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iainwilliams

Which is the better housing - ikelite or subal - PLEASE HELP

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Hello - In the market for a housing for my Canon G5.

 

Which is the better housing - ikelite or subal?? Anybody using this housing with this camera?

 

It has been mentioned that subal housings condensate in cold water (??) I also have been told that the knobs/switches on the subal are not that good maintenance wise & can fail (??) I find this odd for such an expensive housing.

 

In contrast I've been told that ikleite housings are maintenance free and their knobs/switches are very sturdy and never fail. However, someone did mention that polycarbonare will condensate more than aluminium - this is the opposite to what someone else told me!!

 

Does someone know the FACTS??

 

I need some HELP please. I have to discide within a few days if I am going to have a housing for my upcoming trip..Thanks.....Iain

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I've never owned an aluminum housing, but I currently own 2 Ikelite housings and have owned 2 others in the past. I've never had a problem with an Ikelite housing and their customer service is excellent.

 

The Subal is an excellent housing and probably costs at least twice as much as the Ikelite. I could never justify the cost difference for my use.

 

IMHO, the only reason to buy one of the higher priced housing is for their viewfinders. That option alone will be as much as the Ikelite housing, but if you can't negotiate the smaller viewfinders, you'll have to part with the $$$$$$.

 

It would be best for you to hold each housing and work thru a series of shots and adjustments and see which one grabs you. :D

 

Karl

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I owned an Ike video housing (JVC) and own now an digital rebel housing.

I was and am absolutely happy with the quality of the housing and everything

related to Ikelite.

 

Highest recomendation and no problem with fogging and/or condensating...

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I dive in some pretty cold water and have never seen condensation inside my Subal or LMI Tetra housing. I've owned Ikelite, UK Germany, LMI and now Subal. There's no doubt Ike has the best service around and makes great housings for the money, but you should also look at the ports. Optical glass ports vs plastic ports. Glass ports tend to be less likely to exhibit chromatic aberrations or flare. Not to say plastic ports don't let you capture beautiful images, because they do. However, they tend to lose performance slightly when pushed into extreme subject conditions like shooting into sunbursts.

 

I think both housings are good housings. Ike wins on service and the fact that it's made in USA. Subal wins on toughenss (alum vs plastic) and optical glass ports. You'll get great results from both. Bottom line is you should buy something that you won't second guess after get it.

 

Marty.

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Subal More Expensive

Ikelite Bigger company (easier servicing) if you are in the USA where repairs are done.

Subal uses Strobe Sync cords

Ikelite uses slave technology (uses more camera battery power)

Both are 200ft (subal 210)

Ikelite have 'self timer and continuous button' missing

Ikelite set up to use their strobes

Subal has optional adaptor for any strobe (but you can'tuse internal flash) and you have to buy a tray for the strobe arms

Both about the same size ..

If Ikelite is neutrally bouyant then it is probably balancedby the tray (less even than the subal)

Both take Port adaptors

Subal is renowned for great seals

 

Subal will cost more, and is a better housing, however, do you need that extra quality, do you have a strobe already, do you want to buy one.

I wouldn't say any housing is hard to look after you have to rinse and clean the housing and buttons on all of them, and make sure you clean and grease your o-rings, depending on your use service it once every so often.

 

Giles

 

PS Fogging / Condensation happens because you have moisture in the housing. Normally from humid hot air, when you close housing and put it in a cooler environment it fog's up. This disapperas soonish, Check out this link

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That's a very multicoloured response Giles!

 

One major flaw with the Subal G5 is tht as Giles says it does not have a strobe mounting point on the housing unless you buy a camera tray to screw into the bottom of the housing. So you have to buy both (even more £££s).

 

As a long time subal user I have never has any problems with the controls. Ikelite service is awesome if you live in N America, but I know lots of people in Europe who have had a real nightmare trying to get things fixed on their Ikelites - most probably the result of shipping and customs than anything to do with Ikelite.

 

I have no Subal service experience - as nothing has ever gone wrong with any of my Subals. I have 4 - my D100, which I have had since 2002 is now approaching 20000 UW photos and is still perfecto.

 

Alex

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Alex and Giles - many thanks for your replies.

 

Giles you have made some very valid points which I did not know about. The battery issue is cerationly important and I did not realiser that an ikelite housing with attcahed strobe would use power from the camera battery. This is big plus with the subal – the last thing you want is a flat battery…….

 

I live in Australia so any servicing with Ikelite is problematic. The Subal dealer here is pretty good.

 

I already have an Ion Z220S strobe which will work with subal out of the box so to speak. The ikelite requires a special nikonos plug. I’ve heard from a few forums that these plugs occasionally malfunction leading to repair issues.

 

The difference between a subal and ikleite is around $1000.00 AUD ($800.00USD). Not a large sum, but still a sizeable amount.

 

I am tending to the subal – less opportunities for problems – and I will never be second guessing.

 

Cheers……………Iain

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I think I like that result ...

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Well I just ordered the subal housing. Many thanks for everyone’s comments on this thread – it certainly cleared my head and assisted in my decision……………….Iain

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PS Fogging / Condensation happens because you have moisture in the housing. Normally from humid hot air, when you close housing and put it in a cooler environment it fog's up. This disapperas soonish, Check out this link

 

Ah, that explains why I haven't seen condensation before. Thanks Giles!

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I may be a little late for your decission,but still this may be helpfull for others.

I have a Canon G5 and Ikelite housing, and I am very happy with both. Everything works O.K. and never gives a problem. Never had a condensation problem. I dive in Galapagos and Machalilla, in Ecuador, water between 16C and 24 C, I don´t know in colder waters. Both products highly recomended.

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