Sony a1 a7S III 200DL Underwater Housing Assembly [VIDEO]

Sony a1 a7S III 200DL Underwater Housing Assembly [VIDEO]

The Sony a1 and a7S III are two of the most prolific mirrorless cameras underwater thanks to their incredible video performance and large selection of lenses. John Brigham walks you through everything you need to know to put these powerful cameras into the Ikelite Underwater Housing. He also walks through assembly of the Sony 16-35mm f/4 PZ lens and zoom gear, plus the addition of dual DS230 TTL strobes.

Watch the video below or jump to:


Setting Up the Housing

We highly recommend adding the Trigger Extension # 4077.95 for both the shutter and back button focus (BBF) which will optimize ergonomics and make focusing on your subject so much easier. We'll also add the Right Hand Quick Release Handle with Extension # 4077.02 which allows for easy attachment and removal of arm components at the touch of a button for added convenience above and below water.

Installing the Trigger Extensions

  1. Remove the shutter lever that is preinstalled on the housing by removing the setscrews using the provided hex key.
  2. Add the Trigger Extension over top of the cap.
  3. Tighten the Trigger Extension using the provided hey key.
  4. Reinstall the lever based on your personal ergonomic preference. Some customers like to pull the lever like a trigger, some may prefer to push the lever.
  5. Tighten down both set screws.
  6. Repeat this step for the back button focus (BBF) trigger.

Installing the Right Hand Quick Release Handle

  1. Using the two provided screws (with lock washer and insulating washer), feed them up through the bottom of the tray that came with the housing, these will thread into the extension for the handle.
  2. Using the provided hex key, ensure screws are tightly installed.

usb-c bulkhead for ikelite underwater housings

The Ikelite USB Charging & Data Transfer Bulkhead is the ultimate life hack for underwater photographers. Can you imagine being able to charge your camera and transfer photos without taking your camera out of the housing? Now it's possible!

Installing the Camera


This housing # 71476 ships with two different camera mounts: the # 95419 for use on the Sony A1, and the # 95415 for use on the A7SIII. Select the appropriate mount for the camera you'll be using and follow the steps below to install the camera body into the housing.

  1. Using a flathead screwdriver, attach the 1/4-20 bolt located on the camera mount to the bottom of your camera. Ensure this is screwed in snuggly to prevent any movement of the camera.
  2. Open the lid snaps on the back of the housing and remove the acrylic back from the housing.
  3. Move any cords, like hotshoe or USB-C charging and data transfer cords, and/or controls out of the way so they won't interfere with inserting the camera.
  4. Open the terminal cover to the camera and plug in the USB-C cord into your camera's USB-C port.
  5. Slide the camera mount into the camera base and drop your camera in.
  6. Put your controls back into the appropriate place and make sure they're all properly aligned.
  7. If you'll be using strobes in TTL mode, remove the manual hotshoe that comes with the housing and store with your spare parts.
  8. Connect the ST1 Hotshoe for TTL into the quick disconnect that leads to the bulkhead, and then connect the hotshoe onto your camera.
  9. Check the sealing surface of the housing.
  10. Check the sealing surface and o-ring of the back of the housing. Note: the o-ring on the back of the housing does not require any lubricant as this is just a compression seal and lubricating it can actually cause you to pick up more unwanted debris.
  11. Attach the back of the housing and secure the lid snaps to the housing.
lens assembly on ikelite underwater housing for sony a1 and sony a7siii

Ensure your camera body's lens alignment indicator, the negative space on the zoom gear, and the tabs on the zoom clamp are all aligned when bayonetting your lens onto the camera body.

Installing the Lens and Dome Port


Installing the Lens and Zoom Gear

For this demonstration we'll be using the 16-35mm F/4 PZ lens with the corresponding Ikelite Zoom / Focus Gear # 5509.16.

  1. Remove the retaining gear and port hole cover from the front of the housing, store the port hole cover with your spare parts.
  2. Insert the zoom gear, gear side down into the opening on the front of the housing.
  3. Drop the retaining ring into place over top and, using the provided tool, tighten the retaining ring and test for functionality.
  4. Remove the adhesive backing from the provided foam pads and apply the foam pads to the inside of the diameter of the spring-loaded clamp.
  5. Carefully move the clamp down the lens with the clamp's tabs facing what will be the camera body once installed.
  6. Ensure the clamp is interfacing with the lens zoom ring and make sure the clamp is even all the way around and that the tabs are relatively straight and one of the tabs lines up with the lens indicator dot.
  7. You will notice two negative spaces on the gear sleeve where the clamp tabs will index into, line one of these up with the indicator dot on your camera.
  8. Ensure your camera lens and body caps are removed and that your lens is set to autofocus.
  9. Line up the indicator dots on your camera body and camera lens and bayonet your lens into place.
  10. Move the zoom knob on the housing to ensure that your lens and zoom gear are interfacing properly and zooming the lens. 

Installing the Dome Port

For this particular lens we will be using the DL 20mm Port Extension # 75020 and DL 8inch Dome Port # 75340.

  1. Apply a small amount of the provided Ikelite Lubricant around the o-ring of your port extension, this will help prevent any rolling of the o-ring. 
  2. Check the sealing surface of your dome port and apply the remaining lubricant on your finger to the o-ring on your dome port.
  3. Ensure the thumbscrews are free of the inside diameter of your dome port and that one of the thumbscrews corresponds with one of the dome shades.
  4. Line up this thumbscrew with the pocket on the outside diameter of your 20mm extension and press together.
  5. Tighten all thumbscrews on the dome port.
  6. Apply a small amount of lubricant to the o-ring on the port base located on your housing.
  7. Orient the port and extension so that the thumbscrew you lined up with the dome shade will be at the top of your housing and line up with the pocket in your housing's port base. Press down into place.
  8. Tighten down all three thumbscrews on the extension. No need to use a tool to tighten, finger tight is sufficient.
vacuum pump for ikelite underwater housing

The last thing you want is a leak while you're underwater. Check for leaks while you sleep

Checking for Leaks with a Vacuum Pump 

Our Vacuum Pump with Gauge # 47011 allows you to check for leaks after assembling your housing and prior to entering the water. This can make the difference between a successful dive and a stressful situation.

  1. Turn your attention to the vacuum valve on the side of the housing.
  2. Push the button to release the cap.
  3. Insert the vacuum pump tube insert into the valve.
  4. Now you can begin vacuuming the housing using the vacuum pump.
  5. Pump the gauge to 10mmHg and check that the needle does not steadily drop. If you notice the needle moving, there's a chance you may have forgotten an o-ring or missed a critical step to keep your housing waterproofed. Disassemble your housing, check your o-rings and other potential sources for leaks, reassemble and vacuum your housing again.
  6. After you have vacuumed your housing, unplug the vacuum tubing and re-insert the valve cap on the housing. Reinsert the vacuum pump when you're ready to check the levels before your dive.
  7. Ideally, you want to vacuum your system the night before a dive and then check the reading again in the morning to make sure it has not changed. If you don't have all night long, even 10 or 15 minutes should give you enough time to detect leaks, but the longer timeline the better.
  8. Do not leave the vacuum attached overnight or for prolonged periods of time.
  9. Always ensure you have reinstalled the valve cap on your housing before diving.
DS230 strobes for ikelite underwater housing

Need a strobe recommendation? Email us via with what camera you’re shooting and we’ll give you the best options for any budget.

Installing TTL Strobes

TTL or "Thru-the-Lens" flash metering means the camera evaluates the scene and communicates exposure information directly to the compatible flash. The camera automatically adjusts the power output of the external flash so you don't have to.

TTL exposure is faster and usually more accurate than setting the flash output manually. TTL can be the difference between getting a properly exposed image or not, especially when shooting fast-moving subjects and subjects that are moving towards or away from you.

Assembling TTL Converter and Strobes

  1. Remove the strobe bulkhead cap from your housing and store with your spare parts.
  2. Remove the bulkhead cap from both of your strobes and store these with your spare parts as well.
  3. Remove the caps from your DL2 DS Link Sony TTL Converter # 46042 and store with spare parts. 
  4. Check the o-ring on your TTL Converter for any debris and apply a small amount of lubricant. Check the sealing surface on your housing's bulkhead.
  5. Line up the pins and receptacles on your TTL Converter with those on your housing's bulkhead and push the TTL Converter into place and tighten down the retaining ring.
  6. Remove the caps from your Dual Sync Cord # 45152 and store with spare parts.
  7. Take the lead with the blue band on your dual sync cord and, lining up the pins and receptacles, insert this into the end of the TTL Converter ensuring that you've checked the o-ring and sealing surfaces for any unwanted debris.
  8. Attach the primary lead (no band) on your dual sync cord to your primary strobe, again checking your o-ring and sealing surface for any debris and applying a small amount of lube and lining up the pins and receptacles on the lead of the sync cord with the bulkhead on your strobe. Repeat this step for your secondary lead (red band) and secondary strobe.
  9. Turn your strobes on and set the dial to TTL.
  10. Ensure the light on your TTL Convert is glowing blue which indicates you're operating in TTL mode.
  11. Take some test images with various camera settings to ensure your strobes are firing appropriately and that your camera and strobe are in proper communication.

Adding Strobe Arms and Carrying Cable

A stainless steel cable with comfortable rubber overlay is the perfect lightweight addition to carry your system to and from the dive site or pool. 

  1. Insert the quick release segment of your Wide Angle Ball Arm # 40782 into the quick release opening on the handle of your housing by pushing the silver button on the handle as you insert. Repeat this step for your other strobe arm.
  2. Ensure the ball arm clamps will be facing toward you which will make it easier for you to adjust them as needed underwater.
  3. Loosen your ball arm clamp and install it over the ball mount on your strobe then retighten. Repeat this step for your other strobe.
  4. Now, attach the Red Cable Grip # 4080.09 for carrying your housing by hooking the carabiner over the segment of your ball arm closest to your housing and repeating on the other side. Now you've got a comfortable carrying cable to easily transport your system. 
red cable grip ikelite underwater systems

The Red Cable Grip makes carrying your housing easy and comfortable and it's one of the Ikelite staff favorites! 

That's It!

Now you have a fully assembled system decked out with a TTL Converter, USB-C Charging Bulkhead, second handle, extensions, and a large dome port. If you have any questions on this process, these accessories, or just how to get a better photo underwater - email us today!


John Brigham Ikelite Vice PresidentJohn 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.

Additional Reading


Reading next

Replacing Push Button O-Rings on an Ikelite Underwater Housing [VIDEO]
Bent Reflector Replacement for DS160 DS161 DS125 Strobes [VIDEO]