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Blind diver

D7000 housing - ikelite or aluminium

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One thing I have noticed in this thread is posters keep listing the prices of just the housing. Ports can really make a difference in cost and need to be considered - The Ikelite ports are the cheapest making it an even more economical choice than either Nauticam or Aquatica. But that $600 in difference between the Nauticam and Aquatica shrinks to $300 difference after you buy a short port and a dome port because the Aquatica ports are simply more expensive. For example, if you buy the 8" dome, it doesn't come with a shade at $495, so you need to shell out another $120 for the shade. The short port from Aquatica for the 60mm is $460 vs. Nauticam's $310 for the short port. I think the difference in cost between the Aquatica and Nauticam at that point is so minimal that a person should choose based on features instead of cost. They both have some cool features.

 

But anyway, I digress. I just think it's important to mention after you buy a $2500 or $3100 housing, if you have a tok 10-17 and Nikon 60mm you will be buying approximately $1000 in ports too. Since the OP mentioned cost is an issue, the cost of ports needs to be added in.

 

Blind Diver, do you need to buy right now? I saw in one of the threads here that Wetpixel is going to do a big comparison review of Ike, Nauticam, Aquatica, Subal and maybe SeaAndSea in February. I'm really looking forward to that comparison myself.

 

JP

Edited by johnspierce

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Hi John,

 

Regarding the Aquatica AF flatport for the 60mm it only costs RRP $289 (backscatter). Compared with Ikelites modular ports which you pay RRP $200 for the flatport assembly and then RRP $175 for the extension port so that the 60mm can fit. So $289rrp for Aquatica, $310rrp Nauticam and then $375rrp Ikelite to have a port to house your 60mm Macro. BTW the Aquatica flat port is metal and glass compared with Ikelite plastic and glass modular port system.

 

Comparing Aquatica's 8 inch dome which is acrylic with metal body at $495rrp + $120 for the shade against Ikelite Acrylic with plastic body at $400. But you need an port extension for the Ikelite. So if we use the ever popular Tokina 10-17mm you can get away with just using the 8 inch dome without port extension with the Aquatica but with the Ikelite you need to buy the super wide extension at a cost of $125rrp. So at the end of the day your paying $615rrp for the Aquatica (with metal body port) vs $525rrp for the Ikelite (plastic body port).......which is $110rrp.

 

So we have $289rrp and $615rrp for Aquatica to house the 60mm Macro and Tokina 10-17mm with a total of $904rrp.

Then for Ikelite we have $375rrp and $525rrp for the same lenses for a total of $900rrp.

 

So for $4 more with Aquatica for example you have ports made out of metal compared to Ikelite plastic modular ports......?

 

Other options to maybe consider is that Aquatica and Nauticam also offer mini domes which Ikelite doesnt. Which might suit the OP requirements more.

 

Regards Mark

Edited by Aussiebyron

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So for $4 more with Aquatica for example you have ports made out of metal compared to Ikelite plastic modular ports......?

 

Other options to maybe consider is that Aquatica and Nauticam also offer mini domes which Ikelite doesnt. Which might suit the OP requirements more.

 

Regards Mark

 

Mark,

 

I think maybe I didn't phrase my post properly.... I was trying to say there will be almost $1000 in additional costs in ports beyond the $2500 (Aquatica) and $3100 (Nauticam). The original poster said cost was an issue, so my post goes directly to that point.

 

But since you mentioned, there must be some sort of big price difference in Australia compared to the states; I am looking at the Backscatter website in my second monitor as we speak and here are the prices they list:

 

Ike 8" Dome - $379

Ike dome port body - $139

Standard flat port for 60mm - $139

(BTW, there is no need to buy the modular port if you aren't getting other attachments, the regular 4" flat port works fine. These are the exact ports I have)

 

$560 in ports + $1424 for housing = $1984 total cost

 

Aquatica 8" Dome - $495

Aquatica 8" Dome shade - $130

Aquatica short port $329 (again, this is the price from Backscatter for Aquatica AF Macro Port for bayonet style housings)

 

$954 in ports + $2499 for housing = $3453 total cost

 

Nauticam 8" Dome - $520

Nauticam short port - $310

 

$830 in ports + $3100 for housing = $3930 total cost

 

I am not debating the quality of Aquatica vs. Nauticam vs. Ikelite, but I am stating unequivocally an Aquatica housing and ports is almost twice the cost of an Ikelite solution here in the United States. We'd all love to drive BMW M3's, but some of us can only afford Kia's :P

 

Oh, and BTW, you can buy a Zen mini dome for the Ike now. Pricey, but they are available at Reef Photo. To me, one of the really big buy-ins to the Nauticam is their compatibility with other manufacturer's ports. If I bought a Nauticam housing, I could buy their port adapters relatively cheaply and use my old Ike ports. And I could get it with an Ike bulkhead in addition to the two opticals. No TTL then, but still that's pretty sweet and helps blunt the cost of an upgrade significantly until I could afford some new optical strobes and that sweet mini-dome.

 

Also, Nice photos Mark!

 

Cheers, and have a great day!

JP

Edited by johnspierce

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Hallo Blinddiver,

 

I agree with the suggestion that you have to look for a good viewfinder first and then look for a housing that will fit the viewfinder. As you live in Holland like me I would suggest looking for German brands like UK-Germany or Sealux wich have the same quality as the aquatica housings and also have nice viewfinders. If you should choose for these brands the porto costs for sending the housing for repair/service/adjustments is much lower and the time your housing is underway is also much lesser.

As for lenses I would start with the nikon 60 mm micro. It is perfekt for the Oosterschelde and Grevelingen. If you have money left I would advice like the others the Tokina 10-17mm FE.

Just my 2 cents

 

 

Rob

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Maybe it's time for a reality check. Blind Diver intimated from the start that he is on a limited budget and yet people here continue to recommend housings and ports for thousands of dollars whereas he could get a perfectly serviceable set-up that would last him for years (provided he didn't drop it on a concrete floor) for a fraction of the price. My suggestion:

An Ikelite housing @ $1500, Ikelite flat port #5502.41 (for the 60mm lens) @ $140 and dome port #5503 (for the 60mm lens) @$190 (B & H's prices) and a used Ikelite DS125 strobe @ approximately $550. You can still buy a brand new 60mm D lens for $400 here http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Nikon-AF-60mm-60-f-2...=item27b6c93192 and you can get a brand new Tokina 10-17 for $576 here http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Tokina-AF-10-17mm-f-...=item3f00ee50f9 I've bought several lenses from Hong Kong sellers, byy the way, and never had any problems. I've never had to pay duty and tax either.

Total cost of housing, ports and strobe (arm not included but there are plenty of good used arms for sale) $2380. Lenses $976. Total cost of rig less than $3500. I must add that although several people here have more or less written off Ikelite housings, they have important advantages, in my opinion, namely good TTL circuitry in combination with Ikelite strobes, the ability to check that the housing and port o-rings are properly seated and a foolproof port locking system with the new four locks. I have previously owned Sea & Sea housings and always needed help removing the ports after a dive as it was impossible to unscrew them without help. I much prefer Ikelite's locking system.

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G'day JP.

 

My reply was simply to point out that if you choose similar port package that there wasn't much difference in price. Agreed if you used the Ikelite standard port it would be alot cheaper but also at the cost of quality and also flexibilty. I still recomend if someone goes along the Ikelite path that they use the modular port system as the flat port assembly is made out of glass compared to Acrylic on the standard ports. The modular system makes sense especially for new users as you can simply add an extension to the flat port or dome for different setups. Just add an extension to the 60mm modular setup you have and you covered for your 105mm. It is also handy when your packing for overseas, instead of packing two or three standard ports you can pack the modular setup with extensions. This saves a fair bit of space.

 

The OP states that they are considering either an Aluminium setup with single strobe or Ikelite setup with dual strobes with extra lenses. Also states that they have really pooor vision. I believe that they should really base their decision around an external viewfinder which suits them. This blows out the budget by a further $1000 or so ($1050rrp Nauticam VF) and maybe the case that the external VF isnt suitable with ikelite D7000 housing like it was with the Canon 7D Ikelite.

 

I think the VF is a very important bit of kit for the OP. My grandfather told me that you can't shoot what you can't see. It might come to the case that yes the Ikelite setup is the cheapest option but is it the best option for the OP. Only they can answer that question.

 

In my reply i referred my pricing from Backscatter in regarding Aquatica (http://www.backscatter.com/hostedstore/products/aquatica.html) and I did see that there is a price difference on some of backascatters pages ie AF Flat port $289rrp on one page and other page has $329. I used Ikelites website to quote their RRP.

 

I laughed when you mention the BMW M3. Your lucky in the states as you can buy a new M3 coupe $65,000usd when they sell here in Australia for $170,000usd. If we had the same price here every man and his dog would be driving an BMW M3, M5 or a Mercedes AMG.

 

Unfortunately here in Australia we have such a small market compared to the USA. Australia's population is the about the same size of the population of Texas. We have to pay alot more for alot of things which you might take for granted. Cameras, dive gear, laptops, Cars......... just to name a few are alot cheaper.

 

Guess we are lucky that the Aussie dollar is at a 20 year high and on par almost with the USD?

 

Best regards Mark

Edited by Aussiebyron

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We can all agree that an Ikelite setup is well suited to those who are on a limited budget. But would you recommend an ikelite setup which hasnt got an external VF ( maybe a external VF can fit the Ikelite D7000 housing..????) to a person who states they have 10% vision???? Its hard enough at times looking through the Ikelite standard VF with 100% vision.

 

Regards Mark

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the ability to check that the housing and port o-rings are properly seated

And you can also see the housing half filled with water when it floods. :P

Sorry for being so cynical, I know any housing can flood, but I've just witnessed way too many Ikelite floods.

Edited by loftus

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And you can also see the housing half filled with water when it floods. :P

Sorry for being so cynical, I know any housing can flood, but I've just witnessed way too many Ikelite floods.

 

You must have a lot of careless acquaintances! If the housing's and port's o-rings are properly seated and compressed there is no reason why anyone should flood their housing, unless the o-rings for the controls leak due to the owner's failure to send the housing to Ikelite for its annual service. Actually, I have two friends who are excellent photographers (one semipro) who choose to use Ikelite housings because they upgrade theeir cameras to the latest, most expensive, models every couple of years.

Edited by john70490

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We can all agree that an Ikelite setup is well suited to those who are on a limited budget. But would you recommend an ikelite setup which hasnt got an external VF ( maybe a external VF can fit the Ikelite D7000 housing..????) to a person who states they have 10% vision???? Its hard enough at times looking through the Ikelite standard VF with 100% vision.

 

Regards Mark

 

I agree that Blind Diver would be well advised to get an external viewfinder. It should be easy enough to check whether an external viewfinder is compatible with the Ikelite D7000 housing. Why assume that it won't?

I don't agree re the modular port system. The Ikelite ports I suggested are very compact, much more compact than the Sea & Sea ports I previously owned. As regards the 105mm lens , it would be a long way down on my priorities list in Blind Diver's situation. I've never used mine here in Sweden, only on trips abroad, and BD only does one Red Sea trip a year. I used my 60mm and 105mm lenses about equally often on my recent Red Sea trip, so the 60mm lens will enable him to take lots of great shots there too. And even if he does eventually decide to get a 105mm lens, the Ikelite port isn't much bigger than the 60mm port, certainly a lot smaller than the Sea & Sea port with the extension ring. I have no difficulty packing all my three Ikelite ports for overseas trips. By the way, I quoted the prices for new ports in my previous post but I bought all my three ports used and they were all in perfect condition and a lot cheaper than new ones would have been. BD might be able to do the same if he puts a Want-to-Buy post in the Classifieds section of this forum.

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Whaw !! A lot has been said in this short time !

 

 

I think an enlarged viewfinder would be a goods solution to see the image better.

I think the problem will be that I can't test the viewfinder and housing VF underwater.

If i buy something i would like to now if i can see it :-)

Because underwater is different then above water.

 

I rather thinking of going to aluminium housing because the enlarged viewfinders are a lot more choice.

But thats again a large cost !

 

 

I think i best buy my flashes and arms secondhand, so i can spend more on my housing.

I am also afraid that if i buy secondhand there will be something wrong with that things.

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I think i best buy my flashes and arms secondhand, so i can spend more on my housing.

I am also afraid that if i buy secondhand there will be something wrong with that things.

 

I have bought most of my photo equipment used (but not my present housing) and have never been ripped off. If you buy from someone on this forum or Scubaboard, you are pretty safe. I have also bought (and sold) lots of photo stuff on E-bay without ever having had any problems. E-bay's buyer protection is very good these days and I find sellers describe their items very honestly and always mention any faults or blemishes. The feedback system ensures that anybody who tries to rip off a buyer will never be able to sell on E-bay again.

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Another option to consider where you could save some $$ without losing much quality is the Sea & Sea YS-110a strobes. They are about $175 less (so $350 less for two) than the Inons. I have been quite happy with mine (used w/ Aquatica 7D w/ optical connections). I usually find they are too powerful if anything (meaning the little bit of extra power from the Inon 240s would have been overkill). Although not as compact as the Inons, they are still relatively small.

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Oh, and BTW, you can buy a Zen mini dome for the Ike now. Pricey, but they are available at Reef Photo.

 

 

FYI, not has been released yet but Our Mini dome 100, made of original Schott BK-7 glass and treated with both BBAR and SIo2 coating will be available soon in the Ikelite mount (among other), it should normally be priced like our normal Aquatica mount version.

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FYI, not has been released yet but Our Mini dome 100, made of original Schott BK-7 glass and treated with both BBAR and SIo2 coating will be available soon in the Ikelite mount (among other), it should normally be priced like our normal Aquatica mount version.

 

That's great to know, thanks for the information!

 

I am hoping ports of all types will start following the paradigm of having an adapter specific to the housing but the port itself being somewhat generic; this would make it much easier to change brands or own multiple housings of different brands/types.

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Blind Diver--

 

Summing this all up.....

 

Macro or Wide--As Alex says, you need better vision for macro. Is your vision good enough even with a magnifier for macro? And do you want to shoot serious macro? If the answer is yes then find out if Backscatter can mount a viewfinder on the Ikelite housing. If Backscatter can NOT then rule out the Ikelite. In either case a magnifying viewfinder will add $900USD to the overall cost. Can you afford that cost plus a 60mm lens and still afford an aluminum housing that can use your INON S2000 strobe?

 

I think you need those answers before proceeding.

 

Looking at your pictures I think you'll prefer wide angle and fish portrates. Macro requires sharp eyes to find the little critters and quick hand-eye coordination to hit the shutter when the critter is in the exact pose you want. My eyesight is corrected 20-20 and I still have trouble with this even using autofocus.

 

Regards,

 

Tom

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Update:

 

Backscatter thinks an INON magnifier can work on an Ikelite D-700 housing. ( I called)

 

Tom

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Johnspierce is right on. Back when you kept a camera/housing combo for ten years it made sense (maybe) to get an aluminum housing. Now when cameras change evry 2-3 years (or less) an Ikelite housing makes far more sense. They are more rugged than requied (if you are banging your housing around enough to crack an Ikelite housing you're doing something wrong) and have the advantages of low cost , good ergonomics and ability to see o-rings.

 

I've seen more aluminum housings leak because the owner didn't seal them properly than Ikelite housings. Some of the cheaper housings seem to have poor orings/surfaces so they seem to leak occasionally.

 

Add to this the great customer support that Ikelite is famous for and you have a winner. No contest in my world.

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Blind Diver. Is your eyesight good enough to use a monocular viewfinder or would you intend to use the Live View feature of the D7000.

 

If you are using the viewfinder then investment in the brightest and largest one you can find would seem to make sense. Some research will be needed but I believe many of them can be retro fitted to other housing makes including Ike.

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Blind Diver. Is your eyesight good enough to use a monocular viewfinder or would you intend to use the Live View feature of the D7000.

 

If you are using the viewfinder then investment in the brightest and largest one you can find would seem to make sense. Some research will be needed but I believe many of them can be retro fitted to other housing makes including Ike.

 

 

On land if it is daylight i can see the viewfinder in dark conditions not.

 

 

I have gget the price for an ikelite and nauticam housing + z-240strobes and arms + tokina 10-17 + nikon 60mm macro + ports

 

 

 

Nauticam + viewfinder : 8,315.20

 

Ikelite + inon viewfinder (if it can be attached ) : 6,442.95

 

Thats a difference off +- 1800

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On land if it is daylight i can see the viewfinder in dark conditions not.

 

 

I have gget the price for an ikelite and nauticam housing + z-240strobes and arms + tokina 10-17 + nikon 60mm macro + ports

 

 

 

Nauticam + viewfinder : 8,315.20

 

Ikelite + inon viewfinder (if it can be attached ) : 6,442.95

 

Thats a difference off +- 1800

Assuming you don't upgrade for 4 years, which I think is pretty reasonable to expect with a camera of the calibre of a D7000, is it worth $450 per year to you?

I think it's important to emphasize, it's not about whether the box is made of plastic or aluminum - it's really about design which translates to ergonomics.

Now the best thing if you can; is hold both in your hands. Probably don't have to be same camera, just same housing brand.

See how you like the ergonomics of both brands, they are very different. I think ergonomics may be another factor that is more critical for you.

Also I would advise trying both viewfinders, there's a big difference between the different brands on the market.

Edited by loftus

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Johnspierce is right on. Back when you kept a camera/housing combo for ten years it made sense (maybe) to get an aluminum housing. Now when cameras change evry 2-3 years (or less) an Ikelite housing makes far more sense. They are more rugged than requied (if you are banging your housing around enough to crack an Ikelite housing you're doing something wrong) and have the advantages of low cost , good ergonomics and ability to see o-rings.

 

I've seen more aluminum housings leak because the owner didn't seal them properly than Ikelite housings. Some of the cheaper housings seem to have poor orings/surfaces so they seem to leak occasionally.

 

Add to this the great customer support that Ikelite is famous for and you have a winner. No contest in my world.

I guess seeing housings leak, as you and I have seen, due to o-rings, is pretty subjective in terms of keeping score. However one thing that does happen with Ikelite and not with aluminum, is Ikelite have been seen and reported (I've seen one) to actually crack and subsequently leak. Obviously each individual has to decide what they can afford etc, but there are reasons that Ikelite is cheaper.

Edited by loftus

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I think the reason ikelite is lessexpensive is that maching an aluminum block is way more expensive than a molded plastic box. Ikelite uses a fairly universal box that only needs a few controls added to customize it for a particular camera. The parts for the Ikelite are simple and can be customized by any reasonably handy user. The maintenance is minimal and leaks, in my experience, are invariably user error. Add in the ability to use ttl ( for those who like that) is included in the reasonable purchase price. While I do hope they include optical firing ability soon, this will probably require a housing redesigned and would make the whole rig larger.

 

again, my main point was that digital cameras are traded or sold frequently. A newer, better design is just over the horizon and most of us seem to trade every 2-3 years(or more often if we have tolerant wives). Why buy a housing that can last a hundred years when you'll get rid of it in two? Just my two cents worth.

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Hallo Blinddiver,

I really would advice you to go to "Der Boot" in Düsseldorf (Germany) held from 22 -30 January 2011.

http://www.boot.de/cipp/md_boot/custom/pub...meine_Info.html

 

This is a very big exhibion for all kind of watersports. Also for diving and you can see, feel, hold and compare all the different underwaterhousings of all major brands yourselve. It really is worth the effort and travelling because you can get so much advice in the net wich cannot be compared by the information you get when you are really seeing and holding the housings yourselves. You will see that a magnifying viewfinder is really worth the extra money.

 

just my 2 cents

 

Rob

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Hallo Blinddiver,

I really would advice you to go to "Der Boot" in Düsseldorf (Germany) held from 22 -30 January 2011.

http://www.boot.de/cipp/md_boot/custom/pub...meine_Info.html

 

This is a very big exhibion for all kind of watersports. Also for diving and you can see, feel, hold and compare all the different underwaterhousings of all major brands yourselve. It really is worth the effort and travelling because you can get so much advice in the net wich cannot be compared by the information you get when you are really seeing and holding the housings yourselves. You will see that a magnifying viewfinder is really worth the extra money.

 

just my 2 cents

 

Rob

Totally second that; I think your situation makes things like the viewfinder and housing ergonomics much more important.

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