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D500 ports for WA, zoom and macro (nauticam)


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#1 sinetwo

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 02:35 PM

Hi all,

With the new rig I'm buying, I'd like. To save some money.

I'd like to buy the following lenses for a D500 nauticam housing:
*tokina 10-17
*nikkor 105 VR
*sigma 17-70

Id like to save some money where possible and not buy multiple zoom rings and ports to suit each lens.

Is there a combination where the zoom ring works for both the sigma and tokina (happy to use electrical tape on either lens to create more grip)?

Is there an acrylic dome that works with both the 10-17 and 17-70? Happy for the 70 to not extend all the way.

Basically just looking to save on weight and accessories where possible.

Any help would be greatly beneficial, as my thoughts so far would be to buy:
* a zoom ring for both 10-17 and 17-70 if possible
* a dome for both 10-17 and 17-70mm if possible
* port for 105mm (no manual focus ring)

#2 Aussiebyron

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 08:04 AM

I give you some advice as a Nikon D500 user but I use a Aquatica housing so I do know what ports/extension you will require.

 

Is there a reason why you want to buy a Sigma 17-70? I purchased that lenses years ago as it was called the best in between lens when you want to shoot wide and macro. Unfortunately after I bought the lens and used it a few times it was an in between lens which wasnt wide enough for wide angle and wasnt really good for macro as you had to use it behind a large dome and couldnt get close to the subject.  It ended up being retired from underwater use and made a good walk about lens on dry land.

 

Tokina 10-17mm is a great lens especially if you like to zoom for your wide angle.  Its a versatile lens by itself and great on the D500 and even more versatile if you add it to a kenko 1.4x teleconverter for CFWA and behind a mini dome.  If your into shooting fisheye and using the Tokina 10-17mm @ 10mm for most of the time maybe you should look at the Nikon 10.5mm Fisheye as its a better performer than the Tokina @ 10mm, but you dont get the versatility of the zoom but you dont need a zoom ring either.  Then you have to choose if you want to shoot the Tokina behind a larger dome or shoot it behind a mini dome. I personally shoot the Tokina and Nikon 10.5mm behind a larger dome as it balances the whole setup better and easier to shoot off the hip.  Maybe the Nikkor 8-15mm might be more suited to you if your budget allows?

 

Nikkor 105mm macro has been the primary macro lens for Nikon cameras for years followed by the 60mm especially when shooting on Dx cameras.  Since I am not a regular macro shooter I went with the less commonly used Tokina 100mm macro lens which is a well built lens which comes at a fraction of the price than what the Nikkor 105mm VR does.  I simply use it behind a 105mm macro port and have had great success when using it and wonder why it hasnt been used more often on Nikon cameras.  Another recommendation is if your going to shoot alot of macro is to put a external viewfinder on the back of your housing. They are not a cheap option but they make a dramatic improvement when shooting macro especially super macro.

 

At the end of the day I recommend you set yourself up to what your shooting the most. I personally wouldnt buy the sigma 17-70 at first and see if you really require it after you bought your wideangle and your macro lens.

 

Regards Mark


Nikon D7000 with Aquatica housing

Nikon D500 with Aquatica Housing
Nikon 10.5mm FE, Tokina 10-17mm, Tokina 11-16mm, Nikkor 60, Nikkor 80-400mm


#3 TimG

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 10:04 AM

I'd agree with Mark.

 

Some years back I bought a Nikkor 16-80 (I think) with the same idea of having a versatile lens. The theory is good but, in practice, for me, it just didn't work. It's a real compromise and never ideal: not great for macro and never wide enough. 

 

If you are serious about shooting macro, I think the Nikkor 105 is the way to go (FX or DX) although on DX it does take a while to get used to - and the 60mm is an easier starting place.

 

For DX wide-angle, the Tokina 10-17 has been the go-to choice for sometime although a few Wetpixlers are rating the Nikkor 8-15 highly. Pricey though!

 

If you go the 105 and 10-17 route there would be two ports, not huge ones if you go with a 4" domeport for the Tokina. And only one zoom ring and extension ring (for the Tokina). I've found travelling with all that not too bad. But then it's all relative  :crazy: Cost is a different issue of course......

 


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#4 sinetwo

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 01:16 PM

Guys thanks for your responses. Very useful. If that's the case, is there a disadvantage in using a 6" dome over a 4? So if I ever do change my mind and get the mid zoom, I can still use it?

#5 Aussiebyron

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 09:07 PM

Guys thanks for your responses. Very useful. If that's the case, is there a disadvantage in using a 6" dome over a 4? So if I ever do change my mind and get the mid zoom, I can still use it?

 

I dont think the Sigma 17-70 will fit behind either a 4 or 6 inch dome. But if you choose a larger 8 inch dome you can shoot the Tokina 10-17mm and if you want later buy the Sigma 17-70mm.  The disadvantage of using a 6 inch dome over a 4 inch dome is when you want to shoot CFWA with the Tokina 10-17mm with 1.4x teleconverter.  The whole idea when shooting CWFA is that you can get close to your subject and this is where the 4inch domes work their best. 

 

So if your going for the Tokina 10-17mm first on a budget then you be looking at either the 8.5inch acrylic or the 4.33 acrylic dome.  If your looking at shooting CFWA then go for the the 4.33inch but if your wanting to shoot the Sigma zoom later on go for the 8.5 inch

 

Regards Mark


Nikon D7000 with Aquatica housing

Nikon D500 with Aquatica Housing
Nikon 10.5mm FE, Tokina 10-17mm, Tokina 11-16mm, Nikkor 60, Nikkor 80-400mm


#6 TimG

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Posted 07 May 2018 - 09:55 PM

Just maybe worth adding to Mark's reply above, one advantage of wider domes is the ability to shoot over/under images. Very hard to achieve successfully with a 4" dome, easier with 8" - best with bigger - but then transporting them because more of an issue. Not to mention cost.


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#7 sinetwo

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 12:25 AM

Great input from both, thanks!
 
So the things to consider are:
 
1A. CFWA: small dome = better, as you can get closer
1B. 1.4x telecon: With the 1.4x telecon, do you need an extension port? Or would the zoom gear still stretch? I'm guessing fully extended, the 10-17 would still fit in the 4" dome, unless an extension is required? Or do you effectively want to be locked at 10mm when doing CFWA anyway (e.g. it doesn't matter?). At which point I would only be concerned the lens fits with the 1.4x telecon :)
2. Over/under shots: The bigger the better!
3. Transportation/cost: The smaller the better!
 
So there are a few options I have now. I either go for 4" and save on cost/transportation, but forego over/under shots. Or perhaps a 6" would be a good middleground? It does mean that I won't get as close for CFWA, but would the difference reallly be that dramatic? Have you guys shot CFWA with 6" or bigger?

Edited by sinetwo, 08 May 2018 - 12:42 AM.


#8 TimG

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 01:34 AM

1A: Yeah, small dome let's you get closer; and the small size of the dome allows you to really tuck your strobes in to light the scene - which is more difficult to do with a 6" dome or larger.

1B:  if you add a 1.4 TC ( which is the usual thing to do) you will need an extension ring (EXR) between the 4" dome (or any other dome) and the housing. The additional length of the TC has to be factored in to the lens/dome distance as much for sheer length of the setup as focussing on the dome.

2. Yep!

3. Yep! 

 

I have shot with a 6" CFWA but my answer to your 1A is the case: it's much harder to light well. Is the difference dramatic? That's really hard to answer. Are you a perfectionist?!?? Would it really matter to you if the image isn't light as well as it could be? Maybe not now, but later?

 

As with all things, it's a compromise - you could have then one largish port (say, 6") which will do under/overs ok (not as good as 8"+); and can do CFWA but not as good as a 4". Or you could buy a 4", great CFWA, crappy under/overs. Or an 8/9", great over/unders, lousy CFWA. 

Or you could take up chess: one set and a board and you've cracked it  :lol2:

 

If you travel a lot, cost is an issue, you're going to go with the Tokina 10-17 and you're not that bothered about over/unders, then maybe the 4" dome is the answer......  But honestly, this is such a tough decision. I keep changing my mind all the time on what I REALLY need. Hey, cut your loses, delight your bank manager, get a 4", 6" and 9". You can't then go wrong: under/overs, CFWA, blah blah..... you'll be broke. But hopefully happy. And you'll be as crazy as many of us on this site  :crazy:

 

I'm not sure that really helps, sinetwo but It's just a constant dilemma.

 

If we had all the money in the world, including for travel and transport costs, we'd have 'em all.......


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#9 sinetwo

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 02:33 AM

@TimG, firstly, thanks for a very in-depth and informative post. Seems like you've also been pulling out your hair trying to get the best of both worlds/domes. I guess it's frustrating owning kit for several grand, but not being able to have 'everything' - but that comes with the territory of DSLR size I suppose!
 
Re 1B. So I presume the lens' distance from the dome is important as well? i.e. I couldn't just pack in any old lens that fits in the 8" and expect it to work well? (Sorry, i'm coming from a simple RX100ii with a wet lens set up, and things certainly were simple then!). I looked at Naughtycam's port/dome/gear list and it seems 6" isn't even listed against Tokina 10-17, only 4.33 and 8.5 is: https://drive.google...3pDOUJxMUk/view
 
Whilst I am a perfectionist, I'm a perfectionist within my realm of current skills. I'm happy to aim high, but I outgrew my compact set up, so that's why I'm upgrading now, but I see your point about 'futureproofing'. In all honesty, under/overs (O/U) are great on snorkelling days, but even then you've gotta be at the right spot. I'd defintley do CFWA much more than O/Us!
 
Alas I do travel a fair amount, or should I say, when I go diving, I always travel, so I don't think I'd ever want to think of dragging an 8" port to the other side of the world.
 
The problem is, even if I wanted to delight my bank bank manager, I'd have to lug the 8" around, which may not delight my packing skills...
 
Did you find the 4.33" better than the 6" for focusing and IQ (apart from the lighting issue mentioned)?
 
Again, thanks for your insight - these responses are super helpful. It's good for me to leech off everyone else's experience such that I don't make costly mistakes :P


#10 Aussiebyron

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 02:34 AM

I agree with Tim, especially about the crazy part.

 

But honestly I think you have to sit down and think about what your shooting most of the time or what you see yourself shooting in the near future.  Your better off spend money on kit which you will use often esdpecially when on a budget than gear which you would like to have but dont get the chance to use it. BTW the 4 inch domes are great for shooting GWS from the cage....lol

 

Regards Mark


Nikon D7000 with Aquatica housing

Nikon D500 with Aquatica Housing
Nikon 10.5mm FE, Tokina 10-17mm, Tokina 11-16mm, Nikkor 60, Nikkor 80-400mm


#11 sinetwo

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 02:40 AM

GWS are still on my bucket list! Alas I'm going to the wrong part of Mexico for that :( ...and do I want to get so close to a GWS that I can tell the difference between 4.33 and 8.5"?!  Probably.
 
Quick question, has anyone actually done over/unders with the 4.33? I did manage to do a few over unders with my rx100 and inon 100 UWA wet lens, but it was painful :P


#12 TimG

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 03:09 AM

Over/unders are really - and I mean REALLY - hit and miss with a 4". You have to be lucky as it's so hard to "manage" the water movement against the port. You might get lucky. You might not. So hardly ideal....

 

Yes, the lens to domeport distance is key. If you don't get that right you won't get the best possible sharpness to the image. The makers of the ports/housing/EXRs produce lists of what they think are the best combinations. If you dig around WP you'll find all sorts of technically amazing posts and articles from some very learned people about the optics/physics of it all. If you're new to this and not a physicist (have I got the right specialism?) or some such (!), I'd honestly suggest you stick with the housing/port manufacturers recommendations. There is a world of expensive disappointment and spoilt trips down the wrong fork in that road!

 

I can't answer, sorry, the difference in focussing and IQ of the 4" v the 6". It depends on which lens you are using. I get great results from the Tokina 10-17 with a Subal 100 dome port or a 180 dome port. I got crappy results from a Nikkor 16-35 with a 180 dome port - but pretty good with a 230 dome. It's horses for courses. There is an awful lot of suck-it-and-see but, as I caution, disappointment can be the outcome.

 

Very happy to help so keep the questions coming! I think a good few of us have made some pretty costly, err, investments with our equipment choices.


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#13 sinetwo

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 04:51 AM

@TimG, That all makes sense, thank you.

 

It seems there isn't a 6" recommended dome port so I think i'm fresh(water) outta luck with that one!

 

It'll definitely be 4.33", as there is NO way i'm lugging an 8.5 dome pizza to asia :)

 

Re: extension port however, do you ever shoot without the 1.4x telecon?



#14 TimG

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 05:40 AM

No I can understand your concern over the 8.5 dome. I've got a 9" one too (but, of course, size isn't everything - although I fear when it comes to ports, it pretty much is!) and it is something of a challenge when travelling. If it's "just" a dive trip it's sort of ok - but if there's some side trip involved too, it can be tricky.

 

If I'm using the Subal DP100 (a 4"dome) I have the EXRs (two) and zoom rings (again, two) to shoot either with or without the TC. To give you an idea, the EXR for the 10-17 on its own with the DP100 is 13mm. When using the TC too I need a 33mm EXR. So a 20mm difference.

 

I've taken two dive trips recently where I've had both EXRs available and the zoom rings for them (the two zoom rings are different lengths). Visibility can play a large part in the choice of what to use - as well as the u/w topography. Sadly viz was not great on either trip (I was really going for snoot macro photography) so didn't use a lot of WA. But, to give you some sort of general idea, if I was diving a Red Sea reef environment I think I'd use mainly just the 10-17 on its own to photograph a chunk of colourful reef against the wider panorama. If I was trying to photograph a critter against its habitat I'd go for the 10-17 plus TC: I think this is the optimum use of the CFWA approach - get in close but show the backdrop.

 

So, yet again, horses for course: what do you want to do? Do the critters available make sense for a CFWA approach? And will the viz let you do it?

 

So to answer your specific question: yes, I often shoot without the TC.  


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#15 sinetwo

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 07:11 AM

@TimG, yep that makes sense. Awesome pictures on your website by the way, very clean.

 

I think the options are fairly set then as I only dive when I travel, and it's 50/50 whether I go for diving only (e.g. liveaboard) or diving/other recreation.

 

My setup will be:

D500 + Naughtycam housing

Tok 10-17 + telecon + 4.33" dome and extension + zoom gear

Nikkor 105mm + 105port + no zoom or focus gear

YS-D1 Already have it

 

And I guess that's that really, it's either wide angle or it's macro :)

 

What do you think?



#16 TimG

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 07:27 AM

Sounds a sensible plan to me.

 

Just check out though what you would need to run the 10-17 on its own with the dome, ie without the TC. As I explained, you may well need different EXRs and zoom rings to be able to use the 10-17 with/without the TC. Extra cost I know, but I wouldn't limit yourself to just being able to use the 10-17 with a TC only (if I read your post correctly).

 

Only other thing I'd suggest: I don't know Nauticam housings particularly well but it is well worth having a vacuum detector on your system - whether a built-in Nauticam one or, say the Vivid Sentinel. The VS one costs about €250 and gives massive peace of mind as well as an extra leak check. I've had one for about 4-5 years and think they are brilliant. If you search on WP you'll find lots about them and the general opinion is a big Thumbs Up.

 

Thanks on the comments on my website. Much appreciated!  :dancing:


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#17 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:16 AM

I'd be inclined to get the Zen 100mm glass Zen dome for the Tokina and the Tokina and teleconverter.

 

I'd also consider the macro port 60 with a 20mm extension. You can then use both the 60mm AF-S lens (with the macro port 60) and the 105mm VR lens (with macro port 60 and 20mm extension ring). This 20mm extension will be useful when using the teleconverter with the Tokina.

 

Let me know if you need any more help.

Alex


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#18 TimG

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:42 AM

Alex, does the Zen100 need an extension with the Tokina alone?  Or just (the 20mm) when using the TC?


Tim
(PADI IDC Staff Instructor and former Dive Manager, KBR Lembeh Straits)
Nikon D500, Nikkors 105mm and 8-15mm, Tokina 10-17mm,  Subal housing

http://www.timsimages.uk
Latest images: http://www.shutterst...lery_id=1940957


#19 sinetwo

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 12:22 PM

I'd also consider the macro port 60 with a 20mm extension. You can then use both the 60mm AF-S lens (with the macro port 60) and the 105mm VR lens (with macro port 60 and 20mm extension ring). This 20mm extension will be useful when using the teleconverter with the Tokina.

 

Thanks Alex_Tattersall, alas the Zen 100 pushes my budget outside the limit... Alas, I'll probably go for the 4.33" Nauticam dome.

 

However, would you please happen to know if it supports the following combinations?

Combo 1: Tokina 10-17 with Gear (19227) and 4.33" Nauticam dome (#18804)

Combo 2: Tokina 10-17 with 1.4x Kenko Telecon, Gear (#19227), 20mm extension ring (#21120) and 4.33" Nauticam dome (#18804)

Combo 3: Nikkor 105 VR with 20mm extension ring (#21120) and Macro port 60 (#18701)

 

It seems that the link I provided above (N120 port system for Nikon system) states I would require a 30 (#21130) + 60 (#18701) port for the 105mm?

 

It would be most excellent if I could economise my travel bulk by only carrying:

1. zoom gear for Tokina 10-17

2. Shared extension for Tokina's teleconverter and part of the 105mm port

3. Second part for the 105mm port (no focus gear required yet!)

4. 4.33" dome for Tokina (used naked, or with telecon extension)

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.



#20 JohnVila

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 02:30 PM

Great thread! Enjoying all the input! I also made the change from a simple RX100ii to D500 in Nauticam.

 

I went with the Tokina 10-17 with zoom gear (19127), Nikon 105mm, 4.33" dome (18804) and a macro port 87 (18702).

 

As Alex has suggested, in hindsight I wish I had stacked a 60 and 20 port to enable me to use a 60mm lens that my partner had.  I later bought a kenko teelconverter and could have then have used the 20mm extension. Too late now!!

 

Sinetwo - we have been on exactly the same decision path! I also bought a Sigma 17-70mm thinking it would be a good compromise lens, but having read a lot more since I have decided not to worry about taking it underwater and just use it topside. I Concur with Tim -- I could just keep spending more and more on gear that I would use once in a while!

 

So, for the moment at least, I am going to stick with the 4.33 and grab a 20mm extension and zoom gear (19227) for the teleconverter, and perhaps  a 40 mm extension to make up a 60 port!! The list just goes on - and on -  and on and on!!

 

Just out of interest Tim / Alex - could the 60mm lens be used in the 85 port without too much trouble negating the need for a 40mm extension?

 

Great input from everyone. I hope you enjoy your new rig as much as I have, it is a big change from the RX100 II but well worth it. Besides - I have kept the RX100II as a spare to use when I don't want to lug the big rig to remote places on small planes!

 

Cheers

 

John

 

PS as Mark (AussieByron suggests) ---- "Another recommendation is if your going to shoot alot of macro is to put a external viewfinder on the back of your housing. They are not a cheap option but they make a dramatic improvement when shooting macro especially super macro" -- absolutely agree -- I have had the 45 degree viewfinder for 4 months now and once you get used to it you will wonder how you ever managed without it! Especially if you have 50 plus year old eyes with a twist!


Edited by JohnVila, 08 May 2018 - 02:34 PM.