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#1 antonroland


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Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:09 AM

Hello Everyone


I am looking at renting rather than buying but as soon as I think I am close to the ultimate solution I see something unexpected...


So here is my dilemma...I want to take my 5D Mk III down with either my Zeiss 21 or a rented EF 24/1.4 Mk II...


The only available rental housing is the Ikelite and I am looking at buying the Zen 9" dome. Zen makes an Ikelite version of this dome port but what port extenders etc will have to go between housing and dome port?


Also, according to the Ikelite site, neither these two lenses above nor the 16-35 II can work in the Ikelite 8" dome port. Will they work with the Zen dome or do I need to scrap the Ikelite housing idea and consider Nauticam or Subal?


Please help!


Thanks very much.



#2 tdpriest


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Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:50 AM

Have you done any underwater photography? It's hard...


... rental makes sense if you are already experienced, but the rather steep and prolonged learning curve means that a novice isn't likely to be successful first time out.


The ergonomics of Ikelite housings are not as good as those of Sea & Sea; Aquatica and Nauticam housings are a further improvement. Subal and Seacam are better again. That's what you pay for.


Zen domes aren't cheap. Wide-angle lenses are difficult to match with dome ports: there are a few combinations that work well. Domes have usually been designed to work with widely available Canon (or Nikon) lenses, not those lenses that have niche applications, with the notable exception of rectilinear fisheyes. Nauticam have a guide; the retailers advertising here, particularly Reef and Backscatter, offer good advice.


If you are new to this game, I would suggest that the choice of lens ought to depend on what you want to shoot, not what lenses you have: the key is to fill the frame at as close an approach as diving skills, current and critter squeamishness will permit, consider the ambient light and add whatever extra colour is needed with a filter (shallow) or artificial light.

Edited by tdpriest, 22 December 2013 - 06:03 AM.

#3 antonroland


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Posted 22 December 2013 - 07:25 AM

Thanks for the response.


I often wonder if it is worth the trouble and expense...maybe I should just go with a cheap option like the Sony RX-100 in a Nautican housing with a wide angle lens attachment.


I would like to do ambient wide stuff but our waters are green and rarely clean...on any given day there are 4-5 divers with small compacts


on the boat  doing the pop-up flash macro thing...not what I want to do...


Oh well...back to the drawing board then.


Maybe the 21 Zeiss and the Zen 9" dome might match?

#4 dpaustex



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Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:20 PM

I can  tell you for a fact the 16-35 will NOT fit in an Ikelite housing (I had to sell my 16-35 because of that). Otherwise, great housing.


I'd recommend renting all of the equipment, versus buying mismatched pieces, IMHO.

#5 Overexposed Seahorse

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:40 PM

Personally I would not risk taking down a camera like the 5D3 in a rented housing, it is too valuable a camera and you don't know how well looked after the housing has been. The problem with Ikelite is that they have a smaller port opening than the other manuafacturers, so the larger lenses don't fit through. I believe this is the case with any port on the housing. 


If this is your first underwater camera, then I would start with something simpler, such as the sony you mention, or a Micro 4/3 camera, so that you can find out what you want/need in the camera. For instance, you may find that a 24mm lens is not wide enough for underwater wide angle, something like 18mm may be better, but thats a personal decision. 


If you can get a lens that fits in the ikelite housing to rent then it is a better suggestion as a whole new nauticam etc. housing is pretty expensive. Ikelite housings tend to be slightly more bulky than other housings because of how they're made, so make sure that you are happy to carry around a large and heavy housing on your dives before you make a decision!