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Finally decided it was time to get my Nikon D7000 into a housing and underwater.


Currently have:

Nikon D7000 camera body

Nikon 18-55 lens

Nikon 55-200 lens (pretty sure this will never get underwater, too big)

Tokina 10-17mm Fisheye lens

Aquatica D7000 housing



6" to 8" acrylic ports

Zoom gears

Nikon 60mm lens

Sea & Sea YS-D2 strobe

Light & Motion 2500 S/F video light

Still looking at light arms & strobe connections.


I plan on doing quite a bit of deep diving between 150-300' with the camera and I spend a lot of time in dark cold freshwater lakes and would like to get some great shots of wrecks primarily. Also, plan on using the setup in warm clear saltwater whenever I can get out to other parts of the world to get some good shots of wrecks and some sea life of all sizes.


How am I doing so far with equipment assembly based on what I would like to do? I'm open to suggestions at this point.


Thanks in advance,

Capt Chad

Edited by CaptChad

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You will need an aluminium housing such as a Nauticam rated to 100m. There a few second hand on the classifieds here. If buying new upgrade your camera to say Nikon D500 as the housings are expensive no matter the age of the camera. Get the vacuum valve for the housing for more peace of mind. Also the camera is more rugged and will stand up to minor floods better. At those depths going to need twin strobes and strong focus or video lights.

Sorry did not see you already had the Aquatica housing. Still an upgrade to a vacuum valve is essential.

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Your Aquatica housing for the Nikon D7000 camera has a depth rating of 90m/300ft and it can be upgraded to 130m/425 ft. Finding exact reliable depth ratings for each of the dome ports is a bit more difficult. According to Aquatica, they test all their dome ports, macro ports and extensions inhouse to a depth equivalent of 90m/300ft. However, I have seen third party web quotes of using Aquatica housings even upto 700 feet. I personally have been shooting with the 8" acrylic dome at 80m/260ft depths and some of my friends have been shooting with Aquatica housings and domes beyond 100m/330 ft depths. However, you will need the stiffer spring update for deep shots. And I would hesitate taking a 9.25 glass megadome to these depths...

For comparison, the Nauticam optical glass dome ports are rated to either 40m/130ft or 60m/200ft. Other Nauticam acrylic ports are rated from 45m/150ft to 100m/330ft including some special versions. And there has been a test dive to 500ft with the 4.33" dome.

The Sea&Sea YS-D2 has a depth rating of 100m/330ft.

For deep diving I would pay attention to clean setup of the equipment, e.g. no dangling cords etc. Make sure you can fold the arms and clip the camera away. I definitely would take the neoprene dome cover with me. For gas changes you can temporarily donate the camera to your buddy unless you have video light cords running to batteries on your belt. However, if the need arises, you have to be capable of ascending solo and managing gas switches on your own. That's why clipping the camera away would be a good choice.

I also would prepare the camera whilst descending, e.g. perform WB adjustments and prefocusing a bit shallower but in darkness. If you plan to shoot wide angle video shots of wrecks in darkness, you will need a lot of video light. I have been using 2x80W LED video lights on camera arms and/or larger lights off camera. E.g. the video below was shot with only two 300W lights off camera. Getting your light assistants to illuminate the wreck suitably is another story...

Edited by r4e
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If you plan shooting near the maximum depth ratings (of domes), using a vacuum valve system has its benefits and drawbacks.


A vacuum valve will improve O ring sealing on the surface and very shallow waters (less than deco depths). It also will help you to avoid some common user mistakes and might provide some "peace of mind".


However, for maximum depths, the partial vacuum (0.2-0.5 bars) will increase the pressure differential and consequently decrease the nominal maximum depth by as much. In other words, the dome might implode 6-15 feet shallower than it otherwise would. Secondly, the valve is yet another protrusion on your housing and thus slightly increases risk of line entanglement etc. Additionally, the valve itself is an additional leak point. If you do not close the valve fully, it might be airtight at the surface, but still leak at maximum depths. Finally, should your vacuum circuit alarm whilst at bottom, apart from turning the housing to face downwards, there is not much what you can do until returning to surface. With one or multiple hour deco obligations you can only listen to the continuous alarm and watch as the dome fills with water. Sending the camera with a SMB to surface has its own risks, multiple risks.

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Thanks for the tips, all solid things that I had wondered about. I plan on using acrylic ports as of now due to cost and ability to buff out the scratches down the road.


What camera did you use to shoot the video, the D7000?

Edited by CaptChad

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I am leaving for a two to three week UW photography trip to Asia on May 4th, but am just getting started and have never done UW photography before..


I already had the Olympus E-M1 Mark II camera, plus computer equipment and Adobe CC with Lightroom and Photoshop.


I literally bought my first UW photography gear from ebay today:


Nauticam Compact Macro Convertor (CMC-1) $212.50

Nauticam Wet Wide Lens (WWL-1) $531.00

Nauticam Port 29 w/ Lumix PZ 14-42mm Lens & Focus Gear $338.33


The plan is to purchase:

Nauticam housing for E-M1 Mark II with vacuum valve protection

Panasonic 8mm f3.5 ( seems like a cost effective wide angle for a starter system -- compared to the 8mm PRO,)

Nauticam 4.33 inch port for Panasonic 8mm with PF-8 focus gear (With such a small port, am I giving up the ability to do over/under split shots?)

Olympus 60mm

Nauticam N85 port 65 with 0-60F focus gear



2 Sea and Sea YS-D2 strobes

diffusers for YS-D2s

Fiber Optic cables or sync cords

Nauticam Flexitray II with left and right handles.

Focus Light




Carrying handle

67mm adapter for CMC-1 and WWL-1?


Not sure:

Covers for the strobes and ports so they don't get scratched?

Bag to carry underwater for CMC-1, WWL-1, port covers and other miscellaneous items? How do you carry all your stuff?

Lanyards (to connect camera to some part of the body or BC)?




I plan to purchase either used or from my local dealer (Optical Ocean Sales in Seattle) in spite of the extra 10% state sales tax.


The strobe connectors are a little mysterious to me. Is there a housing/strobe combination which allows TTL with the Olympus E-M1 Mark II (camera does not have an internal flash)? If I stick with the Nauticam housing and YS-D2 strobes what are the best strobe connectors -- fiber optic cables or sync cords?


The accessories are still unknown and complicated to me. What is a good, high-quality arm, clamp setup for the Nauticam housing and YS-D2 strobes? Do I need floatation arms and if so, what size do you recommend for the setup above? Knowing nothing, I am thinking of a combination of Nauticam carbon fiber float arms and extra Stix floats, although I have no idea what sizes to get,


What else do I need? Please tell me everything I need -- I don't want to get to Asia and not have something or discover that I bought gear that won't work well.


Do I need a small backup camera if I am travelling on a remote liveaboard in Asia -- I a;ready have a small, cheap Olympus SH-3 point-and-shoot and there is a Recsea housing for it, albeit on the expensive side.


I am surprised there are as many UW photographers as there are because it is all very complicated and expensive. The only reason I have gotten this far is from reading Alex Mustard's excellent book "Masterclassroom," which is what inspired me to take up this hobby. It is the best instructional book of any kind that I have ever read.


In general, I want a good starter system with high-quality components.




[Note: Sorry about hijacking this thread, but this is my first post here and the system won't let me start my own topic.]



Edited by bobk3333

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