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Suggestions for G12 setup


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#1 WetPup

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

Hi all,

I've acquired myself a Canon G12 and perhaps naively at the time ended up buying the Canon housing for it. It seemed like the most practical option for travel as it's compact and lightweight. However after a recent dive holiday, I've come to realise that I would like to be able to add either a macro or wide angle lens as the situation dictates. Some Google searching suggests that it's not particularly practical with the Canon housing since the Fantasea adaptor that can be purchased for the front port to attach the lenses is apparently very flimsy. I am happy to stand corrected on this and would welcome any suggestions on how to improve this setup for the addition of external lenses.

The other option I have been considering is purchasing a new housing that is more suitable for the addition of external (wet) lenses. I have briefly looked at the Ikelite housing and the Recsea housing, since apparently the Fix housings have been discontinued. Both seem to have relatively straight forward solutions for adding macro and wide angle lenses. Does anybody have any recommendations on what might be a good setup for me (assume price isn't an issue)?

Welcome any feedback!

#2 MortenHansen

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:15 PM

Hi there,

Well, I used the canon housing for quite some time on my G11 (i've now gone dslr), and I actually liked it. I had a setup with a single D2000 and 2 x achromatic diopters from Scubacam in Singapore. It was great for macro.

Have you tried using macro lenses, strobes etc underwater before?
If yes then thats awesome! If no, maybe start with some macro lenses and a strobe, learn how to shoot in manual mode (if you can't already) and then start considering a WA. WA is (in my opinion) a lot harder than macro if you are just starting out ;)

The adapter that I had was simply a squeeze fit so it could easily be removed in case something slightly bigger came by. I never tried the fantasea wide-angle, I thought it was a lot of money to give out just to get the 25% extra wide-angle back that one looses with a flat port.

I am not quite sure if you can actually get some proper wide-angle lenses to fit on a G12? I have seen a lot of people using the s95/s100 with WA lenses but don't recall seeing anyone shooting with the G12 and WA lenses, anyone has some more info on this?

Happy bubbles, Morten

#3 WetPup

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 10:36 PM

May I ask which adapter you used for your G11? The only one I've come across is a Fantasea adapter which converts the Canon housing port to a 67mm thread to add on external lenses or diopters. That adapter has recieved scathing reviews on the few websites that seem to sell it.

I've not used a macro lens underwater before, but I do have an Ikelite strobe which I've used a bit, so not entirely unfamiliar. And I'm comfortable shooting in manual mode. I also own a DSLR for topside stuff, so I believe I understand the fundamentals, just not prepared to take that one underwater at this stage.

Edited by WetPup, 07 January 2013 - 10:37 PM.


#4 MortenHansen

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:01 AM

well, the one I got was "homemade" from this small but brilliant underwater photography store in singapore called scubacam, maybe if you write them an e-mail they can send it to you.

You don't need this though, a friend of mine simply cut a neoprene glove off and placed it over the housing port+diopter, nice squeeze fit, worked a charm! Posted Image

I would just start out with some macro, and then see how far it takes you! I would recommend that you buy 2 macro lenses right away if you are planning to buy something like the INON UCL165's. If you are looking at some of the higher quality diopters like the subsee then a single +10 should be enough Posted Image

Oh yearh, http://www.scubacam.com.sg/ there is the link for the singapore shop!

Edited by MortenHansen, 08 January 2013 - 04:02 AM.


#5 WetPup

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 04:23 AM

Thanks, will definitely be getting the macro stuff :)

But as my next dive trip is to Cocos Island, I'm really more focused on figuring out what I need for that. It's not really a macro diving destination, and indications seem to be I should be looking into a wide angle lens/dome port. A little more Google searching implies that the aluminium housings are the only ones really designed to handle the weight of the wide angle lenses. Something like the 10Bar. While I'm not against purchasing a new housing, I'm wondering whether it's really going to be worth the financial outlay. If I bought the 10Bar housing (or similar), I could fit the wide angle lens as well as any macro lens or diopter. Whereas if I keep the Canon housing, it's really only suited to fitting a macro lens.

Thoughts? Is the shark diving at Cocos Island worth forking out the money for a new housing and w/a lens for the G12? Or would I be fine just shooting with the camera and Canon housing (+/- strobe)? Given the distance for me, it's not a trip I'm likely to be making again in a hurry. And while I'm still a novice with the underwater photography, I would still like to be able to take some decent shots.

#6 ajay

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:37 AM

Hi. I have a G12 also (it's a second camera for me, the primary used to be Oly E-PL1 so far); also use the Canon housing. Since G12 focuses really close in super-macro mode, I never even bothered to see how to latch my Inon 165 to it.. reckon I'd have to be a much better photographer, before that'd pay me dividends -- the dof will be thinner than I can hold the camera in most situations.
I think getting a good strobe (or even two) is the first thing that'll improve photos.. definitely for macro, and perhaps even those sharks that'll come close to you (I haven't been to Cocos, but I've been close enough to sharks in S Africa and Fiji so that strobes could be used; on the other hand, in Palau, I was shooting natural light only -- sharks were further away).

Since you're considering putting down a fair amount of money on a housing (not to mention the trip), why not consider getting a camera that has faster autofocus than G12, and makes good images in low light situations? G12 could be a good backup. I used to think the expense of backup cam was just stupid, but changed my mind after I flooded two cams in one trip to Lambeh.

I do look forward to hearing about your experience in Cocos! It's high on my list of places to visit.
Ajay.

#7 MortenHansen

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

Uh, you're going cocos..! Ehm, then you for sure need to get a bit more wide-angle, hehe, and maybe one more strobe so you can light the sides of the image and thereby avoid getting all that horrendous backscatter! :)

I'm just wondering if there are any other options than the dome from fantasea when it comes to fixing a wide-angle lens to a G12.. Will google a bit!

#8 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 11:18 AM

I use from 2009 on a G11 and now the G12 in a Patima aluminium housing.
The nice thing on the Patima housing is that it comes with 2 ports, one universal port and
one wide angle port. The universal port will allow you to fit 67mm treaded wet lens and zooming while
the WA port don't allow to zoom much as the lens would hit the glass.
A lot of people use the S95/100 and G11/12 with 2 S2000 strobes and it works fine even they are a bit weaker
than the D2000 or even better the Z-240 strobes.
For Cocos you need wide angle and powerful strobes and some times the only solution would be ambient light pictures
because of the distance to the marine life, especially Hammerhead Sharks.
Most of the strobes will create only backscatter as the big animals will be simply too far to get them right illuminated.
Chris

Nikon D800 - Sigma 15mm - Nikon 105mm Micro VR - Hugyfot Housing - 3 Inon Z-240 strobes - 2x2 8'' ULCS arms

Canon G12 with Patima aluminium housing - Fuji E900 with Ikelite housing
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#9 MortenHansen

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

So, had a bit of a google and yes you can get proper wide-angle lenses for the G12, and its supposed to work quite well. As ChrigelKarrer said, you'll need a patima/fix/other pretty expensive (but nice) housing!

Here is a link that might come in handy: http://www.scubaboar...p/t-366964.html

#10 WetPup

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:52 PM

So if I maybe picked up something like this package (with the camera and macro lenses)...

Why is nothing ever easy? :P

#11 kmo_underwater

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

That looks like a pretty good deal. I'm not sure why no one has mentioned using the ikelite G12 housing with a 67mm threaded wide angle lens? It will get some vignetting, but you can zoom past that and still achieve a wider angle than with the flat port. I would say the s100 package you are looking at would be a better fit for concentrating on wide angle though, and once you add the wet lens to the ikelite housing it might not be much more expensive.

Cocos-Keeling islands or Cocos Island on the other side of the world?

#12 WetPup

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 07:34 PM

The one on the other side of the world :)

Just browsing through some other forums seemed to suggest that the Ikelite housing wasn't really that good for attaching a wide angle lens because of the weight of the lens. If someone's actually had that setup work, I'm open to the idea since it's simpler to obtain Ikelite gear than some of the other aluminium housings.

#13 kmo_underwater

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:08 AM

I haven't used the G12, but on the s95, E900 and other ikelite housings I've used I've never noticed the weight of the wet lens as a problem.

#14 MortenHansen

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 12:49 AM

So if I maybe picked up something like this package (with the camera and macro lenses)...

Why is nothing ever easy? Posted Image


That looks like a sweet setup! If money was no object and I was in your situation I'd go for it!
Enjoy cocos, and make sure you put some pictures up here when you're back! :)
-Morten

#15 WetPup

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:41 PM

Well in the end I decided to stick with the G12 setup and have gone for the Recsea housing with the wide angle dome and +8 macro lens. Hopefully this will be the last upgrade for a while :)

#16 ChristianG

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:52 AM

So if I maybe picked up something like this package (with the camera and macro lenses)...

Why is nothing ever easy? tongue.png

That one is discontinued? Are you sure you therefore want it?

 

There's absolutely nothing wrong with buying discontinued items, rather more often than I like to think they're hugely valued (the Canon S90/95 anyone?) but sometimes, actually often, the heart speaks more strongly than common sense.


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