Mirrorless + DSLR

Upgrade Your Nauticam | Installing an Ikelite M14 or M16 TTL Bulkhead [VIDEO]

Upgrade Your Nauticam | Installing an Ikelite M14 or M16 TTL Bulkhead [VIDEO]

Do you have another manufacturer’s underwater housing and want to take advantage of the extremely reliable TTL performance of our DS230, DS161, DS160, and DS51 strobes? The easiest way to achieve this is to install an Ikelite bulkhead and TTL hotshoe in the housing. Doing so will allow you to incorporate your strobes, DS Link TTL Converter, and either single or dual electrical sync cord.

Many manufacturers sell housings with a flash bulkhead that only allows ground and trigger signals to pass through from the camera. This will only give you manual flash operation no matter what kind of TTL strobe and converter you attach. When you install an Ikelite bulkhead and TTL hotshoe, you know that you will have all 5 conductors connected to send the appropriate signals to your DS Link TTL Converter.

Ikelite bulkheads are available for both M14 and M16 threaded ports compatible with a wide variety of housings including select Nauticam, Sea&Sea, Isotta, Subal, and Aquatica models.

Why do you need TTL?

With TTL, the camera automatically adjusts the power output of the external flash so you don't have to. TTL exposure is faster and often 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.

TTL is by far the easiest way to shoot perfectly exposed macro photography and allows you to concentrate on focus and framing. When shooting wide angle or close focus wide angle (CFWA), set your camera to properly expose the background and let the DS Link adjust your strobe intensity for proper exposure of the foreground.

How to install an Ikelite Bulkhead

It's easy to install the Ikelite Bulkhead. Here are the steps:

1 | Remove the plug or bulkhead from the housing.

Ensure that you have a compatible M14 or M16 metric threaded port in your housing and the corresponding Ikelite bulkhead. Remove the plug or bulkhead from the housing.

2 | Check your o-ring and sealing surface.

Make sure the surfaces are totally clean with no debris.

3 | Put the connector through the hole and thread in the bulkhead.

Finger-tighten the bulkhead to start. Then use an 11/16” wrench to tighten the bulkhead snug to the housing. Keep in mind that the sync cord will be threaded on and off of this bulkhead. The bulkhead has to be tightened enough that removing the sync cord does not cause the bulkhead to spin out.

4 | Attach the hotshoe.

Make sure you have TTL hotshoe which is indicated by a yellow band around the wire. Line up the internal connectors of the bulkhead and TTL hotshoe and push them together until they snap to lock.

That’s it! Now you’re ready to attach the DS Link to your housing and enjoy TTL operation with single or dual Ikelite DS Strobes.

Shop the Products

Metric Threaded Bulkheads:

Ikelite Bulkhead with M14 Threads # 46004
Ikelite Bulkhead with M16 Threads # 46006

TTL Converters For Nikon cameras:

DL1 DS Link Nikon TTL Converter Ikelite NT2 (right) TTL Hotshoe Kit # 46054
DL1 DS Link Nikon TTL Converter Ikelite NT3 (left) TTL Hotshoe Kit # 46056

The only difference between these kits is the wire direction of the hotshoe. When looking at the back of the camera, the wire on the NT2 hotshoe comes out the right-hand side. The wire on the NT3 hotshoe comes out the left-hand side. Choose the routing that most closely corresponds to the position of the bulkhead port in your housing.

TTL Converters For Sony cameras:

DL2 DS Link Sony TTL Converter Ikelite ST1 Hotshoe Kit # 46042

The Sony TTL hotshoe wire routing is omni-directional.

TTL Converters For Panasonic & Olympus Cameras:

DL3 DS Link Panasonic & Olympus TTL Converter Ikelite PT1 Hotshoe Kit # 46032
DL3 DS Link Panasonic & Olympus TTL Converter Ikelite PT2 Hotshoe Kit # 46037

TTL Converters For Fujifilm cameras:

DL4 DS Link Fujifilm TTL Converter Ikelite FT1 (left) TTL Hotshoe Kit # 46082

TTL Converters For Canon cameras:

DL5 DS Link TTL Converter Ikelite CT1 (left) TTL Hotshoe Kit # 46075


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Additional Reading

Common Questions about Strobe Firing, TTL, and Sync Speeds

DL2 DS Link Sony TTL Converter Underwater Photos

The Myth of TTL Strobe Exposure Underwater

DL1 DS Link Nikon TTL Converter Underwater Photos

Choosing Strobes for Ikelite TTL Systems

Programming a DL5 or DL6 DS Link TTL Converter for Canon Cameras [VIDEO]

TTL Testing and Troubleshooting

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