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Lunch » Tags » Photography » Reviews » Ewa-marine Underwater AF SLR / Digital Camera Housing U-AXP - (Rated f/ 50 Meter/150' depth) #U-AXP » User review

Definitely Worth the Money, If You Use It.

  • Apr 1, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
The first time I used this housing, it took about 30 minutes for me to set up. I'm sure it will take less for most people, but I had a little trouble, detailed below. The next couple of times I set it up, it was done quickly -- a couple of minutes at the most.

The housing has a solid feeling that inspires confidence in its ability to keep water out. The plastic is thick, so you don't get the feeling that it would be particularly easy to puncture by accident. It's large, though. It needs to be, since it'll hold a large camera and attached flash unit. Once I had it in my hands, though, part of me wished I had bought the housing for use without the flash, due to its much smaller size. Then again, I bought it for snorkeling purposes, not SCUBA diving. A flash is less necessary at the shallow depths I'm using it for.

The camera I have would not fit into the bag all at once -- I had to remove the flash unit, squeeze the camera into the bag, and then put the flash unit in there and attach it from inside. Not a big deal.

The biggest problem that I had when using this housing for the first time was attaching the ring that surrounds the end of the lens barrel, keeping the lens in one place and close to the glass element of the housing. This ring is attached to the camera by a series of interchangeable metal pieces that extend from the ring at the front of your lens to the tripod mount. These metal extensions are attached to each other, and then to the tripod mount, with a square metal piece in between. This square piece has a lip on one side. That lip does not fit correctly on my camera, a Canon EOS Digital Rebel with the vertical grip. Additionally, no combination of these metal extensions seemed to successfully extend to the end of the lens barrel at the correct height for attaching the ring. The only solution was to remove the vertical grip every time I want to use this housing. It's not a deal breaker, but I'm not too happy about that.

Otherwise, the housing works like a charm. I'd recommend getting a weight attachment for it. Even for snorkeling purposes, it floats a little TOO well to be comfortable. If you are staying really close to the surface, you can use the nozzle to suck most of the air out of it, making it a little bit less buoyant.

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Update:
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I went snorkeling in the Bahamas recently and got some significant use out of this, so I wanted to post an update.

Since my initial review over two years ago, I've upgraded to a Canon EOS 40D. The housing still fits well with this model, even with the vertical grip attached. I removed the larger of the two foam inserts to allow for the extra size of the grip. And here's the greatest part -- the weakest (in my opinion) part of this housing is a non-issue with the larger lenses. My earlier review was based off of the 18-55mm kit lens, and the plastic ring that surrounds the lens was required to keep the lens centered over the glass window. I'm happy to say that with larger diameter lenses (specifically, I used the 17-40mm f/4L with a 77mm thread diameter) this plastic ring and its tripod socket attachment are unnecessary and can be left off. This makes setup SO much easier. Fit the camera in, attach the flash, and go!

With the assumption that you're using this bag with a large diameter lens (approx. 77mm), this is a 5-star item for its purpose.

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April 24, 2009
What a thorough review!! I love that you added an update with your experiences. Snorkeling in the Bahamas sounds dreamy... maybe you can write a review on that :)
 
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Jeff Kraus ()
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Member Since: Mar 31, 2009
Last Login: Apr 23, 2009 09:53 AM UTC
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Wiki

The housing can be used on small boats, in the surf, while swimming, snorkeling or diving. It's easy to operate the camera as its various components and buttons can be operated through the PVC. The U-AXP is designed to fit almost all common SLR cameras on the market today, irrespective of the manufacturer or model. With thishousing, a whole new world of applications opens up for your standard SLR camera: Inside the housing you can now take the camera safely canoeing, snorkeling or even diving, up to a depth of 50 m / 150 ft The housing is larger than its sister model, the U-AX, for two reasons: Firstly it was designed to take the larger SLR cameras like the Nikon F4, F5 and Canon EOS 1, EOS 3 (please note, that you will need a special adapter for the AV110-X which is available from your dealer or distributor) and secondly the extra volume of air trapped inside the housing allows a dive depths of up to 50m / 150 ft ! If the optional BF1 lead weight is inserted into the housing, underneath the camera, it becomes even easier to reach the maximum depth. Experienced photographers have confirmed, that the auto focus and flash both continue to function perfectly. As you descend, the air is pressed into the camera. Due to this, the pressure inside the housing will remain the same as the surrounding water pressure. (this is the reason why ewa-marine housings are so safe to use: implosions are impossible) Due to this, we have to start the dive with a suitable
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