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Member Since 04 Oct 2011
Offline Last Active Oct 11 2016 10:52 AM

Topics I've Started

Second thoughts about vacuum systems

26 March 2015 - 02:04 PM

I bought a brand new Canon 70D and Ikelite housing. Worried about potential floods, I had Ikelite drill the housing and add a Leak Sentinel V3 vacuum system. An hour before my first dive with the system, I assembled the rig and activated the V3. It signaled a green light and I packed up my vehicle and drove to a dive site (was in Bonaire). Right before getting into the water, I checked the V3 again and observed a green light. Everything seemed fine as I was happily snapping away; checking the V3 occasionally throughout the dive and seeing it still was displaying a green indicator (vacuum holding). Approximately 30 minutes into the dive, I noticed a small droplet of water inside the housing. I look at the V3 again and it is still green. I immediately abort the dive and head for the surface. After a long surface swim with the camera out of the water, I make it to shore. By this time the housing is completely fogged inside and I fear the worst. I dry off the outside of the housing and try to open it but it wont open. The V3 is still displaying a green light. I bleed off the vacuum through the V3 and hear the hiss of air rush into the housing. I then manage to open the housing and find 3 or 4 tablespoons of seawater inside. Fortunately, the camera and lens were unharmed. I return to my room and fired off an email to Ikelite. I must say they are fantastic when it comes to customer service. They sent an immediately reply and even offered to send me a loaner housing to Bonaire. Due to all of the trouble of bringing two housing home through carry on I declined but it was very nice of them to make such an offer.
While in Bonaire, I spoke with the owner of the camera shop at Buddy Dive and explained what happened. He stated he has been taking underwater photos for 20+ years with Ikelite housings and has never had a problem. He does not like the vacuum systems and explained how it draws / pulls on an O-ring differently than they were designed. He also said he understood the concept of the vacuum but it bothered him because it wants to pull air / water into the housing. He felt the vacuum systems were unnecessary.

After talking with the camera shop owner and the fact my housing leaked underwater while still holding a vacuum, I am beginning to wonder if the vacuum system is worth having. Am I looking at this wrong or missing something? By the way, the housing was sent back to Ikelite and I was informed the shutter gland had worked loose. They rebuilt the gland and replaced all electronics free of charge. I cant say enough good things about the way they handled everything.

Olympus and Ikelite

20 December 2014 - 06:07 PM

I have switched to a DSLR and no longer need the following equipment.  Neither the cameras nor the housings have ever been flooded.  I used the system for a couple of years without any problems.  Everything has been well cared for and the owner manuals are included .  There are basically two complete camera systems here that I would like to sell as one complete package so I don't have anything sitting on the shelf collecting dust.  Plus, this way you would have a complete back-up of everything.  $350 plus shipping


Ikelite housing with dual handle tray


Olympus PT-030 housing with single handle tray


Inon AD Base mount


Inon UCL-165 AD lens


Two Olympus SP-350 Cameras (8MP)


Extra O-Ring for PT-030 housing


Enercell battery charger with two batteries


Olympus XD camera cards 1GB & 2GB


Olympus adapter tubes (37mm & 45.6-55)


Olympus WCON-07 wide angle lens (topside only)


Note- cannot find the adapter tube for the wide angle lens (topside only) but can be purchased on EBay  or the Olympus website. 

Leak Sentinel V3 placement options

20 September 2014 - 11:54 AM

Here is the Leak Sentinel V3 I had installed by Ikelite on my 70D housing.  Since I didn't want to lose any control functions on the housing, I sent the housing and the V3 to Ikelite asking them to drill a new hole and install the unit.  The unit can be easily seen from the back and is not in the way of any controls.  Ikelite charged $75 to install it and the housing maintains the warranty.  I just wanted to present some options to those with an Ikelite housing thinking about ordering the Sentinel.  Since I just switched from a P/S to a DSLR and am waiting on ports, I have not had a chance to get the system underwater yet to test it.   

Ikelite lens ports

27 August 2014 - 07:00 PM

I know the question of glass vs acrylic has been asked a few thousand times but all of the searches seem to apply only to dome ports.  Does this also apply to the flat ports since the area is much smaller and the cost is considerable cheaper?  What do you use (glass or acrylic) and why?  Ikelite points out weight on their port finder website but I can't imagine there would be much difference in the flat ports but I could be wrong.

Airlock/Vacuum system

06 July 2014 - 01:04 PM

Is anyone using an airlock/vacuum system on their Ikelite housing?  If so, what are your thoughts?  I have searched the Ikelite website and don't see where they offer one, so I guess it would have to be an aftermarket purchase and install.  From what I have read, it sounds like a pretty sensible item to have.  I found that it is standard on the Nauticam housing (for my camera) but it is over double the price of the Ikelite housing.  I am wavering between the Ikelite and the Nauticam housings.  I thought maybe installing the airlock/vacuum system on the Ikelite as a possibility too.