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Valeria Lages

Member Since 23 Oct 2011
Offline Last Active Apr 19 2015 11:57 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Macro 60 or 105mm on a D800 + (maybe) TC 14-EII or TC-20EIII

29 July 2013 - 07:54 PM

Thanks guys for your feedbacks! I apologize for the delay, but I've been very busy these past days. Now I'm back, so let's see:




If you have a chance to try it (just in a shop would do), go ahead... After that, if you think it is slow at all, do not even consider the 70-180mm... :innocent:


Actually I did consider the 70-180mm, but finally gave up about it. Thanks anyway, Davi!!!




The new 105 VR focuses quick and will zoom past the focus point on land, but more so underwater.  It needs contrast to lock on the focus point, so if a land shot does not have good contrast it will have trouble locking on.  But you can compensate for this by manual focus.


I do not do much above the water macro photography now, but it may be easier for you to just get the 105 VR since you may have trouble getting a good used 70-180 mm micro lens.  Also if focus speed is an issue the 70-180 mm micro lens is a lot slower than the 105 VR.



Besides the money issue, you need to be happy with the way the housing feels in your hands and what controls are accessible to you.  The ergonomics of the housing is very important and good housings are expensive. I can feel the half click of the shutter and every click as a change f stops or shutter speed with my housing controls.  Other housings I have tried did not have such a feel, they are just water proof boxes around your camera. 


Yep, Elmer, surely I know the focus is based on contrast. Just in case on land I use to set my lens on M/A for a quick manual focus if needed. And when the situation is really critical of course I change it for just manual.

I had a look searching for the 70-180mm and I could find some, but it's a bit expensive for an used gear which I don't know how long may it rest in good conditions (I must admit: I don't like at all to buy used photo gear). Adding to the difficulty for finding new ports to this lens, I indeed decided to go for the new 105VR although the versatility of the 70-180mm have in fact attracted me a lot.

"[...] they are just water proof boxes around your camera": I definitely agree with your statement! Feel the housing on my hands in a completely intuitive way (I mean much more than just able to shoot) should be as a friendly experience as a good camera is expected to be too!



I also started the thread on the 200mm Nikon and also suggest that you audit that thread. There are some very interesting comments and shots and i fear I will be purchasing this very expensive lens and making the underwater modifications necessary.



I read your thread about the 200mm and every comments on it, Tom. Thanks for the indication forwarding me to that, but I don't like the idea of such a long lens + ports, adapters and so  on for an underwater use. I'm fighting against an inflammation on my ancon exactly for being carrying around so much weight while working. Obviously there's a considerable reduction underwater but again it seems to be very bulky on the frontside of the housing. And besides you ever need to carry it until arrive to the boat or whatever leads you to the dive point…




In Topic: Macro 60 or 105mm on a D800 + (maybe) TC 14-EII or TC-20EIII

21 July 2013 - 11:46 PM



[...] What you do with your pictures makes a lot of difference (or it should) on what camera you choose to shoot with.  If all you do with your pictures is post them on the internet, a D800 vs a D700 or D300 is a waste of money, in my opinion.


[...] which would give you better final image sharpness?  Shooting a subject at 1:1 with a 105mm Micro-nikkor combined with Nikon's 2x tele-converter, which effectively gives you 2x life-size.  Or shooting the same subject at 1:1 with the Micro-nikkor alone and blowing it up to the same 200% or 2x life-size with Photoshop [...] ?  


[...]  I am particularly doubtful about wet diopters which have a layer of water between them and the housing with the prime lens.  I don't feel that the optical alignment between these flip up and flip down diopters is very good and think that they would be a great first test subject for shooting with and without pictures and then using Photoshop to blow up the lens only shot to the same magnification as the lens plus wet diopter.  And then comparing both images side-by-side.  Because I am leery of them, I don't own a wet diopter to do the test on. [...]




IMHO too, it values for everything in the informatics world: there's no sense to get (and pay!) for something that you don't really need or will definnetelly not use in the next, say, 18 upcoming months.  

Your purposed test TC use vs pos on PS: I got curious about it because I own the 20-TCIII, besides the 14-TCII, so please keep me posted if you ever get to any conclusion.

dry/wet diopters tests: I'm researching about it as well and I have never used none of them, so it would be cool if you let me know too whenever you have some information about the comparison you're trying to establish.




That is strange, because it is a fast to very fast and accurate focus lens. It is a 2.8 HSM lens. Maybe what you read was about sigma´s 105mm which a slow focuser...

Hi, Davi,

I read it from more than one person here: http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=50681


In Topic: Macro 60 or 105mm on a D800 + (maybe) TC 14-EII or TC-20EIII

21 July 2013 - 11:22 PM

Hello Valeria and others,


I've had a chance to put together a few shots that show the versatility of the 70-180 Micro-nikkor.  






I appreciated a lot the shots, Fred, they are very illustrative for demonstrating the versatility of the 70-180mm. Where have you took them?


In Topic: Macro 60 or 105mm on a D800 + (maybe) TC 14-EII or TC-20EIII

21 July 2013 - 11:19 PM

[...] if you stop any of those lenses down to working apertures like f11 or even f16 to get more depth-of-field you lose some sharpness to diffraction which tends to "even" the difference between the lenses.  And getting the shot, any decent shot, is far more important than such technical differences. [...]


[...]  the controls it has or doesn't have, plus how easily you can use those controls, is the single most important factor in choosing a housing [...]


I shoot using TTL flash with Ikelite 161 strobes, which I think are the best strobes for TTL.  Inons work reasonably well slaving off of the pop-up flash on the D800, but Inon's are powered by AA batteries that need to be changed every dive or two. [...]


[...]  Please feel free to contact me directly about housings or about lenses for Nikon. [...]



Hey Fred, being a journalist (even I have never being a photojournalist in such daily news confined purpose), I do completely agree with your statement: "getting the shot, any decent shot, is far more important than such technical differences". And I even must say that sometimes the so called tech perfection bothers me.

housings: for sure the easy of achieving the camera controls and whatever it means is the most valuable. Probably that's my complain about my actual Ikelite, besides its polycarbonate construction. And that's definitely too why I'm seriously wondering about choosing Subal, despite of its very high cost and it's being totally unused in Brazil.

strobes: I own an Ikelite DS125 and a DS160 (not two DS160 as I have said before, I forgot I have returned a defective one and choose to got my money back). I do like their TTL performance at all ambient lights situations, but I think they are too heavy and big (both for balancing gear set up and for checking luggage in before air trips), so I'm wondering about replace them for lighter ones like the Inons (that's why I decided not to accept another Ikelite strobe after I have bought a defective one). I've heard from Ikelite factory assistance's guys that they have the best e-TTL strobe on the market, but I never tried another one while shooting UW, so I can't really evaluate whether it's just a marketing statement or whatever. But something I can surely affirm: Ikelite strobes are very big and heavy. I'm with a huge inflammation on my elbow since a recent trip to Bonaire (indeed probably it's due to have for my whole life ever carried around so much weight during my field jobs - not only UW, must say), so I was seriously thinking about downsize it starting replacing my strobes. BTW: are you using the double connector #4103-52 cord or fiber optic? What about the EV manual controller?

Inons powered by AA batteries which must be changed every dive: yep, it's disgusting! I simply HATE AA batteries, even I know there are lots of people who love it because it can be easily replace wherever you are! My feeling probably comes from the analog camera times, when I was obligated to carry tons of AA batteries with me whenever I left land for sailing because I knew I'd be with no easy energy source for a loooooooong time… Strange to understand, but I stilled hating AA even after the arrival of the rechargeable batteries, though I do have it and its charger for some advices.

Thanks for all your offers, I probably will contact you soon, when finally I deep dive into my new setup buying decision.


In Topic: Macro 60 or 105mm on a D800 + (maybe) TC 14-EII or TC-20EIII

21 July 2013 - 11:11 PM

[...] Autofocus speed is a two edge sword, the old 105 mm lens was slow and the new one is fast.  The new 105 VR may misses the focus point by zooming past it, thus the convenience of a manual override on the Subal port.  But some prefer the slower older 105 mm lens since the slowness with focus it does not tend to over shoot the focus point as much.


In regards to hunting in low light, this is a common problem in underwater photography. [...]  A good focus light should be a standard feature in ones underwater photo setup to alleviate this.


[...]  note that a Subal 105 VR port comes in a type 4 as well as a type 3 port. In regards to housings for the D800, try the different ones at a dive show and see how they feel in your hands.  


[...] This hobby requires very deep pockets/pocketbooks, I could buy a new car for what I have in underwater photo equipment.  A very nice car at that!




Wow, Elmer, I was not enough awarred about the differences between the old an the new 105mm regarding to the autofocus performance. I suppose your considerations about the new one referring to the risk of miss the focus point by zooming past it is kinda a housing-command difficult, so this issue is limited to the underwater experience, no? I mean: topside no doubts the fast autofocus delivered by the new 105 is unquestionable?

Nevertheless, as I wish an initial single macro lens for both land and UW shoots, now I'm trying to figure out: if I finally decide for the 105mm, which one of it should I search for?

A focus-dedicated light: no doubts it's essential in UWP. I use one specially directed for helping that, besides two strobes.

Subal port for the 105mm: Juerg has advised me about the type 4 bayonet. Could you please specify what are the differences between this and the type 3 one?

What else you've sentenced: I dare saying it's not just a matter of $, it's a marriage for long as well (in case of new camera+new housing set up as mine), that's why I tend to be ever very very cautious going step by step :)