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My setup - Fuji S2Pro, Ike Housing, etc


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#1 marriard

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Posted 03 January 2003 - 08:13 PM

I switched over to the D-SLR Fuji S2Pro with the Ikelite housing from a Nikon N90S setup in a Nexus Hosuing for a couple of reasons - developing file was costing me too much money and time and the agency I was doing work for switched to ONLY accepting digital images (whether from a DSLR or scans).

I got the Ikelite Housing pretty much the day before Ike released it after seeing a friends version (i.e. he had a prototype) and I had spent a great deal of time renting Nikon lens compatiable DSLR's from Alkit Camera (www.alkit.com).

The S2 was a superior camera than the Nikons, and more importantly a housing other than Seacam was available. Also although I don't use TTL often, it is nice to know it is there when I do need it and that I didn't need to upgrade my Speedlights topside or my Ike SubStrobe 200's.

Since it is only now that D100 housings are trickling onto the market it turned out to be a good decision.

I have used several lenses in the housing:

Macro behind flat port: 60mm Nikkor and a 105mm Nikkor. I also occasionally use a 5T or 3T closeup lens.

Behind a dome port: 20mm Nikkor (occasionally with a 3T closeup lens) and a 16mm Nikkor fisheye

Topside I also have a 300mm Nikkor lens and a 1.4 Teleconvertor I use. I also rent various lenses for special needs when I travel.

These are the same lenses I was using with my N90S.

My feelings are mainly very positive with the camera and housing with a few hiccups. I have certainly met my goal of lowering costs and time commitment for processing, however the Ikelite housing is bulky and not as user friendly as my old Nexus housing. Access to some controls I would like are not available.

I expect that I will use this setup for approximately 1 year depending on the advances in DSLR's and housings. Easy to justify a new camera/housing each year when I look at the old cost of development and the resale value of DSLR/housing. If nothing serious happens I will look seriously at other housings for this camera as they become available - especially if Nexus does something.

Marriard

#2 scottyb

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 06:13 AM

How do you like the 105 with The S2? It is probably going to be my next addition. Does the crop make it too narrow to use?

#3 marriard

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 07:20 AM

How do you like the 105 with The S2? It is probably going to be my next addition. Does the crop make it too narrow to use?

No, but it makes focusing a challenge. You have to really take your time or go manual focus. Results can be very spectacular

E.g.

Posted Image

Might be easier to get a closeup lens for the 60mm. I am going to be experimenting next weekend with this.

#4 scottyb

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 04:44 PM

I had heard the 105 had a tendancy to hunt. Too bad they don't make a macro with the silent wave. I will be interested in your results with the closeup lens.

#5 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 04:56 PM

Scotty,

I think the Fuji focussing system is FAR superior to the 35mm 90x/s and as a result the lens may not be inclined to hunt so much. A good quality light strapped to a strobe will enhance this also. The 105 is a great lens - The Sigma varients are very good too. What I find very cost effective is an 85mm with a +2 or +4 diopter. Sigma & Nikon do a Macro-zoom too - It locks in Macro from 35mm - 85mm.

#6 craig

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 05:48 PM

The Nikon macro zoom you are talking about is the 70-180? I haven't heard of anyone using that in combination with a S2 or D100. Seems like the short end would still be mighty long.

I wonder what the maximum focus distances would be with a Sigma 28-80 macro and a +2 or +4 diopter. It would be nice to have the combination of good working distances and the ability to shoot larger subjects that the 70-180 offers to film photographers.

Some of my friends love the 70-180 and others hate it (size, weight, expense). They all shoot film, though.
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#7 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 05:59 PM

The Nikon macro zoom you are talking about is the 70-180? I haven't heard of anyone using that in combination with a S2 or D100. Seems like the short end would still be mighty long.

I wonder what the maximum focus distances would be with a Sigma 28-80 macro and a +2 or +4 diopter. It would be nice to have the combination of good working distances and the ability to shoot larger subjects that the 70-180 offers to film photographers.

Hi Craig,

A good friend of mine is just in the process of adapting a port for the Nikon 28 - 85 macro zoom. The scope is tremendous for mixed subjects.

The DOF with a +2 or +4 ain't great on an 85mm-35mm and I have yet to try it out on the D1s to see how it copes DOF should be the same at around 1" & 1/2" respectively @ 4" & 6"

#8 craig

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 06:34 PM

I suppose the 24-85 f2.8 Nikon might work well. It does 1:2.
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#9 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 06:37 PM

Sorry, that's the one I meant !

#10 craig

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 07:11 PM

OK. Turns out Nikon made a 28-85 macro zoom that's out of production.

This lens looks interesting. When you factor in digital cropping it has the same magnification as the 70-180 with film (1:1.33) and similar working distances. The short end gives a lot of flexibility at roughly 36mm equivalent. A modest diopter and/or a wet mount diopter and you've a nice setup capable of 1:1. This seems ideal for all but extreme magnifications where the 60 or 105 could deliver effectively twice life size.
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#11 james

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 08:50 PM

I have this lens and I shot it underwater on one dive. It sucked! I didn't shoot it w/ a closeup lens and couldn't focus closer than about 2' I'll post some pix tomorrow.

Cheers
James
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#12 craig

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Posted 05 January 2003 - 09:09 PM

Nikon says 1.6 feet minimum so that sounds right. The 105 is 12" and the 70-180 is 15", so its not that different. A diopter would probably be preferred.

Were there other problems besides minimum focusing distance?
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#13 james

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 06:04 AM

OK, now that I'm at work and have time to post...:)

The 28-85 is a "pseudo macro" at 1:2 but ONLY if you press a button and turn the zoom ring PAST 28mm. At that point, autofocus is disabled and you are stuck at 28mm macro with manual focus. With a working distance of something like 1.6 feet, that just doesn't cut it! You can either shoot it as a 28-85 zoom lens, or lock it before the dive and shoot only 1:2 macro at 1.6' Equivalent focal length is 42mm.

If not for that "lock" ring and button you have to push, it would be a pretty cool lens. Too bad it's not like the coolpix where you simply press the button on the back of the camera for macro.

Cheers
James
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Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#14 craig

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 06:29 AM

Sounds like you really want control of the macro switch during the dive. Takes away some of the utility losing autofocus on the wide end.

James, have you used a 105 with your S2?
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#15 james

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 06:49 AM

The next lens I will buy will be the 105 of the 70-180 Micro.

I'm leaning toward the 70-180 because at the 70 end, it will behave much like a 105 on a film camera. It just seems like a "fun" lens.

Cheers
James
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Photo site - www.reefpix.org

#16 craig

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 06:58 AM

Does Ike do a 70-180 port? It's a big, heavy lens.
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#17 james

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 07:38 AM

I think that Ike can do a port for it if they want to. Where there's a will there's a way. Nexus can do it. My friend Larry Jackson (san angelo) shoots w/ the 70-180 for most/all of his macro work and he really likes it. It's $600+ USED though...ouch.

The tripod collar has to be removed and the front end of the lens should be supported in the port. Nexus uses a 62mm filter ring for mounting/sliding into the support.

Cheers
James
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#18 craig

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 07:57 AM

My friends use the 70-180 with Nexus also. Sea and Sea apparently supports it according to their printed specs (not their website) and Aquatica says they'll do one if someone wants it. My friends' Nexus rigs must be 3-4 pounds negative. It's ungodly difficult to tote around but they don't seem to think much of it.

Is Larry Jackson and older guy? I live in Austin and may have done a trip with him to the Borneo photo contest in 2000.
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#19 james

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 08:04 AM

Yep, Larry is a bit "older" and doesn't have too much up on top of his lid. But he dives with a hooded vest so you can't tell...:-)

He's an avid aquarist and fish breeder as well. Larry came along w/ me and Eric B. on the flowergardens spawning trip in 2000.

Cheers
James
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#20 craig

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Posted 06 January 2003 - 08:37 AM

Ha! Larry makes some appearances in my videos of Underwater Malaysia here. It seems like he can never get enough diving. Here he is...

Posted Image
I love it when a plan comes together.
- Col. John "Hannibal" Smith

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