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Flooded my D7000


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#1 acuevas

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 02:43 PM

Yesterday I was involved in a series of actions that ended with a dead Nikon D7000 and a Tokina 10-17.

My wife and I went to practice in a 3 mts deep pool filled with sea water.
In one more week we will be in New Zealand, we will take the Advance Wreck Diving course there and then we will go for a 5 days live aboard to dive the Lermontov wreck.

We wanted to do some practice in the pool in order to correct a few details in our trim and techniques, we did the same last weekend.
I wanted to use my D7000 mounted in a tripod in order to record the practice, that way is easier to correct our self what we are doing wrong.

After an hour and a half driving to the beach where the pool is located, I started to prepare the camera, I was tired because I didn't sleep more than 5 hours. I wanted to make it simple so I decided not to attach the strobes and the focus light, I was going to use just the housing. I was a little distracted at the moment of the assembling.
I put the camera inside the housing and everything was ready, as I wasn't using the strobes I didn't test the button that activates the internal flash of the camera.

After getting the rest of the dive equipment ready we went to the pool.
My wife and I in the water with our doubles in our back and the stage tank attached to the harness, I went to the side of the pool where the housing was waiting for the disaster, I took the housing and in the moment it touched the water I started to see too many bubbles, something was not right, I wasted I few seconds because I thought, if it is a leak the moisture alarm must activate. But something was not right, I raised the housing above the water and I saw what I didn't want to see, water inside the housing, 3/4 of the housing with water.

I left the housing out of the pool, I went out of the water knowing that the camera was already dead.
I opened the housing and took the camera out, when I removed the battery a white liquid went out, not a good thing. Salt water inside the camera and inside the lens.

At that moment I knew that nothing I could do will save the camera, but there is a remote probability that some part of the camera might be saved and the camera could be repaired for an amount of money inferior to the cost of a new camera.
Having nothing more to loose I submerged the camera and the lens in fresh water, I left it there for a couple of hours.
After I returned home in the night I submerged the camera and the lens in distilled water for another couple of hours, today I went to the store to get isopropyl alcohol and submerge the camera and the lens for a few minutes hoping that this will dry the interior of the camera and the lens faster.

But what created the massive flood?
Today I took the housing and reproduced the problem, I had an idea about the problem because I was aware that if the lever that activates the internal flash of the camera is in a bad position, the housing will not close correctly. I'm sure now that that was the problem.
But why this only happened to me and not to other users of the Aquatica AD7000 housing?
The problem is the cable of the microphone of the housing, because I don't use it I tied the cable in the upper left corner of the housing, with the cable in that position it doesn't allow the lever of the flash button rotates freely, I'm going to cut that cable because I don't really need it.

I always knew that there is some probabilities to flood the camera, so I accepted the situation and I said to my self, this is part of the game. But this happened in the worst possible moment to me.

I hope that what happen to me avoids other user of the same housing do the same mistakes as me.
Regards
Andres Cuevas


Nikon D7000, Tokina 10-17, Aquatica AD7000, Aquatica Mini Dome, 2xInon Z-240 type 4.
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#2 johnspierce

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:34 PM

Sorry to hear of your flood. I cut my microphone cable off the very first day I had my housing before it ever got wet. Too many bad stories about that thing getting in the way - they should make it a removable plug-in wire instead of hard-wired the way it is. I would wager the majority of AD7000 users don't use the hydrophone anyway.

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#3 meltdownman

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:44 PM

Hey Acuevas,

I love photos you have on Flicker! I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your camera.

May I recommend the following:

Get a vacuum port installed. Expensive but so is your camera. My friend had a little leakage while diving Truk using the Ikelite housing. He later flooded it while diving at Grand Cayman. I WAS a 5D MII...now it is scrap.

I would NOT cut your hydrophone cord but remove it and install one of the vacuum leak detector systems listed below. In the event you want to sell your housing unit later, the extra expense incurred by the buyer might be a deterent if they want this feature. That is assuming the hydrophone still works. The vacuum leak detectors will either fit where the hydrophone goes or the spare port on the top of your housing. IF you don't want to install a vacuum system you can remove the hydrophone and order a spare plug to go where the hydrophone is situated. Thus, no need to cut the cord.

Moisture detectors have thier limits and don't allow a pre dive check. They are good for small leaks but obviously this was not the case in your situation.

There are several vacuum systems that I know of that I have seen on the NET that allow you to install it yourself or come with the housing:

The "SENTRY" by Underwater Camera Stuff:

http://wetpixel.com/...housing-sentry/
http://www.uwcameras...ry_installs.htm
Review
http://wetpixel.com/...housing-sentry/

Hugyfot:

http://www.hugyfot.c.../HugyCheck.html

Leak Setinal:
http://www.vividhous...ak-sentinel.php
Review
http://www.vividhous...tzone_OCT11.pdf They have a new version that has the battery installed inside the unit thus eliminating the need for an internal circuit board. I just ordered this to test it out.

Gates has one also for their video housings but I can't tell you if you can reverse engineer their setup to fit any of your housings you are looking to buy.

I personally will be installing a vacuum setup for my Aquatica housing using the Sentry System and my other Aquatica housing will ahve the Leak Setinal.

You should also look into flood insurance from the Divers Alert Network (DAN):

http://www.diversale...ance/equipment/

Operating Experience (OE) from scubaboard:

blibecap
January 27th, 2011, 01:11 AM
I agree on user error responce but I think the third or forth issue is user error in the rinse tank. I never leave my camera in the rinse tank without my hand attached to the housing.

In regards to the port coming off easily or the latch coming open, with 10" of vacuum which is what the Housing Sentry works under, a force of Fifty pounds is required to break the seal on the dome port or the housing back. This is posted on the FAQ page. So if a latch comes open or a port lock comes loose it may not matter because until you release the vacuum on the housing you most likely will not be able to get the housing open anyhow.

With the vacuum seal you could theoretically dive with no latches and no port clips although, I wouldn't recommend it. With a vacuum on the system the deeper you dive the tighter the seal gets until you reach the design limits of the housing.

The idea of a port not as secure as I would like it to be was part of the reason for developing the housing sentry. Another part was to alert the person using the housing the there is a user error somewhere in the assembly process before it is exposed to water. I have had 3 situations where salt water was invading my housing and all three times it was user error. Fortunately for me it was a small leak that was caught before it did any harm.

You can search here and read about floods, if you want more information on the Housing Sentry there was a recent review here or take a look at the web site.

The vast majority of housing failures is Operator Error. This includes failure to have the units serviced on a periodic basis. This can be expensive as I found out (over 500 US dollars at Backscatter to replace the seals, test the housing and check the calibration of timing between camera and strobes). Salt particles will eventually affect the operation of control buttons on even the best of housings no matter how long you soak the unit in fresh water after a dive. Even in a throw away society I think this is worth it. I will be bringing my housing into Backscatter this fall to have this work done.

A couple of other lessons that I have learned from folks who have been in the underwater photopgraphy business in case anyone else is interested:

1) Get a good magnifying glass with a light built in to check your seals and condition of your equipment.
2) When applying the lubricant to your seals, put the lubricant on one set of finger tips and then "push" the seal through your finger tips with the other set of fingers. This avoids stretching the seals and distorting them. It may seem minor but it is a technique not really mentioned by the manufacturers.
3) Don't use "Q" tips with the cotton swabs on the end. They are NOT lint free. Good in a pinch to get intial grit or sand out but you need to follow up with lint free cleaning cloth or lens cleaner for the grooves where your seal seal sits in.
4) Remove the seal and store it with a light coat of lubricant when not in use for long periods of time. This helps maintain its elasticity and protects the rubber from ozone deterioration. Throw the zip lock bag out after you use it to ensure that no contaminants get on the seals when you go to store them the next time. Zip lock bags are cheap. Your camera is not.
5) Remove the battery from the whatever vacuum or leak detector system you use when storing the units for long periods of time. Not only does this reduce battery drain but will prevent corrosion or worse damage from a leaking battery.
6) Buy a multi purpose battery tester for your batteries for both your leak or vacuum system and use it before any trip. These batteries are usually not available in the middle of the ocean on a live aboard. Test your batteries for your strobes while you are at it.
7) While obvious, but just a reminder, if you are transporting your housing and camera via plane, ensure that it is NOT sealed to allow it to be equalized with cabin/luggage storage pressure. Housings and their seals are for external pressure. If the housing is locked/sealed before the flight, the reduction in pressure on the outside of the housing will potentially cause damage to potentially ALL the seals (not just the main seal). You can't replace anything other than the main seal on the back cover or ports on most housings, not the button controls. The manufactures design their equipment for water trying to get in NOT pressure trying to get out. Thus the seating surfaces for seals are designed with this in mind. It actually does not take much for the internal pressure that is "locked in" the housing to unseat seals as the external pressure is reduced when flying in a plane. There a many seals in a housing and all it takes is one to become distorted or cocked on its seating surface to cause leakage problems.

The Meltdownman

#4 tdpriest

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 04:08 PM

How depressing...

... it's all dead, and nothing is salvable, I would expect from my own experience of two floods.

I'm not convinced that the vacuum leak detector helps: it often seems to be a sudden, catastrophic leak that floods everything, not a slow one.

Now, you know about that D800 you've been lusting after...

#5 blibecap

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:14 PM

How depressing...

... it's all dead, and nothing is salvable, I would expect from my own experience of two floods.

I'm not convinced that the vacuum leak detector helps: it often seems to be a sudden, catastrophic leak that floods everything, not a slow one.

Now, you know about that D800 you've been lusting after...


Sorry to here about your flood.

Why don't you think the vacuum leak detection device would work with a catastrophic flood?

Was the camera tightly sealed before it went into the water? Do you really know the answer to this?

If there was a leak of any size the vacuum leak detection system would detect it before you enter the water.

The Hugyfot: http://www.hugyfot.c.../HugyCheck.html is propriety and only works with there systems.

The gates product Gates Seal Check will work fine with any housed item, film camera, digital camera, video camera.
Bill Libecap
Cincinnati, Oh
http://www.UwCameraStuff.com
Home of the Housing Sentry, the ultimate leak prevention system.

#6 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:14 PM

Acuevas,
i am sorry to hear about your incident!
After one year experience with my Hugyfot housing and it's HugyCheck Vacuum Leak Detector i would not house any camera
in any housing without a Vacuum Leak detector.
Depressurizing the housing the evening before will show any small leaks during night and in your incident it would had shown the problem
immediately as you could not depressurize the housing with such a big leak.
Chris

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#7 Panda

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:43 PM

Tragic. Commiserations, and thanks for sharing your experience.

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#8 Jock

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 01:41 AM

Andres,

WELCOME TO THE CLUB ...

Jock
(my floodings: NikonosV plus 15mm lens, Nikonos RS with 50mm lens and Teleconverter)

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#9 bfowles

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:29 AM

The same problem with the microphone cable also occurred to a diver on scubaboard. It seems like if you don't think you will use the microphone it is best to remove it.
Sorry for you loss but I'm sure you will love the Lermontov I have heard lots of good things about that wreck.

#10 johnjvv

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:25 AM

Hope you manage to sort out a new rig before your trip...

#11 acuevas

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 05:48 AM

I think that a vacuum leak detector will be the route to follow for me, after loosing US$2.000 dollars in a second, I'm not putting a new camera in the water without one.


The "SENTRY" by Underwater Camera Stuff:

http://wetpixel.com/...housing-sentry/
http://www.uwcameras...ry_installs.htm
Review
http://wetpixel.com/...housing-sentry/

Housing Sentry looks like a possibility for me.

You should also look into flood insurance from the Divers Alert Network (DAN):

http://www.diversale...ance/equipment/


The DAN insurance for dive equipment is only for USA residents, so is out of my possibilities.

Now, you know about that D800 you've been lusting after...

Nah, I love the D7000 and I already have the housing. Maybe some of the new D800 users might sell me a used D7000 and the tokina 10-17. :-)

Hope you manage to sort out a new rig before your trip...

Sadly there is not enough time, a friend is going to lend me a dslr for top side shooting, but the housing won't be part of this trip.
Regards
Andres Cuevas


Nikon D7000, Tokina 10-17, Aquatica AD7000, Aquatica Mini Dome, 2xInon Z-240 type 4.
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#12 Aquapaul

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 02:31 PM

Sorry to hear about such a tragedy. I got real lucky this summer with my D700, noticed my dome was fogged at 80 feet and proceeded for the surface. I held the camera dome down and the dome was full when I got on the boat. The D700 and 15mm sigma lived, diving in fresh water, don't think I would have been so lucky had it been salt water.
I have the Aquatica AD7000 too and cut that hydrophone cord off before it ever got wet, didn't even think twice about it.
Paul Chase

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#13 jcclink

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:07 PM

If you use a vacuum leak detector, rotate all the knobs/levers & push all the buttons several times. It's possible to have no leaks in static condition but housing could leak with a dynamic (move all controls) test. Ditto on hydrophone cable - it serves no useful purpose u/w, unless you like to sound of bubbles or shrimp.

Edited by jcclink, 22 August 2012 - 04:09 PM.

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#14 meltdownman

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 05:14 PM

Acuevas,

Someone just posted a sale for a complete Nikon D7000:

http://wetpixel.com/...560#entry315230

Individual parts being sold is not that great a deal in my opinion.

I'd buy if I wasn't already a canon user.

#15 Ducha

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:30 PM

Hello Andres,
sorry to hear about what happend to you. I also use a Nikon D7000 and my worst nightmares are about flooding the camera..
I considered buying the Aquatica housing but one of the reasons I did not was the hydrophone because I thought I would not need it and it would be a potential risk for flooding the rig. I finally decided to buy the Subal ND7000 and I am still happy with it after 6 months of usage.
I hope you found a solution for your trip...
Best wishes from Germany
Heidi
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Currently Inon Z240 strobe but waiting for my new Seaflash D150..

#16 Rainer

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 05:44 PM

I really like my Aquatica AD7000 housing, but also think the hydrophone cable is just terribly designed. My not noticing it getting trapped caused me to flood my housing on my second dive. Thankfully, I had it all insured. When I got the housing back from Aquatica (who kindly had it checked out), the first thing I did was cut out the hydrophone cable. Since then, never an issue and it's otherwise been great.

#17 Jock

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:46 AM

Some guys here are trying to be smart and think they can avoid a flooding with proper care and diligence ???

Maybe you should read this:

http://www.halsteadd...er-photography/

Cheers,
Jock

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#18 tdpriest

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 03:24 PM

Maybe you should read this:

http://www.halsteadd...er-photography/


Very funny, although Bob does sound like a bit of a fossil...

#19 DamonA

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 03:12 PM

Sorry to hear this Andre'

I know at lest 4 other people that had this catastrophe happen!

Same thing happened to me exactly- the hydrophone cord gets jambed in the sealing surfaces.

Cut it off and your confidence will come back quickly.

- the only good thing here is that the D7000 has got alot cheaper now- http://www.dwidigita...?idProduct=3132

#20 acuevas

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 02:59 PM

- the only good thing here is that the D7000 has got alot cheaper now- http://www.dwidigita...?idProduct=3132


And maybe with the announcement of the D600 the price will drop even more.
Regards
Andres Cuevas


Nikon D7000, Tokina 10-17, Aquatica AD7000, Aquatica Mini Dome, 2xInon Z-240 type 4.
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