The American manufacturer is the first to reach the market with a polycarbonate housing for the Panasonic LX100.
- 200 ft (60m) depth rating
- Controls for all camera functions except Diopter Adjustment Dial, Aspect Selector Switch, Front Control Ring, and Focus Selector Switch
- Ikelite 5-pin bulkhead with TTL circuitry
- Near neutral buoyancy in fresh water
- Weight 4.7 lb (2.1 kg)
- Dimensions 7 x 6 x 6 in (18 x 15 x 15 cm) including projections
- 3.9-inch (99 mm) diameter glass lens port
The first thing that we notice is that not all controls are accessible, is this going to be an issue?
Diopter Adjustment Dial – this is normally set fixed
Aspect Selector Switch – this does not change during the dive
Front Control Ring – this controls manual focus and is important
Focus Selector Switch – this switches between macro and normal focus mode an is important if you don’t use a close up lens
As the LX100 with a 24mm lens is not going to be really a photographer dream Ikelite could have spared an expensive TTL converter but I requested confirmation from the manufacturer and they said only a TTL version is planned – not good for us!
The housing looks a bit bulky as usual but considering that for video we access a limited set of controls this is not going to be a major problem except maybe the rear metal buttons.
Probably the best feature of this housing are the accessories.
The housing comes with a large 3.9″ flat round port that per-se is not good for much, however you can add the WD-4 Dome and the macro M67 adapter to improve matters. The WD-4 dome is a glass removable dome that is sharp and will restore the lens field of view and allow for some zooming, the macro adapter allows to mount M67 close up lenses as a push on.
Probably the feature that will miss the most is the focus mode switch as the rest can work quite nicely with focus lock.
Cost wide the housing is $750 with the WD-4 and the Macro adapter this totals at $1115 plus taxes.
The nauticam housing is rumored to be $1,100 without ports so this ikelite housing could be competitive and we like the port system a lot for simplicity even if the choices are a bit limited as all in all this is good enough for video if combined with a selection of diopters. The lack of the focus mode switch could create some challenges in portrait work with the bare port but a series of mid range close up lenses can fix the issue.
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