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CFWA On Cropped Sensor DSLR


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#1 JimSwims

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:15 AM

Hi Folks,
I have only recently started my SLR journey, coming from using a compact Fuji E900 rig. One of the things I loved doing with
that rig was CFWA images using the Inon UWL105 wet lens. When I was originally researching my DSLR options it seemed that I would
be able to achieve similar results by using the Tokina 10-17mm lens + Kenko 1.4 TC + Compact Dome, but now I'm not so sure. The
rig I have is a Nikon D90 in Nexus housing. I have yet to invest in any WA equip so my options are otherwise open and I wish to investigate
this specific area further before committing to anything.

My questions are-
1. is this really a flawed concept for cropped sensor rigs?
2. with a D90 is the addition of the TC nessessary for CFWA?
3. is it more advisable to use a different lens to achieve these type of Macro WA images?
4. I have been told IQ issues like chromatic aberration will be magnified with a TC, Is it a big issue?
5. are many folks out there using this set-up on a cropped sensor rig and do you have links to images?

I have read Alex's excellent article on the technique and also Don Silcocks observations on this forum as well. But from memory I think most
of their observations were about using the Nikon 10.5 lens instead?

Here's examples of the sort of images I previously enjoyed achieving with a compact.
Tasselled Angler
Stargazer
Jellyfish
Octopus

So essentially how are such CFWA images achievable on cropped sensor DSLR and what are the pitfalls?


Cheers,
Jim.

My photostream on Flickr My gallery on Redbubble

D90 in Nexus; 60mm, Woody's Diopter, 105mm, SubSee +5 & +10 magnifiers, 10-17mm, Kenko 1.4 TC, 10-24mm, 18-55mm & Inon Z240 strobes.


#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:27 AM

My questions are-
1. is this really a flawed concept for cropped sensor rigs?
2. with a D90 is the addition of the TC nessessary for CFWA?
3. is it more advisable to use a different lens to achieve these type of Macro WA images?
4. I have been told IQ issues like chromatic aberration will be magnified with a TC, Is it a big issue?
5. are many folks out there using this set-up on a cropped sensor rig and do you have links to images?

6. I have read Alex's excellent article on the technique and also Don Silcocks observations on this forum as well. But from memory I think most
of their observations were about using the Nikon 10.5 lens instead?

7. So essentially how are such CFWA images achievable on cropped sensor DSLR and what are the pitfalls?


Hi Jim,

1. No. Very easy to take these sorts of images with a cropped sensor SLR.
2. No need to add a TC to the D90 with 10-17mm. TC will give you a more extreme effect, but not essential. Small dome is the vital ingredient.
3. 10-17mm is ideal. With or without TC.
4. There are IQ issues associated with using small dome and TC, but they are not large enough to make or break shots.
5. Images taken or images of the rig?
6. I tended to use the 10.5mm on cropped sensor as the 10-17mm with TC I could not zoom. And because the 10-17mm is a slower lens the AF was a pain. I now use a Sigma 15mm with the TC on full frame digital.
7. The main difference with shooting these with SLR rather than compact is the bulk of the rig. This can make it tougher manoeuvring the camera in close to the critter. It also makes it tougher to light the subject - as the rig itself gets in the way of ideal strobe positioning.

Hope this helps,

Alex

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


#3 RedSeaDiver

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:49 AM

6. I tended to use the 10.5mm on cropped sensor as the 10-17mm with TC I could not zoom. And because the 10-17mm is a slower lens the AF was a pain. I now use a Sigma 15mm with the TC on full frame digital.

Hi Alex,

Re the above - would you still favour the 10.5mm on cropped sensor if you wasn't using a TC? Or would you then go to the 10-17 to give you more versatility?
Red Sea Dreaming....

Canon 7D, Tokina 10-17, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 17-70, Canon 100mm macro, Kenko 1.4x Teleconverter, Nauticam housing when it arrives, 2x Inon Z240 strobes, Lowepro Vertex 300 AW backpack.

#4 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 01:54 AM

Re the above - would you still favour the 10.5mm on cropped sensor if you wasn't using a TC? Or would you then go to the 10-17 to give you more versatility?


I have both, although both are resting until I go back to DX (I currently shoot a D700). I generally favour the 10-17mm on DX, although shoot the 10.5mm in situations were I am confident I do not want to zoom in (which is rare), like for example on wrecks I know well or where I have a particular shot in mind. The 10.5mm has marginally better IQ (particularly in terms of fringing on contrasty detail near corners), but of course the ability to zoom, far out weighs that.

Alex

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


#5 RedSeaDiver

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 02:12 AM

I have both, although both are resting until I go back to DX (I currently shoot a D700). I generally favour the 10-17mm on DX, although shoot the 10.5mm in situations were I am confident I do not want to zoom in (which is rare), like for example on wrecks I know well or where I have a particular shot in mind. The 10.5mm has marginally better IQ (particularly in terms of fringing on contrasty detail near corners), but of course the ability to zoom, far out weighs that.

Alex

Many thanks Alex - I will stick with the 10-17 for CFWA work.
Red Sea Dreaming....

Canon 7D, Tokina 10-17, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 17-70, Canon 100mm macro, Kenko 1.4x Teleconverter, Nauticam housing when it arrives, 2x Inon Z240 strobes, Lowepro Vertex 300 AW backpack.

#6 JimSwims

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 02:40 AM

Hi Alex,
I was hoping you might chime in as I value your experience with this 'Wacro' technique. I certainly would like to
go with the 10-17 both for it's versatility and also for my budget. I hear what you're saying about bulk of SLR rig, with
my compact I could almost have the bottom of the Wet Lens on the sand. Guess I might have to take a trowel with
me now.

As for images, I was hoping to compare various CFWA images taken with different combinations of lens and TC.

You mentioned

....I tended to use the 10.5mm on cropped sensor as the 10-17mm with TC I could not zoom.


is there no zoom ring avail for the 10-17 in Subal?

There is a couple of options I'm aware of available for Nexus. One is a customised one that Ryan at Reef can make another
is the F.I.T zoom ring.

It also seems that it may be prudent to go with a pair of Inon S2000 strobes.



Cheers,
Jim.

My photostream on Flickr My gallery on Redbubble

D90 in Nexus; 60mm, Woody's Diopter, 105mm, SubSee +5 & +10 magnifiers, 10-17mm, Kenko 1.4 TC, 10-24mm, 18-55mm & Inon Z240 strobes.


#7 TimG

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 04:14 AM

Yep, there is a Subal zoom ring for the 10-17mm

I've also managed to use the Subal zoom ring for the Nikkor 12-24 on the Tokina 10-17 with a Kenko 1.4TC! I used a couple of rubber bands on the Tokina lens barrel to fatten it a little to ensure the longer 12-24 zoom ring gripped. The 12-24 ring is long enough to engage with the housing zoom control. ;)

Tim

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#8 james

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 06:09 AM

I agree w/ everything posted - the DSLR will give you the same type of shots but may be a bit harder to finagle in near the subject. Careful choice of housing/dome/strobes will help here a lot.

Here's an example taken w/ the 15mm + 1.4x TC on a FF camera. Not the best shot but it shows what's possible. The dome was almost touching the anemone:

Posted Image

Cheers
James
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#9 MikeO

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 06:19 AM

I hear what you're saying about bulk of SLR rig, with
my compact I could almost have the bottom of the Wet Lens on the sand. Guess I might have to take a trowel with
me now.


It also seems that it may be prudent to go with a pair of Inon S2000 strobes.


If you really do expect to be shooting a lot at "sand level", you might consider a 45 viewfinder. You can stay above the camera and still get it down lower than you can with a 180 one. Does take some getting used to for everything else, though.

The S-2000 strobes are nice and small. However, you might want to think about their power anc coverage if you plan on doing any "real" wide angle with the 10-17. It covers a lot of real estate at 10mm and I find it hard to, sometimes, balance the exposure across the frame, even with my Z-240 strobes. That could, of course, just be due to operator error more than anything else ;).

Mike

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Canon EOS 40D in Seatool housing, 100mm macro, Tokina 10-17, INON Z-240s.


#10 howeikwok

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 06:20 AM

Posted Image

taken with canon 50D, tokina 10-17mm FE, twin inon z-240 strobes. nexus housing with the compact 4.7" dome.
Canon 50D/60mm macro/100mm macro/Tokina 10-17mm FE/Nexus Housing/Inon Z-240s

#11 Steve Williams

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 07:58 AM

That's amazing Alvin. Thanks for showing the way! I have to figure out how to do this.

Cheers,
Steve

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#12 JimSwims

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Posted 18 February 2010 - 02:43 AM

If you really do expect to be shooting a lot at "sand level", you might consider . You can stay above the camera and still get it down lower than you can with a 180 one. Does take some getting used to for everything else, though.

The S-2000 strobes are nice and small. However, you might want to think about their power anc coverage if you plan on doing any "real" wide angle with the 10-17. It covers a lot of real estate at 10mm and I find it hard to, sometimes, balance the exposure across the frame, even with my Z-240 strobes. That could, of course, just be due to operator error more than anything else ;) .

Mike


Mike I do quite a bit of work in the 'sand pit' and have been looking at getting a 45 viewfinder. Yes you are right the S2000 strobes would be best for specifically
CFWA images. But I do like the idea of having a compact SLR rig with the mini dome and strobes which also may be less intimidating to some critters.

Alvin that is a great shot and fantastic use of the technique, thanks for sharing.



As far as IQ goes, is the Nikon 15-24mm a suitable lens for the WA Macro technique on DX, or just far too wide?

Cheers,
Jim.

My photostream on Flickr My gallery on Redbubble

D90 in Nexus; 60mm, Woody's Diopter, 105mm, SubSee +5 & +10 magnifiers, 10-17mm, Kenko 1.4 TC, 10-24mm, 18-55mm & Inon Z240 strobes.


#13 JimSwims

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 02:43 AM

As far as IQ goes, is the Nikon 15-24mm a suitable lens for the WA Macro technique on DX, or just far too wide?

Cheers,
Jim.



Woops, what I should have asked is it too long? Or is that a benefit for CFWA, ie does it 'pull' the image in?
I'm still coming to grips with how different lens work practically and have yet to play with any sort of WA or FE lens.

Cheers,
Jim.

My photostream on Flickr My gallery on Redbubble

D90 in Nexus; 60mm, Woody's Diopter, 105mm, SubSee +5 & +10 magnifiers, 10-17mm, Kenko 1.4 TC, 10-24mm, 18-55mm & Inon Z240 strobes.


#14 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 02:52 AM

I think you have a typo, Jim. I am not aware of a Nikon 15-24mm. Nikon have 10-24mm, 12-24mm, 14-24mm, 16-35mm, 17-35mm.

As a general rule Nikon's rectilinear lenses do not focus as close as the Tokina and therefore don't offer the same possibilities for CFWA. They are all useful lenses, but more for normal wide angle and large animal photography.

Sigma 17-70mm focuses much closer (particularly the older ones) and I have used that for CFWA - although it is not so wide. But a good creature lens. In Australia I used it behind a mini (4") dome, which meant I could not use the whole zoom range (it became a 17-38mm!) but basically wide macro lens.

Alex

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#15 JimSwims

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 04:23 AM

Thanks Alex, yes it was the 14-24mm I was wondering about. I had read about it some time ago and had remembered the reports of it's sharpness but not its focal range :(

Cheers,
Jim.

My photostream on Flickr My gallery on Redbubble

D90 in Nexus; 60mm, Woody's Diopter, 105mm, SubSee +5 & +10 magnifiers, 10-17mm, Kenko 1.4 TC, 10-24mm, 18-55mm & Inon Z240 strobes.


#16 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 04:54 AM

The 14-24mm is a great lens above water, but on DX you are paying for a lot of FX glass that your camera will never look through.

Unless you plan an upgrade/downgrade to FX sometime in the foreseeable, I would look at the 10-24mm and 12-24mm as alternatives. Shannon Conway shoots the 12-24mm a lot in Australia - there are examples in his chapter of Martin Edge's new book.

A good indication of the usefulness of these lenses for CFWA is minimum focus distance - which is very important underwater, particularly in lower viz (note that without the use of a dioptre these will be longer still because of the virtual image created by the dome - and that these measurements are from the camera, not the front of the dome - although for comparison they are perfectly valid). Note that a Nikon 10.5mm, for example, will allow you to get more than twice as close as the 12-24mm. One of the reasons fisheyes are so good for CFWA.

Fisheyes
Tokina 10-17mm - 140mm
Nikon 10.5mm - 140mm
Sigma 15mm - 150mm
Nikon 16mm - 250mm
(Canon 15mm - 200mm)

Rectilinear
Nikon 10-24mm - 240mm
Nikon 12-24mm - 300mm
Nikon 14-24mm - 280mm (only from 18mm and higher)
Nikon 16-35mm - 280mm
Nikon 17-35mm - 280mm
Nikon 24-70mm - 380mm!
Sigma 17-70mm (old version) - 200mm
Sigma 17-70mm (VR version) - 220mm
New Sigma 8-16mm - 240mm
Zeiss 18mm - 300mm
(Canon 16-35mm Mk1 & Mk2 - 280mm)
(Canon 17-40mm - 280mm)

Alex

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#17 Drew

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 10:22 AM

Or you can get the Sigma 12-24 which is FX and semi-future proof.

Other lenses one can get (FX compatible):
Sigma 20 f1.8 - 200mm (from sensor), 26mm from front element
Sigma 24 f1.8 - 180mm
Sigma 12-24 - 280mm

Zeiss 21mm - 220mm

Canon 24mm f1.4 - 220mm

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#18 Christian K

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 12:48 AM

And these rectilinears are also available for DX/cropped:

Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 - 240mm

Sigma 10-20 f3.5 - 240mm

#19 Gudge

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 01:59 AM

You could also have a look at the Tokina 12-24 f4 - 300mm.
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#20 AndreSmith

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Posted 23 February 2010 - 03:14 PM

and the winner :( :lol: :lol:

Sigma 10mm fisheye - 135mm !!!

The best for corners IMHO