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Changing Add-on-lenses UW?

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I just bought the pwc-01 and the pcu-01, and I am trying to figure out a clever system for being able to change between these while diving. I think they would have to be secured with a line of some sort, so I don't drop them in the sand or even into the blue. Has anyone come up with a genius system for this and would like to share? Also, do you use lens caps? The glass surface could easily become scratched if I was to swim into stuff. (yes - i know I'm not supposed to swim into stuff, but I might).

 

Paul

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Paste,

 

Check out the Lens Dock for this at www.gbundersea.com I believe we also have a short article about this on the Wetpixel homepage.

 

Cheers

James

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Anything UW not connected by a cord or laynard will be lost sooner or later. Make sure its one you don't ever detach UW.

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I mentioned somewhere in a previous post about the best way to screw on a conversion lens. Yes, there is a best way to screw one on that makes it as easy as putting a 35mm lens on a camera body.

On dry land, do the following:

First put the lens on. Then slowly unscrew it. You want to note where the lens threads pull free from the body and turn another 1/4 inch. mark this spot on the lens and on the housing with a dot from a paint marker. Now whenever you want to screw the lens on, line up the dots and start screwin. The threads will catch right away so you can feel confident about putting your lenses on. I have done this with all my add-on lenses to my CP5000 and it works great. I had done this on my 995 with an INON lans and it was sooo easy to take the lens off and put it on underwater.

 

Regarding the lens dock. I made one awhile back (INON's new one seems to look very much like mine, I wonder if they read this message board) and it costs about $40 to make you can see it HERE

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Thanks guys! I checked out the gbundersea thingie, but it'll be quite expensive with shipping and all. Especially if I want two of those, one for macro and one for wa. The step-up-step-down construction looks good, I'll see if I can find the parts where I live. But I should still try to attach a wire of some sort to the lenses right? Also, I have to find some sort of lens cover, the one that came with the lens won't do, I think. Tricky business, this.

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I did a bit of shopping and came up with prices for the construction of the step-up /step-down thing and if I was starting from scratch (i.e., if I had none of the parts lying around already), I would be putting a little over $50 into building a single holder.

 

1x 67mm filter stack cap: $15.50

2x 67-72 ring: $6.95x2= $13.90

2x 72-67 ring: $9.95x2=$19.90

 

That's why I think I'm going to go with INON's double lens caddy -- will hold both my macro and wide-angle lenses securely on the strobe arm for $70. Of course, these prices are what I was able to find quickly. Maybe if I could vary the parts a bit or find a cheaper supplier, then it would make more sense . . .

 

Mike

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Will the Inon thing fit the pt-010/fisheye tray/locline arm, and the olympus lenses? I'm leaning towards the gbunderwater.

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That's a clever device, but like you say, it wouldn't fit Loc-line.

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I have something home-made that looks a little bit like that lens dock ... I'm at work so I can't post a pic at the moment.

 

I use ULCS arms. I also have two UN add-on lenses to fit 67mm thread for my PT-015 housing.

 

Each lens came with 3 conversion adapters for smaller diameter threads. They look like flat disks with a hole in the middle (the same size as the smaller diameter thread that they screw onto) with a raised edge with the 67mm thread.

 

I drilled a couple of small holes in the flat part, near the outside edge, at each of two locations (ie 4 holes altogether), and used two of those those plastic ties (can't remember what they are called, the ones with a taper at one end which you feed through a tiny ratchet on the other end) to attach it to the ULCS arm. One adapter on each side of the arm.

 

The result looks almost exactly like the picture in the link above. Total cost: 2 plastic ties (plus a bit wear and tear on the drill bit).

 

Works like a charm, used this system for about 40 dives already and haven't lost any lenses yet!! Biggest problem is keeping the glass safe when getting back into the boat.

 

BTW you definitely need to know the alignment of the lens thread as mentioned by rstark. I don't actually make any mark, but I attached the "lens dock" so the catch point of the thread is in the same orientation as the catch point for the thread on the housing.

 

Also if I'm in a hurry I don't always screw on the lens all the way to the housing... takes several full turns to put it all the way on, and then when you are taking it off it's hard to remember how many turns are needed before it falls off unexpectedly ...

 

-David

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Paste,

Do you have any room on your tray to drill some holes? You could probably fit two lens docks on the bottom of your tray. This is not the ideal location but if you're careful it might work. If you did it this way you really would need the neoprene lens protectors that I mentioned.

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I think there already are some pre-drilled holes on the bottom of the tray. Seems a bit risky though to have the lens there...would definately need the neoprene cover like you say. I wonder if it'll work to have the gbundersea for two lenses, both attached with wires to the housing. I suspect I'd either use the wide angle or the macro, i.e. I doubt there would be a time where I would like to use neither. And how to protect the macro lens? Not very easy to get a fitting neoprene cover for that one.

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And how to protect the macro lens? Not very easy to get a fitting neoprene cover for that one.

Can you just use a cheap snap-in 67mm lens cap?

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Probably... I'll have to get down to the local photography dealer and see what they've got.

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Patterns....The Digital Lens Dock from gbundersea has his Save-A-Lens system included. The lenses are attached to the dock via small steel flexible cables. And you only need one lens dock. While the macro is on your housing, the WA is in the dock and vice versa.

 

I love mine and think it's well worth the price for the piece of mind that I won't lose a lens!

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And you only need one lens dock. While the macro is on your housing, the WA is in the dock and vice versa.

But don't you need three hands? One to hold the camera, one for the macro lens, and one for the WA lens? Or do you rely on the "save-a-lens" cable while you are changing the lenses?

 

Incidentally, I think the macro lens has no "neck" (if it's the one I'm thinking of) so it's hard to tie something onto it without a clamp of some sort.

 

-David

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It's true that the macro lens doesn't have a neck, so I'll have to figure something out there. I think the gbundersea is worth the money, but it only comes with one savealens? But an extra steel wire should be easy to find.

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The "Save a Lens" is just a zip-tie with a fastener whole. These are easy to find at the local hardware store and are called screw mount cable tie. Use 1/16 nylon braided line to attach to that. The nylon line is easy to find a t most boating stores and easier to work with than wire.

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But don't you need three hands?  One to hold the camera, one for the macro lens, and one for the WA lens?  Or do you rely on the "save-a-lens" cable while you are changing the lenses?

 

Incidentally, I think the macro lens has no "neck" (if it's the one I'm thinking of) so it's hard to tie something onto it without a clamp of some sort.

 

-David

Sorry for the delay in responding....

 

No, I don't need 3 hands. As you surmissed, I let one lens 'dangle' as I change to the other. The thin steel cables do not get in the way, nor do they twist and tangle. I don't have a macro lens in front of me but I think the cable tie is to be put around the outside of the lens. If you tighten it well, it's stable.

 

As for extra cable ties and steel Save-A-Lens cables, extras can be had from gbundersea for a small nominal fee. Just let them know how many you need when you order it. Since these are left on the lenses, you don't need to replace them.

 

Yes, you can probably shop around and find materials that will make due then work out the best ways to attach everything securely. But why would you do that when it's all been done for you at a very reasonable price? Heck, you'll save $40 in gas, especially with todays gas prices, not having to chase down the parts!

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