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Posts posted by Interceptor121

  1. 18 hours ago, Davide DB said:

    I read your articles but I could not find the info I was looking for: working distances (that is the most important parameter for video IMHO). As I wrote in the few test I made I was not able to use CMC-1.

    Unfortunately we had very bad weather conditions so I arranged a test in my underwater controlled laboratories... AKA a large sink!




    I borrowed from Pietro a CMC-1 and a Subsee +5. From what I found, Nauticam was correct and I was wrong (strange :P).

    Basically I agree with Massimo, CMC-1 for video is barely usable: maybe only for corals and in perfect conditions. the Subsee +5 is a much more versatile lens especially for me as a beginner. Personally I liked the 45mm Leica better but the flexibility that the Flip system gives you in the same dive is priceless.

    These are some video frames from my test

    14-42 mm @42mm + SUBSEE +5

    Working distance: 110 - 270 mm 

    110 mm



    270 mm



    14-42 mm @42mm + CMC-1

    Working distance: 50 mm - 75 mm

    50 mm



    75 mm



    Thanks to my dive buddy for enduring all that time in the cold sink water.



    It is written somewhere but there was a table from nauticam anyway that explained it.

    In 4K you can use 1:1 pixel to achieve more zoom it is better not to be on top of things and be able to use light properly 

    Subsee and CMC-1 make almost the CMC-1 however CMC-2 is still manageable for video on its own 

    Subsee is the best option when you are doing close up and you don't have a scene that is 36mm wide which is most of the time the case for video

    • Like 1

  2. On 11/17/2021 at 4:26 PM, Davide DB said:

    Hi all,

    I changed my GH5 wide kit to a Lumix 14-42 mm II and WWL-1B. Now I'm trying to test if by adding a CMC-1 macro lens I will get the same result of my Pana Leica 45 mm and flat port.

    Due to the weather I had the chance to test it just one time, not in the best condition. 

    Compared to my classic macro lens, the combo 14-42 mm + CMC-1 close-up lens It seems to focus a couple of cm in front of the lens and then have just a few mm of working distance (I mean working focus: I cannot focus on two spots maybe 5 mm apart). Is it normal?

    On the Nauticam port chart, for my combo, I read Working Distance 49-72mm. So I should be able to focus from 5 cm to 7 cm in front of the lens. Plenty of space for video. 

    On my Pana Leica 45 mm and flat port I had much more focus working distance.

    On this combo, it seems to have a nearly fixed focus point so I have to move the entire camera to focus just a few mm before or after.

    What am I missing?

    I already covered it myself. The CMC-1 is really only practical for photos

    CMC-2 and old subsee 5 are the best combo for stacking

  3. On 11/22/2021 at 9:41 AM, Davide DB said:

    Not really,

    I actually bought a 14-42mm with a flat porthole and WWL-1B.  These days I'm doing some testing with the CMC-1 and the flip mount for macro.
    I sold the 7-14mm and the 6" dome. From the tests I'm doing (I'm always talking about video) it seems to me that in the 12-35mm focal length range, the quality of this lens underwater is unmatched.

    I've tried both the 14-42mm with the flat port along the entire focal length range and also with the WWL-1 zoomed in almost to its maximum (should be about 15mm). Yet the 12-35mm has really crazy detail resolution and even amazing color rendition.
    Nothing scientific, mind you, but personal impression.

    The only flaw is that even at 12 mm it is really too narrow for those wide-angle shots of great effect. But it must be said that at least for video, extreme wide-angle shots with improbable perspective are a bit 'out of fashion and for documentary use are very rare.

    It's a misunderstanding that stems from one of the basic rules of underwater photography: as little distance as possible from the subject == less water == better quality. This is true, but people forget that video is made of moving images and the distortion caused by extreme wide angle lenses on video is not always pleasant, on the contrary! A documentary is mostly made up of medium and close up images.

    I mean, since I still have the lens including the zoom ring, I'd still like to use it from time to time. That's why I was wondering if there was a quick alternative to the 6" dome. The 6" dome is really a pain to balance for video. You have to put at least 800g of weight on the tip and then fill everything with floaty arms to balance it out. (I've been using it for 10 years).


    Assuming you find a flat port that fits it or build enough extensions for it there is going to be an issue of vignette and of course no wet lenses

  4. On 9/19/2021 at 9:55 AM, scubadudee said:

    Hi all, 

    I am still using my TG camera. 

    Thought of upgrading for better IQ shots so considering whether DSLR or Mirrorless. Then these two categories is further divided into Full Frame, Crop, MFT (4/3). Also the interesting point and shoot 1inch sensor. 

    For best budget and IQ, ease of use UW like going through the settings, making use of the external strobe (via FO).

    Thank you 

    Users that are on DSLR find difficult to switch however people that already use a compact less so. DSLR housings have a higher entry price despite cameras may not be equally expensive. Mirrorless Sony or MFT are very cost effective options if budget is a consideration

  5. 28 minutes ago, Architeuthis said:

    In my hands, the manual focus is extremely slow, i.e. many turns are required to see a noticeable effect in change of focus distance. Therefore I never use MF. Tips how to use it properly are highly welcome...


    On the 60mm is painful the focus ring has a very long run but it gets shorter if you are already close.

    however if I remember the EM1MKII has a pre-mf mode where you can set the focus distance to the minimum. I am not sure is entirely reliable but worth checking. There are also other ways like carrying a small ruler and doing autofocus and then switch

    Or more simply find a rock and start shooting until it focuses no more and lock

  6. 19 hours ago, benedika said:



    who of you uses Keldan Ambient Light Filter?

    I want to get some and don´t know if the 6 or the 12 or the Blue or BlueGreen (for an Egypt trip)

    What are your opinions?




    For Egypt you need blue water and I prefer the 6 meters to the 12 meters as it takes away less light but this depends also on your camera


    • Like 1

  7. 2 hours ago, Pomacentridae said:

    Thanks for this feedback, I realize that the flip diopter would help me greatly. Right now I am having to screw it on and off. So I am always having to back off to make changes and return, so by that time the subject already repositioned.

    Any tips on keeping steady and working with that close working distance? I am working with shrimp and typically they get spooked once you get within 70mm. Or do you typically use the CMC1 with relatively still subjects like nudis? Do you use a tripod?

    With regard to focusing, do you prefer to just set the focus and move the camera back and forth?


    For supermacro with the CMC-1 as in this example I use manual focus

    Set the camera to the minimum working distance and then using peaking shoot when the subject is in focus

    This ensures maximum magnification but requires you to be stable. CAF helps but does not ensure you are totally maxed out on magnification which is the reason you use the CMC in the first place


    • Like 1

  8. No 121 this is not what I was intending to convey. The Nauticam WACP-1 is clearly a superior optic too the WWL-1 and while I have not yet tested the WACP-2 my research indicates that WACP-2 out performs WACP-1 perhaps because it is used with Pro quality lenses like the Sony FE 14mm F/1.8.
    I believe what I said is that the WWL-1 with the Sony A7C and 28-60 is more travel friendly than say the Sony A1 or A7R IV with the WACP-1 or 2. I have traveled with all of these systems and the A7C system is simply smaller and lighter a no brainer I would think. Optical quality is a different issue and as stated above with all three cameras WACP-1 is the clear winner and WWL-1 is the clear winner over any lens and port combo.
    What I wanted the original poster to understand, because he ask is that having tested both 28-60 & 28-70 with WACP-1 and 28-60 with WWL-1 my choice hands down would be 28-60 for the reasons I articulated above.
    Regarding the Nauticam asterisk system also referenced by the original poster, the system has changed a bit over time with the addition of water contact optical. So the Sony FE 14mm F/1.8 which I reviewed in the current issue of uwpmag.com has an asterisk for the WACP-2 the only wet wide optic it will work with. It also shows an asterisk for the 230mm optical glass dome port. The chart also indicates the 14mm can be used with Nauticam 180mm, 8.5 inch acrylic, 230mm and 250mm dome ports. The asterisk indicates that of the four dome choices that the 230mm port and extension combo gives the best performance of the four. The WACP-2 will clearly outperform the 230mm choice.
    I hope this resolves any misunderstanding.

    That makes it clearer thank you
    I would have thought a dry corrector like wacp would be better and it is
    Thank you

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. On 9/23/2021 at 4:48 PM, Phil Rudin said:

    Regarding the three options for Sony I have used all three lenses and this is my take.

    The Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 is a very decent option v the expensive Sony 24-70 F/2.8. The problem with this lens and several others is that don't zoom all the way through using WACP-1. So the lens stops zooming when it hits the rear glass on the WACP-1 not ideal for the expensive glass.

    The Sony 28-60 is a small newly designed lens with better optics, speed and overall flexibility than the 28-70. It will focus at 30 FPS v. 15 FPS for 28-70. While this is not a common shooting speed underwater it allows faster focus and focus accuracy over 28-70. The 28-60 can also be used WWL-1/1B and CMC 1 & 2 closeup lenses in a smaller package. Regarding the 10 degree difference on the long end this is not something I often use and if I want a longer focal length I can always switch to APS-C mode and extend the range by 1.5 X at 26PM with A7R IV and 21MP with A1.

    I also favor 28-60 with Sony A7C using WWL-1B for a small light travel package.

    I have used just about every Wide angle rectilinear lens made for Sony with the Zen 230mm dome port and none outperforms the WACP or WWL-1 with the 28-60mm.

    The attached is A7C with the 28-60 and WACP-1.



    So if I understand correctly you rather use the WWL-1 than the WACP on the Sony?

  10. 14 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

    While the EM1X has impressive build quality all that extra size and two batteries only gives you an ICPA battery rating of 870 frames,

    My Sony A7C has a battery rating of 740 with one battery. It also does the same top mechanical speed of of 10 FPS with auto focus and gives you a 24MP 14-bit raw file not the 20MP 12-bit raw of the EM1X. Not sure what Olympus was thinking at a price point of $3000.00.

    The EM1X does 18 fps CAF in eshutter and 15 in mechanical it has procapture at 60fps that works well for certain animals (not underwater).

    That is one of the strength of that camera that is aimed at wildlife enthusiast spending a lot of time outdoors in all sort of conditions. We can argue that Olympus exaggerates their weather sealing benefits but the Sony A7C is just a toy in comparison in that segment.

    When it comes to underwater use the EM1X does not really have many benefits compared to anything else on the market I doubt anybody would look at that camera and buy it for an underwater rig

    A camera functionally similar to the A7C is the Panasonic S5 that has only a housing from Ikelite. Nauticam said they would not do one. Performance is very much identical but you need to adapt Canon EF lenses if you want fisheye. I have the 8-15mm and worked very well with the S5 but I sold the camera when Nauticam came with the news a housing was not being made

    MFT sweet spot is hybrid use still and video, APSC are probably the easiest path for a DSLR user today and full frame has good selection between mirrorless and DSLR for people focussed on stills with specific models mostly Panasonic and to an extent Sony more video focussed

    With regards to 14 bits to 12 bits file it mostly affects tonality not colour and may give a smoother gradation but there is a lot you can do with editing this days and many shots are fairly simple with low dynamic range anyway

    • Confused 1

  11. 50 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

    Regarding the Olympus EM1X and Nauticam NA-EM1X housing, Atim Lau has posted several Blackwater photos in the Facebook BW group using a 30mm macro lens, RetraPro strobes with the supercharger and RGBlue system lights. Many of his images are excellent and I see he is also using the 12-45 Pro for larger subjects.

    YES, I have held the housing and it is quite large nearing the size of the D6 housing. It reminds me of the Aquatica housings I had for the Nikon F-1 with the motor drive and sport finder.  

    Housing is 3.27 kg in air so D6 3.8 Kg D500 3.02 Kg so EM1X heavier than APSC DSLR and all the rest of MFT


  12. 11 hours ago, Tom_Kline said:

    @i121, Ya, this is kind of an apples vs oranges thread.

    I am curious if anyone has taken the gigantic Oly under water. The housings must be as large as those for the gripped FF cameras.

    Don't know. The EM1X is very popular for birds shooters which typically do not overlap with underwater

    Nauticam has phased out some housing that were slow moving but this is still being made someone might as well use it

  13. 21 minutes ago, Tom_Kline said:

    As you mention above this thread is not about format but topside vs underwater. My local freshwaters are stained to varying degree - it looks like the fish are swimming in CocaCola! Thus WB adjustment is extreme compared to topside. I do this in LR so it is only metadata within LR. Keep in mind I do most of my shooting by remote control so I am generally not looking through the viewfinder (without the special Seacam accessory) and do have not access to menus without withdrawing the housing from the water which would defeat the purpose of remote control - disturbing my subject.

    List the housings you refer to above - I am a Seacam user and not familiar with any. Nauticam has some housings for an auxillary battery but have no idea of the benefit and how well it would work for me. Besides the cold and long duration I have maned to take thousands of shots during one shoot - record is over 10K with the D4s the day shot in continuous mode.

    I am not suggesting it would work for you. I think you know exactly what you need. Some cameras like the Olympus EM1X take two batteries and have the same form factor of a professional DSLR. I am not aware of cameras that can house a battery grip or spare battery sorry if this created confusion. What I can say though is that even with my mirrorless camera using a trigger I can take over 600 shots and do a whole day of diving without opening the housing and the battery is 50%. Yet in general terms a DSLR will always outdo a mirrorless on that and if it has a grip shape with effectively two batteries the gap will be larger

    For what concerns white balance your freshwater is not blue and perhaps more green so the white balance is less of an issue with an RGGB bayer sensor unless the water is red. Surely you make adjustments you don't do but that is because the are not required not because the are not possible.

    I am amused when people make comparison to land shooting but do not actually do land photography. I am not suggesting you don't but I happen to do a lot of various things as you know at the edges of what a camera can do so I do have an idea based on practical experience. I.e. to talk about milky way photography and what is like it does help to actually do it and the same with night photography or other low light disciplines. 
    Surely there are differences shooting underwater compared to land. I need to shoot 100m to get haze while in water just a few meters, there are issue of light transmission and scattering of blue. However all those issues do not care about your sensor size more than anything else.

    so unless there is a more clear articulation of which gap is increased i remain of the opinion that underwater or on land the benefits of sensor size and even rig size are very similar

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  14. 3 minutes ago, Tom_Kline said:

    I do considerably more color adjustment compared to topside for many if not most of my freshwater shots so no they are not the same. As well I tend to use ISO up to 12,800 (1Dx) and 16,000 (D4s) with autoISO and these cameras far more underwater. I have only used super high ISO for shooting with very slow vintage lenses such as a 500mm mirror lens for topside shooting.

    A not sensor size per se but camera advantage is that currently only certain FF cameras use large batteries (gripped models; see models already mentioned). (I did used gripped APS-C cameras (no longer made) a few years ago for the same advantage.) These big batteries are an advantage for the cold water I typically shoot in for long duration - camera is powered up for hours. Even so I have manged to run these batteries down to 0. Swapping batteries is a bit more challenging underwater compared to topside - in my case the o-rings need to be cleaned every time the housing is opened do to sand and silt in the water.

    You are assuming that you have more headroom to do that but actually you do not know as you don't adjust your land shots and again the benefit is the same full frame does not have extra benefit underwater as white balance is metadata. If that you could argue that higher bit depth in raw file may help reduce banding but in reality most cameras do not resolve even 10 bits colors

    With regards to gripped there are cameras with battery grip in the housing in all formats APSC and MFT but take also into account that DSLR usually take more shots regardless of sensor size because mirrorless keep the evf/lcd on all times. Again this is a technology difference not a sensor size difference

    For clarity I have shot all formats Full frame APSC MFT and I am not saying at all that smaller is better. I am just saying underwater does not highlight additional benefits to land use. In your case you shoot high ISO and there are plenty of land scenarios on high ISO where the benefits are the same 

    Water does not really change much except blue channels clips sooner across the piece

    • Confused 1

  15. Just now, Isaac Szabo said:

    Again, for my situation the answer is yes. I never said anything about using large domes or shooting at small apertures. I use small domes/lenses and shoot at wide to medium apertures. With my current wide angle setup (Nikon R-UW 13mm) in low light situations I'm able to shoot at f/4 or even f/2.8 if necessary and still get pretty darn good image quality. And if I'm having to raise the ISO to 2500 or similar I'm going to be getting better image quality than if I was using a smaller sensor. I realize that my situation is not applicable to you or others who use strobes, but I never claimed that it was. I was just relaying my experience that for those of us who shoot natural light a larger sensor can be advantageous. If you don't like my perspective/gear choices, that's fine. But there's no need for you to get on here and tell me that I'm wrong. I would certainly never criticize you for using a MFT camera. I think it's great that you're happy with what you're using. There are no universal right or wrong answers to "what camera/lens is best" type questions because different people can have very different needs.

    The question you are answering is not what is being asked

    You are answering the question is there a benefit to full frame?

    The ops question is 'Is the benefit of full frame accentuated underwater compared to shooting on land'

    The latter question answer is no the benefits are the same. What you describe is not special it is the same thing that happens on ambient light on land. The gap does not get larger

    So there is no disagreement you are just answering a different question that what is being asked

  16. 6 minutes ago, Isaac Szabo said:

    With natural light underwater photography I'm often shooting in low light at high ISO values. So a larger sensor that provides better low light performance makes a bigger difference for me than it does for general shooting on land that is done at lower ISO values. It's the same reason why full frame sensors are advantageous for milky way photographers. And besides that, I also really value the extra resolution. I currently shoot on a 42mp sensor, and as far as I know APS-C and MFT don't offer anything close to that yet. Just because a high resolution FF sensor isn't useful for you doesn't mean it isn't useful for other people. 

    Yes but the question was does this benefit becomes larger underwater? And the answer is no it does not it is the same situation that occurs with standard photography on land the gap does not get larger.

    What is important to understand is that is the lens that collects more light in virtue of a larger physical aperture however once you equalise that there is no benefit of any sort. Typically large dome ports require small apertures so what you gain you loose you need to resort to special equipment such as WACP or vintage solution like Nikonos lenses to balance things out

    With regards to Milky Way photography or night photography this is a different use case to underwater as the level of light are extremely low and not comparable to any situation other than pure dark. While larger sensor may have some benefit in situation of extreme low light there are plenty of dedicated astro cameras that feature smaller sensors. 

    I do quite a lot of night photography and milky way in polluted areas and so far the issue has been light pollution and conditions much more than the camera equipment



  17. As someone who only does natural light underwater photography, full frame's superior low light performance offers a definite advantage for me. I also really appreciate the higher resolution. And a full frame setup doesn't necessarily have to be huge. My FF Sony mirrorless + Nikon R-UW 13mm combo is smaller than most APS-C DSLR setups. 

    Which is the same it is on land things do not get further improved underwater
    That was the exam question not what’s the best format though everybody seems to want to answer that question

  18. This thread has gone off topic as usual with the sensor comparison

    The question was does the benefit of larger sensor that exists on land gets amplified underwater?

    And the answer is no it doesn’t the sensor benefits are unchanged and as side effect of shooting small apertures the gap may even close

    However provided you invest in equipment and are happy with the weight larger sensor do provide the best images example buy a WACP small apertures are no longer an issue buy it weights a ton or get a massive dome for a fisheye lens

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    • Confused 1

  19. On 9/15/2021 at 6:30 PM, karlton31 said:

    nice pictures! i took a look on your gallery really nice !! the blenny gold is cool !
    which lens do you use for the macro ?

    In this trip for the first time I used the Panasonic 45mm 2.8. I have used the Olympus 60mm extensively since the last 7 years however I recently got the Panasonic lens for land use as I wanted something a bit wider and I like how this lens renders the image better so I decided to take it in water. I am pleased I did it focussed faster on the camera and I felt the field of view was right for this destination.

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