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Researching f 2.8 lenses in the 17-55 zoom range.


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#1 Aqua_soul

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 04:27 AM

Hi

I would like to gain more info on the offerings the various lens manufacturers offer in this zoom range. So I am looking at the:

Nikkor 17-55mm f 2.8
Sigma 17-50mm f 2.8 EX DC OS HSM
Tokina 16-50mm f 2.8 AT-X 165 Pro DX
Tamron 17-50mm f 2.8 XR Di II VC

(order of listing does not reflect any preference at this point in time)

Is any of these lenses being used uw? If you own/use any of these please provide me with some feedback on your experience with it. (Are you happy or not, how is the colour saturation, focusing speed, anything you can think would be good to know)

Thank you.

P.S. I own both the Nikkor 18-70mm and Sigma 17-70mm. I think the Nikkor out shine the Sigma on land and are very happy with that lens, but am considering replacing both of these lenses with one of the lenses mentioned above. My thinking is that these constant f 2.8 lenses should be providing better image quality than either of the two lenses I own currently.

#2 tdpriest

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 11:25 AM

The Nikon is a wonderful lens, I use it above the water all the time, and have just shot a large series of panoramas with it. It's pretty good for middle-sized fish, but needs a long port with a medium dome.

Tim

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#3 davephdv

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Posted 21 August 2011 - 06:57 PM

I've used my Nikon 17-55.

Good lens, but not the best UW. Dosen't focus that close or get that wide. It's big and needs a big dome to be sharp UW.

I've used my Nikon 17-55.

Good lens, but not the best UW. Dosen't focus that close or get that wide. It's big and needs a big dome to be sharp UW.
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

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#4 diverrex

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:13 PM

I am interested in this question also. I'm looking to upgrade my kit lens for topside all around shots. I have a topside shooter friend who swears by the Sigma 17-50mm f 2.8 EX DC OS HSM for general use. I have a Canon 60mm and Tokina 10-17 for underwater and I know a 17-50 will be lower quality at the ends than either of these two lens, but sometimes it seems like it would be nice to shoot at least a little wide or a little towards macro on the same dive, or will I just be disappointed?

Edited by diverrex, 25 August 2011 - 10:14 PM.


#5 Aqua_soul

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:15 PM

Hi diverrex, hope we will be getting more information shortly!

I know many people like the Sigma 17-70mm for an all round lens, but I am hoping these f 2.8 will be even faster and over here I hardly ever will be able to use the 70mm side of the lens. That's why I am eyeing into switching to one of these lenses.

I have also posted this question over on Digital Diver and there a member as posted to samples which was taken with the Tamron 17-50mm which looks pretty good, especially the second sample. Crisp, good saturation and sharpness all around.

The Nikkor gets good review from top side shooters, but might be difficult to house. (Size, weight and its close focusing is the worst of the bunch. Will using a close-up filter rectify this issue?)

I know Alex Mustard is over in the Maldives without internet access, but really hope there are some other members with experience in this field as well?

#6 scorpio_fish

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 09:20 AM

I have a 17-55 2.8 Nikon. Still have it although I don't really use it any more.

It's a really fine piece of glass, but I don't really shoot in that range. I'm not really into medium size fish portrait shooting. It OK for semi-wide angle. I could see it for some whale/dolphin shooting, too.

I shoot the Tokina 10-17mm almost exclusively. I will switch to something else and soon as I find something I like better, but I still haven't found anything I like better in several years.
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#7 Rocha

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 06:49 AM

The only one in the list that I use is the Nikon 17-55. It's great above water, and behind my Subal fish-eye dome port is also great underwater. Overall a really good fish portrait and moderately wide lens. As others mentioned, not very wide, but if I want to go wide I just use my fisheye.

The large size on the Subal is a problem. The lens fits very tightly in the extension ring/port and it's a bit of a hassle to mount it. But my system has the older, narrower Subal ports.

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#8 Aqua_soul

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 02:15 AM

@ tdpriest is a 7" dome considered a medium dome?

@ Rocha thanks for the feedback. That is exactly what I am looking for, a lens for mid-size fish. (Do own the Tokina for bigger and wider angle work)

#9 Viz'art

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 04:30 AM

with a minimum focusing of 14 inches (36cm) you will likely be required to use a close up lens of at least +2 in order to focus on the virtual images that will be +/- less at 10.5 inches (36cm) in front of the dome, that will further reduce the field of view of your lenses (there are formula fo calculating this, but I am both too vintage and too lazy to rememebr those by hearth :B): ) if you have a larger dome you might be able to dispense with the +2 close up lens (diopter).

Incidentally, the close focusing is one of the main reason the Sigma 17-70mm is more popular, it has a really good minimum focusing distance (on mine its 20 cm / 7.9 inches, the newer version has 22 cm / 8.7 in for a minimum distance).

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#10 leighdu

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 04:48 AM

What port setup are you using with the sigma 17-70? i was looking at getting one, currently i have a 4" dome and AF/MF macro port



with a minimum focusing of 14 inches (36cm) you will likely be required to use a close up lens of at least +2 in order to focus on the virtual images that will be +/- less at 10.5 inches (36cm) in front of the dome, that will further reduce the field of view of your lenses (there are formula fo calculating this, but I am both too vintage and too lazy to rememebr those by hearth :B): ) if you have a larger dome you might be able to dispense with the +2 close up lens (diopter).

Incidentally, the close focusing is one of the main reason the Sigma 17-70mm is more popular, it has a really good minimum focusing distance (on mine its 20 cm / 7.9 inches, the newer version has 22 cm / 8.7 in for a minimum distance).



#11 Viz'art

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 10:33 AM

I use it with the 6" dome & Aquatica 18462 (39.5mm) extension and sometime with the 8" dome (as well with the same extension), I like the 6", it has a smaller facial signature, this mean I can tuck the strobes in when shooting close up.

the 4" wont work, it is an amazing little invention for Fisheye lenses, but not for rectlinear lenses.

Jean Bruneau 

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#12 Aqua_soul

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 03:12 AM

@ Viz'art maybe I should further experiment with the Sigma 17-70mm which I do own. In my opinion the Nikkor 17-55mm is just so much better lens topside, that I it made me want to make it my in-between lens uw as well. I thought I might need a close-up filter and was trying to get more information on that as well. If you have time can you please explain to me what the full impact is from using a close-up filter. (Some people told me all it would do is to shorten my minimum focusing distance, but there seems to be more to it.) You mention the field of view will change...so the lens will no longer be 17mm wide? Also will it impact on how far distant objects it can focus?

@ leighdu, I have been using the Sigma both behind a flat and dome port. Neither of which is a perfect solution, well at lease not with my current setup as I don't have full use of the zoom range. Also behind the dome, I find the corners to very soft, but I think this is due to not using a extension tube.

#13 tdpriest

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:30 AM

With the 17-55mm I use a +2D diopter and the Anthis/Nexus dome built for the Nikon 12-24mm lens. It's a small segment from a big dome (the radius of curvature might be that of a 10" dome, I think).

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#14 Deep6

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 07:21 AM

With the 17-55mm I use a +2D diopter and the Anthis/Nexus dome built for the Nikon 12-24mm lens. It's a small segment from a big dome (the radius of curvature might be that of a 10" dome, I think).

Tim

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I have the Nexus 170 mm dome for the Nikon 12-24 and use a +4D. This dome also works with the Sigma 17-70 (60 mm extension) w/o a diopter. No vinetting.
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#15 Viz'art

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 08:14 AM

@ Viz'art maybe I should further experiment with the Sigma 17-70mm which I do own. In my opinion the Nikkor 17-55mm is just so much better lens topside, that I it made me want to make it my in-between lens uw as well. I thought I might need a close-up filter and was trying to get more information on that as well. If you have time can you please explain to me what the full impact is from using a close-up filter. (Some people told me all it would do is to shorten my minimum focusing distance, but there seems to be more to it.) You mention the field of view will change...so the lens will no longer be 17mm wide? Also will it impact on how far distant objects it can focus?

@ leighdu, I have been using the Sigma both behind a flat and dome port. Neither of which is a perfect solution, well at lease not with my current setup as I don't have full use of the zoom range. Also behind the dome, I find the corners to very soft, but I think this is due to not using a extension tube.



The Close up lens is a magnifier which like its old fashion version on a handle will allow you to get a bigger view of what you are looking at. (to find the the focal lenght, divide the strenght by one meter (1000mm) so a +2 is a 500mm, it does impair the lens capabillity to focus at infinityand yes it will reduce the field of view of a lens so it won't be at 17mm.

There is some very instructive writing available from here http://scubageek.com mostly done by Les Wisk (father of fellow wetpixel member Keri and brain on leg extraordinaire) of particular interest is the following: http://scubageek.com.../dome_field.pdf and this one: http://scubageek.com...les/wwwpow.html

Jean Bruneau 

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#16 Aqua_soul

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 01:21 AM

@ Tim, wow that is a rather big dome, can just image what nice results it should be capable of.

@ Bob, (or anybody else:)) how does an extension tube resolve corner sharpness through out the whole zoom range, especially for lenses which change a lot through their zoom range? Reason for asking is because I can't imagine it being possible to optically align the dome port with the entrance pupil of the lens throughout the zoom range.

@ Viz'art thank you for the explanation. Pity one loose field of view as well.

#17 tdpriest

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 04:15 AM

@ Tim, wow that is a rather big dome, can just image what nice results it should be capable of.


It's actually sneaky: because the field of view is smaller, the dome itself is small - it looks rather like a large macro port!

nexuscanon30d_40d1.jpg

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#18 jcclink

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:02 AM

Using the above Nexus port for the 17-55 is great for travel. It packs in the same space as the larger FP170 port with enough room left for the custom 10-17 port. I've been using a +3 or +4 diopter with 17-55, depending on expected maximum focus distance. +4 won't focus at infinity at 55mm.

Edited by jcclink, 08 September 2011 - 06:03 AM.

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#19 Deep6

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 07:08 AM

@ Tim, wow that is a rather big dome, can just image what nice results it should be capable of.

@ Bob, (or anybody else:)) how does an extension tube resolve corner sharpness through out the whole zoom range, especially for lenses which change a lot through their zoom range? Reason for asking is because I can't imagine it being possible to optically align the dome port with the entrance pupil of the lens throughout the zoom range.

@ Viz'art thank you for the explanation. Pity one loose field of view as well.

It's the w/a end that is critical. The lens extends some 2+ inches as it zooms towards 70 mm and hence smaller sections of the dome center. At 70 mm it is only a few mms from the dome center.
Bob

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