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Gone DSLR with the Canon 10D at last!


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#1 Andi Voeltz

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Posted 02 June 2003 - 10:33 PM

Hi Gang!

It's been quite some time, since my last post here and you all have grown so much. However as mentioned above, we finally decided on a DSLR. Since last Friday we are the proud owners of a Canon 10D DSLR. Quite keen, because we do not own any lenses yet (despite my girlfriends SIGMA 28-300mm :)). I know the lense question has been raised many times here and we will surely buy the SIGMA 14mm for underwater. It has been tested by many DSLR guys and so far I have heard only the best. (Not to mention Eric's brilliant photos with this lense)

However, Lars and I wondered if anyone ever used zoom-lenses for underwater. Quite odd, eh?!?! Well coming from the compact zoom camera (Nikon Coolpix 990) front, you usually ask yourself this question. I think you will need a housing / bayonet port system to control the zoom lense. Allthough we know many housings from editing digideep.com we have never explicitly seen something like this.

My question to the wetpixel community would now be:

1. Have we overlooked something?

2. or do you think zoom lenses are absolutely worthless underwater?

I'd also love to get a comment from some of the manufacturers:

1. Have you build it already?

2. Do you think it's worth building it?


Anyway, we'd also be glad about any other recommendation for future lense investments. So feel free to join this discussion. I am interested to hear what the Wiseman says :blink:

Cheers, Andi
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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 12:22 AM

Hi Andi,

I already wrote to Lars (this morning) and recommended the Subal 10D that is not far away! I saw the Subal D60 recently and it is a very nice housing, plus support and servicing will be easier than for N. American or Japanese housings in Europe.

I'm a big fan of zooms underwater because I think that they are most suitable for marine life. Certainly my Subal D100 housing (and F100 housing) can drive the zooms off the manual Focus gearing in the housing (so long as you use only autofocus). Actually you can also drive the zoom from the Focus nob on YUP's Ikelite housing - so I'm guessing it is pretty universal.

There are lots of good wide angle zooms - but not being a Canon-man I'll let others comment. In the mid range I am a big fan of Sigma's f2.8 28-70mm for fish photography. Reasonable price and very flexible.

Alex

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#3 james

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 05:09 AM

Hi Andi, welcome back!

Zooms have come a long way.

I have changed my mind about the 14mm after using the 16mm fisheye - I won't use the 14mm anymore.

I recently got a chance to use the Nikkor 70-180 macro zoom underwater with a port that does zoom, and manual focus. It was pretty awesome!

I took these two photos on the same dive!

[5 inch + critter]
Posted Image

[<1" critter]
Posted Image

The same would apply to the widangle zoom lens, however there aren't any for digital yet that are wide enough.

Cheers
James
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#4 scorpio_fish

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Posted 03 June 2003 - 07:36 AM

Nice shot James. One of my favorite fishies, the Tesselated Blenny.

Of zooms......

I plan on writing an brief article on zooms, but the short answer is....1) Wide angle zooms are great 2) mid-range zooms are of lesser value (the 70-180mm macro is in its own category because of the macro capability.

Wide angle zooms can allow you much greater control over your composition and let you frame scenes you might otherwise not be able to shoot with a very wide fixed focal length lens.

"It's not your father's zooms anymore". There is always some tradeoff in quality/performance with a zoom. The greatest zoom is still likely to perform worse than a prime at some focal length and/or f-stop, but not like years ago. They perform well, still allow pretty short minimum focus distances and with the digital crop factor, get rid of any edge softness if you need wider f-stops.

Reality underwater is that you can't always "foot zoom" as you can while hand holding a camera topside. The zoom is great tool.

Having said that, the mid-range zooms tend to be of lesser benefit, say for example a 28-70mm or 28-105mm. Some people use them as a scouting tool at a new site until they decide whether to go macro or wide. They are more effective behind a dome port at the wider range depending on how well the lens itself performs at the wider range. The big stumbling block is that the minimum focus distance is usually a little far for underwater work. (Wouldn't it be great to have a 15-200mm constant f2.8 lens with macro capability and a minimum focus distance of 10"?)

Every housing I've seen has a gear that can be used to accuate a zoom. It just takes a few more parts to line it all up with a given lens. Manual focus is problematic with a dome port, but usually not as important a feature with wide angle lenses.

I wouldn't have said this a few years ago, but......ZOOM AWAY!!!!!
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#5 Andi Voeltz

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 12:59 PM

Thanks guyz,...

now I am one step closer (to the edge). James: Your images look really great, as usual! I am now tempted to get a SIGMA 17-35mm because it has a very good price and I liked it's compactness and lightweight when testing the lense. I know that some of you were criticizing the flare issue with this and the 14mm SIGMA lense in another threat, but I can hardly imagine it without own experience. So far sunflares can look very nice underwater. Does anyone have an example which she/he has not deleted?

I also know that grandmaster Eric Cheng :ph34r: uses the original Canon EF 16-35 mm 1/2.8 L USM. But Eric, is it really worth the price and does it eliminate the flare issue? As far as I understood so far it has also a constant f2.8, independent from the zoom. Can anyone confirm this? I think this would really be a unique selling preposition for Canon.

Also I'd like to add some knowledge from my own investigation. Dr. K. T. Kim from JONAH HOUSING confirmed today, that you should be able to use the NEXUS ZOOM GEAR for his bayonet ports. Isn't that nice?!?! Has anyone tried the NEXUS ZOOM GEAR?

Best regards, Andi
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#6 james

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 01:19 PM

Unfortunately, flare is not the pretty rays around the sun :-(

This is flare (with the 14mm Sigma):

Posted Image

HTH
James
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#7 martys

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Posted 04 June 2003 - 07:59 PM

I've used a Canon 17-35mm zoom in a UK Germany housing with my EOS 3. It worked well and yes it does offer a constant f/2.8 throughout the zoom range. The newer 16-35 has better close focusing than my 17-35, but for $1500, it's not worth it to me when my 17-35 still works splendidly. If I were gearing up a new Canon kit (I have a 10D also and the 17-35 is on it constantly) I would probably go with the 16-35 f/2.8 zoom and a 50mm macro. I think Eric is using the Canon 15mm lense now, but I like the versatily of a the zooms and the quality is excellent. The reason I like the 50mm macro over the 100mm macro (I have both) is I'd rather get an up close and personal shot of a whole anemone or starfish vs a microscopic shot of just his butt. :)

If you don't like the zooms then go with the 15mm for wide and the 50mm macro for close ups and macro shots.

I really like Canon glass too. While Sigma's are ok, there really is a noticable increase in clarity and detail with the Canons.

Don't forget to post some of your images here!

Marty
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#8 CDesperado

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 07:00 PM

What housing are you using for the 10D?

#9 martys

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Posted 09 June 2003 - 08:24 PM

unfortunately I do not have a housing for the 10D (yet). I'm hoping/expecting Sea & Sea to come out with one by the end of the year. Perhaps next year I can upgrade to housed DSLR. I have a UK Germany housing for my EOS3 film camera and it's horrible. No TTL support, poor craftsmanship, NO support and NO returns. I tried to return it several times when I first received it before it every hit the water and they simply would not take it back. If UK Germany came out with a housing for the 10D tomorrow I wouldn't buy it. I still have the UK housing and have not used it since getting my Light & Motion Tetra 5000. It's a $2000 door stop :-(

Have you tried Ikelite? They're pretty good about custom SLR housings. I read your other posting, perhaps the best thing to do is buy your friend's D60 kit ( plan B ), use it for the next 6-9 months then upgrade to the 10D when a full u/w kit is available. If your objective is housed DSLR for your upcoming trip, Plan B might be just the ticket to solve this year's travel needs.
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#10 Reefkeep

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 10:58 AM

I absolutely agree the UK Germany support is painful but couldn’t disagree more with the craftsmanship statement. My housing that was clearly used extensively by a professional before I got it and it still seems to be bullet proof. I sent mine in last year with no problems other than it taking 45 days to get back. The housing is a great design and built to last IMHO.

The thing about IKE is he has the best service in the industry. His products are great and if he had a housing that fit my camera when I needed it, I would have gotten it from him. The best thing about Ike is the warrantee means something.

#11 CDesperado

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 11:14 AM

Reefkeep... James mentioned that you had a 10D in a housing for a 30? Could you provide a little more info on what works and what doesn't?

Am I correct in understanding that there are simply no housings for the 10D currently available?

Subal's website says they will have one ready in July 2003 and Ikelite's website says they will have a housing for the D60 available in Q2 2003, but some of the controls are in different places between the D60 and 10D, so the D60 housing probably won't work.

#12 james

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 11:23 AM

See this thread by Chris:

http://wetpixel.com/...=18&t=1990&st=0

Cheers
James
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#13 CDesperado

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 11:50 AM

Thanks for the thread James... (Just realized who you were, btw... we ran into each other a few times at SeaSpace this weekend. I was sitting in the back row of the Drafahl's workshop and we passed right by each other a few other times.)

Can I just take a moment to say AUGH! I _really_ want to put this 10D in a housing.

I am hesitant to buy a UK Germany housing for several reasons. I _may_ have a lead on another custom builder and will post the outcome as soon as I get it. I am also awaiting an email from Ikelite in response to a question I asked this morning.... they responded VERY quickly to the previous email I sent (literally a matter of hours) so I will probably hear back from them soon.

I have not yet heard back from Subal...

I have one main problem with putting the 10D into a D30 housing, namely,

Has anyone ever tried to put the 10D in a Sea&Sea D60 housing? I know a Sea&Sea rep and could probably talk him into letting me test it, assuming he can get his hands on the housing.

#14 CDesperado

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 12:01 PM

Bad news on my custom lead - it's a no go.

#15 james

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 12:34 PM

Cool! If you're in Houston then, I have a UK-Germany D30 housing. Actually it's my GF's but I'm sure she'll let us play w/ it.

You can try to fit your 10D in it if you want. Heck, I'd love to try it and see!

Drop me an email or a private message if you're interested.

Cheers
James Wiseman
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#16 james

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 12:37 PM

Oh, and Eric tried to fit his 10D into his Sea and Sea D60 housing and said it was positively not possible.

James
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#17 CDesperado

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 12:43 PM

DOH! You have a UK 30 housing, huh? Hmmm.

Actually, I live in Dallas, but a ticket down there is only $100 usually.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

#18 martys

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Posted 10 June 2003 - 05:15 PM

Eric has more cameras than anyone I've ever known! Multiple D60s, a 1Ds and now a 10D. I think Eric is just collecting to be able to open a Canon museum in the near future.
:D

I'm hoping Sea & Sea comes out with a dedicated 10D housing by year's end. Just in time for Xmas...
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#19 Andi Voeltz

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 12:19 AM

Hey Guyz,

let's keep also in mind that JONAH HOUSING will offer a housing for the 10D in August.
It should be very affordable... And a nice thing is that the manufacturer will also make
it with a bayonet system of your choice: For example Sea&Sea, Aquatica etc. He told
me that the NEXUS ZOOM gear already fits his bayonet ports.

Regards, Andi
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#20 CDesperado

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Posted 11 June 2003 - 04:06 AM

Thanks for the tip Andi.... Hmmmm. Looks like everyone's housings will be available sometime in August. I need the camera housing by early September if I am to take it with me to Asia and these August time frames are going to be cutting it REAL close. Pardon me while I go chew my fingernails....

Decisions, decisions. I dont exactly relish the thought of buying and maintaining a set of Nikon lenses just because the D100 was the only camera I could easily find a housing for. Too bad the camera manufacturers can't work more closely with the housing companies and provide dimensional specs or something to help us divers get housings when the cameras are released.

Andi, what are your thoughts about using the 10D? Any additional thoughts you would like to share? What batteries are you using?

I am about 90% determined to go ahead and just buy the 10D and then pray very very hard that I can find a housing before I leave in September.