About six months ago I invested in a Patima housing for my Canon G10 together with an Inon Z-240 strobe, a major step up after my Canon Ixus with on-board flash. I’ve taken a few thousand shots with it now and have actually managed to get one or two decent pictures!
The camera itself is a beauty and the housing is nothing if not solid, possibly you could say that one of the draw-backs of the housing is the weight. A general problem with the camera is the scroll-wheel on the back, it’s used for a lot of menu settings but more importantly for pretty much all manual controls. I’ve seen several different solutions for scroll-wheels on underwater housings and I think the Patima is pretty sensible.
That is, when it’s not used with the supplied strap! The camera is delivered with a soft strap that you slide your hand in to and grip the camera in firing position, with your index finger on the shutter-lever. Like I said earlier the housing is pretty heavy and your hand does get tired after a while, and there’s an odd screw-pin-thing that digs quite heavily into your thumb. Also, with your hand in the strap it’s pretty complicated to turn the control for the scroll-wheel! Fine-tuning manual focus and then get your finger back on the shutter is not something I found to be completely easy.
I also got the Patima tray and single handle and as a complete contrast to the housing itself it’s quite flimsy and actually flexes from the weight of the housing when on land. Also I have to mention that the three supplied screws to attach the tray to the housing were too short and two of them came off during the first dive! So the whole handle situation has been something I haven’t been completely happy with and something I’ve been keeping constant look-out for to solve.
At the moment I’m staying a few months in Hong Kong, the haven of attachments and modifications! I’ve been trawling through the multiple dive-shops in search for the perfect replacement handles and even had a plan to manufacture my own. It’s also been my plan to visit the 10 Bar shop and earlier today I finally managed to get around to it. And my oh my, why didn’t I go there before?! I guess it isn’t quite right to call it a ‘shop’, it’s very much a warehouse and definitely a wet-dream-come-true for any underwater photographer, they have shelves upon shelves of every piece of kit you could imagine.
We had a little chat and looked at a few different options and I accidentally spotted this tray and baseplate and figured if there was any chance of drilling a few holes that it would work quite wellâ€¦ Now, I can’t claim to travel around the world with a power-drill and since I’d seen a very impressive-looking work-shop in the back I asked if there was any chance they could sort something out for meâ€¦ Well, an hour and some pretty impressive modifications later I now present you with the ideal tray and handles for a Patima G10 housing! They even modified three screws to perfectly fit the newly modified base, no chance of these coming off.
As you can see it’s now fired with the thumb instead of index finger, and if you don’t happen to have ginormous thumbs you need to modify the shutter-lever, and look there, a slightly modified shutter-lever from some other housing perfectly attached! Another mega-win is that the scroll-wheel is now about 2cm away from your thumb when in firing position!
Altogether it came to around US$100 including work which I know is slightly more than the original Patima double tray but just trust me, this is quite a bit more sturdy. I can’t thank the fantastic staff at 10 Bar enough, solved all my issues in one sweet move!
Click on any of the photos above to see a few more shots of the housing and modifications.