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horvendile

Peripherals for soon-to-be acquired system

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Hi all! Things didn't turn out as I thought - here I spent a year on-and-off investigating what gear to aim for, and in the end I jumped on a local ad not containing what I thought I wanted to get. (Though good price and trusted seller.)

So, shortly I will be the proud owner of the following, all used.

  • Sea&Sea housing for Nikon Z6/Z7
  • Sea&Sea TTL trigger
  • 40 mm extension
  • Zen 230 mm glass dome, sans shade
  • 2 x YS-D1 strobes with fibre cables
  • 2 x 16"(!) arms

I'm certain I will have many questions, but right now there are two of them.

  1. There is currently no vacuum system installed. The seller doesn't think they're necessary. Well, I may not be as courageous as he is. The Sea&Sea vacuum system is somewhay pricey though. A diving friend of mine recommends the Vivid housings Leak Sentinel:
    https://www.vividhousings.com/leak-sentinel.php
    He does so from own experience, which is valuable. Still: does the forum have an informed view on that product?
  2. Arms. I didn't even know there are 16" arms. That's long. What would you use for general purpose? I assume I will want two arms for each strobe, so I will have to buy some arms anyway. I was guessing maybe 2 x 9" on each side would be reasonable, but I don't have the experience to be certain. If possible I would like to use the same arm setup for wide-angle as for macro (when I get macro gear).
Edited by horvendile

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The sentinel is well regarded here.  I do not have one myself but from what I have read you cant go wrong with the latest V5.  16" arms are huge.  I think you would get more flexibility with two arms on each side.  I personally use a 5" + 8" on each side.

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Defo the vacuum system. I really think it is the best addon I ever bought although my 45 degree VF runs it close. I bought a Vivid Leak Sentinel very soon after it was launched and cannot praise it enough. Nor the service that Miso gives from Slovenia which is exemplary. Don't let the location or possible language difficulties put you off.  Postal service is quick and Miso,s English is top notch

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3 minutes ago, aviator8 said:

The sentinel is well regarded here.  I do not have one myself but from what I have read you cant go wrong with the latest V5. 

Are you sure about V5? The homepage says V4.

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I agree with JimG: the Vivid Sentinel is a no-brainer and, other than a 45-degree viewfinder, is probably the best purchase I've made. It helps you sleep better at night - as well as a big step in helping make sure that your housing is sealed properly before the dive. Maybe those two things are linked?

The Sentinel is excellent and the company provides very good after sales support. I've been using them for 7-8 years and have gone through the various iterations from v2-v5. I can recommend them without hesitation.

On arms, yeah 2x 16"! Hoooo-weee! I would suggest 1x8" and 1x5" for each side. This gives very good macro capability and is just about wide-enough for WA - well certainly the WA I like anyway.

 

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They do have a V5 out now. Email Miso and ask him about it.  I think he may have just been beta testing it, but some members here have gotten it an like it.  Do a search here and you can see what the new features are.

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9 minutes ago, horvendile said:

Are you sure about V5? The homepage says V4.

Yep, there is a V5 - in fact there are two versions of it. I've got the one where the electronics are inside the housing; but there is also a version where the whole assembly is outside the housing. 

As aviator8 suggests, drop an email to Miso at Vivid and he will send you details. 

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Mine is a V4. Great but the V5 sounds even better

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I would save your money and add a 6" arm for each side. As for the concern for leaks, knowing you have a leak cannot compare with knowing there is a problem BEFORE entering the water. See for yourself. Have one of your buddies create a small vacuum. I guarantee you will not be able to separate the two pieces of the housing. https://www.backscatter.com/reviews/post/The-Backscatter-AirLock-Vacuum-System-for-Underwater-Camera-Housings This site also has an excellent demo video that is convincing. I have an uber expensive Gates set up with pro video. I paid $1,249 for my system. Bargain for results!

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Well the Leak Sentinel questions seems unanimously resolved. I'll send an e-mail.

I'll think a bit about the arms. But right now, go to bed. Thanks all.

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1 hour ago, JimG said:

Mine is a V4. Great but the V5 sounds even better

Jim, I had the V4 but talked myself into needing to switch to the V5.

It is very neat, smaller and more compact than the V4. The LED is a bit easier to see than on the V3 and V4 versions. Having the electronics inside the housing males the battery very easy to change and lowers the height of the valve outside the housing, There is a bit of a job deciding the best placing for the electronics inside the housing which you then secure with double-sided tape. 

The electronics work exactly the same as the V4.

The only slight negative is that it has a slightly more fragile feel than the chunky, solid V4 and I find I'm a little more careful say screwing the valve cover back in place. But all in all, a terrific piece of kit.

 

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13 hours ago, horvendile said:

Are you sure about V5? The homepage says V4.

Yes, you can see the difference in the following posts:

 

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Taking a look through that thread the V5 looks nice, yes. Choice in the end may depend on price. And I think I would go for the external version, not being sure I can find a good way to fit the internal version in the housing. This should of course get clearer when I get the housing.

I sent them an e-mail yesterday, now waiting for reply.

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1 hour ago, horvendile said:

Taking a look through that thread the V5 looks nice, yes. Choice in the end may depend on price. And I think I would go for the external version, not being sure I can find a good way to fit the internal version in the housing. This should of course get clearer when I get the housing.

I sent them an e-mail yesterday, now waiting for reply.

If I remember correctly, the external and internal version are about the same price.

It's a very small piece of electronics that has to fit inside the housing if you go for that version. About 1cm in diameter and a few mms high. Then there's a fine cable that needs to run from the electronics to the back of the valve. I found that the trickiest bit - just identifying a good cable run. But once you have worked that out it doesn't need moving and you can fasten it down with, say, duct tape.

After placing the electronics I found I had to move it slightly as it was sometimes caught by the camera tray. But, again, fairly easy to do with just a fresh piece of double-sided tape.

It sure isn't rocket science :P

 

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Hi Horvendile

the Leak Sentinnel is a must!

it is easy to install. You can check this YouTube video  

But when doing it yourself, install without the dome port to avoid any accident with it (on the vídeo the guy let a screw to fall inside the dome, could result in an unwanted mark in the interior of the dome). 
Before installing, watch the housing with the camera inside to look for the best spot for the battery holder.
Pay attention to place it in an easy spot for the battery replacement and where it does not mess with any control of the housing. 
Try to put the battery on the lateral wall of the housing, to avoid a short (damaging the electronics) in the event of a small leak      (not probable with a vacuum system, but....).
Do not forget how you are going to organize the cable inside. 
Remove the camera and proceed with the installation (without the dome/port)
After installing, place the camera inside and recheck if anything is messing with any control. 
Grant that the cable is outside of the way of the back lid. 
Close the housing and test the system to check if everything is well. 
Leave the system in test for a evening to grant that there is not small leak of air. 
If everything ok, open the housing and secure the cables properly in place (to avoid them to move inside and get stuck in  front of any control during the dives. 
You are good to go!

Another thing I suggest you is to take out the adaptor of the front of the pump to connect and disconnect from the valve. It is much easier to work like that than how it is being done on the video. 
On the video you can check also that the vacuum get the lid pretty in place. It is not possible to open the lid without releasing the valve (14:45 on the video).   

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Back to the arms:

I already have two 7" arms I could use. I will get two 16" arms with the housing. My plan is to get two 11" arms. That way I can use 16+11 or 11+7 depending on mood and type of photography. Sounds cool?

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Only thought I'd offer is that even 11+7 will be tricky for macro. You're bound to find a time when even tucking them in completely is going to result in sticky-up arms which are smacking the coral.

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12 minutes ago, TimG said:

Only thought I'd offer is that even 11+7 will be tricky for macro. You're bound to find a time when even tucking them in completely is going to result in sticky-up arms which are smacking the coral.

I got similar feedback from my arm dealer. He suggests 9+7 instead. Sounds better, or not much difference? 

I suppose 16+9 would still be a possibility for the occasions when I know I'll want to have large separation between strobes and housing.

Edited by horvendile

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1 hour ago, horvendile said:

I got similar feedback from my arm dealer. He suggests 9+7 instead. Sounds better, or not much difference? 

I suppose 16+9 would still be a possibility for the occasions when I know I'll want to have large separation between strobes and housing.

Yeah, so he's suggesting 9 (purchase) + 7 (your own)  for macro = 16. 

And then you would have 16 (your own) + 9 (purchase) = 25 for WA. 

Yeah, ok.

For macro I really like 8 + 5 = 13.  So I think  if I was buying, I'd buy 2x 8" so you'd then have:

8 (purchase) + 7 (your own) = 15 for macro.  And 16 (your own) + 8 (purchase) = 24 for WA

I do think you will find it helpful to have 15 instead of 16 for macro.  And for WA 25 over 24 makes no difference.

Confusing stuff this.... :rolleyes: I'm now going to lie down with a cold towel around my head.

 

 

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Hi Horvendile

It seams to me that you are looking to arms too big. Too big arms will produce more vibration to the camera, will be much more drag on the water, will be cucumbersome for WA close focus, and your strobes are not so strong for such a distance.

On the past I made myself 2 arms with 40cm (more or less 16 inch). I had to cut them in half as it brought me the "problems" I reported on the previous paragraph. 

I have 4x8 and 4x5. the firsts I use for WA, the laters for macro. for 2 strobes (Inon Z240)

Specially for macro you need small arms. sometimes you need to place the housing in quite narrow spaces, and the bigger the arms the more difficult.

Cheers

 

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