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Macro 60 or 105mm on a D800 + (maybe) TC 14-EII or TC-20EIII


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#21 JackConnick

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:56 PM

I'm with Jean. The 105VR on my D800 with a +5 diopter on a flip holder is an excellent choice. I think the 60mm is pretty weak in most cases. The nice thing is that if you get the object in the frame on a 36mp shot, you can crop as you like. (I know terrible work habit!).

 

With +5 & 105VR:

8121067479_c43fd61d6b_z.jpg

 

Without +5

8093303757_6b0f655c19_z.jpg

 

Jack


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#22 eyu

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 04:29 AM

I have nikkor micro lens of 55mm, both 60 mm, 105 mm VR, 120 mm with ring flash and 70-180 mm.  I believe the sharpest one is the 60 mm 2.8G lens, but feel this lens is a bit too wide for a full frame camera underwater.  As mentioned the 105 mm VR is a more ideal underwater FX lens, but I am with Fed and Wolfgang in my preference for the flexibility of the 70-180 mm micro nikkor lens.  

 

Elmer


Edited by eyu, 17 July 2013 - 07:48 AM.

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#23 E_viking

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:46 PM

 

Your opinion sounds to hit 3x0 for the 105mm against the 60mm because since I started to shoot full frame I have no intentions at all of migrating back to a DX system. I know that the DX is very well seen by the UW photographers community, even preferred in many cases, but I'm an old fashioned styled photographer who was used with the ancient 35mm chromes, slides and so on. Then the small sensors with its crop factor, high noise, low ISO possibilities etc never were totally OK for me. I was so pleasant to welcome the D700 when it was launched introducing the full frame with a reasonable price…

Switching the D800 from FX to DX: I do believe a 36MP file is not wanted/needed in every single pic you take, but I bet once I have the ultra mega resolution delivered by the D800 on FX, I'll not feel relaxed to give Murphy a chance of losing something quite remarkable that probably will show up just for a while right at the moment that I decided to exchange the camera to DX :(  I've tried few times this bad experience (diving whit no camera gear, for instance) meanwhile the most exceptional creatures simply poped up in front of me and I had no possibilities at all for registering them! So yeah... I do believe on Murphy's Law and in the same way I'm not able anymore to dive with no photo gear (I really would like to think/feell diferentily, but I'm just being honest), I guess I'll not want to risk swapping the menu to a DX crop.

Agreed that the the mainstay macro on my D800 Setup is the 105mm ( and especially for land photography).

What I wanted to define is that the 60 mm on a D800 gives you a certain amount of freedom with the 36Mpixels.

I personally enjoy the 60mm on FX it quite a bit ( and if needed I Switch over to DX). My main for macro is however the 60mm

 

In my opinon the 60 and the 105mm complement each other UW for FX.

For land Photography, it is 100% the 105mm.


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#24 E_viking

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:55 PM

I'm with Jean. The 105VR on my D800 with a +5 diopter on a flip holder is an excellent choice. I think the 60mm is pretty weak in most cases. The nice thing is that if you get the object in the frame on a 36mp shot, you can crop as you like. (I know terrible work habit!).

 

With +5 & 105VR:

8121067479_c43fd61d6b_z.jpg

 

Without +5

8093303757_6b0f655c19_z.jpg

 

Jack

I do not really agree. It depends on what you are trying to take a Picture of. I personally find the 60mm quite a strong lense, but how do you define strong or weak?

For super macro the 60mm is certainly weak! For Octopus, Frogfishes etc etc then the 105mm is weak and the 60mm is strong! So, how do you define weak/strong?

I belivee that the strenght of a DSLR is the Quality of the lenses and at the same time it's weakness ( especially  UW).


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#25 JackConnick

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 07:53 PM

I do not really agree. It depends on what you are trying to take a Picture of. I personally find the 60mm quite a strong lense, but how do you define strong or weak?

For super macro the 60mm is certainly weak! For Octopus, Frogfishes etc etc then the 105mm is weak and the 60mm is strong! So, how do you define weak/strong?

I belivee that the strenght of a DSLR is the Quality of the lenses and at the same time it's weakness ( especially  UW).

 

I would describe the lenses relative weak/strength as their ability to resolve small objects in 1:1 or larger as a macro lens, which is what was asked. The 60 on FX is a decent portrait lens, but poor as a macro lens, as it lacks the power necessary. I have found that the 105 is also a good portrait lens on FX as I can back off a bit and get portrait type shots - like the school of fish. I don't quite get why you'd shoot DX on an FX camera, unless you were limited by a lens, but that's just my opinion.

 

Jack


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#26 Valeria Lages

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 10:47 PM

Dear Valeria,

 

I'll diverge from the previous comments by suggesting a totally different lens.  Nikon used to make a 70-180mm f4.5-f5.6 Micro-nikkor zoom.  If you can find a used one in good condition, it will be far more versatile and useful than either the 60mm or 105mm lenses.  [...]

 

This lens also performs very well behind a small diameter dome port which makes approximately 25% than behind a flat port.  It is my single most used lens underwater. 

 

Housings.  [...]  Subal has both auto-focus on and auto-focus lock controls.  Subal also has a control that allows you to access both the programmable function and preview buttons on the front of the D800 (and D700) camera body.  Having these allows you to utilize Nikon's "flash value lock" and not having your strobes fire without having to reach up and turn them off physically if you want to shoot a quick ambient light only shot, like a silhouette upward towards the water's surface.  The viewfinder that comes with a Subal housing is not great, as is the case with many of the less expensive "basic" viewfinders. I really like the Nauticam viewfinders because they allow adjusting the viewfinder for your own eyes while you are underwater.  Working with a local machine shop I was able to make a very nice adapter that allows me to mount the Nauticam viewfinders on my Subal housing.

 

[...] I'll be back in Florida just in time to go to the DEMA dive show - which is 6-9 November in Orlando.  If there is any chance you might make it there, I would be happy to show you my housing and let you try it with a variety lenses and ports in a swimming pool.  And if you would have the time, you could also try it on a real dive or two with me somewhere in Florida.  

 

Fred

 

Thanks for you suggestion, Fred. In fact I don't know this lens that you mentioned and its versatility + the fact of being well accepted behind a small dome are very attractive. However, perhaps there are some other things to put on the balance. If it's an old Nikon model, there's no VR, right? At this moment I wanna something which I can use topside as well (at least for this first investment on a macro lens), then I guess that f/4.5-5.6 may be a bit dark for shooting macro whenever one doesn't wanna use a flash, no? And besides, I must confess: I try at maximum to avoid buying used gear because I don't think we can totally trust on them as you never know its previous history neither how much outworn are its electronic and mechanic parts. They may be OK for a while and suddenly show some issue which can be a headache to solve after.

Housings: yep, my first option until now (I still researching about…) is Subal too, for the same reasons you listed, despite its high cost. But what you said about the viewfinder is something new for me, I had no idea about it, so I thank you for the information, I'll double check it out and, whether I finally decide for Subal, probably I'll contact you again to have some other orientations about this adapter that you have developed together with your local machine shop. I'm in contact with Harald (from Subal's factory in Austria), who is helping me a lot about configuring my next gear setup, then, depending on him, I can say no doubts I'll also have a good after-sale support by email, which is very very valuable for me here in Brazil. Nevertheless, like there is no local tech assistance here, whenever I need something, I have to send goodies to the USA (which is the easiest country for me), so one more weight to be pondered. Then I take this opportunity to ask you about how does it work there in the USA? Florida is the best place in the USA for me to deal with something like this (due to the air ticket costs, lower percentages of sale tax and so on), so I'm considering about to buy my stuffs at (and, whenever my gear need maintenance be assisted by) Reef Photo. How do you like their job? Or would you recommend me any other place to buy and send gear for assistance in the USA? If you prefer answer these questions privately, please feel free to email me or send me a private message here through Wetpixel.

Anyway, stick with Subal is not yet definitely decided, I'm researching also about Nauticam, Seacam and Aquatica because I'll replace the whole rig - ports, domes, strobes (I wanna lighter ones than the two Ikelite I own) -, so there are many points to evaluate in addition to the performance of each brand (after-sale and assistance support, for example, something that I'm having some previous idea nowadays meanwhile I'm contacting factories to solve doubts about the products). Obviously get to the conclusion of the best cost/benefit is the main challenge because the total amount of money involved is considerable.

DEMA dive show: thanks for your niceness, I really would do my best to be there in order to try your gentle offer, but right now I can't tell you if I could go to Florida next November because I have a job with serpents at Pará (a state in the North of Brazil which is one of the nine brazilian states with Amazon biome) starting in October and for now I'm not able to know how long it will rest. Anyway, I'm sure I'm going to Florida sometime to buy my brand new gear, but I fear (in case of Subal) it must be pre-ordered, so, too late for testing your rigs before making my mind. Any other chance here which I could follow that I'm not getting to see now?

Valeria



#27 Valeria Lages

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:24 PM

 

[...] you have some really good Brazilian photographer down there, Fabio Amorin, Marcelo Krause, Adrianna Basque, just to name a few, I would check with them and see what they use, they pretty much work the same water as you do, I know Fabio works whit a 100mm on a full frame, I think that Adrianna and Marcelo also do, but not a 100% sure, I will shoot them a e-mail and see if I can confirm. [...]

 

Hi, Jean, I do know all these UW brazilian photographers you mentioned - there are many others excellent ones, like Daniel Botelho, which pics have been yet showed by the Full-frame section of Wetpixel -, but I don't know exactly who works with Nikon and I guess (however not sure) the UW macro opinions may vary according to the brand which one is used to shoot. I mean not only the lenses, but also the camera (it's relevant to say I have no experience at all with Canon DSLRs). Actually, due to a market factor, here in Brazil Canon is much more common than Nikon, so always I want some high opinion about Nikon top gear, I tend to search for that outside Brazil. The same way, as you know, Aquatica is very broadcasted among brazilian UW photographers, so probably you have a good general vision about who works with Nikon. Then, yeah, your help with them is more then welcome, thanks for that! Please keep me posted about it as soon as you receive any answer. 

Anyway, aside of the enormous interesting brazilian biodiversity existent on our thousand rivers or on our 8.000 km of sea coat, I must say: our fresh or salt waters are definitely not a standard reference for me because the sea world is much much bigger : ) that's why I also like to have visions from abroad : ) 

Valeria



#28 Valeria Lages

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:30 PM

Hi Valeria,

another thing is, that you cannot use the teleconverters on the AFS 60mm. I own this lens, and as well the TC20 II, but it is simply physically not possible to combinate these two items! The rear glass of the lens is standing to far outside, so you cannot mount the TC 20 II on it. I dont know if there is a difference between the versions II and III, but the AFS 60mm is also not in the teleconverter charts. [...]
My standart macro lens is the 70 - 180mm Lens under and above surface. [...]
Kind regards,
Wolfgang

 

The impossibility of using teleconverters with the 60mm is something quite new for me, Wolfgang, thank you for let me know about it! I own the TC-14II and the TC-20III and, sincerely, I don't know how much they can be useful underwater pairing with a macro lens. Any opinion here by someone, BTW, is very very welcome!

And how do you like your 70-180mm above surface being a f/4.5-5.6 with no VR? Sorry for asking you, but a part of mine 16-35mm which is f/4.0, all the others lenses I own are f/2.8 because I work with animals in movement, so I believe that's the best way to go…

Valeria



I used the 105 for the last year on my D800 and had excellent results.  Additionally, I've used the Subsee +5 and 10 with great results as well.  

 

Thank you for your feedback! Would you please tell me why did you choose Subsee diopters (which housing do you use?) and particularly how does the +10 work?

Valeria



 

Why lose the data? It's only electronics; there's no magic to cropping down to DX. Pick the lens for the job!

 

Hi, E_viking, maybe you've misunderstood me. Trying again in other words: there's no sense for me download (during the caption!) the resolution of a 36MP FX camera to get a DX crop. I mean as long as I know myself, I bet once I have a 36MP FX camera, I will never dare to download it to a DX format on a dive-time period (maybe I can choose to crop it during the pos-proceeding, meanwhile I'm having a good cup of coffee sitting comfortable behind my 24'' monitor, but never before that!). Firstly because since I've started to shoot FX, I'm not a fan of DX anymore (better saying, I've never been so!). Secondly, because (what else can I say?) yes, I'm lickerish while shooting : )

Valeria



#29 Valeria Lages

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:37 PM

 

[...] The 105VR on my D800 with a +5 diopter on a flip holder is an excellent choice. [...]

 

Hello, Jack, beautiful shot yours, congratulations! Apologize me for asking you something very basic for you guys who are used to shoot macro (it's a completely new world for me, no problems at all admitting it!): are you able to put diopters in and out the rig during the dive? I mean is it a wet one and so it's up to you decide if you wanna use it or not meanwhile you're diving? Thanks in advance for your answer.

Valeria



[...] As mentioned the 105 mm VR is a more ideal underwater FX lens, but I am with Fed and Wolfgang in my preference for the flexibility of the 70-180 mm micro nikkor lens.  

 

Elmer

 

Hi, Elmer, do you believe also the 70-180mm can be a good choice for macro topside? I'm upgrading from the D700 to the D800 and I plan to exchange my whole UW gear, so I have to face many upcoming costs. But firstly of it I have a job next months on a forest (not diving) where I'll need a macro lens, so I'd like to buy for now the best cost/benefit one for this specific job and, at the same time, for my future UW use as well. I know this is not an easy equation, that's why I'm humbly asking your opinion about : )

Valeria



#30 Valeria Lages

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:40 PM

[...] What I wanted to define is that the 60 mm on a D800 gives you a certain amount of freedom with the 36Mpixels.

I personally enjoy the 60mm on FX it quite a bit ( and if needed I Switch over to DX). My main for macro is however the 60mm

 

In my opinon the 60 and the 105mm complement each other UW for FX.

For land Photography, it is 100% the 105mm.

 

That's all right, E_Viking, thank you for having expressed yourself again. Yeah, I know yet that ideally I should buy both but, as I said before, my intention is buying just one right now (what I'm trying exactly to figure out which will be), then buy my whole brand new D-800 UW gear, after, probably, another macro lens…

Valeria



#31 Valeria Lages

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:42 PM

I belivee that the strenght of a DSLR is the Quality of the lenses and at the same time it's weakness ( especially  UW).

 

Sorry, E-viking, but I think I haven't understand what you mean here and I really would like to! So, can you please explain what you call "strong" or "weak" for UW standards? Thank you!

Valeria

 



#32 Valeria Lages

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 11:46 PM

 

[...] I don't quite get why you'd shoot DX on an FX camera, unless you were limited by a lens, but that's just my opinion.

 

Jack

 

I totally agree with you at this point, Jack! No way (because for me there's no sense at all) to shoot DX on a FX camera, unless I'm missing something...

Valeria
 



#33 davichin

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 03:08 AM

Hello Valeria,

 

I am a nikon DX shooter and I own 40, 60 AFD, 60 AFS, 105VR and sigma 150 macro lenses. I have never shot a FF camera but my DX cameras with 40mm deliver very much the same FOV as FF+60mm which is not IMHO in any way a nice macro setup, I find it very limiting and only very good for whole fish etc... but not macro.

Given that you are also very much a FF land shooter I would strongly suggest the sigma 150 macro lens (there are OS and no OS versions). If I were to change to FF, that would be my main UW macro lens and, for land, even more. If it is too long for you, then I would go for 105VR.

If you are in a tight budget, you can get a second hand 60mm AF-D which DOES work with TCs (60 AFS does not) for a very low price and use TCs to gain distance (slow focus though).

 

Good luck!


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#34 eyu

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 05:56 AM

 
Hi, Elmer, do you believe also the 70-180mm can be a good choice for macro topside? I'm upgrading from the D700 to the D800 and I plan to exchange my whole UW gear, so I have to face many upcoming costs. But firstly of it I have a job next months on a forest (not diving) where I'll need a macro lens, so I'd like to buy for now the best cost/benefit one for this specific job and, at the same time, for my future UW use as well. I know this is not an easy equation, that's why I'm humbly asking your opinion about : )

Valeria

Valeria,
 
I feel the 105 VR will be a sharper lens then the 70-180 mm micro lens, but the flexibility of the 70-180 mm lens gives you more leeway on your shots.  Being a zoom lens it allows you to get in close or stand back depending on the photographic situation in the forest.  Read Tom Hogan's review: http://www.bythom.co...80macrolens.htm  Also here are some pics taken with the 70-180 mm at Little Cayman: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=50210  Also please note the discussion with Tim Priest regarding diffraction and that these pics were cut down to 5% jpegs.
 
Elmer

Edited by eyu, 18 July 2013 - 05:58 AM.

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#35 JackConnick

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 09:51 AM

Hello, Jack, beautiful shot yours, congratulations! Apologize me for asking you something very basic for you guys who are used to shoot macro (it's a completely new world for me, no problems at all admitting it!): are you able to put diopters in and out the rig during the dive? I mean is it a wet one and so it's up to you decide if you wanna use it or not meanwhile you're diving? Thanks in advance for your answer.

Valeria

 

I shoot the Nauticam NA-D800 with their 67mm flip diopter holder. I use a relatively "weak" (according to those who like the Subsee style) FIT +5 wet diopter, as I find it to be just about enough to get me in closer, but forgiving enough otherwise.

 

Forgive me for saying that there are many very good D800 housings out there with a lot of advanced features and controls, you may want to look further than Subal.

 

Jack


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#36 Valeria Lages

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 06:42 PM

[...]

Given that you are also very much a FF land shooter I would strongly suggest the sigma 150 macro lens (there are OS and no OS versions). If I were to change to FF, that would be my main UW macro lens and, for land, even more. If it is too long for you, then I would go for 105VR. [...]

 

Hi, Davi, thanks for your suggestion about the Sigma 150. I heard from someone here in this forum that its focus is too slow, that's why I haven't get interessed on this lens. Before having started this topic specific for the use with the D800, I believe I've read all topics around here which discussed about macro lens (mainly 60mm vs 105mm), so I guess the statement about the slow focus of the Sigma was said by someone who was discussing about the same as us. How do you like its focus, both for UW and topside shoots?



#37 Valeria Lages

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 06:53 PM

[...]  the flexibility of the 70-180 mm lens gives you more leeway on your shots.  Being a zoom lens it allows you to get in close or stand back depending on the photographic situation in the forest.  Read Tom Hogan's review: http://www.bythom.co...80macrolens.htm  Also here are some pics taken with the 70-180 mm at Little Cayman: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=50210  Also please note the discussion with Tim Priest regarding diffraction [...]

 

I read carefully the 70-180mm review, Elmer, and must say that got specially worried about the drawback signaled on the text: "Autofocus Speed. Slowish and tends to hunt in low light situations. The limiter switch helps improve speed, but this lens isn't fast by any stretch of the word". So, how do you feel about it? I also followed your discussion with Tim regarding the diffraction, thank you for the links!

 

Valeria
 



#38 Valeria Lages

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:02 PM

[...] I already have the versatile 70-180mm macro zoom lens from Nikon [...]

 

Hi, Juerg, this lens that you own was suggested by Elmer, so can you please give me your opinion about that? Do you think too that it should be the best choice for a first macro lens due to its versatility, as he said, or the 105mm remains as your advice for me? Tks!

Valeria



#39 Valeria Lages

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 07:09 PM

[...]

Forgive me for saying that there are many very good D800 housings out there with a lot of advanced features and controls, you may want to look further than Subal.

 

Surely there are some other brands to analyze, Jack, and actually I'm doing so! Nothing yet decided so far, I've just talked about Subal because its easies to access the camera controls were being talked about. I know yet Ikelite housings (which I own) and am checking out also Nauticam, Seacam and Aquatica. Any other suggestion is very welcome!

Valeria



#40 buddy

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 01:15 AM

I am not shooting macro that often and like more wideangle and big fish, but being twice in Lembeh recently. I was shooting so far macro with the Nikon's 70-180mm maccro zoom in the original (long) Subal macroport FP70180. This port lets you switch underwater from AF to manual focus. Autofocus with this lens is ok at conditons with good available light. It might hunt a bit in bad lighting condition, but it is still ok. But I can always switch very fast to manual focus which is the best way for macro anyways IMO (e.g. you want to focus on the eye and NOT want to recompose the frame...however, Alex Mustard recently described here on Wetpixel a method using modern Nikon's like D800/D4  AF-C with 3D-tracking and thus focusing on the eye with the selected focus point and then recompose....).

 

The 70-180 is a pretty sharp lens and as others said already very versatile due to it s zoom functionality. But is not enough for smallest objects, especially on FF. It renders only up to 1:1.3. I was using sometimes a 5T with it to get almost to 1:1. The negatives: It is rather a long lens and requires a large macro port. The housing with this lens and port gets front-loaded in weight and negative boyanacy and tends to swap over. The other thing is that Nikon does not make this lens anymore and it seems to be quite hard to get a used one due to its many believers (I have heared that it sells today used more than original...I myself also would never sell this lens...and furthermore, Subal does not make that port anymore...)

 

The images from Lembeh on my webpage are all shot with this setup: http://www.jvpictures.com/welcome.html

 

Contrary to this I got now the 105 with a new Subal macro port. This setup is more elegant and way more slick. The port is for manual and Autofocus (and does not even requires a lever to swich between these modes. Just use AF ( I am using exclusively AF-ON only technique by pressing AF-ON button combined with AF-C) and be able to change to manual by just turning the focus knob on the port. The port does not even require a focus gear on the lens since the internal focus wheel goes directly on the rubber barrel on the lens).

 

The 105 VRII lens itself is just superb. It yields 1:1. the largest aperture of 2.8 means that the view finder is about double time brighter than with a 5.6 lens, which is especially for macro shots in bad lighting conditions a big plus. And this lens is probably the sharpest lens Nikon ever made in the range of "standard professional lenses" (maybe the 200mm /f2.0 is even sharper...but this is not for underwater!).

 

But beware, for Subal I believe it requires a type 4 bayonnet diameter, since this lens is thicker than others. Off course, as others said, there are other good underwater housings available.

 

So rather a long story...

 

Juerg

 

 

 

 

 

 


Juerg
www.jvpictures.com
Nikon D4s, Nikon 16-35 /f4 VR II, 70-180,105mm f/2.8, Subal ND4 housing and ports, 2 Subtronic Fusion (flash and video lights), Sigma 15mm /f2.8, Subal 4" Minidome