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Nikon F6 Underwater? (AKA Digital vs. Film, part infinity)


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#1 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 12:54 AM

Has anyone heard about any housings for the Nikon F6?

I'm only asking out of interest. There is no way I would go back to the inferior image quality of velvia!

Posted Image

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#2 MikeVeitch

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 03:48 PM

thats just cruel....my Nik V just had its feelings hurt

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#3 Rocha

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Posted 23 March 2005 - 04:44 PM

I wonder if it will fit in some F100 housing, it looks only slightly bigger. Not that I will switch, the F100 is my last film camera, and the F6 won't give me better resolution since it has the same sensor (film).

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#4 Kasey

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Posted 24 March 2005 - 02:26 AM

It'll probably be tough for a housing mfr to assign development energy to this camera. If it is the last nikon film camera, it might not be a bad idea. But to my knowledge, the F5/F100 have not been discontinued yet, and the f6 doesn't offer much more for uw purposes. I would be tempted to house this camera, however, for the new autofocus system. It is tough to shoot fish and turtles emerging from the sun with the F100, and I suspect that the F6 would handle such contrast situations better.

Now, if Nikon doesn't announce a new digital for a while, and Seacam gets caught up on the D2x housings, perhaps they will become interested in this camera. Realistically, though, it is already clear that there will be no rush to design housings.
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#5 Ryan

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 08:33 AM

Call me crazy, but I'd rather use an f5 w/ a DA-30 and manually focus fish and turtles in the sunball...

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#6 Giles

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 08:44 AM

crazy :blink:
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#7 Kasey

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 01:04 PM

Call me crazy, but I'd rather use an f5 w/ a DA-30 and manually focus fish and turtles in the sunball...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Don't you think the seacam/subal viewfinders are as good?
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#8 Tom_Kline

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Posted 26 March 2005 - 10:29 PM

The F6 appears to share a number of components with the D2 series such as the top plate. Some of the controls may be in the same position. Accordingly, it may be possible to put an F6 in a D2. Is the height with the vertical grip the same as a D2 and is the tripod mount in the same spot? If not possibly a spacer block could be used instead. The joystick on the back appears to be shifted in the F6 so it would not be accessible in a D2 housing should it otherwise fit.

Maybe the most compelling reason for adapting an F6 would be to use film in the same housing one might already be using. If one already has legacy film equipment, an F6 is otherwise difficult to justify.

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#9 fdog

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Posted 27 March 2005 - 09:25 AM

Call me crazy, but I'd rather use an f5 w/ a DA-30 and manually focus fish and turtles in the sunball...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No removable finder...exactly why I passed on the F6...not crazy...

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#10 onokai

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Posted 14 April 2005 - 11:56 PM

Alex I have yet to switch to the inferior quality of digital over film so it cuts both ways. as far as a housing for the f6 without a sportfinder whats the point??. My f3's with sportfinders in aquatica's have worked well since 1984 and now f5s in subals . I can say without hesitation that most digital bodies are used less than 5 years before the new kid on the block takes over. The f5 light meters are super. The huge finder makes for viewing from afar easy. All others are a step down.The new generation of DX2 and the like look to be as good as film but the jury is out or at least mine. Yes film has some drawbacks but still has its place. Mark
2 Subal procase 5- Housings
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Nikon film f/5's and f/3's cameras
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and now a subal d300 setup
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#11 Kasey

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 04:39 AM

How much time have you spent actually shooting digital? I like the convenience of film - computer processing is a chore and I'd rather be diving. The quality argument is obsolete for me because scanning levels the playing field. I gotta admit I love the look of my fujichromes. On the other hand, I've lost dozens of GREAT shots to insufficient depth of field that digital would've caught. Don't discount digital quality - we all have our preferences, but the differences aren't black and white as you imply. Even the D2x falls short of velvia in some regards...

Oh, and where can I buy a digital camera that will keep me happy for 5 years???

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#12 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 07:34 AM

My initial comment was tongue in cheek!

But seriously I am convinced that my D2X out resolves E6 slide film. They only way I can quantify this is by looking at scanned slides - so E6 is having to play an away fixture - against digital files. But I think that this fair because nearly all image usage these days is via computers.

Scanned slides are about 20Mpixels (55MB TIFF). So you have to uprezz the digital film to the same size. Doing this in one step in Photoshop Image Size and a quick USM on a D2X basic JPG (worse case scenario) the D2X file is sharper, cleaner and shows more detail than scanned velvia when viewed at 100%.
It is easy to check yourself and you don't need a D2X - open a 4000dpi slide scan and view at 100%. Detail is not perfect. The D2X is darn close to being.

This image shows 100% crops from the D2X basic jpg (top) and a slide scanned to TIFF (bottom), with full images shown for comparison. Sorry they are not the same subject, but both taken with the same lens. D2X uprezzed, so file size is same as 4000dpi scan. Slide film is Velvia.
Posted Image

OK my scanner is only a Nikon Coolscan 5000 (which is damn fine) and it is not as good as industrial ones. But I have checked the D2X against some scitex scans too.

As Kasey implies there is far more to image quality than resolution but few now doubt that cameras like the D2X and 1DS Mk2 sit somewhere between 35mm and medium format film when it comes to useable resolution. Its easy to say a 4000dpi scan is 20Mpixels and thats more than the Canon and Nikon. But that doesn't account for the quality of the pixels.

That said there is far more to a good images - than camera image quality/resolution. And clearly film and digital are capable of excellent results way exceeding resolution for most applications - Doug Perrine won the BBC Wildlife comp last year with a 6MP D60 image which is definitely sub-transparency in quality!

Alex

p.s. I am sorry for this post. It is very much one of those "I'm not going to argue, but..." ones!

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#13 onokai

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 10:35 AM

No agument here either Alex. I agree with you on the quaily of the d2x. From what I have read this newer breed of cameras are as good if not better than film cameras. That has not been the case before now. I will switch to dig when this generation ( D2x) hits the used market most likely- when the latest dx4 or the like make the current one obsolete i'll pick one up. After over 20 years working with film one gets the details down. Yes there are more throw aways per roll but thats film. As I have shot manual since the mid 80's switching to manual in dig will be a smoother transition.
How is the viewer on the D2X compared sizewise to a sportfinder?? on say a f/5 ??.

As computer time is not what I like to do and slide shows with 2 projectors + dissolve unit are what I like dig has taken a back burner until the other issues are worked out ( quality- viewfinders- not magnifiers- speed delays ect.)These other issues are now being addressed with the newer cameras.

Kaseys comment (Oh, and where can I buy a digital camera that will keep me happy for 5 years???
That hits home as my two f/3 in aquatica housings have been working as well as when they were new -thats over 20 years of shooting..That is I have been happy with them for 20 years- anyone out there with a digital camera who can say this??

The newer f/5 in the subal should work for as long also..I like getting new stuff as much as the next guy but replacing whole cameras and housings ever 1-2 years seems abit much. That said I have 2 boats that seem to take a bit of $ to keep up. so I want my gear to last awhile.
Film has its place and for me its in a housing underwater shooting for now and has been since 1982. I'll move into digital when this newer d2x and the like are around awhile.
Did not mean to ruffel so many feathers. Mark
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Way to many strobes to list
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and now a subal d300 setup
Still a film divasourus with a baby toe in digital world

#14 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 11:25 PM

I still think there are areas where the look of a film shot is special and looking at a digital shot on a monitor is never as nice as seeing a tranny on a lightbox. Even if digital is slightly out resolving film nobody is going to say that a film shot is not good enough in quality terms. So my argument above is academic.

What has surprised me is that I have lost motivation to shoot film. When I was in Cayman shooting the freedivers I had both my D2X and F100 on the boat with 10.5mm and 16mm lens on. Both in Subal housings with domeports, both ready to go.

But despite being in the water for about 3-4hours I never wanted to take the F100 in. I returned to the boat several times and could have easily grabbed the F100. But I didn't. I took about 300 shots that day with the D2X. That roll of slide film is still sitting in my F100!

Freediving Pix

I think that the D2X is too expensive unless you are shooting a lot. But with luck Nikon will bring out that sensor in a cheaper body within 12 months.

Alex

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#15 tomeyer

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 04:57 AM

I have used film for 10 years and until recently prefered film to digital. After planning my next trip with my friends I pointed out to the dive shop owner (who is a film freak) that Palau Aggressor will no longer be processing slides. Representatives at Aggressor said the will continue unsure unsure until the processing unit goes down but will not replace it. We came to the understanding that the writing is on the wall and both of us are now moving to digital. It would be a disappointment to go on an expensive dive trip and find out that my light meter was playing games with me all week. While there may be some questions about the quality difference, I have trouble distinguishing between the two unless the print is over 11X14. I feel if I want to continue improving im my photography digital is the way to go.


Tom

:)

#16 onokai

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Posted 29 April 2005 - 09:14 AM

My favorite size print is a 14x20.
I will slowly make the change.
When the d2x is the old kid on the block.
And the many have moved on to the latest greatest
meanwhile Im headed off to the banda sea- sorong to bali for 26 nights on the sea safari 111
with 150 + rolls of velvia 50 -provia 100- velvia 100 and kodak vs100. @ f/5's subal and aquatic f/5 housing and a topside body. I'll take a dig for land shots as well.. This boat still does e-6 process.. to check results now and then as boat processing is always subpar.Mark
2 Subal procase 5- Housings
2 Aquatica f/3 housings
Nikon film f/5's and f/3's cameras
Way to many strobes to list
All that Nikonos junk
and now a subal d300 setup
Still a film divasourus with a baby toe in digital world

#17 Kasey

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 02:51 PM

I handled the F6 yesterday - what a nice camera to hold!!! Lighter and smaller than an F5, but a little bigger and more contoured than my F100. Very nice camera.
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#18 divegypsy

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 08:06 PM

Hi Guys,

At the PMA show in Orlando last February I handled both the D2X and the F6. They are extremely similar in their position of shooting controls, but the one control I really couldn't check adequately was the exact position of the focus point selector. However, my impression then was that if some housing manufacturer were really enterprising. He could make a housing which shared the same front, and if necessary had two possible backs, so that you could choose which camera you wanted to use on which dive. If my impressions were correct about the controls, any difference in total camera heights could probably be easily compensated for with two camera saddles. There is also the possibility that the add-on AA battery pack for the F6 might even the height difference. And with a second addition to that battery pack you can also sue the same battery that the D2X uses.

I am hoping that maybe I can encourage Harald at Seacam in this direction. Seacam's optical finders, the 45 degree and 90 degree, are the best I've seen yet and even if you had to have two different backs, you'd be able to switch fairly easily and have the best of both worlds.

I continued on this idea further and the Nikon Tech reps told me that the F6 functioned fully with both the older (like underwater strobes) TTL and the new i-TTL. I then asked the tech reps if I used two different lenses on each camera (say a 12-24mm on a D2X and a 17-35mm on an F6) to get virtually identical framing and set up an i-TTL multiple strobe shot, would the F6 and D2X give me the very same result. The tech reps said they had never done that test, but by Nikon's specifications, the answer should be yes. To which I then asked, "So in that kind of circumstance you could use a D2X to provide a really good "polaroid" for the F6?" And again they said yes.

Why would you want to use a D2X as a polaroid for a film camera? Alex Mustard claims that the D2X has higher resolution than even Velvia. And he then goes on to say you can even compare the Velvia scanned at 4000 dpi (I'm guessing he means on a Nikon Coolscan) to the D2X. Let's get serious about the comparison. If you want to do a really fair comparison, why limit the film scan to the results from a cheap consumer scanner. why not compare the absolute best results you can get from the identical lens from each? I think that if Alex compared his D2X to a really top quality scan, like those produced by an Imacon, or even better, by a drum scanner, at 8,000 dpi, it would be a "no comparison" contest in favor of the film.

All this is not to say I am against digital. I'm not, and just picked up a D2X last week. I also just ordered and F6 today so that I'll also be able to take advantage of the similarities between the two cameras. And will soon get rid of the last F100 I have. But I'll certainly be hanging on to my F5's and action finders in their Seacam housings, because for now, the F5 + TTL strobe combination is something I'm not willing to give up.

divegypsy

#19 shchae

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 10:23 PM

Wow....is good idea & hope manufacturers listen to this. You can order custom made housing to company like DIV or Zillion in Japan but, just no one ever ordered one.

I will be also, interested to see the result of film/digital competition . I love my Seacam F100 & will keep it for a long time & also love my new D70/Nexus setup ....

Sam
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#20 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 02:04 AM

Unfortunately, I don't think that the manufacturers share your enthusiasm (although it is up to underwater photographers to lobby them). Despite the fact that the F6 is pretty unanimously regarded as the best film camera ever made, I doubt we will ever see a new underwater housing for a film camera, again.
Alex

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Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).