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Wetpixel's Nikon FX wide-angle lens review

nikon FX wide-angle wetpixel

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#1 adamhanlon


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Posted 30 March 2015 - 03:40 PM

Hi all,


At long last, I have posted a review that attempt to try and compare the performance of various wide-angle option for Nikon FX cameras. This is in part due to the frequently recurring threads on the forums about choosing these types of lenses.


It is not perfect, nor complete, so it would be great if it could spark some discussion too!




I look forward to being challenged.



Adam Hanlon-underwater photographer and videographer
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#2 Tom_Kline


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Posted 30 March 2015 - 04:43 PM

Great effort Adam!  I see that you were a bit "location challenged" - From, my own testing I have concluded that public indoor swimming pools are not the greatest location due to dim light and need for high ISO.


I was a bit confused by this: "Given that most domes are spherical, the amount of curvature is hence more as it approached the edges of the dome than it is in the center."

Domes with spherical surfaces (i.e., most of them) have constant curvature by definition. BTW I think radius of curvature is the more straightforward way of comparing dome curvatures and we should encourage the manufacturers to provide this datum (the inner radius preferred over the outer radius; the difference being the glass or other material thickness) along with the physical outer dimension that they seem to prefer to use probably because it is the bigger number.


I think what you meant to express is that the focused plane of the camera lens increases in its deviation from the virtual image with increased image distance from the optical axis (center) - this is quite the mouthful and could be helped with some labeled points (with letters A to C and b and c) and lines (one would correspond to the object plane of the camera lens) being drawn on one of your figures. A on axis, B a little off of axis, and C a bit more off axis in the lens focus plane, a.k.a object plane, line. There would be corresponding b and c  points on the virtual image line. No need for an "a" as it would be the same as A. Line Aa would thus have length = zero. Line Cc would be longer than line Bb. These lines are the deviation I referred to above.


I am also curious as to focused distances in the tests. I bring this up because the shape of the virtual image varies with distance from the dome. The virtual image is only spherical for an infinite object distance. It is otherwise aspherical. The source for this fact is Chapter 8 in Optical Fundamentals of Underwater Photography by Gomer T. McNeil, 2nd Ed., 1972.

Edited by Tom_Kline, 30 March 2015 - 04:56 PM.

Thomas C. Kline, Jr., Ph. D.
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Currently used housed digital cameras: Canon EOS-1Ds MkIII, EOS-1D MkIV, and EOS-1DX; and Nikon D3X. More or less retired: Canon EOS-1Ds MkII; and Nikon D1X, D2X, and D2H.

Lens focal lengths ranging from 8 to 200mm for UW use. Seacam housings and remote control gear. Seacam 60D, 150D, and 250D, Sea&Sea YS250, and Inon Z220 strobes.



#3 adamhanlon


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Posted 31 March 2015 - 12:05 PM

Hi Tom,


I agree, dome curvature is a constant...


I was really trying to avoid getting bogged down with Gomer et al! There is so much confusion about domes and lens choices that I wanted to keep it simple.


Ultimately, it is almost impossible to use dome port theory to predict a lens's performance as each lens has specific construction quirks that make it either more or less suitable.


To bear this out, I was looking at a text book on underwater photography today where many of the images illustrating it were shot with a 14-24mm, and all the corners were soft!


Camera/dome/virtuel image to subject distance is indeed important, to test this I guess you need a fixed rig...



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#4 TightLines


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Posted 07 April 2015 - 05:14 PM

Adam - thank you again for the write up.


In case there wasn't enough to consider there's Tamron's new 15-30mm f2.8 offering.

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