DEMA 2016 has been a great time to catch up with the leaders in the scuba industry, and the nice folks at IKELITE were no exception: We got the chance to talk to general manager David Combs.
Long known as a great company for underwater housings, IKELITE has been enjoying a lot of traffic from the non-diving community: From surf photographers to underwater fashion shoots, the demand for IKELITE‘s products have shifted. Different applications require different options, so the new versions of your favorite products have gotten an upgrade to reflect consumer need. Not everyone needs TTL strobe connectivity or even two handles, so those features have become optional in the new generation which lightens the load and the price tag. If you want the TTL technology, you can add it in for US$375/354 Euros and install it in seconds with a slide and a click. Many of the old nickel, brass and stainless steel actuator buttons have been replaced with aluminum and Delrin versions, further decreasing the weight of the newest housings.
As far as their famous housings go, there are some big changes in materials and options. For years, IKELITE has been known for their clear housings. There is a big drawback, however, in that light gets trapped inside creating a greenhouse effect that raises the heat and humidity in the chamber where your precious camera is kept.
The new opaque ABS polycarbonate housings eliminate this worry, with the added benefits of not crazing like the old transparent housings, and UV resistance that protects your expensive imaging equipment.
Another sea change has been the addition of a second backdoor option to the line. Available for most of their housings, IKELITE now offers backdoors that are waterproof to 50 feet/15 meters or 200 feet/61 meters. For shallower applications, use the thinner, lighter 50 door, then break out the 200 door for when your diving takes you to more extreme depths. Prices on all options vary based on model.
Another new innovation is the Drylock domeport system. IKELITE have replaced their tradition four-port lock design in which the o-ring seal is seated inside the connection with a the new Drylock port that seals outside and below the port lip so that any drips stay outside the housing and camera.
If you’ve already invested in a collection of IKELITE domes and are interested in upgrading to the new opaque ABS housing, there is a housing available that incorporates the new material with the old four port lock system. When you’re ready to take the plunge and completely cross over to the new domeport seal, you can get an adaptor to change your four port body to the new Drylock.
IKELITE is a heavy hitter in the underwater imaging business. Head over to www.ikelite.com to see how they’re lightening up!