New to this forum. First post. I have been reading this thread with interest. I have decided to move up to D-SLR from my current point and shoot (a Canon with Ikelite housing and DS 125 strobe). I really like the Nikon D90 features and plan on going with this camera, but I am having problems deciding on the housing. I live in an area where I cannot get my hands on the housing before I buy (no dealers in the area). I am looking between the Aquatica and the Ikelite. I would love your thoughts on these two housings.
In addition, I would like your thoughts on what 2 lens would you buy to start with the D90. The kit package comes with the 18-105, but it looks like this one is not good for underwater use.
First of all, I'd like to extend to you a warm welcome to Wetpixel. Congratulations on your pending purchase of a DSLR.
To answer your questions, here are my thoughts on Ikelite and the Aquatica housings. A lot has to do with personal preferences as there are many here on Wetpixel who like each housing. To compare to brands of cars, you can think of the Ikelite housing as a Chevrolet or Ford and the Aquatica housing as the no-longer-made Oldsmobile. The Ikelite housings, made of a see-through polycarbonate type of material, are bigger and boxier. Some don't like them when considering the bulk of the housing for travel. OTOH, Ikelite housings generally will cost less than other brands of housings, like Aquatica. The Aquatica housing, from what I understand, is made of aluminum, and is also rated for a deeper depth than the Ikelite.
If you're really watching the budget, I would think you'd want to go with Ikelite. If money is no object, and you want the higher-end model, go with Aquatica.
I personally haven't used either housing, as I went straight from a Nikonos V (no housing) to a Subal housing.
One other thing, I have heard some say, though I haven't experienced it, that the way of locking the Ikelite housing doesn't always work well and is prone to flooding.
Your other question, on which lenses to buy, is a much easier question to answer. I would purchase one lens for macro and one lens that will cover wide angle. For my first macro lens, I would go with the 60mm lens. It's a great lens. Either the older version or the newer version will work in a macro port. For your wide angle lens, I would highly recommend a Tokina 10-17 lens. This lens is very well regarded for underwater use.
If you have any other specific questions, you might want to post them in the Digital SLRs/Housings forum.