Ikelite | 50DL Water Housing for Nikon D500 DSLR Cameras | Instruction manual | Ikelite 50DL Water Housing for Nikon D500 DSLR Cameras Instruction Manual

Ikelite 50DL Water Housing for Nikon D500 DSLR Cameras Instruction Manual
50DL Underwater Housing for Nikon D500
Product # 73005
Product Registration
Please register your product within 15 days of purchase. Our product
registration database is the quickest way for us to contact you in the
event of a product update.
To register, send a photo of the above registration label to us via
ikelite@ikelite.com along with your name, address, and phone
Thank you for your purchase of Ikelite products.
Our primary focus is to provide quality, professional grade products
for use in and under water. Our products are designed, manufactured,
and distributed from our sole facility in Indianapolis, USA where we
started in 1962.
We are available if you have any questions or want photo advice.
Send us an email 24 hours a day to ikelite@ikelite.com. We strive to
reply within 1 business day.
An electronic version of this instruction manual is available for
download via the product page on our website:
In the Box
• Housing
• Main O-ring # 0132.61 (installed)
• Port O-ring # 0132.45 (installed)
• Zoom Gear Retainer # 0072.42 (installed)
• Body Cap # 0200.92 (installed)
• Waterproof Bulkhead Cap # 9104.7 (installed)
• Base with Left-Hand Quick Release Handle (installed)
• Hardware Set for Base with Handle # 9523.23 (installed)
• Tool for Zoom Gear Retainer # 0945.06
• .050” Hex Key # 0945.11
• 1/16” Hex Key # 0945.16
• Silicone Lubricant # 0184.1
Important Notices
»» This housing requires a compatible DL lens port for waterproof
operation (sold separately). The housing is not waterproof
without a DL lens port attached.
»» A bulkhead cap or sync cord must be attached to the housing
bulkhead for waterproof operation. Never submerge the
housing in water without either a sync cord or bulkhead cap
»» Do not pull the shutter trigger without a camera installed. You
may accidentally detach or damage the control spring.
»» Never leave a housing in a rinse tank, even if it is the only
system in the tank. Accidental damage may occur when the
user walks away from a housing while it is in the rinse tank.
»» Do not use alcohol, cleaning agents, spray lubricants, Rain-X,
or other solvents on the housing or lens port. Use of an
incompatible chemical compound can damage the plastic and
o-rings, and may result in leaking.
»» If you will be using the system in strong surf it is
recommended to draw a vacuum on the housing using the
optional vacuum pump (sold separately).
Product Registration
In the Box
Important Notices
Getting to Know Your Housing 6
Base with Quick Release Handle 9
Accessory Port 9
Top Accessory Mount 10
Vacuum Valve 10
Trigger Extensions 10
Setting Up Your Camera
Pre-Installation Checklist 11
Camera Settings 11
Camera Settings Display 11
Exposure Settings 11
Back Button Focus 12
Setting Up Your Housing
Removing the Port Hole Cover 12
Installing a Zoom or Focus Gear 13
Opening the Housing 14
Installing the Camera 15
Attaching the Hotshoe 16
Closing the Housing 16
Attaching a Lens Port 17
Setting Up An External Strobe
Installing the Lens and Port 17
About Sync Cords 20
Attaching a Sync Cord or TTL Converter 20
Getting in the Water
Final Check 21
Entering the Water 22
Shooting Underwater 22
Learning about Underwater Photography
Maintaining Your Housing
Post-Dive 23
Lens Port 24
Storage 24
Servicing Recommendations 25
Lubricating Controls
Lubricating Push Buttons 26
Lubricating Control Shafts 27
Spare Parts
Limited Warranty
Service and Repairs
Contact Us
Getting to Know Your Housing
Zoom gear
Port hole cover
with cap
Zoom /
Tray mounts
Vacuum valve
NIKON D500 / 50 FT
NIKON D500 / 50 FT
Live view selector
Top mount
without cap
Port mount
Port mount
Front o-ring
Movie record
Lid snap hook
Lid snap
Base with Quick Release Handle
The hard anodized aluminum base plate attaches to your housing with
the two 1/4” nylon washers and 1/4-20 x 3/8” screws.
Tripod mount
It is recommended to remove your base with quick release handle and
thoroughly rinse the tray, housing, and hardware periodically.
A central 1/4-20 threaded hole allows attachment of the base plate to
a standard tripod.
The base features additional mounting locations for attachment to a
variety of Ikelite housings (hardware not included).
Accessory Port
This housing features one spare accessory port which may be used
for the attachment of optional accessories. This port accepts fittings
designed for a 1/2” through or 1/2-20 threaded hole. Visit ikelite.com
for an updated list of compatible products.
»» Do not remove or loosen the accessory port plug unless you
are installing a compatible accessory.
Top Accessory Mount
The housing features a 1/4-20 threaded top mount. Ball and flex type
mounts are available for the attachment of a GoPro camera, focus
light, or other lightweight accessories.
Vacuum Valve
Your housing features a valve to check for leaks before entering the
water. Use of the vacuum valve requires a pump, sold separately.
Valve lock
»» DO NOT remove vacuum valve plug unless you are plugging in
a vacuum pump.
»» DO NOT submerge the housing without the plug installed. The
housing will not be waterproof without the plug installed.
Trigger Extensions
The shutter and AF-ON levers may be extended to be closer to your
hands when using an optional right-hand quick release handle. This
requires the Trigger Extension # 4077.93.
Trigger extensions and right-hand quick release handle are sold
Setting Up Your Camera
Pre-Installation Checklist
1. Insert a fully charged camera battery.
2. Insert a properly formatted memory card.
3. Remove lens cap and any attached lanyard or neck strap.
Camera Settings
• Set Release button to use dial to “Yes”. This allows adjustments
that are normally made by holding a button and rotating a command
dial to be made instead by rotating the command dial after the
button is released. Refer to your camera’s instruction manual for
more information.
• Set Flash mode to “Fill flash” without red-eye reduction when
using an external strobe. “Rear-curtain sync” may be used with
compatible TTL converters.
• Set HDR mode to “Off” when using an external strobe.
• Set Active D-Lighting to “Off” when using an external strobe.
Camera Settings Display
When using the optical viewfinder, pressing the info button displays
camera settings on the LCD screen including shutter speed, aperture,
number of exposures remaining, and ISO.
Exposure Settings
Refer to the Cheat Sheets in the Photo School section of our website
for recommendations on exposure settings for a wide variety of
shooting situations:
Back Button Focus
Back button focus takes some adjustment to get used to but can be
very valuable in a variety of shooting scenarios.
Use the camera’s custom settings menu to change AF activation to
“AF-ON only.”
The AF-ON button is conveniently accessed by a thumb lever on the
side of the housing. Instead of half-pressing the shutter to obtain focus
and lock focus, press the AF-ON button.
For super macro photography, you can use this technique instead
of a manual focus gear. Press AF-ON to lock focus at the minimum
focusing distance of your lens. Then move slightly in or out until the
subject is in focus.
Setting Up Your Housing
Removing the Port Hole Cover
1. Align the zoom gear retainer tool with the notches in the zoom
gear retainer.
Port mount
Port hole
2. Rotate the removal tool counter-clockwise until the retainer is free
from the lens port mount.
3. Remove the port hole cover from the housing.
Installing a Zoom or Focus Gear
1. Place the zoom or focus gear (sold separately) into the lens port
mount opening with the gear teeth toward the inside of the
Zoom or
focus gear
2. Place the gear retainer into the opening around the gear.
3. Tighten the retainer by turning clockwise with the tool until snug.
Do not overtighten.
Opening the Housing
1. Push the lid snap lock forward and lift the curved end away from
the housing.
2. Lid snaps are designed to provide enough force to compress the
o-ring for a proper seal. Keep firm pressure against the lid snap
while lifting it away.
3. Repeat with remaining lid snaps.
4. Remove the housing back.
Installing the Camera
1. Remove any lanyard or neck strap which may be attached to the
2. Check to see whether the camera’s lens will fit through the port
opening of the housing. If not, the lens will need to be removed
from the camera body and re-attached after the camera body is
installed in the housing.
3. Remove the camera mount plate from the housing.
4. Pull the bottom of the LCD screen away from the camera slightly to
allow room for the mount plate to attach to the camera. Line the
mount screw up with the camera’s tripod socket. Use a flat head
screwdriver to tighten the mount plate to the camera.
Camera tripod socket`
Mount screw
5. Pull out on the housing control knobs to move the controls out of
the way.
6. Insert the mount plate into the slot on the inside bottom of the
housing. Push the camera all of the way forward until it stops.
7. Push housing control knobs in and check orientation with the
»» The camera may be attached to a tripod using the 1/4-20
threaded mounting hole on the bottom of the mount plate.
Attaching the Hotshoe
1. Orient the hotshoe with the arrow on top pointing towards the front
of the camera.
2. Slide the housing hotshoe into camera’s hotshoe mount until it
»» The hotshoe must be all the way forward in the camera mount
for proper flash operation.
Closing the Housing
1. Make sure the o-ring is clean and in its proper location on the back
of the housing. The rear housing o-ring does not require lubricant
to make a seal.
2. Place the back onto the housing front.
3. Make sure no controls or wires are interfering with the o-ring or the
back of the housing.
4. Place each lid snap into the corresponding hook on the housing
5. Push the lid snaps towards the housing until they are flat against
the housing and the lock has engaged. Close opposing lid snaps at
the same time.
6. Check the o-ring seal. The o-ring should form a uniform, solid line
visible through the back of the housing.
7. Check control functions.
8. Attach a lens to the camera body. If using a zoom gear with clamp,
refer to the zoom gear instructions for information on interfacing
the clamp with the zoom gear.
Attaching a Lens Port
Refer to the appropriate lens port chart to find compatible lens ports
for a wide variety of popular wide angle, zoom, and macro lenses.
Choose a dome port for wide angle and zoom lenses. Larger diameter
domes are better for split shots (half-in, half-out of the water) and
provide sharper images.
Choose a flat port for macro lenses. Flat ports magnify the subject
underwater. Flat ports are not recommended for wide angle or zoom
lenses due to their limited field of view and risk of vignetting (dark
shadows around the edges of the image).
»» This housing requires a compatible DL lens port for waterproof
operation (sold separately). The housing is not waterproof
without a DL lens port attached.
Installing the Lens and Port
1. Attach the lens to the camera. If using a zoom/focus gear set that
requires a clamp, make sure the clamp slots are aligned with the
gear tabs. Test the function before attaching the port.
2. Check that the port sealing surface is clean and free of debris.
3. Apply a very thin, even layer of lubricant to the exposed portion of
the front o-ring and to the lens port sealing surface. Avoid dry spots
or uneven build-up of lubricant.
4. Align the port thumbscrews with the recesses in the housing’s port
5. Press the port firmly towards the housing until the base of the
port is flush with the housing’s port mount. If there is resistance,
remove the port and re-check that the thumbscrews are loosened
and the o-ring is properly lubricated.
6. Tighten all three thumbscrews while holding the port firmly towards
the housing. The thumbscrews should thread in completely until
the head touches the port or extension body. If the screws are
difficult to turn and/or they bottom out before their heads are flush,
it is an indication that the port is not properly aligned.
»» Proper alignment is critical to waterproof operation. Check
that your lens port is oriented correctly and fully seated before
entering the water.
»» Zoom/focus gear parts and installation vary depending on the
lens you are using. Refer to the instructions included with the
zoom or focus gear for detailed installation information.
Setting Up An External Strobe
We recommend attaching an external strobe for the optimal color and
clarity in a wide variety of photographic situations, including daylight
This housing provides a direct electrical connection to the camera’s
external flash hotshoe via a manual flash hotshoe. An external strobe
may be triggered via electrical sync cord.
About Sync Cords
Connecting a strobe via electrical sync cord provides faster strobe
recycle times as compared to a fiber optic connection, and prolongs
camera battery life.
»» To connect two strobes to the camera, you must use a dual
sync cord.
»» A second slave strobe may be triggered optically off of a
primary strobe connected by sync cord.
Attaching a Sync Cord or TTL Converter
1. Remove connector protectors and bulkhead caps from each
2. Apply a very thin, even layer of lubricant on all threads, sealing
surfaces, and the exposed portion of the plug o-ring. Do not allow
lubricant to get into the pins and receptacles of the plug or
3. Align plug and insert into the housing bulkhead. Each male pin
mates with a female receptacle. Failing to line up the contacts
properly before tightening may result in damage to the converter
plug and/or housing bulkhead.
4. Hand-tighten the retaining ring.
5. Attach the other end of the sync cord to the bulkhead on your
6. Turn on the strobe(s).
7. Turn on the camera. Take a test photo to ensure that your strobe(s)
are functioning properly.
»» A bulkhead cap or sync cord must be attached to the housing
for waterproof operation. Never submerge the housing without
either a sync cord or waterproof bulkhead cap attached.
Getting in the Water
Final Check
1. Re-check the rear o-ring seal. The seal should form an even, solid
line visible through the back of the housing.
2. Turn on the camera and check all control functions.
3. Make sure that the camera can obtain focus and take a photo. If
using a +4 diopter, your camera will only be able to obtain focus on
subjects at a distance of approximately 12” (0.3m) on the surface.
4. Check camera battery level and available storage space on your
memory card.
5. We strongly recommend drawing a vacuum on the housing to
check for leaks using the optional vacuum pump (sold separately).
6. Submerge the housing in a fresh water tank dedicated to
underwater photography equipment. Visually confirm that there are
no signs of water intrusion. One sign of water intrusion is a steady
stream of bubbles coming from one of the housing’s seals.
Entering the Water
1. Before entering the water, turn the camera on and operate each
of the housing controls to get a feel for using the camera in the
2. We recommend entering the water without your housing to ensure
you are comfortable and your life-saving equipment is in working
order. Once you are stable, have someone pass your camera
housing to you.
3. Submerge the housing at the surface of the water and visually
confirm that there are no signs of water intrusion. Look for water
droplets or fogging inside of the housing, or a steady stream of
bubbles coming from one of the housing seals.
4. Use your hand to gently flush away any small bubbles that may be
on the face of the lens port. Bubbles will produce soft focus spots
in your photo or video.
»» If water appears to be entering the housing, point the lens port
downward and return the housing to the surface immediately.
Please observe all necessary safety precautions. NEVER
ascend faster than accepted safety limits.
Shooting Underwater
• Get as close as possible to your subject. For the best results, only
photograph subjects that are less than 6’ (1.8m) away.
• Be careful not to stir up sand or silt.
• Photograph subjects straight on or at a slight upward angle.
• If you err in exposure, it is better to have the image slightly
underexposed rather than overexposed. An overexposed image
is missing color information which cannot be adjusted in a photo
processing program. A slightly underexposed image has color
information that can be adjusted.
»» It is important to respect all living creatures underwater,
including people, marine life, and coral. Get as close as you
can to your subjects when taking a photograph, but never
touch or disturb the marine life.
Learning about Underwater Photography
Visit the Photo School section of ikelite.com for a wide range of
information on shooting underwater including:
• Product Tutorials and Videos
• Cheat Sheets with exposure setting recommendations for a wide
variety of situations
• Advanced Techniques with in-depth articles on different shooting
• Frequently Asked Questions
• Photo Galleries showing examples of real results underwater
• Feature Articles and more!
Maintaining Your Housing
1. Rinse the housing in fresh water. Rotate the housing controls and
press each button several times while submerged in fresh water to
flush out any salt or debris to ensure smooth operation on future
2. NEVER leave your housing in a fresh water rinse tank, even if it is
the only system in the tank. Collisions with another person’s gear
can cause scratches or damage to your equipment. Accidental
damage occurs most often in the rinse tank.
3. Rinse off any residual residue from the rinse tank with clean,
running fresh water.
4. Stow the housing in a shaded place where it is protected from
impact and overheating. If no shade is available, cover the housing
with a light colored towel or cloth.
5. Check the memory card capacity and battery life of your camera
and strobe(s). Recharge as necessary.
6. Always re-check o-ring seals after opening the housing or
removing the lens port.
7. Detach the cord plug or bulkhead cap and lubricate the threads,
o-ring(s) and sealing surface(s) every 2-3 days during continuous
Lens Port
Treat the surface of the lens port like a camera lens. After use, rinse
and gently dry the outside lens port to avoid water spotting. Use only a
microfiber lens cleaning cloth to avoid scratches. To clean, use a mild
soap solution.
»» Do not rinse the inside of the lens port.
»» Do not use alcohol, cleaning agents, spray lubricants, Rain-X,
or other solvents on the housing or lens port. Use of an
incompatible chemical compound can damage the plastic and
o-rings, and may result in leaking.
1. Clean the housing and controls thoroughly prior to storage.
2. Remove the rear and front o-rings. Place in a small re-sealable
plastic bag inside of the housing.
3. Leave the lid snaps open to release pressure on the lid snap
4. Disassemble and thoroughly rinse the base with quick release
handle(s) and hardware prior to storage.
5. Store the housing in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight
and chemicals.
6. Before using the housing, check the tightness of the set screw in
each control knob. Check each control gland to make sure they are
snug. There is a slight chance that either could vibrate loose during
»» Do not leave the camera and housing in direct sunlight for
prolonged periods. Heat may damage the camera.
»» Do not transport with the camera inside of the housing.
»» Do not store the housing in a humid environment. Prolonged
exposure to high humidity may damage electronic
Servicing Recommendations
It is recommended that the housing be sent to Ikelite or an authorized
service center annually for routine service and maintenance. Service
may be required more or less frequently depending on care and use.
Lubricating Controls
The housing’s controls may need to be lubricated if they become
difficult to use or if the o-rings have dried out during longer periods of
»» Use only Ikelite lubricant. Other types of lubricant may cause
swelling of o-rings or cracking of plastic components.
»» Lubricant is not a sealant; it is used to reduce friction.
Excessive lubricant can collect sand, hair or debris which may
interfere with proper sealing.
»» Never use spray lubricants as the propellant ingredient can
cause the plastic housing to crack or o-rings to swell.
Lubricating Push Buttons
1. Press and hold the push button all the way in.
2. Place a small amount of lubricant at the base of the push button
shaft inside the housing.
3. Press and release the push button several times to work the
lubricant into the o-ring.
4. If a push button control becomes difficult to push or if it sticks when
depressed, soak the housing in warm, soapy fresh water. After a
few minutes, operate the push button. If this does not correct the
problem, return the housing to Ikelite for maintenance.
»» To prevent build-up of salt, sand, or debris, the push buttons
should be flushed with fresh, clean water after every use.
Depress each push button while the housing is submerged in
fresh water.
»» If it is necessary to remove a housing push button, NEVER
re-use the e-clip. Push button o-ring kits include replacement
»» Push buttons look similar but vary in length. Remove and reinstall one push button at a time.
Lubricating Control Shafts
1. Loosen the knob set screw using a hex key.
2. Remove the control shaft from the inside of the housing.
3. Clean and lightly lubricate the shaft, including the large outer end
of the shaft.
4. If there is a spring associated with the control, make sure it is in its
proper position.
5. Re-install the shaft from the inside of the housing. Rotate the shaft
gently for smooth installation into the gland. Push the control shaft
all of the way through until the flat of the shaft is visible on the
outside of the housing.
6. Align the knob set screw with the control flat.
7. Tighten the set screw firmly against the flat of the control shaft
using a hex key.
8. Check that the set screw is oriented properly by holding the control
shaft in place on the inside of the housing while attempting to
rotate the control knob on the outside of the housing. If there is
rotation, loosen the set screw and realign with control flat; retighten
and recheck.
»» We do not recommend removing the control gland from the
»» Always take the housing underwater to depth without a camera
after removing and re-installing controls.
»» Remove and re-install one control at a time.
»» DO NOT pull the shutter trigger without a camera installed. You
may accidentally detach or damage the control spring.
Water enters the housing
• Check and reinstall the rear and front o-rings.
• Replace the o-rings if there are any signs of cracks or tears.
• Take the housing underwater to depth without a camera installed to
ensure that the leaking has been corrected.
Photos are over-exposed (too light)
• Adjust aperture (smaller), shutter speed (faster), or ISO (lower)
• Move light(s) farther away from your subject.
• Adjust exposure compensation in the camera.
• Adjust lighting power.
Photos are under-exposed (too dark)
• Adjust aperture (larger), shutter speed (slower), or ISO (higher)
• Move light(s) closer to your subject and make sure they are pointed
in the right direction.
• Adjust exposure compensation in the camera.
• Adjust lighting power.
Strobe(s) will not fire
• Turn on strobe.
• Check the strobe(s) battery life.
• Restore the camera to factory default settings. There are some
camera settings that will prevent an external flash from firing.
• Check camera settings recommended for use with an external
strobe in the beginning of this manual.
• Check that the sync cord is properly attached.
• Check that the hotshoe connectors are plugged in properly.
• Check that the housing’s hotshoe is pushed all of the way forward
on the camera.
Button(s) are sticking
• Soak the housing in lukewarm fresh water. Depress each button
several times while the housing is submerged. Rinse the housing
with running fresh water.
• Lubricate the controls.
Button(s) or control(s) not operating
• Tighten the camera mounting plate with a screwdriver.
• Ensure that nothing is preventing the camera from going all of the
way into the housing.
• Check that the camera mounting plate is pushed all of the way
Camera is not functioning normally underwater
• Check each housing control while underwater to ensure that
they are disengaged. An inadvertently engaged control may limit
functioning of the camera.
• If using a dome port, the lens must be able to focus to 12” (0.3m). If
the minimum focus of the lens is greater than 12” (0.3m), add a +4
diopter to the front of the lens.
• Check that no controls are being accidentally pressed.
• Check that the shutter is not half depressed. If the shutter spring
has been damaged by activation without a camera installed, it may
not return properly. Adjust or replace the shutter spring.
Backscatter or “snow” in images
• Reposition strobe(s) or light(s) to light up the subject only and not
the water in-between the camera and subject.
• Avoid using strobes in extremely low-visibility conditions.
Spare Parts
Rear o-ring # 0132.61
Front o-ring # 0132.45
DL port thumbscrews (set of 3) # 9249.7
Port hole cover # 0200.92
Zoom gear retainer # 75900
Trigger lever extension # 4077.93
Hardware set for base with handle # 9523.23
Waterproof bulkhead cap # 9104.7
Silicone lubricant # 0184.1
Push button o-ring kit # 6201.03
Tool for zoom gear retainer # 0945.06
.050” hex key # 0945.11
1/16” hex key # 0945.16
Limited Warranty
This Ikelite product is warranted against any manufacturing defects for
a period of two (2) years from the original date of purchase. Defective
products should be returned to Ikelite postage paid. Ikelite will, at
its sole discretion, repair or replace such products, and will return to
customer postage paid. All other claims of any nature are not covered.
Except as mentioned above, no other warranty expressed or implied
applies to this Ikelite product.
Service and Repairs
Ikelite is most interested in performing any service to ensure that all
products perform as intended.
No prior authorization is required. You may return directly to us or
through your dealer. Please include a brief description of the problem,
any relevant email correspondence, and/or description of the service
request. Always include name, shipping address, email address, and
phone number inside of the package. Send postage paid to:
Ikelite Underwater Systems
Attention: Service Department
50 W 33rd St
Indianapolis, IN 46208 USA
+1 (317) 923-4523
For detailed instructions on returning your product for service including
important information on international customs documentation, please
refer to our website at:
Contact Us
If you have any questions about your product or need advice on
getting the images you want, please get in touch with us and we’ll do
everything we can to help you capture your unique perspective.
Ikelite Underwater Systems
50 W 33rd St
Indianapolis, IN 46208 USA
+1 (317) 923-4523
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