- What do you need to know to quote a price ?
Start by filling out our Order Inquiry form located here in the website.
In order to quote a housing price, we will need to know which currency you plan to use (Euro, USD, or AUD).
The camera brand and model, the lens(es) you want to use in the housing.
A written description of how you intend to use the water-housing, your primary subject, your working environment, etc.
Additionally, a picture of your photo-equipment will be helpful.
- What do you need to build the camera water-housing? Do I have to send my camera or lens to Liquid Eye before purchasing a water-housing or port ?
Generally, it is not necessary for you to send your camera body and/or lens(es) to us prior to building your water-housing. We have most Canon and Nikon camera bodies on hand.
However, if we do not have your model camera and/or lens(es) on hand, it may be necessary to ship your equipment to us in order to prepare the water-housing mold and to perform a final quality control check to ensure that all buttons and features are working properly.
In this case it may be necessary for us to keep the equipment for the duration of the build.
- How long does it take to complete a custom water-housing ?
Generally 15 days for the e-models and between 20/30 days for our pro-models depending on the camera, lenses, specific needs and production schedule.
- How is my water-housing shipped to me ?
We use EMS (express mail services) or TNT (www.tnt.com).
EMS is a fast, efficient, user-friendly, international mail service, servicing over 120 countries worldwide. TNT services about 200 countries.
Shipping generally takes 5 to 8 days depending on your location.
- How is payment done ?
We require a 50% deposit prior to beginning your water-housing and the final 50% upon completion and before shipping. Deposit is not transferable and non refundable.
Payment must be done by international money transfer.
We only accept Euro, AUD and USD.
- You only accept Euros, AUD and USD, but I want my invoice in my local currency, is that OK?
- What is the water-housing made of ?
We layer epoxy resin, fiberglass and a very light core material using a state of the art “sandwiching technique” to maximize strength and minimize weight. This same type of technology is used in the aeronautical industry and for fabricating Formula One racing car bodies.
The front port is made out of acrylic on our e-models. The front lens-element is in acrylic as it is 20 times more impact resistant than glass and also more transparent. Acrylic lens-elements are lighter weight and less expensive than glass yet still provide excellent optical quality.
On the pro-models the back plate is fabricated from 10mm acrylic sheet stock that allows you to easily see the camera’s back LCD screen as well as a clear view into the housing.
The controls on the Liquid Eye water-housing are fabricated from marine grade stainless steel (A4/316L) and a special composite resin for strength and longevity.
- What if I want to use a lens that is not on the Liquid Eye lens port reference sheet ?
If your specific lens is not listed on our lens port reference sheet you may need a custom port. Please contact Liquid Eye directly to see if your lens will work with an existing standard port or if a custom port is required for your specific lens. In most cases we can manufacture a custom port to fit your specific needs within a few weeks.
- Are Liquid Eye lens ports interchangeable between different housing models ?
All current pro-model Liquid Eye ports are interchangeable between current model Liquid Eye pro-models Housings. This means that if you are shooting with two housings, say a C1794 your Canon 1Ds Mark III and a C1793S for your Canon 5D, you will only need one set of ports.
- What is the zoom control for ?
On Liquid Eye water housings the zoom control is installed on the housing not the lens port. This means you will not have to pay an extra fee for every next port you will get. This feature allows you to reframe your subject within the focal length range of your zoom lens.
Shooting with a zoom lens dramatically expands your creativity, the possibilities for different perspectives at any shoot location.
Not all the zoom lenses are eligible in the zoom system port. Please contact Liquid Eye to check if your zoom lens is eligible in the system.
- What size are your domes ?
Standard domes are 10 cm/4 inches. Option to go to 16-20 cm/6-8 inches for custom domes. Larger domes are used for above/below water dual shots.
- What is the difference between the FA-lp/A or FA-lp/AA and FA-lp/A+ Dome Ports ?
Although the FA-lp/A or FA-lp/AA and FA-lp/A+ ports are both dome ports they serve two very different functions. Our FA-lp/A dome port is a four-inch dome designed for surface level use in turbulent water such as in sailing, surfing, or whitewater rafting. This port allows you use super wide-angle fisheye lenses to get in the middle of the action.
Our FA-lp/A+ dome port is an eight-inch dome designed for over/under photography in calm water. When used with wide angle lenses this port creates incredibly sharp images underwater.
The FA-lp/A+ port also allows for over/under photography with the underwater and topside environments in the same frame.
- How do I eliminate water droplets on the lens port element ?
There are many different methods to eliminating water droplets on the lens port elements. Although some methods work better than others there is no foolproof method that works 100% of the time in all conditions. The most popular and consistent method for wide angle ports such as the FA-lp/A is to use saliva on the port which will cause the water to sheet off evenly eliminating water droplets.
For telephoto lenses you will actually need to keep the port element completely dry.
Please note that you should NEVER use any products such as Rain-X, Windex. Rubbing those products onthe acrylic part of the lens port can severely damage acrylic and can cause it to crack. It is best to use warm water and a mild dish detergent to clean you ports.
- What type of shutter/AF control do you have on your digital water-housings ?
We use a pistol grip with a proprietary trigger system. We have two models of pistol grips; the PG4 and the PG3. Both have the same grip shape, and differ in the functionality of the trigger.
The PG4 pistol grip has a single stage trigger. This trigger is intended for preset manual focus shooting such as with extra-wide angle and short prime lenses up to 50mm. Using this pre-focus (hyper-focal) mode increases your reactivity and the frame rate on your DSLR.
The PG3 pistol grip has a dual stage trigger that mimics perfectly the two stages of the shutter button on your DLSR. The initial stage of the trigger stroke activates the AF and the final stage of the trigger stroke activates the shutter.
The initial AF portion of the trigger stroke has been lengthened relative the shutter release portion of the trigger stroke to give you greater AF control while swimming, and to avoid accidental miss-fires.
- What basic controls do your video water-housings have ?
Most are manually operated lever controls with knobs for zoom, on/off and record. Other options can be added.
- What are your basic controls for the digital/still water-housings ?
E-models Standard Features
The PG4 Pistol-grip with the single stage trigger that controls the shutter release. This trigger is intended for preset manual focus shooting such as with extra-wide angle and short prime lenses up to 50mm. Using this pre-focus (hyper-focal) mode increases your reactivity and the frame rate on your DSLR.
BF-al/19XX Front Plate
The front plate (ref. BF-al/19XX), it is made from acrylic sheet stock and includes our standard lens port, which can fit lenses shorter than or equal to 60 mm in length and 70 mm in diameter. This lens port is designed to be used with lenses such as 20 mm f2.8 up to the 50 mm f.8, or any other lenses having similar dimensions (60 mm X 70 mm).
Options for the emodels include front dial control, zoom lens control and upper LCD window.
The Pro-Model Standard Features
The housing unit doesn’t include any standard accessories (e.g pistol grip) or control features; however all of Liquid Eye’s control features may be added as optional accessories at additional costs.
Back acrylic plate
The back plate, it is made from acrylic sheet stock and allows you a full view of the camera’s back, including the LCD. The standard back-plate doesn’t include any control features, however all of Liquid Eye’s back-plate control features may be added as optional accessories at additional costs.
Optional features include main dial control, back dial control, back-button AF, etc (check our price list for further details).
- How is the water-housing sealed ?
The water-housings are sealed with an o-ring in a dedicated groove. The rear/front plate is tightened to the water-housing using marine grade stainless wing-nuts (e-models) or hex-nuts (pro-models).
We do not use dive housing clips, the reason being that the nuts apply a more even pressure on the o-ring for a better seal.
- How safe are o-rings as seals ?
O-rings have been used in the pneumatic and hydraulic industries for many decades. The pistons that lift the bed of a dump truck are sealed with o-rings and develop pressures of 30,000 pounds per square inch, far more than we see in underwater housings. The key is proper design, smoothness, and maintenance of the groove or the mating surface. O-rings rarely fail; most leaks in housings are caused by failure of the user to keep the o-rings clean and free of particles that can allow water to seep past the seal.
- Do you use double o-rings ?
The use of double o-rings is usually not necessary, and causes the need for more maintenance.
- Do you use x-rings ?
X-rings look like o-rings, except that they have a cross section that looks like an X instead of an O. They are considerably more expensive than o-rings, and can sometimes be installed with a twist that will allow the passage of water. We generally find them unnecessary.
- How do you test Liquid Eye water-housings ?
We perform leak testing and function testing on every water-housing.
Our leak test involves pressurizing the inside of the water-housing and then submerging it to locate potential leaks. All water-housings are designed to resist outside pressure, rather than inside pressure. If the water-housing resists inside pressure, you have greater assurance that it will resist outside pressure.
We do, however, recommend that for your peace of mind, you dive with the empty water-housing to your desired depth before using it with your expensive camera. We also highly recommend that you use the water-housing locally near your home before taking it on an expensive trip, as you would do with any new equipment.
- Can I take the water-housing for diving ?
Absolutely not. Our splash housings are rated for 15-20ft max. Or whatever surf you take the housing into. We have top professional surf photogs using our housings in the largest surf on the planet--problem free!
Please check out our shooter's list page.
- What colors do you use for water-housing ?
Yellow is the standard color as it is the easiest color to see in a marine environnement. However, we do offer custom colors for an additional fee.
- What maintenance is required for the water-housing ?
Because we use only the finest material, maintenance on our housing is very low.
Thorough soaking and rinsing in fresh water is the first step. Then dry the housing with a soft towel before opening it.
Maintenance of the o-ring seals is the most important part of keeping the housing free of leaks. In a clean, dry environment, the o-rings on access plates should be cleaned, inspected, and very slightly lubricated before every use.
The o-rings around the ports should be also inspected and lubricated (more heavily) before every use.
The o-rings around control shafts usually do not need to be removed, cleaned or inspected, but you can lubricated them on a regular basis depending on how often you use your housing. It is not uncommon for these o-rings to last twenty years, with proper care.
- What are some of your longest running water-housings ?
Some of our first water-housings are still in use today were made for Nikon F501/N2020 in the late 80’s or for Canon EOS 5/A2 in the early 90's.
- Do you offer a warrantee with you housings ?
Due to many circumstances that our not under our control we can only guarantee that our housings will not leak due to a manufacturer error. We fully test all housings before they leave our shop. Housings if cared for in a proper way will last many years. You will receive a care instruction sheet with all our pro-models. Please follow them.
You are encouraged to purchase flood insurance to cover your equipment.
If there is ever a problem when you receive your new Liquid Eye waterhousing please contact us ASAP. Shipping handling damage can occur.
- Flood insurance
Check with your insurance agent to see if your homeowners or renters policy already covers this, although it is usually not covered. It may be possible able to add a schedule of your items as an addendum to your existing policy. It may be necessary to take out a separate inland-marine all-risk policy to cover flooding of your equipment.
You may also consider purchasing dive equipment-specific insurance, from such organizations as DEPP or DAN/H2O.
You are also encouraged to purchase coverage on the housing itself, since the exact model of your camera or equipment may not be available for replacement from a future loss, and the housing will not necessarily fit a new model.