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dreifish

Nauticam's Recent Price Hikes...

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Have they gone too far?

Just looking at the Canon R5 housing for instance: https://www.backscatter.com/group/Canon-EOS-R5-Underwater-housing

Nauticam is $5159, even more expensive than Seacam at $5100. The delta between them and Isotta, Sea & Sea and Aquatica is pretty big, with the latter three all providing aluminium housings at around the $3100 price point.

I'm pretty heavily invested in the Nauticam system at this point, but I'm not sure I can justify paying a 65% premium over other aluminium housings. For all the convenience features, Nauticam also doesn't have the best coatings IMO and the intricate control layout does lead to things jamming or breaking.

Certainly, a year ago I wouldn't have even considered Aquatica or Isotta as alternatives for a new housing purchase. Now... they definitely look a lot more attractive.

Thoughts?

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4 hours ago, dreifish said:

Have they gone too far?

Just looking at the Canon R5 housing for instance: https://www.backscatter.com/group/Canon-EOS-R5-Underwater-housing

Nauticam is $5159, even more expensive than Seacam at $5100. The delta between them and Isotta, Sea & Sea and Aquatica is pretty big, with the latter three all providing aluminium housings at around the $3100 price point.

I'm pretty heavily invested in the Nauticam system at this point, but I'm not sure I can justify paying a 65% premium over other aluminium housings. For all the convenience features, Nauticam also doesn't have the best coatings IMO and the intricate control layout does lead to things jamming or breaking.

Certainly, a year ago I wouldn't have even considered Aquatica or Isotta as alternatives for a new housing purchase. Now... they definitely look a lot more attractive.

Thoughts?

People seem to be moving in this direction.  You can use Nauticam ports on Isotta (120mm ports only) by changing out the lug ring.  Zoom rings are not interchangable and also the viewfinders can't be swapped. You could also look at Marelux though they have larger port diameters than others.

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My buddy has a very nice GH5 Aquatica housing but... to use the 7-14 he has a 9" dome. Unbearable.

If I can find a way to mount my WWL-1B with the 14-42 on an Aquatica port, I'll make the switch right away.

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I had this exact same issue.  I was set to buy the R5 Nauticam housing in early Jan and then the price hike made me look elsewhere.  I was looking seriously at Aquatica, somewhat interested in Sea and Sea but ended up going Marelux.  I am not invested in Nauticam Domes' but Marelux does make an adapter for their housings to the Nauticam port system (the N120 system - I think). I almost went Zen dome with a Nauticam mount to use on the Marelux to keep as much flexibility as possible (i.e. future proof) but didn't in the end. The one place where Nauticam still really has the market is for the Sony universe with the ability to run the WWL allowing wider aperatures for low light shooting. 

It also wasn't just the housing cost that made me not go Nauticam.  Their optical flash trigger (not to mention the TTL one) has just gotten a bit too much, and then the extensions and zoom/focus adapters are all more than the competition. 

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2 hours ago, ColdDarkDiver said:

I had this exact same issue.  I was set to buy the R5 Nauticam housing in early Jan and then the price hike made me look elsewhere.  I was looking seriously at Aquatica, somewhat interested in Sea and Sea but ended up going Marelux.  I am not invested in Nauticam Domes' but Marelux does make an adapter for their housings to the Nauticam port system (the N120 system - I think). I almost went Zen dome with a Nauticam mount to use on the Marelux to keep as much flexibility as possible (i.e. future proof) but didn't in the end. The one place where Nauticam still really has the market is for the Sony universe with the ability to run the WWL allowing wider aperatures for low light shooting. 

It also wasn't just the housing cost that made me not go Nauticam.  Their optical flash trigger (not to mention the TTL one) has just gotten a bit too much, and then the extensions and zoom/focus adapters are all more than the competition. 

The price hike is quite steep. It may be of interest to people in your situation, but recently I had the opportunity to talk frenquently with the folks in Aquatica. They told me they are working on an extension ring to use Nauticam ports/extension rings on Aquatica housings.

It could offer a smoother passage to another brand, and you could keep your port/extensions.

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1 minute ago, OMorissette said:

 They told me they are working on an extension ring to use Nauticam ports/extension rings on Aquatica housings.

Wow 

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Posted (edited)

Isotta and Subal housings for my money, I sold my Nauticam because it is too complicated and difficult to maintain. The Nauticam Board of Directors must have gotten greedy and socked it to us UW shooters.

Isotta housings have the best all around features: simple design, easy to use and reasonable price with a built-in flash trigger, use the Sea&Sea port mount with adapters for other makes of ports;  plus excellent factory service.  Subal housings are simple, time-tested design, easy to maintain and highly reliable. Sea&Sea is also a good choice.  

  

Edited by Kraken de Mabini

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2 hours ago, OMorissette said:

The price hike is quite steep. It may be of interest to people in your situation, but recently I had the opportunity to talk frenquently with the folks in Aquatica. They told me they are working on an extension ring to use Nauticam ports/extension rings on Aquatica housings.

It could offer a smoother passage to another brand, and you could keep your port/extensions.

Hmm i was just about to ask that...as perhaps time to move on but would still want to keep the ports for now :)
Would you have any idea whether that will be an adapter for N85 or N120 ones ?

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Just to recap a few items listed above, all of these housing manufactures make excellent products many of which I have reviewed and some which I have owned. 

I regard to Marelux, they are the new kid on the block and are the unknown. First I have noticed some questions regarding base pricin which is simple, black is the entry level offering and the other five colors offered add $200.00US to the price. Second they offer a Nauticam to Marelux 20 extension that allows Nauticam N120 (only) ports to be mounted, so the N100 90mm macro port and the N100 45 port forSony FE 28-60 with WWL-1 can not be mounted. Marelux does however have a Sony FE 90mm macro port and a macro port 32 and zoom gear for the Sony FE 28-60 and WWL-1. Canon and Nikon R & Z 100/105 macros also have dedicated Marelux ports.

With the Nauticam to Marelux extension 20 you should also be able to direct mount the Nauticam WACP to these Marelux housings which have a lens supporting WACP in the system.  

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Guys though, the thread should not become a Nauticam bashing.
I don't think it's become the most used brand of underwater housing in the world because of a deal with the devil.
Everyone has their own preferences but there is no doubt that it is currently unrivaled in optical solutions.

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I agree with Davide, Nauticam has put tons of research and development into water contact optics at great expense to the company. I would not be considering any housing that does not allow you to take full advantage of these outstanding optical solutions. 

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28 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

I agree with Davide, Nauticam has put tons of research and development into water contact optics at great expense to the company. I would not be considering any housing that does not allow you to take full advantage of these outstanding optical solutions. 

I think its more about the extrem priece hikes in the last months. And I also don't like that they made their latest WWL-1B almost proprietary. Why not try to sell the good optics to everyone and not try to vendor-lock me into their system? 

But they can charge whatever they want, I at least I can choose from other vendors ... 

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I don't think it is Nauticam's responsibility to design equipment that will work with other folks products as much as it is other manufactures responsibility to recognize outstanding optics and make them work with their housings. Case in point Marelux has already recognized how popular the WWL-1 and WACP have become among Sony camera users and others. They already offer a port and gear that work with the Sony FE 28-60 zoom and WWL-1 they also have a Nauticam (N120) to Marelux extension 20 which should work with WACP. Some manufactures don't even allow you to use something as simple as another manufactures flip adapter on their 67mm flat macro ports. 

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Simple bayonet mount so I think not. 

 

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4 hours ago, Davide DB said:

Guys though, the thread should not become a Nauticam bashing.
I don't think it's become the most used brand of underwater housing in the world because of a deal with the devil.
Everyone has their own preferences but there is no doubt that it is currently unrivaled in optical solutions.

Mostly just frustration on my part that I suddenly need to increase my budget by 25% or more if I still want to do a full frame update than bashing Nauticam specifically. Like any manufacturer, they can ask for whatever price they want, and I'm sure they're taking a gamble of sorts here to see if the features of their housings are sufficiently differentiated to support such a price premium.

Given the replies on this post though, they may have tried to push the price premium a bit too far. It's certainly caused a number new purchasers and even existing owners to at least consider alternatives.

As said, I've spent a lot of money in the nauticam ecosystem on housings, gears, ports and optics in the last decade. Truth is, if the Nauticam offering was 10% or even 15% more expensive than the competition, I probably wouldn't even bat an eye. I mean, they've always been slightly more expensive than some other aluminium housing manufacturers, but the delta was small enough to overlook or justify based on better ergonomics, being first to market, etc. 

Charging 65% more than your competitors though -- you'd better have a pretty damn compelling value proposition. The underwater housing market is obviously tiny, and people willing to spend this kind of money on discretionary hobby items are no doubt richer than most. But still -- I don't think the market is entirely price incensitive. If other manufacturers maintain their current price points, and develop solutions for using Nauticam ports/gears/optics with their systems, I don't see how this doesn't lead to Nauticam losing significant market share. But who knows. Maybe I'm just bitter :)

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Posted (edited)

I was initially deterred by the Nauticam pricing and bought a cheaper competitive housing and strobes (I won’t mention the brand but it is reputable). In less than a year I had a housing flood, 3 strobes fail, and TTL never did work right. I switched to Nauticam at great expense and will never buy anything else. The Nauticam engineering is fantastic and the performance is flawless. I learned the hard way; “you get what you pay for”!

Edited by UWPics

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Posted (edited)

No doubt Nauticam have raised their prices a significant amount, but I'm looking  at getting a Sony A1 housing  shortly as I've been astounded with the camera topside and want to use the 28-60 /WWL-1B combo with it plus the usual macro stuff. 

I've has 2 Nauticams and 2 Subals previously,  and whilst  I've no complaints with the nauticams, I've always preferred the 'feel' of the Subal. 

Subal have  just announced their A1 housing so  I thought great- I'll try and adapt the WWL1 - Subal have priced their A1 housing at £5950 GBP  compared to Nauticams £3416!!

I just  can't see where that massive price hike has come from, especially as the Subal A7iv housing for a similar body is £3965

I'm actually tempted to contact  Subal to see  if they've made  an error  on their site, or I save  the  money  to get a still expensive Nauticam but can afford 2 Red Sea  liveaboards with the change! 

Might even contact Marelux or Isotta to see if they can meet my requirements

Mike

Edited by pooley
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7 hours ago, UWPics said:

I switched to Nauticam at great expense and will never buy anything else. The Nauticam engineering is fantastic and the performance is flawless. I learned the hard way; “you get what you pay for”!

I'm not questioning that, but the question we're all asking here is: given Nauticam's fantastic engineering, what justifies a 30% to 60% price increase? They were fantastic before too :-)

2 weeks ago, at a trade show, I played with the new housing for the GH6. It's pretty much identical to my GH5 only slightly larger but costs over 1000 euro more. To be fair the NA-GH5SV already had this increase but the product is identical.

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On 4/14/2022 at 2:08 PM, makar0n said:

Hmm i was just about to ask that...as perhaps time to move on but would still want to keep the ports for now :)
Would you have any idea whether that will be an adapter for N85 or N120 ones ?

We are looking at all options and will make what engineering allows :)

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Sagadive.com has a Nauticam WACP-1 to Aquatica adapter which I would guess is N120.

Also Marelux has a Nauticam N120 to Marelux adapter20 that allows all N120 ports and extensions along with WACP-1/2 adaptation.

The attached photo is the Marelux MX-A7IV housing with the adapter mounted to the housing and a Nauticam N120 30mm extension with Nauticam 140mm dome port mounted to the adapter. The shade is removed for use with the Canon 8-15mm fisheye at the 8mm end.

IMG_3219.jpg

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It seems that the price increase was caused by the increase in raw materials and the cost of transport worldwide. But I agree that the price rise is very high.

For non-professional amateurs of underwater photography, there are still brands with contained prices such as Isotta or AOI.

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I think that price rises are inevitable after the last couple of years of upheaval in so many areas of business. I’d be amazed if others aren’t adjusting similarly over the coming months. I would be pretty sure that Nauticam aren’t doing this to fill their pockets, but just to keep their business going in these tough times. I’d also expect to see similar increases across our world - travel, resorts, diving equipment etc - after the last couple of years.

Regarding the ports, lenses, accessories etc - it is almost always very easy to adapt these between brands. Although some dealers might overplay how complicated this is - to keep you in their brands. This is generally true whichever way you want to move. 

Here are some photos of various Nauti-stuff working seamlessly on my housings. WACP-1, Nauticam 45 viewfinder and Nauticam vacuum system on my D5 housing. Yes - it really was 15.5kg on my last trip! D5 is going back to Wetpixel live webcam duties after that! 

IMG_0083.jpg

Wet lenses like SMC and CMC are easy to use.

IMG_7400.jpg

WACP without the propriety buoyancy collar - using foam instead on D850.

IMG_6016.jpg

EMWL-1 on D850 with Saga 105mm port,

IMG_1437.jpg

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2 hours ago, Alex_Mustard said:

I think that price rises are inevitable after the last couple of years of upheaval in so many areas of business. I’d be amazed if others aren’t adjusting similarly over the coming months.

Other manufacturers published prices for their upcoming housings already. No one had a steep increase like Nauticam. We will see.

Regarding port and lens adapters I see several different solutions in you photos. Except smc and cmc, are DIY or custom adapters?

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Alex_Mustard said:

Yes - it really was 15.5kg on my last trip! D5 is going back to Wetpixel live webcam duties after that! 

15,5Kg???? OMG!! Every day I like more my OMD EM5-III camera setup.

By the way....Nauticam for OMD EM5-III purchased in:

- Nov 2021> €1.550 VAT Incl.
- May 2022> €2.077 VAT Incl.

Difference: €527 VAT Incl.

If I'm not mistaken.... this is a 34% rise.

Edited by turandot

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