Sony 90mm Macro Focus Gear Installation // Ikelite 200DL Underwater Housing [VIDEO]

Sony 90mm Macro Focus Gear Installation // Ikelite 200DL Underwater Housing [VIDEO]

By John Brigham

One of our favorite things about Sony mirrorless cameras is the industry-leading autofocus and subject tracking system. But some underwater shooters and videographers prefer manual focus control. John Brigham shows you how simple it is to add a manual focus gear to drive the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 Macro G OSS lens in your Ikelite 200DL Underwater housing.


Attaching the Clamp to the Lens

The first thing you're going to want to do is remove the retaining ring using the Tool for Zoom Retainer Ring # 0945.22. Simply unscrew it from the inside of the port opening, set it to the side, and remove the body cap from your camera.

The zoom clamp for the Zoom/Focus Gear # 5509.47 will go on the lens. You'll notice there's two tabs, you want those tabs to face the camera body. Basically choose the mid-range of the focal range on the lens and slide the clamp over the lens with the tab in line with the white indexing dot, and then just simply work it up the lens until you get to the manual focus ring and make sure that that clamp is roughly around the bottom edge of that manual focus ring.

ikelite sony 90mm lens assembly

Note: during this step there's a chance that you could slide the manual focus ring on the lens into the autofocus position. The lens is in manual focus when the ring is back. The lens is in autofocus when the focus ring is forward. You want to make sure the ring stays back - towards the camera body - so that you stay in manual focus mode while underwater.


Installing Gear Sleeve & Extension

Next we’re going to take the zoom sleeve, ridged side down, and drop it down into the port opening. Then take the retaining ring, put it around that sleeve, lip side up. Using the included tool, we're going to tighten down the retaining ring. Make sure it bottoms out, but there's no need to over-tighten. 

ikelite zoom gear assembly for the sony 90mm lens

On the extension you'll notice there's two small cutouts, these cutouts correspond to the ribs on the inside diameter of the zoom sleeve.

Drop it in so the cutouts are oriented properly with the ribs on the zoom sleeve, and then use the zoom knob to line those recesses and ribs with the white indexing dot on the camera body.


Attaching the Lens to the Camera

Now we can take our lens - make note of where the white indexing dot is, and that the zoom clamp tab is lined up with the white dot. Check the switches on your lens to make sure that they're switched to the preferred settings. Then, take the lens and drop it down in so that the tabs go into the cut outs of the extension and then simply feel for the bayonet and bayonet the lens on. Turn the zoom knob to make sure that the manual focus ring is actually turning. 

sony 90mm lens inside the ikelite underwater housing

Before attaching the extensions and flat port, note that the lens focus ring is in the proper manual focus position and that all of the switches on your lens are in their preferred position.

Installing the DL Flat Port & Extensions

Now we're ready to put the port together. That will consist of: the DL 42mm Port Extension # 75042, the DL 20mm Port Extension # 75020, and the DL Macro Flat Port # 75301.

Take some of the included Ikelite lubricant between your finger and thumb, run it around the o-ring on the extensions feeling for any debris and applying a thin film of lubricant. This thin layer of lubricant will overcome the friction of the two parts being pushed together, it does not create a seal so there's no need to over lubricate these o-rings.

I like to make sure that the three thumb screws on each of the extensions are free of the inside diameter and feel the sealing surfaces to ensure there is no debris there either. We'll do the same thing on the port itself, making sure the three thumbscrews are out of the way and checking the sealing surface for debris.

When putting the extension onto your housing the order of which you combine these extensions does not matter, it's more of a personal preference. I'm going to go ahead and put the shorter extension on top of the longer extension, making sure that the thumb screws correspond to line up with the recesses in the port. Push these together and tighten the three thumbscrews, making sure they bottom out. No need to over tighten the seal occurred when the two pieces went together.

We'll do the same thing for the flat port. Again, making sure that the thumb screws are not protruding to the inside diameter and that they correspond to the pocket of the meeting piece. Press down, tighten up, just like on the extensions.

Now, check the sealing surface of the port mount on the housing, applying a little bit of lubricant, lining up one of the thumbscrews with the pocket on the port mount. Press the extensions and flat port down and then tighten the three thumbscrews.

ikelite housing fully assembled with the sony 90mm lens behind a flat port

Ikelite underwater housing with extensions and flat port fully assembled. From this point you could go diving or, you can put a vacuum on your housing and add a handle and strobes.

Need more guidance?

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out to our team who are always here to help.


John Brigham Ikelite Vice President

John Brigham is the Vice President & head of product development at Ikelite. He was born with a flair for design and an entrepreneurial spirit as son of Ikelite founder Ike Brigham. He worked his way up in the business and is a natural fit in the R&D side of things. John dives the equipment as much as possible to test product and put himself in the "fins" of the user. You may also find him on the other end of an email or phone call when you reach out for product advice and support. When he's not underwater he's flying drones, setting off rockets, training his German Shepherd "T2", and spending time with his family. 


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