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CeeDave

My shorter, cheaper, and as yet incomplete upgrade story

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CP 5000, I knew you well.

 

B&H has a good price for a D70 with 18-70 DX -- I paid US$1,180 with $200 rebate -- yup, under a grand for the kit after rebate. The US$380 60mmm f/2.8 also has a $35 rebate now, and their price on the 10.5mm DX FE is a fairly low US$580. D70 with 3 lenses, 2 suited to UW and one for surface snaps ... under two grand, post-rebate, including shipping.

 

I am now shopping housings. Extra bucks for the Aquatica with its 8 inch dome? Or back to Ike?

 

Goodbye, shutter lag.

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As I see it you have three lenses there suited to UW use. I seem to recall Starbuck has posted some shots taken with the 18-70 Dx that seemed quite acceptable.

 

Lets see if I can find them...

 

Yep, here we go... Cozumel, Galapagos, Socorro

 

Hope Starbuck doesn't mind me linking his galleries.

 

Congrats on the upgrade, I'm sure you'll love it.

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As I see it you have three lenses there suited to UW use. I seem to recall Starbuck has posted some shots taken with the 18-70 Dx that seemed quite acceptable.

 

Some very nice shots. Starbuck, are these with a different dome than the 10.5FE (that is, the 5503.55 rather than the .15, for the 10.5)? Do you travel with two domes? That is my hesitation with housing the 18-70 with Ikelite (along with the smaller dome diameter). I guess if I pony up the extra $$ for Aquatica the 8" dome would be useable for more lenses (the 18-70 or 12-24; the Ike 10.5mm dome is listed as compatible with the Nik 16 mm FE, already).

 

And my reason for upgrading is a trip this summer to Cocos/Mapelo, and from my Nikonos trips there I know how important short (effective) focal lengths will be there (MUST have <~ 14 mm on the DX sensor).

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Hey Craig -

 

No problem linking to galleries...they are there for people to see what lenses are working well with the d70...

 

Dont forget the Nexus housing...very nice and compact and everything available for those 3 great u/w lenses!

 

M.

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Hi Chris-

 

The galapagos photos were all taken with Ike domes and the 10.5 was in the smaller dome especially made for the 10.5.. that is a great combo. I have used the 60mm the 18-70 and the 12-24 behind ONE dome that Ike makes...it was the 18-70 dome... the 12-24 will work in that as well so you will really only need 2 domes for the 4 lenses (10.5, 60, 18-70 and 12-24) i would not bother with the flat port for the 60..

 

All the Socorro photos were taken with the Nexus setup...170mm dome and extenstions for all 3 different lenses...

 

Also, you will need a +4 diopter for the 18-70...and maybe the 12-24 behind the nexus dome.

 

M.

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Ikelite is going to be offering an 8" dome soon...so not necessarily smaller diameter than anything else...

 

~Matt Segal

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Ikelite is going to be offering an 8" dome soon...so not necessarily smaller diameter than anything else...

 

~Matt Segal

 

Yes, my understanding is that the 8" port should be available in about 4 weeks for about $400 (similar to the Aquatica for the dome itself; Ike housing still half a grand or so less expensive).

 

Still, there's the difference in re-use of the dome: Aquatica using extensions, Ike using different ports. At least 2 domes for Ike, one for Aquatica (and I haven't checked Nexus yet). Right?

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If you will end up needing two domes with an Ikelite system, then you might want to spend the extra money on the Aquatica.

 

I have four extensions, a dome port and a flat port which cover six lenses. I think it would take 5 or 6 separate ports with and Ikelite system.

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The 8" is an Aquatica dome complete with their beautiful neoprene cover. We simply made a base that mounts their dome for the moment............

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Sweet. So does that mean that I can use my Aquatica macro port and extensions w/ the Ike housing now?

 

Cheers

James

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Hmmm, so, Ike, howzabout a base that would allow me to mount my Sea&Sea ports on Ike housings, bringing me back into the clear polycarbonate fold after a dalliance with the chick-magnet aluminium housings :twisted:

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The 8" is an Aquatica dome complete with their beautiful neoprene cover. We simply made a base that mounts their dome for the moment............

 

Wow! This is truly a wonderful thing. I would hope that the base would also attach to any extensions on the dome port.

 

Now, if only other housing manufacturers would use Ikelite sync cord sockets instead of the legacy Nikonos connector, consumers would be even happier.

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From the information I have, the 8" dome Ike plans to use is not the Aquatica 8" bayonet mount port, but the older threaded 8" port.

 

So if you've got the newer ports made for the Aquatica digital housings, don't plan on mix and match. :-(

 

Cheers

James

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a bit off-topic...

I really like the ike bulk-head and syn cord design, I think it's less likely to get flooded as it's thread is located on the outside. I always feel insecure with the nikono's bulk-head...

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Anyonr Know what lenses the 8" dome port is going to work with? I would kill to have one if it works with my 10.5mm FE.....Got three trips planned for march and my housing is on the way back to Ike to have the sync cord plug moved to the top of the housing.....Normal position is conflicting with my regulator and the constant kinking of the cord, I think, caused a sync cord failure after about 4 dives......Ike, it would be really nice if my housing came back with an 8" dome port in the box, if it works with the 10.5mm lens of course............

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Anyonr Know what lenses the 8" dome port is going to work with? I would kill to have one if it works with my 10.5mm FE......

 

Have you seen problems with the 10.5mm in the smaller (5503.15) port Ikelite offers now? Softness or aberrations?

 

Just wondering, because I will buy the new 8", sooner or later, if there's a good case for significant improvement of the shots.

 

On the other hand, the 5053.15 is more compact (less buoyancy on the front of the camera, easier to handle surface and uw, and easier to transport) and less than half the cost of the 8" dome (5053.15, $139.95 at B&H; Ike converted 8", 5510.80, $400 [according to e-mail from Ikelite] or Aquatica 8", $362.50 at B&H).

 

I'd appreciate hearing more about your motives...I am just now housing a new D70-based system and would love to hear more from experienced photogs.

 

Cheers,

Chris

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I'm very excited about the possibility of getting an 8" dome port--particullarly if this port will allow me to use extension rings for multiple lenses (rather than a new port for each lens like the system works now).

 

I don't think you will see any improvement in image quality with this dome. The ikelite 6" dome is already quite good. The only image quality complaints I've seen are corner softness probably due to an unusually or non-optimum cobination of diopter, uncommon lens and dome port.

 

With the fisheye lens focusing on a curved virtual image dome diameter shouldn't make any difference. Ike says testing didn't show any improvement for the 12-24mm either. This is suprising to me since the 12-24mm 12" minimum focus distance is right on the diopter required limit for the 6" dome. Of course testing doesn't lie.

 

The main reason I want one of these is for over/under photos where its easier to place the waterline on the port with a wider area. Over/unders do work with a 6" dome but they are easier with a bigger one. Also, you could do over/unders with zoom lenses that would otherwise require diopters and therefore would produce blurry above water pictures at any distance.

 

The second reason would be for lens versitillity. If I could use extension rings I could possibly travel with one larger dome port and one flat port instead of 3-6 ports for my kit.

 

With an 8" port and iTTL support (shrugging off my manual controllers and excess ports) I'm getting very excited about my choice of systems. Go Ike!

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I have not seen any problems with Ikes smaller port. I have used it when diving with manatees and sharks and am completely sold on the 10.5mm lens. I really want the larger port for above/below shots. I feel that it will be much easier to produce these shots with the larger port... Is the Aquatica port glass or acrylic? If its glass then I can use Rain-X on it for water spot removal. Will it work with 12-24mm nikon lens?...I'm not real happy with what I'm getting from that lens....pictures seem a little soft for a $1000 lens. Seriously considering selling it....The 10.5mm is so clean and the barrel distortion dosent bother me....seems like I grew up seeing "fish-eye" photos in all the dive magazines and they almost appear normal to me..Maybe get a fixed 14-15mm lens......

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