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Frequently asked questions about housings

Most questions about product assembly and operation are covered in the product instruction manual. Please read your manual thoroughly before attempting to operate your Ikelite equipment.

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Availability

Our website is updated daily with the most current information available. Our camera charts list all current housing models, new models that we are considering, and current models that we have decided not to support.

A new housing model is only made when a new camera does not operate properly in an existing model. Seemingly minor changes in screen sizes, control positioning, lenses, TTL protocol, etc. usually require us to develop a new housing.

Unless specifically noted, we do not consider different models to be interchangeable in any way. We cannot provide any information on whether lenses, power/shutter/recording/zoom controls or any other camera functions line up across camera models.

We have no remaining inventory—new, demo, blemished or otherwise— of any housing listed as discontinued on our website. Some dealers that stock our equipment may have stock remaining, but we have no information regarding the inventory of our dealers.

If you are looking for a discontinued model our best recommendation is to do a Google search for the Ikelite product number. You may also try posting want ads in the many online forums dedicated to underwater photography. Used Ikelite equipment is regularly posted on eBay, but please be aware that we do not guarantee or warranty these older used items.

Sorry, but we are not able to offer custom housings or custom modifications to stock housings.

Aside from the specific instances noted on our website, we do not offer any type of modification of older housings to fit newer cameras. You are welcome to try to make this work yourself. However we cannot provide any information on whether it's feasible or how to accomplish it.

Most still camera housings can be identified by sending a picture of the housing and its serial number to ikelite@ikelite.com. Models that were produced before we started to serialize housings must be returned for identification. There is a charge for this service.

Many newer video housings are marked with the Ikelite product number (which takes the form #### or ####.##). Please have the product number ready and contact us to find out which camcorders are supported by that product. Older video housings that do not reference their product number must be returned for identification. There is a charge for this service.

Assembly + use

The general rule for all housings with multiple lid snaps is opposite snaps MUST be fastened simultaneously. Check that the cover is completely into the housing body with the o-ring touching everywhere before fastening the lid snaps. Most of our housings allow you to see that the "O" ring is sealing as the snaps are fastened because the o-ring will show a blacker compression area around the entire face of the housing if properly sealed.

The port o-ring of our SLR housings will need a very slight film of lubricant to assure proper installation. The main o-ring of our ULTRAcompact housings also require light lubrication.

NO lubricant is required on most all other housing o-rings. The lubricant may be used to clean the o-rings, but most of it should then be wiped off. be careful to not stretch the o-ring while pulling it between your fingers when cleaning. Please note that some lubricants may cause the Ikelite o-rings to soften and swell in size. We recommend the use of genuine Ikelite lubricant to be sure.

Never use any spray lubricant on our o-rings or around the housings. These lubricants contain a chemical that will cause stress cracking of the plastic. Cleaners made for plastic may be used, but a fresh water rinse is usually sufficient.

Ikelite housings are built to be heavy duty and well wearing. However some special care and consideration is in order.

Do not leave the camera and housing in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time as heat may damage the camera. Do not store your housing in the rinse tanks on boats—even between dives. The jostling of your equipment into other peoples' camera gear can cause damage. Keep your housing on a camera table or in any shaded place where no other items are able to impact it.

Rinse the housing exterior thoroughly in fresh water after each use. Dry the lens port with a soft lens cloth to prevent water spotting. Do not rinse your housing in a tank that other people have rinsed their masks in. Residual mask defog in the tank may cause damage to the housing's seals.

When assembling your housing, always inspect the removable o-rings for debris, nicks or pits. It's always a good idea to travel with a spare main o-ring for emergency replacement.

Fogging is caused by a combination of humidity or moisture trapped inside of the housing and rapid changes in temperature. Always assemble your housing out of direct sunlight in the coolest, driest place possible—preferably an air-conditioned room. Make sure you are not allowing any water droplets (or sweat, etc) to be sealed inside of the housing. Even the smallest droplet of water can cause condensation to form.

Many cameras—especially the newer hard drive camcorders—heat up during use. Do not turn your camera on until you are ready to dive or actually in the water. If possible, keep your camera powered down whenever you are not actively shooting or recording.

If fogging persists, you may try placing a Moisture Muncher™ packet or similar desiccant inside of the housing. Secure the packet in a way that it does not shift and interfere with any controls during your dive. Be aware that desiccant packets should be stored in an airtight container. After several uses most desiccants will absorb enough moisture from the air to render them useless. Recharge or replace according to the product instructions.

If you know you'll be diving in a cold environment, you may assemble your housing ahead of time and place it in a bucket of cold water 1-2 hours before and in between dives. This will let the housing to adjust to the colder temperature and allow the fogging to dissipate.

Current dSLR housings, ULTRAcompact housings, Video Compact housings and some Compact Digital housings feature two 12-24 threaded mounts. Only high-grade stainless steel screws should be used to attach a tray to the bottom of these housings. Replacement 12-24 stainless steel screws are available in a variety of lengths depending on the housing and can be ordered through Ikelite:

  • 0333.6 12-24 x 1/2-inch for AF35 and Compact Video trays
  • 0333.6 12-24 x 1/2-inch + #0212.12 shoulder washers for #9523.61, #9523.62 and #9523.68 Digital trays with black/red rubber handles
  • 0333.7 12-24 x 7/8-inch for Ikelite dSLR Housing trays with black rubber handles
  • 0333.8 12-24 x 1-inch for #9523.51 and #9523.52 Compact Digital trays
Maintenance

After several uses, soak the housing exterior in a mild soap solution. While submerged, operate all controls and pushbuttons to flush out any residual salt or debris. Dry with a soft cloth. Do NOT rinse or soak the inside of the housing. If necessary wipe out the inside of the housing with a clean dry cloth.

Place the main o-ring in a plastic bag and store it inside of the housing for safe keeping. This prevents the o-ring from flattening or "taking a set."

Check the knob set screws occasionally to be sure they are tight, but do not over tighten. A very light film of lubricant should be placed on the shafts every few dives or every week of a vacation, then rotate the shaft while moving it in and out in the gland. Controls that do not provide in and out movement will require removal of the shaft to lubricate, but this is usually required only every 50 to 100 dives. The control definitely should be serviced if a shaft does not turn freely.

We recommend returning your housing for factory service every 1-2 years, depending on care and use. Our general service procedure includes replacement of all seals, full testing of controls and electronics (if applicable) and water pressure test. Maintenance service for housings is a flat rate depending on style, plus return freight. Any repairs required will be charged in addition to the general service fee.

Older SLR-DC housings may be upgraded to our newer four-lock port system for a reduced cost at the time of servicing.

Service can be completed in approximately 2-3 weeks not including transit time. Please plan ahead if you are returning your housing for service before an upcoming dive vacation. We strive to get every repair back in a timely manner, but unexpected problems may arise. Always reference the date of your upcoming departure in your return cover letter so that we can plan to return your equipment in time.

Soak the housing in a mild soap solution and operate the pushbuttons repeatedly while the housing is submerged. Dry the housing off and rub a small amount of Ikelite silicone lubricant on the outsides of the pushbuttons. Operate the pushbuttons several times to work the lubricant in.

This should loosen the pushbuttons up. If the pushbuttons are still difficult to operate, we recommend returning the housing for general service.

Some external surface scratches will fill in with water and become invisible unless shooting in direct sunlight. If you notice the effects of scratches in your pictures, you may try buffing them out with a product like NOVUS Plastic Polish.

Dome ports from our standard port system are glued together and will need to be completely replaced if the scratches cannot be removed. The acrylic fronts of our flat ports and 8" dome ports can be replaced at a reasonable cost if returned to Ikelite.

Typically this is caused by the camera being slightly loose and shifting in the housing. Make sure the camera is seated properly on the tray and tighten the mounting bolt with a coin or screwdriver.

If you need to lengthen a control slightly in a pinch, loosen the set screw (which may be hidden by a rubber sleeve) using a small hex allen wrench and re-tighten slightly futher out on the control flat. The set screw must be securely tightened against the flat on the control shaft.

Some controls may require you to push in and turn when at the surface. When underwater, water pressure will push the control in and the control by activated by simply rotating.

Ikelite Frequently Asked Questions

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