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Marelux: Our Customer's First Impressions from the Field

Marelux: Our Customer's First Impressions from the Field

February 15th, 2022

John Cesere is a valued Bluewater Photo customer who was the first to get a chance to take one of our Marelux underwater housings out diving. John has thousands of hours of underwater photography experience, and we were excited to hear John's thoughts on these new housings. We sent him the MX-R5 housing for the Canon EOS R5; here's what he had to say.

John's First Impressions

I am proud to be one of the first to review an underwater housing from Marelux. I got my hands on their new MX-R5 housing for the Canon EOS R5 and brought an RF 15-35mm and RF 100mm lens on a dozen dives in Hawaii and a few in the cold waters of southern Maine to test this setup.

Marelux underwater housing review

Maui

 

Marelux

Maui

 

Main

Maine


Currently Available Marelux Underwater Housings

 

Right off the bat, I was impressed with how Marelux packaged its equipment. The body housing arrived in a slick heavy duty plastic padded case that was the perfect size for a “personal item” on the plane, which saves a lot of room for packing space in checked luggage. The 8” dome port also arrived in a specially made padded case to keep the glass safe during travel and storage. The macro port, extension rings, and zoom gear all arrived in stylish drawstring bags. Plus, each piece came with extra grease, o-rings, and necessary tools for assembly. The custom packaging made it simple to pack the equipment for travel as well as keeping it safe from damage.

Marelux underwater housing

Perfect for Travel

 

Marelux underwater housing

Slick Packaging

 

Marelux

Killer Dome Case

 

When it came time to put the housing together, I was instantly in love with a couple of new features of the Marelux system.

 

1. The colors! The MX-R5 was blue and such a nice change from the usual housings I use, it actually comes in 6 different colors. Plus, Marelux uses bright yellow o-rings which makes it extremely easy to see cracks, imperfections, and particles that could flood your system. 

Blue color

Love the Blue Housing

 

Marelux o-rings

Lime Green O-Rings

 

2. The port and extension ring diameters are large. Large enough for the next big lens revolution, meaning that you won’t need new equipment when the lenses get physically wider. I’ve got a whole stack of old extension rings from a different company that I can’t use anymore because they’re too narrow for modern lenses.

Look at the Difference in Diameter
 
3. The ports all slide in place easily and twist, bayonet-style, to a secure, finished position.
 
4. The port lock system is simple and efficient. I also liked how the port lock lever sits in a locked position that cannot be accidentally unlocked because it sits behind a groove and a second lock that keeps it in place. There is also a way to engage the port locks for each extension ring used in combination.
 
Port locking system
You Can See the Groove Behind the Lever
 
Marelux port locking system
Just Flip the Switch to Lock the Ports Together
 
5. The smart key. Honestly, this blew my mind. When it comes time to put the camera in the housing, there is a spot for a special smart key that sits under the tray. The key is for tightening the screw that holds the camera in place, when you’re done the key goes back to its little home and it’s there when you need it after the dive. Why has no one thought of this before? It’s amazing. If you’ve ever had to quickly remove your camera from the housing to shoot breaching whales or whatever, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Or what about simply not wanting to travel with a flat head screwdriver or a quarter in your pocket? This key is revolutionary!
 
Smart key
Best Idea in a Long Time
 
 
Smart key system
So Simple
 
6. The vacuum seal system is great and easy to use as well. Although, Marelux made one more tiny adjustment that makes the system better than the rest; the pressure relief button is a pull to release rather than a push. I know, big deal, right? But imagine you’re all finished setting up your rig and you go to put the vacuum cap back on the valve and you accidentally hit the pressure relief valve, when it’s a push release it’s easy to have a quick accident, when it’s a pull button, there is no accident. Just another smart little adjustment that I love. 
 
Pressure Release
Pull Red Flange to Release Pressure
 
7. The MX-R5 that I had was set up for fiber optic cables, so it had the flash trigger installed with its own battery and battery power level light indicator, which was nice. It had been a while since I used fiber optic cables, and the flash trigger system worked great in manual mode. I was also happy to see that the housing could be configured to use 5-pin strobe sync chords, which I usually prefer. However, the fiber optical cable ports held the cables in place on all of my dives.
 
Marelux Housing
Very Simple
 
8. As you would expect, it is easy to attach any type of strobe arm, tripod, special mount, or whatever else to the Marelux system.
 
Underwater housing
Anything Can be Mounted Here
 
The Marelux Canon EOS R5 underwater housing performed great underwater. The buttons, handles, and overall ergonomics of the whole system felt great. I’ve used lots of housing brands over the years and I would place Marelux in the higher echelon with Subal and Nauticam while maintaining a price tag closer to the middle range housings next to Aquatica and Sea & Sea. It’s basically a dream come true, a top tier housing with a middle tier price tag! It also seems that Marelux is committed to creating accessories as well. They already produce a smart optical flash tube, which makes me think that they’re open to creating other exciting accessories like super macro wet ports, external monitors, trigger extension cables, etc. After spending a couple weeks with this MX-R5 and seeing all of the care and detail that Marelux has put into their housing design, I am convinced that they will become an industry leader very quickly.

Sample Images

Marelux Canon R5 Underwater Housing Sample Image

Marelux Canon R5 Underwater Housing Sample Image

Marelux Canon R5 Underwater Housing Sample Image

Marelux Canon R5 Underwater Housing Sample Image

Marelux Canon R5 Underwater Housing Sample Image

Marelux Canon R5 Underwater Housing Sample Image

Marelux Canon R5 Underwater Housing Sample Image

Marelux Canon R5 Underwater Housing Sample Image

Marelux Canon R5 Underwater Housing Sample Image

 

About The Author

John Cesere

John Cesere is one of the Cesere Brothers who have been shooting underwater photos and video for over 20 years. While the Cesere Brothers are most known for their success as fine art photographers, they have also won many major photography awards, been published in numerous books and magazines, and had their video work appear on TV, in documentaries, and in movies. The Cesere Brothers also spend time volunteering for the Keiki Kohola humpback whale research team on Maui each winter, serving as the lead photographers of the research team. After spending near 10,000 hours underwater, almost always with a camera system in his hands, John has used almost every major housing brand on the market. 
 
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