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woody

D70 decisions decisions!

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Hi all,

 

I bought a D70 some 9 months ago and I’m finally considering the move to a housed dSLR from my trusty Aquatica A5000 setup. There a really wide choice of housings in the market for D70, so this makes a decision that much more difficult.

 

For comparison purposes, I have narrowed down the selection to 4 brands which I feel are fairly representative of the market – Subal, Aquatica, Sealux and Ikelite. Again for comparison purposes, I have drawn up a price comparison (although price is of course not the only consideration) for these 4 brands for a “starter†setup with a 60mm Nikkor-Micro and a 15mm Sigma FE. I’ve read some fantastic things on this forum about both these lenses and their underwater application, so may as well take expert advice :) (I can’t afford the Nikon 12-24 anyway for now)

 

Looking at price (including an estimate of the duties and taxes I would have to pay on import into Europe) the ranking in order of cost for the “starter†setup is

 

1. Subal

2. Aquatica

3. Sealux (a close third)

4. Ikelite

 

The Ikelite is just over 50% of the cost of the Subal, and the other two are roughly half way in between. (Of course things are different in the US because I expect you would pay relatively less for the 2 US housings and relatively more for the 2 European housings)

 

Other considerations:

1. Ikelite has iTTL (but this requires using Ikelite strobes, and I will probably use Sea & Sea or Inon). I'm not that bothered about TTL - it's a nice-to-have as far as I am concerned

2. The Subal and the Sealux are in Europe so it will probably be easier and cheaper to get after-sales support and to get them serviced

3. The Subal and the Sealux both have the option of the Grand Viewfinder which I find extremely enticing (but which I have not included in my price comparison)

4. Ports for the Aquatica and Ikelite are cheaper then their Subal and Sealux equivalent, so this should make it incrementally cheaper as I add on more lenses etc (depending on how many different ports I will need)

5. Subal, Ikelite and Aquatica seem really popular and excellent housings. I personally have experienced Aquatica and I have nothing but good things to say about them. There’s not much information out there about Sealux.

6. Depth ratings – Ikelite 60m; Subal 70m; Sealux and Aquatica; 90m. Not that I’m likely to dive to 90m for now, but I’m doing a tech diving course so 70m is likely in the near future.

 

On the balance, I’m inclined to go for the Sealux, but apart from one review there’s very little mention of this brand (compared to the others) on this forum (by far my main source of info). While I know that for example the ergonomics of the Subal are top-notch, I have much less of a “comfort factor†for the Sealux. Same goes for after-sales service. Is there anyone on this forum who owns this housing and can share their experiences on Sealux?

 

Any advice would be most welcome! Fantastic forum by the way!

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Hi, Due to my position as affiliated Aquatica personnel, I’ll not comment on the choice you should make, as it’s not for us manufacturer or dealer to lead you in a direction or another, this I leave to the capables and knowledgeables hands of the members on this website. My inquiries is about Malta and diving there, any link or info about the diving there you could PM me. I hear a lot of good thing about this place, lots of action in WWII and thus lots of wrecks. I am contemplating heading this way one of theses days.

 

I'm happy to see you enjoyed our products !

 

 

Regards

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HI WOODY,

I have had the same dilemma as you have got ,& what I did not do was

rush in to buying a housing as this can be a very costly mistake. I see

that you have got a short list to choose from, on my list I added the

Seacam D70 housing which is priced the same as the subal, I then

found out were I could go & handle to see which one felt the best in

the hand & the controls felt the most comfortable to use. I managed

to cut my list down to two Subal & Seacam I found both of these to

have the best build quality, then it was down to what fitted my hands

better & what I perfered. In the end I picked the Seacam, I have now

used it twice as I am learning SLR photography, but amazed how easy

it is to use. It is a exellent housing which will last a very very long time.

You may want to have a look at this one before you buy one I hope

this helps. By the way the diving in Malta is exellent, I have been their

diving for the last 4 years in Bugibba, diving with divedeepblue they are

exellent & you carn,t fault them.

Happy hunting,

Andy.

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If funds are not the most important factor go Subal. 2'nd choice Aquatica.Not familiar with sealux? Go Ike if funding is an issue . You can house Nikon Land strobes in subal strobe holders and then wala you have ttl.Thats a whole bunch more $$$. Mark

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Well up with the Seacams and Subals of the world you also have Nexus. A very nice compact aluminium housing.

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Must admit i am somewhat Aquatica biased as well, but hey i am Canadian! ANd therefore must point out a large error in your post....Aquatica is from Canada not US!!!!! Never make that mistake again please..... :):):)

Like calling a Kiwi an Aussie, or an Irishman English or perhaps someone from Malta Italian.....

 

Anyhoo back to the topic, i would go with the housing you get the best service for in your area, whether that is through a local dealer or the manufacturer, if you ever have problems with your housing it is nice to be able to send it away and get it back asap.

 

Mike

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My inquiries is about Malta and diving there, any link or info about the diving there you could PM me. I hear a lot of good thing about this place, lots of action in WWII and thus lots of wrecks. I am contemplating heading this way one of theses days.

 

I'm happy to see you enjoyed our products !

Regards

 

Viz'art, I've PM'd you.

 

I then found out were I could go & handle to see which one felt the best in

the hand & the controls felt the most comfortable to use. I managed

to cut my list down to two Subal & Seacam I found both of these to

have the best build quality, then it was down to what fitted my hands

better & what I perfered.....By the way the diving in Malta is exellent, I have been their diving for the last 4 years in Bugibba, diving with divedeepblue they are

exellent & you carn,t fault them.

Happy hunting,

Andy.

 

Thanks Andy, but the trouble is that in Malta places where one can get a feel of these products do not exist. Having been here (and thanks for the nice comments!) I'm sure you understand the limitations of our small island ;)

 

quote=MikeVeitch,Jun 26 2005, 12:00 PM]

ANd therefore must point out a large error in your post....Aquatica is from Canada not US!!!!! Never make that mistake again please..... :):):)

Like calling a Kiwi an Aussie, or an Irishman English or perhaps someone from Malta Italian.....

 

Mike

 

Sorry Mike - no offence intended ;) I am of course aware that Canada and US are different countries - but I should have referred specifically to import/export tariffs etc and to my knowledge it is pretty much a free market between US and Canada.

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Its alright Woody, i was just kidding.... :)

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Anyhoo back to the topic, i would go with the housing you get the best service for in your area, whether that is through a local dealer or the manufacturer, if you ever have problems with your housing it is nice to be able to send it away and get it back asap.

 

Mike

 

Mike, I don't think that needing service on a housing should be the primary focus on choosing a housing. If you feel that a housing may need service than you might want to question your choice of that housing. I don't want a housing whose manufacturer offers fantastic service. I want a housing that never needs service.

 

So far my housing choice has proven me right on the "Never needing service"

 

In 1999 I chose Nexus when I decided to house an F4. That housing never needed any service that I could't provide in the 4 years and 1000+ dives I used it. I only stopped using it then because American or Singapore airlines managed to mash it so there was a 2mm gap when the housing was closed and it was more of an aquarium than a waterproof housing.

 

I chose the Nexus for serveral reasons, the most important were, the quality of the housing, the simplicity, the bloody big sport finder, and it also got great recommendations from photographers whose opinion I trust.

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Certainly not the primary concern no...but, i did see someone break their brand spanking Seacam and Canon 1Ds Mark II about two months ago when they knocked it off the counter accidentally....

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Ouch!!! Mike, what broke?

 

Cheers

James

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Mike,

I think what this guy needs is not great service from a housing manufacturer rather a suicide and grief counselor as well as a big fat bank account.

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Hi Woody,

 

I'm using the D70 in the Sealux CD70 housing and I'm fully satisfied with it. I have the Grand Viewfinder attached to it and I can really recommend it. That was worth every penny.

 

When I compared the Subal housing versus the Sealux housing, I felt in love with the sealux housing, but then my bank account put me back on track and I bought the Sealux version. And I did not regret it. The extra cost for the dom-port and the (same!!) viewfinder just set me off.

 

Don't worry about any TTL circurits.... manual flash settings as easy as everybody is telling about. More important is the leek warner, and I would definately go for this option. Also add the setting switch manual or auto focus as you might need it.

 

All important settings (apperture, shutter, zoom) are easily accessable and it is fun talking pictures with this housing.

 

Also the Sealux housing has more link/connection points for a flash attachment then the Subal housing.

 

I hope you get the chance to hold both housings in your hands before making a decision. That was very important for me, at least.

 

Chris

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Chris,

 

Many thanks for sharing your experiences. That is just the sort of feedback I was after!

 

Now I have to first pay for my wife's new car :)

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