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About K9Shadow

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  • Birthday June 16

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  • Location
    United States

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    United States
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Canon EOS R5
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    2 x DS125
  • Accessories
    Nocturnal Lights Arms

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  1. In shopping for this project I did quite a bit of research for the batteries. I really wanted to use the Saft cells that were the same as the originals but they just are not available. I reviewed the spec sheets of several manufacturers and found a difference of sometimes a couple mm's. This doesn't seem significant but it will add up. I was actually a little more worried about the height of the battery as that will make fitting everything in the case very troublesome. The batteries I used actually allowed a little slack as far as the diameter goes. It did make it easier to fit all back together. I believe the originals and the Tenergy are 41mm tall. And as mentioned, you can only fit so much capacity in this size. I am very skeptical of any battery claiming more than maybe 3300 mah. I actually believe the discharge amperage is more important for our usage than capacity. If your strobe lasts all day but takes 30 seconds to recharge each time is it really worth it. The discharge rates are something that I wasn't able to find for most of the batteries out there. And some of the Ikelite packs had something like 2400 mah cells. I still haven't gotten to test these as my trips got canceled (hurricanes) and I have only been out to photograph manatees and no strobes allowed there.
  2. If you want to solder I would suggest buying the batteries with the tabs already attached. That way you solder the tabs and not the batteries. Heating the batteries enough to get a good solder connection can damage them. I believe Amazon sells the same batteries I used with the tabs already attached.
  3. So, here is the follow up to my post. I was able to get the required O-Rings from Ikelite for the battery packs. 0114 is the 2 on the toggle shaft 0128 is the larger one behind the switch 0136.04 is the very small one that goes behind the switch screw. Using some silicone grease I lubricated the O-Ring that goes behind the switch. They call this an X-Ring as it isn't round but has ridges to it like a gland. It is hard to see in the picture but you have to install the small plastic bar that engages the notches and makes for the clicks as you turn the switch. There is a little nub on it that should face in towards the shaft. Getting this to stay in while you install the knob can test your patience. One this was installed I rotated the switch a number of times to be sure I seated the X-Ring into position. Next up is the small O-ring that goes behind the screw that holds the knob on. This one was tricky and required a few tries. Once I would tighten the screw and look down in the hole I would see the O-ring had squeezed out around the screw head. It took a couple tries but I was able to get it all seated. Next up was installing new O-Rings onto the toggle lever shaft. Not too tricky. The final install requires you to put the cover plate over the back and then install the toggle. The cover plate needs to go on so that the toggle can still twist counter-clockwise. It will only fit one way. You then place the first spring on in the recess, followed by the first washer and then the second spring and second washer. The locking lugs go on last and you have to wiggle them around until it sits down over the keyed end of the toggle. Then the 1/4 nut goes on the end. You just have to work at this until it gets started and you can thread it on. Everything is all together and I just have to test them out in the water. You could do a test in a bucket of water but you would have to remove the plate to see if any water got in. Not sure if I will do this or just jump in the water and see how they do. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I'm no expert in this but I thought this might inspire someone who was on the fence.
  4. I will add my perspective as a long time Ikelite user. There is a lot of good information that has been given and I don't envy your decision as a budding UW photographer. My first Ikelite housing was for a Canon AE1 Program. It was a rather bulky and cumbersome housing. I never was able to actually use it much. My next was a housing for a Sony CD camera. That one I used a good bit and worked reasonably well. Next was a Canon Rebel XT. I got some good shots with that one. A bit better than the AE1 housing as far as usability. It worked just fine and I never had an issue with controls underwater. Deepest was maybe 80 or 90 feet. Next was a Canon 7D. Very similar to the XT housing and worked just fine. Next up was a 5D mark 3. The housings had evolved some at this point and had a different tray and handles. Just recently I picked up a new open box housing for my R5 from eBay for $400 US. A pretty shocking amount for a $1700 housing. So yes, resale isn't that great. But seeing as I still have my last two housings I'm not concerned about resale. The new R5 housing is advanced a bit more and comes with a vacuum port. The controls are a bit better but I still don't have controls for everything and some of them are awkwardly placed. It does have an easy to use back button focus trigger though. That is the nature of the plastic box. I find good cost to value ratio with Ikelite. They have great service although I am not sure about the UK. The TTL systems they offer work very well but that requires using their strobes, but that is ok as they are very good as well. I certainly would like a Nauticam and I have looked at them several times but as much as I enjoy taking pictures underwater I struggle to pay many thousands more for what will probably result in just slightly better photos if I could even tell. If you could find a second hand Ikelite system it may be a good way to get into the hobby and decide if you like it.
  5. I am getting all of my gear in fighting shape as I hope to get back to shooting underwater. I recently picked up a housing for my R5 and I pulled the strobes out to get them going. I have two DS125s and the battery packs are from 2007. Although they seemed to take a charge they didn't seem to be holding well. I also noticed a little deterioration on one of them which turned out to be the cells leaking a little. Luckily none of the electronics were damaged. Ikelite does not rebuild these anymore but is happy to sell you a new one for $250. I pulled them all apart to find 6 SAFT 3200 sub C 3000 mAh batteries. Searching high and low I struggled to find those exact cells, at least for anything less than $15 a cell. I believe these are now made by ARTS Energy. These are made in France. I ended up choosing cells from Tenergy. These are "made in China" which I was hoping to avoid but I have experience with Tenergy through other hobbies like RC boats and airsoft. I was able to get 15 of the 3000mAh cells from Amazon for $38. i used regular hot melt glue to hold the packs together for assembly. I believe the packs will be mostly held together by the housing once installed. I also bought a spot welder from Amazon for about $60 to attach the tabs. I bought the one from SeeSii based on reviews. It worked really well and went very quickly. I used the nickel tabs that came with the spot welder. They are a little thinner than the original but wider so hopefully it won't affect the current requirements. I tried to research as best I could and I believe the original cells are rated to 40 amp discharge and the Tenergy are either 30 or 38. It has both values listed on the website. I suspect the strobe won't use anywhere near that to charge up. Once I had the tabs installed and checked the fit it was time to solder the electronics to the batteries. I took these pictures with my cell phone and the quality of some are not great so I apologize. I then fit it all back into the case and screwed it back together. i am waiting on O-rings from Ikelite for the switch and the toggle. I charged them up and have them sitting with the focus lights on to drain them down. I tried the strobe function and they seem to charge at least as fast if not a little faster. At 1/2 power they kept up with low speed continuous shutter on the R5. I will add the final assembly details and photos probably next weekend once I get those O-Rings. So far I am about $115 in to both strobes including purchasing the spot welder. A savings of almost $400 over buying new packs.
  6. My experiences may not apply to everyone so take it as you will. I travel for work a lot and fly Delta with mostly domestic US and some international. I have a large collection of Pelican/Storm cases for equipment. The weight of each case is listed on Pelicans website. I have packed my housing in a pelican case and checked it with no issues. I usually use a 1510 case with photo dividers and carry on. With Delta I have never had my carryon weighed but I rarely go to Europe/Asia. Mostly North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. I don't use a soft bag like a ThinkTank on the off chance I have to gate check my carry on. For a while we would bring a large HP laser printer to some of our jobs. It was exactly 70 pounds in the Storm case with half a ream of paper in it. That made it every time and continued to function just fine. Delta recently cut back on baggage allowances. I used to be able to bring 3 70 pound bags anywhere but now I am limited to 2 50 pound to most international destinations. I now have to make more decisions about my packing.
  7. I switched. Being a Canon guy with a 5D3 my next step was to a 5D4. I unintentionally waited long enough for the R5 to come out. The significant improvements in FPS, ISO performance, auto focus and resolution over the Mark IV made it a pretty simple choice. As I'm sure everyone knows Canon has abandoned the DSLR moving forward. So why not just jump on the band wagon now. Buying RF lenses hurts more than I would like though. Thankfully all my EF glass work very well with the Canon adapter.
  8. I have not been active here in a few years. I was using a 5DM3 in an Ikelite housing. I bought an R5 a couple years ago and just bought an Ikelite housing for that. I wasn't sure if I wanted to take it underwater but after using it for a while now the features are so strong that it can only elevate my results. I just have to work out my lens choices now.
  9. So, I have not been on the forum in probably a few years. Not exactly a new member. I do still follow the Facebook and Instagram pages. My work schedule which is travel have had me out of the water a lot the last couple years although one trip was an underwater inspection in Vegas. A friend twisted my arm into booking a trip to Bimini at the end of September. I bought an R5 a while back but I had not decided if I was going to take it underwater. Well I got a housing for it and now need to get my stuff all together. I am trying it with my old standby of the Sigma 15 fisheye but it seems maybe a bit sluggish. So here I am back to get the good advice and tips from those that do this more than I do.
  10. I was responding to the above post about needing a certain number of posts before you could message someone to buy an item.
  11. And this post makes an even 20 for me lol. Kidding aside I like the idea of a minimum post count but I am not sure what a good number would be. I have been a member here since 2007 and only have 20 posts. I am usually a pretty quiet guy in all areas of my life so I tend to not post much. Lately I may average 5 or 10 posts a year on my own Facebook page. I'm not sure I agree with a minimum post count to respond to an ad. I believe there is at least a small number of people who come here to get started and one of the first things they may do after reading all about which system is right for them (cough, cough Canon dslr cough) they would likely try to purchase something. I also think the purchaser assumes more risk than the seller since they will likely send payment and wait for delivery. Just my quick thoughts fwiw.
  12. Just a quick add to this. I was just reading the release notes for the D850 housing and it says you can remove the drylock system and install the old locks. They say you can't switch back and forth but the option is there for someone with a large portion collection and no need for the wider opening of the dry lock system.
  13. I just looked and they have discontinued the 5d four lock housing as well. When I saw the release of the new dry lock system I knew the days were numbered for the old system. I understand all of the benefits of the new system and if they did not go forward with it they would have lost out. Today’s lenses are getting big as we are demanding better quality glass and those just don’t fit the smaller diameter of the old system. The bummer for us Ikelite fans is now the need to replace our ports with the next housing purchase. For me that would still be far less expensive than buying an aluminum housing and the ports and zoom rings to go with it. But as I just set myself up with a 5d3 I won’t be purchasing another housing for some time.
  14. So, anybody have a Canon 5D mark III body collecting dust that they want to off load? Been watching eBay and it seems the going price is around 1550 to 1650 but I really am holding out for someone that wants to make a deal. I made a mistake and let my girl friend use mine for a while and now I must find her one so I can use mine again. Thanks!
  15. I just bought the housing off of eBay knowing that it did not function but the seller did not know why. I feel like I got it for a reasonable price in that condition. Upon inspection it appears that the housing likely flooded and the electronics including the manual strobe controls and hotshoe connection have heavy corrosion. No chance to salvage any of it. So before i send it to Ikelite for repair ($300) I thought I would throw it out there in case anyone had a damaged housing or something with a good set of electronics. I know it is a long shot but you never know unless you ask.
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