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ratfish

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About ratfish

  • Rank
    Sea Nettle

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  • Website URL
    http://www.seanature.southcom.com.au

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male

Additional Info

  • Show Country Flag:
    Australia
  • Camera Model & Brand
    Nikon D2xs/D3/D800
  • Camera Housing
    Aquatica
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Ikelite DS 160
  1. Hi Interceptor - It has been a while but if I remember correctly, for the one flash I have had repaired it ended up costing me around $60 in shipping and the repair was free. Others I know who have had repairs done by Ikelite (housing/flash) have also had good experiences, with fast repairs and low cost.
  2. I have 5 Ikelite DS 160s at the moment and all of them have done many hundreds of dives. One has a battery pack that is over 10 years old and done over 800 dives (so over 80 000 flashes) and and is still going strong. According to a friend who has done it, the cells in the pack are apparently fairly standard and easy to replace if necessary. I guess if one of my battery packs failed I would just repair them myself rather than shipping it back to Ikelite, but I like to service most of my own camera and dive gear. The weight of the pack can also make shipping quite expensive. In the past, with other flash units, I have had repairs done by electricians and electrical engineers, but as noted above this seems to be harder to arrange. This is a shame as throwing away a complete flash because a part worth less than a dollar seems very wasteful to me. The disposable nature of mass consumer electronics is easy to understand from an economic perspective. I vaguely remember reading somewhere that total life time dives of enthusiastic divers average around 300 dives (would be interested to know if that is reasonable - seems low and I have done many more than that in just the last 3 years). So I guess most dive and underwater photo gear really does not have to do too many dives to keep the average consumer happy. Manaufacturers of specialist underwater gear that is robust, long-lasting and can be economically repaired, such as Ikelite and Shearwater, provide an interesting alternative that I like to support with my $.
  3. Have also found Ikelite to be very reliable and rugged. Flash tubes never seem to wear out. And when an airline does drop and break an Ikelite flash, Ikelite has a fast, reliable and cheap repair service in the USA. Shipping may cost a bit depending on where you are but repair was very cost effective and viable even though I don't live in North America.
  4. About to get another Aquatica housing and was thinking about getting one with an optical trigger after only using hard wired systems. Has anyone any experience with the Aquatica optical system and any thoughts or recommendatations? Thanks - Jon
  5. The hinged back on the Aquatica seems to introduce more problems than it solves. Hope Aquatica is not going to use this design on future housings for D500 etc? Does anyone know if Aquatica is planning on using the hinged back for future housings such as the one they are likely to make for the D500 etc?
  6. I thnk the main problem with servicing the o-rings on this lens would be getting compatible o-rings. I serviced mine back in the 1980's, when I had to replace a damaged front element, and seem to remember that the o-rings were relatively soft (softer than 70 duro) and possibly an unusual size. If you can get original Nikon o-rings that would be good. It is so long ago I may be mistaken, but I think that there are only three o-rings that would really need to be replaced if you take this lens apart: the two shafts o-rings and possibly the o-ring under the front element as well. It was relativley easy to service the lens. The screws on the shaft on my lens were glued and needed a little heat to loosen. I made up a tool for the front element retaining ring. Be careful to tighten this up carefully as pressure will tend to allow it to loosen underwater and too tight might damage the element. Don't know what the torque settings for this would be. I guess there is also another o-ring behind the inner housing - but that is static and not expsoed to friction while assembling the lens so replacement is not so important although if you can get a replacement it would be worth rplacing at the same time. Nikonos (non RS) lens control shaft o-rings were considered to be very reliable, but they are getting to be so old that effects of time will introduce some uncertaintly. Might be worth sacrificing a cheaper 35 mm lens to see what the o-rings are used on the controls if no other information is available.
  7. Have a look at the multi selector buttons or any other controls that may have 2 clips on the same shaft and that you can live without. I had a similar problem on my Aquatica D3 housing while travelling on a live aboard with no spares available. I could not dive with a button with no retaining clip (the clip failed and fell off - luckily I picked up the leak in the rinse tank before diving and avoided a major flood). I used a clip from the "down" button which held on a little arm which pushed on the control on the camera. The button itself had another clip which kept it in place and the housing water tight. The only loss of functionality was that I lost the use of that button and so could only scroll in one direction in the menue systems. I kept the arm in a safe place and replaced the clip when I got home. I now carry spare clips. Have not seen the Aquatica D90 housing, but it may have another internal clip that you can use in that way.
  8. Housing and lenses have now been sold. Thanks to all who looked. Canon 7D body is still available. To encourage a buyer shipping via airmail is free to Australia, Canada, USA and Western Europe. However, due to the cost of shipping lithium camera batteries internationally by air, I will only ship the batteries within Australia by suface mail to available destinations. In the US, for example, it costs much less to just buy the batteries and get them shipped from somewhere like B&H in New York (http://www.bhphotovi...on_Battery.html) than to send them with the camera.
  9. For Sale: Aquatica A7D, Canon 7D body, Canon 60 mm macro lens and Tokina 10-17 fisheye zoom lens Aquatica A7D housing with single Ikelite manual flash bulkhead, leak alarm and service kit: USD $2100 This has been a great housing but I have just bought another Aquatica housing for a Nikon D800 and want to consolidate photo gear back to Nikon. There is some superficial wear on the outer surfaces of the housing but all sealing surfaces are great and everything works very well. This housing has a single Ikelite manual flash bulkhead and leak alarm. The bulkhead can easily be changed to Nikonos or optical. Included is a complete Aquatica o-ring service kit. The photo equipment is in excellent to mint condition: Canon EFS 60 mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. Mint condition in original packaging, has only been on a camera to check that it works and has otherwise never been used. USD $300 Tokina AT-X DX 10-17 mm F3.5-4.5 fisheye zoom lens for Canon. Excellent condition in original packaging. No marks or wear evident. USD $480 Canon 7D body. Excellent condition in original packaging. About 13550 Shutter actuations. Will also supply buyer with extra Canon battery for no cost. Both original and extra batteries are in excellent condition. USD $850 Will sell housing and other equipment together for USD $3400. Happy to sell housing separately, or other items separately after the housing is sold. Payment by money transfer or Paypal. Buyer pays shipping, insurance and taxes. Air mail from Australia is cheap, reliable and fast.
  10. Hope this isn't stating the obvious - but when you inserted the camera was it and the housing turned on? The reason I ask is that I noticed on your photo some damage on the camera's on/off switch. I don't have this model housing but my other Aquaticas should be set up that way - and if the camera and housing is not turned on while the camera is inserted I can imagine that problems such as you are describing could occur - you can force the camera to turn on if it is inserted the wrong way but it does not seem to be a good thing to do as the forces are quite high and if the camera is not seated properly then constant pressure on the shutter release can cause a variety of issues. Have never had a problem with the back o-ring (have had 6 Aquatica housings over the last 22 years with the same design) and never had a flood or anything like one, but I hate the port lock ... Anyway, I hope you get the problems sorted - it must be very frustrating. Regards
  11. Have used Ikelite manual controllers and diffusers and they are very useful for cuting output. Stacking diffusers might be another thing you could do and of course you can also just move the flash a bit further away on longer arms - output drops by about 1 f-stop / 0.5 m for average wideangle flash. But it would be nice if the manufacturers had flash units with lower output. Cheers
  12. I have had success reinforcing my 2 Aquatica fish eye shades with stainless steel strip - just glue the break with epoxy (not sure that it does much but at least it helps holds the shape while making the main repair) and then wrap the steel strip around. Drill holes at suitable intervals, tap some threads (1/8th works well and - it's easy to tap a thread into the plastic) then fasten the strip on with some stainless bolts. After breaking one while traveling I fixed it and then just reinforced the other in the same way to save time - no more problems even after much air travel. Regards
  13. It sounds like you have an old SS 150/400 type flash battery pack. I really like those units and much prefer the way the case opens to my current DS 200s. It's a shame that Ikelite doesn't support them anymore. Anyway, it's been a while but if my memory is not playing tricks when you look at the locking ring you will see a sort of metal locking pin. Just push it straight down into the pack with a thin screwdriver or punch or similar. If it doesn't move easily, just push harder. On my packs there was nothing to damage underneath. The pin should slide in and fall down amongst the cells where you can retrieve it later. The locking ring can now be turned clockwise about 90 degrees in the"unlock" direction using just your fingers. It can then be be removed - if it doesn't just fall out a smal lscrewdriver can be used to lift it out - plastic is not at all delicate but it may be a bit fiddly. Once the ring is out, you can lift the top half of the pack to reveal the cells and circuitry. Lift the top half of the pack carefully so that the wiring isn't damaged and so you can see how to put it back together. (If your pack is like mine, the wiring for the LED is just for the charging indicator and with my packs/chargers could be left out when reassembling.) At this point it is a simple matter of replacing the cells in the pack by un soldering the existing cells and replacing with new, with all the usual precautions about soldering cells. It is worth replacing all cells at the same time - even if only one has failed others are likely to go and it may also be difficult to get matching cells (in terms of capacity etc). A specialized battery supplier is probably the best place to go for the cells and they may have to order them in. Get cells with tabs for soldering (unless you are equipped to weld tabs to the cells yourself- in which case you will know all this) and they should be the the highest capacity nicad D cells you can get hold of (I vaguely remember mine were at least 4000 mah). I guess to be safe nicads would be the way to go - not sure how the flash units circuitry responds to nimh which have largely replaced nicads - and anyway the different model flash units that use this pack may also respond differently - I think the equivalent nimh cells may have lower resistance and maybe that would be bad for the flash circuitry - but I don't really know enough about that to be sure. Hope that helps.
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