How are lenses on AW1 sealed - any ideas

Started Sep 20, 2013 | Discussions
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tundracamper Senior Member • Posts: 1,818
How are lenses on AW1 sealed - any ideas

I just recently started dabbling in underwater photography and quickly learned why it costs so much. So much worry about o-rings leaking and expensive housings that allow access to the controls. Obviously, there are housings that have removable lens ports. However, those seem to have big o-rings and locking mechanisms. Does anyone have any images of how the AW-1 lenses will seal to the chassis? I wonder if users will be required to lubricate the seals, etc. Seams like a recipe for getting all sorts of garbage inside the camera - and ultimately on the sensor.

DesertCat Contributing Member • Posts: 652
System Diagram

This image just became available on the web.  I think it may help answer your question.

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DesertCat Contributing Member • Posts: 652
Re: System Diagram

In addition, the nikonusa.com site has a "waterproof accessories" tab for this system. It includes silicon grease and replacement o-rings. So, I think your concerns are justified with regards to managing the "gunk".  I think that's kind of the one of the costs of ownership with such a system.  Especially given the current lenses, I think lots of people would just choose one of the two lenses and leave it on most of the time, though I'm sure someone will prove me wrong. The big decision for many may be whether they want the flexibility of zoom with a bit less let gathering capability or if they want a little more light gathering, a fixed focal length, and potentially a bit more seal depth (20m instead of 15m).

AW1 Waterproof Accessories

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SunnyFlorida Contributing Member • Posts: 831
Re: How are lenses on AW1 sealed - any ideas
3

Duct  Tape

tundracamper OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,818
Re: System Diagram

Thanks for the image.  That certainly helps.  Of course, there sure are a lot of o-rings.  Granted, a regular underwater housing has lots of o-rings as well, though some of them are quite small and can be very tight around the buttons.  Here, the rings within the lens would be difficult to maintain, if not impossible.  Just based on some high-level observations of the schematic, of course.

GodSpeaks
GodSpeaks Forum Pro • Posts: 11,469
Re: System Diagram

DesertCat wrote:

In addition, the nikonusa.com site has a "waterproof accessories" tab for this system. It includes silicon grease and replacement o-rings. So, I think your concerns are justified with regards to managing the "gunk". I think that's kind of the one of the costs of ownership with such a system. Especially given the current lenses, I think lots of people would just choose one of the two lenses and leave it on most of the time, though I'm sure someone will prove me wrong. The big decision for many may be whether they want the flexibility of zoom with a bit less let gathering capability or if they want a little more light gathering, a fixed focal length, and potentially a bit more seal depth (20m instead of 15m).

AW1 Waterproof Accessories

Even if you just have one lens and 'leave it on all the time', your O rings will still need to be lubricated and replaced periodically, if you hope to maintain watertight integrity.  O rings will dry out and crack if not properly maintained.

I used Nikonos cameras back in the 70's and 80's, and O ring maintainence was a must if you did not want your camera to flood.

Still have two of them, and still fully operational.

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The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves into thinking they have done 'the right thing.'
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GodSpeaks
GodSpeaks Forum Pro • Posts: 11,469
Re: System Diagram

tundracamper wrote:

Thanks for the image. That certainly helps. Of course, there sure are a lot of o-rings. Granted, a regular underwater housing has lots of o-rings as well, though some of them are quite small and can be very tight around the buttons. Here, the rings within the lens would be difficult to maintain, if not impossible. Just based on some high-level observations of the schematic, of course.

You normally send the lenses in to a service facility for replacement and relubing.

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The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves into thinking they have done 'the right thing.'
- Rayna Butler

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Sonyshine
Sonyshine Senior Member • Posts: 7,672
Re: System Diagram

As a plumber I'm very used to seeing O rings working perfectly for years on high pressure systems. Have confidence the seals will be fine.

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Bailey151 Senior Member • Posts: 1,137
Re: System Diagram

GodSpeaks wrote:

Even if you just have one lens and 'leave it on all the time', your O rings will still need to be lubricated and replaced periodically, if you hope to maintain watertight integrity. O rings will dry out and crack if not properly maintained.

Yep, and it's not like it's all that complicated (lenses aside). If you happen to own a dive watch......same-same. O-rings & silicone.

happypoppeye
happypoppeye Veteran Member • Posts: 3,873
Re: How are lenses on AW1 sealed - any ideas

SunnyFlorida wrote:

Duct Tape

Use that sh*t for anything...

Duct Tape is also the cure for the problems in the Middle East.

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GodSpeaks
GodSpeaks Forum Pro • Posts: 11,469
Re: System Diagram

Sonyshine wrote:

As a plumber I'm very used to seeing O rings working perfectly for years on high pressure systems. Have confidence the seals will be fine.

And I have experience from my Nikonos days.  Periodic replacement and relubing is a must.

As a plumber, you can wait for the seal to start dripping a little before taking any action.  With underwater cameras and lenses, waiting that long results in ruined equipment.

-- hide signature --

The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves into thinking they have done 'the right thing.'
- Rayna Butler

 GodSpeaks's gear list:GodSpeaks's gear list
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Sonyshine
Sonyshine Senior Member • Posts: 7,672
Re: System Diagram

GodSpeaks wrote:

Sonyshine wrote:

As a plumber I'm very used to seeing O rings working perfectly for years on high pressure systems. Have confidence the seals will be fine.

And I have experience from my Nikonos days. Periodic replacement and relubing is a must.

As a plumber, you can wait for the seal to start dripping a little before taking any action. With underwater cameras and lenses, waiting that long results in ruined equipment.

-- hide signature --

The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves into thinking they have done 'the right thing.'
- Rayna Butler

It depends what the O rings are made of. Many modern O rings must not be lubricated with anything as  they will be damaged by silicon lubes etc. No doubt Nikon will include advice on care in the owners manual!

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Sonyshine
Sonyshine Senior Member • Posts: 7,672
Re: How are lenses on AW1 sealed - any ideas

An interesting article here that goes into a lot of detail on the seal and even the grease is supplied!

http://www.photoclubalpha.com

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Jan Toude
Jan Toude Regular Member • Posts: 192
A clearer photo of the AW1 CX mount
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