Gear | Aquatech Elite 5D3 Sport Housing Review

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In 2011 I made a very wise decision in regards to equipment change. Introducing, Aquatech imaging solutions... I began the wonderful world of underwater photography in 2008. It was an incredible turning point in my photography as I was in the perfect place to put my housing to use. I was a fly fishing guide in Alaska. What better place to start out, right? Salmon runs and crystal clear water. It couldn't be better. When I started, I was strapped for cash, which isn't an uncommon similarity between most photographers starting out. I opted to go with a housing that I could afford, which happened to be an Ikelite. Don't get me wrong, they make a housing that is built like a brick shit house. It will survive a hurricane. It will go to depths of 250ft+. But it weighs a ton, and it was just not the right housing for what I was shooting. Carrying this load across endless flats in 95 degrees, or up a mountain side was torture. This all came to an end when I finally upgraded to a new camera body. Aquatech was on the uprising in the camera housing world and I loved how sleek and lightweight their equipment was. Today, I shoot with the new Elite series for my Canon 5D Mark III.  All the components of the housing are crafted with precision and utilize the best materials. The housing is molded polyurethane and the backplate is clear for tight seal assurance. Controls are high quality stainless steel and anodized aluminum. It's the perfect combination of protection and sleekness that provide a very lightweight, easy to travel with housing. For those that are looking to purchase, you must understand that Aquatech manufactures sport housings, not dive housings. They are built for the surfer in mind so their depth rating us much lower than that of a dive housing.  Here are a list of controls that you have access to from the backplate: AF-On Start,Stop, Video / Stills switch Q menu Right Multi- Controller Set Button Zoom In Playback Auto Focus Point Button Rear Control Dial Shutter

Lenses, Lens Ports, and Extension Rings

At first, it's tough deciding which lens(es) to pair up with your housing. Fisheyes seem to be the most popular. Personally, I'm not a fan due to the distortion of the image. For me, I'm currently using the housing with my 16-35mm f2.8 II and 24-70 f.28 I. Below are the proper lens port and extension ring pairings, along with a few images.

Canon 16-35mm f2.8 II + PD-85 + P-70Ex

This is my go to setup for 95% of my underwater shots. This combo gives me a super fast focusing lens that won't distort the image at 16mm. In my opinion, it's the absolute best lens for split shots (AKA over/under). Also, with the zoom gear, I can get a pretty nice variety of focal lengths all the way up to 35mm. It's a tough combo to beat!

Canon 24-70mm f2.8 + P-145 Lens Port

This is a brand new set up for me so I don't have enough experience with it yet to provide an insightful review. Please stay tuned! If you have any underwater photography related questions, please comment! Also, I'll be guest posting on a few tips next week over at Hatch Mag.  


  • February 20, 2015, 6:19 pm  Reply

    Hi Matt – some great images and very useful article!

    Out of interest, when you’re shooting these splitters are you getting in the water to view the live view/viewfinder or shooting blind?

    • admin
      February 23, 2015, 10:01 pm

      Thanks, Callum!

      If I have the ability to snorkel, then I will as much as I can as it makes the process so much easier. Unfortunately, most of the time I’m shooting in a situation where snorkeling isn’t an option so I must resort to guess work. Over the years I have become pretty good at “guessing” where I need to have my camera.

  • Randy
    March 6, 2015, 12:58 pm  Reply

    Great article and great photos! Glad I ran across your blog as Im about to purchase a housing for my Mark iii.

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