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Deep spring kit installed

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With 30 knot winds around here this weekend, I had a productive few hours installing the deep spring kit on my Aquatica housing instead. I'm off to do my MOD3 course on my rEvo at Christmas, so the housing will definitely be going past 60m. Given my caving and cave diving activities I expected a bit of dirt in the buttons as I removed them. What I found was a lot of dirt! I was surprised and impressed to see the amount of grit built up in the spring and how well it was all staying on the outside of the two year old o-rings. I haven't had any button leaks to date.

 

Hopefully the replacement springs and o-rings are going to stay just as dry as the old ones. And hopefully they're going to work well down in the depths....any advice or experiences appreciated.

 

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Well, yesterday I completed my MOD3 course with a dive to 100m on the rEvo here in Bali. The deep spring kit was partially successful, partially not. I found that for the top buttons on the 5DII (WB, timer, ISO and backlight) the deep spring kit meant that the housing buttons didn't even reach the camera. Of those four buttons, I only use the ISO so I changed that one back to a regular spring. On an 84m dive and the subsequent 100m dive I could use the ISO button at depth and it wasn't pushed in the rest of the time. There must be a bit more tolerance at the top in the way my camera sits in the housing.

 

I also discovered that the "set" button was a write-off from about 60m, regardless of springs used or extra grease applied. For the 5DII the Aquatica housing has a cross-piece in it to relocate the housing button so it's not directly above the camera button. This seems to upset things. Once it gets stuck in there's no getting it out but it doesn't seem to interrupt other operations. The main drawback is no filming below 60m - I can switch into Liveview mode but can't start or stop recording.

 

Lastly, my backbutton focus lever was a bit more temperamental. After focussing I had to push it back up into the correct, non-button-pushing position to get it to release at depth. I usually pull it out slightly to stop it activating the button, and it was not going to stay in the "out" position without a fair bit of force holding it out. Pushing it up worked well as an alternative. Once I worked out back button focus issues and with the ISO spring replaced, photos at depth went well. Here's a selfie from 100m to prove it!

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I hope you noticed that the buttons have shafts of different length. Thus it is quite important to make notes of which button belonged where, especially if you washed them altogether. For example, some of the Aquatica housings have a series of top buttons each being slightly longer than the others.

 

For buttons not quite reaching the corresponding camera button, please note that you can "fine tune" the buttons by utilizing some of the old button O-rings. Just place one (or two) beneath the rubber cap at the end of the button shaft (but above the C-clip holding the button in place).

 

However, if you have buttons sticking at depths greater than 60m, you might want to contact Aquatica directly.

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I removed and replaced them in order - all the ones along the top, then all the ones down the left hand side, then the others one at a time. So each button went back where it came from. The deep spring is thicker than the regular one, and even when fully compressed it won't allow the top housing buttons to reach. It was noticeable at 100m that the regular spring was much more depressed by the pressure. Luckily for me it was still actionable at that depth and wasn't impacting the button so no need to fight the deep spring the rest of the time. Maybe I will try moving the buttons around to change the length of the set button shaft...

 

I'm not wedded to shooting video at depth so not that fussed about the set button at the moment. It will likely be a consideration in my next housing upgrade though. One drawback of this course is having to go through all my gear and work out what's rated to what. The inon Z240s seemed happy at depth (unlike my backup torch).

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