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ChinaBrad

D70 - Subal Problems - Help Needed!

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A strange one for you all. I have a D70 housed in a Subal. I am also using a Subal-housed SB800 nikon speedlite and the nikon 18-70 and 10.5mm lenses behind the FE-2 8" dome port

 

Here is my problem: When I am on the surface or snorkeling, everything works great - sharp focus, full function access, etc. When I descend to depth (>15 feet) everything seems to go buggy - I cannot access the play function, I cannot access the menu, and most frustrating the camera won't focus even though it will still fire (yes, I am in AF-Single mode which should prevent the camera from firing when out of focus). I will get a image review after the shot, so it's not that the LCD is completely whacked. I also get full function from the buttons that you use via that top LCD screen (e.g. ISO, metering mode, bracketing, etc).

 

When I get top-side and take the camera out of the housing, everything works great again. I get the same response using the 18-70 kit lens (with and without a +2 diopter and with a 20mm extension per Subal's rec. - without the diopter seems to work better by the way), and the 10.5mm DX fisheye.

 

I have tried turning the camera off and on again while underwater, I have done a full reset between dives. I am shooting through fixed focus area mode (Center) so it not that the camera is choosing its own focus sector. Nothing seems to work. ARGH!!!!

 

Some have previously suggested the use of a modeling light to cure focus problems, but there is plenty of light (e.g. exposures of 1/400 at F8 at ISO 400). If I happen to have a subject in the focal range of the lens of when the camera craps out then I will get a good sharp image, but beyond that all I get is blurred images!

 

Do you think it's a camera body problem? A housing problem? At these shutter speeds it's not simply just a motion problem

 

Please help - have invested too much time, money, and emotion to get lousy results! I just got back from a week in Belize with more mixed results. I need to get this resolved before Palau in October!

 

Thanks to all,

 

Brad

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I am not very familiar with this housing/camera combination, but to me it really sounds like you have one of your push buttons pushing too far and pressing something on the camera when under pressure. I would send it back to the dealer for them to have it checked.

 

Luiz

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I agree with Luiz, try putting a small piece of masking tape on your camera push button and close the housing without pushing any of those housing button, then open and see if any of the piece of tape have an indent on the their surface, it's likely one of those is pressing on a button and jamming some other feature, if you deposit the small piece very gently on the button with out pressing on them with your finger, there is a very good chance you will see the indent cause by the button. if you find the culprit, then maybe you can fix it in the field. good luck and good diving.

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Make sure your eyepiece rubber and lcd protector are removed and try diving with the housing and camera without a strobe attached and see if the problem is still there. Assuming the problem will not appear with the strobe case detached then I suspect an erratic connection or cross communication between the strobe and the camera. We seen some quirky sync connection problems that only occur at depth with the D70 and the D2X.

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Hello Brad, and hello to all. This is my first ever post - although I have been reading along for a few months. I have had my Subal housing for my D70 for a couple of months now and I had exactly the same problem when I first tried it. Everything would work fine on the surface and as soon as I went below 3m - the focus would not function correctly and I could not access the menu commands. I suspected that a button was being depressed and causing this - as it was pressure related - and it was. It is worth noting that the problem occurred also without strobes connected.

 

Looking at the back of the subal case (for the D70) you will see that most of the buttons have the same amount of movement and should (generally) be adjusted so that none of then protrute further than the rest. This is what I checked first and could not find anything that looked wrong - and I think you will probably also find this. Each of them moved correctly and was not sticking in the depressed position.

 

I then decided to hold down each of the buttons (one only at a time) in turn while operating the camera - with it removed from the housing. I very quickly found that there was only one button that gave the identical symptoms as I was experiencing while below 3m depth. It was the EL/AF-L button. You will notice that this botton is a special pivoting lever arrangement. I simply bent (I know it sounds drastic - but it isn't) the lever away from the button position by a very small amount (well less than 1mm) - Problem solved!! I now have complete functionality of the camera - perfect even down to 63m on a recent trip to dive the President Coolidge in Vanuatu. (even if I was a little worried about the 60m rating of the dome port)

 

Cheers

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Brad

 

I have an identical setup to your own. The problems you are experiencing sound like they might well be solved by trying the excellent suggestions in the posts above. BUT...

 

As regards the focus: From the 1st dive with my rig I have not been able to take a properly focused picture with the focus mode in AF-S. When using AF-C every picture is crisp. I know the theory is that the camera should not fire if focus is not achieved in AF-S mode, but it does. Don't ask me why. As with your problem, everything works great topside. (Although I have no problems with the menus or anything else).

 

I'm hoping you'll find a solution, and when you do, be sure to pass it on!

 

Jean.

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I agree with most people here that it is the pressure of the water that is causing one of the buttons to be depressed which is locking the camera up.

 

I have heard that even pressure on the on/off switch can cause these symptoms.

 

Alex

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