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Ikelite Vs. Sea & Sea housing for D200

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Hello from Okinawa,

 

I am finally upgrading to a DSLR, I ordered a D200. I am torn between the Ikelite and Sea and Sea housings. I currently own a Sea and Sea DX5000G with duel YS-90 Auto’s and it produces good photos and I like the strobes but it’s time to upgrade!

 

Does anyone have a recommendation on housings and strobe configurations? Can I use the YS-90 Auto’s on the Ikelite and still go iTTL or am I stuck using them in manual?

 

Tanks,

Brian

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Sea and Sea has a new TTL converter which is compatible with YS90Auto.

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If you go with Ikelite you will need new sync leads for the strobes and they will only work in manual. I use a D70 with manual strobes and it is not nearly as difficult as I expected.

 

I would check out which controls are available with each housing before deciding. As far as I can tell only the mode dial is unavailable on the Ikelite on the website where I looked for Sea & Sea info it just says 'Almost all of the D200 functions are available to the photographer Underwater'

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If you can handle and use a housing before you buy it that is ideal.

I bought an Aquatica for my D200, mostly because of availability. The housing works fine with my z240s. ergonomics are a bit awkward, hard to change settings and hold on to the camera with 2 hands, negative in the water about 4 pounds.

Make sure the lenses that you are using will fit through the housing's port, not all housings will accomidate the new 105VR.

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Hi Brian,

If you have money available to get a S&S or Aquatica, I would sugest you to get one, you'll be very happy. If your budget is not for a 2k dollars housing, go with Ikelite. Both housings will delivery you good times. I was an ikelite user about 3 years ago and had used Aquatica the past 3 year, so it is far better. I tried S&S couple times and can also tell you that is very good!

 

This is my personal opnion, the best way is you get hands on with two before buy one.

 

Regards. Fabio.

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I´m an Ikelite user, but in my case is a cost-profit relationship, Ikelite´s are good, strong and do the job, if money is not a really big issue for you, i must suggest go with sea&sea, is stronger, have a lot of better port options over Ike´s, and better looking housings. When I compare it, ike´s are caterpillar trucks strong & rough and sea&sea´s are like humbees... strong enough and better looking... also, the big dome ports available for sea&sea beat ike´s

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No offense to Felix, but Karl Dietz and others shooting the Nikon D200 in the Ikelite housing with 8" dome port would disagree. There is no data saying one mfr.'s 8" dome port is "best" or better...

 

Zoom lenses especially will always have some edge problems depending on where you are in the zoom range. Just too many moving elements to get the precise nodal point compared to a fixed prime angle lens. Anyone's 8" dome port simply makes this less noticeable, of course depending on what aperture you shoot at.

 

As far as a housing having "good looks" ? No housing is a Mona Lisa....Just a box with o-rings to keep your camera dry. I personally slap duct tape and other things on my housing to make them ugly :unsure: I don't care what it looks like, only that it enables me to shoot beneath the sea.

 

Come to think of it, I put duct tape on all my luggage, too!

 

YMMV

 

dhaas

 

Oh yeah, STILL no TTL / manual flash capability from Sea and Sea.....Been available for 3 years (original Canon Digital Rebel) from Ikelite catering to TTL AND manual flash devotees :unsure:

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If at all feasible; make the trip to an underwater photo store like Reef Photo in Ft.Lauderdale. I did when looking for housings for my D200; compared Ikelite, Nexus, Sea and Sea, Subal, and some friends had Aquatica and Seacam for D70's. So I got to see and hold most of the housings (at least for similar DSLR's) before deciding. I personally went with the Subal. I know it's not for everyone's budget, but at least you get to see the pro's and con's of what you finally decide on.

Jeff

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Yeah, maybe i didn´t specify why I think it beat it on my post... but first you can not find a glass 8" dome port for Ike´s (as far as I know), second Ike have no shade (not really a big issue, but widely discussed in this forum), and where really matters (optics quality) I saw a couple of shots on big Ike´s vs. Athena port on a s&s, both D70s, both 12-24, and corners on the athena one where a little bit more sharp. Now that I think about it I never was sure if both where at 12 or maybe one of them was at 13 or 14, but shutter and aperture where nearly the same...

 

So besides, is just my opinion, I´m not trash talking about Ike´s, I use it and I love it, but if money is no issue maybe I have a D2Xs and subal, that´s all i´m talking about.

 

And about looks tape boy (just kidding), for some people this matters for some people don´t... It´s an appealing thing...

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Felix,

 

Glad you got my jokes :unsure: Tape Boy? Wow, a new nickname for moi' ! Speaking of duct tape, I used it all the time on threaded ports (Subal, Aquatica, etc.) to keep the port from un-spinning and possibly flooding once I cranked it down. Makes it look so ugly and professional, too :unsure:

 

Glass evidently is preferred by many for over / under shots as it sheds drops off a bit better. But I know many acrylic big dome port users who make do and produce beautiful pics with acrylic ports.

 

Dome port shade? Never have used one for quite awhile.....Maybe it's because I know minor scratches on acrylic will be filled with water, or because in 1990 when I took a seminar with David Doubilet he never bothered with port shades either :(

 

I also never take my port covers in the water with me like I see many users do. I want to be able to look inside my housing immediately on entering, checking for any possible problem. Plus putting a salt water saturated port cover on my port even after rinsing it just doesn't make sense to me. I rinse the port after exiting, then dry gently and put the cover on it back on the boat. Plus I never have to worry about it floating away to kill some poor turtle who mistook it for a meal :(

 

Whatever works for you is the ticket, but mainly it's the Nike ad in my head...

 

Just do it !

 

dhaas

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Glad we both get each other jokes, after all sense of humor equals intelligence, but I can´t avoid to wonder how many 8" dome ports options and shades where in 1990... (ok, now i´m messing with you, but just kidding again...) but we are getting out of context here, is not about what you or me dislike, is about port availability and for sea&sea there are more options that for ike´s thats all. This is better discussed over a beer my dear friend.

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Hey Felix,

 

Yes, cerveza fria', amigo :unsure:

 

As to the port choices, where and wht lenses do you feel Ikelite hasn't covered? I notice they even have hte super giantic diameter Nikon 105 VR lnes (yes, AF only) but still what lenses icluding most popular after market lenses hasn't Ikelite accommodated?

 

I'd be interested in hearing from all Wetpixellites on lens choices....My opinion is htere are very few (if any) that can't work UW in Ike's housings...

 

Your thoughts?

 

dhaas

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Hehe, is this a challenge Dave? This one's easy :-)

 

The Nikon 70-180 Macro zoom - very few housing manufacturers can accomodate this wonderful lens. By accomodate, I mean provide a control for both focus and zoom.

 

Cheers

James

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Ah Hah!

 

The gauntlet is cast down :unsure:

 

OK, other than you and maybe 1-2 people I've seen post, who is using this mega-monster lens UW? And if it's such a great combination versus a 100 - 105mm (depends on Canon or Nikon) with teleconvertors and / or diopters inside or outside, where are these mind blowing photos that can only be achieved with such a PIA type optic?

 

I'd bet most people who've tried it bag it and go back to the other combination I mentioned....Didn't you?

 

Other lenses? Challenges?

 

Let the games begin!

 

dhaas

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Ha ah! Don't worry Dave - it's not the size of your lens, it's how you use it that counts...:-)

 

People who've used this lens (as well as the Nikon 200mm and the Canon 180mm) know what it's capable of.

 

That's why companies like Nexus spent the time and money to develop their excellent $1,000 multi-port. Just about everyone who had a Nexus film housing, and a lot of the Nexus D100 shooters bought this port too - so they must have liked it. I think Subal and Seacam also developed a special multi-type port.

 

But I agree w/ your premise - Ikelite can cover the average user's needs - and at a fair price.

 

Like I say in my seminars though - It's the extreme's that are important - and what wins contests. I took my contest-winning tesselated blenny photo w/ the 70-180mm and an Aquatica macroport.

 

Cheers

James

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James (and all :unsure:

 

Ha, ha, the size thing again, huh? Oh well, they say if you have to talk about it, people know why :unsure:

 

I hear people wanting to house the 180-200mm macro lenses, and the Nikon 70-180mm macro yet I don't believe most shooters will ever master them. Or even use them on 50% of their dives. They can likely get very similar shots with a "standard" long tele-macro and internal and external diopters....

 

As you mentioned, some housing mfrs. make a port for the 70-180mm, which is of course a PIA to swim with much less hunt little fast moving critters....I could've also sworn I read the 70-180mm lens is a DOG on AF underwater and a pain to use MF, no? Look at what Alex Mustard and a few others are using, striving to eek out the last bit of potential and creativity......

 

"Average user" ? Hey, I resemble that remark :( Proud of it, too.....

 

If people want to try something different, that's OK. I just think in the real UW shooting world it's difficult enough without complicating it more.

 

Ikelite (and other brands) provide tools which as I said previously, most shooters will barely master in a lifetime of diving.

 

JMHO !!!!!

 

dhaas

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Errr, I've always bought the housing that was available at the time. In this way I have had in the following order: Subal, Seacam, Aquatica, Aquatica, Sea & Sea, Nexus, Subal. (I still have several of them.)

I am about to get a housing for my D200. Which one? Who knows? I think you simply get accustomed to the one you use.

What I do know is that there are advantages to Plexiglass ports in that you can polish out a scratch in your cabin in an evening and some big domes are better than others. (The best for sharpness I own is a Sea & Sea dome - but it could be simply luck.) Small domes all seem to be very unsharp at the edges.

Don't knock the tape. I am much happier with my Subal (big glass dome port) since Robert Delfs directed me towards the roll of gaffer tape! Hopefully I will never again be passed the camera down to me in the water in two parts!

I will probably rely on impulse in my choice of housing for the D200 and in the mean time continue to use the two old S2 Pro cameras which seem to give me acceptable results even though the viefinder image is tiny along with the LCD. Got to update my RAW converter too when the D200 gets to be used. (Spending - It never stops.)

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Hey James!

Blake at Aquatica has given me an extension as well as zoom & focus gears to go with my flat port to accommodate my 70-180 lens! It's NOT an easy lens to shoot, I agree, especially for a woman with small hands, but when I told them that's what I needed, that's what I got :unsure:

 

I have to balance that long extension on my left arm so I can reach the focus knob underneath so I can use the manual focus, and since I'm in the category of needing "cheaters" these days, I usually rely on the AF and take my chances that the camera is going to do a better job than my poor eyes with those tiny subjects!

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been doing some heavy lurking and reading and am thinking about the S&S or Ike version for the Nikon D50 and had a couple of questions:

 

how well does each shutter mechanism operate underwater? does it simulate the same feel you have with the shutter button on the camera -- easy to hold halfway for focus lock? is it sensitive enough to have the camera on burst or continuous mode and still fire just one shot? is it a pull or push trigger?

 

also, how is the optical view finder thru a mask? easy to compose shots, see viewfinder data, etc?

 

do you find you "miss" any controls using the D50 and each respective housing?

 

...and finally, how would you rate the "ruggedness" of each housing? does it have to be "babied" all the time or can it take some knocks or neglect when on a small boat with no rinse tank, etc

 

how would you rate the respective main o-ring seals? easy to seal or do you have to be careful, high maintenance, and "fastidious"?

 

I am coming from 10+ yrs diving Stromm film slr housings - carried 3 at a time on a dive - and no floods, changed film between each dive on a small boat, no rinse tanks as they sat in a box in the corner of the boat deck, and never removing o-rings from the groove unless I was throwing the o-ring away (which, btw, hasn't happened in years). Rugged, durable and idiot proof with a great magnetic shutter....and I would like to stay as close to that as possible.

 

If I move to digital, I don't want to turn into one of those u/w photographers who are constantly removing their o-rings, applying new grease, monkeying with their cameras/housings all the time and then proceed to flood the thing on the next dive. ;-) A firm believer in "the more you mess with the o-ring the more you are likely to flood" school of thought.

 

thanks in advance

 

Paul

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One thing that I liked about the Sea and Sea housing I used to have was the positive way that you could twist and lock the port. It would NOT come off. It's a 90 degree bayonet mount, and then a locking pin is engaged to keep it from rotating - very nice.

 

The viewfinder optics on these two housings are pretty much the same I think. I haven't tried the two actual housings, but have used both Sea and Sea and Ikelite before.

 

Cheers

James

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