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Sensor size in UW photography


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#1 Borut

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:02 PM

Hi,

Maybe you will find my article about sensor size intersteing:
http://www.borutfurl...es/dxfx-en.html

Borut

Edited by Borut, 16 March 2011 - 11:15 PM.

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#2 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 04:06 AM

Thank you Borut. I am sure that a real effort involved in doing all those tests.

It is very interesting to see things confirmed in underwater tests what many underwater photographers have felt, but not necessarily tested rigorously. I am sure your tests will be widely referenced by the underwater community.

A few comments for you:

I have been fortunate to have done all my recent travel with both FX and DX (D700 + D7000) and use my FX camera for my main wide angle shooting (although with 9" superdome sized dome, especially with rectilinear wides). More baggage weight!
I routinely stop down at least one more stop on FX too, than I would on DX. This often necessitates bigger strobe for FX. More baggage weight!

I have tended to use the DX camera for macro and always for super macro. And for mini dome CFWA + WAM. Despite it being a borrowed camera and housing - and therefore a rig I am not as comfortable with as my own.

Since my last trip I have bought a DX camera (D7000) and plan to house it soon. When baggage allowances allow - I will travel with both, but for other trips I am busy deciding which trips will be DX and which FX. Basically, DX is going to be doing all my tropical trips.

You should try the Sigma 15mm as FX close focusing equivalent of the 16mm FE.
I have recently built/commissioned a 6" (150mm) mini dome for FX which gives me similar mini dome performance to a 4" (100mm) dome on DX. I have found 4" mini domes too compromised on FX, but this dome is ideal.

Alex

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#3 Borut

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 06:21 AM

Hi Alex,

Thank you for your comments. I am happy to hear that other photographers came to the similar conclusions. If I had two bodies housed (DX + FX) I would almost certainly use them in the similar way as you: DX for macro, tropics and CFWA while FX for wrecks and bad light conditions.

But what about your D7000 which, I was told, has a very good low light capabilities? Is it not good enough to replace your FX body?

Borut

Edited by Borut, 17 March 2011 - 06:23 AM.

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#4 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 07:05 AM

But what about your D7000 which, I was told, has a very good low light capabilities? Is it not good enough to replace your FX body?


Depends what I am shooting. I am already thinking of taking only the DX D7000 on a big Indonesia trip later in the year (depending what my other camera will be by then) simply because I see so few subjects I'd want FX for. But I am mostly scheduled to be shooting wide angle in cold temperate conditions this year - so the D700 is better for me/my upcoming diving this year. I tend to use ISO 800 as standard in these conditions and that is so clean on the D700. The D7000 is perfectly acceptable, but inferior and that would stop me using it.

That said, when luggage allowance permits I will travel with both. The only DX lens I would take is 10-17mm.

The D7000 is a little marvel, particularly for UW use, which hides a few of its shortcomings that are exposed on land. The ISO performance is truly impressive for DX. I remained to be convinced whether it will stand up to my workload.

I have shot the D7000 a lot, lot more since I did my initial D7000 UW review here on Wetpixel back in November - but actually my conclusions remain unchanged. In fact, I am possibly more impressed with it now than I was then.

Alex

p.s. I will propose a news items about your article for the Wetpixel front page as I think it is a really important test.

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#5 Poliwog

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:36 AM

Excellent report. This type of well written report is what keeps me coming back to Wetpixel.com. I am re-examining my current underwater photography setup with an eye to a future camera and housing upgrade and this report confirms some of my suspicions, like my assumptions with f11 being the most appropriate fstop with the Nikon D2x.

New to me (or more likely, well forgotten by me!) was the superior removal of CA using Capture NX for Nikon D2x NEF files. I will have to incorporate the use of capture NX within my Lightroom work flow.

This report also puts another nail in the coffin for my D2x :) It is getting increasing difficult to resist the urge to upgrade. I, like you, am also waiting for the next professional level camera from Nikon before upgrading.

Kudos for putting together a well rounded easy to read report.

Edited by Poliwog, 17 March 2011 - 08:37 AM.

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#6 tdpriest

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 03:23 AM

Thank-you very much! I echo the sentiments above: this is a great resolution of the DX/FX discussion, and very timely. It's reassuring for those of us who (despite inaccurate rumours about our net worth) can't afford two systems, and even if my large dome is being examined by a well-known manufacturer after falling apart a couple of weeks ago, leaving me with (generously lent by said manufacturer's agent) a mini-dome for my forthcoming trip.

It's still annoying that it's always the next camera that everyone wants...

... until we have multi-camera housings that nevertheless are nice and small the option of a rolling update to our systems remains a pipe-dream!

Tim

:(

#7 adamhanlon

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 01:57 PM

Hi all,

I've added Borut's excellent review to the front page.

You can view it here.

Many thanks to Borut!

Adam

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#8 derway

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 05:21 PM

Great info Borut. Thanks!

So I guess micro-4/3 must be better yet, and compact digicam sensors best of all!!

:(

Sure would be nice to get some comparison, at least with the m43!
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#9 Steve Williams

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 06:36 PM

Wonderful info and report Borut. My less extensive tests and conclusions align with yours with one exception.

" However, the optical quality of images taken with this (small) dome port is inferior compared to the ordinary large "fisheye" dome port due to the small curvature radius."

My experience with the Tokina 10-17 and the little Zen dome have suggested to me that I get better image quality with that combo than if using my large acrylic fisheye port. Lots of variables, but I'm not sure I'd cast off the little domes so quickly.

Thanks for sharing all the hard work!
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#10 Borut

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 08:45 AM

My experience with the Tokina 10-17 and the little Zen dome have suggested to me that I get better image quality with that combo than if using my large acrylic fisheye port. Lots of variables, but I'm not sure I'd cast off the little domes so quickly.


Hi Steve,

Is your acrylic fisheye port realy 180 deg. and your lens perfectly alighned in it, so that light rays really pass through the glass under the right angle?

Borut

Edited by Borut, 19 March 2011 - 08:47 AM.

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#11 Steve Williams

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 10:59 AM

Hi Steve,

Is your acrylic fisheye port realy 180 deg. and your lens perfectly alighned in it, so that light rays really pass through the glass under the right angle?

Borut


Hi Borut,
I'm using a Sea & Sea NX Fisheye dome. It does a good job, no complaints really. It just that the Zen does a nice job too. I'm not sure anything optical is ever "perfectly aligned" :(

Cheers,
Steve

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#12 loftus

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 06:55 AM

Thanks for this Borut; I also agree with the sentiment that DX, particularly with the newer Canon 7D and Nikon D7000 is the overall best general purpose underwater setup. I also agree that FX has it's place for specific purposes as Alex has alluded to. For me as an underwater 'studio' rig in the pool where I tend to shoot mostly with a fisheye and 1.4 TC or 16-35 with a large Zen dome, FX is my choice.
DX with 10-17 is likely to be my travel diving rig in future and FX my pool and topside choice.
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