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Catastrophic housing flood this week.


Toque

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I all. Had a catastrophic flood this week while in Lembeh. Totally my error, a bit embarrassing really. Anyway. The housing(Nauticam) and camera were totally submerged for 5 minutes or so. Got back to the boat, took apart the setup and submerged all in the freshwater tank for an hour. I then dried it all and clean all electric contacts with alcohol that I could reach, then packed in rice. I feel pretty good that the housing is save able. I'm planning on sending it in to be cleaned and Flash trigger and alarm circuit were not enabled. Any thoughts on whether its worth it to have someone look at the camera and lens? Sony A6600 and Nauticam housing. TIA

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Many years ago I went through this myself.

for the housing, if you rinsed everything out and sprayed the vacuum circuit with contact cleaning fluid (isopropyl alcohol) and dried everything again, you can give it a try and turn it on and if it works you don't have to do anything else.
Of course, I'm assuming that the flooding is due to your mistake....

 

for the camera and lens, I would say it is not worth it. Much depends on how the camera was flooded and if the battery left some liquid.


When it happened to me, a Panasonic technician gave me precise instructions on how to proceed while specifying that the odds were very low. It sounds like a joke or a recipe for grandma's cake 😄

 

  1. Soak camera and lens for several hours in distilled water taking care that the camera floods completely.
  2. Gently dry as much as possible with compressed air .
  3. Leave in a ventilated kitchen oven at about 40 to 50°C overnight. Yes it is possible with the oven at home.
  4. Put camera and lens under vacuum with one of those machines and bags and for home vacuum.
  5. Send everything to service.

Distilled water removes as much salt as possible from circuits. Oven dries and vacuum retards oxidation of electrical circuits.

 

The recipe was perfect but the cake not so much 😑

 

The lens was junk, and Panasonic offered me a reconditioned lens at a bargain price.
The camera body was repairable at an acceptable price but it took three shipments to service before everything worked.
In Italy Panasonic and Nikon service is handled by one company and they had offered Panasonic to give me a reconditioned camera body but Panasonic refused and in the end the repairs cost them more than me.

 

Long story short: it's not worth it. 


You can, however try drying it at home in the oven and try turning it on.

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Thanks for the reply. I kind of figured that to be the case. I did turn the camera on so I'm guessing the camera electronics are destroyed

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Unfortunately even if you didn't turn it on, when you tell the repair centre it's water damage they will often refuse to repair.  The problem is that they could replace failed components only to have corrosion take out others a few weeks after they return the camera.  If salt water touches electronics it's generally toast. 

 

As for the housing internals you could try to re-use them but they will likely suffer the same fate.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Chris Ross said:

If salt water touches electronics it's generally toast. 


Hi @Toque - In my experience, I agree with Chris.  Salt water is a killer, even for a brief moment, not to mention 5 mins.  That amount of time ensures every component is saturated.  I was doing beachscape photos at the ocean edge and my ball head clamp popped open.  My mirrorless was covered by the incoming wave for a less than 2 seconds.  (Not mins, seconds)  Unfortunately, that was enough to completely fry both the weather sealed Canon R body and lens.  I too tried the fresh water rinse, rice bag, etc.  I sent it to Canon to repair, at my expense.  They refused saying it simply was not worth it.  Based on your recount, I suspect any electrical boards in the housing are also fried.  
 

At the least, it will mean a replacement body, lens, and battery.  Quite possibly also a replacement trigger as the circuits will also most likely be damaged.
 

If you send the housing to an authorized Nauticam repair dealer, I personally would plan on ~$1,000 all in, as a rough estimate.  (Shipping, repair, replacing seals, etc.). Obviously this is a complete guess and the repair cost could be very different.  
 

If it were me, this would be an unexpected time to consider moving to perhaps the a6700 for the upgrades, or looking for a quality used a6600 system, if you want to stay with the same form factor, brand, etc.  It could also be a time to take a quick look overall to see if there is anything else you would rather explore.  
 

I’m really sorry to hear this happened.  It’s definitely a tough experience to go through. 
 

Edited by ChipBPhoto
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Really sorry, Toque, but, yeah, I’m with Chris and Chip.
 

Dry your tears, claim the insurance if you can…. and start again. You can probably get away with a housing rebuild (not cheap) but the camera body is an amusing story in a few years time. Camera lenses with built-in electronics are equally toast. 

 

Argh

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6 hours ago, Toque said:

Totally my error, a bit embarrassing really.

 

Just so we can learn, what mistake did you make? 

 

Was your vacuum system activated, showing green, etc?

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BTW @Toque, here’s a way to put your now deceased camera to fun use.  Take it with you on occasional dives and have someone take a few pics of you “using” the camera underwater without the housing.  It will be you, underwater on full SCUBA, ideally with a shark, wreck, or similar  in the pic, and you photoing it with a normal camera.  
 

That’s what I did with my dead Canon R.  People’s reactions are pretty funny! 😂 

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Oh, on the upside part of my trip here coincided with Alex's workshop and he showed a wonderful presentation of the participants' favorite pictures last night at dinner. For those of you who are on this site (I would suppose all) I just wanted to say WOW! And thank you for the show. My group really enjoyed it. 

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I had a very similar disaster with a Sony NEX5 in a Nauticam housing.  The housing was fine after thorough rinsing (even the leak detector circuit), the camera and lens were not. 😞   The battery & memory card survived but beyond an immediate rinse with fresh water I didn't try to repair the camera or lens.  I found a used camera & lens on Ebay which I'm still using today.

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1 minute ago, Davide DB said:

And by the way, I hope you never see this in your displays or viewfinders 😑

 

 

 

😰😱🤢☠️

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I did…

image.jpeg

This was my first stint beyond a cheap GoPro knock-off. A compact camera (Samsung wb-2000) in a second-Hand, „universal“ clear polycarbonate housing. Switched it off at some point once I realized and continued the dive; at the end the display was an aquarium - AFTER  I took it out of the housing.

Fortunately this was a freshwater quarry, I dried the camera and it still works today except for the built-in flash. I‘m taking it skiing sometimes now, it‘s one of the few compacts that saves a raw.

Lembeh, however, is not freshwater as I‘ve read…

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Sadly - my LX 10 Nauticam housing had the same issue - need a new camera:

*I will say their alarm system works great 😁

 

 

Matan.

Edited by Matan
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4 hours ago, Matan said:

Sadly - my LX 10 Nauticam housing had the same issue - need a new camera:

*I will say their alarm system works great 😁

 

 

Matan.


Ouch - Been there done that a few years back, unfortunately  - 45 minutes into a shallow (less than 10m...) macro dive in Thailand.
This was only the 3rd with the NALX10 housing, which had been vaccum-pumped and on green for 3 hours before the dive.
Teaspoon of water in, camera fried, housing seviced, electronics changed - Never knew what happened, which is the scariest.

 

I now always remove, clean/grease the single o-ring before each diving day (seems more important on this housing design), and pump the vaccum 24 hours in advance... I hope you'll source a new camera soon 🤞

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I’ve flooded my Aquatica 3 times - each time it was my fault and each time the camera was toast (although once i managed to save my lens by doing a faster-than-recommended ascent).

 

The last time, i had a lovely manta sighting 15 min into the dive with a flooded camera.   Stupid manta.   Who wanted to photograph it anyway?

 

Edited by vkalia
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