Nikon | D300S | User's Manual | Nikon D300S User's Manual

PRODUCT # 20064
Thank you for having selected the AQUATICA Digital Camera Housing System for your underwater photography.
The AQUATICA Digital Housing is the result of a long and continuing relationship with the most demanding underwater
photographers in the world. Each housing is machined from solid aluminum, handfinished, quality checked and pressure
tested to a 90 meters/300 feet equivalent by a small group of specially trained individuals, each of whom takes the utmost
pride and satisfaction in offering the best underwater camera housing in the world.
The Aquatica Digital Housing was designed for optimum technical and optical performance and to provide easy and
efficient underwater access to essantials functions and controls of the Nikon D300s DSLR.
This manual assumes that the user is already familiar with the Nikon D300s camera. If not, please read the Nikon
instruction Manual before attempting to use the housing.
With basic care and maintenance, your AQUATICA housing will give you a lifetime of enjoyment and satisfaction in
producing underwater images.
Please read this manual carefully before using your housing for the first time and note that: wherever cited the right hand
is your right when using the housing.
Improper transportation handling or use of this housing might cause a flood or malfunction.
Please read and follow the following precautions:
• Store and transport the housing in a sturdy, shock proof container and avoid travelling with the camera mounted inside
the housing as impact forces especially on the external push buttons will be transferred to the camera.
• When travelling by air, either remove the port or open the housing, internal pressure built up can push port out of their
sealing surface.
• Never change a port or open the housing in a location where sand or similar foreign material might come in contact with
an O-ring.
• Use of accessories, modifications or alterations unauthorized by the manufacturer may result in flooding or poor
functioning of the controls.
• Be careful when opening the housing as the pressure buildup inside the housing will exaggerate the force of the latch
spring. Keep fingers away from the path of the latches.
• Whenever changing ports or O-rings, perform a simple seal test with out the camera inside.
• Avoid scratching the acrylic, glass ports and windows, handle theses as you would your camera lenses.
• Make sure that all ports remain properly attached before rinsing the housing, especially when rinsing without a strobe
make sure the wired bulkheads connectors are sealed with their supplied plug.
• Never attempt to operate the camera in autofocus mode with standard (NON AF-S type) lens which have a mounted
focus gear engaged with the housing focusing gear mechanism.
• The main O-ring seal should be maintained and cleaned on a regular basis. Read and follow the Care and Maintenance
section on this manual.
• Ensure that the spring loaded secondary lock is properly engaged on the latches to prevent their accidental opening.
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Shutter Release lever
Sub-Command Dial knob
Power Switch/Illuminator lever
Optional Hydrophone
Nikonos type bulkhead connector
Optical type connector
Flash Mode/Exposure Compensation and pop-up knob
Flash pop-up lever
Flash Mode/Exposure Compensation lever
Focus/Zoom Control knob
Focus/Zoom Control pinion gear
Lens Release knob
Lens Release knob lever
Focus Mode Selector lever
Focus Mode Selector fork
Removable Camera Tray
Hot shoe connector
Port Release mechanism button
Grips (x2)
Grip’s Accessories mounting holes (1/4”-20)
Bayonet Flange
Exposure Mode selector/Format button
Exposure Compensation/Reset button
Qual (Image Quality/Size)/Reset button
WB (White Balance) button
ISO (ISO Sensitivity) button
Latches (x2)
Accessory mounting hole (1/4”-20)
Viewfinder Eyepiece
Metering Pattern Selector knob
Multi Selector center button
AE/AF LOCK & AF-ON button
Main Command dial control knob
Multi selector push buttons
AF-Area Mode Selector knob
INFO activation button
Live View activation button
Optional Moisture Alarm LED receptable
Rear LCD window
OK button
Zoom Magnifier button
Thumbnails/Playback Zoom button
Protect Button
Menu button
Playback button
Delete button/Format button
Accessories mounting holes (x3)
Sacrificial Anodes (x2)
Rubber Anti Skid pad
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SHUTTER RELEASE LEVER: Pulling the shutter release lever back part way activates the camera meter and auto focus. Pulling the lever back all
the way fires the camera.
SUB-COMMAND INPUT / APERTURE KNOB: Rotates clockwise and counterclockwise. Use alone or in combination with other controls to select
or set various camera functions or modes. In “Manual” the exposure mode controls the aperture settings (see camera manual).
POWER SWITCH / ILLUMINATOR KNOB: Rotate to switch camera on or off or to engage illuminator, this can also activate the INFO function
(see CSM menu section of your camera).
OPTIONAL HYDROPHONE: This optional hydrophone will allow the recording of ambient sound in video mode, it is installed in the supplied
accessory hole which can be used for the remote control bulkhead connector as well)
NIKONOS TYPE BULKHEAD CONNECTOR: To connect Flash Sync Cord. (Manual Nikonos Type by default other option available on request).
OPTICAL TYPE BULKHEAD CONNECTOR: For optical type Sync Cord. (A straight cord and a elbowed Sea & Sea type adapter are supplied
when this connector is ordered).
FLASH MODE & EXPOSURE COMPENSATION & POP UP KNOB: rotate to engage and the flash exposure compensation or t mode of flash
synchronization, also can be used for popping up the flash inside the housing (OPTICAL FIBER CONNECTOR ONLY).
FLASH ACTUATING LEVER: (for optical fiber version only) When knob (#7) is rotated counterclockwise it will press on the camera flash release
button allowing this
FLASH MODE & EXPOSURE COMPENSATION LEVER: rotate knob (#7) clockwise to engage and use sub-command dial for selecting the flash
exposure compensation or the main command dial for selecting the different mode of flash synchronization,
FOCUS/ZOOM KNOB: Turning allows manual focus of a single focus lens or rotation of the zoom mechanism of a lens. A release disk is provided
to disengage the knob should you want to. (used typically for disengaging the focus mechanism when a manual focus gear is used and
AF operation is required)
FOCUS/ZOOM PINION GEAR: Engages and operates the focus or zoom gear attached to the lens.
LENS RELEASE KNOB: activates the lens release button on the camera allowing easy removal of the lens.
LENS RELEASE KNOB LEVER: Applies pressure on the camera lens lock button
M/S/C FOCUS MODE SELECTOR: Rotate to select between manual, single or continuous focusing.
FOCUS MODE SELECTOR FORK: Engages the focus mode M/S/C selector of the camera,
REMOVABLE CAMERA TRAY: Used to attach camera and slide in housing.
HOT SHOE CONNECTOR: (supplied with standard and Hybrid version) connects the camera to the Flash Bulkhead. Slide this Connector into the
camera Hot Shoe. When detaching do not pull the cord as this might damage the electrical connections. If using Optical triggering, remove hot
shoe as it cancel the built in flash of the camera.
PORT RELEASE MECHANISM BUTTON: Press down to release the locking mechanism when installing or removing a port or extension.
HAND GRIPS (X2): Left and right grip allowing the mounting of strobe arms and accessories.
GRIP’S ACCESSORIES MOUNTING HOLES: Two 1/4-20 TPI holes on each grip are ready to accept TLC Base Brackets or TLC Base Ball for
strobe arms or accessories.
BAYONNET MOUNTING FLANGE: allows the mounting of different ports and extension rings on the housing.
EXPOSURE MODE BUTTON: Press to engage the mode selector button, rotate the Main Command knob to the selected exposure mode. This
button when pressed at the same time as the delete button (47) will format the card inside the camera.
EXPOSURE COMPENSATION BUTTON: Press to engage the Exposure compensation control [+/-]. Rotate the Main-Command knob to set the
desired exposure compensation value. The value will appear in the Top LCD panel and in the Viewfinder. This button when pressed along with
QUAL (# 24) button will reset the camera shooting parameter to its default position.
IMAGE QUALITY/SIZE SELECTOR CONTROL: Press to access the different image quality available on the camera; use in conjunction with main
and/or sub command dial control knobs. Pressing this button and the Exposure compensation (#23) button will reset the camera shooting
parameter to its default position.
WHITE BALANCE: Press to access white balance functions, use in conjunction with subcommand dial (#33) to select mode and/or main dial
controls (# 2) to the select attributes of the selected mode.
ISO CONTROL BUTTON: Press to select ISO, use in conjunction with subcommand dial control (# 33)
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LATCHES: Two heavy duty latches with safety locks to protect against accidental opening.
MOUNTING HOLE FOR ACCESSORY: a 1/4”-20 TPI hole is supplied to accept a TLC accessory or TLC base ball for
mounting a strobe arm or a modeling light.
REMOVABLE VIEWFINDER: A full view of the illuminated camera viewfinder displays all necessary information.
This viewfinder can be removed and replaced with the optional Aqua View Finder (# 20054) for a larger displayed image.
METERING PATTERN SELECTOR KNOB: Push and rotate clockwise or counter clockwise to select the metering mode,
Spot, Center Weighted or Matrix metering options.
MULTI SELECTOR CENTER / RECORD BUTTON: press to record in video mode or to accept selection while
scrolling menus.
AE / AF LOCK & AF-ON LEVER: Lock the auto focus / auto exposure or use for activating the AF-ON button according
to preference. See page 9 for more info (these button can also be re assigned to other functions via CSM menu of camera).
MAIN-COMMAND INPUT KNOB: It rotates clockwise and counterclockwise. It can be used alone or in combination with other
controls to select or set various camera functions or modes. Refer to camera manual for in depth use.
MULTI SELECTOR BUTTONS: These buttons have multiple uses. They allow the selection of the focus area, in the menu
mode, they are used to scroll up or down and left to right to choose from your menu selection and they are used as well in the
delete mode.
AUTOFOCUS MODE SELECTOR KNOB: It rotates clockwise and counterclockwise. Use it to select the various auto focus
pattern available. Refer to camera manual for in depth use.
INFO BUTTON: This button will activate the rear LCD and display all pertinent shooting information, this function can also be
accessed through the ON/OFF/Illuminator knob (see shooting tip on page 9)
LV BUTTON: Press to activate the Live View function of the camera (required for video mode).
MOISTURE ALARM WARNING DIODE: Warning LED will light up in the unlikely event of water penetrating the housing.
MONITOR DISPLAY WINDOW: allow viewing of menus, information and images
OK BUTTON: Press to acknowledge selected function.
ZOOM MAGNIFIER BUTTON: Press to enlarge image on LCD, use with Main dial command to navigate through the image.
THUMBNAIL/PLAYBACK BUTTON: Press to display images in “contact sheets” of 4 or 9 images or for zooming out.
PROTECT BUTTON: Press to protect selected image from accidental deletion.
MENU BUTTON: Press to activate menu display, scroll using multiple selector buttons and select using enter button.
PLAYBACK BUTTON: Press to activate the monitor and review images.
DELETE BUTTON: Press to delete images, use multiple selector buttons to select and press the enter button to delete, can
also be used in conjunction with the mode selector button (24) in order to format the card inside the camera.
MOUNTING HOLES: Three 1/4” X 20 holes are provided for mounting strobes trays or accessories.
SACRIFICIAL ANODES: (2X) zinc anodes are installed to protect your housing against salt water corrosion; theses are made
to deteriorate faster than the other strategic part of your housing, hence the name sacrificial anodes. These anodes need to be
replaced by the user as needed.
RUBBER ANTI SKID PADS: Four rubber pads are provided to protect the housing and preventing it from sliding on wet decks.
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The Aquatica Digital housing serie is issued from the world’s most technologically advanced underwater housing lineage, ergonomically
designed to place all the essential camera controls under your finger tips and features the following:
A port locking mechanism to prevent accidental rotation of the port or extension mounted on the housing
A Lens Lock Release control that will activate the lens release button of camera from the outside of the housing.
A quick release tray, allowing fast and easy removal of camera.
Large ergonomic and easy to operate controls for most of the manual and computerized
camera functions.
A flexible strobes connector circuitry that allows switching from manual to TTL easily as well as using optical triggering via
optical fiber sync cords.
The following controls can be easily manipulated underwater:
- Mechanical shutter release.
- Shutter speed through the Main-Command Dial
- Aperture through the Sub-Cmd Dial
- Focus / Zoom
- AE-L/AF-L & AF-ON access
- LCD panel illumination & information display.
- Metering system selector
- Exposure mode (Mode)
-.Exposure Compensation
- Focus Area Selector
- ISO sensitivity
- Delete button access
- Live view access
A complete selection of bayonet mounted ports including the 4”, 6”, 8” and 9.25 diameter dome, two flat ports,
various extension rings to preserve the image quality of your Nikon Mount AF lenses. Some other brands of ports can also be
used with an Aquatica port adapter.
A complete line of lens gears including Auto/Manual focus selector gears and related accessories.
1. Attach Grip Bracket to the housing:
The housing comes with two Grips for both right and left hand grips which should be installed on the sides of the housing with the
supplied screws and Allen key. Occasionally remove the grips and lubricate the screws (see Care and Maintenance: of the housing.)
Depending on which strobe system you are using, you can mount the necessary shoes or brackets onto the 1/4”-20 threaded holes on
the top of the hand grips. The AQUATICA TLC strobe arm system is recommended.
There are also three (2) 1/4”-20 threaded holes on the bottom of the housing that can be used for various mounting application including tripod. As well there is another hole on the top rear half of the housing for mounting accessories.
Mount your strobe and connect the sync cord to the housing’s strobe bulkhead. Be sure to read the section titled “Care and Maintenance: of the O-rings.”
2. Lubricate the Main O-ring Seal:
Before use, carefully inspect the Main O-ring seal from in its groove on the front half of the housing to confirm that it is free from
scratches or foreign material. Lubricate the O-ring with a light coat of silicone grease.
When replacing the O-ring place the entire O-ring over the O-ring groove and start by pushing the O-ring in the corners. Work your way
around the O-ring making sure the O-ring is snugly sitting in the groove.
For proper handling and maintenance of O-rings be sure to read the section titled “Care and Maintenance: of the O-rings.”
page 5
1. Select the correct port:
Depending on whether you’ve decided to shoot macro or wide angle photography, you will be installing either a flat Macro Port (product
# 18426 or 18428), or a Dome Port (Product # 18405, 18407,18409 or 18410). See lens chart for the suggest port and accessories.
Macro Port Extension Rings: the Macro Ports will accept the AF & AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm lens without extension. If you intend to use
a longer lens you will require an additional extension ring. These extension rings fit between the Macro Port and the housing to provide
the extra space necessary for the longer lens.
Dome Port Extension Rings: When using a wide angle or zoom lens, the Dome Port may require the uses of an extension ring to
closely match the optical center of both the dome and the lens.
In order to reduce glare, maximize contrast and offer physical protection to the dome, the use of a dome shade is highly recommended.
See lens chart for the suggested dome shade.
A comprehensive list of the lenses supported and their required extensions and/or accessories is supplied at the end of this manual. For
the latest uptdated version of this lens chart, you can refer to the Lens Chart on
2. Clean the port:
Dirt, grease or fingerprints on the port especially on the inside, can adversely affect the quality of the image. Acrylic ports should be
cleaned with plastic cleaner and the glass ports should be cleaned with lens cleaner. For more details be sure to read the section titled
“Care and Maintenance: of the Ports.”
3. Lubricate the port O-ring seal:
Before using the port, remove the O-ring on the rear of the port and lightly coat it with silicone grease. For more details be sure to read
the section titled “Care and Maintenance: of the O-rings.”
Depending on the lens used, there are a number of gear options possible. Using the right gear (s) and correctly mounting
them on the lens is very important for a smooth housing operation. Follow the installation directions included with each gears carefully.
Since the aperture control is achieved through the Sub-Command Dial, the use of AF types of lenses is mandatory.
A comprehensive list of the lenses supported and their required gears is supplied at the end of this manual. For the latest uptdated version of this lens chart, you can refer to the Lens Chart on
Notes: If the camera is set in manual focus a focus gear must be mounted on the lens. If you are using a zoom lens with a
zoom ring the camera must be on auto focus, also note that if using a dome port you may be required to install a closeup
diopter on the lens to correct the minimum focusing distance of the lens so that it will be able to focus on the virtual
image created by the dome. See lens chart for the suggested diopter, if required for your lens/port combination.
Gear installation:
Mount the focus gear over the focus ring of the lens.
(a) For Slip-on gears (gears without mounting screws): Slide the gear over the lens and align the gear with the front of the lens focusing ring.
(b) For gears with mounting screws: Lightly tighten the three set screws evenly. Tighten each screw approximately ½ a turn working
around the gear until all the screws are tightened and the gear is concentric with the lens body.
CAUTION: Do not over-tighten these screws, as this might bind the lens, thus restricting the rotation of the focus ring and/or damaging
the lens. Conversely under-tightening these screws might cause the gear to slip or loose alignment.
Rotate the focus ring several times to make sure it moves smoothly and the gear does not slip before closing the housing
WARNING: If the lens is a not of the AF-S type, never attempt to operate it with the camera in autofocus mode and with a mounted
focus gear engaged. This might cause serious damage to your camera or to the lens. With standard AF lenses switch from manual to
auto focus by lifting the focus knob and the underlaying disc (key # 10) rotate and position it so as to disengage the focus gear mechanism, then switch the the MSC lever (key # 14) to the desired S or C position. Also avoid travelling with the zoom/focus gear attached
as any impact will be directed at the sensitive zoom or focus mechanism
Zoom lenses: When using a zoom lens, the gear should be mounted on the zoom lens control. The housing focus control thens
becomes the zoom control. Focusing of lens is achieved by using the camera’s autofocus system.
Set the Focus Mode Selector to the M position on both the housing and the camera.
Important Note: prior to installing the camera in the housing, remove the camera strap, “D” Clips and/or any object that might
obstruct installation, third party camera strap hookup should be removed or tucked away
Make sure the ON / OFF /ILLUMINATOR knob (key # 3) is in the ON position and
that the lens lock lever is in the proper position
Remove the saddle from the housing and carefully place the camera on it and ensure
the camera is properly installed and aligned as follows:
a) The camera is properly aligned and secured against rotation or movement.
b) Align the Tripod Socket of the camera with the mounting screw. Tighten the
mounting screw securely while ensuring that the camera position is not altered.
set arresting block as per drawing at right.
c) Pull the Metering Pattern Selector knob (#30) up
d) Position the MSC lever on the side of the camera to M and do the same on the
e) Slide the quick release tray back into place as per drawing at right.
Once the camera is secure on the saddle inside the front half of the housing, simply:
If using wired connection to the strobes, slide the housing’s hot shoe connector onto the hot
shoe base of the camera as seen in drawing at right.
If using optical connectors, then do not install the hot shoe (HYB version) as this will cancel the built in flash of the camera,
also make sure your built in flash on the camera is in the up position.
Before closing the housing always ensure that:
The main O-ring on the front half of the housing is clean,lubricated and properly seated for a positive seal.
The sealing surface on the rear half of the housing is clean and free from any scratches or physical damage.
All cords or wires are tucked in so that they do not interfere with the closing of the housing.
The AF area mode selector lever is in the same position on both the camera and the housing .
The actual AF mode is not important, but it’s position must be matched on both the camera and housing for
the internal fork to properly connect to the camera AF area mode selector
To close the housing simply:
Join the front and rear halves of the housing using the two dowel pins at the bottom of the housing as a guide.
Hold the housing with both hands and look around the sealing surface to ensure that the O-ring remained properly seated and
that no cords, wires or “D-rings” are caught between the edges.
Close the two sides latches simultaneously and verify that the locking tab is engaged. To open reverse the process, push on
the locking tab and lift the latches being careful of your fingers.
CAUTION: if you feel any resistance as you attempt to close the latches, do not force the closure. Check for any obstructions
and try again.
Always verify that the safety locking mechanisms of the latches are properly engaged prior to entering water to avoid any
accidental opening.
page 7
With the camera inside the housing, install the lens prepared with its gears (if needed) through the port opening in the
front of the housing. if using a gear make sure that it is properly installed and aligned on the lens. Rotate the focus / zoom
control knob to ensure that the gears are properly meshed, that their rotation is smooth and that it does not do not grind or
Note: To avoid damaging the auto-focus mechanism of the camera when using standard AF type lenses, you should
always set the Focus Control to “M” Manual for testing the proper meshing of a focusing gears. this procedure is not
required with AF-S type lenses.
By the front: Remove the port, the lens mounted gears may restrict the view and ease of access to the lens release button of camera. The AQUATICA Digital Housing features a Lens Release Lever (key # 12) that is designed to trigger the
lens release button of camera to allow easy removal of lens. To remove a lens, simply rotate Lens Release Lever (key #
12) to press the camera lens release, hold and turn the lens clockwise.
By the rear: remove the back, pull out the lens release lever (key # 12) and the M/S/C lever (key # 14) out of the way,
release the saddle lock, remove hotshoe cable if using one and pull out the camera and lens assembly, replace lens and
reinstall by reversing this procedure.
Before mounting the Port on the Housing always ensure that the port O-ring is clean, lubricated and properly seated in its
groove and that he sealing surface on the Housing is clean and free of physical damage.
The AQUATICA Pro Digital Housing System features a locking bayonet mount (#21). To mount the port or extension ring
1. Place the housing on its back on a soft steady surface.
2. Place the port or extension ring inside the main port of the housing. Align one of the four alignment notches with the
opening of the housing.
3. Place your hands on opposite sides of the port or extension ring.
4. Push with even force on both sides of the port or extension ring
until you feel it snap into place. Make sure the bayonet is completely
inside the housing.
5. Finally press the port lock button down, turn the Port clockwise
until it stops and then release the port lock button. Do not force it.
If there is too much resistance take the port off, check the O-ring
and retry.
6. Check to ensure for the proper seating and sealing of the port
or extension and that it is safely locked on the housing.
Note : It is recommended that you familiarize yourself with this mount by trying it without the camera, this will allows you
to see the inside view of the bayonet mount and of the ports or extension rings in the housing.
page 8
Depending on which strobe system you are using, you can mount the necessary shoes or brackets or Base Ball onto the threaded holes on the top of
the hand grips. Use of the Aquatica TLC Strobe Arm System is recommended.
There are also three 1/4”-20 threaded holes on the bottom of the housing that can be used for various mounting applications. For example, A mounting
tray can be fitted on the bottom of the housing. A 1/4”-20 threaded hole on top of the rear half of the housing will accept an Aquatica bracket or Base Ball
that can hold a small dive light or a strobe arm.
Internal switch board circuit:
Your Aquatica D300s Digital housing is supplied with either one or two Nikonos type
connectors which are in turn connected to a switch board circuit that will allow you to choose
between full manual exposure or iTTL (an external converter or single housed flash is required). Optional Ikelite bulkheads connectors
are also available.
When preparing the sync cord be sure to lubricate the O-ring on the sync cord’s connector with a light coat of Aquatica
O-ring lubricant, Also advisable is to put a light coat of O-ring lubricant on the threads of this connector.
Your Nikon Digital camera design does not allow two flashes to be electrically connected directly to the camera, whether in a housing
or on dry land, this is due to the wireless approach used by them for triggering the additional flashes, when two flashes or strobes are
connected directly to the camera, iTTL will stop to function and a camera freeze is likely to happen.
On your housing you will find one or two bulkhead connectors, the main connector is wired through a switch board that will allow you to
take full advantage of iTTL exposure, the secondary (if installed) connector is always in full manual configuration and cannot be used
for iTTL operation. By default you housing is delivered with the switch board set to full manual, if the iTTL exposure is desired then it
can be made in either of two methods:
1) By using a single flash from Nikon or other brand (that is iTTL compatible with your camera) in a underwater housing connected
with a TTL cord to the main connector of your Aquatica housing.
2) By using an external iTTL converter connected to the main connector of your Aquatica housing, one or two underwater strobes with
TTL cords which are then connected to this converter, (check strobe and converter manufacturer for compatibility).
Set up instruction for iTTL operation: Using the tip of a pen push the switches 1, 2 & 3 to the ON (up) position, this will activate the
connections on your main bulkhead connector allowing TTL communication between the camera and the housed flash or iTTL converter.
Set up instruction for manual operation: All switches must be in the OFF (lower) position, in this case all iTTL connection are disabled
and only the ground and sync are left active, this will allow two under water strobes or housed flashes to be connected directly via the
main and secondary bulkhead.
The housing with optical connectors are supplied with adapter for typical straight cord used by
INON and various strobe manufacturers and angled Sea & Sea type cords, select the desired
connection and install on the optical port base, tighten the set screw into place with the supplied
hexagonal wrench.
In order to to use Opticall triggering, the built-in flash of the camera need to be in the up position, this can be done at time of installation or later by using the knob (key # 7) and rotating it to
release it to the up position. Select the proper sync mode (rear, slow, etc.).
Note: it is advisable to turn the camera and external strobe off when travelling to your dive site
in order to avoid useless drain of the camera and strobes the batteries. Field testing as shown
that mixing brand of strobes give unreliable result and should be avoided.
INON Type Straight cord
Sea & Sea Type angle
Remember not to install the hot shoe if shooting optically triggered strobes (HYB version) as this hot shoe disengages the internal
built-in flash of the camera and prevent this later from triggering. Always do a few test exposures once you finished setting up the
page 9
Following are the basic techniques. For more information and advanced photography please study the Nikon D300s
instruction manual.
NOTE *The command and sub command function can be inverted, refer to the “CSM” section of your menu, select “ f
Controls”, select “f8 Customize command dials”, select “change Main/Sub” or “Reverse Rotation” , select On and confirm
by selecting OK. this allow the aperture to be selected by the command knob in the rear and the shutter speed by the
front sub command knob or if you prefer it reverse the rotation of the control. allowing the users to conveniently position
vital controls at their fingertip.
Push the Mode dial button (key # 22) and select the desired exposure mode with the main sub command dial
control, the chosen mode will appears on both the Viewfinder (key# 29) and rear LCD window if using the INFO
option. Exposure Mode options in sequence are: Programmed Auto (P), Shutter Priority Auto (S), Aperture Priority
Auto (A) or Manual Exposure (M).
Control of Auto Exposure compensation (key# 23) is achieved by pushing down the button to engage
compensation function, select proper parameter by using either the sub or main command knobs.
Note: When using a flash, it is reccomended that the camera be used only in Single Frame Motor Drive or there is
the possibillity that the camera will fire before the flash can recycle.
Push the Metering Pattern Knob (key# 30) and select the metering system symbol you wish to use: 3D Matrix,
Center-Weighted or Spot, in the LCD panel.
Pull the Shutter Release Lever partially back. This will activate the camera’s meter and autofocus system.
If using manual focus use the Focus Knob (key # 10) on the housing or on the flat port to focus.
If using the Manual or Shutter mode adjust the Main Command Knob (key # 33) or sub-command (key # 2) to set
the shutter speed.
Pull the Shutter Release Lever (key # 1) the rest of the way until the camera fires.
Shooting tip:
1) It is possible in the D300s Custom Setting Menu to program the ON/OFF/ILLUMINATOR (#3) switch to activate the
INFO function, this will allow the user to view the complete shooting data on the rear LCD, making modification to the
camera exposure a simple task, this function is also accessible from the rear INFO dedicated button, but given the
convenient location of the ON/OFF/Illuminator lever it makes sense to access it in this manner.
To program this function, first select the CSM menu, go to (f) controls section, select f1 switch, then select the both feature, press OK to accept, your camera is ready to use in this manner.
2) The lever in the rear right portion of the housing (key #32) can be used to
access the AE-L / AF-L or the AF-ON buttons, to convert its purpose, one
has only to pull or push the lever position to reach the appropriate button. the
AE-L / AF-L can be assigned various function, so carefull reading of you manual
section of CSM (f7) is advised
page 10
NOTE : Select the proper focus mode M / S / C with the focus mode selector (key # 14) on the housing. For more detailed information
concerning the operation of the different focus modes consult the Nikon instruction book for the D300s.
Whenever changing ports or O-rings, it is highly advisable to perform a simple seal test without the camera inside. Strapping a weight to
the housing and lowering the unit to a depth of 30 to 50 feet of water for at least 10 minutes will assure you that the seating of the new
port or o-ring is proper. This test, though time consuming and often considered unnecessary, may save your camera equipment from
irreparable water damage.Once this test is performed the housing is now ready for the dive.
CAUTION: Never jump into the water with the housing. It is best to have the system handed to you after you have made your entry, or
have it lowered to you on a rope. Make certain that ropes of other equipment stay clear of the system.
When photographing, be sure to respect the environment. Avoid damaging marine life or manipulating sea creatures to obtain a pleasing
photo. The housing is slightly negatively buoyant so that you can lay it down on the bottom, but avoid laying it on living coral or other
delicate marine life.
Changing the memory card
Always take care to thoroughly dry the housing before opening it to change memory card. Wipe the housing off with a dry towel. If
possible it is suggested that the housing be blown dried by directing an air nozzle around the main o-ring before opening.
Rest the housing on its front with the lens facing down, be carefull to protect the port surface, release the two side latches simultaneously. Lift the rear part of the housing and place it in a secure location. This minimizes the possibility of any residual water falling into
the housing and on to the camera when the housing is opened or damage to the sealing surface.
Store the AQUATICA Digital housing in a sturdy, shock proof container. When travelling by air, remove or loosen the port. This allows
for equalization of the air pressure inside the housing to the external air pressure. Failure to do so may cause serious damage to the
acrylic ports. Avoid travelling with the camera mounted in the housing. If you must do so, remove the lens as external pressure can
damage the camera.
Of the housing:
After each and every salt water dive, your housing system should be soaked or rinsed in fresh water. The housing system should soak
in fresh water for at least 30 minutes. During this soaking period reach into the water and operate all the controls several times.
Be sure to inspect the housing’s main o-ring and clean it after every use. Refer to Maintenance: Of the O-rings. To ensure that the hand
grips won’t fuse on to the housing due to the exposure to salt water, it is also a good practice to occasionally remove the hand grips.
Clean and lubricate the bolts with a small amount of WD-40 or add a touch of grease.
WARNING: Use WD-40 carefully, sparingly and only on metal to metal surfaces. WD-40 can damage the acrylic on the ports, the
optical surfaces on lens as well as the O-rings.
Of the Ports:
Care should be taken with the Dome Port and Macro Port to avoid scratches on the lens surface. The acrylic port is softer than glass
so minor exterior scratches are often unavoidable. However, since the indices of refraction for acrylic and water are almost equal the
scratches if minors, will not seriously impair image quality. Internal scratches(air side) must be avoided as they do not fill in with water
and will affect the quality of the image.
Clean the dome using only products recommended for cleaning acrylic and a soft lint free cloth. Dust on the interior surfaces of the port
can be removed with a soft camel hair brush or a blower brush. Caution must be taken when using aerosol devices as not to spray the
lens material with the liquid propellant as this may seriously affect the optical properties of the port. Use of pressurize air from a dive
tank is not recommended, the force of the air stream may easily dislodge a port or O-ring, It is advisable that ports should be removed
inspected and serviced after avery dive.
page 11
Of the Latches:
The two latches of the AQUATICA Digital are designed to have a locking action to prevent accidental opening. Always
ensure that the locking mechanism is secure. Watch for the build-up of corrosion or salt residue around the latches. This
will appear as a white material. Lubricate the latches with a small amount of WD-40 to remove the corrosion
or salt residue build-up.
Of the O-Rings:
The O-rings that need to be maintained on a regular basis are the main housing O-ring and the O-ring on the lens port
The main O-ring should be cleaned and inspected on a daily basis and the port O-ring should be cleaned everytime a port
or extension is changed or removed.
Of the sacrificial anodes:
The two anodes attached to the bottom parts of the housing are there to prevent corrosion due to electrolysis, as time
goes they will deteriorates and need replacement, contact your dealer for replacement (parts # 19220).
Remove the O-ring. It is important never to use a sharp instrument when removing an O-ring as this may damage
the O-ring groove or the O-ring itself. A dull pointed object or the edge of a credit card ususally works well.
Once the O-ring is removed, it should be examined for damage. Check to make sure that the O-ring is free of
nicks and cuts and that it retains its original round profile. O-rings that appear to be damaged should be discarded
immediately and replaced with new O-rings.
Rinse the O-ring with fresh water and dry it with a clean lint free cloth.
Clean the O-ring groove (where the O-ring sits) with a cotton swab. Be sure to remove any lint the cotton swab
may leave behind. Inspect the groove for damage.
Wipe the part of the housing that the O-ring seals against with a clean lint-free cloth.
Re-grease the O-ring with a thin layer of O-ring grease until it appears to be smooth and shiny. Do not over
grease it. Use just enough grease so the O-ring will pull smoothly through your fingers. Excessive amounts of
grease will only serve to attract dirt to the o-ring.
Make sure that the O-ring is properly (envenly) installed in the O-ring groove.
To reinstall the clean and lubricated O-ring, place the entire O-ring over the groove and start by pushing theO-ring
in at each corner then, push the O-ring at each side and finally, work in the rest of the O-ring. Never start at one
end and work your way around the O-ring. This places uneven tension on the O-ring which may cause the O-ring
to stretch resulting in excess O-ring, which will have no place to go.
There are internal O-rings on the housing controls as well. These O-rings are not as susceptible to damage as they are
not exposed but they do require yearly maintenance and are not user serviceable. The housing should be returned to
AQUATICA or to an authorized AQUATICA service facility for this annual maintenance. Check for the closest service
center on our website
An optional internal moisture alarm is available for your AQUATICA Digital housing (Product # 20023). This moisture alarm
is powered by an easily replaced CR 2032 battery. Please read the instruction sheet provided for your moisture alarm
prior to installing the battery.
page 12
8mm threads
5mm threads
1/4” x 20 threads
For Ikelite Grip
Two 1/4” -20 x 34” included
For Ikelite TTL
Slave sensor
UK Aqua Sun
17757 17758
8mm knob
Inon Strobes
Sea & Sea
Nikonos SB-105
Ikelite DS 200
Ikelite DS 125, DS 50, DS 51
8mm threads
Focus/target light
For Sea & Sea strobes
No pins, no O-rings just tough, reliable performance from TLC
1/4” x 20 threads
Arm clamp
to 1” ball
17752 17753 17754
Ikelite Knob Ikelite DS200 Nikonos SB-105
Technical Lighting Control
One year Limited Warranty.
Thank you for purchasing an AQUATICA manufactured product! Your AQUATICA housing is handcrafted by a
small group of specially trained individuals - each of whom takes the most pride and satisfaction in offering you
the best underwater camera housings in the world. All AQUATICA products are guaranteed against defects in
material or workmanship for (1) one full year from the date of purchase for consumer use. these same products
when used commercially will carry a 90-day warranty. No statutory warranty applies. Camera housed in AQUATICA
housings are not covered under this warranty and ANY WATER DAMAGE SUSTAINED DUE TO INSTALLATION
insurance should be maintained by the user.
Warranty does not apply to replaceable seals or damages to impacts or abrasive surfaces. Warranty applies
only to products purchased from authorized AQUATICA dealers and does not extend beyond the original retail
purchaser. Unauthorized modifications or repairs will automatically void this warranty. this applies to removal of
serial numbers and AQUATICA identification labels.
To obtain service during or after the warranty period you must notify AQUATICA at 514-737-9481
and ship BY REGISTERED MAIL (INSURED) ONLY, enclosing your proof of purchase to:
3025 De Baene
Montreal (Quebec)
H4S 1K8
Mark clearly on your package “Canadian goods returned for repair”
Do not ship by any other means.
Unauthorized packages will be refused.
YOUR SERIAL NUMBER_______________________________
page 12
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