My first appointment was with Jody Elliot of XIT404. The company makes a fascinating range of accessories for use with housings. Their first new product is an adaptor that allows the user to convert Sea & Sea or Inon fiber optic cables for use with Nauticam fiber ports.
These retail at $22 each, but given that fiber cables retail at around $100, they make a cost effective solution if you already own the cables.
XIT404 has redesigned their slide mount to allow it to be used with any 1/4 20 bolt sized accessory.
They also sell a range of pistol grip handle accessories that can be attached to SOLA lights or GoPro cameras and a flip diopter holder.
XIT404 produce a wide range of zoom and focus gears. For 2014, they plan to support mirrorless camera systems, including those from Panasonic, Sony and Olympus. These will retail at around $75, making them a cost effective option.
Staying with zoom rings for the moment, XIT404 offer a zoom ring that is compatible with both the Canon 16-35mm and 8-15mm lenses. This simplifies and reduces the number of zoom rings that need to be carried for those shooting both these lenses. In addition, they offer zoom ring options that are compatible with Canon lenses when they are used with Kenko or Tamron 1.4 x and 2x teleconverters.
Lastly, XIT404 has a flip bracket for 67mm threaded diopters
Jody’s husband Michael was taken ill just before the show. Wishing him a speedy recovery!
New World Publications
It was great to see Ned and Ann DeLoach, Paul Human and Eric Reisch on the New World Publications stand. They have just released their massively updated editions of the Tropical Reef Creature Identification and Reef Coral Identification books. The former has expanded by around 400 new entries and has been reformated to optimise it visually and practically.
Light and Motion
Light and Motion announced significant updates to their SOLA light range just prior to the show. This includes two video specific models. The company is now offering the SOLA 2500, a 2500 lumen light with a 90° beam angle and a 60 minute burn time at full power. The light is also very small, light and compact.
In addition Amy Fabry showed me the SOLA 2100 video light that can be switched between a 60° flood beam at 2100 lumens and a 12° spot beam at 1200 lumen.
Light and motion have launched their GoBe light, which is not imaging specific but as several options that are of interest for imaging use. The GoBe is a modular design, color coded throughout.
There are two battery packs available, the white features a 2.2 mAh pack, whilst the black has a 3.0 mAh pack. Either of these can be used with a wide variety of interchangeable light heads.
Once again, these are color coded, with the red head offering red light, the purple offering (blue) UV and titanium offering a wide soft beam amongst others. Torches supplied in the titanium (wide) configuration will be packaged with either a 1” ball mount or a Loc-Line adaptor. Both mounts are available as accessories for all the other light configurations too.
The GoBe is charged via a simple and neat external USB charger
BS Kinetics and UW-Photopartner
As usual, BS Kinetics were sharing their stand with UW-Photopartner. Bodo Sutterer of BS Kinetics took me through his new housings.
He has produced a unique housing for the Leica S SLR, which is getting a great deal of interest from fashion photographers. Like all the other BS Kinetics housings, it is constructed for carbon-fiber.
He also had a new housing for the Canon EOS 6D. Both the new housings are available now.
The company was also showing a new modular port system. This consists of a series of differently sized extension rings that attach onto the housing and flat or dome ports that then attach.
They also now have glass dome ports in 4”, 6”, 8” and 9” sizes.
Lastly, Bodo had a “frame” style tray and handle that should provide ample attachment points for most users!
Stefan Horvath of UW-Photopartner showed me their new attachment that allows the user to attach a second ball to Sea & Sea trays.
UW-Photopartner is currently having new premises purpose built in Germany
I spent some time catching up with Christel Delmas and Hubert Lacour of the new US based company DivePhotoPro. Based in Atlantic Beach, Florida, they are importing and distributing housings from Hugyfot, Isotta and Subspace as well as carbon fiber arms from Easidive.
Subspace were the company that produced the housings for the freediving film Le Grand Bleu (The Big Blue). More recently, they have been involved with James Cameron’s various underwater projects.
They have produced a series of housings for GoPro cameras. These start with the Dream Machine which has both external power and an external monitor and a 100m depth rating. It retails at a steep $2500. It is also available without the external monitor at a perhaps more realistic $1200.
Subspace also offers a more conventional looking aluminum housing with a dome shaper port for the HERO3/3+.This retails at $900.
The technology that they have used has tricked down, with underwater corrected domed port polycarbonate GoPro housings also being available. These retail at $225 for the HERO2 and $360 for the HERO3/3+.
Hubert then showed me through the Isotta range of aluminum housings. These are made in Italy and are apparently the worlds oldest supplier of underwater housings, with over 50 years of doing so.
On their SLR housings, they feature a unique closure mechanism with a rotating latch that then locks by depressing it. Hubert showed me how it was possible to operate with two fingers.
Ports are attached with a standard Sea & Sea bayonet fitting and each housing is supplied with both dual Nikonos/S6 and dual fiber optic ports. The housings also feature dual O ring seals throughout, on port and rear closure as well as on each control.
Cameras are held in place with a simple saddle arrangement and also, uniquely, with two arms that extend into the camera’s strap attachment points. Lastly, all Isotta housings are equipped with leak detectors.
Isotta has 4.5” and 6” glass dome ports available as well as a range of flat macro ports.
The company offers a wide range of compact housings, which all have 67mm threaded fixed lens ports, fiber optic ports, flash diffusers and, in the case of their housing for the Canon Powershot G16, a bulkhead with either Nikonos or S6 plugs.
Isotta supports the entire Canon Powershot G series compacts, as well as the Powershot S120.
They also offer a housing for the Sony RX100 II. The housings for the G16, S120 and RX100 II all retail at $1050.
Chistel and Hubert also own the French based manufacturer and supplier, Dyron. They showed me their new SWAL13 wet wide-angle lens. This has a 67mm thread, and the actual threaded part can be replaced if it becomes damaged. The lens is designed not to vignette and is coated.
Pascal Eekhoudt of Hugyfot and I made plans to try and meet up during the show on their stand, but unfortunately we missed each other. Nevertheless, I did manage to spend some time having a look at their new products. Chief amongst these was their new housing for the GoPro HERO3/3+.
This aluminum housing is rated to 100m, although this limit can be increased if required. The housing has options for external power (up to 6 hours) and external monitoring using the LCD BacPac.
In addition, Hugyfot were showing their houSing for the Canon 5D Mk III.
Sea & Sea
Sea & Sea release a major now development in terms of their optical TTL system Andy Sallmon kindly took the time to talk us through it (apologies for the sound quality):
The system runs with two AAA batteries and is available on their new D7100 housing and the housing for the Canon EOS100D/Rebel SL1. The converter is attached to the housing via two threaded processes in the housings. These would be difficult to retro fit to older housings, so it is unlikely that the converter will be available as a legacy upgrade.
The new D7100 also features a redesigned port lock with access from outside the housing and a lens release button.
Andy also showed me the new RDX housing for the Canon EOS 100D/Rebel SL1. As I mentioned previously, this camera may be seen as a viable alternative to mirrorless cameras in terms of size and performance. The addition of the internal TTL converter to Sea & Sea’s housing makes this an attractive potential proposition or alternative.
I met with Inon’sTakuya Tori as my last appointment of the show. Inon have released adaptors that allow the use of their bayonet macro and wide-angle lenses with the Canon Powershot G16 and S120 compact cameras when housed in the respective Canon housings.
This gives compatibility for the G16 with the UWL-S100 ZM80 wide-angle lens and for the S-120 with the UWL-H100 28LD wide lens wide-angle lens giving a field of view of 100° or when combined with the appropriate dome lens unit, 150° with either camera. The G16 uses the UCL 165 macro lens only, while the S120 can also use the UCL-100.
Takuya also showed me a new 90° adaptor for the camera end of Inon’s fiber optic cables. This reduced the strain when the cables are attached to front mounted ports behind large lenses and each adaptor can accommodate two cables. I have unofficially christened them the pygmy seahorse! They can be attached and detached by the user for installation and maintenance and can be purchased as a separate part.
Inon is also releasing a new series of LED lights. Final specifications are not yet available, but it is likely that there will be two around 1000 lumen models (a spot and a flood beam) and a 1200 lumen version.
The lights feature a lockable actuation collar and the two spot models will be packaged with red and white beam spreading filters as well as a normal red filter.
Color temperature is around 5000°K and they should have a CRI of more than 70%.
The torches will be available with a variety of mounting options, including double mounts, and strobe/light mounts.
Page 1: Introduction and booth visits with Aquatica, Backscatter, GoPro, Subal and Aditec Page 2: Booth visits with Seacam, Ikelite, Watershot and Ultralite Control Systems Page 3. Wetpixel/DivePhotoGuide DEMA imaging party Page 4. Booth visits with Gates, Reefnet, Nauticam, Acquapazza, MOLI, iTorch, Keldan, Fisheye, Zen, Olympus Page 5. Booth visits with XIT404, Light and Motion, BS Kinetics, DivePhotoPro, Hugyfot, Sea & Sea, Inon