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Jonah Housing Feedback Wanted

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#1 wetpixel



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Posted 21 November 2003 - 11:39 AM

Hey, guys -

I've been hearing mixed information about quality and service for Jonah housings, and wanted to open a thread to solicit feedback about them. If you have used a Jonah housing in the field, can you take a moment to let us know about your experiences?

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#2 DeepDiscovery


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Posted 22 November 2003 - 12:38 AM

I haven't purchased/used or for that matter even seen one but have been doing a lot of research as I thought this was the housing I wanted...now I'm not sure. The highlights of what I have found are below.

The good: EXTREMELY pleased overall with the housing. Would buy again if had to do it all over again.

The Bad: From Fred Dion at UWPhototech...the Jonah housing has to be fiddled with quite a bit to get everything to line up...from David Marsh at UWPhototech...reconsidering if they will carry the Jonah housing...from others...buttons don't line up, ports seem loose, glass/lexan scratched, leak. S6 bulkhead wiring faulty.

The Ugly: Finish is rough but functional. Andi, from digideep, said he was going to post a review, but never did. Wondering if there is more to that story than just never got around to it???

Really not sure at this point...would love to hear from others! I really don't want to spend the money for the Subal but wonder at this point if it would be cheaper in the long run.

CDesparado, who has spent about 100 hours UW with this housing says he will post a fairly comprehensive review soon. Hopefully that will shed more light on this issue.

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#3 craig


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Posted 22 November 2003 - 06:55 AM

We had some control alignment issues in our test but it was caused by the camera tray having too much play (IMO). That feedback was provided to Jonah and our sample was a proto after all. I'm sorry to hear it may have carried over into production. I was pleased overall with the housing.
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#4 Andi Voeltz

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 04:34 AM

The Ugly:  Finish is rough but functional.  Andi, from digideep, said he was going to post a review, but never did.  Wondering if there is more to that story than just never got around to it???

Well we did a review for the German dive magazine "tauchen". Sorry, that we did not find the time to translate it into English yet. I know that you were waiting for it Bill. So here are some short comments on the housing:

Yes, the first housings we ever saw had some issues, like leaking extension rings, scratches on the painting etc. But we gave JONAH credit for releasing prototypes, like Craig also mentioned. Also I have to state that the D100 housing is much nicer then the 10D housing concerning usability and ergonomics. Also the ND100 we had on our Red Sea trip performed okay.

However I think you cannot talk about a real production line since there are not more than 12-15 Canon 10D housings which have ever been released I think. The company is very small (side business next to the university job). We gave a lot of feedback what has to be improved and avoided in the future but even after 3 month time this has not been implemented as far as I know.

We brought a few housings to the European market and had to service them completely by ourselves. Also we found that you can fix some of the issues, like the the loose 8" dome port very easily or the correct pinng for the S6 socket. But I do not want to have further headaches with that product since the support from Korea was very bad. Also the delivery times were from the toilet.

Anyway the housings we have here work. They are not the most beautiful housings out there on the market, but they work. Therefore I think it's still good value for money, since all the EU customers get 24 month warranty from us. Also we might keep one housing and continue to dive it for ourselves. But after I met Harald Hordorsch I would love to own a Seacam. Unfortunately they won't do a housing for the Canon 10D.

So my recommendation is: If you can get one of the few JONAH housings available for the 10D, buy it! It's the cheapest. But be sure that you have somebody who feels responsible for what you bought (dealer etc.) and is capable of servicing it. :lol:
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#5 CDesperado


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Posted 30 November 2003 - 11:16 AM

Just adding my two cents... (feel free to give me back the change)

Andi is right about the button alignment... although the buttons for the shutter speed, the aperture, and the trigger all worked with no problems, I was rarely able to access many of the other camera features, such as adjusting focal points or hitting the Info button from the histogram.

These issues were a little annoying, but I shrugged them off as a typical prototype thing that had to be dealt with. I don't know if the base tray needs to be adjusted or if the rubber nipples on the buttons themselves are simply not reaching the camera, which is what I suspect.

I had no problems with leaks whatsoever... I probably would have stopped shooting completely had I even seen a droplet of water inside the housing.

I also had no problems with scratches on any of the ports (I had three, the macro port, the 4 inch dome, and the 8 inch dome). The 4 inch dome has a rubber protective cover, but the other two ports do not. I am hoping one will be made for the 8 inch dome.

The biggest outstanding issue from my perspective is the buttons issue... I was told it had been resolved, but I have heard from a few people who say their production models suffered from the same problem. Of those, some people have had some frustrations getting their housings shipped back in time for a pending trip.

I am taking my housing to the Honduras in two weeks and when I get back I will send the housing back to Korea and let everyone know how things are going. My main issue is getting the buttons to all function.

As for customer service problems, I have had very good response when working with the owner of the company and am not sure who out there is saying they had problems or what those problems were. It would be nice if someone could comment publically on any situations if possible.... I think that would be a benefit for everyone concerned and would eliminate these issues of "someone" saying "something" happened. (Just my thoughts...)

I just re-read my review and am seeing some things I should have discussed more in depth or clarified... I'll have to work on that.

The only two people I know of for sure who have used these underwater are Eric (with DigiDeep) and myself. Has anyone else used a Jonah underwater with a Nikon or Canon?

#6 wetpixel



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Posted 01 December 2003 - 12:14 AM


We are monitoring this thread now, and if any of the messages in the future get too personal, I will have to lock it.

It appears that there is not yet enough information about PRODUCTION Jonah housings, as the ones that have been sent out for reviews were pre-production models. When production models start shipping, I hope that those of you who purchase one will post your thoughts here.

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#7 Ychng


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Posted 02 December 2003 - 03:53 PM

Just to add a bit of information on my production housing:

I just received my Jonah 10D housing back from Dave Marsh at Underwater Photo-tech after a 1.5-2 week repair period. Most of the issues seem to be resolved nicely:

1) Scratched 8" dome port: replaced with a new dome. RESOLVED
2) very fine scratch on macro port glass (really not an issue, but I brought it up anyways: replaced with a new port RESOLVED
3) Not an issue I reported, but the older plastic extension ring has been replaced at no cost with an updated metal version RESOLVED
4) Mistake in wiring of bulkhead: Dave at UWPhototech replaced the harness, I tested it dry with 2x Inon Z220s -- everything seems to be working fine (I love my Inon strobes!!) RESOLVED
5) Issues with alignment of buttons and power switch (seems to be resolved, haven't tested it thoroughly)
6) Marks in internal optics of viewfinder: Jonah sent a new VF which Dave swapped in for me. RESOLVED

Dave pressure tested the housing to 150' multiple times for me. However, this does not test for leakage when the buttons/trigger is depressed... this will have to wait for a pool test once I get to Malaysia.

So far so good. we'll see what happens in the water.

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#8 jocko


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Posted 09 December 2003 - 08:13 PM

Hello All,
I recently purchased a Jonah Housing for my Canon 10D (October 2003) and have had a relatively easy time with it. Some of the buttons required a little tweaking to overcome either overpressure causing continuous pressure on one of the controls or under pressure where regardless of how hard you pressed the button would not function. These problems were easily solved by adjustment with a small screwdriver. I also had a little bit of a problem with the on/off knob due to the grub screw loosening up a little, again easily fixed. The setup I have is with the 4" dome port and extension ring and a single sea & sea YS-90DX connected via the N5 port. Overall I am very pleased but may add a second strobe for future trips. Aesthetically it is probably not the prettiest of the 10d housings but it is functional and for my budget a very solid piece of equipment, This was my first foray into housed cameras and I must admit I was very impressed with the initial results once I figured out the camera and strobe manual settings. I was a little worried about the manufacturers ability to actually deliver the product on time and they cut it close as the housing only arrived two days before I left for my trip. The U.S. distributor I got it from was extremely helpful and seemed to have an excellent relationship with the guy from Jonah. I am looking forward to using it again early in 2004 and can follow up with any new developments if anyone is interested. I'm not sure how many production units exist but I believe mine is number 5 :D

#9 UWPhotoTech


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Posted 15 January 2004 - 02:11 PM

Hi Folks,

Just wanted to give an update of our opinions of the Jonah Housings.

The Jonah extension ring problem has been resolved. The rings have been redisigned and are now of anodized aluminum construction to handle the weight and size of the dome port.

The overall quality of the housings is improving greatly as the design evolves with higher emphasis on quality control. Control Alignment issues have been resolved as well as some wiring issues on the Canon.

The housings for the Nikon D100 and the Canon EOS 10D now function well and we're looking forward to the Canon 300D Housing later this month.

Mr. Kim of Jonah Housings has be very reponsive to our intitial concerns ont these housings. Because of his efforts to improve the desgn we have decided to continue our relationship with Jonah.

A special thank you :D goes to Yeang Ch'ng who was patient with us while we worked through the many issues with his Canon 10D housing. Because of his patience and the cooperation of Mr. Kim at Jonah we can now comfortably recommend the Jonah Housings.
Underwater Photo-Tech, Derry, NH
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#10 james


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Posted 15 January 2004 - 02:46 PM

Hi Fred and Dave, welcome to Wetpixel!

I'm glad to hear that you feel the housings are worth selling and supporting. From a shooter's standpoint, the more housings available, the better for the UW photo community.

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#11 sugar



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Posted 10 September 2004 - 07:38 PM

I am new to underwater digital photograpy- but I purchased a Jonah housing for my Canon 10d back in March from OceanBrite. I did not receive the housing until the end of April (OceanBrite told me it would be approx. 1 month to get the housing).

I have not had any problems with leaking/flooding. My ports (4 inch flat, extension tube and fish eye) seem to fit tight! I have used my housing on approx . 75 dives. On my 4th dive the on/off switch broke- unable to fix that! Also had problems with getting the function buttons to make contact. I had been shooting in automatic mode. Now in manual mode I am only able to adjust the f stops. I am unable to change shutter speed and use other critical functions. Others speak of "tweaking" the buttons in order to get them to properly align. (unfortunately I am not very mechanical! ) I have also had problems with the 5 pin connector for my ys 90dx strobe. Unfortunately- OceanBrite no longer carries Jonah (not sure what that is all about!) so getting it serviced now is impossible! I've given up!

In fact, I am looking to purchase a new housing. I love my Canon 10d! I was planning on getting the Sea and Sea housing for the 10d- but I've just discovered it has been discontinued!

I would think twice about getting a housing with so few housings on the market- plus when the only dealer listed in the US (according to digideep) severes the relationship- it kinda leaves you high and dry! I wish I would have been warned of this in March! It would have saved me a lot of money and headaches!

Of course, these are just my opinions....

#12 Oceanbrite


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Posted 14 September 2004 - 02:35 PM

Hi Wetpixel,

Just a brief note to let you know of progress with the Jonah Housings and their manufacturer. As most of you know we are selling the Jonah Housings here in the US along with Fred at Underwater Phototech and have had some problems.

At one point I discontinued selling the Housings until I could work out production quality control issues with the manufacturer. During August we worked out a plan to make certain that the Housings coming into the US market are receiving adequate QC prior to delivery to our US customers.

My wife Terrie tested the first 300D Housing, under our new arrangement, :wink: on a recent trip to Fiji and had NO PROBLEMS. She is very pleased with the way the Housing functions and can't wait to use it again.

I will be sending this 300D Housing up to Eric and James for a thorough test and review in the next few weeks and am looking forward to their comments.