Camera Lift Handle
I wanted to add a handle to my big rig, something that the dive masters on a boat could clearly see and use to hand the camera to me when I was in the water as well as something they could grab to take it as I was returning from a dive.
I spent a lot of time looking at DIY projects on several sites but the only thing I could find was something flexible like a rope. That wasn't what I was looking for as the rig is a bit heavy. I didn't want something that would fall down and possibly get tangled in my strobe cords when I was trying to hand up the camera. I have concerns that a flexible handle could put undue stress on the housing handles and tray by applying a sideways force on the handles during the lifting process. I was also looking for a way to mount a third strobe or a focus light. The solution I arrived at is really simple and uses all off-the-shelf items. Below are some pictures of the setup on a ikelite D200 housing.
After sharing the design with a fellow diver, we spent some time researching how to add this to his rig. I tried to find a 14" strobe arm that would work on his Sea & Sea housing but didn't find anything so we looked at other options. We discovered that a 12" arm would work if we rotated the strobe mounts 45°.
Mouse over pictures for a larger image
|What it looks like from the rear||And here is a close up||And another close-up view|
The handle parts are all over-the-counter Ultralite Control Systems parts. I will list the parts and the numbers as well as provide links to their website.
The part that snaps into the ikelite handle is an Ultralite BA-IK located at the top of the page.
The triple clamp that attaches to the ikelite handle, strobe arm and the lift handle is an Ultralite AC-TCS.
The lift handle is an Ultralite 12" strobe arm on its side.
The ball attachment is Ultralite part AD-1420.
Due to the possibility of electrolysis between the stainless steel washers and the 12" strobe arm, I used rubber fender washers to isolate the parts as well as a rubber bushing to prevent the shaft of the screw from damaging the strobe arm. I also replaced the screw provided from Ultralite with a longer one. These parts were purchased at my local ACE Hardware store. Below is a picture of this detail.
The foam on the lift handle and strobe arms is a product from 4th Generation Designs called Stix.
My rig uses two 6" arms and two 9" arms for the strobes and is almost neutral in the water.
All the metal-to-metal connections on my rig are coated with an anti-corrosive, anti-seize compound from Ultra Safety Systems called Tef-Gel.
You may have noticed that the angle of the strobe connector on my housing is changed which allows more room for the hands and keeps the strobe cable out of the way. Here is a description of the strobe connector angle modification.
You may have also noticed that the viewfinder is changed. It is a Inon 45° Viewfinder with a custom adapter that UWCameraStuff makes. Here is a link to more information on the Inon 45° Viewfinder adapter.
Send an e-mail to