Letters from our customers
Regarding the Housing Sentry Bent Christensen in Sweden
Regarding the Housing Sentry Damien Siviero in Australia
Regarding the Modular 5" Dome Port for the Tokina lensPeter Segerdahl in Sweden
Reguarding the Modular 5" Dome port for the Canon EF15mm Fisheye lens Aaron Kok in Malaysia
Sun, Oct 24, 2010 09:35 AM
From: Bent Christensen
Subject: Housing Sentry
I actually had quite a scare one of the first days in Lembeh. I was somewhat jetlagged and had been doing a lot of diving the first days, so my IQ probably set new low records! I often attach my dive computer to the housing, and I managed to get a small piece of the rubber strap stuck in the housing opening. Luckily, just on this day, there was a freshwater dunk bin available, and I managed to get my housing out of there as soon as the first couple of bubbles showed up. Nothing was harmed, but it sure scared me a lot, and the sentry would without doubt have picked it up. Another photographer there got a small corner of his silica gel bag stuck also, and was just as close to a total flood. So I have promised myself never ever to dive with my housing without a vacuum check system again!
BTW, if you want to see some Lembeh pictures, I have some upoaded now on
Sun, Dec 19, 2010 04:36 AM
From: Bent Christensen
Subject: Housing Sentry
During the last 5 years I have used a dslr in an Ikelite housing. During that time I have had one total flood, ruining the camera, the lens and
the electronics in the ttl system, and one small flood, ruining nothing but my heart rate. Both floods were entirely due to user mistakes. As such,
diving with a camera has been a mixed experience: the uw-photo in itself is among the most fun I have, while the anxiety of another flood clearly makes the
experience somewhat less relaxing. I have been looking for something to remedy the situation for the last year, and my conclusion has been that some
kind of a vacuum system was what I needed. So that meant changing to Hugyfot, adapting the Gates system or finding something else. I chose something
else, the sentry system by UW camera stuff.
I have recently installed the sentry in my Ikelite housing and used it in the Red sea for a week of diving, including a number of RIB back rolls and entries from the dive deck with camera in hand. Just the feeling of having everything under vacuum is great when doing those somewhat forced entries. That in itself would be a great addition to the dive security, at least for systems with somewhat flimsy attachments of ports. However, the big deal for me was the electronics part of the sentry system, showing that vacuum once attained still is held by the housing. Thus I could set up the housing in the evening, draw vacuum, go to sleep, wake up in the morning, stumble down to the dive deck, get geared and then check my camera housing for green or red lights. If the green light was on, diving could commence without thoughts of any leaks in the system. It made a huge difference to the feeling of safety. I have never had so relaxed dives with a dslr before, and I find it very unlikely that I will ever do a dive with my dslr system without a vacuum system.
I have recently bought a Nauticam 7D, which I plan to use alongside my Ikelite 5DM2 housing. I will install a sentry system in this housing as well.
Are there no negatives then? Well, a few. The sentry system is quite expensive. However, compared to a flood and missed dives on a trip, to me that is a small price to pay. Compared to the feeling of security I get when using it, and the increased joy of diving with the knowledge that the housing is secure, itīs a bargain! Second, the installation of the vacuum connector in an Ikelite housing is far from easy. I used a professional machine shop for the installation, and would not do it entirely by my self. It might work to do it with DIY stuff, but I wouldnīt do it. On aluminum housings I expect the installation to be very easy. Third, I had a couple of alarms when the housing sat in a RIB and we waited for further divers to surface. Probably the sun heated the inside of the housing through the black camera, thus increasing pressure and setting of the red lights. That said, the positives far outweigh the negatives, making the sentry system a great investment if you are anxious about floods in your housing.
From: Bent Christensen
Sent: Feb 5, 2011 03:41:48 AM
I did think about the system just now. The last dive I was on hade some marvelous subjects, and I think I nailed them really well. I really wanted to
check on the laptop how it turned out, but earlier I have been really hard core on not opening the housing more than once per day, in order not to risk floods.
However, with the sentry I am actually comfortable with opening the housing when it suits me, as I can control for stupid mistakes in closing it again. So I will
check the pictures now when it pleases me rather than just once a day. Really handy also when getting used to a new rig. One more up for the sentry!
From: Damien Siviero
I got the box today and promptly installed it. Fits like a charm! The knurled nut is a hairline bigger (outer diameter) than the recessed space in the housing but it's no big deal. It fits, but is hard to turn so I just held it with pliers and turned the valve from the outside. Once tightened it is perfect, doesn't spin or wiggle.
I tested the electronics and all worked as advertised on your site. With the camera in the housing it takes about 121 full pumps of the mityvac to get to green light.
Nice work on the electronics (and the machining for that matter). I really like the potted electronics rather than exposed components which might get a drop of water on them short out. I found a home for the board in the housing back above the viewfinder. It is a fraction bigger than the aquatica board so wouldn't fit where the existing one lived (no big dramas).
I'll finish off the installation tomorrow, as I will likely shorten the wires and heat shrink the green/red cables to keep it nice and tidy.
I'm not too sure about flashing green flight in the viewfinder though. I suspect I'll just hide these out of the way rather than cutting them off in case I want them in the next model housing.
I'll finish off the install tomorrow though I thought you'd like to hear my initial thoughts.
Here is a review published by Damien
Here are some pictures of his install
From: Peter Segerdahl
Received the DOME today. Looks great.
I plan to use it mainly with my 10-17 + Kenko 1.4x.
I am also bringing my 8" which I will use with the 10-17. Hopefully I will take a few half/half images.
I managed to squeeze your dome it into my hand luggage :-)). Not a chance to do that with the 8".
Very exited to check it out later this week in Sharm.
I have just been to the lovely Sharm el Sheik in the Red Sea. On the 15 dives I did, despite bringing several ports and domes, I ended up using your 5" modular port on 12 of them! Funny as I usually look at myself as a typical macro shooter. But, the DOME was so smooth to use due to its small size and the pictures came out very nicely that I simply could not resist using it on most of the dives. Edge sharpness was perfect (at least with f8 and f11 that I mostly used) and I didn't have any problems with sunray reflections in the DOME (that I very often get with my 8" in tropical waters). I used it mostly with my Tokina 10-17 + Kenko TC 1.4x, but on Thistelgorm (wreck) and the cave dives I used it without the TC (i.e. only Tokina 10-17). I did bring my 8" but I never bothered to use it as your 5" worked so well. Sure, I didn't take any over/under pictures (something that is lots easier with the 8") but the circumstances with mostly drift dives didn't allow that anyway.
Best regards, Peter Segerdahl"
A sample of Peters pictures taken with the dome are here.
Aaron Kok in Malaysia
I have already compiled all the pool photos, but not the yet made any dives. Dive will be done on 31st Dec.
If you just want a blurb. I would say "The custom port performs at least well or sharper than the Ikelite 8" with the Canon EF15mm Fisheye and also with a 1.4x kenko.. Definitely easier to use due to the smaller size. Can't wait to use it in the sea soon!"
Here is the full size if you are interested.