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Posts posted by Marsh

  1. Yes, I agree, you are correct in your assessments.  I almost bought a 140mm from a friend, as it's a premier glass dome with coatings, no doubt a beautiful port. I use the 4.33 port over the 140mm due to my grafting a 67mm swing mount onto it's shades.  It simply allows me the ability to use all the lens I prior mentioned with the one port, something I can't do with the 140mm.  Besides, I had this swing mount set-up on my N85 4.33, so it was rather easy switching it over to the same size N120 4.33.  As much as I wanted the 140mm, i determined it too difficult to re-engineer my custom swing mount to it's shades.  These were the main reasons I stayed with the 4.33. It had nothing to do with weight or size.  

    I would like to add to the original questions regarding the post topic: While focus is accurate using the Kenko 1.4 (mine is a blue dot) and Metabones IV combination (latest FW even in low light) I noticed I often have to hit the focus button twice to get an accurate focus (as defined by Peak Focus highlights) for some reason?  The 1st push sometimes knocks it out and the 2nd brings it back in focus? It's quite consistent and might have something to do with the firmware on the MB? It mostly seems to happen when I'm not doing CFWA.  I haven't tested whether this happens with the C10-18 by itself. I also haven't tried it using the AE/AF/MF back button as my focus activation button, rather than the half shutter standard method, which is how I want my Nauticam a6500 housing set up. As soon as I get a chance to set up the back button focus method, I'll update the post, along with some underwater tests.





  2. I recently added the Canon 8-15 to my Sony a6500 APS-C rig.  I'm using a Metabones IV (latest FW) and  blue dot Kenko 1.4TC . The Canon by itself, or with the Kenko, focus quickly and accurately, even in low light. The configurations are able to track and focus in video mode as well.  Plus, I can keep Peak Focusing on in both still and video modes with MB latest FW which I love on the a6500 rig's tilted view screen. I attribute this to the improvements in MB FW. 

    For a port, I use a modified 4.33 FE with a 67mm macro swing mount (from Port 72) grafted onto it's shade wings.  I can now shoot a wide variety of lens with just two extensions (20+30 N120) and a 50mm N85 to N120 adapter with focus knob and the 4.33 port. They include the Canon 8-15,  Zeiss 12 Touit,  Zeiss 16-70 (single dive still and video lens for WA and M using diopters), Sigma 16 f1.4,  and Sony 90M.  With the Canon FE, I no longer really need the Z12 and S16, but they still have their place for a WA rectilinear and fast video lens. However,, since I want this as a travel rig, I'll most likely will sell the modified Z12 and S16 f1.4 (both work in N85). In addition, the Z16-70 works great for moderate WA and M at it's 70mm end (with Inon diopters) so the heavy S90M may sit at home on longer trips.

    My tests so far are mostly surface tests,  but I expect them to work well once I get back to diving when this COVID pandemic lifts and I feel safer traveling by air. However,  I've used  the Z12 (modified to fit N85) before in a N85 4.33 with pretty sharp corners while diving, so I'm sure the sharp C8-15L will excel in the N120 4.33 dome. Unlike FF where you basically have either a usable 8mm circular image or 15mm FOV, the cropped sensor and Kenko give the a6500 a 10-21mm zoom range.  It's a very nice CFWA lens setup.

     if you need any info on this set-up, please send me a PM.



  3. On the Sony APS-C systems, the screen is tilted some (I think more than the A7 series, but not sure), certainly less than 45, maybe 20 degrees or so.  Still,  the tilt helps and is better than having to be perpendicular to the housing body.  It definitely makes things easier for diver position to the reef, especially since the large live view screen permits one to hold the rig further from the body, slightly down in front of you to observe all factors simultaneously while you approach the subject. 

    Happy diving once we can all get back to it.  In the meantime, I'm keeping myself occupied by experimenting with lens options on my rig. Currently I can shoot with the Sony18-55 kit,  Zeiss Touit 12 (modified) ,  Zeiss 16-70,  Sigma 16 f1.4 (modified) and Sony 90 macro using the N85 4.33 port, some extensions (N85 20&30) and N100 macro port setup for the S90.

    If things continue to go well (looking good so far)  I'll soon be able to upgrade and shoot with the new Sony 16-55G, Canon 8-15 or Tokina 10-17 (prefer the C over T, but much more $$) ,  Zeiss 12,  and Sony 90 Macro. All using an N85 to N120 50mm adapter, two extensions (N120 20&30) and one N120 4.33 port for better IQ and a smaller system.

    I've modified my N85 4.33 port by adding a swing mount to it's shades for a CMC-1 CU lens.  I use it with the Sony 18-55 kit for a single dive lens for both WA and SM.  The new Sony 16-55G will replace the kit and the swing mount moved over to the N120 4.33.  The Sony 16-55G f2.8 will eliminate the need for the Sony kit, Zeiss 16-70 and Sigma 16 f1.4 (for video) for a smaller set-up.  

    If you're interested in any of these modifications, please send me a PM and I'd be glad to share my findings. 

    Enjoy your rig, whatever you have. 



    Sony a6500 Housing.jpg

  4. My first rig was a Canon with Nauticam 45 degree viewfinder doing SM.  Man, did I come to hate that rig.  I didn't use it long enough to get the hang of the 45 VF.  I can't tell you how much time wasted in frustration looking for the little critters. LOL  Now I have a Nauticam-NA-a6500 Sony rig with a bright LiveView tilted screen using Sony's Peak Focus feature. I can keep my eye on the critter, watch the position of my port, maintain a decent angle to the reef with the rig slightly below and extended AND simultaneously see the subject enlarged on the screen. What a joy and ease of use compared to looking for it through a viewfinder. I'll never go back.  Hats off to those who develop the patience for 45 degree viewfinders. 

  5. Looking for a Tokina 10-17 mini dome setup for Nauticam N85.  I already have the shorter 4.33 dome (non-Tokina) but it will require a 20mm extension for the 10-17.
    Basically here's what I need:
    Tokina 10-17
    Lens zoom gear
    N85 to N120 50mm adapter w/ zoom knob
    20mm extension 

  6. The new Sony 16-55mm F2.8 G lens for APS-C.  I occasionally use the Sony 18-55 kit lens as a very light and minimal travel rig. It's dome has been modified to use as single dive rig for both WA and SM. I thought about replacing the kit with the new Sony lens, but I'm not too hopeful it will work: While on paper, it appears close to fitting,  whether it will  work optically is another matter, especially since it doesn't have quite as close a minimum focusing distance as the S18-55  kit. This will, of course, affect the domes virtual image. Nor do I know if it will play nice with my CMC-1 +15 close-up lens.  

    I love experimenting with my a6500 system though and am willing to give it a try if I can get the components affordably. I plan to eventually purchase the G lens for surface travel photography.  I have low expectations on the success of this modification and feel the project will be on the back burners for some time :-) 

    I currently use the Zeiss 12, the Sigma 16 f1.4 and the Sony kit in the 4.33  mini dome (lens are modified to fit).  I also shoot with the Sony 90G in a N100 port set-up.

    Any further discussion on modifications and the above lens use needs to be through a PM.  This post is to procure the adapter and extension.

    Thank you,



  7. Yes, that is true and I have taken that into consideration.  However,  those two items would place the lens in the best optical position and keep the simplicity of two pieces of gear. Piecing it together with multiple units just makes it more complicated.  Moreover,  I used to shoot with a Tokina 10-17 and liked it when I was using a Canon housing.  I now use a rectilinear Zeiss 12mm which I prefer.  Still, it would be nice to use the Tokina again if I wanted to, but that's not the modification and lens I have in mind for this project. 

    What I have works on N85, so unless I can find some affordable components for what I have in mind for the N120 mod, I'll most likely just keep using what I have. 

    Appreciate the info :-) 

  8. FYI, the 50mm does exist: Nauticam 36206 for Tokina 10-17mm Zoom is a 50mm length N85 to N120 port adapter.   When I first saw your reply I thought I might have one :-) 

    Thank you for your concern.  I'll update my post to include the reference to he Tokina just to catch better attention, should one not be familiar with the length of the available ports. 



  9. Barmaglot,

    Yes,  you are correct, those are exactly the issues that need to be dealt with.  Until I get some of the gear to measure, it's hard to say what will work.

    In regards to the N85 nomenclature, yes it does stand for the mm size of the housing opening for the ports, but not the ID of the ports themselves that the lens must fit through.  The first port flange design (that the 4.33 is manufactured from)  used parts and mechanical connections , which has an ID of 70mm.  The mini-extensions that followed use the same design, but Nauticam enlarged it by 2mm to a 72mm ID.  The latest Nauticam mono-flange design design (no mechanical parts/connections) that they created to accommodate fatter lens and gears (like the S10-18) is a whooping 77mm. Unfortunately, if you buy the 4.33 and mini-extensions today, they still incorporate the older design. It appears Nauticam doesn't don't want to redesign their machining process for earlier ports. Because of this,  I've had to make custom zoom gears out of 70 x 1mm titanium tubing with timing belts for the Ziess 16-70 and remove the shade mounts on the Zeiss 12 and Sigma 16 f1.4 to fit the 4.33.  Otherwise, all the lens (except Z12?), including focus/zoom gears, would have fit into the N85 4.33 if it had the newer 77mm flange mount,  perhaps even perhaps the S10-18. However, being a rectilinear zoom at 10mm most likely wouldn't work with the 4.33.  As you correctly pointed out, most WA rectiliniers do not play well in the corners, especially extreme WA.   Alex Mustards article and formula on using small micro domes for rectilinear WA's just barely met the specifications for the Z12 and the 4.33. I was surprised I got such good performance in this respect.  Just lucky the optics worked, especially with CFWA. Fitting the Z12 into the 4.33 was an engineering task that Zeiss helped me with. 

    As far as lens design goes on the new Sony G, as you pointed out, the length at it's long end might be problematic.  However,  both the Sony 18-55 Kit and Zeiss 16-70 extend their lens barrels in the same manner.  The Zeiss being a longer lens at 16-70mm has an extension of 44mm from it's 16mm position and this works perfectly in the 4.33: the 16mm end is positioned optically correct for WA with no vignetting and the long extension comes within 2mm of the face of the dome which works out perfect for using a diopter for SM.  However, for whatever reason, the optics of the Z16-70 do not play well with my CMC-1 or other high power diopters, even though a +5 works fine. The Sony Kit 18-55 doesn't have these issues and works perfectly with the CMC-1 in all respects, so I tend to use it over the Z16-70 for a single dive lens for CWFA and SM, even though I miss the extra 2mm of WA. Moreover, the Sony kit has a very short minimum focusing distance, compared to the Z16-70, which gives it an advantage in CFWA.  The S16-55G would be perfect if it had a similar minimum focus distance. It would give perhaps the same macro IQ as the much heavier S90G M at a more medium macro range and provide razor sharp corners at 16mm WA. As you pointed out on your above lens post, the longer S90 macro is great for SM, but one has to put a lot of water between it and the subject if shooting anything larger.  

    Presently, the 73mm girth of the new S16-55G will require a two part port since it doesn't appear that Nauticam will change their machining design of the 4.33 port.  I may call the dealers and have them check for me since it's been a while, but last year when I checked, they said the flange was still the same design with the ID at 70mm. The 50mm extension of the S16-55G you refer to might be handled okay by the N120 4/4.33 dome since it's only a few mm more than the extension of the Z16-70. Until I get my hands on the new lens, I won't know what the actual extension is? The back of the new S16-55G lens will fit through the mini-extensions, so it's possible to fine tune the lens position in the port by the use of mini-extensions at the housing body. I'd love to see Nauticam create a port similar to their 4" semi-WA port # 36137 (for the S18-55 Kit with it's attachable 67mm swing mount for macro) for the new S16-55G.  It would solve the corner and extension issues you speak of and make things a lot simpler.

    I just don't have the funds to play around with the modification idea for now, as a new lens and adapters would cost $1,900 +.  Not to mention the engineering of getting the knobs on the adapters to work with the zoom and/or focus barrels. The housing gear system can only handle a 70mm OD which works with the titanium tubing and narrow lens,  but it cannot be adopted to fatter lens. If I come across some inexpensive used gear, I might have a go at it with the two part port system as mentioned earlier, but for now the set-up I have works great. 

    I apologize for the length of this response :-) , but it addresses some of the technical issues for such modifications if one is interested in a small travel rig with the best Sony lens.  Those who want more specific information, please contact me directly through the message board. 



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