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albert kok

Mounting an Oly housing on an Ikelite tray

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I just bought the Olympus PT-EP10 housing with the Oly EPL5. Playing with my new toy, I was pleased with the nice layout and handling of the push buttons and shutter (compared to my Ikelite housing with D7000). And the clear LCD monitor. And...this set-up is really small and light! Then I tried to mount the Oly housing on my regular Ikelite SLR tray, after drilling two extra holes in the tray. This allows me to connect the Ikelite DS strobes via two fiber optic adapters to the Oly housing. But the problem here is that the handles are too far away from the control buttons (upper picture). The solution could be to keep your hands not on the handles, but on the Oly housing itself, once you are ready to shoot underwater (lower picture). I also have the impression that the PT-EP10 was primarily designed for direct handling, not via the two handles of a tray.

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Edited by albert kok

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The same set up, but now with the 8mm fish eye lense andpost-7335-0-87409200-1383834502_thumb.jpg 4 inch dome. The fiber-optic cords are connected to the DS substrobes fitted with optic adapters. The power of the internal flash (behind the little black shield with the two fiber optic plugs on the front of housing) is set manually to the lowest intensity 1/64 to save batterry power.

Edited by albert kok

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The same set up, but now with the 8mm fish eye lense andattachicon.gifIMG-20131107-01538.jpg 4 inch dome. The fiber-optic cords are connected to the DS substrobes fitted with optic adapters. The power of the internal flash (behind the little black shield with the two fiber optic plugs on the front of housing) is set manually to the lowest intensity 1/64 to save batterry power.

Note: the acrylic dome port (shown in this picture) made by Precision is pretty hard to get in the housing. There are two obstacles here. First, you have to shave off a small protruding particle on the Oly housing, just under the shutter handle. Otherwise the dome and its shade will not sit appropriately in the housing. Then, you still need to push really hard on the dome (without the shade) to get it in the housing and then give it a a small turn so that it is blocked inside the housing. Getting it out later is even a greater pain. Bluewater recommends to use a strap to take out the dome. But the strap helps only with turning the dome, not with pulling it out. This has to done with hands and fingers. My intuitive impression is that the Precision dome is perhaps a little to wide (0.1 mm?).

Edited by albert kok

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The simplest but not cheapest answer is to get the appropriate tray for the housing. The next simplest answer is to drill two holes far more inboard and use something like the ULCS handles that will screw through the tray. Since ergonomics often plays such a large role in " getting the shot" I would spend some time/money getting this correct.

Bill

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I am an old time Ike user, but not familiar with new trays. A couple of thoughts: have you tried to offset the tray to the right to allow easier hand access? Have you tried using one of Ike's old flat plates as interface between Oly housing holes and Ike tray holes?

 

BTW I got a smaller almost new Ike dual handle tray on sale in Classifeds. It has a slot and allow mounting on Oly PT-EP03 housing which I have nicely. Just tested it.

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Hi thks for your suggestions. Must try out this set up in UW conditions of course. I liked the idea of handling the little OLy housing directly. Either 'solo' without the tray and strobes and (perhaps) a filter. Or, mounted on the same tray plus strobes that I use for the Ikelite housing/ Nikon. (with adapters)

 

Unfortunately, it is not possible to use the internal flash of D7000 inside the Ike housing to trigger the fiber optics. In the latter case you would only have to switch cameras during a diving excursion. Now, you also have to switch cables (fiber optic and sync cords attached to the Oly and Ikelite bulkhead respectively).

:aggressive:

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I am an old time Ike user, but not familiar with new trays. A couple of thoughts: have you tried to offset the tray to the right to allow easier hand access? Have you tried using one of Ike's old flat plates as interface between Oly housing holes and Ike tray holes?

 

BTW I got a smaller almost new Ike dual handle tray on sale in Classifeds. It has a slot and allow mounting on Oly PT-EP03 housing which I have nicely. Just tested it.

I think I saw the same ad..is that the #9523.32 model? Looks good, can you send it to Netherlands?

Edited by albert kok

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roger replied on other thread. PM me later

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The same set up, but now with the 8mm fish eye lense andattachicon.gifIMG-20131107-01538.jpg 4 inch dome. The fiber-optic cords are connected to the DS substrobes fitted with optic adapters. The power of the internal flash (behind the little black shield with the two fiber optic plugs on the front of housing) is set manually to the lowest intensity 1/64 to save batterry power.

Here I mounted the camera on a smaller Ikelite tray, the 9523.62 model. The fit is much better, but the problem remains: the control buttons are too far from the right-hand handle. So direct handling of the housing with the right hand still seems be the best option.

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Edited by albert kok

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Hi Albert

 

Attached you will see my solution. A little different than yours but same idea. I made a adapter plate to fit between the housing and the handle. Two screws from the plate into the housing one one side and two post that fit into the handle and one screw that goes through the handle, the adapter plate and connects to the housing. I attached Glued a extension on the shutter release so that you can trip the shutter while still holding on to the handle.

 

In regards to the tight fit of the UnderWater Camera Stuff 3.8" Precision dome that is fitting tight, make sure that your using generic silicone lube on the O-rings NOT OLYMPUS grease. If you still find that the fit is too tight you might try something just a little smaller that would stretch more and thus have less thickness. We use a 3mm x 74mm o-ring so you could certainly use a 3x73 or maybe a 3x72. The only concern would be that it doesn't leak. I prefer a tight fit as opposed to leaking.

 

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Edited by blibecap
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Just a note that on the PT-EP06 (for the E-PM1) with the stock port the Flexicam try with one handle and a single stud is just slightly negative in freshwater. Trying it out in salt water tomorrow and will report back (I'm using it for video and can't afford strobes right now anyway, so wanted it balanced without anything on the arm).

 

But it works much better in terms of sizing as well. Just a little gap between the handle and the body.

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Hi Bill, the adapter plate looks really nice. I just used the central hole and drilled a second hole in the tray aligned with one of the outer holes in the housing base plate. I also liked your extension of the shutter release handle. Did you glue it on? That would make it impossible to remove it later. Bluewater already advised me on the silicone grease. I guess the Ikelite grease would be OK. Thnks!

Edited by albert kok

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Hi Albert

 

Yes the handle is glued on. It will be hard to remove should I ever decide to remove it, I will grind it off. Ikelite grease is fine. The adapter on the front is for strobe connection, I use a HeinrichsWeikamp ttl flash converter http://www.heinrichsweikamp.com/?id=34 to get ttl connection to two ikelite strobes.

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Hi Albert

 

Yes the handle is glued on. It will be hard to remove should I ever decide to remove it, I will grind it off. Ikelite grease is fine. The adapter on the front is for strobe connection, I use a HeinrichsWeikamp ttl flash converter http://www.heinrichsweikamp.com/?id=34 to get ttl connection to two ikelite strobes.

Hi Bill

Two further questions for clarification:

-why the Heinrichs adapter? Is there an improvement with regard to to the Ikelite fiber optic adapters and fiber optic cables setting I illustrated above (with the 4 inch dome)

-I think it would be better to have a replaceable long handle In the Oly housing for handling of the shutter with tray and strobes .The current red handle is nice in case you want to handle the housing directly without the tray and strobes. For instance, in natural light and with a red filter

Edited by albert kok

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This doesn't solve your problem, so apologies, but I just wanted to report back that the setup is *perfectly* neutral in salt water (with a double-ender on the leash).

 

Just a note that on the PT-EP06 (for the E-PM1) with the stock port the Flexicam try with one handle and a single stud is just slightly negative in freshwater. Trying it out in salt water tomorrow and will report back (I'm using it for video and can't afford strobes right now anyway, so wanted it balanced without anything on the arm).

 

But it works much better in terms of sizing as well. Just a little gap between the handle and the body.

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Hi Albert

 

I understand about the handle. It would be nice to have a removable extension but I haven't done that. It would not be as easy as it looks. the handle is permanently attached to the shaft that goes threw the housing.

 

From the ikelite site "The Fiber Optic Adapter converts the electrical bulkhead of any Ikelite DS Substrobe into a fiber optic port. This adapter is a manual exposure (non-TTL) trigger only. The strobe's output must be adjusted using the manual power settings built into the strobe (varies by model)."

 

The HeinrichsWeikamp ttl flash converter is TTL not MANUAL like the system you have.

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I get it, .

-Another solution would be a a removable 'shift on' extension that is attached with a small screw or clamp to the red shutter lever. But as I said earlier, direct handling of the Oly housing could still be an option. Its easy to get a grip on the housing with your right hand in the space left between the housing and right tray handle. Or you might want to take the housing down without the burden of the tray and strobes, with a filter or for shooting video with natural light..In the latter case you will have the index finger in the ideal position for handling the red shutter lever, and the thumb for handling the REC and/or Fn buttons. You could even think of taken the Oly setup without tray down together with your bigger camera plus strobes..and switch between cameras, for instance if you are nice and stable on a flat surface like a sandy bottom.

 

-Personally I dont mind the manual trigger setting, but I'm sure some people will appreciate the TTL option offered by the Heinrichs adapter. From the description I understood that it has a Nikonos connector and Sea and Sea strobes? It would then probably not work with the Ikelite DS substrobes

 

-final point:I noticed that there is a ball chain attached to the LCD hood on the back of Olympus housing on your second picture, This must be some gadget of the earlier version of the Oly housing, since it is not on the back of the PT-EP10 model I bought. Here the hood is secured with a small tread on the housing.

Regards Al.

Edited by albert kok

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I just checked the fit and you can certainly step down to a 73x3 o-ring and probably a 72x3. The 72x3 is about the limit I would recommend although I didn't have a 71x3 to test. In regards to the shutter lever I am attaching some pictures. The lever attachment will not be simple as there are 3 separate areas and not really a lot of room to work. It would have to be aluminum to be strong enough. I had thought about making a replacement but your right something removable would be best. If you want me to make one for you let me know. The chrome gadget with the ball chain is the Housing Sentry basic installed in the housing. It s a vacuum leak prevention system. I have one on every camera system I have. I don't like water inside my housings.

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Edited by blibecap

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I just checked the fit and you can certainly step down to a 73x3 o-ring and probably a 72x3. The 72x3 is about the limit I would recommend although I didn't have a 71x3 to test. In regards to the shutter lever I am attaching some pictures. The lever attachment will not be simple as there are 3 separate areas and not really a lot of room to work. It would have to be aluminum to be strong enough. I had thought about making a replacement but your right something removable would be best. If you want me to make one for you let me know. The chrome gadget with the ball chain is the Housing Sentry basic installed in the housing. It s a vacuum leak prevention system. I have one on every camera system I have. I don't like water inside my housings.

Dear Bill

You certainly added some useful gadgets! thanks for the O ring advice, Ill give the 73X3mm ring a try first. Yeah, I think a removable second lever would be nice, but probably costly. Maybe something for a future Olympus housing? The vacuum leak is also an useful addition. I have one on my Ikelite which was easy to install, because you can screw it an unused function button. I noticed that your sentry needs a separate drill in the back of the housing. I guess you have described the costs on your website?

Edited by albert kok

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I recently had nearly the same situation, trying to combine an older ikelite setup with my new E-PM1: totally agree about the desire to not disrupt the ergonomics of the directly held housing. Here is my solution, I picked up a couple of batches of used sea arm vii parts and cobbled together this:

 

 

Posted Image

 

Only just got back the second strobe after service, so eager to try it with both arms, but I have so far been pleased as it allows me direct access to the shutter and gives me more strobe positioning options than the typical fixed grip tray. Here's a couple shots from an early test dive using the one ds-125 and the kit lens:

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Posted Image

I had to mount the tray backwards, and then I drilled two additional holes in the tray and added Allen bolts through to the housing base for a rigid, double redundant connection. It's also nice that it folds up very compact for travel!

Posted Image

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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a7ada6a6.jpg

I had to mount the tray backwards, and then I drilled two additional holes in the tray and added Allen bolts through to the housing base for a rigid, double redundant connection. It's also nice that it folds up very compact for travel!

7amypane.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Looks like a nice solution!

I noticed that Alex Mustard also recommended the 'direct grip' method of the Oly housing in an earlier Wetpixel article

http://wetpixel.com/articles/alex-mustard-reviews-olympus-om-d-e-m5/P3

The only problem is that a direct grip may become more difficut to accomplish when two big strobes are attached to the small housing. Then it would be nice to have the handles available for extra support.

Al

Edited by albert kok

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Dear Bill

You certainly added some useful gadgets! thanks for the O ring advice, Ill give the 73X3mm ring a try first. Yeah, I think a removable second lever would be nice, but probably costly. Maybe something for a future Olympus housing? The vacuum leak is also an useful addition. I have one on my Ikelite which was easy to install, because you can screw it an unused function button. I noticed that your sentry needs a separate drill in the back of the housing. I guess you have described the costs on your website?

I tried the 73X3mm O-ring today. It definitely makes a difference. Its easier to mount the 4 inch Precision dome, and remove it later from the Oly housing than with the 74X3 mm O-ring. Highly recommended!

Edited by albert kok

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