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My first dives with the Tokina 10-17 and mini dome


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#1 Kelpfish

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:55 AM

I finally got to use my new Nauticam D7100 system last week and used the Tokina 10-17 and Zen mini dome.  First, I LOVE how it focuses to the port glass.  That sets up your creative juices for sure.  Like other wide angle lenses, your DOF is minimal when you are close.  If you're within a few inches of an animal that has relief (not flat and you want it all in focus) you need to be at F11 or higher.  That's hard to do in darker California water unless you pump up your ISO or shoot at slower shutter speeds than, say, 1/60th (which is common when using fish eye lenses).   I also loved not having that huge Zen 9 inch dome on the housing.  It's pretty nice to be able to move your strobes in closer to the dome to light the subject when you are doing CFWA, but you must ensure to minimize the tussling that kicks up the silt or you will get plenty of back scatter.  On the sheepshead shot I sat still for 40 minutes and essentially didn't move much, allowing the silt that I kicked up to settle.  Test shots were full of junk, but once I had the lighting dialed in I sat and waited for that big male to glide in front of the port.  And it took 40 minutes.  Right when my computer started beeping I took a few more breaths and was ready to give up until I saw out of the corner of my eye that big sheepshead stary to glide slowly into my frame.  I snapped one shot then headed up, so this is the only keeper from that dive.

 

Basically, the same with the garibaldi shot but it was only in 20 feet.  Right near the end of the dive it decided to hoover right in front of the dome, like just 5-6 inches.  Took the shot and like the image. I will be using this lens later this week on a great white shark trip in Guadalupe.  Should fit nicely through the shooting windows on the cage.

 

Bottom line, really a nice set up, much more flexible that the big dome and sharp.

 

Joe

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Edited by Kelpfish, 28 August 2013 - 04:59 AM.

Joe Belanger
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#2 newmanl

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 11:36 AM

Great shots Joe! I sometimes find my 6" dome a little too big for classic CFWA shots. Thanks for sharing.

 

Lee



#3 tdpriest

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 03:10 PM

I finally got to use my new Nauticam D7100 system last week and used the Tokina 10-17 and Zen mini dome.  First, I LOVE how it focuses to the port glass.

 

The loss (literally and figuratively: my Zen mini-dome must have imploded at some ridiculous depth in the Red Sea when my D300 housing sank last year) of my mini-dome is my one regret in moving to an FX sensor. I've spent more than a year experimenting with weird combinations of lenses, teleconverters and ports that will let me get close to medium-sized subjects and also let me get my strobes in tight; I haven't cracked it yet...

 

... I'm not sure that I can forgive you for reminding me of how sweet the Zen 4" dome is!


Edited by tdpriest, 01 September 2013 - 03:11 PM.


#4 Kelpfish

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:42 PM

Thanks, Lee. Sorry to jab you with a red hot poker, Tim.  It was my first time using one and it is a winner (not a Todd Winner..lol).  I can't imagine that they (the UW photo industry) wouldn't try to replicate a similar system for FX cameras.  As an aside I was playing with the Kenko 1.4x Pro 300 topside and it pretty much sucks.  I hope it performs better underwater with close ups.  I was using it for far away objects in Mexico and the softness was evident at 33%. 

 

Joe


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#5 tdpriest

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 03:02 AM



... it is a winner (not a Todd Winner..lol).  I can't imagine that they (the UW photo industry) wouldn't try to replicate a similar system for FX cameras.

 

Joe

 

You can't get sharp edges with the bigger projected image: the optical defects of a small-radius dome become obvious. They're avoided when the DX sensor "sees" only the central part of the focal plane. I've tried a small dome with the Sigma 15mm lens and a Kenko teleconverter on my D800: I liked the field of view, but the edges are poor:

 

 

Plymouth BSoUP Splash-in 2012 089 Fairyland.jpg

 

 

 

 

Someone, I think it was Alex Mustard, suggested that the mini-dome and a teleconverter are optically similar to a compact camera. These were shot with a compact Nikon the year I abandoned my Nikonos (you may recognise the location!):

 

 

Catalina-19-13-Eagle-Reef.jpg

 

Catalina-20-19-Ship-Rock.jpg

 

Catalina-04-13a-Torqua-Springs.jpg


Edited by tdpriest, 07 September 2013 - 03:16 AM.