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Posts posted by Marsh

  1. 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

  2. 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. 

  3. 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 

  4. 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,



  5. 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 :-) 

  6. 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. 



  7. 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. 



    • Like 1

  8. While the 4.33 dome is considered a fish eye dome,  it was designed to be used with Sony's 16mm pancake by itself or with the fish-eye adapter added.  Many use the Sigma 19mm in it with excellent results, so it does work quite well with many rectilinear lens, even the extremely wide Z12. When comparing it's corner performance to the larger 7" dome, it had ever so slight softer corners compared to the larger dome, BUT the CFWA was incredible and beyond my imagination, opening up creative compositions, which was the main reason I stuck with the 4.33.  Both CFWA and SM simply was not possible with the 7" dome. 

    I'm currently looking into a N85 to N120 adapter to add to the N85 to N100 adapter that I use with the S90 macro.  Looking at the possibility of using the 4/4.33 inch N120 dome in place of the N85 4.33. This could potentially replace the Sony 18-55 Kit lens with the new Sony 16-55 f2.8 "G" lens for much higher IQ. The lens is to physically too wide for the N85 port and would require a two part dome set-up that they have used before.  Lots of hurdles to jump through in zoom control and other issues,  but mostly the cost of the gear, so it may be a while, if ever,  before it moves beyond the idea stage. 

    I've contacted Nauticam engineers and inquired whether they had anything in the works for the S16-55 G, since it's release.They said they had no plans at the moment but would bring it up at the next design meeting. I remember when they came out with the two part port for the Sony/Metabones/Canon 60 macro set-up.  They're a great company and I wouldn't be surprised if they came up with a solution in the future. 

    Hope this info helps those who want to go beyond the standard configurations and continue using Sony APS-C.

    Contact me directly if you need any info on any of the modifications I made.


    Sony a6500 with Modified 4.33.jpg

  9. I guess it all depends on the final product you're after.  I upgraded from a NEX-7 to a6500 Nauticam housings and enjoy the better AF and IBIS (miss Tri-Nav though).   I shoot super-macro most of the time and MF is the most common focusing method, so focusing systems come more into play more in video and fast action shots.  The a6500's IBIS helps with lens that don't have built in stabilization.  I've set up my rig to shot with the very sharp and bright Sigma 16mm f1.4 in a 4.33 dome.  f1.4 is a nice fast lens for underwater video and has fairly fast and accurate focusing.  Use this with Sony's "Clear Image Zoom" function and a 15X diopter and you have some incredible footage in macro or WA using one lens (and swing diopter).  For those scratching their heads and thinking Sigma 16mm f1.4 in compact 4.33 dome with diopter?  I got the lens to fit by filing off the shade support mechanism and  grafted a swing diopter mount from my old Flat Port 72 onto it's wings (not for the faint hearted..it was a lot of work), but I love that stuff.  

    Still photography fast action shooting will always benefit from improving focus systems like the a6400 and new a6600 have. I'm happy with my upgrade from the NEX-7 to a6500 though with the latter being no slouch in the arena of AF. Perhaps not as accurate as the new system in the 6400/6600 but I wonder how much?  Worth the extra buck when you can pick up clean used a6500 housings and camera now that the latest and greatest a6600 are out (just a matter of time for Nauticam, they never miss a beat.....    

    Using some creative modifications,  I now shoot Sony 18-55 (single dive Macro & WA set-upset-up),  Sony/Ziess 16-70,  Ziess Touit 12 and  Sigma 16mm f1.4, all in my compact 4.33 dome (w/ swing diopter CMC-1 for macro with appropriate lens) using a mix of 20-50mm of mini-extensions.  Great travel rig.  However,  I also added the Sony 90mm macro housed in the  N100 manual focus port system which added to it heft, but nice sharp and long macro lens in APS-C format. 

    Have fun with your new rig whatever you get :-) 



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