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Plyschmannen

Help me get the right UW-equipment for my camera gear

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Hi, I've been lurking in these forums on and off for a few years, photographing with a DSLR since the Canon 300D (thats Digital Rebel for the US folks) times. At that time I said I wouldn't take any DSLR's underwater, unless I could afford to drown it. The whole "its not if, its when" stuff :)

 

Anyway, I've progressed from 300D to 30D to 1DmkIII and now got my first FF camera, the 5DmkII. I shoot as a freelance concert photographer, and I have managed to procure quite a lens collection (though I don't plan to take the 70-200 2.8IS or 300 2.8 underwater). I've worked as a Divemaster, and is thinking of taking up UW as a nice combo of diving and photography. Might do a 2 month stint in Thailand some time soon.

 

Anyway, the equipment I have so far is

5DmkII

16-35mkII

35 1.4

100 macro

135 2.0

580EXII

 

All Canon lenses.

 

I'd rather not purchase new lenses (waiting for the 24-70 2.8IS) so stuff that works with this equipment. Exception would be flash guns, since from what I have gathered, housings for the flash isn't really recommended.

 

I was leaning toward Ikelite, but then learned that it couldn't house the 16-35, which was a bummer. So what do you guys think I should go for?

 

/Best regards, Bjorn

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Hi Bjorn, the lens you listed are fine, definetly the 16-35 Mk II as it is one of those really practical lenses, the 35mm f/1.4 could be interesting given the proper subject and the 100 macro is a no brainer, the only one is the 135mm F/2.0, great top side but just not in the right place underwater, you are right about housing the 580EX, aside from when doing macro work this flash in a housing just does not cover enough for long term practical use.

 

BTW if you think he 16-35mm is big wait for the 24-70mm it does fit in our housing but we are a brand with one of the largest port opening, you should pay attention to select a housing brand that will accomodate both lenses.

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I was leaning toward Ikelite, but then learned that it couldn't house the 16-35, which was a bummer. So what do you guys think I should go for?

 

/Best regards, Bjorn

 

Depends on how much youre willing to spend. I personally use ikelite, because they are priced fairly low and they fit my needs. I have friends who have aquatica housings and will never go with anything else.

 

I look at it this way, you cant use the 16-35 with the ikelite but you can use the 17-40. The cost of the ikelite housing is $1520 at bh photo right now. The cost for the aquatica housing is $4188. For a price difference of $2668, i would personally use the funds to buy the 17-40 and a good set of strobes. However i have never had the chance to use an aquatica housing since they are out of my price range, but if you can afford it, the quality may be worth the price difference. This is where getting your hands on each of the brands housing could be a big benefit.

 

Good luck with your decision, i know it can be a hard one choosing between new goodies!

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with the 5dmkii, I would consider a housing system that offers top level optics / port solutions for your choice of lenses.

 

All those bucks for camera and lenses behind a badly setup dome? The extremely high demands of FF and 22MPs will really show up any weakness in the optics...

 

Also if it's of interest to you, I would wait and see how the different housing manufacturers are implementing the video functionality of the mkii, especially where the important buttons are placed and how well you will be able to see the LCD display.

 

While in some quarters the jury is still out as to the video's merits/capabilities underwater, it will be possible to make video, so it would make sense that the housing should be able to be able to utilise the function in a sensible fashion.

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The cost for the aquatica housing is $4188
actually that is the retail price for the housing suplied with both the Aqua View Finder and the standard eye piece, the retail of the housing with its satndard eye piece is 2999.00, actually to set up the 5D Mk II with the 16-35mm one would need the following.

 

5D Mk II housing dual strobe connectors # 20062 @ 2999.00 USD retail

8" dome port # 18405 @ 495.00 USD retail

Extension ring # 18457 @ 269.00 USD retail

Zoom ring # 18704 @ 95.00 USD retail

 

Optional:

Shade for 8" dome # 18480 @ 129.00 USD retail

Neoprene cover for dome shade # 18503 @ 53.00 USD retail

Moisture detector # 20023 @ 84.00 USD retail

 

Total basic kit for a 5D Mk II & 16-35mm f/2.8 Mk II would turn around 3858.00 USD retail, that is for a complete "just add water" kit and if one take the optional items, then it comes up to 4124.00 USD retail, still short of the 4188.00 quoted for the housing alone, its not a reproach Justin, just a reminder to double check the data before posting has it might induce people into thinking that we are overpriced.

 

Cheers

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Hey Jean, how much for the Megadome these days? Does that help much with the corner performance of the 16-35mm II?

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It retail @ 1595.00 USD, it is treated with both anti reflection and scratch resistant coating, shade is integrated and neoprene cover is included, the thing with those wide lenses is that the larger the radius the easier it is for the lens to attain good result, that is provided that the lens is properly set behind the dome, given that this lens is a zoom its optical center will shift when zooming through its range, in our case we optimize for the widest part of the lens.

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Jean

 

I'm an Ikelite customer right now (20D housing, dual DS-125 strobes, 8" dome, ULCS arms, etc) but the upgrade to the 5DII with 16-35II lens has thrown me off since Ike has no port for that lens. I'm now considering Aquatica. I know nothing about Aqautica housings so here are some really basic questions:

 

1- Do the Aquatica housings support e-TTL-II like Ike's?

2- Will the Aquatica housings work with DS-125 strobes?

3- I assume my dual sync cables won't work (different housing connectors?). If so, how much are dual sync cords?

4- Will my ULCS arms work with your housing or do I need adapters?

 

I suppose I should visit your web site for this info but you are right here and I haven't had my second cup of coffee yet this am (lazy/tired).

 

Thanks!

Brian

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Hi Brian, lucky for you I’m at my third cup of coffee :) and in full caffeine rush!

 

1) The 5D Mk II housing will be available with S6 type connector to which you can connect a inline Heinrich Weikamp eTTL converter, the housing per say has no built in TTL circuitry much like all other housing manufacturer apart from Ikelite, (they make their own strobe and have a proprietary circuit for their own strobe) The in line Heinrich Weikamp will accept a variety of different make of underwater strobes.

 

2&3) Your Ikelite DS-125 will work with either the Heinrich Weikamp in eTTL (you will need a Ikelite double sync cord # 4104.62) or If you want to, the second bulkhead connector on the housing can be a Ikelite manual type, this way you have manual redundancy with the cord # 4103.52 that you already have.

 

4) You can use your ULCS on our housing, all you will need is a pair of our TLC #17553 (1” ball to a flat plate that screws on our grip) or equivalent.

 

You still should visit our website

 

Cheers

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Hey guys, thanks a lot for all the replies and advices.

 

Seems like I can either get the more expensive aquatica and use my 16-35mkII, or the less expensive ikelite, but not use the lens. If I want to get more ports for the other lenses, say 100 macro one, will the prices be similar on the ikelite/aquatica, or are aquatica the more expensive option here aswell?

 

One might argue that if you have this expensive camera you want to splurge on the housing, but as I said before, I use the camera shooting freelancing concert photography, and I don't think right now I can get the UW equipment counted as investment, rather an expensive hobby.

 

Does anyone here know if there ever will be a port for the 16-36mkII from Ikelite, or if the home-made option I saw on the forum here just right now, would be the only option?

 

/Bjorn

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actually that is the retail price for the housing suplied with both the Aqua View Finder and the standard eye piece, the retail of the housing with its satndard eye piece is 2999.00

 

 

I stand corrected. Sad thing is i still cant afford $3K for the housing, so my choices are limited by my budget. Maybe someday ;)

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actually that is the retail price for the housing suplied with both the Aqua View Finder and the standard eye piece, the retail of the housing with its satndard eye piece is 2999.00, actually to set up the 5D Mk II with the 16-35mm one would need the following.

 

5D Mk II housing dual strobe connectors # 20062 @ 2999.00 USD retail

8" dome port # 18405 @ 495.00 USD retail

Extension ring # 18457 @ 269.00 USD retail

Zoom ring # 18704 @ 95.00 USD retail

 

Optional:

Shade for 8" dome # 18480 @ 129.00 USD retail

Neoprene cover for dome shade # 18503 @ 53.00 USD retail

Moisture detector # 20023 @ 84.00 USD retail

 

Total basic kit for a 5D Mk II & 16-35mm f/2.8 Mk II would turn around 3858.00 USD retail, that is for a complete "just add water" kit and if one take the optional items, then it comes up to 4124.00 USD retail, still short of the 4188.00 quoted for the housing alone, its not a reproach Justin, just a reminder to double check the data before posting has it might induce people into thinking that we are overpriced.

 

Cheers

 

 

Jean

There is some confusion about the moisture detector. B&H has it as an option, on the Aquatica website, it looks like it's included. I called customer service and the woman there said it was included and she would have B&H Correct their website, now you are saying the moisture detector is optional.

 

What's the deal?

 

 

Mark

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My bad, the moisture detector is indeed included with the Aquatica 5D Mk II housing as well as the Nikon D3, D700 and Canon 1Ds Mk III housings, guess I need another coffee :-)

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