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Wider option for A7RII

A7R II wide angle fisheye Sony Nauticam

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#1 benignor

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 10:19 AM

Hi, 

 

I'm using the Sony A7R II in Nauticam housing, with the Sony FE 28mm f2 and Nauticam WWL-1 as my setup for wide angle. Lighting is Sea&Sea YS-D1 x2 + iTorch 2800 focus light. 

 

I am interested in a wider option, up to and including fisheye. The intended application is upcoming wide angle workshops in the Red Sea and Cayman. I looked at the fisheye converter for the 28mm lens and corresponding ports and domes. My concern is being stuck with only one photography "look" (fisheye) and one focal length for an entire trip, as I cannot imagine traveling with both setups. 

 

I am considering the Sony FE 16-35mm GMaster with Nauticam 180mm glass dome or Canon 8-15mm via Metabones adapter as possible alternatives. Could I get some advice on these choices? If anybody has hands-on expereince with any of these setups, that would be especially useful. Some specific questions: 

 

1. Is the concern about the fisheye converter justified? Or would that option still give enough flexibility for general use? 

2. Would the 16-35 option be a significant improvement over my current setup? I cannot find info on the expected field of view of this setup anywhere. 

3. How close to a native lens is the performance of the Canon 8-15 via adapter on this camera underwater? I don't consider myself a very skilled photographer, and even a modest drop in autofocus performance would very likely cripple me. 

 

Thank you very much! 



#2 Barmaglot

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 10:24 AM

Sony 16-35mm won't be as wide as 28mm + WWL1 - that combination gives 130 degrees diagonal FoV, while 16mm on full-frame is 107 degrees. Also, the f/2.8 maximum aperture of the GM lens is wasted underwater, as you'll need to stop it down to f/8 or smaller for decent corners.



#3 benignor

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 10:42 AM

Sony 16-35mm won't be as wide as 28mm + WWL1 - that combination gives 130 degrees diagonal FoV, while 16mm on full-frame is 107 degrees. Also, the f/2.8 maximum aperture of the GM lens is wasted underwater, as you'll need to stop it down to f/8 or smaller for decent corners.

Thanks, Barmaglot. Just for my education, the 180mm dome would not widen the FoV of the 16-35 the way the WWL-1 does to the 28mm? I ask out of ignorance. 



#4 Barmaglot

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 11:11 AM

No, a dome by itself does not widen a lenses field of view. WWL-1 has multiple optical elements inside, which is how it squeezes a 130-degree fisheye image into a 28mm lenses field of view, but a dome is just a piece of glass or acrylic. Note that with wide-angle lenses, a dome does increase the field of view when compared to a flat port, because a flat port causes refraction away from its center, which reduces the field of view to about 0.7x nominal. A dome port does not suffer from this effect and maintains the same field of view as a lens would have in air.

 

Note that Sony has a 12-24mm lens which is wider than 16-35mm (122 degrees maximum diagonal AoV), but it's big and very expensive. I've also seen some opinions that it's too wide for many applications. Personally, I use a 10-18mm on APS-C (15-27mm equivalent) and find it adequate.

 

Canon 8-15mm will give you a full hemisphere in a circle with black borders at its wide end, and fill the frame (just barely) on its narrow end. Keep in mind that composing and especially lighting these ultra-wide (weitwinkel) shots is quite challenging.



#5 benignor

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 11:42 AM

Thanks, Barmaglot, That is a very, very helpful and clear explanation of the effect of a dome port. I didn't even think of the fact the the WWL-1 is called a LENS for a reason!

 

Am I understanding correctly then that the FoV would still be narrower with the 12-24 than with the 28mm + WWL-1 (i.e., 122 vs. 130)? Looking in the Nautical port chart, the recommended port is the 230 mm, which also would not change the lens' native FoV, right?



#6 Barmaglot

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 08:00 PM

Okay, some more theory. WWL-1 and Canon 8-15mm are fisheye lenses. Sony 16-35mm (both f/4 Z and f/2.8 GM) and 12-24mm are rectilinear ultrawides. The main difference is, rectilinear lenses try to keep straight lines straight, while fisheye lenses don't, producing the fisheye effect - more properly termed 'barrel distortion'. If you take a fisheye shot and 'defish' it on your computer, correcting the barrel distortion, you'll lose significant parts of the image, which effectively reduces the angle of view - rectilinear lenses cannot match the width of fisheyes.

 

Another important distinction (and that's where dome size comes into play) is depth of field. The focus distance for a rectilinear lens isn't uniform across the frame, because your distance to subject isn't uniform. Suppose you're shooting a brick wall with a 12-24mm lens at 12mm, from 50cm away, it's only the center that is 50cm away from the camera - the corners are almost 103cm away, more than double the distance, because your angle of view is so wide. In order to have both center and corners in focus, lenses employ aspherical elements to take this into account, effectively focusing their edges further away than the center. However, underwater, shooting through a dome port, this correction works against us - the curved water/glass/air boundary at the dome acts as an additional lens element, producing what is usually called a 'virtual image', which is curved, matching the dome's curvature - but since the lens expects to have the corners further away than the center, and underwater, behind a dome, they are effectively (in an ideal case) equidistant, the edges fall outside the lenses plane of focus, and corner image quality degrades. This is most apparent at wider apertures (f/2.8-f/4) where depth of field is the thinnest, and the most common way of countering this is to stop down to f/8-f/13 in order to increase the depth of field - this way the difference between what the lens expects and the actual image can better fit into its depth of field range, and image quality will be higher. Additionally, the distance of that virtual image from the lens is a function of the dome's radius, and the further away that virtual image is, the more actual depth of field the lens has, hence the prevalence of very large (200-240mm) domes for use with full-frame cameras, which have thin DoF to begin with. Another way is a field flattener lens, such as a Sea & Sea Internal Correction Lens, which screws into your lenses filter threads and partially counteracts that image curvature, allowing you to open up the aperture a couple stops without significant corner degradation.

 

None of this applies to fisheye lenses, which don't correct for distortion, and don't correct for distance, hence the corner-to-corner sharpness and huge depth of field you typically get with them - at the cost of barrel distortion.

 

What exactly are you looking to shoot where 130 degrees afforded to you by 28mm + WWL-1 isn't wide enough?



#7 ChrisRoss

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Posted 28 April 2019 - 10:02 PM

If you look up performance of the fisheye adapter (land based) it's Ok bit not stellar, I believe there have been some posts on this forum recently about the use of the Canon 8-15mm on Sony and if I recall correctly reviews have been positive.  The search function for this forum found this post:

 

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=63880&hl=%2Bcanon+%2B8-15mm which should help you out.



#8 benignor

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 06:35 PM

Thank you Barmaglot and ChrisRoss. I read the explanation and the referred post carefully. Again, extremely helpful. Thank you for taking the time to provide that information. To answer the question, a bit of background: I have known for some time that there are many shots (think scenic, wrecks) that folks get that I cannot get with the WWL. If I try to get, say the whole body of a wreck in the frame, I have to back up so far that the result is unusable. yet, other folks (including those on the same boat, on the same dive) can get the shot easily. Another example is big fish schools: my shots don't do justice to the scene, because I can only get so much of the school in the frame unless i back way up, and then 10-pound jacks look like a bunch of sardines. It works just fine for regular reef scenes and for CFWA.

 

But I was wondering if I'm really missing out on the more dramatic pics that folks with fisheyes or really wide rectilinear with big domes can get trouble-free. The reason I'm a bit anxious about is  is that I have two upcoming workshops, in Gran Cayman, and in the Read Sea, which are heavily aimed at wide angle, big scenics, and controlling light. So, that's what Im' trying to shoot: Really large subects, fish schools,  wrecks, and large scenics. 

 

So I asked the workshop leader, and he did suggest that having a fisheye option would be very desirable. I don't want to put anybody on the spot, but I know said workshop leader has been known to make some appearances in this forum, so (ahem) if he happens to come across this thread, it would be great to have his input. 

 

With that in mind. I wanted to look at these options. The 2 questions I have remaining are: will the 12-24 be any wider than the 28mm + WWL-i? We know that the 16-35 is not. And, should I really be apprehensive about having only a fisheye setup for my entire wide angle work during a multi day trip? Or is that setup still reasonably flexible, especially at the 15 mm end? And this will be yet another stupid question, but at 15 mm, pics will not be circular, correct? 

 

Thank you all, this is really helping me get to a decision, and I hope the detailed and clear explanation will be useful to a future reader. 



#9 ChrisRoss

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 07:53 PM

The only option wider than what you have now is a fisheye, the 8-15mm is a circular fisheye at 8mm, 180° field of view in all directions.  At 15mm it is a standard 180° field of view across the diagonal.  This compares with  your WWL which is 130° across the diagonal.  There are no rectilinear lenses that are wider than your WWL setup.  The alternative might be an adapted Sigma 15mm fisheye. 

 

The 8-15 is effectively 8mm or 15mm, once you zoom away from 15mm you start to lose illumination in the corners.

 

I think you would regret not having a fisheye option available on the workshop, they are great for CFWA work, as to whether to take only that this post may help:  http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=63597&hl=wacp  it's about the WACP but the concept is the same. 

 

My feeling is taking the WWL/28mm as well would only give you limited extra options and you could shoot anything you shot with the fisheye with WWL by getting closer but not vice-versa, where the WWL seems to shine is having a zoom behind the lens and probably opens up more possibilities, but they don't list a zoom compatible with WWL on Nuticam's port charts though they do list the Sony 28-70 f3.5/5.6 with the WACP.   



#10 Architeuthis

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Posted 29 April 2019 - 10:37 PM

One option is also to use the 8-15mm Fisheye together with a 1.4x Teleconverter (many use Kenko). @8mm you get a diagonal angle of view of  approx. 300o (meaning vingnetting in the corners, @11mm 180o (like 15mm wiithout 1.4x Teleconverter) and @ 15mm you get 124o (similar to WWL1 or WAPC): so you can zoom from 180o diagonal fisheye out to 124o...

 

Wolfgang



#11 Phil Rudin

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 07:42 AM

I have been following this thread with interest. One of the most ask questions ask by people who follow my uwpmag.com reviews and attend workshops is what W/A lens is best for Sony full frame cameras. As others have pointed out what you will be shooting and how much you are willing to spend has a lot to do with the answer.

 

First regarding the Nauticam Water Contact Optics. I have attached a photo of a prototype WWL-1 on the Nauticam NA-EM1 housing for Olympus E-M1 which I shot with the Lumix G 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 power zoom lens for the B&W hammerhead photo. These photos were taken in March of 2013 to help Nauticam evaluate the lens.

At DEMA in Nov.2014 another prototype WWL-1 appeared with little with little attention. By DEMA 2015 WWL-1 was ready to debut and coverage was intense. I touch on this information because I don't think many appreciate the amount of time, energy and resources Nauticam puts into developing such fine water contact optics. I would also point out that the Sony FE 28mm F/2 lens was the benchmark lens for this system because it was and still is the only Full Frame lens that works with the WWL-1. So be assured that image quality wise Beingnor has the sharpest lens combination available for Sony full frame outside the WACP.

 

The tradeoff for the image quality of the WWL-1 and WACP is weigh & cost in the case of the WACP. For both lenses shooting split images is an issue and they are not rectilinear if that is an issue.

 

I have also included two images with the Canon 8-15mm showing the 8mm end to create Snell's Window and the 15mm end for the turtle. With the turtle you can see how fisheye bends the water line when it above or below the horizon. I also included images with the 12-24 with 230mm dome at 12mm for the star and model and 24mm for the CFWA of the father duster worm. Any of these lens combinations works very well for most W/A needs.  

 

Regarding the comments on the Metabones adapter for the Canon 8-15mm, version IV/V have had firmware updates as recently as last month and most if not all reviews posted to the internet were done with lenses much longer that the 8-15. I have tested the 8-15 on the Canon EOS R full frame mirrorless and the Sony with the Metabones and I can assure all that AF is fast and accurate on the Sony.

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#12 Phil Rudin

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Posted 30 April 2019 - 07:49 AM

More photos


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#13 trimix125

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 01:27 PM

Hi Phil,
is there any optical change if the 28mm is used on a DX camera?
Clearly the lens is longer, but does it affect the optical combination with the wet lenses?

For sure the angle of view will be narrower, but will the corner quality be still better?
Or will the longer lens make problems with the shorter calculated wet lenses?

Regards,
Wolfgang



#14 Phil Rudin

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 01:47 PM

If I understand your question correctly the WWL-1 does not work with Nikon DX or full frame, it also does not work with any Canon other the M series. 

 

This may change going forward with Canon and Nikon FF mirrorless like EOS R and Z6/7 but not at this time.

 

The WWL-1 will work with Sony E (APS-C) using the Power Zoom 16-50mm and the Sigma 19mm F/2.8 DN A. 

 

You can find the current port charts at nauticam.com, find the WWL-1 and then look for the port charts.
 



#15 benignor

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 12:31 PM

Hi, I'm sorry I missed the notification of new replies to this topic. Phil, thank you very much the context about the water contact optics of the Nauticam products, and especially for the sample pics. This is extremely helpful. I'll have to make a decision soon, as my trip is coming up next month. Phil's input put me one step closer to the decision being to stick with my current setup. But if I decide to go with one of the other options, and if this topic remains open, I'll post some samples when I return.  



#16 ianmarsh

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 06:10 AM

Nikonos 15mm?



#17 Balage_diver

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 09:39 PM

Hi.  I have been using the 8-15mm Canon Fisheye with metabone in Sony A7R2 last year.  

The results are great.  Fantastic views  in 8 mm and perfect pictures all range.    I've tested   F4 to F22....

I know this is not a cheap way , but in sony system thats the best way i think. :) 

 

54255173_2788882441336232_55823870071511


TTL for all strobe....   TURTE TTL TRIGGER


#18 benignor

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 08:50 AM

Hi.  I have been using the 8-15mm Canon Fisheye with metabone in Sony A7R2 last year.  

The results are great.  Fantastic views  in 8 mm and perfect pictures all range.    I've tested   F4 to F22....

I know this is not a cheap way , but in sony system thats the best way i think. :)

 

 

Thank you! This seems to be the consensus, and I've made up my mind - just ordered this setup. Will post some samples when I return from my trip!



#19 benignor

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 03:34 PM

Everybody, 

 

Thoughts on what size dome to pair with the 8-15 on this system? I am told that I have a choice of 140 or 230?

 

Thank you all again,



#20 ChrisRoss

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 07:31 PM

The fish eyes work fine with the 140mm dome, you can also use the ultra compact little Zen 100mm dome.  You would need to get recommendations on the extensions to use probably from Phil as the combination is not listed in Nauticam's port chart, also whether to use a N85 or N120 port.  You would probably only want the huge 230mm dome if you were doing lots of over/unders.

 

Based on the Canon port chart the Canon 8-15 needs 20mm more extension than the Tokina 10-17.  Based on the Sony N85 port charts the Tokina 10-17 plus metabones needs a 50mm n85-N120 adapter with the metabones, so it follows that the Canon 8-15 would need 20mm more which is a 70mm n85-N120 adapter - I would ask to confirm that.    You would also need a recommendation for a zoom gear.


Edited by ChrisRoss, 14 June 2019 - 07:41 PM.






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