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#1 tshepherd

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 11:22 AM

I've got two weeks to go until I head back to Truk Lagoon, and I need to get a wide angle lense between now and then that works with the Sea & Sea housing for the D60. I've been agonizing over which one to get since I can't get both, but my choices are either the Sigma 14mm or the new Canon 17-40 L.

I know people have had good luck with the Sigma, and it's a nice fast lense (f/2.8) but I'm hesitant to go with a fixed focal length. On the other hand, I'm banking on the zoom gear for the 16-35 L being a)available and b)working with the 17-40, and the aperture only gets down to f/4 and it's not quite "wide" at effectively 27-64mm.

Anyone have any thoughts?

#2 james

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 12:06 PM

Hi Tom,

I can relay some experience. I have shot w/ the 14mm Sigma and the 18-35mm Nikkor on my Fuji (1.5x Crop Factor).

The 18-35mm has the field of view of a 28-52mm on the Fuji - pretty much the same as what the 17-40 will have on the Canon with the 1.6x Crop Factor. IMO, it's just not wide enough - especially for Truk. Despite the fact that the 14mm has flare problems, it's really wide and I've gotten some great CFWA shots w/ it.

Another downside of using the zoom is that you need a diopter - whereas you don't need one with the 14mm as it focuses really close.

A compromise would be to get the fisheye lens instead - it's like half the price of the 14mm and isn't prone to the flare problems. Might be a little bit tricky though - as wrecks tend to have a lot of straight lines in them.

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#3 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 03:52 PM

Tom,

You should try the 15 -30 Sigma - This is a VERY sharp lens and very good value for money.

#4 tshepherd

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 04:02 PM

James - good point on the relative width of the Canon. In fact, Canon bills it as a perfect "standard zoom when fitted on a Digital SLR" due to it's 27-64 equivalence. I'm not sure I want to mess with a fisheye at this point even though I've seen some great examples of what you can do with it.

Bob - I thought about the 15-30, especially because of the price, but S&S doesn't have a zoom gear for it, and it's going to be impossible to get one made before I leave. I had thought about trying the 15-30 but leaving it at 15 by not fitting it with a zoom gear, but I'm a bit afraid it will slip to a wider setting.

Thanks for the input guys...

#5 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 04:06 PM

Craig has just fitted one to his D100, I'm sure he used gears from his S & S set up - Drop him a message!

You can always tape it at 15mm!!!!

#6 tshepherd

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 04:45 PM

Duh... tape... here I am thinking something hi-tech and i forgot the marvels of duct tape...

good suggestion bob, thanks!

#7 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 04:48 PM

I'm looking forwards to some more of those exellent still life images you captured last trip.

I'm in Komodo at the same time - This is the closest we've been!!!

#8 tshepherd

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 05:01 PM

I'm looking forward to warm water and re-visiting some of the wrecks I saw last time. Got a couple of shots in my head I'd like to get this time out!

Komodo eh? You should take a quick hop over for some drinks! :P

#9 Cybergoldfish

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Posted 05 May 2003 - 05:04 PM

If only I had a moment to myself whilst there! :P

#10 chrisg

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Posted 07 May 2003 - 03:47 AM

I've got two weeks to go until I head back to Truk Lagoon, and I need to get a wide angle lense between now and then that works with the Sea & Sea housing for the D60.  I've been agonizing over which one to get since I can't get both, but my choices are either the Sigma 14mm or the new Canon 17-40 L.

I know people have had good luck with the Sigma, and it's a nice fast lense (f/2.8) but I'm hesitant to go with a fixed focal length.  On the other hand, I'm banking on the zoom gear for the 16-35 L being a)available and b)working with the 17-40, and the aperture only gets down to f/4 and it's not quite "wide" at effectively 27-64mm.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Given those choices, and especially in light of the truk trip, I'd pick the 14mm
without hesitation. What you care about in a wide angle lens is field of view
and minimum focusing distance. The 14mm wins on both counts.

#11 tshepherd

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Posted 07 May 2003 - 05:37 AM

Just to round out the topic, I thought I'd let everyone know what I decided. And the winner is.....

Sigma 14mm.

Here's what I took into account...
1. timing - leaving in 8 days doesn't give me a lot of time to get everything put together

2. system support - S&S officially supports the 14mm, which means theoretically, if I buy the parts they list, it'll work (yeah, Murphy's law and all that). Neither the Sigma 15-30 or the Canon 17-40 have zoom gears available, which means custom parts before next week, which isn't going to happen.

3. budget - ok, this one isn't obvious since the 14mm is more than the 15-30mm that Bob recommended. BUT if you add in the additional stifferning rings that I'd need (2 of them) to get the 15-30mm just to fit the port then the 15-30 actually costs more.

4. angle of view - As James pointed out, the 17-40 is really more of a mid-range zoom lense when used on the D60. That's not a bad thing, in fact down the road I'll probably pick one up for that very reason, but for next week, I'm looking for wide...

The other logical alternative (thanks again James) is the fisheye. If I were looking just for reef scenes and pelagics, I'd probably go that route. As it stands though, I'm not sure I'll be able to get to Truk again soon, and I want to get as wide as I can without having to worry too much about whether the wrecks look like wrecks or not.

Anyway, thanks everyone for your input. Hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll have some interesting results to post...

Tom

#12 tshepherd

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 06:21 AM

2. system support - S&S officially supports the 14mm, which means theoretically, if I buy the parts they list, it'll work (yeah, Murphy's law and all that).



Don't you love quoting yourself? Ironically enough, there was a guy named Murphy on my trip. And yes, I did end up having the other Murphy step in and mess with my trip a bit.

Sorry, jet lag is still fogging up my thoughts, I'll get to my point...

Sea and Sea may officially support the Sigma 14mm lens, but it IS NOT the lens that is currently available from places like B&H Photo. Yes, that's right, I got all the way to Chuuk before I figured it out. Not that figuring it out the day before I left would have done any good, there was no way to get replacement / add on parts.

I've sent an email to S&S to see what I would need to do to get the new 14mm housed correctly (along with a string of curses about having to use a zoom port with wideangle). I'll post the solution if I get one. For what it's worth, the 14mm does fit in the NX Zoom port. The results are less than stellar, for starters you lose approximately 500 pixels of width which sort of defeats the purpose of getting such a wide lens, but at least it works.

Just call me tired and frustrated...

Tom

#13 wetpixel

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:57 AM

A reminder: the UK Germany 16-35L zoom gear works with the Sea & Sea. But might you have to flat-out lie to get one if you don't have a UK Germany housing.


I don't like the Sigma 14, myself. I used it for a long time -- and got great results with it -- but it is so prone to flare that you basically can't use it you can sense the sun in your (human) field of view. :lol:

I switched to the Canon 15mm, which is the standard wide lens for most D60 shooters that I know. And I use the 16-35L with a +4 diopter when I feel like I need versatility.
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#14 wetpixel

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 09:59 AM

A compromise would be to get the fisheye lens instead - it's like half the price of the 14mm and isn't prone to the flare problems.  Might be a little bit tricky though - as wrecks tend to have a lot of straight lines in them.

If you are ok with post-processing an image, it is pretty easy to do perspective correction on a full-frame fish-eyed image. :lol: But it's a bit... more "manipulative" than just doing color/contrast alterations. :D
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#15 tshepherd

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:35 AM

Depending on the answers I get from S&S, I may just sell the Sigma 14mm and switch to something like the Sigma 15-30. I believe I've found someone who might be able to make a zoom gear for me, I'll just have to figure out how many extension rings to put on. I'd like to get the 16-35, but it's just too pricey for me.

I'm sure the fisheye can be corrected easily enough, and I've got no issues with post-processing, I just have something against using a fisheye lens for some reason. :lol:

#16 wetpixel

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 10:40 AM

I'm sure the fisheye can be corrected easily enough, and I've got no issues with post-processing, I just have something against using a fisheye lens for some reason.    :lol:

I find the Canon 15mm full-frame fish-eye to be wider than the Sigma 14mm, which is great for big sharks :D And there is no noticeable distortion in the recent round of shark photos I've taken, which were almost all with the fish-eye. I don't do wrecks often, so the only time I notice it is when I have the "horizon line" of the ocean floor close to the top or bottom of the frame. :)

Good luck with the Sigma 15-30! Let us know if you can get a zoom gear made. And make a few more, for the rest of us. :)
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#17 james

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 11:06 AM

Hi Tom,

I'm ready to order the 15-30 Sigma for Sarah to use with her D60/UK Germany housing. I can order two zoom gears (in case one falls in the water right?!)

But I'm wondering - since the lens focuses at 12 inches - do you think we will need a diopter?

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#18 tshepherd

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 11:58 AM

First off, that would be great on the zoom gear. Let me know via PM or email any details on cost, etc. That would certainly save me the hassle of getting something made.

As for the diopter, I think that would depend on the diameter of the dome port, at least as far as I can tell. That being said, I don't know the diameter of the fisheye or compact domes for S&S, or the dome port for UK-Germany. Eric, you have any idea?

Tom

#19 james

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 12:21 PM

Well, there's no way to mount a closeup lens (aka diopter) on the 15-30 so it either works or it doesn't...

That's why I went with the 18-35 in my Ikelite housing - needed that 77mm +4 diopter.

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#20 tshepherd

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 04:05 PM

Since it can focus at less than 12", it should work. I can't imagine that either the S&S or the UK-Germany dome ports are less than 6"dia.

Worth a shot at least.