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UW Nikon Wide angle lens recommendations???


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#1 docrobina

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 06:46 AM

Hello all,

Pardon if this topic has been discussed already, but I could not find it in search.....


I just took the plunge and bought a Nikon D80 and new S&S housing for it. I previously used a Nikon F100, and have 60mm 105mm and 24-50mm lenses for UW use. I was happy before, but now NEED a wide angle lens that I can use UW (and hopefully topside, too).

Underwater the fisheye look is fine, but I really don't like it for topside shots that are not around water, and will definitely want to use it away from water too. Unfortunately, I have yet to win the lottery, so I would hope to get use in and out of the water with the same wide angle lens.

My Wide angle UW use would be mostly for large animals, and reef scenes, and less so for wreck photography.

I have looked at the Nikon 10.5mm, 12-24mm, Sigma 15mmFE as options. Can you get rid of the "fisheye" look in, say, Photoshop????

What is the one best lens that might fit my needs???

#2 Lionfish43

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 07:32 AM

If I could only have 1 wide-angle lens for uw it would be the 10.5. That being said, the 10.5 has limited use as a topside lens. The FE distortion is just too great for most topside images and the defish software on Nikon Capture works well but the image still looks distorted - just in a different way.

My second choice would be the Nikon 16 or the Sigma 15FE. The picture angle underwater is very similar to what I would have got with my Nikonos 15. It's a very useful focal length for uw wide-angle and although they're both still FE's they can be used as a super wide-angle for topside. On a cropped sensor camera you don't get the extreme FE look that you get on the 10.5. IMO the Nikon is sharper and has better contast while the sigma focuses closer and costs less.

The most useful lens for topside would definitely be the 12-24. I have not used this lens myself but from what I've seen you can get very good uw images with it as well. You will need to get a port extension and may or may not need to use a diopter. Corner sharpness can be an issue.

Another choice might be the Sigma 10-20. I'm not sure about availablity of this lens but I have seen some positive reports
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#3 acroporas

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 07:35 AM

If you want to replace your 24-50 on film, the closest would be something in the 17-35 range.

That said, 17mm (on a cropped body) is not that wide, and you might be happier (at least underwater) with the 12-24.
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#4 AndyBarker

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 12:14 PM

HI,
the Nikon 12/24 is a great W/A lens for both topside &
under the blue stuff, you will to get the right port & also
an extender & zoom gear.

Andy ;) :blink:

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#5 photovan

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 01:45 PM

I chose the Sigma 10-20 over the 12-24 after testing both. here are some other threads of a similar nature.

http://wetpixel.com/...topic=14190&hl=

http://wetpixel.com/...topic=14536&hl=

darren

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#6 frogfish

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 04:43 PM

The 12-24 DX is probably the best w/a lens for your needs, covering the focal length range of all the alternative lenses I can think of (since you've excluded the 10.5 fe.) The biggest limitation of the 12-24, above and below water, is probably its slow speed - f/4. This may be less of a problem with digital and instantly adjustable ISO settings than it was with film, but there will be times when you will wish you had faster glass. For me, images taken with the 12-24 don't seem to have quite the punch that once can get with other Nikon lenses (such as the 16 mm FE or the 17-35 f/2.8 IF-ED zoom), but that's just my subjective impression.

It's possible (but not easy) to make fish-eye images rectilinear (i.e, 'get rid of the fish-eye look') in Photoshop itself, but if you're to do a lot of this, you'd want to get a plug-in. Another program is that does this is DxO, which is not cheap but very powerful. It will take 10.5 images and render them absolutely rectilinear, plus fix the chromatic aberration, lighting, and anything else that is wrong with the image. It doesn't deal with underwater images very well, but topside it's the bees' knees.

R.
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#7 Undertow

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 06:22 PM

another for the 12-24 - i use it constantly topside. the 10.5 fisheye is a fun lens and definitely worth buying but limited in scope, so get the 12-24 first. it also compliments your range well with the 24-50, 60 & 105.

Chris

Edited by Undertow, 10 December 2006 - 06:24 PM.

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#8 CeeDave

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 11:00 AM

Given one lens, I'd still take the Nikon 16mm FE or the Sigma 15FE; they are faster and sharper than the 12-24, can work behind compact ports, are cheaper and more compact, and don't need diopters. I got the Nikon used (mint) for about $500.

If speed is less of an issue, I'd consider the Sigma 10-20 as suggested by photovan. The extra bit at the wide end is very nice, and I see only very slightly yellow bias (sometimes none) or contrast loss compared to my 17-55 f2.8, which is a stiff benchmark. I have some great woodland landscape and parade (we are big on pee-rades in Louisiana) shots taken with the 10-20. Unfortunately...

Neither the Sigma 10-20 nor Nikon 17-55 can curently be housed with zoom capability in Ikelite housings -- which is going to drive me to abandon my beloved Ike housing, soon.

All the best,
Chris
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#9 docrobina

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 08:42 PM

Neither the Sigma 10-20 nor Nikon 17-55 can curently be housed with zoom capability in Ikelite housings -- which is going to drive me to abandon my beloved Ike housing, soon.



I have a Sea & Sea housing. Could I house these lenses with zoom capability with my housing??? Anyone know?

Thanks, Robin ;)

#10 Rocha

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 10:23 PM

The Sigma 10-20 is a new lens, so it is not listed in the compatibility chart yet, but it will probably work fine. The 17-55 should work with the same or slightly modified setup from the 17-35. Here are links for S&S lens compatibility charts:

http://www.seaandsea...chart_zoom.html

http://www.seaandsea...chart_wide.html

I suggest you contact your housing dealer and ask specifically about these lenses (that's if someone else here is not using them already and gives you a better answer than mine).

Luiz

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#11 rachid

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 01:00 AM

hi Robin,

i am using the Sigma 10-20 with a Sea & Sea Housing (DX-d70). I bought the zoom ring for the Canon 10-22 and used a rubber ring ;)
This is the lens and zoom ring, which comes with an additional plastic ring.
Posted Image

The plastic ring was too thick, but without the plastic ring, the zoom ring was too big.
Posted Image


So i used a rubber band :blink:
Posted Image
perfect grip!

I dived the whole week in the red sea with this combination and had no problems.

Remark: It's working only with the Nikon version of the Sigma 10-20! The Canon version has an additional A/M-Switch on the lens, that makes it slightly bigger.

Rachid
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#12 docrobina

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 07:33 PM

hi Robin,

i am using the Sigma 10-20 with a Sea & Sea Housing (DX-d70). I bought the zoom ring for the Canon 10-22 and used a rubber ring ;)
This is the lens and zoom ring, which comes with an additional plastic ring.

I dived the whole week in the red sea with this combination and had no problems.

Remark: It's working only with the Nikon version of the Sigma 10-20! The Canon version has an additional on the lens, that makes it slightly bigger.

Rachid


Rachid,

Where did you purchase your zoom ring? :blink:
I am seriously considering the Sigma 10-20mm and the zoom ring setup would probably cinch the deal for me.
Thanks in advance.
Robin

#13 TimG

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 12:39 AM

Add another vote for the Nikkor 12-24 in the If I Had Only One W/A Lens competition. Its also a terrific topside lens - which the 10.5 definitely is not.

I used the 12-24 a lot underwater until I bought the 10.5! It can produce some cracking results once you get used to working out how to avoid the distortion - which is perfectly do-able underwater where straight lines are unusual. A picture of a diver approaching a wall reef - see attached - demonstrates this nicely. I must have been 18" away from the fan coral.

But if I had to have only one lens, it would be the 12-24

Attached Images

  • Sipadan_Diver_with_wall_fan_coral_TG_DSC_7314.jpg

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#14 rachid

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 12:46 AM

Where did you purchase your zoom ring? :P


Hi Robin,
i bought it in austrian Online Shop. So the Site is in german :D
Here is a direct
link.
But just send them an e-mail (Manfred Werner [shop@unterwasserkamera.at]).
Their response is very fast and the prices are good.

Rachid

Edited by rachid, 13 December 2006 - 12:47 AM.

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#15 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 08:10 AM

before you pull the trigger on the 10-20mm I would at least look at the 15mm FE. I personally have had much more success with it underwater. Its hard to grasp but the wide f2.8 aperture does much more for fast focusing than the focus motors in the AF-S or HSM lenses. I haven't tried the 10-20mm I have the Nikon 12-24mm. Since both lenses are F4 at 12mm I expect them to preform the same. The 12-24mm hunts a lot and if the subject is in poor vis or too far away it has a lot of trouble focusing. The 15mm by contrast snaps to focus quickly.

I'm still tweaking my system, but after I got the 8" dome I was pretty stoked to give the 12-24mm another go and maybe eliminate the 15mm but the focusing is so much more reliable that I think I'll shoot the 15mm UW and the 12-24mm topside.

BTW the field of view between the 15mm and the 12 end of the 12-24mm are about the same. The 10mm end of the 10-20 is a little wider. Zoom is nice but I tend to zoom with my fins even when I have a zoom. The results are usually better that way anyway.

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#16 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 08:26 AM

Hi Robin,

Our mutual friend Kelly B. has both the 10.5 and 12-24 Nikkors. I know she has the zoom gear from Sea & Sea for the 12-24. If you want to use the Sigma 10-20 and want a zoom gear, ask her if she likes the custom zoom gear she had made up for her Sigma 28-80 while she was visiting me in Vancouver. She or I can give you the contact info of the guy who made it for her.

Are you going to Anilao this year?

Stu

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#17 docrobina

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 05:28 PM

Hi Robin,

Our mutual friend Kelly B. has both the 10.5 and 12-24 Nikkors. I know she has the zoom gear from Sea & Sea for the 12-24. If you want to use the Sigma 10-20 and want a zoom gear, ask her if she likes the custom zoom gear she had made up for her Sigma 28-80 while she was visiting me in Vancouver. She or I can give you the contact info of the guy who made it for her.

Are you going to Anilao this year?

Stu



Hi Stu,

I will ask Kelly about her feelings about the lenses. I am not so much a fan of the fisheye look, and since I will be probably able to just get one WA lens for both topside and UW, the options go down. I tried the Sigma 10-20 and Nikon 12-24 in Calumet yesterday. Both nice, focus fast (at least in the camera store) and look sharp on the little monitor), but the Sigma about $250-300 less.

I am going to Anilao in the second week of February 2007. Staying at Club O, booked with Peri for guiding.

Thanks to everyone replying to my post about the WA lens poll.... all comments are greatly appreciated. :P

#18 rachid

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 03:27 AM

A month ago i was asking myself the same question.
the choices were
Nikon 10.5 Fisheye
Tokina 10-17 Fisheye
Nikon 12-24
Sigma 10-20

I wanted a lens that i could use also for surface shots. At the end i bought the sigma 10-20.
I didn't want the fisheye look in the surface shots and the the nikon 12-24 was unfortunately over my budget :D

hopefully i won't regret it :P

Rachid
PS: Sigma provides a rental service. You can rent a Sigma 10-20 for 59€ the week. That's nice!
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#19 photovan

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 03:48 AM

At the end i bought the sigma 10-20......hopefully i won't regret it :P
Rachid


I haven't regretted getting my sigma 10-20 yet.
darren

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#20 UWphotoNewbie

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 08:23 AM

I'm sure you won't regret it. All these lenses are good. In discussions like these we focus on and highlight the small differences because that's what you do when comparing and buying lenses. Once you own a lens you take pictures. :P

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