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.
- the_dragon_no1 likes this