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Nikon 16mm Fisheye, D100, FL-B filter


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#1 craig

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 07:35 AM

Just got back from Cocos where I took a D100/Sea 'n Sea rig with dual 90DX strobes on its first trip. I only took a large dome with 16mm fisheye, 20mm and 24mm lenses.

There has been some interest in the past about the combination of fisheye and digital so I though I would post a sample.

Posted Image

This photo was taken with my rig by Mike Coker. I am the big shark in the back with the white beady eyes. This photo is not corrected for distortion.

Posted Image

This photo was taken on my first dive with the camera. This photo was corrected using ImageAlign. Sorry for the quality, but I did only two dives with this lens and had no real keepers. I used this one to demonstrate the resulting width.

The second picture was also taken using a combination of flash and FL-B filter. Shooting in RAW mode and looking at the raw histograms is very educational. Considering the subject distances in Cocos, the filter was beneficial on all shots except at night and we always used it.

Posted Image


This last one used the 24mm lens, FL-B filter, both strobes on full power at a depth of 95 feet. Just want to show that filters+flash don't result in ruined pictures.
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#2 james

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 08:10 AM

Thanks very much for posting the photos Craig. I really like what I see from the 16mm fisheye. Underwater there aren't many straight lines, so even the uncorrected image looks good to me.

Well, except for those video lights in the middle there...:)

How does your filter mount? Is it front mounting or rear? I've never thought of using a filter, but am curious to hear more.

What did you think of the D100 housing?

PS, that hammerhead shot wrocks!

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#3 craig

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 08:52 AM

After several dives with the fisheye, correcting the distortion seems rarely necessary. Sometimes you like to and it's easy enough.
The fisheye has the additional advantage of being very flare resistant. It is quite wide, though, at about 102 degrees (linearized), I think.

With the fisheye, I mounted the filter in front. I purchased an extra Nikon lens cap, cut the front off, pressed in a 62-67mm stepup ring and used a Singh-Ray FL-B. the corners were very slightly clipped. I think a 62mm Tiffen FL-B would work and not clip the corners. The effected area is very slight. A rear mount would probably work better still but Nikon uses a bayonet mount and I don't know how to fit gels into it.

My main goal of the trip was to learn how to use the strobes and camera in full manual and to play with filters + strobes. I spent a good deal of time looking at RAW histograms since that tells you most about the light entering the lens. For closeup, the green notch of the FL-B was bad although the color tilt itself was not. For light path distances around 6-10 feet, the color balance became quite good (assume strobe power was right). For longer paths, the color balance shifted increasingly toward blue no matter what, but I was not using big strobes. For almost everything we shot the filter was not too strong. Of course, color correction is required, but that is always true when shooting RAW (or anything else, actually). Images straight out of the camera were suprisingly good, but the two of us shooting were still learning and not always getting things right.

I was less pleased with the Sea and Sea housing. The mounting tray is nice but it adds bulk and introduces some tolerance issues that cause the controls to be unreliable. My function knob does not work at all, and the 4 toggle buttons frequently refused to work and would engage themselves. The manual focus control frequently activates itself (ruined a dive because Mike didn't realize it) and the focus area moves around on its own unless you lock it. I intend to sell the housing and switch to Nexus or Aquatica. I believe the control problems could be worked through and I'm sure others will be quite happy with them.

Thanks for the compliment of the hammerhead. On that dive, the focus area was locked at the bottom and it was nearly impossible to focus, then compose since the shutter lever is so sensitive. I blew at least a dozen shots better than that one, including some full frame head shots. The big difference between still and video is that still is so infuriating! The other diver using my rig got an incredible hammerhead shot which I'd like to share but want his permission first.
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#4 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 09:07 AM

Hey Craig,

I use ultra wide (weitwinkel) angle a lot (165 degrees) - It's the dog's as far as I am concerned - straight lines are rectified by shooting angle in most cases but generally unless your wreckin' it's cool: The 16 mm looks like it's going to work well for the D100... Stick with it!

#5 james

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 10:35 AM

Hi Craig,

Interesting comments about the Sea and Sea housing. Have you thought of sending it back to them to work on? Most companies are pretty reasonable about this, especially with new products. I always try to give them the benefit of the doubt.

But if you are going to sell the housing, I'm sure you will have plenty of takers...:)

On my S2pro, I can set the camera to autofocus in "closest subject priority" for shooting wideangle. That seems to work pretty well. Does the D100 have something similar? Otherwise you will need to use focus area mode and select the region to focus on.

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James Wiseman
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#6 craig

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 10:54 AM

I'll be sending the housing in to make the function control work at least. I don't think badly of the housing and I like the bayonet port mount. The tray is nice since it makes removing the camera for battery changes very easy, and lenses can be changed from the front.

The D100 has a "closest subject" type of option although I didn't think to use it. It has a lockout switch for the focus area that should probably be used underwater. It would have saved me on one dive, although "closest subject" probably would have, too. On my particular dive, the housing controls partially engaged causing the focus area to change and locking out further control. The review function of the camera then stopped working so I couldn't verify exposure. The shutter level has essentially no difference between half and full, so recomposing was almost impossible.
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#7 james

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 11:24 AM

Youch.

FWIW, in calm conditions, I can usually get a shutter half-press from my S2pro using the Ike housing. Then I can recompose the shot, or manually move the housing in or out to change focus. That's what I do for macro as opposed to manual focus.

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#8 Gerb

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 01:50 PM

Craig,
Thanks for the info on the housing, I've got one on the way for my D-100 and will have to see if the tolerance problems you had are endemic to all the Sea & Sea's (hoping not). Will definetly let you know what I find out.

Love the Hammerhead shot

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#9 Reefkeep

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 05:09 PM

I have the Sigma 14mm and the 15mm Fisheye, after taking several shots with both I think I prefer the much smaller, some what flare resistant 15mm fisheye.

#10 craig

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Posted 02 January 2003 - 06:25 PM

Gerb,

When you get yours, make sure you take a small allen wrench that fits the shutter release set screw. Mine came loose several times and if it weren't for my friend's toolkit I would have been hosed.
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#11 Gerb

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 09:01 AM

Craig wrote [The mounting tray is nice but it adds bulk and introduces some tolerance issues that cause the controls to be unreliable. My function knob does not work at all, and the 4 toggle buttons frequently refused to work and would engage themselves.]

I recieved my DX100 housing this week and found the same problem with the function control not operating until i removed the rubber viewfinder hood from the camera. Operated very smoothly after that.

Gerb
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#12 tshepherd

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 09:09 AM

Same thing with the D60 housing. I forgot to remove the eyecup prior to my first dip in the pool, and the upper controls wouldn't engage. I thought I had misaligned the camera or something, and when I got out, I realized that I had forgotten to remove it. Once I did, all the controls worked flawlessly.

#13 craig

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Posted 12 January 2003 - 09:12 AM

I failed to remove my hood at first, too. Unfortunately, the function control still fails. Of course, you really don't need that control underwater unless you want to switch between manual and auto.
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#14 Kasey

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Posted 26 January 2003 - 12:24 PM

It probably is a few months away, but I believe the D100 Titan will have a focus button on the grips just like the e-20 Titan. WIth it, there is no need to half press the shutter (although that is really easy to do on the original Titan) - just depress the focus button on the grip to lock focus, then press the shutter (either the mechanical lever or an alternate also on the grip). It is very nicely designed.
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