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Miniflex N8 / Nikon F801


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#1 willemj

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 12:30 AM

Hello,

I am offered a Subal Miniflex N8 housing for a Nikon F801 (8008 in US) camera.

This set includes a flat port for 60 mm, a dome port for 14 mm and a subtronic?/subal flash for nikon.

However, the set is over 8 years old, has seen much use in the past (although it has not been used recently) so there is some clipping of the paintwork. Also, the flash batteries (which are intergrated in the flash housing) have died..

What should I be aware of when buying such a kit? What are known problems with this setup?

#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 12:40 AM

Those old Subal's are very strong and I know lots of them that have seen a huge amount of work and are still going strong.
In terms of buying - I believe that everyone is trying to "unload" old film housings at the moment and you should be able to get it for a good price. there is no lack of 801 housings on the market at the moment.
The only problem with these old subals is the bolt mechanism for closing the back of the housing. Over the years I have seen a couple of floods caused by users not tightening these properly in the rush to get in the water. Otherwise the kit is very solid and capable of taking fantastic pictures.
The F801s has much better autofocus than the F801. The 801s body is definitely the one to go for!
Alex

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#3 willemj

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 01:48 AM

Hi,

Thanx for the quick response.
In other words, if I want to buy this housing, I should get me an F801s to go with it. Thats something to remember..

I spoke to the owner of the Miniflex, and he told me basically the same thing.. 'Take your time when closing the housing, and pay attention to the closing bolts'

You say 'There is no lack of 801 housings on the marktet' I am not looking specifcally for a 801 housing, I am looking to get me a housed SLR, for a decent price. Do you know where to look for ads on housings, if there are so many out there, I might shop around some more first..
What is a good price for this Miniflex housing anyway?

WJ

#4 bella

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 10:49 AM

For used housing adds try some of the following:

Subal flea market page.

http://www.fotoapparatuur.nl/

Mark at http://www.scubacompany.nl/intro.html recently put me in contact with someone and got me a great deal on a used Subal N10 housing, but there's also a forum and used market (marktplaats) on his page.

Also check some of these links:
http://onderwaterfotografie.pagina.nl/
http://onderwaterfot...erzamelgids.nl/

#5 frogfish

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 02:46 AM

I started with a F801s in a Subal housing. I've still got it, and two working F801s bodies. They're worth much more to me as a back-up housing than I could ever get putting them up for sale. I plan to be using it again this summer while my S2 and housing are both being serviced.

You can take some great pictures with a F801s in a miniflex housing. Subal ports are very good, particularly the big dome. I think you'll find that the F801s autofocus works adequately for anything except hypermacro, which is true of newer cameas as well. Synch speed isn't the fastest, but it's not a major limitation either.

Be careful loading film into the F801s. They have a tendency to jam mid-roll if the film is misaligned when loaded.

Don't worry about paint chips or scratches on the outside of the housing. That just shows the housing has been used and loved. Do inspect the mating surfaces where the housing closes and the o-ring groove for scratches, dings or corrosion, but I'll bet you don't find any problem.

The bolt closure system on the housing isn't the fastest or easiest, but as long as you take reasonable care, it works well. The biggest disadvantage with the housing I can think of is that - if you use a tray bolted to bottom of housing to mount strobes on, you pretty much have to remove the tray before opening back of the housing.

The Miniflex normally comes with a single Nikonos-style strobe port connection on the upper left, but there is a plug on the bottom where you can install a second strobe port. This is worth having done, giving you a built-in back-up if the main port packs it in. Be very careful removing the Nikonos plug - make sure all is dry, tilt the housing so that the port opening is facing downward as you remove the plug, and immediately swab the inside of the port with a Q-tip or similar. There are spring-loaded pins inside that will seize up immediately if even a tiny a drop of salt water gets in. While on a trip, leave the cable in. (This is not specific to the Miniflex - lots of new housing use this Nikonos-style strobe connector, but if you haven't used a housing before, this is one of the classic weak points in many systems.

Frogfish
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Nikon D2X in Subal housing.
Tabula Int'l Ltd.

#6 willemj

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 03:36 AM

Thank you all for the quick replies to my questions. :)
I have been browsing the web, and I must say there is limited information on the housing I mentioned.
However, I did found out there are two versions of the miniflex for F801/F801s Does anyone know the difference?

Furthermore: does anyone know if the o-rings both for controls on the body and the 'big' o-ring sealing the back are still available in shops in europe/the netherlands? I guess these will require replacement after so much years.

Wouldn't I be better of if I get myself a housed F90 ? Would this be a world of difference, or just a marginal improvement?

WJ

#7 Paul Kay

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 09:37 AM

I have bought and sold a lot of Subal F801 housings! They are very well built units and many are still in regular use. They work well even with the F801 in them. Corrosion is not a major problem with them but if there are any signs of it then leave well alone as the housing has not been cared for at all. There were various improvements made over the years including second flash socket hole, second flash arm, varying eyepieces and so on. The later the better. I originally owned two Subal F801 housings and never moved up to the F90 - I bypassed it for the F100. Whilst there is a difference, the price of F801 Subals is low - you can pick them up for 350 upwards fully serviced (from me anyway and I am not advertising as I only have a couple in stock) and certainly don't pay more than 450 for a very late, very clean one. F801 cameras need more looking at, The drive mechanism can tire and many have been heavily used. They are very robust cameras though and there are a lot of good ones out there. If you think that you really need an F90 you will pay a fair bit more for it. I'd go for a decent F801 if you can!
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#8 willemj

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Posted 26 July 2004 - 11:28 AM

I find this conversation getting more and more interesting.

Thanks for the sound advice.. Just wondering, the 560 euros for a N8, is that including any ports?



WJ

#9 bikerpunk

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 06:50 PM

Hello,

I am offered a Subal Miniflex N8 housing for a Nikon F801 (8008 in US) camera.

This set includes a flat port for 60 mm, a dome port for 14 mm and a subtronic?/subal flash for nikon.

However, the set is over 8 years old, has seen much use in the past (although it has not been used recently) so there is some clipping of the paintwork. Also, the flash batteries (which are intergrated in the flash housing) have died..

What should I be aware of when buying such a kit? What are known problems with this setup?



May I ask what the asking price is for the housing. You see, I have that housing and a Nikon 8008 and ikelite substrobe 150. Old equipment but is still in perfect shape. I am trying to sell the lot, but don't know what to ask. Hard to find examples online. Any advice?

Edited by bikerpunk, 03 September 2008 - 06:55 PM.


#10 rumblefish

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 12:49 AM

Hi WJ,
if you're still looking for a Miniflex and 801s, I have one here you can take a look at. (I am based in NL, closer to home than US).
It includes the magnifying viewfinder. Great ergonomics, very solid.
Best regards,
--Rob

Nikon D600, Nikon D80, Tokina 10-17mm FE, Sigma 14mm, 24mm macro, Nikon 60mm macro, Sigma 180mm macro. Nauticam NA-D600, 45° viewfinder, Subal ND80, GS180 viewfinder. Sea&Sea YS350 and YS90. ULCS arms.


#11 willemj

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 03:56 PM

Hi WJ,
if you're still looking for a Miniflex and 801s, I have one here you can take a look at. (I am based in NL, closer to home than US).
It includes the magnifying viewfinder. Great ergonomics, very solid.
Best regards,
--Rob


No, thanks, I'm all set.
I actually bought the set I mentioned in my initial post.

Willem Jan