How are lenses on AW1 sealed - any ideas

Started Sep 20, 2013 | Discussions
tundracamper
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How are lenses on AW1 sealed - any ideas
Sep 20, 2013

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
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System Diagram
In reply to tundracamper, Sep 20, 2013

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

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DesertCat
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Re: System Diagram
In reply to DesertCat, Sep 20, 2013

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
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Re: How are lenses on AW1 sealed - any ideas
In reply to tundracamper, Sep 20, 2013

Duct  Tape

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tundracamper
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Re: System Diagram
In reply to DesertCat, Sep 20, 2013

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.

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GodSpeaks
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Re: System Diagram
In reply to DesertCat, Sep 22, 2013

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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GodSpeaks
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Re: System Diagram
In reply to tundracamper, Sep 22, 2013

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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Sonyshine
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Re: System Diagram
In reply to GodSpeaks, Sep 22, 2013

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
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Re: System Diagram
In reply to GodSpeaks, Sep 22, 2013

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.

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happypoppeye
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Re: How are lenses on AW1 sealed - any ideas
In reply to SunnyFlorida, Sep 22, 2013

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
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Re: System Diagram
In reply to Sonyshine, Sep 22, 2013

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.

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Sonyshine
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Re: System Diagram
In reply to GodSpeaks, Sep 23, 2013

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.

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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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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
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Re: How are lenses on AW1 sealed - any ideas
In reply to tundracamper, Sep 25, 2013

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
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A clearer photo of the AW1 CX mount
In reply to Sonyshine, Sep 27, 2013
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