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waynesworld

HOUSING FOR NIKON D850

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After being out of UW photography for 6 years and I want to put my Nikon D850 in a housing and get back into it. So my question to the brains trust is - what do you think is the best housing for a D850 and why? Just some back ground which may direct the answers a bit - I will don't envisage flying with this equipment because we are on a yacht and will be sailing to destinations so the size and weight of the housing etc is not some much of an issue. Like most people I will probably concentrate on macro and wide angle. I already have a Nikon 60mm macro lens and Nikon 16mm Fisheye lens. A good friend in Australia who uses Canon equipment suggest the Nauticam housings. He has 3 Nauticam housings with the oldest from 2006 and he said they have not failed him. 

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Nauticam is excellent and a great choice.  I've had their D800 and D850 housings and they are fantastic.  You'll want to get a Nikon 105vr lens as your primary macro lens.  The 60mm is nice for intermediate range but the 105 can't be beat for small stuff.

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Hi,

its a question that gets asked a lot, it can be broken down into many areas like budget, what fits you or what I should say is your hands.

All housings do the job & fit all budgets most manufacturers make most of the housings for the main Nikon/ Canon models.

Budgets as you already know its not just the housing, its view finders/ ports/ strobes/strobe arms/zoom gears/bags to carry

all your gear.

You will get many different answers all I would say is try out as many housings as you can before you make your mind up.

Andy. 

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Yeah I agree with Andy. Once you get to the higher end housings, Subal, Nauticam, Aquatica - they're all "good".

Best depends on your own personal preference. If at all possible get your hands on different ones and see how you like the feel. When you put a D850 inside, can you "feel" the controls? Can you "feel" the clicks of, say, the aperture control? Do you like the viewfinder, the positioning of the buttons?

Any of these will do wide-angle and macro as well as they can be done.

 

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TimG,

Thanks (again) for the input. Being COVID stuck in the southern Caribbean I don't know when or how I will get my hands on a range of housing for the D850. I will probably go by recommendations and then learn to deal with anything that feels odd. 

 

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Moved to Gear & Equipment.

all good advice so far, it's hard to go wrong with a Nauticam housing.  I would recommend getting the vacuum valve to go with the housing.  The housing includes the electronics and the valve to pull the vacuum is an accessory.

Being located remotely you probably want to pick up the ports with the housing.  Port recommendations are in the port chart here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-0TOuO0r7KM6KGxwbO7d_wQBFNRtnjAO/view

On your macro lens you can use both the 105 and 60mm lenses if you get the Macro Port 60 plus 30mm extension.  There are many other options now for water contact optics including the MWL-1 which with the 60mm macro allows macro and wide angle on the same dive and the various WACP ports each of which has it's own port chart.    https://www.nauticam.com/pages/port-charts

 

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Totally agree on the vacuum valve. They are no-brainers. Have a look at the Vivid Sentinel.

Check out too a 45-degree viewfinder. That and the Vivid are the  two best housing add-ons I have bought.

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1 hour ago, TimG said:

Totally agree on the vacuum valve. They are no-brainers. Have a look at the Vivid Sentinel.

Check out too a 45-degree viewfinder. That and the Vivid are the  two best housing add-ons I have bought.

The Nauticam already has electronics installed so only needs a valve the Nauticam valve comes with the pump and installation tool. 

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I think this is very hard to answer unless you provide some idea of budget too...

The 16mm is OK, and a good lens, but is pretty old and has always suffered from issues with close focus. The Sigma 15mm (or top end, the Nikon 8-15mm)  is probably a better choice-although I am aware you have the 16mm already.

For any of the fisheyes, you need to factor in the cost of a 170mm (minimum) dome.

Macro ports are fairly generic, but I would suggest getting a 60mm one and an extension that will allow you to use it with both the 60mm and 105mm. As others have stated, the "go-to" choice for macro with the D850 is the 105mm (f/2.8 VR). The 60 is a great lens, but not ideal on full frame. 

Housing reliability is pretty much a given with established housing manufacturers. Things like ergonomics, strobe triggering options and  lens support are much more critical criteria.

Adam

 

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Thanks all for the further comments. The tip on the macro port 30mm extension is a good one. Agree the vacuum valve is a no-brainer.  

Regarding budget - it is more about space taken up by more and more equipment- we permanently live on a sailing yacht and storing additional equipment is always an issue. So I would rather have one wide angle lens and one macro lens and the ports rather than 2 of each plus their ports.  

Thanks again.

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I have used 6 homemade housings, a Seacam and two Nauticam housings over the last 45 years. My next housing will be Nauticam. I use a Vivid Leak Sentinel on my current Nauticam.  (I lived on small sailing yachts for 23 years...) Smaller might be a Nikon Z50 with 16-50 DX, WWL-C for wide rectilinear and FTZ with 8-15 zoom fisheye for fisheye in a Nauticam. A combination I'm considering.

 

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2 hours ago, waynesworld said:

Thanks all for the further comments. The tip on the macro port 30mm extension is a good one. Agree the vacuum valve is a no-brainer.  

Regarding budget - it is more about space taken up by more and more equipment- we permanently live on a sailing yacht and storing additional equipment is always an issue. So I would rather have one wide angle lens and one macro lens and the ports rather than 2 of each plus their ports.  

Thanks again.

In that case: FX (if you're set on that) Nikkor 105mm and Nikkor 8-15mm. You can always add a Kenko 1.4mm TC to the Nikkor 8-15 with a 20mm extension ring. And you're all set!

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I'm a Nauticam fan, but I have no experience with other high-dollar housings.   I started with a Nauticam for my RX100, and when I moved on to a housing for my D810 another Nauticam seemed a no-brainer.   After 4 years with the D810, I've now housed my D850 with another Nauticam.

Good things - all the buttons and controls work, and some of the lever arrangements Nauticam uses are quite ingenious and work well underwater.   Definitely get a vacuum leak detector - mine saved me once already when I forgot to clamp the lens port properly.

I also use a 180 degree finder (never tried the housing without it - moved it from D810 to D850).   It helps me to see the edges of the viewfinder, plus when I press my mask against it, the rig gets more stable.

I have used three lenses.  The choices are rather thin.   I have used the 60 micro and the 105 micro, plus the 16-35 for wide angle.

lens comments:

-The 60 is too short.   I used it for two dives and went back to the 105vr.

-The 105 is just a bit too short.  I would prefer 150mm.  I even tried the 1.4TC (with extra 20mm extension), and while the focal length was good, the AF slowed up and I saw a bit of image degradation.  However, the 105vr is an excellent, excellent macro lens for diving.

-The 16-35.  Hmm.  I'm really just getting started learning how to use such a wide lens underwater, and I want to shoot with it more.  I use a 230mm dome port, which is just enormous and I chose it because it was supposed to give better corners.  It never was good - until I added the Sea and Sea Internal Distortion Lens.  I'm happy with the performance now, should you go this route.   I'm not much of a fan of fisheyes.

Balance - I have a pair of strobes (YS-D1) on the end of 5 inch and 8 inch arm segments.  I put a pair of Stix foam floats on the 8 inch arm segment and haven't changed since I got the D810 rig.   It works pretty well for the macro setup.   The 16-35 tends to want to torgue upward a bit.   Both have slightly negative bouancy.  Besides the strobes, I use a focus light attached to the top of the housing.

The whole thing weighs around 30 pounds out of the water - more with the dome port.

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