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Modification of Meikon A6000 housing to fit larger lenses

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Hi all,

 

I've been struggling with the limitations of my kitlens in the Meikon housing for my Alpha 6000. Mostly the lack of depth of selective DOF, and lack of light in certain locations (deeper waters, small caves/tunnels etc). I work exclusively with natural light with my underwater model photography. I've tried the Sigma 19mm 2.8 and was unsatisfied with it's performance (Besides that it's just 1/2 a stop of better than the kit lens), mostly due to lack of micro contrast.

 

Now, I've noticed the Meikon lens 'port' has a set of screws on the front that, I presume, seal the glass and the rubber ring/flap inside against the housing making it watertight.

I'm considering removing the screws and extending the port artificially by an other 2cm, meaning I could fit more interesting lenses (perhaps even the 24mm 1.8 from Zeiss, although that might be a bit tight).

 

What do people think about this plan? I'm hesitant to unscrew and "just see" what's below as I depend on the housing to do sessions with clients.

post-54124-0-49653400-1464441190_thumb.jpg

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If u have a place that can do a pressure test for u after u screw it back then it's worth a try

 

But.. Must find the right size port first I guess

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Hi

 

Here is what you will find when you open the port up.

 

post-2195-0-96811500-1464453655_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-42228600-1464453657_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-81815900-1464453657_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-80452900-1464453656_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-33027100-1464453658_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-84493900-1464453658_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-33734200-1464453659_thumb.jpg

 

 

I have done this process before and it can turn out nicely as seen below on a Meikon EM10(mark 1) housing.

 

post-2195-0-45379100-1464453910_thumb.jpg

 

You can see the line on the port barrel where the old port ended. I added 15MM so the 60mm Macro lens would fit. So I hope I have saved you some questions and concerns.

 

 

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Hi Bill,

 

Wow! That's unexpected. I looked high and low for others who did this, but it seems I did not look well enough. Was it a lot of work to do all that? CAn you tell me how you added the extra mm safely?

 

Thanks!

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Yes I machined a new extension and installed it. You can disassemble the system and figure out how much you need for the lenses you want to use. I would assume that they all use the same size front so I could make a piece for you or make and install it for you. Below is pictures of the extension. If you do disassemble it let me know the diameters.

 

post-2195-0-07434300-1464480705_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-19012200-1464480706_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-23841800-1464480707_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-06460300-1464480708_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-59926300-1464480708_thumb.jpg

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Yes I machined a new extension and installed it. You can disassemble the system and figure out how much you need for the lenses you want to use. I would assume that they all use the same size front so I could make a piece for you or make and install it for you. Below is pictures of the extension. If you do disassemble it let me know the diameters.

 

post-2195-0-07434300-1464480705_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-19012200-1464480706_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-23841800-1464480707_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-06460300-1464480708_thumb.jpgpost-2195-0-59926300-1464480708_thumb.jpg

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Can recommend Bill for this kind of work! Very pleased with the modification. The photos are from my OMD E-M10 :laugh: .

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Hi

 

Here is what you will find when you open the port up.

 

attachicon.gifIMG_20160330_193841_resize.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_20160330_193956_resize.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_20160330_195409_resize.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_20160330_193945_resize.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_20160330_195418_resize.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_20160330_195439_resize.jpgattachicon.gifIMG_20160330_195450_resize.jpg

 

 

I have done this process before and it can turn out nicely as seen below on a Meikon EM10(mark 1) housing.

 

attachicon.gifMeikon E-M10 Extended Housing 15mm _resize.JPG

 

You can see the line on the port barrel where the old port ended. I added 15MM so the 60mm Macro lens would fit. So I hope I have saved you some questions and concerns.

 

 

Here is a picture before modification.

post-2195-0-09530600-1470945221_thumb.jpg

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Here is a picture before modification.

 

Yes I machined a new extension and installed it. You can disassemble the system and figure out how much you need for the lenses you want to use. I would assume that they all use the same size front so I could make a piece for you or make and install it for you. Below is pictures of the extension. If you do disassemble it let me know the diameters.

 

attachicon.gif5_resize.JPGattachicon.gif6_resize.JPGattachicon.gif7_resize.JPGattachicon.gifMeikon E-M10 Extension 15mm-1 _resize.JPGattachicon.gifMeikon E-M10 Extension 15mm-2 _resize.JPG

Nice job ... if I can add 40 mm to my housing then I'll use 100 mm (L) canon.

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I can do what ever length you want. Pm Me with you address and I will send you the install instructions or plan to send me your housing.

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Hi All,

 

I'm looking at doing a modification of my Meikon housing but rather than extending the tube I'm looking at putting an acrylic dome on the housing to replace the flat port. I'll only be using the housing for snorkeling rather than deep diving. Inspiration for this came from the below link, which is based on the older model of the Meikon housing.

 

https://4.img-dpreview.com/files/p/TS560x560~forums/51871958/b0b2888792434cea86bc5d5a7b64b429

 

What are people's thoughts on whether this is possible and how I'd go about doing it?

 

Cheers,

 

Andy

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Hi All,

 

I'm looking at doing a modification of my Meikon housing but rather than extending the tube I'm looking at putting an acrylic dome on the housing to replace the flat port. I'll only be using the housing for snorkeling rather than deep diving. Inspiration for this came from the below link, which is based on the older model of the Meikon housing.

 

https://4.img-dpreview.com/files/p/TS560x560~forums/51871958/b0b2888792434cea86bc5d5a7b64b429

 

What are people's thoughts on whether this is possible and how I'd go about doing it?

 

Cheers,

 

Andy

 

Andy when you mention replaceing the flat port with a mini dome you also add a few other problems like placement of the dome to ensure edge sharpness. This is based on the nodal point of the lens and varies from lens to lens. I personally think the ultimate solution is to modify the housing to use interchangeable ports so you can use different lenses, otherwise you are restricted to one lens. This is also the same problem with putting this dome on a housing with a zoom lens as most zoom lenses nodal points move around a lot. Attached are some links for you.

 

Wetpixel: Thoughts on Mini Domes

Creative Illusions Photography: T1017M5 Port for Nexus Housings

Wetpixel: Barry Guimbellot designs DIY small dome port for CFWA

Bill

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If you're planning on doing it yourself, these links will probably help:

 

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=34878

http://wetpixel.com/articles/diy-small-dome-port-for-cfwa

 

You can buy the dome from Meikon to save some money.

 

 

 

Andy when you mention replaceing the flat port with a mini dome you also add a few other problems like placement of the dome to ensure edge sharpness. This is based on the nodal point of the lens and varies from lens to lens. I personally think the ultimate solution is to modify the housing to use interchangeable ports so you can use different lenses, otherwise you are restricted to one lens. This is also the same problem with putting this dome on a housing with a zoom lens as most zoom lenses nodal points move around a lot. Attached are some links for you.

 

Wetpixel: Thoughts on Mini Domes

Creative Illusions Photography: T1017M5 Port for Nexus Housings

Wetpixel: Barry Guimbellot designs DIY small dome port for CFWA

Bill

 

 

Thanks guys,

 

The Meikon dome is actually not that cheap compared to the housing, at about $200AUD it's roughly the same price as the housing itself. I had thought I might be able to make something similar to the photo I linked using an acrylic dome, which will be much cheaper.

 

In an ideal world I certainly would like to modify the meikon so that it could use interchangeable ports but this seems like it might be adding a complication to an already complicated project. At the moment I've purchased a used Nex-5 with 16mm lens to get into underwater photography so I've only got the one lens. Although it would be nice to make it future proof with interchangeable ports, if I could just swap out the flat port for a permanent dome I'd be pretty happy.

 

Although it doesn't look like it is exactly what the original person did, I think I should be able to buy an acrylic dome with a flange and then bond it to a flat piece of acrylic to form the back of the dome. My issue is then thinking about how I'd attach the dome to the housing. I'd have to cut a hole in the flat back piece and then attach that piece to the port of the housing but it's that attachment that I've really got no idea on. Getting to seal properly seems like it would be difficult.

 

If it is all too hard I might just buy the Meikon dome and use it as a wet lens, although I understand this isn't as good as having a proper dome port. Particularly for over/under shots.

 

I should also add that I'm largely piecing all of this together from various forums and websites, none of which are precisely on point. I'm pretty confident I could follow some decent instructions but at the moment I'm largely making it up as I go along, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Cheers,

Andy

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Where else are you getting information from? We might enjoy reading that also. Where would you get the raw dome material to make this item?

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I'm not saying the Meikon domes are of outstanding quality and indeed there is only one size - but the optical part of the dome is available from meikon.hk for $75, I'm going to use one to try and DIY a dome port some time next year. I also need to do more research in to waterproof sealing.

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The example I linked used a cheap acrylic dome so I thought I'd go down that path first. Aliexpress has a number of options that are all pretty cheap.

 

I fully concede that optical image quality won't be of the highest quality, but I'd rather start cheap and see if I can do it first before spending a large amount of money on it. The Meikon domes are glass I believe, which I expect is going to be hard to seal than an acrylic dome would be.

 

In terms of what I've been reading, surfphotographersunited.com has a forum with a long thread discussing DIY surf housings. Although none of it is directly on point, there is some useful guidance regarding bonding materials etc. There are also a lot of videos online for making DIY GoPro domes, which is effectively the same process.

 

Does anyone know exactly what the Meikon housing is made out of? I wonder if you could copy one of the GoPro examples but bond the back plate to the plastic component of the front port on the Meikon, remove the glass port and simply reattach the port. You could then attach the dome to the back plate. Something like this

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So my Meikon housing arrived today and I've been slowly but surely planning my modification.

 

A 5 inch dome looks to be about the right size without being oversized: http://bit.ly/2cAbWTp

 

I can buy a pre-cut circle of clear acrylic that is 150mm, which will be 3mm wider than the total width of the dome + flange: http://bit.ly/2diShrK

 

I will join the dome and backing plate as done in the above video to see how that goes.

 

The main decision for me right now is how to attach the dome to the housing. In my mind I have a two options.

 

1 - I can drill holes in the back plate that correspond to the holes in the front of the meikon housing and then attach the backplate in the same fashion as I attach the dome to the back plate, i.e. screw them together with a makeshift rubber gasket between the housing and back plate. This will require me to try and find screws that are the same thread size but slightly longer to replace the screws in the meikon (assuming that I can't use the existing screws given the additional width of the back plate).

 

2 - I can seal the back plate directly to the meikon using some 3M double sided VHB tape which is purportedly waterproof.

 

Option 2 is obviously easier and therefore has less ways for me to stuff up but is also more permanent. If the optics of my dome don't work or I just get sick of it, It's stuck there and I could possibly ruin a perfectly good housing. Option 1 is flexible in that I can remove the dome and return the meikon to its original condition, but there is way more margin for error.

 

Once I decide on a way to attach the dome I have another question to deal with. If I keep the meikon housing as is and just attach the back plate as is, then my camera will be looking through three additional 'lenses', the glass port of the meikon, the acrylic back plate and then the acrylic dome. So again, I have a few options:

 

1 - keep everything as is

2 - keep the meikon glass port in place but drill a hole in the back plate to remove that 'lens'

3 - remove the glass and drill a hole in the back plate so the lens only has to look through the dome

 

The advantage of 1 is that everything is a discrete system. The meikon housing will remain waterproof as it was originally, which protects the camera, and the dome won't be able to fill with water either. With this option, if the seal between dome and back plate fails the dome gets water in it and if the seal between meikon and back plate fails the area between back plate and housing gets water in it.

 

Option 2 still keeps the meikon housing as is, so ought to protect the camera, but removes one piece of acrylic. It means that if either of my seals fails the dome gets water in it but I think this is better than option 1 as any water in the system will make photograph quality poor so I may as well have a system where any water ends up in the dome, rather than the space between back plate and housing, as I get the benefit slightly better optical quality by removing one piece of acrylic in front of the lens.

 

Option 3 gives the best optical quality but if either of my seals fail then the camera is done for.

 

The question about which of these options to go for also lends support to going for option 1 regarding attaching back plate to housing because if I attach it that way and everything is water tight then I can take it apart again and remove the meikon glass port.

 

Sorry for the long post, this is partly just me setting out my thinking process. Any tips/advice/thoughts/comments on any of the above would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

 

Andy

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Hi all,

 

I've been struggling with the limitations of my kitlens in the Meikon housing for my Alpha 6000. Mostly the lack of depth of selective DOF, and lack of light in certain locations (deeper waters, small caves/tunnels etc). I work exclusively with natural light with my underwater model photography. I've tried the Sigma 19mm 2.8 and was unsatisfied with it's performance (Besides that it's just 1/2 a stop of better than the kit lens), mostly due to lack of micro contrast.

 

Now, I've noticed the Meikon lens 'port' has a set of screws on the front that, I presume, seal the glass and the rubber ring/flap inside against the housing making it watertight.

I'm considering removing the screws and extending the port artificially by an other 2cm, meaning I could fit more interesting lenses (perhaps even the 24mm 1.8 from Zeiss, although that might be a bit tight).

 

What do people think about this plan? I'm hesitant to unscrew and "just see" what's below as I depend on the housing to do sessions with clients.

Very interesting thread, thanks for posting. As I'm not really ready to modify my a6000 meikon housing yet I was looking into getting the Sigma 19 given the shortcomings of the kit lens. I have the 30 and I'm very pleased with its performance (on land, haven't used it underwater yet). It's therefore disappointing to hear that you are dissatisfied with its performance. Would you care to elaborate a bit more - have you used the lens for video as well or only photo? I find the 30 to be significantly sharper, especially on larger apertures, and to deliver much greater detail than the kit lens. But I cannot say that I have given much thought to the difference in micro contrast. I would be very interested in hearing more about your experience because I hardly seen any testimonials on uw use of the 19 mm.

Best, Mattis

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