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Which lens to use 24mm or 35mm?


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#1 i76

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 04:11 AM

Hello!

 

I am a photographer but I have never done underwater photography before. I will be going to Sipadan this summer and I am considering two options-

 

-either take my Canon 5D Mkiii or get a Nikon AW120

 

I do not have a proper housing for the Canon so I was thinking of maybe getting ewa-marine U-BXP100. Does anyone have experience with these? I understand they may not have the functionality of a proper housing but are they safe and reliable. I think camera would be destroyed if this housing leaked.

 

Another thing I am unsure about- what do you think would be a better lens to take (if I was to take only one)- 24/1.4 or 35/1.4?

 

And- would you recommend that I definitely take flash or can I do without it?

 

Many thanks in advance and I am looking forward to your replies!



#2 jmauricio

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 07:12 AM

Hi, welcome to wetpixel.

 

In order to provide you with the best info we need some more detail. specifically

 

  • What is your prior diving experience?
  • What are you hoping to photograph in Sipadan (W/A or Macro)
  • Do you have access to underwater strobes?

 

Underwater is a completely different beast than on land. Generally speaking you want to be as close to your subject as possible. This usualy means use of wide angle lenses to get close to your subject but get it all in the frame at the same time.

 

Also, water changes the properties of a lens slightly. eg a 24mm underwater behind a flat port might be more like a 35mm FoV (not exact math). hence we use dome ports in order to restore the correct field of view.

 

All this said, your 24mm might not be wide enough for your purposes underwater (if considering wide angle subjects like turtles, schools, etc). definitely not behind a flat port that you might find on the ewa-marine U-BXP100. Nor are the lenses you suggest particularly good for macro either.  There are a plethora of options out there and any more detailed info you can provide would help us give you the best advice.


Edited by jmauricio, 23 June 2014 - 07:14 AM.


#3 i76

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 04:22 AM

Thank you for your reply Wolf Eel!

 

I have no diving experience. In Sipadan I was hoping to photograph wide angle scenes like schools of fish rather than macro.

 

I mostly photograph people and I do not think I would have much use for an ultra-wide (weitwinkel) angle lens. All the other add ons make this very expensive. I wanted to take one camera and one lens as I want to do a bicycle tour. So bulk and weight are major issues.

 

Do you think Nikon AW120 compact could do a reasonable job under water? I think it's wide angle end is 24mm equivalent.



#4 jmauricio

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 06:05 AM

If you are planning to dive. I would highly recommend that you focus on learning to dive properly and leave the camera for another time. Its a lot of effort to pay attention to your diving and trying to take photos. Diving is dangerous enough as it is. i would emphasize working on your buoyancy. This has some significant advantages. 1) you won't destroy the reefs 2) you won't scare the fish away. 3) when you do start bringing a camera underwater, you can more easily focus on the photography and not have to worry about numbers 1 & 2.

 

I realize this may be a disappointing answer. In diving we have a concept called task loading, which is doing too many things at once. You will find it much more enjoyable learning your diving skills first before bringing a camera with you. There are several examples of professional underwater photographers putting the camera away while they learn new diving skills such as dry suit or trimix.

 

If you are snorkeling. I would recommend you bring something small and light. Maybe an AW120 or a smaller compact. These can be had fairly inexpensively esp with the OEM housing.

 

As for the aw120. I don't have any experience with it first hand but here is an underwater sample image and a good example of the fov you will get out of 24mm.

http://wetpixel.com/...157#entry347768

 

Without strobes you will want to stay shallow to maximize the available light.

 

Good luck and have fun.