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madguppy

Grandview Eyepiece

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Ok, here's my situation. I have a Canon 20D w/ single DS125 in an ike housing. On my last trip I got to play around with my buddies D2X in an aquatica. I could not get over the difference in medium to low light and low contrast focusing. My Canon was not slower to focus...it COULD NOT. So I've decided to upgrade to the new gloryhound the D200. On the same trip though, I was able to look at another rig, the Seacam with the grandview eyepiece. Well damn...welcome to IMAX theater! From my net searches....the subal housing has an eyepiece upgrade for ~1k and although aquatica doesn't advertise it anyplace I can see, my email's to them confirm work on a grandview eyepiece for the D200 housing. Has anyone had the chance to play with both grandviews from subal and aquatica?...I imagine all grandview's are not the same...and looking through the seacam probably spoiled me.

 

 

thanx again!

 

John Abramo

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I don't believe Aquatica is shipping one yet, although they have been rumored for a while. I didn't hear any talk of it at the Long Beach Scuba Show.

 

If you are up for a "short" drive, we have a Subal ND20 w/ GS Viewfinder here you can look at-

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Hi John,

 

Wow, a complete switch from Nikon to Canon eh? That could be expensive and may not be necessary. I would take Ryan up on his suggestion and check out a Subal housing with their magnified viewfinder. You may be able to pick up a Subal housing for your Canon as there are a lot of people switching from the 20D to the 5D. Well, maybe not a lot, but a few :-)

 

Next I'd have a look at an Aquatica housing for the 5D. It has a bigger viewfinder, and better AF than the 20D. The camera will cost you $1,000 more, but then so will switching camera and housing brands :-)

 

Cheers

James

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Hello John:

 

As Aquaticas Technical Field Advisor, I have had both large prototypes fidners in my hands.

They are indeed under development as Aquatica is trying to make this field replaceable finder a success both in design as well as in price.

With this in mind the new Aquatica D2x, D200, 5D and new soon to be released 30D housings all come with a field replaceable finder port which allows you to put this new larger finder when it is released in due course. Also, all current D70's will be easily upgradable should the user require this finder.

The new AD200 housing is a marvel. Saddle mount, spring loaded contacts, access to all camera functions, 300 foot depth rating and the best feature of all...It is a fraction of the cost of any other aluminum housing out there. Save the difference for another body and the finder when it is released.

 

Mauricio Handler

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Will the S2's be upgradable as well? That's my only complaint with my Aquatica housing, which I would like to stick with for a few years to come.

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I was wondering the same thing. Will Aquatica be able to retrofit other/older housings with this new grandview eyepiece?

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I'm just guessing, but I think the back of the housing has to have a relatively flat place for a 1.5" diameter hole. I don't think many of the older Aquatica housings have that. Hopefully Aquatica can reply and let us know.

 

Cheers

James

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Hi John,

 

I used Aquatica hosuings for twenty years with my Nikon F3/F90 SLR film cameras. They were workhorses. When I switched to digital and the D70's, Aquatica did not have a housing ready for the D70. Since I was leaving on an assignment, I searched the Internet and came across Sealux housings. I'm quite happy with Sealux. Best of all, I went with the Grand Viewfinder and would never think of going back to the standard viewfinders. Subal buys their large viewfinder from Sealux. They are more expensive than Sealux. I presume to allow them some profit margin after purchasing from Sealux. Colin Gans posted an excellent review on here about the Sealux CD200 Housing

 

Anyway, an Aquatica with a large viewfinder is intriguing. I would consider purchasing but would want to see the viewfinder first. I just purchased some D200's so am now considering a housing. I have both Sealux and Aquaitca ports...so it really comes down to the viewfinder for me. By the way...service from Sealux has been superb. Ryan at Reef Photo & Video reps Sealux in the USA. You may wish to speak to him. He also has Subal & Sea & See hosuings.

 

Good luck!

 

Jett

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I'm just guessing, but I think the back of the housing has to have a relatively flat place for a 1.5" diameter hole. I don't think many of the older Aquatica housings have that. Hopefully Aquatica can reply and let us know.

 

If that's a requirement, you are right. The area around the eyepiece is just a little larger than the eyepiece itself. Not much chance of re-tooling for a discontinued model.

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The Subal housing for Fuji S2 definitely cannot be retrofitted with the improved viewfinder optics available for some other recent Subal housings. This is very unfortunate. The viewfinder image in the S2 is very small to begin with. Manual focus underwater with the S2 is impossible, and it can be very difficult to see whether the autofocus has locked focus correctly.

 

I can't compare the enhanced viewfinder optics in the Subal and Aquatica D2X housings, but I can say that the viewfinder image in the Subal housing with the enhanced optics is excellent - large and very bright, more than enough to allow effective manual focusing on the 105 lens. (I'm happy to use the excellent D2X autofocus all the time for all other lenses.)

 

In addition to increasing the cost, the upgraded viewfinder optics add about 2 inches to the Subal housing, which meant a deeper case for travel tthan the S2 housing.

 

Frogfish (Robert Delfs)

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I have the Subal ND20 housing with the magnified view finder and I really love this! It works great and very easy to see everything under water even when it is held away from your mask.

 

I know the extra cost is pretty high, but I figured since I was getting close to the big 40, it was worth the investment. On the side of the subal housing with the D200, it is a very nice set up and works great. I have the 60mm macro and 12-24mm wide angle so I think it will be a good overall setup. I can't wait to get back in the ocean so I can try it out in some GOOD water.. :lol:

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Hi John,

 

I use the viewfinder with my 10D and I enjoy it. The Sealux GD finder is the same viewfinder Subal uses – just not that pricey – but Subal users are used to spend more $$$ anyway :). You just get almost the same viewfinder size underwater like using the camera topside without housing and mask with the eye directly at the camera. Simply no significant shrinking underwater like the simple housing optics do. The enhanced Seacam viewfinders offer more. They are user interchangeable and there is a 45° version which can be rotated for portrait shooting. I’ve read somewhere here on wetpixel that the Seacam finder has more margin left around the picture so that eye alignment is less critical compared to Subal and Sealux. But I have never compared both finders with the same camera. Magnification is almost the same (around 1:1).

 

@Maurice

Did you try the Aquatica enhanced finder underwater already? What does it do, any specs or pics? Would be interesting for all I think.

 

...It is a fraction of the cost of any other aluminum housing out there. Save the difference for another body and the finder when it is released.

 

I see you are an Aquatica dealer – what does the Aquatica D200 housing cost?

I can’t imagine it is a friction of all other aluminium housings. For example Sealux D200 housing, CNC milled from block and hard-anodised is 1700€ (without tax - I assume tax depends on wehre you live). With optional GD viewfinder less than 2300€.

 

Julian

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I have two ND70 subal housings with the GS magnified eyepiece ( one of the housings is for my wife). I can't believe how large the image is with the viewfinder and I think it makes a big difference in viewing. I highly recommend it..

 

Tony

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