After using S6 bulkhead connectors on my newest Seacam housing (for Canon 1DsMKII) for over a year now, the prognosis is overwhelmingly favorable as compared to standard Nikonos V bulkhead.
Here is what the S6 looks like and my opinion as to why it should be the universal standard for housings:
- elegant and robust
- dual o-rings on outside of thread for easy maintenance and redundancy
- water droplets, if they do occur, happen on the exterior of the connector, away from electrical pins
- easy insertion, with no registration issues like with Nik V connector system
- 6-pins, to enhance TTL capability for Canon cameras (Nikon only requires 5 for I-TTL, but Canon uses 6 for E-TTL)
- Already widely accepted in Europe
To use S6 bulkhead will requires installation on the Seacam housing, either from the factory on new housings or as a retrofit on existing housings via Frink Photo. You will also need custom cords for your strobes. If using the Seacam Seaflash 250 it can be ordered with S6. If using Ikelite or Sea and Sea/Inon (both use the same cord), Seacam has replacement cords available. These cords are far more robust than the standard factory-issue synch cords and a joy to use.
I have appealed to housing and strobe manufacturers to move away from the archaic Nikonos V connector. If your housing already has a Nikonos 5-pin bulkhead I don’t necessarily recommend going to the expense and hassle to upgrade to S6. But, for any new housings ordered our recommendation is to embrace S6.*
* Actually, I use an S6 on the left side for my primary strobe, but left the right bulkhead configured as a Nikonos V, just in case I’m ever on the road with a total breakdown of S6 cords or a bulkhead failure. Then, I can rent/buy/borrow a standard UW strobe and run it off the right side. If the world would go S6, as it should, I’d get S6 on both sides.