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cbsaw

Ikelite Displeasure

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Wondering if anybody else has had a similar problem. Ill start from the begining.

 

About a year ago, I bout the Ikelite housing and one DS125 for my 20D. I took it on one dive and the strobe fried, I sent it back to ike and they had to replace the actuall flash tube, ok, not happy there, but they did repair for free.

 

Now the next time I was planning on using this rig was on our last rrip to Curacao, ( I did test it out in the water on a couple of quick dives and there were no problems) We get to Curacao, and on about every other dive the housing and strobe combo would throw my camera into an error mode (err99 to be exact) and lock up the camera totally, I would then have to crack the housing and remove the battery from the camera to rest the error, needless to say, it ruined alot of dives on that trip.

 

I will also tell you that the 20D shoots fine when not connected to the housing, I have thousands of shots topside, with no problems.

 

Anyway, of course I sent the Strobe, Sync cord and housing back to Ike to be repaired, they replaced a chip in the TTL, Checked the cord, Replaced the battery in the strobe to a NIMH pack (Why they didnt do that last year when I sent it to them is beyond me) and sent it back to me, the only think I had to pay for was the new charger for the NIMH battery.

 

I just hooked everything up this morning and fired about 50 shots.. guess what back into ERR99 mode. I then unhooked everytthing and reset the camera, fired about 300 shots whtihout the housing and strobe... No problem. I then hooked it back up to the housing and strobe, took two shots and it jumped directly back into error mode..

 

I am extremely fustrated with this problem, and Ikelite. The housing was just at their facility for the last month and the problem still exists.

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Sorry to hear about your problems. I'm shooting the same combination without problems but that info doesn't help you much. The only thing that comes to mind is that there is a switch for DS50-DS125 on the bottom of the camera tray that needs to be set to DS125 in your case. However, I'm sure that is too simple to be the solution.

 

I saw there has been another thread on this issue in the past, again with a DS125. Check if that has any useful info.

 

http://wetpixel.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t5219.html

 

Bart

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I’ve had the exact same problem. Bought my Canon 20D late 2004, and Ikelite housing shortly after with dual ds-50 strobes. Camera worked fine on land, but on every other dive it got into the err99 mode, and locked completely up. And as you describe, the only way to get it to work again was to abort the dive and take out the battery. As I live in Norway it was less hassle to check out the camera first, before shipping the housing to the US. I sent the camera for maintenance to Canon. They found something they described as a “loose connector†and fixed this. What this actually was I don’t know, but I do know that the err99 can come from faulty connection between the camera and the lens. I continued diving with the rig through most of 2005 with no err99’s with different lenses and setups. I also upgraded the 20D’s firmware to the latest one, have read on dpreview that older firmwares could yield some err99’s. Have also used sigma lenses, and no err99's with them.

 

The next time I got the err99 was when borrowing a peleng 8 mm fisheye. It worked fine on land, but after a few exposures under water it locked up in err99. If this was due to the fact that the peleng is totally manual lens and confusing the camera, or that the ttl from the ikelite circuit was the cause I don’t know. But I’m inclined to believe that it was the ttl circuit that yielded the lockup, because I was not able to reproduce the err99 with the lens on land.

 

I recently had a flooding incident with my housing frying the ttl-circuit but leaving the camera intact. One of the bolts holding the tray had came loose, and let in water. Anyway I just got back the housing with a new circuit installed. I have test fired it with dual 125’s and the Tokina fisheye lens. So far no lockups, so I am going to test the rig in the water one of the next few days.

 

Based on my experiences I am inclined to believe that the err99 could be because of the ttl circuit sending confusing data to the camera locking it up. It is not easy to find out what the err99 really means, but I do think I have read that it could be because of the camera getting inconsistent flash data, correct me if I am wrong.

 

I hope I do not see the err99 again.

 

Harald

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Make sure the camera is set to 1st-curtain flash sync, and that the hotshoe connector is pushed all the way forward (all the way in) - that's the only trouble I've ever had with the setup.

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Probably not the cause in your case, but I used to have an older Sigma lens that would periodically trigger an Error 99

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Another possibility is that the lens is not centered in the port and it is pushing the lens to one side. This would also explain why the camera works outside the housing. Then again I may be totally wrong.

 

The Err99 comes up when not all of the contacts in the lens are making good contact w/ the camera.

 

Just a thought. Hope this helps.

 

Cheers

James Wiseman

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Make sure the camera is set to 1st-curtain flash sync, and that the hotshoe connector is pushed all the way forward (all the way in) - that's the only trouble I've ever had with the setup.

 

 

Matt,

 

I am not sure where the "1st - curtain flash sync setting" is, I went through the whole camera menu many times and do not see this setting on the 20D????

 

I also check the hotshoe everytime I assembled the unit, so that shouldnt be the problem.

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Another possibility is that the lens is not centered in the port and it is pushing the lens to one side. This would also explain why the camera works outside the housing. Then again I may be totally wrong.

 

The Err99 comes up when not all of the contacts in the lens are making good contact w/ the camera.

 

Just a thought. Hope this helps.

 

Cheers

James Wiseman

 

 

James, Definately not the problem, whenvI was testing yesterday, I had it in the housing with my 60mm, minus the dome port, so the lens was free and clear.

 

Very fustrating, thinking about using this for an excuse to upgrade my rig to the 30D / Aquatica. I have shot many shots with this Camera out of the water and have had not one issue at all with any Error messgaes. I guess my fustration comes from owning the Ikelite for les than a year, and it has already ruined one dive trip (out of one) and has already been back to Ike for service twice...not a good track record, for monies spent.

 

Hi Chris,

 

Shutter curtain synchronisation is set as a custom function (function 15 on the 20D). See

 

Custom function table

 

Bart

 

 

Thanks alot Bart.. I just found it, It actually was set to 1st Curtain Sync.

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Chris,

 

SPECIFICALLY, what lens (or several lenses?) are you getting this ERR99 problem with? Reason being I had an ERR99 issue with a Sigma 15mm on my Canon Rebel XT camera, in the latest and greatest Ikelite DS125 / ETTL2 housing set up. Cleaned the contacts religiously before dives, and even checked the tension on them with sporadic ERR99 results.

 

Even though Sigma swore the lens had the latest chip in it, as soon as I sent it in (and got it back in a week) I never had the problem again.....

 

I would even send your lense(s) (if Canon) and 20D into Canon service and tell them you are continually getting ERR99 with a hot shoe hook up.

 

With the tons of Ikelite eTTL2 and Nikon iTTL packages out there if this was common people would be all over the message boards about it. Leading me to believe it is a camera / lens / hot shoe dilemma...

 

YMMV

 

dhaas

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Chris,

 

SPECIFICALLY, what lens (or several lenses?) are you getting this ERR99 problem with? Reason being I had an ERR99 issue with a Sigma 15mm on my Canon Rebel XT camera, in the latest and greatest Ikelite DS125 / ETTL2 housing set up. Cleaned the contacts religiously before dives, and even checked the tension on them with sporadic ERR99 results.

 

Even though Sigma swore the lens had the latest chip in it, as soon as I sent it in (and got it back in a week) I never had the problem again.....

 

I would even send your lense(s) (if Canon) and 20D into Canon service and tell them you are continually getting ERR99 with a hot shoe hook up.

 

With the tons of Ikelite eTTL2 and Nikon iTTL packages out there if this was common people would be all over the message boards about it. Leading me to believe it is a camera / lens / hot shoe dilemma...

 

YMMV

 

dhaas

 

 

Actually this happens with both lenses I shoot underwater. Both the 60MM Macro and the 18-55 Kit lens. I have cleaned all conections multiple times and still get the error. The problem is definaley from the hotshoe connection of the housing and through the TTL circuitry of the housing, the reason I believe this is as I stated above, I get the error in the housing, I them remove the camera, with the same lens i shoot many pictures, with out an issue, I then replace it back in the housing, and shoot a handfull of shots, and it jups dorectly back into Error mode. There is some kond of communication problem from beteween the camera and the TTL in the housing. and it is sporatic, sometimes it shoots longer than other times before jumping into Error mode, but it always does.

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Chris,

 

Do you own a dedicated surface flash (Canon 430EX or 580EX) and have tried shooting with it and those lenses on the surface? If so, any ERR99 with a surface flash plugged into the hot shoe?

 

Just trying to think of other possible problems....

 

dhaas

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Chris,

 

Do you own a dedicated surface flash (Canon 430EX or 580EX) and have tried shooting with it and those lenses on the surface? If so, any ERR99 with a surface flash plugged into the hot shoe?

 

Just trying to think of other possible problems....

 

dhaas

 

 

No, I do not, We were actually just talking about this subject today, trying to narrow down the issue, I do not need to purchase one right now, but am going to look for an alternative to try and test it out, if I dont upgrade before..

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First of all let me say I feel for your troubles, I hate it when things don't work! :excl:

 

We have two Ikelite housings, one exactly as yours for the 20D and one of the first ones they made for the 300D Rebel. Both housings now are TTL upgraded and we use DS125s.

 

This may sound really silly, but one of the things I check religiously when assembling the kits are that the lens release lever in the housing is positioned far from the lens release on the camera body. This has happened several times to both Donna and I that we get down and the camera either will not focus or has the ER99 because the lens has been 'released' and is loose on the body.

 

Just just a thought... :) Good luck!!

 

Dave

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First of all let me say I feel for your troubles, I hate it when things don't work! :excl:

 

We have two Ikelite housings, one exactly as yours for the 20D and one of the first ones they made for the 300D Rebel. Both housings now are TTL upgraded and we use DS125s.

 

This may sound really silly, but one of the things I check religiously when assembling the kits are that the lens release lever in the housing is positioned far from the lens release on the camera body. This has happened several times to both Donna and I that we get down and the camera either will not focus or has the ER99 because the lens has been 'released' and is loose on the body.

 

Just just a thought... :) Good luck!!

 

Dave

 

 

Thanks Dave, but I have actually gotten int the same habit with that lever, one of the first times I assembled it, I notice that could be a potential problem, and have kept an eye on it ever since.

 

 

Chris

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I was on a liveaboard not too long ago when someone was also getting this Err99 problem. Eventually we narrowed it down to 1 of the control buttons on the housing pushing the camera. When we fixed that button by re-adjusting its "height" the problem went away. I cant remember the exact button/details :)

 

Cor

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Another possibility to look into is the strobe battery power. Have you tried this with the camera in the housing but the strobes turned off?

 

Since you say this happens every other dive, are they two concecutive dives in the same day? On the same strobe battery charge? I had my Nikon D70 in the Ikelite TTL housing lock up on several occasions. Its a totally different camera, but this cause could be common. It would work great in pool tests but on the second dive on location suddenly the camera would not fire. Both strobes had their focus lights on. Once I would power off the strobes it would shoot. I finally traced it to a low strobe battery. Be aware that the TTL circuitry is powered by the primary strobe battery. Once the battery is low--even if it still powers the light--then strange things can happen to the camera.

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Another possibility to look into is the strobe battery power. Have you tried this with the camera in the housing but the strobes turned off?

 

Since you say this happens every other dive, are they two concecutive dives in the same day? On the same strobe battery charge? I had my Nikon D70 in the Ikelite TTL housing lock up on several occasions. Its a totally different camera, but this cause could be common. It would work great in pool tests but on the second dive on location suddenly the camera would not fire. Both strobes had their focus lights on. Once I would power off the strobes it would shoot. I finally traced it to a low strobe battery. Be aware that the TTL circuitry is powered by the primary strobe battery. Once the battery is low--even if it still powers the light--then strange things can happen to the camera.

 

 

Everybody has come up with some intresting fixes, but unfortunaltley I have tried most of them already, The camera lock, with even a full charge, When I tested, the Strobe had just come off of the charger and Ike, had just installed a brand new battery in the unit. On our last trip, it was definately a random occurance, I actually remember it locking 5 min into the first dive of the day.....on two diffrent days, after the strobe and the camera battery sitting on the charger the night before.

 

Oh, and to answer your first question, It did still lock with the strobe turned off.

Edited by cbsaw

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I can't tell from your narative -- have you shot this camera, housing, and lens combo underwater without the hotshoe connected? Does it work consistently without the hotshoe and fails only with the hotshoe connected? Have you done it again recently as a control?

 

My money is on a mechanical problem with the buttons hitting early. Depth can make this more probable. I would probably try a paper shim inside the housing between the camera and the backplate to provide slightly more clearance and try it again. I shoot exactly the same setup with either one or two DS-125 strobes. I have never seen a 99 underwater. I did have one shooting dry without the housing. It was a lens seating problem. What firmware version is in your 20D?

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Thanks everybody for your help and suggestions,

 

I have decided to use this "opportunity" to upgrade my set up. and move to another manufactuer for a Housing.

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