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Old    Bess Marine (xtremebordgurl)      Join Date: Dec 2002       04-25-2007, 12:25 PM Reply   
I'm looking at investing in a good water housing, what are some feautres I should look for? Who are the reputable brands? Any suggestions? Also, should I get it for my back up camera d70 or for my main camera the d200? Are they super reliable?
Old    Swami (swami)      Join Date: Apr 2006       04-25-2007, 12:33 PM Reply   
Splashwater Housing makes awesome dedicated water housings. They are a bit expensive, but they are nice.

There is the EVO bag that is cheaper and would probably work with both of your units, but I don't know that for a fact, because I haven't used one.

-S
Old    Mike Isler (isler)      Join Date: Apr 2003       04-25-2007, 2:13 PM Reply   
AquaTech: www.aquatech.com.au (what I and Letchworth have)
SPL: www.splwaterhousings.com (what Cortese just got)
Sea Research: www.waterhousings.com (I had one in the past)
Liquid Eye: www.liquideye-whs.com
Dale Kobetich (no website)
Ewa-Marine: www.ewa-marine.com (glorified lunchbag, but they work)

Depends what you want to spend. You can spend anywhere between $200 and $5,000 on a complete system. You need to figure out what your needs are... camera features, lens needs, controls... zoom controls, button controls, etc. Need PocketWizards? Flash? Interchangeable lens ports for fisheye or zoom? Pistol grip or pole mounts?

For the high end housings, they usually aren't purchased off the shelf but rather either completely custom built or are customized for your needs. The lead time is normally 3-6 weeks, depending on what you need.

What I listed above are housings good for wake shooting. There are many other housing manufacturers that are good for SCUBA, but not for wake (because of weight, controls, features, etc). Some of these are Subal, Ikelite, Nexus, and Sea&Sea.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       04-25-2007, 3:54 PM Reply   
Mike,
You getting a 1DmkIII?
Old    Mike Isler (isler)      Join Date: Apr 2003       04-25-2007, 3:58 PM Reply   
Rich-

Most likely I'll pick up a few this fall, but don't have an immediate need for one. My MK2's are serving me OK these days, and unfortunately I'll have to change housings when I get the MK3... so I'm going to milk my current body as much as I can.

I am working with a Canon-sponsored photographer at the moment, so I will have access to extra MK3's as I need them. I also spent a few days playing with it shortly after it was announced, and was quite impressed. I just can't financially justify them right now. For me, if I'm going to get one, I need to get two. Always in pairs for me. So, going to wait for just a little bit.
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       04-25-2007, 6:54 PM Reply   
I literally just got a mkII myself today. I was on a list for the mkIII but between the delay and final pricing. I talked myself out of it. I really don't need one obviously but they're are pretty amazing. I saw that shot Canon posted of the alpine skier taken with the 300 and just lost all common sense.

I know those water housings are expensive so I can certainly understand where you're coming from.

If you haven't already got one you might want to give the new 70-200 f4L IS a try, I'm still amazed the images from it are coming from a zoom.
Old    Scott Banks (bankssa)      Join Date: Mar 2003       04-26-2007, 5:12 AM Reply   
I have an Epic and a EWA and prefer the EWA for wake shooting... lightweight, can access some functions without too much trouble and no problems with water... I use them both and they both serve the purpose.....
Old    Mike Isler (isler)      Join Date: Apr 2003       04-26-2007, 7:47 AM Reply   
I haven't tried out the 70-200/4 IS yet but have heard good things about it. It could be a nice backup lens for the 70-200/2.8... small, relatively cheap, and sharp. I'll try one out soon, for sure.

I haven't seen that alpine skier shot you're talking about, but will look around for it. I shot some test images with the camera while I had it, and was pretty impressed! In my opinion, 14-bit capture is a big deal vs 12-bit, and not a lot of people seem to grasp that. Instead of 4096 levels per channel, there are 16384 to work with... so smoother gradations, cleaner shadow areas, and less posterization. Sounds good to me!
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       04-26-2007, 8:21 AM Reply   
I think 14bit had a lot to do with how good this shot looks.

Here's the link:

http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/eos1dm3/html/eos1dm3_sample1-e.html

Here's the actual image:
Upload

Some 100% crops. Wakeworld compression requirements are taking a little of the quality away with these. checking out the full image on their site is the way to go. The lens isn't hurting things here either, I forgot how good the 300 f2.8 is.

Upload
Upload
Old    Rich Dykmans (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       04-26-2007, 8:25 AM Reply   
Sorry I'll quit hijacking this thread which I know is supposed to be about water housings!

(Message edited by richd on April 26, 2007)
Old    Garrett Cortese (garrett_cortese)      Join Date: Mar 2003       04-26-2007, 9:09 AM Reply   
Mmmm... MarkIII...

I recently got an SPL housing and am very happy with it. Had all the buttons I needed installed (probably a little over the top, but I like being able to change several settings while out in the tube), got a pistol grip and a 16-35mm port w/ zoom control. The thing I like is it's easy to add more in the future, like if I want a housing for my flash, a 15mm fish port, etc, I can just order it.

But these custom housings cost lots of money. And unless you're shooting professionally (or just have a good job and lots of money to blow on your photo "hobby") I'm not sure they're the best option out there. Until I got my SPL housing I was using one of the Ewa-Marine bags for all of my wakeboard stuff from the tube. That was from summer of 2002 through spring of 2007. Every shot I ever took from a tube was with that same little plastic bag, so I definitely got my $350 worth out of it (although it took some back when it flooded with my original 1D in there, but that was my own fault...). When I think about how many tube shots I took with that little plastic bag, though, it kind of amazes me.

Basically, when you're shooting from a tube you just need something to keep the camera dry. You're not in the surf getting pounded by waves with surfers carving at you with 3" fins -- you're above water and watching somebody jump over you... The Ewa-Marine bags are great for this. And if you get bucked off the tube, the camera is going to stay dry. Just don't submerge it for extended periods of time like I did... But with the Ewa-Marine it's easy to change ALL of your settings, which I regularly did while out on the tube, and you don't need extra add-ons for a flash or pocket wizard (and changing settings on the flash is just as easy changing the settings on the camera). The one downfall is the ring around the port. It's not flush with the port glass, so water can well up in it, but I constructed a mini-squeegee to solve that problem and it worked well.

If you want to spend some serious money and have the assurance that nothing's going to happen to your camera, then by all means, get one of the custom housings made. But if you're just going to be getting in the tube every now and then and want something that is easy to use and easy to travel with, then the Ewa-Marine is a great option. Even though I've got the SPL now, I could still see myself breaking out my old lunch bag every now and then (it will serve as a great remote flash housing now, too...)
Old    Ryan Taylor (wakesurf12)      Join Date: Jun 2003       04-27-2007, 12:30 AM Reply   
Anyone know where I can find a used housing for a D200? Or a nikon flash w/ pocket wizard? Just curious. Thanks for your help!

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