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richneely

Which housing and lens for D200?

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Hi,

 

I am about to start using my D200 underwater, and do not have thousands of dollars to spare, so I think that the Seacam and the Light & Motion housings are out of my budget (I am tourleader on a liveaboard at Thailand's Similan Islands & Richelieu Rock, great job, but I lose money.....).

 

I can get the Sea&Sea housing here for 70,000 Baht, around US$2000. If I want to get any other housing I have to go outside Thailand (therefore spending money on return tickets) or I have to pay extortionate import tax to Thai customs if I want a housing sent in.

 

I see that the Aquatica housing is also reasonably priced, and I can get this from bhphotovideo, and I am off to the US next month for a couple of weeks, so I could bring it in when I return.

 

I also had a guest on the boat who had a Subal housing for his D100, any comments? I don't often get time to scour the internet for loads of different prices as I get home from the liveaboard and have to get out again the next day, only a few hours to spend sleeping and having a short life, and the connections here in Phuket are slooooowwwwww, everywhere.

 

As for a wide-angle lens, I used a guest's Nikkor 12-24mm on the top deck of the boat, loved it, it's 40,000 Baht here, 25,000 Baht in the US (even though it's made in Bangkok) but I also saw the Sigma 10-20mm for only 15,000 Baht in the US, but just from glancing at a few posts on this forum (I'm a new member, joined tonight), I'm now paranoid that I can only use the Nikon lenses with the Sea&Sea housing, so if I buy a Sigma lens it's no good to me if I want to dive, is that correct?

 

I've seen the words 'lens gear' on a few posts, what's that? Sorry if I seem ignorant, I get to do 80 dives every month of my life, I take thousands of pictures in a year, with my little Sony Cybershot and my Olympus 8080 with their strobes, and I get time to talk the guests about all the fishes and corals, but never time to learn more about the gear I need when I finally stop tourleading the liveaboard and spend more time diving for me and my camera....!

 

Any help and comments will be greatly received and appreciated.

 

Hi to anyone who knows me , Rich from Queen Scuba Liveaboard, the Mantas are at Koh Bon already....

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I have used the Ikelite and now the Aquatica. Both are reliable and relatively inexpensive and have good service support. Parts are readily available in the US.

 

For starters, I would get the 12-24 lens you spoke of and the 60mm macro. You may find that is all you need or you can expand from there. Both the dome and flat ports can be used for a lot of different lenses with port extensions.

 

Lense gears allow you to operate manual focus and/or zoom functions.

 

I think you are on the right path about not paying big bucks since the D300 has already been released. You may find a good deal on a used D200 setup in the near future. Sounds like a great job. You will get more use out of whatever you buy than most of us.

Edited by scottyb

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Hi,

 

I am about to start using my D200 underwater, and do not have thousands of dollars to spare, so I think that the Seacam and the Light & Motion housings are out of my budget (I am tourleader on a liveaboard at Thailand's Similan Islands & Richelieu Rock, great job, but I lose money.....).

 

I can get the Sea&Sea housing here for 70,000 Baht, around US$2000. If I want to get any other housing I have to go outside Thailand (therefore spending money on return tickets) or I have to pay extortionate import tax to Thai customs if I want a housing sent in.

 

I see that the Aquatica housing is also reasonably priced, and I can get this from bhphotovideo, and I am off to the US next month for a couple of weeks, so I could bring it in when I return.

 

I also had a guest on the boat who had a Subal housing for his D100, any comments? I don't often get time to scour the internet for loads of different prices as I get home from the liveaboard and have to get out again the next day, only a few hours to spend sleeping and having a short life, and the connections here in Phuket are slooooowwwwww, everywhere.

 

As for a wide-angle lens, I used a guest's Nikkor 12-24mm on the top deck of the boat, loved it, it's 40,000 Baht here, 25,000 Baht in the US (even though it's made in Bangkok) but I also saw the Sigma 10-20mm for only 15,000 Baht in the US, but just from glancing at a few posts on this forum (I'm a new member, joined tonight), I'm now paranoid that I can only use the Nikon lenses with the Sea&Sea housing, so if I buy a Sigma lens it's no good to me if I want to dive, is that correct?

 

I've seen the words 'lens gear' on a few posts, what's that? Sorry if I seem ignorant, I get to do 80 dives every month of my life, I take thousands of pictures in a year, with my little Sony Cybershot and my Olympus 8080 with their strobes, and I get time to talk the guests about all the fishes and corals, but never time to learn more about the gear I need when I finally stop tourleading the liveaboard and spend more time diving for me and my camera....!

 

Any help and comments will be greatly received and appreciated.

 

Hi to anyone who knows me , Rich from Queen Scuba Liveaboard, the Mantas are at Koh Bon already....

 

I know the D200 Sea&Sea is a very nice housing. I haven't seen the Aquatica version, but I'd bet it is also a very good product. Have never heard of any flaws or bad design concerning any of those two. They both have a good selection of ports, which is also important. The way I see it you can't go wrong with either... so try to find a place where you can hold them in your hands and see which one you preffer, or just buy one of them and be happy.

 

The Subal is priced higher, so if you're on a budget, perhaps not unless you can find one second hand.

 

Don't know if there are issues with the Sigma 10-20 and the Sea&Sea or Aquatica housings (too narrow port hole?), but others can chime in on that. However the Sigma 10-20 is a great lens for UW-use. Do not only stare at the lens performance on land; topside performance can be useless UW. Equally important is to find a port (and perhaps extension and dioptre) that works good with the lens, and the only way is to ask around (here on WP is a good start) what people use for the different lenses. I, for instance, tried the Nikon 12-24 and the Sigma 10-20 behind the Hugy FE dome, and with my set-up, I got sharper results UW with the Sigma (I believe thank's to its better CFD).

 

I would also look into getting a fisheye-lens, which is great for UW wide angle. Either the new Tokina 10-17 or the Nikon 10.5/2.8.

 

I'll be on Lanta in about three weeks time and then stay until January 29. If you happen to be there, you're welcome to have a look at my rig.

 

Good Luck

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The Aquatica housing will accept the Sigma no problem, now our ports can actually accept even the monster sized Nikon 14-24 f:2,8 and that my friend is a BIG lens

 

For the Sigma 10-20 you would need Zoom gear # 18698 and extension # 18456 for the 8" dome & 9.25 Megadome

 

For the Nikon 12-24 you would need Zoom gear # 18696 and extension # 18463 cfor the 8" dome & 9.25 Megadome

 

and Yes I agree with Christian a fisheye would be a definite, both the Tokina 10-17 and the Nikon 10.5 are excellent choice, I still choose to use the Nikon 10.5 because of the filter slot, (I admit to being a magic filter junky :blush: ) The Tokina would be perfect if it had one.

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The Aquatica housing will accept the Sigma no problem, now our ports can actually accept even the monster sized Nikon 14-24 f:2,8 and that my friend is a BIG lens

 

For the Sigma 10-20 you would need Zoom gear # 18698 and extension # 18456 for the 8" dome & 9.25 Megadome

 

For the Nikon 12-24 you would need Zoom gear # 18696 and extension # 18463 cfor the 8" dome & 9.25 Megadome

 

and Yes I agree with Christian a fisheye would be a definite, both the Tokina 10-17 and the Nikon 10.5 are excellent choice, I still choose to use the Nikon 10.5 because of the filter slot, (I admit to being a magic filter junky :blush: ) The Tokina would be perfect if it had one.

 

 

Jean

 

Are those for the 12-24 f:2.8 .... according to B&h's website they are for the 12-24 f:4G

 

Zoom Gear

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller...p;Q=*&bhs=t

 

Port Extension

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller...p;Q=*&bhs=t

 

Do both lenses use the same zoom and extension ??

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No the 14-24 F:2,8 is a totally new lens that uses a totally new gear (Cat # pending) and a definetly much longer extension than its sibling the 12-24 F:4. one of the main difference is that the newer 14-24 is for full frame camera and the 12-24 is for DX frame camera, the newer lens is so huge that many current port if not most won't accept it. you can find it described in some post somewhere on wetpixel. We have the space in our port opening to accept it, is what I meant. and by god it is not a lens Richneely should be concern about, at least not for now.

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I've been using the Aquatica D200 housing for a couple of years now and love it! It's simple, robust, and easy to use. The gearing is tight (no slippage or play).

 

I'll be moving to a D3 at some point, and just picked up the 14-24mm f/2.8. It is a considerably bigger lens than the 12-24 f/4 DX lens that I already own, but that is a nice lens too - only for DX format cameras, though.

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Can't you get Anthis/Nexus housings in Thailand?

 

Scubazoo in Malaysia/Indonesia etc use these housings for stills, I believe. They are competetively priced with regard to Sea & Sea and Aquatica.

 

The 12-24mm is notoriously soft at the edges, and works best in a large dome. I prefer the Nikon 10.5mm fisheye with Nexus' small custom glass dome. The 12-24mm is OK in Nexus' bigger acrylic dome, but I have found that the glass 12-24mm dome, although paradoxically less good with the 12-24mm lens, works well with the old Nikon 18-70mm and +3D, and also with a Kenko 1.5x teleconverter on the 10.5mm lens.

 

There's lots of extra information on Wetpixel about these lenses, and some good information on the website of Ocean Optics (London).

 

Tim

 

B)

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Hi!

 

I use both the Nikkor 12-24 and 10.5 in a Subal housing with a D200 and have been delighted with both lenses - and the D200. The 12-24 would be a very good first-wide-angle underwater choice. The 10.5 takes a lot more practice. Folks on Wetpixel have been so enthusiasic about the Tokina 10-17 that I bought one recently but have not had chance to get it in the water yet. Topside results have been pretty good though.

 

On housings, I just think you can't go wrong with Subal. I'm on my third (CP5000, D100 and D200) and they have all been knock-out. Real Rolls Royce quality. But, yeah, they are pricey. Having said that, you might see on the Classifieds that I'm selling mine (!). The lure of the D300......

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Hi Rich

 

I had the same problem as you living in Phuket. It's so bloody expensive here for camera gear. I decided against sea and sea after the shocking repair record I had (3 months). I got my Ike housing from B&H in the US and got a mate to bring it in to Thailand for me so I saves a bundle. The Ike DS-125 strobe from Divemaster in Chalong is 35,000B for gods sake, they do offer 20% instructor discount and provide spare's and service.

 

I am very happy with my Ike setup and as I work on MV Discovery I am in and around Similans/Burma every week or so. If you would like pop over in the dingy and you can have a look at my setup before you dive in as it were.

 

 

Oh, nearly forgot, Milton, the tour manager on West Coast liveaboard also has a D200, but cant remember what housing he uses.

 

Spen (PM me if you want to chat)

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Hi Spen,

 

thanks for your reply. I'm actually in California right now, taken 3 trips off from Queen Scuba to be with my girlfriend for her birthday (so I know there will be Whale Sharks around, always happens when I am off), and I'm picking up the Aquatica housing with all ports etc on monday, to 'smuggle' back into Thailand at the end of the month!

 

What was most helpful was your opinion on the Sea&Sea service, I had a similar problem when I sent one of strobes back, 3 months, and now I know it wasn't just bad luck, and I like to be able to contact dealers myself when I have something being repaired etc.

 

Do you use your Iklelite set-up when you are guiding? It would be good to know if you have any feedback from guests. I am of the opinion that if you can carry your equipment and still 'guide/help' people, while at the same time take the odd photo here and there, then why not have a big camera? After all, it's not like we have to go mad when we are doing 80 or more dives a month, I find that 3 or 4 pictures per dive is plenty to keep me happy and not interfere with my 'job'. for the last 3 seasons I've used my little Sony cybershot with a single Sea&Sea strobe, or my Olympus 8080 in an Ikelite housing with a single DS125, both small enough to conceal, so it would be intereseting to hear yours or your guests' opinions on carrying a 'bigboy'.

 

Well, we are quite often in the same vicinity as you, so maybe we can catch up and talk housings etc while on a boring surface interval around the islands.

 

Cheers,

 

Rich

 

Hi Rich

 

I had the same problem as you living in Phuket. It's so bloody expensive here for camera gear. I decided against sea and sea after the shocking repair record I had (3 months). I got my Ike housing from B&H in the US and got a mate to bring it in to Thailand for me so I saves a bundle. The Ike DS-125 strobe from Divemaster in Chalong is 35,000B for gods sake, they do offer 20% instructor discount and provide spare's and service.

 

I am very happy with my Ike setup and as I work on MV Discovery I am in and around Similans/Burma every week or so. If you would like pop over in the dingy and you can have a look at my setup before you dive in as it were.

Oh, nearly forgot, Milton, the tour manager on West Coast liveaboard also has a D200, but cant remember what housing he uses.

 

Spen (PM me if you want to chat)

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Hi Rich,

 

Slightly off-topic, but I was on the Queen Scuba with a couple of friends in 2005 - 22 Nov to the 25 Nov to be exact. As i recall the tour leader was called Rich, and told us how he'd recently been on a liveaboard which had sank, leaving everyone in the water in their lifejackets for several hours. Was that you?

 

It was a great trip despite the unseasonably bad weather, which unfortunately meant we couldn't dive Richelieu Rock.

 

Jon

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I am thinking of selling my d200 housing, aquaview finder, lmacro port (glass lens), fisheye port with shade, extensions& zoom gears for the nikon 12-24mm, tokina 10-17, nikon 17-55 and the 10rVR. Thinking about upgrading to a d300 subal system. open to reasonable offers

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What are you looking for it? Right now, most folk are selling the D200 for 1k, of course you have a few extras there. How many shutter releases do you have on it?

Steve B)

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