Ikelite Digital Housing
i n s t r u c t i o n
m a n u a l
#6184.50 for Nikon CoolPix S500
Please Read
We suggest that you read this instruction booklet thoroughly
before use. If you are new to underwater photography be sure
to read the General and Photo Tips.
We also suggest that you read the camera manual thoroughly
to have a full understanding of where each camera control is
located and what function each control provides.
Please Read If Using an EV-Controller
The EV-Controller used with Ikelite DS Substrobes have two
user settings. One setting is for strobe selection, the other is for
pre-flash or non pre-flash. This camera uses pre-flash, thus the
EV-Controller should be set to the pre-flash position when used
with this camera.
Congratulations on your purchase of an Ikelite Digital Camera
Housing. Ikelite has over 40 years of experience in the underwater
photographic and lighting market. Our products are designed and
built in the USA by Ikelite for both the professional and amateur
The clear housing permits instant visual inspection of the camera
and all sealing surfaces as well as complete monitoring of controls
and camera LCD screens.
Ikelite Digital Housings are slightly negative in salt water for
stability. This housing has been water pressure tested at the
factory. Housing is pressure tested to 200’ (60m).
One-Touch Portrait
Opening the Housing
Front View
Back View
1. Lid Snaps have a Lock.
To open, push Lid Snap Lock
Lid Snap Lock
forward and lift as shown.
Keep pressure on the Lid
Snap so it does not fly open
Some lid snaps have a lot of
spring tension once they go over center, have a firm grip on the
lid snap. Lid Snaps may be opened one at a time.
Push Forward
Installing the Camera
Remove the back from the housing. The mounting tray for the
camera is secured to the housing back. Position the camera on
the tray and secure
it with the
mounting bolt
which threads into
the camera’s tripod
socket. Use a coin
or flat bladed
screwdriver to
tighten the
mounting bolt so
the camera is flat
Mounting Bolt
against the tray.
Some camera tripod socket threads are plastic. The mounting
tray bolt is metal. Do not cross thread or over tighten as you
may damage the camera tripod socket threads.
Closing the Housing
Checking Controls
housing back
1. Place housing face down in your
lap or on flat surface.
2. Check to see that there is an
o-ring on the housing back and
that it is clean and in its proper
3. Guide the back onto the housing.
The o-ring should touch the
housing all the way around. There
should be an even gap all the way
around between the housing and
the housing back.
4. Lift the lid snaps so they are
housing back
extended and place the lid
snap into the hook on the
housing back.
5. To close the housing push
even gap
all 4 sides
down on the lid snaps until
they snap into place . Lid
snaps on opposite sides of the
housing should be closed at the
same time. Be sure they are down
far enough to engage the lock.
Double check - Once the housing is closed, check the o-ring seal.
Check the gap between the housing back and the housing, it
should be even all the way around.
Look through the clear plastic back at the o-ring. You should see
a darkened area where the o-ring is compressed against the
housing back. If you do not see an even black compression seal
all the way around the back, open the lid snaps, reseat the
housing back and close the lid snaps. Visually check the seal again.
Once the housing has been closed, make sure the housing controls
line up with the camera’s controls. If the housing controls are
misaligned slightly make sure the camera hold down bolt has been
tightened down firmly so the camera is flat against the tray.
Using Flash
Rotary Multi Selector Control
The camera’s rotary multi selector is made up of the rotating ring
and the OK button. When selecting menus or pictures, you can
either press the rotating ring up, down, left, or right or rotate it.
When choosing from numerous menu items or pictures, rotating
the ring is recommended for easy scrolling, and faster operation.
The housing’s rotary multi selector control uses a paw to turn the
rotating ring. Note that the white dot on the face of the housing’s
control knob indicates the paw location. When underwater the
water pressure will push the housing’s rotary multi selector in and
make contact with the camera’s rotating ring if the paw is over the
ring. It is recommended that the paw be turned to the 3 o’clock
position when not being used so the paw is Not in contact with
the rotating ring. To use the housings rotary multi selector control
underwater you will need to pull out on the control, locate the
paw over the camera’s rotating ring, push in and rotate the ring.
You may have to do this several times depending on the length of
the camera menu. It is recommended you practice using this
control above water.
Turn Camera On
Turn the camera on and operate each of the housing controls to
get a feel for using the camera in the housing. Take a few pictures
above water with the camera in the housing.
1. Ikelite provides silicone lubricant with the housing. We recommend
you use only Ikelite lubricant on Ikelite products as some other
brands may cause the o-ring to swell and not seal properly.
2. Use only enough lubricant to lightly cover control shafts and
o-rings. Wipe off any excess lubricant with a clean cloth.
Lubricant is not a sealant, it is used to reduce friction. Excessive
lubricant can collect sand and dirt which may interfere with
proper sealing.
Never use spray lubricants as the propellant ingredient can
cause the plastic housing to crack.
Using the Camera’s Built-in Flash.
If you do not have an external flash the camera’s built-in flash
can be used. See Diffuser instructions.
Diffuser & Deflector Installation
Housing shown with
Diffuser installed.
Diffuser and Deflector cont.
A diffuser and deflector are
included with the housing. The
diffuser is white transparent
plastic. The deflector is also
white but is not transparent.
Diffuser/Deflector material
To install the diffuser or
deflector spread the port clamp
at the spring end and slide over
the lens port. The white plastic
should be placed in front of the
camera flash. The port clamp
should be pushed back against
the front of the housing.
Lens Port
Treat the glass in the lens port as a camera lens. After use, rinse
and gently dry the lens port to avoid water spotting. To clean
use a mild soap solution or lens cleaner.
Do not use alcohol or window cleaner on the Lens Port.
Port Clamp
Spread to Install
The diffuser should be installed when using the camera’s built
in flash. When shooting with the camera’s built-in flash at
approximately 2 feet (0.6 m) or less, the lens port on the
housing may block a portion of the light from the camera’s
built-in flash, creating a shadow in the lower left of the photo.
If this occurs, zoom the lens slightly to eliminate the shadow.
(You can test this above water)
The deflector should be installed when using an external strobe
such as the DS51 or DS125 Substrobe and EV Controller. The
deflector will redirect the camera’s flash to the EV Controller
which controls the external strobes output.
The Lens Port will accept (2) Wide-Angle Adapters. The WideAngle Adapter #9306.80 which is required to mount the Inon
UWL-150AD Bayonet style wide-angle lens. The Wide-Angle
Adapter #9306.81 is required to mount the #6420 Ikelite W-20
Wide-Angle Lens and other manufacturers (67mm) screw
thread style wide-angle lenses.
These lenses can be secured onto the Wide-Angle Adapter
above or below water as they are designed to have water
between the front of the port and the accessory lens. Make sure
no air bubbles are trapped between the port and the accessory
lens. Any vignetting that occurs can be eliminated by zooming
the camera lens slightly. The camera’s built-in flash cannot be
used with wide angle
Wide-Angle Adapter
lenses. The front of the
lenses are so large they
Wide-Angle Lens
block the camera’s flash.
To properly light subjects
when using a wide angle
lens an external strobe
should be used. Due to
the wide-angle of
coverage of these lenses,
the DS125 Substrobe is
recommended or two
DS51 Substrobes.
Optional Accessories
Back o-ring #0109
O-rings last for several years if properly maintained. (See
maintenance) Always carry a spare in case o-ring becomes
damaged or lost.
Wide-Angle Adapter #9306.80
Required to mount Inon UWL-150AD Bayonet style wide-angle lens.
Wide-Angle Adapter #9306.81
Required to mount Ikelite W-20 and other Screw Thread
(67mm) style wide-angle lenses.
UR/Pro Filter (Blue Water) #6441.32
The UR/Pro underwater color correcting filter is designed to
restore some of the warm colors filtered out by the water. For
available light use only, not recommended for use with flash.
Green Water Filter #6441.72
Enhances contrast and alters the color of green water to
give our subject a rich, natural tone. For available light
only, not recommended for use with flash.
Tray with Release Handle #9523.31
Tray and Release Handle is required
to mount external Substrobes.
Ikelite W-20 Wide-Angle Lens #6420
Wide-Angle lenses allow you to capture more of the scene and
get closer to your subject which results in clearer images and
more vivid color. Can be installed or removed underwater for
maximum versatility. (Note: some housings may require an
adapter, see instructions.)
Optional Accessories
Substrobe DS51 Package #3944.54
The Substrobe DS51 package includes
the Substrobe DS51, the EV
Controller and ball socket arms. The
EV Controller provides 10 manual
power settings in 1/2 stop
increments. An external strobe
offers several advantages over using
the camera’s built-in flash. External
strobes move the flash away from
the camera lens which helps reduce
backscatter. They also expand
lighting options to achieve the best
lighting for different subjects. A
second external digital strobe
package can be added to fill the
shadows and produce more realistic
The Substrobe DS51 covers the
equivalent of a 28mm lens. It is the
ideal choice when using only the
camera lens or the camera lens with
a macro accessory lens.
If an accessory wide angle lens wider
than 28mm is used, the ideal
lighting choice is the Substrobe
DS125, which covers 100 degrees, or
two Substrobe DS51’s can be used.
Ball Socket
EV Controller
Optional Tray and
Release Handle
required to mount
Optional Accessories
Substrobe DS125 Package #3944.77
The Substrobe DS125 package
includes the Substrobe DS125, the
EV Controller, ball socket arm and
charger. The EV Controller provides
10 manual power settings in 1/2 stop
increments. An external strobe offers
several advantages over using the
camera’s built-in flash. External
strobes move the flash away from
the camera lens which helps reduce
backscatter. They also expand
lighting options to achieve the
best lighting for different subjects.
A second external digital strobe
package can be added to fill the
shadows and produce more
realistic photographs.
The Substrobe DS125 covers the
equivalent of a 18mm lens, 100
degrees. It is the ideal choice when
using accessory wide angle lenses
greater than 28mm.
Ball Socket
EV Controller
Optional Tray and Release
Handle required to mount
Never use spray lubricants as the propellant ingredient can
cause the plastic housing to crack.
Control Maintenance
Ikelite controls are designed to provide years of reliable service
with minimal maintenance.
1. Push button controls require no maintenance other than rinsing
in fresh water after saltwater use. If a push button control
becomes difficult to push or if it sticks when depressed, soak the
housing in luke warm fresh water. After a few minutes operate
the push button. If this does not correct the problem, return the
housing to Ikelite for maintenance.
lubricate shaft
pull out to
expose shaft
2. Some of the controls have long shafts. These controls can be
pulled out, exposing the shaft (see drawing).
To lubricate the control, gently pull on the knob until the
stainless steel shaft is exposed. Lightly lubricate the shaft, then
move the shaft in and out several times. This will lubricate the
x-ring in the Ikelite control gland. This should be done before
using the housing after a prolonged storage period, or once a
week when the housing is in use.
The Ikelite Digital Housing should be given the same care and
attention as your other photographic equipment. In addition to
normal maintenance we recommend that the housing be returned
to Ikelite periodically to be checked and pressure tested.
1. Do Not leave the camera and housing in direct sunlight for
prolonged periods. Heat may damage the camera.
2. Do Not ship the camera in the housing.
3. Before using the housing, always check the tightness of the set
screw in each control knob.
Check each control gland penetrating the housing to make sure
they are tight. There is a slight chance that either could vibrate
loose during travel.
4. Keep the back o-ring clean and lightly lubricated. To lubricate
remove the o-ring from the back. Put a small amount of lkelite
lubricant on your fingers. Draw the o-ring through your fingers
to apply a light coating of lubricant. Only apply enough
lubricant to make the o-ring feel slick. Do Not stretch the
o-ring. This light coating of lubricant will help to keep the
o-ring from drying out and will help to show a dark sealing
line when the housing back is properly sealed.
5. Keep the area where the o-ring fits and the sealing surface of
the housing clean.
6. Rinse the housing exterior thoroughly in fresh water after each
salt water use. Dry with a soft cloth. Dry lens port to eliminate
water spotting.
After several uses in salt water soak the housing exterior in a
mild soap solution, rinse and dry before storage. When storing
the housing, remove the back o-ring, lightly lubricate and place
in a plastic bag. Place the plastic bag with o-ring inside the
housing for safe keeping.
Control Maintenance Cont.
3. Some of the controls have a short shaft and cannot be pulled
out exposing the shaft for lubrication. In the unlikely event one
of these controls sticks or becomes difficult to operate you can
remove the control from the housing and lubricate it, or return
the housing to Ikelite for maintenance. To remove the control,
loosen the set screw in the knob (allen wrench required);
remove the knob. If there is salt or dirt build-up on the exposed
control shaft, clean the shaft. Open the housing and gently slide
the control shaft out of the control gland. Clean and lightly
lubricate the shaft, including the end of the shaft. Slide the
shaft back into the control gland and gently slide it back and
forth a few times without fully removing the shaft from the
gland. Replace the knob, NOTE the flat area on the shaft, the
set screw in the knob should tighten down against the flat area
on the control so the knob does not turn on the shaft.
Tighten set screw down
against this area when
replacing the knob.
Loosen set screw
(allen wrench required)
Lubricate end of shaft
before reinserting into
General Tips
1. Due to the power required to operate the camera, flash, and
LCD screen it is a good idea to start each dive with a fresh set
of batteries.
2. Some cameras reset their flash to AUTO when the camera is
turned on. If you prefer another setting be sure to select it.
3. As soon as you enter the water, take a moment and check the
housing to see that it is properly sealed.
4. Next, check to see if there are any bubbles on the face of the
lens port. If there are, take your finger and remove them. If
there are bubbles on the lens port they can produce soft focus
spots in your photographs.
5. If you are shooting with the camera’s built-in flash and the
cameras lens is set to the widest angle you may need to zoom
the lens slightly or a shadow may appear in the lower left
corner of close-up photographs. The lens port may block some
of the light. Installing the flash diffuser will help to eliminate
the shadow. (You can test this above water)
To shoot photographs closer than 2 feet (0.6m), you need to
use an external strobe such as the DS51 or DS125. With an
external strobe you can position it so nothing blocks the light
path between the strobe and the subject.
Photo Tips
1. The number one rule in underwater photography is eliminate
as much water between camera and subject as possible. Get
as close as you can to the subject, then use the zoom. If you
are using flash, subjects beyond 6 feet (1.8m)will not have
much color.
2. The camera’s built-in flash is very close to the camera lens. The
flash can light up any suspended particles in the water and they
can be recorded in your picture. This effect is called backscatter.
To eliminate as much backscatter as possible, photograph close.
Photograph in clear water; do not stir up the sand or silty
bottom. If backscatter becomes a problem in the environment
you are photographing, an external flash will help eliminate
much of the backscatter.
3. Digital cameras have a slight lag time between when you press
the shutter release button and the camera actually takes the
picture. Hold the camera steady a second or two after pressing
the shutter release button.
4. Do not shoot down on subjects as they will quite often blend
into the background and be difficult to see in the photograph.
Shoot subjects straight on or shoot up at a slight angle using
the blue water as a contrasting background.
5. Underwater flash is used to restore the warmer colors filtered
out by the water as well as to illuminate the subject. When
photographing underwater, set the camera to use flash on
every shot. If the camera’s flash is set to AUTO and the sun is
behind your subject, the camera may see enough light that it
does not fire the flash. With the sun behind the subject the
subject is shaded (dark) and needs flash for a good exposure.
Photo Tips Cont.
6. When using daylight or flash if your camera consistently over
or underexposes the image you may want to adjust your
camera’s exposure compensation settings. Many cameras allow
you to adjust both available light and flash exposure with an
EV control in the camera’s menu.
7. Many photographers transfer their images to the computer
where they can fine tune the appearance of the image. Many
of the image manipulation programs make you think you can
magically correct any image taken and make a good picture.
One thing to remember when using image manipulation
programs, if the image is overexposed much of the color is
missing. If the color is missing you cannot adjust it. If images
are slightly underexposed the color is there, it is just dark and
you can adjust it to some degree. So if you error in exposure it
is better to have the image slightly underexposed than over
Ikelite Limited Warranty
All Ikelite products are warranted against any manufacturing defects
for a period of one year from the date of purchase. Defective products
should be returned prepaid to Ikelite. Ikelite will, at its discretion,
repair or replace such products, and will return to customer prepaid.
All other claims, of any nature, including but not limited to bulb
failure are not covered. Except as mentioned above, no other
warranty expressed or implied, applies to this Ikelite product.
Returning Products for Service
Ikelite is most interested in preforming any service to assure that
all products perform as intended. For repair or service, return the
product to the address below with your name, address, phone
number and a brief description of the problem. Evidence of
purchase date must be provided to obtain warranty service.
Ikelite Underwater Systems
50 W 33rd Street
Indianapolis, IN 4620 8 USA
email: ikelite@ikelite.com
Digital 6184.50 -01-0 60 7
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