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Old Mar 1, 2006, 10:20 AM   #1
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I'm not a diver, but do a lot of snorkelling. I currently use a Canon S30 with housing, and I'm semi pleased with it. We are planning a trip to the Galapagos Islands in November, and would really like to use my D70 for the marine iguanas and sea lions while we're in the water. The Fantasea FD-70 would be more than efficient for what I want to do, but I'm wondering if is just too much for free diving.

I read on another site that a poster always uses his D70 with tanks, but sticks with a point and shoot for snorkelling, as in his opinion, the D70 and housing is too bulky.

Any opinions?:?
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 11:21 AM   #2
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No doubt that housed SLRs are big and bulky. I've not used my D70 while snorkelling yet but I did use my F60 film SLR and it wasn't really a problem. I've used Ikelite housings for my F60 and D70 and in the water they are near neutral so the weight isn't such an issue. In fact with no strobes attached they would be bouyant. I don't know how the Fatasea housing compares in this respect.

For me I would put up with the bulk for the better quality results. Other people will be more concerned with the convienience and go for the compact.

What lens do you plan to use for the sealions? I suggest the 18-70 if you have it or better yet something wider like a 12-24 or a 10.5. With these you'd need a dome port and you need to be sure that the lens you choose is supported in the housing.
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Old Mar 1, 2006, 12:49 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, here's a link http://www.fantasea.com/ssl/prod_det.asp?id=78 A cave diver buddy of mine suggested this housing as opposed to the more expensive ones. I have to do my math and get more info on baggage weight for the Ecuadorian leg of the flights. 2 wetsuits, 2 masks, 2 sets fins, 2 D70's, 5 lenses, 2 waterproof camera bags, and now a 5 pound housing.:roll:
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 4:05 AM   #4
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I've looked at the link you posted. Problem is that it doesn't have much detail on the ports available. It does say that there's a port for the Nikon 60mm and another for the 18-55mm lens. Then it says 5 inch dome port but doesn't give any clue as to what lensesthis port will fit. By comparison Ikelite list6 dome ports and 7 flat ports to suit different lenses.

http://www.ikelite.com/web_pages/slrport.html

I'm not advocating that you buy Ikelite instead just pointing out the problem of choosing the right port.

Flat ports aren't so critical too short is no good but you can get away with slightly too long. Much too long andyou'll get vingnetting when the camera 'sees' the inside of the port.

Dome ports are more critical. The lens needs to sit at or very near to the centre of the sphere that the dome is part of. If it's too far forward or too far back you'll get soft corners on your shots. You may well get slightly soft corners anyway but a mismatch between dome and lens makes it worse.

Best bet is to find a local Fantasea agent and speak to them about your setup.
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 6:58 AM   #5
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Thanks, you've pointed out some issues I must check into.
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 10:29 AM   #6
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I hope it helps. The Fantasea is very cheap compared to most other housings so depending on your budget and requirements you may have to accept compromises. Hopefully though if you do at least now you'll know what they are.
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Old Mar 6, 2006, 4:17 PM   #7
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Eh Amigo, I've checked into some of the issues you have raised, and still have some concerns. We have 18-70's, and a 60. The Fantasea standard port is for the 18-70, and comes with the housing, but does not support the zoom of the lens. Since you mention that the 18-70 is a good choice, how important is it that the zoom is not supported, where from what I can see, the Ikelite port does? Since I would be purchasing 2 units, cost is kind of an issue, but I would hate to put the cash out, and 2 weeks after kick myself in the butt thinking I should have sprung for the Ikelite system.

I have been reserching the online pics of the Galapagos, and besides being the trip of a lifetime, the u/w opportunities look awesome. I can't imagine going back in the water without the D70's.
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 4:15 AM   #8
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With Ikelite the zoom is built into the housing so the only issue is to make sure that the zoom ring fits. I use a 12-24 and fitting the zoom ring is a bit more awkward than with smaller lenses I needed a special zoom ring for this lens. I believe the 18-70 also needs a special zoom ring. For most lenses ther is a standard one size fits all zoom ring.

I shoot a lot of stuff with macro lenses either a 50mm or a 100mm and no zoom. Some of my friends use 10.5mm fish eye lenses for wide angle again no zoom. So it's not the eend of the world you could preset the lens to 18mm before putting it into the housing and use it for wide angle. You obviously lose the ability to use the longer focal lengths if a suitable subject comes along or you can't get as close as you'd like.

It really is very difficult to call. For me underwater photography is my hobby. I'm out with my camera at least once a month all year round so the additional expense was justified to me. I've bought into a full system that will allow me to use almost any lens. In your case you are looking at less frequent use so maybe the cost isn't justified.


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Old Mar 7, 2006, 7:18 AM   #9
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Thanks. Yes, it all boils down to is the cost justified. Decisions, decisions.
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Old Mar 7, 2006, 5:11 PM   #10
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Nagasaki, thanks for your insight. Ive decided to go with one Fantasea with a 18-70 port, and get some water time. Upon studying pics, it looks like a wide angle is surely needed for the size of the wildlife. If this works out good in practice, then the second housing with a 18-70 port and the 60mm port will be had. Thanks again
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