certain I see a difference. Arent all housings technically vacuum sealed once you are down a little ways and pressure sealed toward the surface?


To me, the major (only?) problem with Ikelites is just the part before "a little ways down". At the surface with the big dome things could certainly feel safer. However, just a meter or two down everything is rock solid. Still, despite the surface uncertainty, I like the Ikes and will probably continue using them in the future. The price point, allowing me to change housing when I change main camera, the new modular port system and the possibility of actually seeing o-rings through the housing are major advatages to me. And, while diving, I still havenīt seen a potential picture that my Ike housing can not deliver (my own skills stop pictures way before my housing does!).
Bent Christensen
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#10 Backscatter

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 06:57 AM

Though we stock several major brands, one of our most popular housings for the 5D Mark II is built by Aquatica. It offers excellent value for the money, and is really well thought out in terms of the amazing video capabilities of this camera (such as the included hydrophone).

Berkley White used this housing for testing the video abilities of the 5D Mark II, and wrote up his findings here

If nothing else, this article may be a good starting point for using the 5D as a video system, and reading about the Aquatica system.

All the very best,

Sterling

Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo
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#11 wbk

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 10:54 AM

There have been some great points made here and i thought i would just throw my own in as i am in exactly the same position as you.. Been using a G10 for a while but it pangs to see my 5D MkII sitting there, calling to me! Personally i have made a decision to go for the Aquatica housing and a few reasons for this one..


Firstly, i am a tech diver and it comes rated to 90m and for an extra Ģ35 you can get the upgrade for 130m. Apart from the hugyfot that is rated to 100m all the others are around 60-70m, and when you look at the cost of the seacam etc i think it is bonkers.

Secondly.. i also do underwater videography, and like the guy from backscatter mentioned it seems to be the best thought out for this by ways of the hydrophone etc..

Thirdly, when it comes to price i think that the aquatica is by far the best priced option (although cheaper would always be much appreciated!!  :P ) ok, so it is over $1000 more expensive that the ike but look at what you get for that. 

People always go on that with ike's you can see if you camera floods. Well.. it is too bloody late by then anyway, so this option in my mind doesn't count for anything when you look at the leak detectors you can get for the other systems.

Plus i feel that the aluminium housings are just that much stronger that the ike's. I have seen soooooo many people leave the ike housings in the sun for just a bit too long and then the plastic starts to fog up. People say that ike's are cheaper but if you take in to consideration the number of people that have flood's etc.. and their lifespan i think they work out to be a lot more expensive in many ways. As someone else said, you do get what you pay for and whilst they may appear cheaper at first it is all too easy for them to end up costing you a lot more.

They hugyfot seems to have a good system for checking the seal before you get in the water but i just can't sstretch that far on the budget but think i would stick with aquatica even if i could.

But, bear in mind all this ramblings come from someone that has never owned a Dslr housing before, but from someone that is about to make the plune themselves. I am sure that like everything else it is very much a personal choice, of course backed heavily by how much credit you have available but i just can't quite see how to justify seacam and subal's prices when there is a housing that appears to be just as good if not better available to a lot less.. i.e. the aquatica

Anyways.. let us know which way you go, and personally i would love to know how it turns out for you and how you find which ever housing you go for as i dont quite have enough money yet so i can still change my mind! ho ho..
Canon 5DMkII, Hugyfot, Inon Z240 MkIV's, 100mm f2.8L, 17-40mm f4L

#12 mojodiver

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 08:46 AM

If all you can afford is the Ikelite then I would say do it. If you are going to buy that expensive of a camera such as the M2 then I would highly recommend a metal housing. The bayonet ports are so much more solid. I have had the Sea & Sea in my hand and it is a great product. Aquatica also makes a great housing. Subal and Hugyfot you are paying more money for not much more IMO.

#13 mexwell

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 11:28 AM

I am not into bashing or pushing one or the other manufacturer but my guess is that most of you
who think the Ikelites are inferior to others by any substantial meaning never ever used one.

I have used my old and 300D/digital rebel housing for nearly 6 years now and it never had any problems
with fogging or its port system!

In fact I liked it that much, that I bought the 5D Mark II housing from Ike and I am very happy with it.
Because of it filming friendly SET-button control and thre tripod mounts the Ikelite is perfect for filming
with the 5D.

Buy whatever you think is the best for you or your wallet.... but please dont diss anyone because of non
existing flaws.
Best regards

Christian


Photo& Video: Canon 5D MkII - Ikelite housing - Ikelite DS-125 - Ikelite DS-50
Glas Canon 50mm Macro - Canon 100mm Macro - Canon 17-40mm
Video only: Sony HC7 - Topdawg II Housing and Light System - Gorillapod UW-Tripod
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#14 wbk

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 12:40 AM

I am not into bashing or pushing one or the other manufacturer but my guess is that most of you
who think the Ikelites are inferior to others by any substantial meaning never ever used one.

In fact I liked it that much, that I bought the 5D Mark II housing from Ike and I am very happy with it.
Because of it filming friendly SET-button control and thre tripod mounts the Ikelite is perfect for filming
with the 5D.

Buy whatever you think is the best for you or your wallet.... but please dont diss anyone because of non
existing flaws.

While i think you are right on "not dissing" anyone because of non-existent flaws, i have used quite a few ike housings, from the point and shoot ones up through to the video camera housings and the points made about the ike's are most certaining existing flaws, but i will say, like most things, a lot of the failures do come around by people not looking after their stuff as well as they should. People think a quick dunk in fresh water is all they need etc.etc.. But to coin a cliche.. at the end of the day.. it comes down to budget.. if you have the money for the alu housings i think they are definitely worth it, if you dont or it is seriously going to stretch you, try out the ike.. what ever works best!
Canon 5DMkII, Hugyfot, Inon Z240 MkIV's, 100mm f2.8L, 17-40mm f4L

#15 vchiline

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Posted 18 October 2009 - 08:51 PM

While i think you are right on "not dissing" anyone because of non-existent flaws, i have used quite a few ike housings, from the point and shoot ones up through to the video camera housings and the points made about the ike's are most certaining existing flaws, but i will say, like most things, a lot of the failures do come around by people not looking after their stuff as well as they should. People think a quick dunk in fresh water is all they need etc.etc.. But to coin a cliche.. at the end of the day.. it comes down to budget.. if you have the money for the alu housings i think they are definitely worth it, if you dont or it is seriously going to stretch you, try out the ike.. what ever works best!


Well, my first tiny post here... but as I'm a pro photographer above water, and do own a 5D mrk II and hoping to go underwater with it... I'm interested in this thread.

The thing some must understand is because the Ike-housings are much more affordable to the common man, more "commoners" own them. Because of this, there's a strong possibility that there is more online feedback. Sadly, us humans often post when things go wrong with our equipment, and the internet can give us an appearance that there's something totally wrong with a certain brand. My original 5D mark I, or any other camera for that fact from Canon (since the EOS-3 film ones) have never failed me. But if I would go to certain forums, you would think that certain models are disastrous releases.... there are lemons everywhere.... buyer be smart.

If you are making money from underwater photography, or have a good amount of personal wealth, getting a higher end body is justified. But if you don't earn from this, or can't justify the additional costs of better brands.... well.... Here's one last perhaps extreme analogy:

Your family is priceless right? It would be amazing to drive in the best family sedan available right? Well... if you can't afford it.... you get the next best thing :)

Anyways, keep the answers coming, it's a good thread. Thanks for all the replies.

Vadim

#16 bmyates

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 08:33 PM

Another "ditto" to Steve's comments (and others here).

I've had housings at both ends of the spectrum -- two Ike housings when I started out with SLRs (flooded both where the port connects to housing), and two different Seacam DSLR housings (generally considered the gold standard).

Currently I use one Seacam with a 1DsII and an Aquatica with my 5DII (see my review of that housing here). I've never had a metal housing flood. Then again, in fairness to Ike housings, David Haas has used them for ages (and I think is a dealer), and it is hard to argue with the results he routinely gets; he would be an excellent resource if you go that route.

My bottom line suggestion is the sam as severa others: If you can afforda good metal housing (in which case I recommend Aquatica), do so. If not, get an Ike housing and just be REALLY careful with it.

Bruce Yates
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