Bryant Turffs' Set-Up Tips // Ikelite Underwater Housing for Canon R7 [VIDEO]

Bryant Turffs' Set-Up Tips // Ikelite Underwater Housing for Canon R7 [VIDEO]

Featuring Bryant Turffs

Did you know that it's so simple to set up the Canon EOS R7 in an underwater housing that you could do it on the tailgate of a pickup truck? Though we typically recommend assembling your gear in an indoor, climate controlled environment!

Bryant Turffs walks you through how he assembles his system to shoot super wide angle with the Canon EF 8-15mm Fisheye lens and dual DS232 hybrid strobes with built-in video lights. 

Scroll down for video transcript.

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Canon EOS R7

I'm Ikelite Ambassador Bryant Turffs, and today I'm going to walk you through my underwater camera and housing setup. So I've recently upgraded to the mirrorless Canon R7, and I'm really enjoying the autofocus as well as the speed that this system provides.


Canon EF 8-15mm Fisheye Lens

I've got my favorite lens combination: Canon EF-RF adapter so that I can shoot the Canon EF 8-15mm fisheye lens. I love this lens because it provides me a wide 180-degree view. At the 10mm end it's super sharp and it also, on this crop sensor, allows me to zoom in to 15mm for subjects that are a little bit more shy and may not come right up to the camera.

I've got the Ikelite zoom ring on the lens, and that pretty much stays there full-time since I'm using this lens almost exclusively in the housing.

Dome Port with Zoom

I've got the compatible 6inch Dome Port with the zoom functionality. It's also got a nice small profile, so it's great for close-focus wide-angle photography, getting your strobes in nice and close to the subject.

Ikelite 200DLM/D Underwater Housing

I've got the Canon R7 Ikelite 200DLM Underwater Housing, this is an awesome housing. I love the size of it, especially compared to the larger housings that are out there. This is really comfortable to push through the water freediving. I've got the Trigger Extensions on it which allow a nice easy reach for my thumb and forefinger on the focus and the shutter release button.


45º Optical Viewfinder

I like to use the 45º Viewfinder, which whether I'm shooting right down on the seabed or just even shooting in the water column, I find to be really comfortable and easy to view.


DS232 Strobes with Video Light

About 50% of the time I'm shooting ambient light but otherwise I shoot strobes. I've got the new Ikelite DS232 Strobes, which provide a really nice quality of light, a really wide-angle beam coverage, and also have a really nice bright 2500-lumen focus and video light on them as well.

The speed and autofocus of the Canon R7 coupled with the compact Ikelite DLM Underwater Housing make freediving with your camera a breeze.

Assembling the Housing

To walk you through the setup of my housing, it's a pretty quick and easy process. First thing I typically do is go ahead and separate the camera body and the lens. I like to go ahead and use the caps for each of those components just to keep everything nice and clean in the meantime. The body is going to go through the back of the housing and the lens through the front.

It's easy to open the housing via those quick release levers. I'm going to go ahead and get each of the dials out of the way, make it nice and easy to drop the camera in. Whether I'm using strobes or not, I'll just go ahead and hook up the strobe connection to the hotshoe on the camera, and then the camera body drops in nice and easy.

Go ahead and replace each of those dials. And then the back, I'll usually go ahead and make sure that o-ring is nice and clean. Maybe even use an air blaster to dust it off before I go ahead and reconnect it to the housing.

The DLM housing just has two lock levers, so we push both those down with equal pressure. They’ve got a nice safety function on them, and I know that the camera is secure in the housing now.

From there, I'm going to go ahead and switch around and look at the front of the housing, and go ahead and remove that body cap from the camera. Make sure that the lens release is just out of the way, and then we'll release that lens cap. Both the lens and the zoom gear slide in nice and seamlessly. Then we'll remove that lens cap - I’ve forgotten to remove that before, it's not a good mistake to make.

From there, the port slides on seamlessly over the front of the housing. Go ahead and thread in each of the thumb screws to make sure that's nice and secure.

And from there, I'd normally go ahead and vacuum this system to give me that extra peace of mind that everything's sealed up and ready to go for the dive.

As I mentioned, I like to shoot ambient light a lot, so that setup right there is usually what I would use freediving on nice sunny days. It's a really nice, compact, and comfortable system to handle with the Dual Handle Trays.

With the DL5 TTL Converter Bryant is able to use his system more artistically with creative styles like Motion Blur.


Attaching Strobes

If I'm going to be scuba diving and or shooting anything creative where I want to have the strobes hooked up, I'll also go ahead and use the dual DS232 strobes. With those strobes hooked up it's still a nice, compact, yet powerful rig.

To connect those strobes to the housing body, I've got the Dual Ikelite Sync Cord, and I'm using the DL5 Converter which allows full TTL functionality with the strobes. But my personal favorite feature of this is that it enables rear curtain sync for slow shutter speed Motion Blur shots, which Canon doesn't allow you to do without that converter.

These have a nice, secure connection made watertight via o-ring. I normally like to check and just double check that those o-rings are clear, put a small amount of silicon lubricant on them, and then they thread on into the housing, and each of the strobes with ease.

Carry Handle

The last piece I like to add is the optional Carry Strap. It makes it real easy to pass the camera up to the dive boat or carry it in from the car to the dive site with ease.

Additional Viewing

Canon EOS R7 Underwater Photos & Review

Canon R10 vs R7 // Best Crop Sensor for Underwater Photography [VIDEO]

Canon EOS R7 Underwater in the Bahamas [VIDEO]

My Floridian Ikelite System // Bryant Turffs' Underwater Photography Gear [VIDEO]

Becoming a BETTER Underwater Photographer in My Florida Backyard // Ikelite Ambassador Bryant Turffs [VIDEO] 


Bryant Turffs Ikelite AmbassadorAmbassador Bryant Turffs has worked on six of the seven continents as a biologist, boat captain, dive professional, commercial fisherman, photographer, and educator. Today he lives in Palm Beach County, Florida, and works with his partner, Jessica Pate, to understand the mysteries of the local manta ray population. He also uses his photography to tell other natural history and conservation stories. Read more...

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