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How essential is a wide-angle lens for a newb?

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#1 opie



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Posted 11 June 2013 - 09:44 PM

I own a S95 and am looking at getting the Ikelite housing for my upcoming trip to Australia where I'll be doing some snorkeling/diving. After reading a few articles - they seem to stress the value of wide-angle lens pretty hard - but those lens aren't cheap.


Is it worth buying a wide angle lens for one trip? This is probably the only chance I will have to go diving in the forseeable future. I don't want to skimp out and miss some great photos I can keep for a lifetime, but I don't want to waste money either.



Do most people buy a wide angle lens when they get started with underwater photography, or do people usually wait until are more experienced?

#2 MortenHansen


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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:33 PM

Hi again Opie! 


Wide-angle lenses are great for underwater because you can get closer to your subject and still keep the whole animal/reef in the frame! 


They are however pretty expensive, and if you never took photos before then I would say start with something simple, the Canon housing for the S95 is also fine, the wideangle lens is great, but you have to learn how to take pictures first, then you can get more gadgets :) 

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#3 Panda


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Posted 12 June 2013 - 02:35 PM

For a one off trip it's probably not worth it. You really need an external flash as well and a macro lens for a functional underwater setup. 


Best to concentrate on enjoying the diving and don't let the camera take over. Don't expect photos of a lifetime on your first attempt and without the appropriate gear.


You might find video will give you better results first off

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#4 opie



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Posted 12 June 2013 - 04:20 PM

Thanks for the advice guys!

#5 davephdv


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Posted 12 June 2013 - 08:15 PM

Always bring the widest lens you can afford.  I think this is more important if you don't have a strobe.

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#6 ChrigelKarrer


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Posted 13 July 2013 - 11:29 PM



This is probably the only chance I will have to go diving in the forseeable future. 


If you don't see any further diving you may rent a camera there or get a disposable camera to take some souvenir shots.

A housing for the S95 will cost you approx. 200$, a strobe another 300$ and a wide-angle lens another 300$ and you need

some more money for going diving before your trip to master your new camera.

For shallow dives a cheap camera with a red filter will do the trick for a beginner with no experience in uw photograpy.

Enjoy your dives in Australia to memorize your impressions in your brain and buy a DVD from the local dive operation, buy a photo book

or hire a photographer to take the pictures for - and with you - is probably the more satisfying and cheaper decision.


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#7 ChristianG



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Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:04 PM

I live in Oz.


Unless you go to Ningaloo Reef on the West Coast at the appropriate time, or see a Minke whale (never done it in-water) on the East Coast again at the appropriate time, the closest "big animal" action you are likely to see is Reef Sharks, other sharks will undoubtedly see you but you are most unlikely to see them. The closest I've come to a Great White is finding a couple of their teeth once at a Reef near Forster (NSW and a top diving destination). I was there visiting with the Grey Nurses which, again, are a seasonal experience.


I shoot a DSLR for which I have 2 x Macro lenses, 2 x Wide Angles, 2 x conventional Zoom lenses and a Fisheye. Although I always take all of these away with me on diving trips it's the Fisheye and the Macro lenses that get the most use in fact the least-used lenses are probably the wide angle ones. I do point out that here I am talking about Oz only, things might be very different if overseas or if I am going to a Great White expedition in South Australia when my widest lens might (just) do.


But you're not going to do any of that on your first trip so I highly recommend to you the KISS (Keep It Simple and Straightforward more commonly seen as Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle. But, yes, the more you can practise with your new camera in Canada, the better off you will be here in Oz. That applies equally to your diving, don't put it off, do it now and the sooner the better. Then practise, practise, practise, then practise some more. Trust me when I say that, in SCUBA, practise doesn't make you perfect, nothing does that. It merely makes you that little bit more competent.

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#8 SwiftFF5


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Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:29 AM

 Trust me when I say that, in SCUBA, practise doesn't make you perfect, nothing does that. It merely makes you that little bit more competent.


Amen to that!

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