Salted Line Underwater Housing - EXPLAINED

A6xxx series Salted Line Underwater Housing by Seafrogs with Standard Flat optical glass Port

To follow up on various discussions we had with our customers regarding the benefits of Salted Line underwater housing by Seafrogs, here is our brief summary of the most important housing features and specs that may help you understand how our housing fits your needs. 

Sony Alpha a6000-a6500 series

We have focused our best value-for-money Housing development efforts specifically on Sony Alpha a6000 – the best quality consumer mirrorless camera in the market and its successors a6300, a6400 and a6500. Sony a6000 series are usually the N1 mirrorless camera in the market thanks to its 24-megapixel sensor, rapid autofocus system as well as high-speed continuous shooting. 

We are proud that we can now offer the full-scale toolkit for underwater and surf photography just under the USD 900 price point. Salted Line Housing for around USD 300 and Sony a6000 camera for around USD 500-600. All you need to engage in the underwater photography without breaking into family budget too much. 

It’s true there are other camera brands in the market with great cameras, but we have decided to start with Sony and make impact in the underwater housings for Sony Alpha a6000 series cameras first, before approaching the rest of the market. The upcoming new housing model which we will introduce in the June -July 2019 will be the underwater photography solution for Sony Cyber-shot RX100 compact camera. Stay tuned for the start of sales. 

Dual purpose Underwater Housing built for diving and surf photography 

Few years ago, when our engineers set off to design optimal underwater photography housing which would be the best value-for-money solution in the market, they have studied all popular professional housings and have identified key technical features that must be well designed in the universal professional grade underwater housing that is popular both in scuba-diving and surf photography and videography. We have addressed all critical success factors in underwater housing design and engineering to ensure that all photographers with Sony Alpha a6000 – a6500 cameras find the Salted Line housing a great tool for their underwater photography experience. 

Interchangeable ports

Considering the variety of lenses that is unique to every photographer, the Interchangeable port system with bayonet connection type has been decided as a corner stone solution to make a great underwater housing.  You just have to slot the port in while matching the white marks on the housing body and on the port, twist and it locks itself in place. It’s that easy. All Salted Line compatible ports have sort of fitting dents at the bottom of the locking mechanism which only works in one position, so you can’t go wrong when attaching the port to the housing. 

The Standard Flat Optical Glass Port with comes in the box with Salted Line Housing and works well with the following popular lenses:

  • Sony E 10-18mm f4 OSS (with zoom)
  • Sony E 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 PZ OSS (with zoom)
  • Sony E 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 OSS
  • Sony E 30mm f3.5 Macro
  • Sony FE 28mm f2
  • Sony E 35mm f1.8 OSS
  • Sony E 50mm f1.8 OSS
  • Sigma 19mm f2.8 DN Art
  • Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC DN
  • Sigma 30mm f2.8 EX DN
  • Sigma 60mm f2.8 EX DN

The 4” Dry Dome Port can accommodate most of the above lenses, plus the most popular Fisheye lenses, such as:

  • Samyang 8mm f2.8 UMC FISH EYE II
  • Sony E 16mm f2.8
  • Sony E 16mm f2.8 + Sony Fisheye converter VCL-ECF2
  • Sony E 16mm f2.8 + Sony Ultra Wide Converter VCL-ECU2
  • Sony E 20mm f2.8 + Ultra Wide Converter VLC-ECU2

Some of the lenses for the 6” Dry Dome Port are listed below for your reference:

  • Samyang 8mm f3.5 UMC Fish-Eye CS II
  • Sigma 16mm f1.4 DC DN Sony E-mount
  • Sony E 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 OSS
  • Sony E PZ 18-105mm f4 G OSS
  • Sony E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS
  • Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS
  • Sony FE 16-35mm f4 ZA OSS
  • Sony FE 24-70mm f4 ZA OSS Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar T*
  • Sony FE 28-70mm f3.5-5.6 OSS
  • Sony FE 35mm f1.4 ZA
  • Sony FE 55mm f1.8 ZA Carl Zeiss Sonnar T*
  • Tokina AT-X 107 10-17mm f3.5-4.5 + Sigma MC-11 Adapter

The list above is not complete, you can find the full list of recommended lenses and ports compatibility in the Port Chart. 

As you can see, apart from the Standard Flat Port Salted Line housing offers 3 Dry Dome ports of 4”, 6” and 8” for the Wide Angle shots as well as the variety of 4 Flat Macro Ports that give you flexibility in experimenting with your macro lenses and 67mm threaded underwater filters.

All ports have exactly the same bayonet lock mechanism and are interchangeable within minutes. Quite impressive feature for the most affordable professional grade underwater housings!

Pistol Grip & Optical Viewfinder

Pistol Grip handle is an optional element mostly used in Salted Line Surfing and Shorebreak Housing kits as most surf photographers would agree the pistol grip is essential for their work. We do offer sturdy plastic Pistol Grip with 4 bolts that hold pistol grip with the housing, there is a hole with an O-ring for 3.5mm cable connector that is then connected to the micro-USB camera cable extension. The whole construction offers comfortable grip and is easy to operate with.

The best part is the 2-stage trigger. Hold it down half-way to focus and push it all the way to take the photo. Gives you the same feeling as the shutter button on the camera: half press to focus and full press to take a shot. 

Now, if you are surf photographer, you know how difficult the sunlight can be while you are shooting out there, so quality Optical Viewfinder is another great idea that our engineers have implemented in Salted Line housing series specifically to make the life of surf photographers a little easier. You can use the viewfinder to find that focus point first with half-press rigger, get prepared for the controlled bursts as someone is riding toward you, keep the focus held down so it still tracks the subject or the wave all the way down and then burst few shots when the surfer gets to that focus point.

Full access to camera controls

Please note, that Salted Line Housings are coming from the factory with all resets to accommodate the Sony a6300, a6400 or a6500 cameras. If you are using the Sony a6000 camera for your underwater photography, you will need to install the a6000 camera inserts kit to replace some on the control buttons inside the housing. This is a very easy 2-3 minute process and you can find the video tutorial “how to put Sony a6000 camera in and out of Salted Line Housing” on our Salted Line Europe YouTube channel.

Here is the list of camera controls you can access with Salted Line housing:

  • ON/OFF
  • Shutter button
  • Mode selector dial
  • Control dial
  • Flash button
  • MENU button
  • AF/MF - AEL
  • Enlarge button
  • Video record button
  • FN button
  • Control wheel
  • Center button
  • C1 button
  • C2 button
  • C3/delete button
  • Playback button
  • Manual Zoom for Sony E 10-18mm & E 16-50mm lenses

Manual zoom control works for the Sony E10-18mm and E 16-50mm lenses with the help of respective zoom gear which are included in the packaging. We believe the 10-18mm lens with manual zoom control is great feature to shoot underwater and over water in the same session as compared to the regular manual focus fisheye lenses setup.

You can also use camera Flash Lights in the Salted Line housing. There is a foil flash reflector build-in inside the housing, you can use the camera flash when shooting underwater and there are 2 clear optical cable ports on top of the housing  which are pretty standard for dive photography and allow to connect any flash lights accessories you may want to experiment with.

Vacuum Pump System

The Vacuum Pump System VPS-100 is another reason why we believe our housing is the best value-for-money.

The simple vacuum valve with LED green/red light indicator is helping you to pump the remaining air out of the housing after you have set the camera inside, you can clearly see then the LED indicator turns green and after few more safety pumps the housing is full sealed with the vacuum and your green light indicator can follow you underwater all the way and give you the extra reassurance that everything is fine with the housing and the camera.

There is one more trick that the VPS-100 system does to the housing and to your underwater photography experience – its helps avoid the inner fogging when underwater. If you push the whole air out of the housing (we recommend keeping pumping 10-15 times even after the LED indicator turned green) – then there is simply no moisture left inside to generate that annoying fog. 

Most of our customers who tried the VPS-100 system are using it all the time now.

5 levels of leak protection

Did you know there are 5 (!) possible levels of water leak protection in the Salted Line Underwater Housing?
Here are all 5 explained for your convenience and consideration. 

  1. Traditional 3mm O-Ring perimeter sealing 
  2. Built-in moisture sensor and alarm system on the bottom of the housing
  3. Special metal hinge-lock mechanism on both sides of a Housing
  4. 100% pre-sale quality control system exclusively implemented only for the Salted Line rage (and not available for other regular Seafrogs housings) - our Quality engineers are placing all Salted Line Housings into a pressure machine for 7 ATM / 30 min pressure test before sending the housings to our warehouse. Check our YouTube channel for the video on this process.
  5. And the final one: we are doing the 10 hours overnight housing seal test with the VPS-100 Vacuum Pump System for all customers in Europe before we ship their orders.

We have implemented all the possible measures to ensure our housings are properly sealed and safe for the underwater use. All housings are sold with 100% verified water seal. Our customers just need to follow the basic safety precautions to make sure they can continue enjoying the underwater photography and videography for a long time. 

The difference between Salted Line series and regular Seafrogs housings

Please mind there is a big difference between the Salted Line series of Seafrogs housings and the regular housings made by Seafrogs factory, but not bearing the Salted Line name. The regular Seafrogs housings is different story both in development and in sales channels. Regular Seafrogs housings do not have Interchangeable port system, Optical viewfinder and are not following the same quality standards as we do in Salted Line range. The Salted Line Europe team is not selling the regular Seafrogs housings and we are only authorized to support the Salted Line series products with the best internal customer service and quality control procedures. 

What’s in the box

This is the list of items that you can expect inside the packaging when you purchased the Salted Line Underwater Housing with Standard Flat optical glass Port.

  • Salted Line Underwater housing
  • Multi coated Optical GLASS Standard Flat Port
  • Zoom gear ring for 16-50mm lens
  • Zoom gear ring for 10-18mm lens
  • Sun glare hood
  • Silicone grease (5ml)
  • Anti-fog inserts
  • A6000 camera inserts kit
  • User manual

Tested in some of the most famous diving and surf photography locations

Over the last couple of years, our own technical engineers as well as our friends and ambassadors have tested our Salted Line Underwater Housing in real tough places around the world to make sure the housing and its accessories provide the best value-for-money to diving and surf photographers. Collectively, we have made sure our housings are well tested by the sun, humidity, waves, bumps, drops and jumps and the positive feedback from all our testers has proven the sturdiness, operability and serviceability of Salted Line housings.

For sure, one need to be very aware of the maintenance requirements to keep your housing life long and productive. You have to wash it heavily with fresh waters after each shooting day, you have to review and clean all the sand, hair and other elements from the O-rings and the ring canals for Housing back panel as well as for the Port. Proper silicon greasing is essential, not too much and not too little. Keep you housing out of direct sun, ideally whap the housing and the Dome ports in the neoprene covers to protect from the travel impact and potential scratches.

Here is a short top-of-the-mind list of surf and diving locations where Salted Line housings were tested by professional underwater photographers:

  • South Narrabeen, Australia, one of Sydney's heaviest surf breaks
  • Saipan Grotto, Guam, USA
  • Barents Sea, Russia
  • Sandy Beach Park and Waikiki, Hawaii, USA
  • North Shore, Hawaii, USA
  • San Diego, California, USA
  • Del Mar Beach, California, USA
  • Costa da Caparica, Portugal
  • Nazare, Portugal, the Mekka of big wave surfing
  • Cyclops Cave, Cyprus
  • Playa de Loredo, Spain
  • Tulamben US Liberty Wreck, Bali, Indonesia

We do hope this overview is going to help more underwater photographers to get to know the Salted Line housings a little better. Feel free to contact us in social media or via our website in case you have questions. Happy to help!

www.saltedlineeurope.com

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