Posted by Phil Rudin
on 02 September 2016 - 10:45 AM
My new reviews for the Sony A6300 with Ikelite housing and the Zeiss 18 mm with Zen Underwater 200 mm dome are now posted at uwpmag.com. This is a free PDF download with lost of great articles and reviews.
I expect this lens would be attractive to those shooting Sony APS-C cameras like the new Sony A6300 at half the cost of the Zeiss Touit 50 mm F/2.8. Also as a fish portrait lens for Sony A7 series full frame shooters.
Hi Alex, The SMC was basically designed for full frame and the CMC was designed for sub full frame and works the best with M43. This is the C/U lens that would be my choice for M43. CMC and CMC-1 are the same thing.
The problem with the C/U lenses is that many people use the lens before they have reached 1:1 with the 60 and other macro lenses. As a result I see images of animals much larger than the 17.2mm X 13mm life size of the m43 60 macro lens. So as Bill has said in the hands of someone who knows how to use the C/U lens you can get excellent magnification but many are using like a placebo only think they are getting higher magnification.
These are images I have posted here several times, the configuration is EM-1 60mm macro manual focus to 1:1 (life size) then move the housing until in focus. First is the 35mm slide as a frame of reference, the 60mm life size and then 60mm at life size plus CMC. As you can see a very small final image taken a less than 10mm and very shallow DOF. Most people are not getting this close even when they use a C/U lens.
So you can see full frame life size and the final eye image and make your own evaluation of how close that comes to 7:1 magnification.
I have found that this lens becomes more user friendly after a few outings. I use the 0.5 to 1:1 focus limiting setting when using the lens as most of my subjects of choice seem to fall within this range. I also use the Nauticam SMC-1 with this lens. I will be using this equipment in the Philippines next month along with the new Zeiss 18mm and a Canon 8-15mm fisheye zoom.
Hi Tom, I was skeptical also but had several chats with design teams from two major manufactures of dome ports and both confirmed that the flange distance, in this case about 22mm rear lens element to sensor for Sony full frame mirrorless and about 42/43mm for Can/Nik FF DSLR does in fact make a difference with lenses of like angles of view. The result is that smaller domes can be used with mirrorless cameras with the same sensor size as a DSLR and still achieve like results.
Several points and a few photos. First Olympus involvement in the 4/3 systems goes all the way back to the Olympus E-1 which was a DSLR as were the E-3 E-5 and a bunch of E-400 to 600 cameras. Olympus M/43 Mirrorless cameras and open platform allowed this format to begin to gain traction and evolve into what it is today. At the beginning no one gave the 4/3 system much of a chance for success but now everyone has mirrorless cameras and several new players have become involved. The system has had many growing pains including when Olympus dropped the 4/3 DSLR line completely. To the issue of people leaving M4/3 I think the answer is that their are simply many more systems to chose from and many manufacturers have found a niche within an ever growing market. Panasonic for instance became the go to for video. Now you can find a lot of excellent video choices beyond Panasonic.
I think a more accurate topic may be are people leaving DSLR for mirrorless camera systems. With the introduction of the Sony A7 lineup you now have a full lineup of mirrorless cameras that can compete at the very highest level of both image quality and video performance.
Regarding the size factor M4/3 and APS-C mirrorless bodies like EM-1 and Sony A6300 will always allow for a smaller and often cheaper overall system V. most DSLR's. Lens size however is a simple matter of physics and full frame lenses regardless of mirrorless or DSLR by their nature will always remain larger and more expensive.
I have included the front page from my review for uwpmag.com on the Sony A7R II and Ikelite housing, for the full review go to uwpmag.com for this FREE PDF download.
I have also included photos of the Nauticam NA-EM-1, NA-A7 and popular DSLR housings for size comparison. The Sony housing is clearly a "tweener" sitting between the M4/3 and DSLR. I also included a photo of the Sony NA-A7R II housing with the port configuration for the Sony FE 16-35mm F/4 zoom, while the lens is about as big as a 16-35 for DSLR housings it can be used with a much smaller 180mm port with results as acceptable as the 16-35 on DSLR with a 230mm port. This is a result of the shorter distance between lens and sensor in mirrorless cameras like A7R II. I also included a photo of the Sony A6300 with Zeiss 12mm and A7R II with Rokinon 12mm for a size comparison.
Regarding lens choices M43/ has a excellent set of lenses for U/W photography in verity of price ranges. Sony is catching up with both FF and APS-C lenses but at present M4/3 is still ahead in that area. The ability to adapt lenses to mirrorless cameras has also improved with excellent adapters like the Metabones.
Posted by Phil Rudin
on 15 January 2016 - 08:20 AM
Hi Brent, The Sony FE 90mm macro is an incredibly sharp lens. Like most Zeiss lenses it is heavy glass. My conclusions have been that the AF works quite well above and that below water sharpest focus is achieved when going manual focus from about 1:3(2.5) to 1:1. This can be accomplished with rear focus by AF and then rocking the camera or by using a manual focus gear. Keep in mind that full frame apples to apples with sub full frame has shallower DOF at any given F/stop so smaller focus range. I used the same technique with M43 cameras below about 1:2 so not much difference in that regard. For video I would be going full manual. I hope this helps.
Nauticam NA-A7II housings now support both the A7 II and A7R II camera bodies. All housings going forward from serial number A151096 will have the upgrade to support the A7R II mode dial and past housings can be upgraded. I received my housing yesterday #A151098 with the upgrade installed. Nothing about the housing has changed other than the mode dial upgrade. Photos attached.
My Sony A7 II/ Nauticam NA-A7II review should be posting on 1 Sept. in the Sept/Oct issue of uwpmag.com, this is a free PDF download.
Starfish, the Nauticam A-6000 housing has a control to pop up the flash in the event you forgot to do that before closing the housing and also to retrace the flash in the event you want to do that during the dive.
Wide angle is covered with the Ziess 12mm and the 10-18 F/4 both supported with ports. I was not all that impressed with the 16mm with fisheye converter and some feel that the Ziess macro offering is expensive V. the rest of the system. Regarding lens size v. M43 the lenses will always be bigger just as they are with mirrorless APS-C v. full frame mirrorless. The big difference is that the ports remain smaller v. DSLR ports, I.E. 180mm port on full frame for 16-35mm zoom v. 230mm port for same zoom range on full frame DSLR.
Sync speed of 1/160th is behind the curve compared to Olympus 1/320th and excellent lens line.
I think I should have started a new thread for this lens so people won't need to hunt for information on the lens.
I use 0.5-.28m or half meter to Life Size (1:1), this takes a bit of time to learn because you will backup for the lens to focus on some occasions. This is resolved by just getting closer as you should for macro. My first review will involve the 90 macro and the 16-35mm zoom with the recommended 180mm port configuration from Nauticam. I will be doing a later review for the A7r II which I hope to include more lens options. I will not be investing in any more lenses until after DEMA in early November any new lenses should be announced by then. I do not own the 28mm with adaptors but I may have a chance to borrow those for my next review after Nauticam has announced the port configuration for those adapters.
A few more pix form yesterdays dive with the same housing setup.
First dive using the new Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 macro with the Sony A7 II in a Nauticam NA-A7II housing, Two Inon Z-240 strobes shot in manual. All shot at ISO-200 using EFV and Nauticam 45 degree enhancement viewfinder. Octopuses eye F/16 at 1/250th, LizardfishF/11 at 1/125th, Batfish F/11 at 1/125th.