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Subal or Nauticam?

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Yes, you are right smile.png

Thats why I am curious, why we discussing about only 2 brands smile.png

 

Alex, please dont take me wrongly. The world is "flat"... Some people buying expensive product (housings) in online shops globally, but then coming back to formal distributors, cause online shops running low margin business with no capability for after-sales support. And my point was not to say that Nexus better or cheaper than Nauticam. Just to remind public that there are other options available smile.png

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I gave up on a much-loved Nexus system because I couldn't get the support that I needed. So far, Nauticam has provided excellent support...

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Yes, you are right smile.png

Thats why I am curious, why we discussing about only 2 brands smile.png

 

 

Granted there are other D800 housing, but the starter of this blog was only interested in the Subal and Nauticam housings.

He wanted feedback from those who have used either.

 

Also it would courteous of you to give your affiliations.

Edited by eyu
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I'm comparing one or two other brands to Subal because that is what I own now. I dive a lot (well, maybe not as much as Alex) so ergonomics, toughness and smooth, reliable controls are the major selection criteria for me.

I don't think Nexus is available in The Netherlands, I never saw one in the field. Aquatica looks interesting but in The Netherlands it is sold through a regular camera shop with no expertise in underwater photography and there is no service. What also counts is that my ports and viewfinder are in excellent condition so I can continue to use these if I stick with Subal.

I will probably make up my mind after the BOOT show in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Edited by rumblefish

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Whatever happened to SeaCam?

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Rob, I'm confused.Have you decided on the D800 or D600? There's a plethora of choices for the D800 but what are the housing choices on the high end anyways?

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I'm comparing one or two other brands to Subal because that is what I own now. I dive a lot (well, maybe not as much as Alex) so ergonomics, toughness and smooth, reliable controls are the major selection criteria for me.

I don't think Nexus is available in The Netherlands, I never saw one in the field. Aquatica looks interesting but in The Netherlands it is sold through a regular camera shop with no expertise in underwater photography and there is no service. What also counts is that my ports and viewfinder are in excellent condition so I can continue to use these if I stick with Subal.

I will probably make up my mind after the BOOT show in Dusseldorf, Germany.

 

Personally, I think, main difference between Subal and Nexus is size and price. Both product are well done engineering. But if local support is critical, of course better to stick what is available.

 

I gave up on a much-loved Nexus system because I couldn't get the support that I needed. So far, Nauticam has provided excellent support...

 

Tim, do you mean for sales or after sales? For distributor or consequently enduser ?

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I did a break-in dive week in Bonaire a few weeks ago, I dove with a Subal and my dive buddy with a Nauticam for our D800s.

Side by side the Nauticam looks larger then the Subal. Both were set up with Inon Z240 strobes, ULCS arms and Stix floats

 

We had a chance to put both Subal and Nauticam D800 housings side by side in the Dema show; and I can confirm that Nauticam is smaller on all three sides.

 

Not that I am saying any one of them is better, just a matter of fact. Different manufacturers have different philosopies in housing design, and I am glad there remain a decent degree of friendliness and respect among us, all major housing manufacturers, who are all working very hard to fulfil different demands in this small market.

 

Edward

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Thanks Edward for the confirmation.

 

Whatever happened to SeaCam?

I think Rob wants fiber optic ability which the Seacam does not have. At least I think that's why he's limited it to Subal and Nauticam.

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Hi,

 

I just got my Sea&Sea MDX800 housing. I haven´t put it in water yet. But this is my third S&S housing and I have never had a problem. They have been to Norway, Malaysia, South Africa, Egypt...yes you name it. Never one single problem.

 

This house looks like the best yet. And its also good for 100meters. Only thing I din´t like is that they took away leaklamp and 5pin connection. They are now optional.

The port looking system feels safe. Its bayonet fiting and a looking pin inside.

 

Let me now if you need more info.

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Seacam is not on my shortlist because they're more expensive ($ 5.500 price range plus another $ 1.680 or so for the viewfinder).

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@ kmsellin: Does Sea&Sea have a port locking mechanism all the way out to the Domeport ( trought the Extender)?

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@Wolf Eel

 

No, they don`t have all the way out. You are all right there. I looks first port... But serious I think its really bad luck if it would twist the whole way. I mean you need to turn it like 90-120 degress to open. But It would be better if you could look it, then you are 100% sure.

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That D600 Nauticam housing looks great. Thanks for posting.

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No one's posted to this thread in awhile but I thought I'd pipe up with another 2psi. I recently was on a boat in Raja Ampat. I shoot D800 w/ Subal and there was another fellow onboard who shoots the same camera and has a Nauticam housing.

 

I must say that I was very impressed with his housing, especially the simplicity of the vacuum seal that I guess his housing came with from the factory. I am always worried about my ports slipping off, and like someone else said here even though the extension ring locks that does zero in the case of the dome that's attached to it.

 

I have had some niggling issues with my Subal. I got a housing from one of the first batches that arrived to the US and right out of the gate had issues with the fitting of the tray and usage of the controls (multi selector) I eventually resolved that issue by bending the tray rods and shaving down the backside of the buttons that control the multi selector and since have had no problems, but it was quite maddening to shell out that amount and have that issue haunting me for the first half dozen dive trips.

 

Aside from that my housing has developed some corrosion, both in the smooth coating surface between backplate and housing and on the bayonet. The housing had to go back to Subal to fix the threading from one of the handle screws coming out of the body and so I had them repair the corrosion spots while they were at it. Living in Southeast Asia, I had to bring the housing back to the US where I bought it and then have the dealer ship it back and forth to Europe.

 

I am strongly considering biting the bullet and buying all new ports and switching to Nauticam after spending a couple weeks on that liveaboard with the buddy who has the Nauticam housing. When I had my previous Subal (D300) I saw the quality and features coming out at Nauticam and it was laughable. I have to say that I've seen Nauticam improve by leaps and bounds ever since, which added to my few issues and the price differential has me considering making the switch.

 

Well, I still have some life left in shooting my D800E so I have time to think about it. Sometimes the grass is greener when you look at other brands because you know the limitations and deficiencies of your own housing but not others until you try them.

 

Those of you who have had Nauticam and Subal housings please update this thread with your more recent experiences. I think putting it all out there helps us and other shooters considering the same big ticket decisions all benefit from the sharing of firsthand information.

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I have an older Subal SLR film housing and numerous Ikelite housings., and new Nauticam and Aquatica housings. I used to be a Subal fan-boy, but I think that the quality and value for the money of both Aquatica and Nauticam have really improved over the years. My personal opinion is that Subal is coasting on their name an are no longer king of the hill. Between Nauticam and Aquatica, I think the fit and finish of Nauticam is superior, but Aquatica is over-built and sturdier. I have admired Seacam and Hugyfot housings (they seem very nice) but have no experience with them for comparison. Just my $.02.

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I have a Subal for my D800E and it was one of the first ones too. Had a right button issue on the multi selector and had Reef Photo adjust it for me. Also just had Reef install the Nauticam vacuum leak system on my Subal. The installation replaced the leak detector light with multicolored lights to indicate leak, no vacuum and vacuum. It turned out really slick.

I dive with two buddies who have D800's, one has a Aquatica D800 and the other has a Nauticam D800E. I too am impressed with the quality of the Nauticam, it is designed well and has good ergonomics much like the Subal. I like the access to the iso button better on the Nauticam, but the Nauticam does not give access to the function or depth of field buttons as the Subal does. In comparing the D800 Aquatica, to the D300S Aquatica, it is better and they have improved. I like the feel of the main and sub command dials with the Subal, you can feel every click in change of f stop or speed. The Nauticam also has this feel but not as crisp with each change in f stop or speed, the Aquatica has the least feel with these changes. To me, the same analogy holds true for the shutter release lever feel. I can feel half shutter better on the Subal, second the Nauticam and finally the Aquatica.

 

Elmer

Edited by eyu

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I am strongly considering biting the bullet and buying all new ports and switching to Nauticam ......

Why bother buying new ports, just get a Nauticam Subal port adapter and use your Subal ports on a Nauticam housing. After owning a series of Subal film and digital SLR housings over many years I switched to Nauticam four years ago and am still using my Subal and Zen Subal mount dome ports on my Nauticam housing.

 

http://reefphoto.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=80_148_149&products_id=4481

http://reefphoto.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=80_148_149&products_id=4486

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Elmer, the Aquatica AD800 DOES allow use of the "DOF" and "FUNCTION" controls. Are you sure you were comparing the correct housing?

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Elmer, the Aquatica AD800 DOES allow use of the "DOF" and "FUNCTION" controls. Are you sure you were comparing the correct housing?

oops, my mistake..Thx for the correction.

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In historical order: Ikelite, Aquatica, Subal, Subal, Subal.

The only problem I've had with the Subals is small spots of corrosion due to jamming in into the bottom.

I treat these with clear nailpolish and keep strips of bath tub anti slip material on the bottom.

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Why bother buying new ports, just get a Nauticam Subal port adapter and use your Subal ports on a Nauticam housing. After owning a series of Subal film and digital SLR housings over many years I switched to Nauticam four years ago and am still using my Subal and Zen Subal mount dome ports on my Nauticam housing.

 

http://reefphoto.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=80_148_149&products_id=4481

http://reefphoto.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=80_148_149&products_id=4486

 

Hi Grudge,

 

I realize that these adaptors are available, but I would rather just make the complete move. Maybe I'll start with the adaptor until I'm 100% sure that I'm not going back before I get rid of all the ports.

 

Eyu, great to know that the Nauticam vacuum seal system can be installed on a Subal and that it works well. I will look into this with my dealer!

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Eyu, great to know that the Nauticam vacuum seal system can be installed on a Subal and that it works well. I will look into this with my dealer!

I previously had the Backscatter vacuum system on my Subal, it was without the lights, but worked well. I switched over since my wife has a Nauticam EM 1 and I wanted to eliminate carrying two different vacuum pumps. Another system to also look at is the Leak Sentinel. But the Nauticam is really a very cool installation that was done by Reef Photo

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Hi there,

Years ago (2012) people have raised concerns with the visual complexity of Nauticam housings when looking inside (long mechanical links which allows some controls to be deported far away from original position on camera body).

3 years later it would be interesting to know whether these have proven to be a weak point for anybody?

 

Cheers

Nicolas

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