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D100 and Subal


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#1 Ron Boyes

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Posted 20 April 2003 - 09:22 PM

This is my first post so be gentle.

I have a D100 camera and about to purchase the 70 - 180 and the 12-24 (when available).
So far my decision will be to go with the Subal housing - this is because I have been using the Subal CP5 housing for a couple of months and the support from the Subal dealer has been fantastic.
I do own a F90x in a S&S housing with 20,60 & 105 lens.

My questions are:
1. Are the zoom lens for the D100 the best way to go?
2. I have a 512Meg Scan disk - I was thinking of purchasing the Luxor as I hear it is a lot faster writing the RAW files.
3. White balance - do you recommend to shoot auto and then adjust using Nikon Capture 3 software?
4. Is their a prefered setup for the D100 for underwater work? WB,Metering etc.

I am sure I will have a load more questions when I get the housing.

Thanks
ron

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Nikon D2X - Subal Housing
Lens:70-180mm, 12-24mm, 17-55mm & 10.5mm
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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 04:45 AM

Hi Ron,

I use a Subal D10 and think it is fabulous. My favourite lenses with it (when I used it in Grand Cayman - lens choice depends on subjects available) were 16, 28-70, 60. I also used 105 and 17-35. Considering you already own 60 and 105 the merits of the 70-180 are questionable. With the effective increase in focal length of lenses caused by the smaller than 35mm CCD of the D100 I think the 105 gives you all the magnification you'll ever need.

I use a 1GB microdrive and so long as I shoot uncompressed RAW then the write time is not limiting. Also on several dives I did shoot the full 107 images (including deleting some). Maybe a 512 is a bit small when shooting on RAW. In general with the D100 I average 1 shot a minute. So if your dives are usually 60 minutes 512 should be fine. If longer think of the 1GB.

You are right that good dealer support is a very important factor in choosing a housing.

I choose to shoot sunlight white balance UW (when I'm not shooting preset) I find that this produces the nicest images straight off the camera. But if you shoot RAW it doesn't actually matter. Metering I use matrix continually, shooting in manual exposure mode, and making my own choice on exposure offset of ambient light as I always have with my other SLR.

Alex

The Subal housing is very well made, and the major controls are positionned very ergonomically. The housing (as I use it) is also completely neutral in the water. Which is very nice. It is the first underwater camera I have used that is completely neutral despite just about every camera claiming to be. If I let it go it just sits in the water next to me. See below:

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#3 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 04:49 AM

Ooo, forgot to make (yet another) plug for my photo diary with the D100 from my first vacation with the camera. I got back yesterday and am stilll waiting for my 30 rolls of slides so these images are hot off the presses. There are photo details on each page so you can see which lenses I used. Alex
http://homepage.mac.com/mustardoni/

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#4 craig

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 06:12 AM

The 70-180 provides less ultimate magnification that the 105. Not intuitive but true. It's main attraction is the zoom itself. With digital, it provides more than adequate magnification for most applications. Film shooters find a diopter is generally required and the lens responds very well to them.

Before trying the 70-180 with the D100, I felt about it just as Alex described. After trying it, it never came off the camera. It just works better than you would expect it to. Many people will still prefer the 60, though, and the 105 is ultimately a more powerful lens for very small things. It depends on what you shoot. I very much like the 105 and a dome port, another unusual combination.
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#5 donauw

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 08:33 AM

Alex -

I have the 28 - 70 AFS but haven't used it UW. What situations do you use it for?

I guess all I would need to add to my dome would be the Extension ring 70?

Regards,

#6 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 09:16 AM

I couldn't afford a 28-70 AFS so I went with the Sigma f2.8 28-70mm. It is a fine lens (though not up to the standard of the AFS Nikkor, I'm sure) and has good close focus. The Sigma is much better that the cheaper Nikon zooms. I use it for fish and behaviour photography. No compatability problems and my SB80DX zooms along with it. With a D100 (and D1 or S2) it is cabable of pretty small subject matter, as well as reasonable scenics.

I guess the main reason I like it is that the 28-70 range is rarely used by many UW photographers and thus it gives my pictures a different look to standard wide angle or macro.

I house the Sigma in my Subal 105 port. It is a tight fit, but it goes in. I use a 17-35m zoom gear to zoom it. It has the advantage that the lens barrel is longest at the 28mm end meaning it doesn't see the sides of the port. Plus I don't think the image quality suffers to much from not being behind a dome. In fact the Sigma is so reasonably priced I would suggest buying one specifically for UW use and keeping the AFS dry (that's too nice a lens to flood!).

Hope this helps.

Alex

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#7 donauw

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 03:33 PM

Thanks Alex -

I think I may give the 28 - 70 a try. Subal lists it as compatible with my Fisheye dome (DP-FE2) and all I'd need to add is an extension ring. Of course, I'm not sure how the results will compare with the flat port you've been using. Any thoughts?

Regards,

#8 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 April 2003 - 02:08 AM

The dome port may well be optically better, but more cumbersome. The optical improvements will be most pronounced at the wide end of the lens and minimal at the 70mm end. By contrast a flatport will reduce the field of view of the lens but increase the magnification of the subject (in the same way as a facemask does for us).

At 28mm on film a flat port is a bit naughty. And there will be some chromatic aberation at the edges plus loss of sharpness. As far as my optical understanding goes (and it is limited) this will be less of a problem on digital because the effective angle of view is reduced by the smaller than film CCD.

A domeport is the better optical solution so long as you use it with the appropriate dioptre on the lens (a +3 will do well for the Subal FE dome) and with an extension ring that gets the lens's entrance pupil as close to the centre of the hemisphere perscribed by the dome as possible. I'm sure you know all this, anyway.

Both will work. Shoot a few films and review your shooting data - another advantage of digital. If you are rarely using the wide end of the lens (because afterall 28mm is hardly wide UW) then maybe a flat port is better?

Alex

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#9 donauw

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Posted 23 April 2003 - 04:23 PM

The dome port may well be optically better, but more cumbersome. The optical improvements will be most pronounced at the wide end of the lens and minimal at the 70mm end. By contrast a flatport will reduce the field of view of the lens but increase the magnification of the subject (in the same way as a facemask does for us).


Since I have the fisheye port (and don't have a flat port that will fit the lens - I think it is wider than the Sigma) and "only" need to add an extension ring to use the lens, I think I'll go that route.

Now, just have to wait for the extension ring to get here from Austria... I'll let you know how it works.

Regards,