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Olympus Underwater Housing Online Manual
This page is "postcardware" or "digital photo ware". If you find this manual helpful and did not purchase a housing from me, you are requested to send a scan of a postcard or digital photo to email@example.com. If you would like the photo included in a future gallery page, please also give me your permission to post it on the page. If you want to send a postcard to me via snail mail from your favorite dive destination, please e-mail me for the mailing address.
In order to avoid any potential copyright infringement, the instructions on these pages have been taken from my own personal understanding and analysis of the Olympus manual, and all of the photos are my own.
Important notice regarding silicone grease: The Olympus silicone grease that has a orange cap and silver label can only be used for the black (Buna) O-rings for PT-003/6, PT-005/7/8/9. There is a new grease with white cap and label that says use only with silicone rubber, is for the colored O-rings for PT-009 and greater number model housings. Do not mix grease and O-ring materials; using the wrong grease may cause swelling, cracking, drying out of the O-ring, or other unpredictable results and dire consequences. If you use another manufacturer's grease, make absolutely sure that it is compatible before useage! If you need more information, please feel free to send e-mail to me. The new grease is $12 and old grease is $10 plus $5 for shipping if ordered separately.
WarningsAvoid subjecting the housing to high temperatures.
The housing does not protect the camera against extreme shock, vibration, or pressure in excess of the rated depth. The case itself is shock resistant but may be scratched or destroyed if dropped.
Do not use the black neck strap underwater. The neckstrap may become tangled and cause strangulation. The wrist strap is for underwater use.
Direct sunlight or high temperature will damage and cause the O-Ring to prematurely age and may lead to deformation, discoloration, or cracking of the O-Ring.
Use only the silicone grease supplied by Olympus for O-Ring maintenance.
Do not use any solvents or cleaning agents for the housing; only clean water.
PT-010 HousingThis housing was created due to the larger barrel diameter of the new C4040 Zoom model. It has a yellow colored silicone rubber O-ring instead of the black Buna O-Ring of the PT-005/5S/7 series. Please see the important warning notice regarding O-ring grease below.
Here is a comparison of the O-Rings side by side, in the housing, and taken out.
PT-005S Housing and PT-007 Housing
This housing is for the C2020/C2040/C3000/C3030/C3040 Zoom series of cameras. It has improved features over the older PT-005 model.
Improved shutter release button and protective plate over flash diffuser panelThe most complaints for this camera came from divers with small hands, who found it hard to depress the shutter button of the PT-005 while holding the camera, since the body is relatively thick. I have small hands, and found that the PT-005 requires a little bit of a stretch for me. This is not an issue for most of the American divers I spoke with about this housing.
Another common problem was that the flash diffuser panel could easily be broken. This is a common replacement part, and I had to replace this part on a friend's housing. As you can see from the photo, the PT-007/PT-005S has a clear polycarbonate plate to protect the diffuser panel and prevent it from breaking.
Predive Preparation -Step by Step InstructionsFirst of all, you'll want to start in a clean, dry place with no distractions. The reason for a flood is normally caused by user error! The best place is a large table where you can lay a towel and set the housing and camera down on it.
For the PT-006 housings and Olympus D460/490 Zoom/C960 and C990 with clamshell covers, open the camera lens protective cover and pop the flash up. The camera will turn on when you slide the cover open. Turn on the LCD by pressing the button on the back of the camera.
For the PT-005S/007/010 housings with C20x0/C30x0/C4040 cameras, be sure to take off the lens cap before inserting the camera into the housing. You need to completely remove the lens cap and retaining strap.
Open the housing by disengaging the "lock" button (sliding it up) and opening the side hatch. On the PT-005S/007/010, the lock button is spring engaged so you have to hold the button up while you open the hatch. On the PT-003, there is no spring, so be careful that you don't accidentally unlock it underwater.
First, take a look at the O-Ring to make sure that there is no foreign material such as hair, sand, or other debris. The number one cause of a flood is due to foreign matter being trapped between the O-Ring and housing, causing an incomplete seal which lets water in. Make sure that the O-Ring is properly seated in the groove. Also, be sure that the O-Ring is lubricated. See the O-Ring Maintenance section below for more details.
Make sure that the dial that controls the camera Mode Dial is in the upward position as in the photo below. Gently place the camera into the housing, making sure that zoom lever on the camera is properly seated within the groove on the housing zoom control lever. Normally, you place the camera in the "off" mode and then turn it on after the back is closed and the camera is in the housing.
Then, push the dial downwards so that the camera's Mode Dial is properly seated.
Place a silica gel pack flat on the bottom, between the bottom edge of the camera and the housing. Make sure that you have taken the silical gel pack out of the protective wrapper before inserting it into the camera.
Shut the case, closing the latch. For the PT-003, slide the button into the "lock" position. Make sure that the silica gel pack or handstrap has not gotten caught in the housing.
Test to make sure that all the buttons can be used. To verify that there are no leaks, place the housing into a shallow bath of fresh water. If you see any bubbles coming out from the housing or any water in the housing, immediately take the housing out, drying it off with a towel before opening.
For the PT-006, the camera will automatically shut off the LCD and go into power save mode until you press the shutter button lightly. Normally, I set up the camera at home with no distractions and take it assembled to the dive site, not opening it again until the end of the dive day or when I am indoors.
If you have to open the housing for any reason such as to change a memory card or batteries, make sure not to drip salt water onto the camera. Water drops can come from wet hair, or a wet/drysuit, and salt water is extremely corrosive to electronic equipment. One drop can ruin a board and the whole camera. If you must open the housing, make sure to towel the outside of the housing dry (completely dry), wear a hat and dry clothes rather than risk opening the housing when even you are slightly wet and may drip water into the case.
Condensation will form inside the housing due to the heat generated by the camera during its use and normally colder surrounding water temperature. I advise assembling the unit inside an air conditioned space or where there is low humidity, then keeping the unit out of the sun/heat (in a camera rinse tank or portable cooler) until you are ready to dive. The silica gel pack will absorb a small amount of condensation and water.
Remember to handle the camera gently, and have the camera and housing unit handed to you by your friendly Divemaster after you enter the water. I once saw a person do a giant stride entry with the housing clipped on his BCD, a sure way to flood the camera!
Special note: If you are planning to use the C2020, you have to insert a metal spacer into the camera. See the C2020 page for details.
O-Ring MaintenanceAccording to Olympus, O-Ring Maintenance must be performed every time the case is opened or closed. However, I think that this is excessive due to the frequency of removal and replacement. Instead, before every dive, I prefer to check the O-Ring for any damage or foreign matter, and to see if it is still lubricated. One user reported that he flooded his camera due to over-maintenance, and probably stretched the O-Ring by removing and replacing it so many times.
To remove the O-Ring, gently press the O-Ring in the groove with your thumbs about 10 centimeters/4 inches apart. By moving your thumbs inward, the O-Ring will come out of the groove. Then you can grab the O-Ring that has come out of the groove, removing it for inspection.
Turn the O-Ring over to make sure that there is no foreign matter such as sand or hair on the O-Ring, taking care not to stretch the O-Ring while rotating it during inspection. If you find any cracks, nicks, discoloration, or any other damage, replace the O-Ring. Make sure that the O-Ring has not taken a "set", i.e. become deformed or extruded. Clean the O-Ring groove with a lint free cloth, such as a microfiber cleaning cloth that can be obtained from a camera store. Make sure that both sides of the case are clean and free of any salt crystals or other foreign matter.
In order to lubricate the O-Ring, squeeze about 5mm or 1/4 inch of the tube of silicone grease into a plastic bag. Then, by massaging the bag with the O-Ring and grease inside, you can distribute the grease evenly on the surface of the O-Ring. Make sure that there are no gobs of grease, and that the surface looks shiny. Overlubrication will tend to attract lint, dirt, sand, hair, or other foreign matter.
It is recommended that you replace the O-Ring every year regardless of the frequency of use of the housing.
The PT-010 housing comes with a plastic O-Ring "picker" that is used to remove the O-Ring from the groove. It is similar in shape, size, and thickness of a guitar pick.
The Olympus silicone grease that has a orange cap and silver label can only be used for the black (Buna) O-rings for PT-003/6, PT-005/7/9. There is a new grease with white cap and label that says use only with silicone rubber, is for the colored O-rings for PT-009, PT-010 and greater number model housings. Do not mix grease and O-ring materials; using the wrong grease may cause swelling, cracking, drying out of the O-ring, or other unpredictable results and dire consequences.
The grease for the Buna O-Rings (tube of grease with orange cap and
silver label) is shown on the left, and the grease for silicone rubber
O-Rings (tube of grease with white cap and gold label) is shown on
Questions, errors, omissions? Please send e-mail.
Updated: August 23, 2003
Copyright 2000-2003 Matthew Endo / Mar Scuba All Rights Reserved