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D7000 housing - ikelite or aluminium


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#1 Blind diver

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 12:57 PM

Hi,


I took my first steps in dslr with buying the nikon d7000.

It's a big diference then my pen !
I would like to take the camera underwater.

But i don't now what housing to buy ?!

I dont have a lot of budget.
If i buy the nauticam hausing + 1 flash my buget is gone.
I then have to wait for 1.5 years for second flash and lenses.

Then i have been thinking to buy an ikelite housing.
If i buy that housing ik can buy a second flash and extra lenses.
But is this a good housing ?!

I dont know.


Is it worth waiting to buy the extra flash and lenses and buy the nauticam housing.
Or go for the ikelite and get better quality pictures with the extra stuff.

Some advice please....

#2 johnspierce

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 01:12 PM

Hi,


I took my first steps in dslr with buying the nikon d7000.

It's a big diference then my pen !
I would like to take the camera underwater.

But i don't now what housing to buy ?!

I dont have a lot of budget.
If i buy the nauticam hausing + 1 flash my buget is gone.
I then have to wait for 1.5 years for second flash and lenses.

Then i have been thinking to buy an ikelite housing.
If i buy that housing ik can buy a second flash and extra lenses.
But is this a good housing ?!

I dont know.


Is it worth waiting to buy the extra flash and lenses and buy the nauticam housing.
Or go for the ikelite and get better quality pictures with the extra stuff.

Some advice please....


Those Nauticams are sweeet! I'd love to have one of those or the new Aquatica housing for the D7000 and may very well buy one over the next year. But either of those housings is an extra $1000 to $1600 more expensive for the housing and the ports are typically more expensive for both those brands too. For that money you get a smaller profile and a lighter out-of-water solution plus the mechanics of port locks and switches/knobs are more sophisticated.

So yeah, they are very cool and I want one. BUT one thing to know is the resulting photo from a D7000 in an Ikelite housing for possibly $1500 less will be essentially *identical* to the more expensive housing. The extra cost is more about ergonomics than anything else. Under the water my current Ikelite D300 housing is near neutral and easy to handle. They are very simple, easy to use and I've never had one bit of trouble with mine. The Ike folks are here in the US and support is very good.

So -- if you have the bucks, both the Nauticam and Aquatica are excellent, premium solutions. If you want the best photo you can get right now for the least money, Ikelite is a good option.

Put another way. If my only choice for the next 1 to 2 years was having D7000, Nauticam, 60mm Macro and one strobe vs. D7000, Ike, 60mm macro, 10-17 FE and two strobes, I'd go with the Ike. Ultimately, the equipment we have is meaningless -- it's the photo I just took!


JP

Nikon D800 | Aquatica Housing | Inon Z-240


#3 derway

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 03:59 PM

If you are going to be making money off UW photo, and will use it constantly, and can write off the housing as business expense, go for a naughty cam.

Otherwise, if you are like me, just shooting for fun 3-4-5 weeks per year, why use anything other than ike? As you say, more and better lenses, and a second strobe will make more of a difference to your images.

They are the only ones which have wired TTL solutions for all the major SLR brands built in to their housings.

The clear housing is a HUGE benefit, when assembling them, as you literally can see every seal and be absolutely certain that the o-rings are sitting true, and never have any anxiety about it. Too me, this is a really big advantage.

And you can always add a fancy nauticam viewfinder to the ike housing, some time down the road, if you decide it is something you desire.

I've been a happy ike user for 20ish years...
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#4 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 04:39 PM

I have 2 Ikelite housings and i never had any issues with it.
I bought 1 Ikelite DS-125 but it had broken stobe tube, so i had to ship it on my cost from Costa Rica to them and back for 250$that was not very cool.... but may be a single case...
Ikelite build good housings for a excellent price with a included TTL controller enabling TTL with their DS series strobes.
I bought a Patima Aluminium housing for my G11 as i use my camera almost every day and aluminium housing should give you a extra gain in strenght against daily dangers of careless boat crew (and sometimes owners).
I would go with the Ikelite and invest the saved money in lenses and a nice strobe setup, you will have more fun this way,
than with a fancy housing but no good lenses.If you really get "infected" you may go later the aluminium way.
Chris

Edited by ChrigelKarrer, 16 December 2010 - 04:40 PM.

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#5 sasdasdaf

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 11:50 PM

The important question is what lenses do you have now? The D7000 kit lens is not going to be that useful underwater. Will investing in the Nauticam result in not having the budget for good lenses (not in any particular order 60mm, 105mm, 10-17mm)? Using good lenses with the Ikelite is going to give you much more joy than using suboptimal lenses with the Nauticam.

Btw if you are trying to save money, second hand lenses and strobes are always on the market at significant savings off new.

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#6 Blind diver

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 08:19 AM

At this moment I only have the standar kit lens.

#7 tdpriest

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 08:56 AM

If you are going to invest in a camera as good as the D7000 seems, I would go for the housing that will be most flexible in use, then gradually build up lenses , ports and accessories. The ergonomics and build quality, the robust construction, suggest that an Ikelite will eventually be second-best, at best.

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#8 johnspierce

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:42 AM

If you are going to invest in a camera as good as the D7000 seems, I would go for the housing that will be most flexible in use, then gradually build up lenses , ports and accessories. The ergonomics and build quality, the robust construction, suggest that an Ikelite will eventually be second-best, at best.

Tim

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I will respectfully disagree with your statement for one essential reason. Building your system around a camera body/housing is always a poor investment.

Bodies change every single year and get massively better. And a new housing will be required every single time. Lenses are MUCH more important than the housing. My 60mm Nikon is over 10 years old and it's still a fantastic lens. I'm on my 4th body in the past 6 years. Strobes will also last much longer (in terms of obsoleteness) than housings. I know people that are still getting excellent photos using Nikonos SB105's that are like 20 years old, but they have a modern camera and housing. Ike DS-125/DS-160's, S&S 120/200's, Inon Z220/240s'. All of those strobes have been around for quite awhile and even the older ones are quite usable.

The original poster already said he won't have money to buy all the lenses and two strobes if he gets the Nauticam. So that means two years from now when his D7000 is at the end of it's release cycle, he'll finally be able to afford the strobe and lenses to get decent photos, but oops! then his D7000 body is essentially obsolete. I also personally wonder if it's worthwhile to spend $1200 on a camera body and $3100 on a housing most people will only use a few times per year. The OP didn't say, but if he isn't a diving professional or local, that's a huge chunk of money for a small amount of use.

To buy a more expensive housing and have to live with one strobe and the kit lens means limited, mediocre photos for the next 1-2 years merely to own the current state-of-the-art housing which by the way, will also be on the way to being obsolete in 2 years. If you stay with one housing brand, your investment in ports can be leveraged, but I've also found the ports tend to change and get better every couple of years too. There is just so much "churn" with bodies and housings I would never consider either an investment in my photography future.

If a person is willing to go to all the trouble of housing their $1000+ SLR, it doesn't make sense to cripple your output by limiting your underwater options. To me, this means at least one good macro lens and one good W/A or FE lens and two strobes. Having a Subal or a Nauticam or Aquatica would be awesome because they are great housings, but will they make your photos better if you only have one strobe and the kit lens? No. When I first housed a DSLR I tried to live with one strobe and the 18-70mm Nikon lens. It'll work and you can get "some" nice photos. You can do fish and people portraits but very little else. In general, most of my photos were fairly unmemorable from that period.

Make a smart decision on strobes and lenses right now and a person can keep those for 4-5 years or more and then in 2 years, maybe think about upgrading to the D8000 and maybe a better housing.

Again, if you have the bucks, the more expensive housings do give some ergonomic advantages, but having the right strobes and lenses is much more important. I can tell you as a person who has taken photos right next to a guy with an Aquatica and a D300 just like I have, the only thing that will determine the best photo is the guy clicking the shutter, not the housing. And mine were better heheh!

John

Edited by johnspierce, 17 December 2010 - 09:58 AM.

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#9 mcliffy2

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 01:09 PM

I will respectfully disagree with your statement for one essential reason. Building your system around a camera body/housing is always a poor investment.

Bodies change every single year and get massively better. And a new housing will be required every single time. Lenses are MUCH more important than the housing. My 60mm Nikon is over 10 years old and it's still a fantastic lens. I'm on my 4th body in the past 6 years. Strobes will also last much longer (in terms of obsoleteness) than housings. I know people that are still getting excellent photos using Nikonos SB105's that are like 20 years old, but they have a modern camera and housing. Ike DS-125/DS-160's, S&S 120/200's, Inon Z220/240s'. All of those strobes have been around for quite awhile and even the older ones are quite usable.

The original poster already said he won't have money to buy all the lenses and two strobes if he gets the Nauticam. So that means two years from now when his D7000 is at the end of it's release cycle, he'll finally be able to afford the strobe and lenses to get decent photos, but oops! then his D7000 body is essentially obsolete. I also personally wonder if it's worthwhile to spend $1200 on a camera body and $3100 on a housing most people will only use a few times per year. The OP didn't say, but if he isn't a diving professional or local, that's a huge chunk of money for a small amount of use.

To buy a more expensive housing and have to live with one strobe and the kit lens means limited, mediocre photos for the next 1-2 years merely to own the current state-of-the-art housing which by the way, will also be on the way to being obsolete in 2 years. If you stay with one housing brand, your investment in ports can be leveraged, but I've also found the ports tend to change and get better every couple of years too. There is just so much "churn" with bodies and housings I would never consider either an investment in my photography future.

If a person is willing to go to all the trouble of housing their $1000+ SLR, it doesn't make sense to cripple your output by limiting your underwater options. To me, this means at least one good macro lens and one good W/A or FE lens and two strobes. Having a Subal or a Nauticam or Aquatica would be awesome because they are great housings, but will they make your photos better if you only have one strobe and the kit lens? No. When I first housed a DSLR I tried to live with one strobe and the 18-70mm Nikon lens. It'll work and you can get "some" nice photos. You can do fish and people portraits but very little else. In general, most of my photos were fairly unmemorable from that period.

Make a smart decision on strobes and lenses right now and a person can keep those for 4-5 years or more and then in 2 years, maybe think about upgrading to the D8000 and maybe a better housing.

Again, if you have the bucks, the more expensive housings do give some ergonomic advantages, but having the right strobes and lenses is much more important. I can tell you as a person who has taken photos right next to a guy with an Aquatica and a D300 just like I have, the only thing that will determine the best photo is the guy clicking the shutter, not the housing. And mine were better heheh!

John


The Aquatica housing is $600 less than the Nauticam, which just so happens to be the price of the Tokina 10-17 (that you can use for WA, CFWA for macro-type shots). So based on your statement you could get the Nauticam and 1 strobe, I'd get the Aquatica housing (w/ 4" mini-dome), 1 strobe, and a Tokina 10-17 lens.

I have to disagree with the view that its just ergonomics and you'll get the same shot from either housing. Ergonomics can play a big part in whether you get the shot in the first place. If you're controls are more difficult to adjust, you may not be able to make the adjustments you need in time to get the shot. With my old Ikelite housing (on a Canon G9) the controls were frustrating -- the dial controller often wouldn't "catch" the dial, and the buttons were harder to push and sometimes got stuck. I tried the 7D Ikelite and found the controls could be equally frustrating. The actuation of buttons is much smoother, the layout much better, etc. on my Aquatica 7D housing, and especially as someone who only gets a couple weeks of shooting a year, it makes a big difference with me being able to make adjustments under water. I definitely think I get better shots with the Aquatica, than I would have with an Ikelite.

#10 johnspierce

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 02:58 PM

The Aquatica housing is $600 less than the Nauticam, which just so happens to be the price of the Tokina 10-17 (that you can use for WA, CFWA for macro-type shots). So based on your statement you could get the Nauticam and 1 strobe, I'd get the Aquatica housing (w/ 4" mini-dome), 1 strobe, and a Tokina 10-17 lens.

I have to disagree with the view that its just ergonomics and you'll get the same shot from either housing. Ergonomics can play a big part in whether you get the shot in the first place. If you're controls are more difficult to adjust, you may not be able to make the adjustments you need in time to get the shot. With my old Ikelite housing (on a Canon G9) the controls were frustrating -- the dial controller often wouldn't "catch" the dial, and the buttons were harder to push and sometimes got stuck. I tried the 7D Ikelite and found the controls could be equally frustrating. The actuation of buttons is much smoother, the layout much better, etc. on my Aquatica 7D housing, and especially as someone who only gets a couple weeks of shooting a year, it makes a big difference with me being able to make adjustments under water. I definitely think I get better shots with the Aquatica, than I would have with an Ikelite.


I will agree with you the Aquatica is much smoother than an Ike from the standpoint of controls. And I really like the zoom gear attachment along with the port lock. Plus the price is much easier to swallow than the Nauticam's. However, it's still $1100 higher than the Ike and therefore might be out of range for the orginal poster. My point (meandering as it was) is that I can take a better W/A photo of a "diver with reef" using an Ike/10-17/dome/two strobes than I could with a Nauticam or Aquatica/18-55/mini dome/one strobe. The lens and strobe make a HUGE difference. If we are talking economics, Ike wins.

I do think Ike has gotten better with their controls too -- my old Ike for my D70 was very "fiddly" with some of the controls, notably the zoom, my D300 Ike is very good with all the controls. Again, don't mistake my comments for saying the Ike is apples-for-apples comparable with the more expensive aluminum housings -- it's not. I am simply saying if you are trying to keep the cost down, use your money where it counts -- lenses and strobes.

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#11 Otara

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 03:31 PM

Cameras used to get significantly better each year, but things are slowing down a lot in my view. I wouldnt view a D7000 as likely to be 'obsolete' in 2 years unless one gets too gear focussed.

Whether that means lenses or housing is more important is a separate issue, and will more depend on your shooting habits and locales you're going to.

One important caveat with Ikelite is whether you want TTL, as it now costs a lot to get that with reasonable strobes (I recommend avoiding DS51's like the plague) vs optical options with other housings, and you are limited to electrical cords only, which in my view are a large extra cost with that housing, and do take a bit more maintenance/care than optical options. The other TTL limitation with Ikelite is that the DS125/160 etc weigh a ton, and two of them can get really old to carry around after a while, particularly overseas.

If the two strobe option is DS51's, I would prioritise getting one good strobe.

Other than that Ikelite are good value for the price, and the major reason I changed from it was that it wouldnt take the nauticam viewfinder on my camera (7D). I do recognise this means I am more 'locked in' as far as upgrading goes, but view this as a good time to make that move.

Edit: This isnt the word of god of course, I think there are a few different way to look at these issues with no definite single answer. It really depends on priorities for lenses vs strobes vs upgradability vs TTL. For some people weight isnt a problem for instance.

Otara

Edited by Otara, 17 December 2010 - 03:45 PM.


#12 loftus

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 04:16 PM

I tend to have a contrary opinion (as usual). I would tend to agree with Otara; I think you also have to try to think a little in the longer term; even if you do eventually upgrade the camera, you may well not need to upgrade the ports etc. I'm very much one for buying systems that one can see oneself staying with for the long term, even though parts of it may change. That's why I think people who change from Canon to Nikon and back are crazy, because they are both awesome systems that just play leapfrog with each other. Find a good quality system, stick with it and build it. I presently use Subal, I may change to Nauticam, only because ports etc are interchangeable. Ikelite is OK, but yes just OK. You can't use other ports etc with or from other systems. I think one is better off buying the best quality one can afford and building on it, rather than getting more of a lesser quality product. A housing is much more than just a box; ergonomics, viewfinders, ports, features, are all part of the equation. I know folks on this forum may disagree but my observation has been many more Ikelite floods that are not user error, on trips that I have been on. Sure you can take great pics with Ikelight, but if you think you want a system that grows with you as your skills and passion grow, choose a system that will never hold you back.

Edited by loftus, 17 December 2010 - 04:23 PM.

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#13 john70490

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 01:04 AM

I recommend avoiding DS51's like the plague
Otara


Why? I use a DS51 in combination with a DS125 and it works fine, even with the Tokina 10-17mm. Two of my friends use the same combination and take great pictures with it. The DS51 doesn't cover as wide an angle as the DS125 but the power is the same and the compact size and low weight of the DS51 make it a good choice for travelling divers or anyone who has to carry their rig more than a few yards on land. I use Ikelite's 1 1/2 hour quick charger and the batteries that came with it and they give me enough juice for a full day's diving. All in all, I much prefer my DS51 to the Nikonos SB105's and Sea & Sea YS-90DX's I've used with other rigs.

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#14 TomR1

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 10:50 AM

Man, I gotta disagree with some people.

This is the persons FIRST dSLR and it is a great camera. It wil never be necessary to purchase another.

My general advice is to pick one style of shooting-macro, wide, or combination-and stick with it until you master the new rig.

If you chose macro as your first style then my advice is to start with only one strobe.

Therefore, pick you single lens and port. For macro either the 60MM, 85MM or 105mm depending on the water quality you expect to dive most. I started with the 105, and it did take some time, but I did get some great shots with a single lens. However, the 85mm was not around then and I don't have one so i don't know how good it is. In more murky water the 60mm is better and it is easier to learn.

The wide angle choice is the Tonika 10/17 fisheye. Learning a fisheye lens is difficult. It will require two strobes.

Another choice is a mid-range lens tha Sigma 17-70. This will shoot very good semi wide angle and will shoot macro down to 1:2.3. You can house it either in a dome (better for macro) or a flared flat port (large enough opening that the port will not obstruct the view in wide angle mode)

I had an Ikelite housing and I sold it for an aluminum housing. My aluminum housing (Seatool) used fibre optic connectors to Inon Z-240 strobes while the Ikelite used electrical connections to Ds-125 strobes. The aluminum housing was simpler and easier to use in all cases except the Ikelite varied ttl strobe level better.

So, if I was in your position I would purchase an aluminum housing that had fibre-optic strobe connections, one INON strobe and one Af-105-VR and wait for the rest. But then I am a macro guy. When the whale shark swims by I probably won't see it because I am hunting some insignificent bug in a hole.

#15 Blind diver

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 01:37 AM

Man, I gotta disagree with some people.

This is the persons FIRST dSLR and it is a great camera. It wil never be necessary to purchase another.

My general advice is to pick one style of shooting-macro, wide, or combination-and stick with it until you master the new rig.

If you chose macro as your first style then my advice is to start with only one strobe.

Therefore, pick you single lens and port. For macro either the 60MM, 85MM or 105mm depending on the water quality you expect to dive most. I started with the 105, and it did take some time, but I did get some great shots with a single lens. However, the 85mm was not around then and I don't have one so i don't know how good it is. In more murky water the 60mm is better and it is easier to learn.

The wide angle choice is the Tonika 10/17 fisheye. Learning a fisheye lens is difficult. It will require two strobes.

Another choice is a mid-range lens tha Sigma 17-70. This will shoot very good semi wide angle and will shoot macro down to 1:2.3. You can house it either in a dome (better for macro) or a flared flat port (large enough opening that the port will not obstruct the view in wide angle mode)

I had an Ikelite housing and I sold it for an aluminum housing. My aluminum housing (Seatool) used fibre optic connectors to Inon Z-240 strobes while the Ikelite used electrical connections to Ds-125 strobes. The aluminum housing was simpler and easier to use in all cases except the Ikelite varied ttl strobe level better.

So, if I was in your position I would purchase an aluminum housing that had fibre-optic strobe connections, one INON strobe and one Af-105-VR and wait for the rest. But then I am a macro guy. When the whale shark swims by I probably won't see it because I am hunting some insignificent bug in a hole.


Hi,

Most of the time i dive in belgium and Holland.

Murky waters and once a year in egypt.

Which macro lens should you advice then ?
Can you take fish portraits with a macro lens ?
At this moment i have an inon s-2000 wtrobe.
Do i have to buy another strobe, a Z-240 ?


Most of the people say that you have to change camera if a newer model is out, isn't it the lenses that make te difference ?

I have a question, for which shots WA or macro do you need a very good eye vision ?
Because....
Actually i am a handicapped diver...
I have just a vision of 10 procent, i have RP.

I know its strange a person that had lost 90 procent of his vision is taking pictures and underwater...
But i like it !!! :-)

Can this play role in choosing which housing ?

#16 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 02:12 AM

Which macro lens should you advice then ?
Can you take fish portraits with a macro lens ?
At this moment i have an inon s-2000 wtrobe.
Do i have to buy another strobe, a Z-240 ?
I have a question, for which shots WA or macro do you need a very good eye vision ?
Can this play role in choosing which housing ?


Hello,
The 60mmm macro will be the best for Belgium and Red Sea.
Yes, it is great for fish portraits.
I would add another strobe - but not essential to get going. Although a housing that offers fibre optic TTL would be beneficial.
Macro requires better vision than wide angle. You might want to consider a housing with a large magnified viewfinder to help.
Alex

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#17 Blind diver

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 02:22 AM

Hello,
The 60mmm macro will be the best for Belgium and Red Sea.
Yes, it is great for fish portraits.
I would add another strobe - but not essential to get going. Although a housing that offers fibre optic TTL would be beneficial.
Macro requires better vision than wide angle. You might want to consider a housing with a large magnified viewfinder to help.
Alex



Hi, Alex
What housing should you advice me, aluminium or ikelite ?

Which strobe should you advice ?
Do you think tou have to change the body every few yaers ?

Because it is a big investment for me....

#18 derway

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 11:14 AM

You would never need to change the body.

Unless it is not doing something you want. Which is highly doubtful.

If you like shooting with one lens all the time, and "mastering that one focal length", on land, then this old school advice is appropriate.

If you like shooting a variety of focal lengths, and are willing to sacrifice absolute image quality, for flexibility in perspective, then starting out with a sigma zoom macro, and/or the tokina 10/17, and the appropriate ports might me more to your taste, and less limiting.

Fiber optic triggers work perfectly well on an ike housing. Just a little black duct tape in front of the strobe, on the outside of the housing.

How often do you dive there at home?
Don Erway
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nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#19 loftus

loftus

    Blue Whale

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 12:33 PM

I have a question, for which shots WA or macro do you need a very good eye vision ?
Because....
Actually i am a handicapped diver...
I have just a vision of 10 procent, i have RP.

I know its strange a person that had lost 90 procent of his vision is taking pictures and underwater...
But i like it !!! :-)

Can this play role in choosing which housing ?

Not strange at all; love to see your images sometime.
I agree with Alex regarding the magnified viewfinder; you may want to make this your primary focus in choosing a housing - which will allow attachment of the best viewfinder. From what I have seen considering cost etc Nauticam would be my choice. Seacam probably makes the best magnified viewfinder, but that's in a different price range altogether.

Edited by loftus, 19 December 2010 - 12:34 PM.

Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.

#20 Blind diver

Blind diver

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 02:24 PM

You would never need to change the body.

Unless it is not doing something you want. Which is highly doubtful.

If you like shooting with one lens all the time, and "mastering that one focal length", on land, then this old school advice is appropriate.

If you like shooting a variety of focal lengths, and are willing to sacrifice absolute image quality, for flexibility in perspective, then starting out with a sigma zoom macro, and/or the tokina 10/17, and the appropriate ports might me more to your taste, and less limiting.

Fiber optic triggers work perfectly well on an ike housing. Just a little black duct tape in front of the strobe, on the outside of the housing.

How often do you dive there at home?

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