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Subal ND800 Problem

Camera locking up at depth

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#1 underwatercare


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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:22 AM

Hello Dear Everyone,
I'm here just for ask if anyone has some compatibility problems with Subal ND800 and D800E Nikon Camera.
My problems are as follows:

a) if I go down below 5-6 meters of depth my camera goes completely in confusion. Look like the Lv lever due to the outside increase of pressure press to Lv camera button and, of course, this create a chaos on the camera and I'm no able anymore to work. If I take a picture, it will not comes up to the monitor, if I switch on video, will be very hard move Lv lever and, in any case, if I press REC, it doesn't work. I've asked at Subal, and trough the pics I sent to them, they answered that seem the laser cut of Lv lever command was cut inappropriately.
If I come back in shallow water, above 6 metres, everything start to work on the right way. So I tock off Lv lever, but still below 6 metres of depth seem there is some contact between Housing and Camera.
So, please, I wonder if there's anyone else that have these kind of problems or it's me that I've got so much negative aura around me....:-((((
Thank you.

Moved to SLR/housing forum-admin.

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Marco Carè

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#2 Alex_Mustard


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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:09 AM

Hi Marco,

I think the D800 and D800E are identical on the outside.

As a housing pressurised at depth it is squeezed together by a couple of mm and this can cause a poorly setup/measured/machined push button on the housing to press against a control on the housing. The same problem can happen with a lens that is too close to the glass of the port - at depth the housing compresses and the port pushed the lens and therefore the camera back into the controls.

There are only a few buttons on a camera that will lock all controls. The main culprits are usually the shutter release and the AF-On buttons - as these tend to override everything else. If the shutter or AF-ON buttons are permanently pressed then the camera will take photos, but you won't be able to see the results.


p.s. Just for JB - if you have a pre-dive vacuum system on your housing you can actually see this occur and check for problems at the surface by depressurize the housing and sucking the two halves together.

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D5 (Subal housing). Nikon D7200 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).

#3 John Bantin

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 07:51 AM

Bravo Alex, although I think your estimation of 2mm is slightly out. Maybe 0.5mm.

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#4 eyu


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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:47 AM

I have noticed the tolerances on my ND800 to be very tight. With the back on without the housing o-ring, the camera will not function. Also if the camera tray is not locked in place it will not function. Reinstall your camera body and make sure the tray clicks in place. If that fails, take your housing with body back to your dealer.

Edited by eyu, 05 November 2012 - 10:20 AM.

Nikon D800E, Subal ND800, Inon Z240, ULCS & Carbon Arms

#5 okuma


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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:08 PM

Double check to make sure the camera is correctly seated on the camera stage and the stage lock is engaged.
Also check to see if all housing controls are in correct position when seating camera.
On our Subal/D7000, there is a small camera lever on the top right that some times is not correctly positioned when seating the camera and it puts the camera in a incorrect position and the back will close when this out of position occurs.

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#6 underwatercare


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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:36 AM

Thank you to all of you for your kind reply.
I did all the properly checks I need to do every time and, yes, camera in the housing look very tight.
I'm waiting from Subal a new lever for Ln command on the camera.
Hope everything will be fine.
I just wondered if it's a solitary problem or it happened to someone else too.
Thank you.

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Marco Carè

Underwater Photographer & Videographer

#7 tangfish


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Posted 03 January 2013 - 12:32 AM

I have a different, but possibly related problem. Same thing: when I take my Subal ND800/D800E underwater (doesn't happen at the surface) the compression makes it so that the "UP" selector button does not operate properly. Instead of making the focus point go up as intended, it makes it arc to the right (even going downward, which I cannot explain). It's very annoying as this is a pretty commonly used function. I would happily trade this problem for yours with the LV lever, as I use that much, much less frequently.

I'll post separately with more details, just wanted to add the data point about another (probably) depth/fit related issue with the ND800.

#8 Ryan


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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:25 PM

The easiest way to test in air any compression that may occur at depth would be to remove the main o-ring. Your housing front and back half will be squeezed to the max at this point.

I've seen one Subal D800 where the still photo / movie mode selector shaft was slightly too long, and compression caused it to activate and hold down live view, and locking up the camera. Pushing in on the still photo /movie selector in air activated the control reliably, and it was an easy adjustment to correct.