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Kasey

Mark II Seacam housing?

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I find it interesting that Seacam has chosen to house this camera - I wonder if it has more to do with its price point vs the 1Ds than its suitability for uw use. Seems like the 1Ds would be superior for uw use...

 

I was hoping to see a D2H housing, but the demand doesn't seem to be out there.

 

Believe it or not, I'm planning a switch to film until the DR issues of digital can be worked out. I'm happy I've shot digital all this time - it has allowed me to learn much more quickly than possible with film, but now I find myself frequently bumping up against the limitations of digital - I want to create great sunbursts, and I want perfect TTL!

 

I guess it isn't a total switch, as I'll still shoot some macro with the D100, but I've grown tired of looking for the next great camera that will match Velvia... Why not just shoot Velvia?!?

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I presume DR is dynamic range (as opposed to, say, Digital Rebel)?

 

Mark2, IMHO, would be a great camera underwater. Not sure though that it'd be that much better than a 10D, and it's 3 times as expensive to replace after you immerse it in salt water.

 

I'd be buying a 1D Mk2 now if I didn't have a 10D in need of a housing. Can't have everything I guess...

 

Interesting that you're planning to switch back to film. Are you allowed to say that on this site??!! :lol:

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I'll go out on a limb here and say the major reason that Seacam is housing the 1D MkII is that they already have a housing for the 1Ds, and the only difference between the 1Ds and the MkII is that the 1Ds has 2 buttons below the bottom LCD while the MkII has 3. In which case, it's as simple as changing the back slightly to go from the 1Ds to the MkII.

 

Based on the little bit I've been able to use my MkII topside in week I've had it, I'd say it would be a great camera underwater. I'm not convinced that there's a whole lot more dynamic range than the rest of the Canon line as some rumors have suggested, but the metering is better, the AF kicks butt, and 1.3x vs 1.6x makes a big difference, especially with a lens like the Canon 17-40L. One of the most amazing things is how clean the high ISO images are, which I think would make for some very cool available light wreck shots, especially converted to black and white.

 

Is it better than the 10D? Without a doubt, but not because the resulting images are that much better, it's the rest of the features. Is it 3x better? Hard to say, and I'd think this would have to be decided on an individual basis. I will say that even though this is a great camera, people like Herb will still consistently produce better images with a Digital Rebel than I will with the MkII. That being said, I love the MkII.

 

The 1Ds is probably more capable for a certain type of UW shooter, but I don't think it hands down beats the MkII. I personally couldn't justify the 1Ds at 1.6x the price of the already expensive MkII, especially since I think the MkII meets my needs (don't need 11Mp, would like FF but don't shoot enough WA to justify it).

 

The major problem now as I see it is a lack of affordable housings for the MkII. Every one I've found so far is well over $3k for just the body, and by nature of the companies offering housings, the ports are also pricey. At those costs, I don't think I'll be getting the MkII underwater any time soon. Now, if someone with clear housings and great customer service were to come out with a reasonably priced alternative (cough, cough, Ike are you listening?), I'd sell my S&S housing for my D60 in a heartbeat.

 

Kasey, that's a shame that you're thinking of going back to film, but at least it's for good reasons. If you're in the market for an F5, I have a friend who might be looking to get rid of his.

 

Tom

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Does your friend have a housing for the F5? I was leaning towards an F100 due to the comparable features (for uw purposes) and the great pricing on the available housings. I'd consider the F5 if he has a housing and the price is right.

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Hi guys, hi Tom,

 

I've been very pleased with the performance of my 10D underwater so far. Tom, you make some very good points in your post. However, I've thought extensively about the pros and cons of housing the 1DM2. Like you, I love it as a land camera, although mine has a slight focus miscalibration (backfocus tendency). It is an AWESOME bird-in-flight camera stopped down moderately with 45pt AI-servo though, makes it so easy!

 

One minus that people rarely talk about with diving the 1-series is the control scheme. The fact that you have to press TWO buttons and turn a dial to change ISO, for instance, will be a pain in the butt, unlike the 10D/D60. Imagine trying to do that while hanging on to a rope in a current.

Don't get me wrong, I like the control scheme on land; what all the supporters say is true -- you never accidentally change settings.

 

The second thing -- a 1-series housing is going to be at least 1.4-1.5x the size and weight of a 10D-type housing, I think. Much more bulk to haul around! On my recent trip to Bonaire I had to do a 10 minute walk back to my room after every dive, as I was told not to leave the 10D+housing in the wash tank. My back and shoulders were SORE!

 

The pros aren't all that useful either. I never found myself wishing for faster AF underwater, and I must say after Canon calibration my 10D is MORE accurate than my 1DM2 with my set of lenses. In fact, the 10D probably focuses as fast as the 1-series cameras, as many people have pointed out; it's just not spec'd as accurately.

One -con- of the 1-series underwater is the size of the focusing points. On land I love the smaller focusing points as I can land it on the eye of a bird, but underwater, with bad vision and your mask some distance away with a moving critter, I can think of many situations where the large 10D central AF sensor is actually better.

 

What I would really like to house the 1DM2 for is it's quick write and review speeds! I can't count the times that I've shot and waited an eternity for the histogram/review to come up on the 10D, and meanwhile the critter has burrowed under a rock.

 

Having said all that, I'm still debating whether I should sell my 10D/housing and get onto the Seacam list. I'd probably be better off spending that money on a trip to Cocos or something :lol:

 

Yeang

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Kasey, how can you go back to shooting 36 exposures on a dive?!

 

I've been spoiled -- I average 100 or so shots a dive, probably more. Of course 99% of that is crap.....

 

I ran into a guy shooting a Canon A-1 underwater, while I was in Bonaire. It boggled my mind -- Manual focus, Manual exposure, manual strobe power, NO TTL, no review!! He'd been doing it for the last 20 years, so he knew every shot setting. If you're reading this, hi Joe!

 

Yeang

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I rarely shoot more than 40 exposures on a WA dive - I can live with 36. It is interesting that my mention of the Mark II spurred comparisons with the 10D, not the 1Ds. I ruled out the 10D due to lack of ultra wide (weitwinkel) angle options - a total deal-breaker IMHO. The cost difference between the 1Ds and Mark II (street prices) is small when you consider the cost of Seacam equipment. I guess I'd quicker wait for the 1Ds successor which should offer quicker write times and better overall responsiveness, but it makes a lot more sense for me to save my $ and use film when shooting WA.

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Kasey,

 

No, no housing. I'm working on getting him to house his D100, but he's holding off and playing with a Canon A70 / housing combo for the time being.

 

I think the reason so many people compare the MkII to the 10D is that a good % of the people buying the MkII seem to be upgrading from the 10D, not just from the 1D Mk I. The MkII seems to have a wider appeal than the 1Ds for whatever reason.

 

Ychng,

 

I have to disagree with you on a few points. First, in terms of housing size, a 1D housing is going to be no larger than my current S&S Dx3060 housing, so that's not really a big deal to me. In terms of the weight, yes, it's heavy out of water. I've taken to using a shoulder strap to carry the housing / strobes when on land.

 

As for the other features, the larger viewfinder would be a big help to me. The VF on the D60 is TINY, and the S&S optics don't do much to improve it. In terms of AF, I'm coming from a D60, which has terrible low light focus and only 3 focus points. Speed, # of points, accuracy, all of these things are very desirable to me. The D60 did fine in many cases, but there is always room for improvement, in this case probably significant improvement.

 

The 2-button control scheme might be a bit of a nuisance UW, but I can't think of that many situations where I'd actually have to use it. Changing ISO, maybe changing from 1-shot to AI Servo? There are other times you need to push-hold and scroll, like reviewing multiple images, zooming on an image, or changing menu settings, but frankly I don't do many of those things UW. I think like all things, this would just take some getting used to.

 

Like I said in my original post, the cost of available housings is too high right now. I can't see myself really spending $8k on a Seacam for 3 - 4 dive trips / year. If costs were more in line with Ikelite or some of the other lower end housings it would be less of a decision.

 

Just my $0.02

 

Tom

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Like I said in my original post, the cost of available housings is too high right now. I can't see myself really spending $8k on a Seacam for 3 - 4 dive trips / year. If costs were more in line with Ikelite or some of the other lower end housings it would be less of a decision.

 

 

 

 

I'm surprised that the rental housing market isn't larger for this reason. It seems like there are so many people that dive only 2-3 times per year, and by the time they've done 2 trips their equipment is obsolete.

 

Maybe your buddy would trade his F5 towards my D100 housing!!

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Ok Kasey, who are you and what have you done with the real Kasey? Dont make me call Robert and make sure you're ok :lol:

 

What you are describing is exactly why Julie wont switch to digital. Her best good old Nikonos photos outdo the best D100 photos. Granted, it's easier to get quite good photos with digital, but with enough experience nothing beats velvia. We actually bought a second Nikonos a month or 2 ago.

 

Julie is seriously considering an F100 housing, except Subal isnt making theirs anymore :D They actually stopped selling _any_ kind of film camera housing. Is that the future? Anyone seeing similar trends with other manufacturers?

 

Cor

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Julie is seriously considering an F100 housing, except Subal isnt making theirs anymore :lol: They actually stopped selling _any_ kind of film camera housing. Is that the future? Anyone seeing similar trends with other manufacturers?

 

Cor

 

Cor,

 

I have a Subal F100 housing in exceptional shape that I am thinking of selling. I really like it, but now have two Subeye cameras that I love for film, and a D100 setup, so I find I don't use the F100 much. I do use the Subal ports for the D100 Titan, so I would likely sell just the housing, and possibly the camera body. Ports should be readily available. Anyway, if you are interested, let me know. It's been used on fewer than 20 dives and is a pleasure to use. I just hate to have such a beautiful housing sit in the cabinet...

 

As for film versus digital, I share Kasey's concerns about DR. I have no plans to give up film, and I will continue to shoot both for a long while. But three film setups is possibly too many :roll: (not counting my nikonos, which I'm not giving up either!).

 

Also enjoyed your Solomons report and photos. It's one of my very favorite places, and we are headed back for the fourth time in September.

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Julie will contact you.

 

Thanks about the Solomons report. We havent seen that much of the world yet, but for now the Solomon Islands is our favorite :lol: We're most likely heading back this year :D

 

Cor

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Julie is seriously considering an F100 housing, except Subal isnt making theirs anymore :D They actually stopped selling _any_ kind of film camera housing. Is that the future? Anyone seeing similar trends with other manufacturers?

Cor

 

We are certainly seeing that trend in consumer photography in general, with some of the big players stopping film camera production and even film production.

 

Someone will always be making it, but I'll bet film is going to get expensive over time as sales volume drops in North America and Europe world.

 

Hopefully by the time that happens, improvements in digital will have fixed some of the current shortcomings. :lol:

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I did email Ike a while back after the 1D Mk2 was announced to ask if Ikelite would be housing it, and they did say their was no plans. Ike, if you're reading this, there's a worldwide market for at least two Ike 1DMk2 housings (Tom and me). I reckon there's a few more wetpixel punters who'd be up for buying a cheap 1DMk2 housing if it became available.

 

The 1DMk2 will be hugely popular overall. But as long as only the high-priced manufacturers support it (ie Seacam) , using it underwater will be possible only for the very keen or very professional.

 

Having said that, I can't see why it wouldn't fit into my Ewa-Marine U-AX...

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Any opportunity to satisfy my money grubbing nature gets my attention. Tom wrote and we are cogitating the possibilities of the situation............

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Just send your camera to Ike for a while...:-) I'm sure they'd enjoy playing with it.

 

Cheers

James

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Part with my new baby?!?!?! I've barely even gotten to play with it yet!

 

I'll keep y'all updated on what happens.

 

Anybody want to buy a housing for a D60? That'd make the decision much easier...

 

:lol:

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Yeah, I know, it's just a timing issue. I've got a trip to Florida from June 15-20. After that my options are wide open.

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Word today is the Mark II is something like 6.25" tall which would require squeezing in a vice to fit our housing. Rate my excitement as premature............

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6.1 W x 6.2 H x 3.1 in. D to quote Canon's website. Pro body or otherwise, I don't think it was meant to be squished in a vice. :lol:

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How about heating up the housing :lol:

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How about just making the housing bigger? Am I missing something?

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Making the housing bigger would require a new mold, in other words, significant cost. Using an existing housing / mold requires adaptation and therefore minimal cost. This is one of the reasons Ikelite housings are so cost effective, they reuse bodies for different cameras.

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Hey Ike, 1DMk2 will probably fit in those oversized 10D housings from the first batch. :lol:

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