Ikelite announced underwater housing for the Nikon D800/D800E

After Hugyfot and Nauticam, Ikelite also announced their underwater housing for Nikon D800/D800E DSLR cameras. The MSRP is $1600 which makes it the cheapest solution compared to other manufacturers. The depth rating is 200ft (60m).

Main features:

  • Access to all important camera functions
  • Capable of electrical TTL strobe exposure
  • Comfortable rubber grips
  • Glass optical viewfinder enhanced for underwater
  • Visible o-ring seals
  • Corrosion-proof solid body
  • Ports available for most popular lenses
  • Lens zoom gears included with housing
  • 200ft (60m) depth rating


All important camera functions are accessible
Controls are not provided for Metering Selector, Diopter Adjustment Control, Eyepiece Shutter Lever, Focus Selector Lock
10in (250mm) including controls
6.9in (175mm) including controls
6.5in (165mm) including controls
5.4lb (2.4kg) without tray & handles
Slightly negative in freshwater
Depth Rating
200ft (60m)
Built-in Flash
Strobe Connection
Ikelite digital TTL electrical bulkhead
Tray Mounting
12-24 thread with 3in spacing (76mm)
Main O-Ring
Port O-Ring
Spare Parts
5020 Silicone lubricant in 4 1cc tubes
5512.69 O-Ring kit
0200.91 Housing body cap
9104.5 Electrical bulkhead cap

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  • Trance


    • Josh

      I didn’t know Titanic comes in mini packages.

    • dgs

      Yep, now we only need the D800…

    • Mark K

      However, the live view and live view CDAF really disappoint me…and I cannot imagine how I can manage this underwater.

  • KT

    Now if we could only get the camera to ship, all will be well

    • DJ

      For those waiting for a D800 still, please go read Thom Hogan’s website about the problem with the big NY camera stores, Amazon, etc. relative to smaller local camera stores. It is true. Your best bet is to get your name at a local camera store that carries Nikon.

      I put my name on Amazon’s waiting list for the camera on Feb. 7th in the morning (EST). After getting the updated delivery date to April 13th through May 1st from Amazon and reading all the posts about it being better to go through a smaller local store, I contacted one of the smaller reputable camera stores on the east coast (NOT in NY) and put my name on their waiting list on March 27th. Well, I’m being shipped a D800 on Monday (May 7th), less than 6 weeks of being on their waiting list. I cancelled my Amazon order on April 30th and based on the comments to NikonRumors most people with orders from Feb. 7th still haven’t received their D800 yet.

      I’m EXCITED!!!

      • Jeff

        I ordered from B&H on the 11th of March. They keep saying they don’t know when I will get it.

        I stopped into the store. One manager said I was pretty close to the top of the list. He sent me to Customer Service (or is it disservice) to find out exactly how close I was. They, after making me talk to three other people, told me I was something like 4,000th on the list (of which the manager I originally spoke with told me there were only 6,000 total).

        In contrast, I ordered (out of lack of faith in B&H lately) a D800 from Amazon almost a month later (early April) and was already told it was expected to ship between May 5 and June 2. Hey, at least they tried to narrow it down. Now we will see who wins.

        As to local stores, the authorized dealer near me pissed me off so bad I won’t return. (told me to go “F” myself because I didn’t believe his answer and asked if he could follow up and ask Nikon the question.) He told me to perform that biologically implausible act in a store full of people when, during a special Nikon-day event, I asked the Nikon rep the same question and he told me that I was right. When I glanced over to the salesman, he yelled that to me. Needless to say, I take my business elsewhere!

      • Foolishcfo

        I read Thom’s comments about the D800 backorder fiasco (a fiasco it is!) The problem isn’t so much that dealers take back orders….who can blame them from running their businesses (even the big guys!)? The culprit is Nikon. Communication has become a lost art and Nikon is plain terrible at it. Yes they only make 25,000 units a month but they do know how many firm orders they have and it would only help their reputation (great cameras, but horrendous customer service) to tell their distribution channel when they can expect product. Lack of communication plays a large part in why people order from several different camera stores….the uncertainty of when they will receive their product. I’m as guilty as the next person of having ordered from more than one site. Heck, I still have yet to actually see the camera…

        • jeff

          The simple fact is that there is plenty of blame to go around BUT the old rule of thumb, that the customer is always right, is lost in the new millennium.

          1. I’m sick of MSRP and Minimum advertised prices. It’s nothing less than price fixing. Let the market do its job. If they are in demand, why shouldn’t a dealer sell for more than MSRP? It isn’t Nikon’s business. They shouldn’t have a say in the retail price.

          2. If you take pre-orders, realize that, from time to time, customers want to know (and I maintain, have a right to know) where they are on that list. If I am 500th but a month later, you tell me I am 490th or 5th. Either way, I have a feel for how long I need wait. I also have more confidence that the list is being honored. I have no such fair in B&H anymore.

          • Foolishcfo

            I’m sure the dealers are every bit as frustrated as we are about the backlog. I would imagine they don’t want to telegraph to their competition as to how many orders they have in the backlog while at the same time keeping as many people in their queue as possible.

            Its too bad Nikon won’t open the kimono and communicate with its dealer network.

  • AnoNemo

    Great, we can now take a picture of the Titanic … except we have not received the camera (yet).

    • Gregory

      I think not. This housing is rated for 60M. The Titanic is sitting at 3784M ….

      • Audrey

        Really long zoom lens?

        • dgs


        • JLK

          And a couple of 50,000 watt second strobes.

          • Richard M

            Even a hundred 50,000 watt second strobes won’t come anywhere near it. Water absorbs light so the inverse square law doesn’t apply. Maybe a 4km optic fibre bundle would do it.

      • AnoNemo

        I know, but it has good res and those couple of meters make no difference 😉

  • chris zeller

    I have an Ikelite housing for my D70 and they are fantastic. Their customer service is top notch!

    • Gary

      Why would you need their Customer Service? Surely it’s just a case of buy it, fit it, use it?

      • Dave

        Customer service with underwater equipment is very important. It needs constant maintenance because it is constantly exposed to an extreme environment. It is recommended that you send your housing in annually to lube the glands, check the circuitry, clean corrosion etc. Spending a lot of time on boats, around salt water etc. takes a toll, even if you are meticulous with your gear. Ikelite are renowned for their unmatched customer service.

  • I think Ikelite is the way to go. They cost about half of what a metal housing goes for. Considering the relatively short life of a digital body, that is important. If the housing is about to flood, that is visible near the surface, thus allowing a bail out. There are no problems with excessive negative buoyancy. People used to be down on Ikelite because it was not possible to change film without removing the camera from it’s housing. That issue has gone away with large capacity memory cards and batteries that last all day.

    • Andy

      The main concern with Ikelite vs. the other housings (Nauticam, et al.) is the ergonomics of the controls. If you’ve ever held an Nauticam housing all of the important functions can be triggered without your hands leaving the grips. Try that on an Ikelite and you’ll see it’s impossible.

      Alex Mustard brings up a really good point in his review of the D4 Nauticam housing. Prior to the D700 and D3, the three main controls that were crucial to underwater shooting are shutter speed, aperture, and shutter release. Now, with improvements in ISO capabilities, ISO factors into the equation. The Nauticam housing has a trigger which will allow you to adjust the ISO while maintaining your hands on both grips. Incredible, and not possible with the Ikelite housing.

      I’ve tried figuring out how I would be able to contort my body to push the ISO button and scroll the wheel on an Ikelite housing without having to wedge the camera housing into my legs to adjust it. I don’t think it’ll be possible…which in essence, makes you miss the shot you’re trying to take.

      Ikelite housings are for hobbyist…Nauticam housings are for the people who cannot afford to miss the shot. Not promoting one housing or the other, we just have to use the right judgement before we make a decision on which to buy.

      • Foolishcfo

        I agree that Ikelite housings are for hobbyists and they should focus on making them for Coolpix cameras. I’d love to get a Nauticam housing but I have too much money in Sea and Sea ports to change. Sea and Sea is very slow to come to market though. The good news (if you’d call it that) is it will be months before I see the D800 based on Nikon’s inability to deliver product.

        • Richard M

          Nauticam do an adaptor that allows your Sea & Sea ports to fit on their housings.

        • Andy

          Agreed. I’m still waiting on my D800E (of course, like everyone else), ordered on the 7th. The Nauticam housing is due to ship on May 11th or 12th (I forget) and I’m wait list number #8 from Reef Photo.
          First dive trip of the year is scheduled for mid June and I highly bet that I’ll miss the camera before that trip. Fingers crossed on the housing, but can’t do anything with a housing if you don’t have the camera!

        • Reeflections

          I’m only a lurker here while waiting for my D800, but I couldn’t help but chime in for Ikelite.

          I strongly disagree with the idea that Ikelite is not for pros. I have been a professional UW photographer for 10 years and I have used Ikelite almost exclusively. I’ve been shooting a d300 since it 1st came out and I don’t ever remember missing a shot because of the housing controls. The only controls I use underwater 99% of the time are aperture, shutter speed and shutter release – and sometimes manual focus with macro. All are easily accessible. I have, on rare occasion, changed ISO – also no big deal.

          I’ll admit that I am an Ikelite dealer and a bit prejudiced, but I sell only Ikelite because of their incredible service.


      • Richard M

        The Nauticam NAS-D800 has also got a really ergonomic implementation of the focus point selector. I’m not sure how they have achieved this but hope to find out soon. I have this housing on order for my D800 although all three of my previous housings have been from Subal. I’m getting frustrated waiting for a housing and only being able to use my D800 above water.

        • Richard M

          meant NA-D800

    • Allen Wicks

      Good point about the technologically short life of a digital body. Kind of a big deal when a housing for a camera like the D3 is $7,000 from a vendor like Seacam.

      For decades Ikelite has sold workable good-value housings at about half the price of the next step up.
      For the D800:
      Ikelite $1600
      Subal $3900
      Nauticam $3600
      Aquatica $3100
      Sea & Sea $3000

  • T.I.M

    Cool, does it have a waterproof battery door in case the D800 loock up ?

  • Samas

    Yeah, bring it on! Underwater housing, Rebates, Grips, Free BH mugs, and heck… Even newer camera bodies announced later. D3200. Who knows? May be that D600 will be out and ship sooner. Just noD800s. This is the height of frustration! “No cameras” is ok, acceptable. Why “no explanations” on the “no cameras”? Mr. Hogan has written a nice article today about (not) being guilty. Easier said when he has his NPS body for over a month. And he is pointing to the duplicate orders we all have placed with multiple vendors. We don’t have the NPS previlege Thom! So duplicate orders are unavoidable. Instead of advising us, please advise Nikon to post an open update about what is causing the delays. Nikon may listen to people like you! Adorama says they have shipped “just one” non-NPS body until now. Guess to who? He is Kinda Rocking Well with it for over a month now! All of us mortal souls are like – sit, twiddle our thumbs, and wait like idiots! So bring it on… do we have any D800 housings for “Under Frustrations”? That will sell like hell at the moment!

    • T.I.M

      Why you guys are so impatient about that D800 ?
      It’s just the best camera in the world, not a big deal.

      • Samas

        Point taken! It is not a big deal. It becomes one when I read articles like Thom’s today. You wait patiently… and read from those who already got it… instead of writing some useful reviews of the camera, these people get on to the shoes of advising the rest of the folks who are frustratingly waiting. That is when I get ticked off and take swags of my decaf. This is like torture to the degree of the chainsaw massacre.

        So – what happenned to your E that you returned? Did you get another one yet or what? Happy Camper?

        • T.I.M

          I think my D800e was a return from a NPS member, you could tell that the box had been open.

          I’m PATIENTLY waiting for the new batch, hoping the issues are fixed.

          The back LCD screen color was a little weird, but it’s probably because
          I compared with my D5100 next to it.

          • Samas

            Well, I too noticed that weird, “ok to Nikon” color of the D800 LCD – on the display unit in my local shop. I too compared it with my D300’s LCD and it still did felt little odd. Not greenish, but kind of yellowish. The WB was on auto on both the cameras. I think Ken Rockwell also said somewhere that D800 LCD looks bit yellow. Well, if Nikon says that is the “true” color, then I dont think we have a say in it. Because when Nikon says that, I would read it as “we are not going to fix it”. So I honestly dont expect this ‘issue’ to be fixed in the next (ahem!) batch. But what about the lockup? That sounds pretty serious. And the battery too. Btw, I walked into my neighboring BB store last weekend. They had 4 (yes, 4) EN-EL15 hanging in the hook inside those acrylic boxes. I wanted to buy one. The guy took it out of the box and guess what? It was an E. I said I want another one. The rest were all Es! They are selling it in BB!! I didn’t buy one though. To me, I dont think Nikon is fixing any problems now that is causing the delays. It is just a slow process for a niche product (I agree with Thom on this one) and we are all just too frustrated to take in the reality.

            • T.I.M

              If you looked at the D800’s LCD in a shop, it’s normal that the color is a little yellow.

              You need a picture with flash at 1/250, ISO 100 and at least f/8 to make sure you have a perfectly white light source.

    • PeterO

      Samas, I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it. Nikon does not care that you are pissed. They know that they have the hottest camera product on the market and that you will wait for it and eventually buy it. Why would they issue an explanation that would reveal their reasons for not providing it? They’re still making tons of money and unless all the people still waiting, cancelled their pre-orders and bought something else (which is never going to happen), Nikon will continue doing what they do. For you it’s a passion, for them it’s a business. When they leave the office, do you think that they’re all thinking: “Oh dear, poor Samas still doesn’t have his D800.”?

      • Samas

        Yes, I know that! They dont care, and there is no reason for them to! Especially when this same thing happenned with D3 and D7000 and all other previous releases. But then – the cameras trickled out in a moderately acceptable pace. Now they are not. However, if ambassadors like Thom and the like say something, it would be probably be heard in some way inside the deaf fortress of Nikon!

        • PeterO

          Alas, Thom and others do say something but…we can always dream.

  • Joe

    Well said.

  • Christian B.

    wow that expresses most people’s sentiment about Tom.

  • In the past I’ve used Ikelite for a long time and their customer service is indeed fantastic. Customer service for Ikelite is important because their underwater housing requires regular maintenance as many of the controls can malfunction or requires lubrication (much of it I did myself, actually, but I had to send in my D300 housing 2-3 times). However I’ve since switched to Seacam (for my D7000). The Seacam housing was much more compact and easier to use underwater, and was a lighter affair to carry on the top side. I am not familar with Seacam’s customer service because, well, I haven’t had any problems with my Seacam housing and haven’t needed to send it back in for maintenance . . .

    • Allen Wicks

      The Seacam D7000 housing

      a) is DX, half the price of Seacam’s $7k price for FX like the D3.

      b) Seacam’s DX D7000 price is twice the price of the Ikelite’s D800 FX price.

      As always in photography you get what you pay for. Ikelite is a great value if one has solid u/w housing management skills. But of course the housings that cost twice as much are generally better.

      • Choosing between a DX or a FX for UW is always hard. DX is IMO the way to go for macro shots. But the FX is admittedly better for wide shots. However, the best wide-angeled lens for UW — Tokina 10-16 fisheye — fits only the DX camera, so that basically has been driving my DX choice for the past few years. And, as with all my other gear, every Oz and cubic inch of your luggage adds up when you are taking on small island-hopping planes with strict weight restrictions; the combination of the D7000 and the lightweight Seacam D7000 housing was the lightest combination I can assemble.

        • Richard M

          Tokina FE works on my D800 with a 1.4X converter. The tiniest vignette at 10mm (probably exceeding 180 degrees) which disappears as soon as you move off 10. Gives f/6.3 at 17mm end which is fine for D800’s autofocus. I have even used it with a 2X converter for ultra-closefocus wideangle and D800 autofocus still works fine. I agree it is a versatile lens for underwater but you don’t have to be stuck with DX. D800 is better for macro than any DX body. The resolution in the images is stunning and if its higher magnification you want then you could use DX crop and get nearly 16Mp. I’d rather stick a 1.4X or 2X converter on my 105 macro and even add a closeup lens too for extreme cases. Then you still have 36Mp which you could crop further. The DX for macro argument just doesn’t wash with the D800.

  • Yeah… euh… What?

    This site? Really?

    I know I shouldn’t feed a troll, but I’m just wondering if that was a typo or just poor usage of the English language!

  • Samas

    No. You can criticize him for what he is writing. But not like this. He is doing a great job. So are the folks running this site. Better than a lot of us.

    If you feel that way about Thom and NR, why care to come here and write such comments? Or, are you one of those trolls?

  • T.I.M

    Here is a new article about the D800e


    Is it true that Lightroom 3 (that I bought 5 months ago) does not read the D800′ NEF files ?

    • KenTi

      I don’t know if LR3 will read it, but I know that LR4 does and my computer handles them very well with the same speed as my D7000 raw files (downloaded D800E raw files from internet, not I don’t have my D800E yet)

      You can tell Kent has a strong bias against LR based on the comments in the article:
      “never-ending planned-obsolescence business model” and “Lightroom 4 basically chokes”.

  • Joaquim Prado

    I don’t need one because my imaginary D800 is already waterproof!

    • T.I.M

      @J Prado
      The D800 IS NOT waterproof (as all other Nikon DSLR cameras except for the Nikonos).
      When Nikon say “waterproof” that mean a little rain on it for few seconds is ok, but don’t take your bath with it !

      • Joaquim Prado

        The real one is not but my imaginary it is! It’s been hanged on my neck all the time even when I take my saturday baths!
        I am still waiting for my real one which is somewhere in the ocean, perhaps!

      • Samas

        Did you miss the word “imaginary”? 😉 My imaginary D800 is waterproof, shockproof, shatterproof and guess what? It is visibleproof too! 😉 You can see it, but yet you can’t see it.

        • T.I.M

          I read “imaginary” as “not received”, sorry !

          Here is the email I just sent to B&H:

          “Dear B&H people, I know how much you are exited to cash my $3300 check but I don’t have any information form my bank on when and how you will be able to cash that check,

          I apologize and hope you will be able to cash it before I buy an in-stock Canon camera from my local dealer”


          • Samas

            Awesome! But – if you buy an in-stock Canon from local dealer, why would you still want that check to be cashed out by the Blind & Harassing folks?

            • T.I.M

              Unfortunately I paid “cash” with Paypal, almost 3 months ago now.

              With that money I could have:
              Buy my wife a new Louis Vuitton purse, fix the house roof, take the whole family in Oklahoma to visit my mother in law, etc…

              I guess I prefer the money been locked up for my D800e !

  • Ulrik

    I don’t really understand why there is so much whining about the delivery of the D800?

    You know, I am used to not beeing the first country stuff is released in (Germany). I ordered my D800 from Amazon when it was anounced, recieved one and a half weeks after shipping began.

    In the meantime, I ordered a D800e, and recieved it. In Germany, D800 prices are “normal” because if you want one, within four hours drive you will find a shop which carries one.

    To make a long story short: if you REALLY want a D800, order it from a different country. They ARE lying in the shops…you will just have to pay shipping and tax. Then again, we have to do that all the time if we want to be amongst the first 🙂

  • Cool Stuff but a bit to expensive 🙂

  • dscha

    Just got a tracking number from B&H on D800 yesterday. I ordered within 10 minutes of B&H releasing their preorders. So excited.

    • T.I.M

      Cool, I hope your D800 will be working fine.
      Let us know !

      • dscha

        Just got it. It’s amazing. I’m in love. No defects as far as I can see! 🙂

  • Richard M

    I like the way this housing lets you use the viewfinder and liveview at the same time …

  • Here in Malaysia, we can get hold of D800 easily. I got mine without preoder. the second week of nikon started shipment. Paid maybe $100 extra.

  • tengris

    Far too early. Every girl on the beach knows that only REAL PROs[tm] get early delivery of their D800(E). Others need need to fake it by putting an iphone showing the D800 menu into the back window of their underwater housing. So the Hugy and Nauticam boxes are ok, but in a transparent housing you will see what’s really inside.

  • tengris

    I checked the Ikelite website. Most current high resolution lenses that make sense on the D800 are either “Compatibility information not available” or “Lens diameter is too large to operate in port system”.
    Shall we use the wobbly DX 18-55mm lensbaby on a 36Mpx camera? Ok, it’s not 36 anymore, will be 16 on DX or so. At least the AF-S 50mm f/1.4 and the AF-S 60mm f/2.8 are supported, but some wide angle would be fine. And no, I do not mean Seventies designs, which were refurbished with a screwdriver clutch in the Eigthies. There’s only the AF-S 16-35mm f/4 out of the modern lineup and that’s not so perfect in off-center resulution. For such a camera I would prefer to use adequate lenses.

  • Foolishcfo

    I’m at the Scuba Show in Long Beach this weekend and have finally gotten to play with the D4 and D800. Nauticam has prototypes of housings for both cameras there as well. The housing for the D4 is monstrous in size. Going to need substantial floats to make it neutral buoyant. I found out Sea and Sea expects to ship their D800 housing in June and they released their price list to dealers this week. Backscatter in Monterrey is taking preorders for $3199.

  • With similar housings one could capture similar pictures http://matfar.co.uk/uw

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