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Posts posted by Marsh

  1. Update: Good news: Nauticam now makes a MF set-up for the S90 and APS-C. I've been told by Bluewater Photo that there are others who are having trouble with the S90 and NEX7 (no word on other APS-C like the A6000, etc), so MF is a must. It's also the preferred method when working with long macro lens. I mentioned in my above post that I have no explanation why the S90 focuses accurately and fast on my NEX7 when used by itself, but not with a diopter. Given that the NEX7 uses contrast focusing, I'm starting to think the S90's optics are not well suited to diopters and thus never reach the contrast level to lock focus. Just a logical hunch and nothing to back it up (I don't have test equipment). Reef Photo more or less said the same thing in regard to lesser optimized and simpler diopters, thus recommending the SMC-1 for it's superior glass. Unfortunately after buying the SMC-1, it didn't fare any better. Since it's supposedly designed to work underwater, perhaps the S90's focusing will respond better to it there, since all of my testing was on the surface. Still I'm suspect that this will fix the hunting problem. More divers are beginning to use the S90, so in time we'll hear more from others. I was hoping for better after waiting so long for a true long e-mount macro. On the surface, it's a gem and rated higher than the Canon 100L.


  2. I purchased the S90M for my NEX7 set-up. Before investing in the port system for my NA-NEX7 housing, I tested the lens on the surface w and w/o close-up wet lens. Using the S90 by itself, it accurately locked onto focus every time. However, when used with a wet close-up lens, it would hunt past the focal point repeatedly in both directions and seldom lock. This was using a F.I.T +5, an Aquatica+10 and SMC-1. I was very disappointed comparing these results to my Nauticam Canon60 macro set-up with the Metabones adapter, which like the Sony, would pass the focal point, but then quickly change directions and slowly return to lock focus perfectly. It was very consistent and with different lighting. I was hoping for better performance and AF speed with the S90, since it's a 135mm macro on the APS-C platform, great for increased working distance and lighting. Unfortunately, in my surface testing, it was unusable for SM, which is what I wanted it for, at least without MF control. Fortunately, an option Sony FF users have with the S90, but not APS-C.


    I tried different focus range settings on the S90 and this didn't help. Also experimented with different distant placement of the wet lens to the S90, this didn't make a difference either. Occasionally under very high contrast situations, the lens would lock, but the majority of the time it failed, it just continued to hunt back and forth past the focal point. Remove the close-up lens and it worked perfectly. I have no explanation for this? Perhaps I have a bad lens copy or the results would have been better underwater, but the C60 with Metabones was just as fast in AF (still slow...LOL) BUT dead-on focus every time in the same tests.


    Given that the APS-C Nauticam port system for the S90 doesn't have MF control, I would be hesitant to go the S90 route with Sony APS-C for those who want to shoot SM with a wet lens. Perhaps I just have a bad copy of the lens and plan to send it in to Sony for testing when I get home. Or for some reason, it doesn't like the NEX7's contrast only focus system and would work better with the A6000's PS+C focus? Be great to hear from other Sony APS-C shooters who have consistent success in AF with diopters on other Sony APS-C cameras. I'm hoping someone can shed some light on this focus issue with the S90 since I'd love to use the lens underwater.


    Until then, I'm sticking with my Nauticam C60 macro set-up for the NEX7 because it works reliably in both MF and AF.

  3. I might be interested in the gears. I'm experimenting with using one of my ports on a different lens and wondered whether they might work. Can you tell me the inside diameter of the gears in millimeters, and if possible, the distance between the peaks of the gear teeth?

  4. Mark K,


    I know nothing about 10bar and it's accessory use on Nauticam.


    I assume the DeoTech you refer to is a Canon to Sony adapter like the Metabones. The Nauticam ports that work with these adapters are the Nauticam Canon 60 port (like I have) or the Zen model which will work with both the 60 and 100mm Canon macros (with the correct outer port). Nauticam has said they'll support the Sony 90 as soon as it comes out for the FE A7 series housings. While not announced, I suspect also for the NEX platform at some point.


    In the meantime the S90 may work in their Canon 60 port with 40mm of extension (two 20'). I'm hoping this is the case as I imagine the native port for the Sony macro will be quite expensive if they include manual focus and auto/manual control knobs. Since it's an autofocus lens and one can turn it on and off with the camera controls, maybe it'll just be a simple 2 part port which would make it more affordable. More or less how I will use it in my Canon 60 port. Too bad the S90 is 2mm wider than the ID of their focus gear for the C60 or I might have been able to get the port to do manual focus on the S90.


    The Sony FE macro is supposed to be available in July, so we'll see soon enough what will or will not work..


    Good luck with your 10bar ideas. I wouldn't think much, if anything, would cross over to Nauticam.



  5. Moray Eel,


    Since it may be some time before I finalize the attachment of a Nauticam 25105 swing mount to the 4.33, I thought I'd share the rig with you now, as it may be months before I finish it.


    Currently as seen, the NA-NEX7 housing uses 3 lens: a modified Z12, S18-55 and the Canon 60EF-s macro in a custom Nauticam Canon 60 port with manual and auto focus (slow but accurate). The diopters are a F.I.T +5 and an Aquatica +10 that can be stacked if need be. I'd like to check out the new SMC-1 or CMC-1 in the future, but the ones I have are paid for :-) The Z12 is in the 4.33 and there's a close up showing it's glass element sitting back right about where the dome begins (optimum configuration). A 30mm extension might work too for both it and the S18-55, but I only have a 20mm and it works fine, especially better for macro when using the kit lens at 55 to shorten distance to the diopter.


    The focus/video light is an iTorch Pro 6 with white, red and UV lighting. I configured a 52mm filter mount to the front (using home depot plumbing parts) to hold dichroic filters for fluorescent and video work. I bought the Nightsea light, but sold it because the iTorch Pro has pure UV and enough Lumens to give me blue light using dichroic filters. It's a great WA video and focus light too with removable batteries ( I carry 3 charged batteries). The Nightsea was brighter for sure, but not enough for me to carry both lights, plus the expense, not to mention no extra batteries. I also have dichroic filters for both the Inon Z-240 and S-2000. As you can see, I made a swingable 67mm filter holder for the Z-240 and implemented a 52mm filter holder onto the S-2000 diffuser holder. These filter holders give me lots of options on a single dive.


    67mm lens/filter holders were attached to the float system to carry accessories. The S-2000 uses a mirror to fire (I can also use an optical cable) and it's on a detachable handle, so I can set it behind the subject for rear lighting.


    The swing macro mount shown (Nauticam # 25104) is for my Port 72. In order for it to be grafted onto the wings of the 4.33, I'd have to do some modifications since the distance between the hinge system is about 5mm or so too short. A much better swing mount is the Nauticam 25105. It's about 7mm wider than the 25104 since it's made for the 4" semi-dome and the 67mm mount extends farther out since it's designed for a dome, not a flat port like Port 72. I believe this mount can be attached to the wings of the 4.33 with very little work, other than some stainless screws and spacers, no need to change the width of the hinges, etc. like with the Port 72 #25104. Basically the close up shows how the ring can be removed and hinges fastened to the wings of the 4.33. These mounts have a couple notched positions that allow the mount to be swung back in place, well out of the way when using the port for WA.


    As mentioned earlier, the Canon 60 port is a 2 part port and wide and long enough (w/40mm of extension) to handle the Sony 90 FE macro. At least as far as my computations go, so I hope to replace the C60EF-s with the longer macro when it arrives. Or have both should the water be a bit mucky and I'd rather have a shorter macro to lessen the water between the subject and lens.


    The entire system, including batteries & chargers, dive computer and filters fits into an Airport Antidote v 2.0 backpack (16 x14 x 9) which meets American Airline requirements for a personal item, so you can still take a carry-on with you. It weighs about 25 lbs. which works with AA and JAL, but one needs to move stuff to other areas (like the carry-on or photographer's vest) for most Asian discount airlines at 25 lbs is over the limit for a personal item or carry-on.


    Hope that helps and inspires you.


    Happy diving












  6. Did some preliminary tests with my modified Z12 in the 4.33 and 7" domes. I also ran the S18-50 in the 4.33 for comparisons. The big surprise came when I saw how good the S18-55 looked in the 4.33. Good sharp corners at 18mm and I was able to get good magnification with my Aquatica +10 diopter when holding it in front of the face of the dome with the S18-55 at it's longest 55mm reach. The lens at 55 was about a ¼" away from the inside face of the dome when using a 20mm extension.


    The big surprise came when I compared the Z12 in both domes. Corner sharpness held up very well in the 4.33, quite comparable to the 7". It appears that dome curvature is not such a critical factor with the 4.33 and 20mm extension. Better yet, the close focus range with the lens in the 4.33 was so close, I must have been ½ to ¾" away for good focus. The close focus distance in the 7" dome was good too, but the lens is set back much farther in the larger dome and thus less magnification for CFWA shots.


    The tests were preformed in my hot tub using it's textured pebble wall for sharpness comparisons. It was a sunny day under natural light so I could use a high shutter speed and still test all f-stop variations. Seems like the lens worked best in the dome at F8 and 11. I haven't totally completed the test comparisons and want to try a repeat shoot-out at the lens and domes sweet spots to make sure the results I was seeing was correct. The reason I want to test again is because the S18-55 was as sharp as the Z12, so a 2nd test is called for with both domes. I always felt I had an extremely good copy of the kit lens, but didn't expect it to hold up against the Z12.


    My gut feeling tells me I'm going to sell the much larger Nauticam 7" and stay with the 4.33 and adapt a 25105 flip mount to it's wings so I can shoot 18 WA and 55 SM in the same dive with the kit lens. Not to mention, it's a much smaller and more compact travel rig with the 4.33. Now I'm curious how the new CMC might work with this set-up. I like my Aquatica +10 because it's fairly small and light compared to the larger SLR models. It will have to be positioned very close to the dome to eliminate vignetting though. I had to be careful not to scratch the dome when trying to center it during the tests.


    I've attached a couple photos of the modified Z12. Zeiss removed the glued on faceplate for me so I could dismantle the bell shaped shade holder. I replaced it with a series of filter holders and step up/down rings to create a new shell that fits inside the 4.33 dome and still has the 67mm filter ring. This allows me to filter the Z12 for video and for fluorescence imagery when using the 4.33. Plus, the 4.33 works well with the S16, WA and FE converters, Sigma 19 and SZ24. I suppose I might keep my S16 and FE converter for wreck video, etc. So, it nice to have such a choice of lens with only two domes: the 4.33 and Canon 60 macro.


    I'll keep you all updated on the 2nd tests and any progress I make on adapting the 25105 flip mount to the 4.33 dome.


    I've also pre-ordered the new S90 FE macro and hope it will fit into my Nauticam Canon 60 macro port with the addition of two 20mm extensions. The math works out, so I'm hopeful. If not, I feel Nauticam will come up with a custom 2 part port for it. Anyone who has a 20mm extension I can buy or experiment with when the Sony 90 arrives, please PM me.


    I'll post some photos of the rig when I get it completely modified for you Moray Eel.







  7. Paul,


    Thanks for the info. It's always interesting to see how NEX users adjust to the lens situation.


    Picked up a N7" dome off SB last week for a good price. When it arrived, I was sort of shocked by how much bigger it is than my 4.33! Better than those huge 8 & 9" SLR monsters, but still BIG in comparison. At least now, I have both domes to do side by side comparisons for the Z12 and S18-55, especially for corner sharpness. I'm really hoping my Irish luck holds out and I get the same results out of the Z12 and S18-55 in the N4.33; I definitely don't won't to add the N7 to my compact travel rig. Wish I had a Z16-70 to compare with the other lens.


    I also wondered how the longer Sony zooms would work, as I know a diver who uses a similar AOV zoom in a Nikon set-up with a diopter and he likes it as a versatile single dive set-up for WA and SM. While the 18-105 is an internal focus, it's a power zoom, so no way real way to use it and it's width would require a 2 part port set-up. Like you said, the MFD really doesn't work and there's no zoom gears or means to activate such.


    Photos released this week by a guy on the web shows the S90FE, side-by side to the C100L, both being almost exactly the same size. This has increased the odds it might fit in my 2 part Nauticam Canon60 macro port with a 30mm extension. It's even possible the focus gear will work. Keeping my fingers crossed.


    Too bad the Z16-70 zoom gear is wider than the mini-port extension ID, as 50mm of extension (which I'll have) is the correct length to put the Z16-70 into my N4.33. Even if I did get a gear to fit, I have no idea whether this would even work with the dome optics, since the Z16-70 has a pretty long reach. Sure would be nice to try it though. The S16 works fine with the 4.33, so I'm hoping the Z12 and S18-55 will work better than expected.


    I'll be posting some 100% blow-ups of the Z12 and S-18-55 in both domes for comparisons shortly.





  8. Paul,


    You might be right on the weight of the lens and MB adapter. My C60 EF-s port comes with a centering ring that goes on the filter ring to center the lens in the housing and perhaps provide support for the lens length and weight? As to the Z16-70, I've seen some side by side photo comparisons showing the lowly rated S16-50 being almost or as sharp in the center, even good corners in comparison to the Z16-70. This has sort of slowed me down purchasing it and a larger dome. Some say the S18-50 is better han 16-50, others say the opposite. Too bad the S16-50 is a motor controlled zoom that collapses each time it's turned off/on. I might have been able to experiment with it in my 4.33, but no way to use a zoom gear, which I have for my S18-55. I've been surprised at times how well my S18-55 kit lens renders at times. It seems quite sharp, so maybe I just got a really good copy. If I can get corner sharpness to work in the 4.33, I'll probably just stick with it, the Z12 and the C60 EF-s until something shakes out on the S90G.


    Happy diving,





  9. Hey Pachku,


    You didn't annoy me in the slightest. Sometimes these posts don't take or my Mac Safari moves the image to the next page and I lose the text…grrr. I'm learning to C&P more often before posting so I don't have to repeat myself. I love talking about NEX possibilities if you look at the length of my posts. LOL.


    Hope my Metabones holds up better than yours in my recently obtained C60 EF-s macro port. The MB adapter I bought with #31 firmware seems to work pretty good, even focuses accurately in AF which I was happy to see. Maybe not very fast, but quicker than I thought it would, at least good enough for slow moving macro subjects. While I like manual focus, when in current, or the need to stabilize myself using a reef rod, AF is obviously needed to compose and shoot with one hand. I'd love to have a longer macro like the S90G for APS-C. I like the extra working distance and compositional differences between the lens for the kind of work I do with macro abstractions. I think the S90G will fit the bill nicely and have fast focus, especially compared to the MB set-up. If my Irish luck holds up, it may even miraculously fit into my C60 EF-s 2 part port, perhaps with the addition my 20mm extension, but the odds are a long shot compared to the Zen/S&S, so I'm not holding my breath. I believe the S90G in a A7 will be the same as using a 60M in APS-C, so no real gain there in working distance, but of course FF is nice, especially if the rumor of Sony's new FE 56MP release to compete with Canon's new 5DS holds up.


    As for the Z16-35, this equates to 24-52 on APS-C. I wouldn't think this would be a very usable range for most UW work; not very wide and not very long for macro using a diopter. Then again, we've been using the S30, the S18-55 and now the Z50 for macro so who knows? My guess is Nauticam will make ports for the S90G for both the NEX and FE platforms when it's released. It's just such an important addition to both platforms.


    My modified Z12 came in a couple days ago from Germany. It and the S18-55 fit perfectly in the compact 4.33 dome using a 20mm extension. I'm not sure how or if the "virtual image" works on the surface, but my initial view through the 4.33 port looked fairly sharp. I won't know how the corners fare until I can do some 100% blow-ups and comparisons UW, but they looked good even wide open on the surface. Maybe because the Z12 is such a close focusing lens at 7" from the sensor. I think it will be a great CFWA lens for this reason. Plus, I figured out a way to mount a Nauticam swing mount onto the dome shade wings to have macro and WA with the S18-55 in the 4.33. This will be a nice travel single dive set-up when I'm not sure which lens to bring down. The Z16-70 will be a similar set-up, but need a 170mm/7" dome and trying to mount a macro swing on it's wings will be much more difficult. My copy of the S18-55 is pretty sharp, it focuses quite close and i got decent stuff out of it using Port 72, except for pretty terrible CA in the corners being a flat port. I'm looking forward to the wider AOV and less CA that a dome delivers.


    Wish I could dive next week, but the hot tub or the pool will be where I test 4.33 corner sharpness for the time being here in the desert. LOL.


    Keep me posted on your progress, especially with the Z16-70. Should you go to the A7 or any new FE releases, let me know first before listing your stuff on eBay or on SB. I'm still paying for my 1st SLR Canon system, so I'm sticking with my NEX7 for the foreseeable future.





  10. Pachku,


    Hmm, just noticed my first reply to your question didn't take for some reason?


    To answer it again: No, I don't have any concrete information on the use of the upcoming Sony FE 90 macro in Nauticam NEX housings. It certainly won't fit into the new N85 II dome, as one is limited to new 77mm port entrance width since it's not a 2 part dome like the 1st. I suspect it's possible because Ryan at Reef said one can mount other S&s extensions and macro ports onto the Nauticam/S&S adapter extension.


    Until Sony releases the lens or publishes the actual specifications, no one will know for sure. We should hear something soon from the CP+ photography show in Japan next week. Lots of rumors say it and an upgraded NEX7, (now called the A-7000) will be finally announced, but we all know about delays with Sony and Zeiss announcements. I'm not holding my breath! LOL.

  11. Mark,


    Apparently the new Zen DP170-N85-II is a glass version of Nauticam's 7" acrylic dome. What I liked most about the original 2 part DP-170/S&S-Mini-port adapter set-up is it's ability to accommodate wider lens (physical diameter, not AOV) such as the Z12 or even the upcoming Sony FE 90 macro, since one can use S&S extensions and macro ports.


    Zeiss contacted me today and said my modified Z12mm is back from Germany and will be here by weeks end. I'm anxious to see how it works in my 4.33. I also have a 20mm extension, so I may see if I can put a diopter on it somehow for CFWA in the 4.33 or 7". This might help with the corner sharpness problem often encountered with rectilinear WA's in a high curvature compact domes. As it is, the Z12 has a rather short minimum focusing distance of 7", so it will be interesting to see how it functions with corner sharpness in a compact dome. What I don't know is how a low power +2 diopter affects AOV when used with a WA rectilinear? Can anyone explain that to me.


    I'm not all that hopeful to be honest that the 4.33 will work, but no one has really tried it. So, I'll give it a whirl before putting my 4.33 and Sony lens combinations (S16, WA and FE converters) up for sale. It's comforting to know, however, that a step up to a 7" port will work if the 4.33 doesn't fit the bill. Plus, I'll use the same method (as my 4.33) to modify my Port 72 swing mount to fit the 7" wings and have a nice versatile single dive scouting lens with WA and macro capability (w/ Aquatica +10) when using the Z16-70. Good to hear the Z16-70 IQ looks good and sharp underwater.


    Should I get the compact 4.33 to work with the Z12, I plan to add my 20mm extension to the 4.33 to use the S18-55 for a single dive lens (it's length fits perfectly, but I haven't tried it out yet to see if it actually functions). I have a pretty good S18-55 copy and am fairly happy with the results in my flat Port 72. I'm hoping the dome will reduce the chromatic distortion, along with a wider AOV. This all is a cost effective approach to my limited budget. In time, I see myself with the new N/S&S mini-port adapter, a DP-170 and S&S macro port using the Z12, Z16-70 and Sony FE 90-M lenses on my NEX7. Like you said, it'll only be a little larger rig to transport than my current 4.33 set-up. Maybe even around the same size when I get rid of my Nauticam C-60 macro port, Metabones adapter and Canon 60 EF-S macro.


    I guess I'll find out how this all pans out within a week in my hot tub or nearby pool. LOL. It'll be late spring or maybe even fall before I return to the Philippines with my Filipina wife to dive.





  12. Hey Marc, good to hear from you.


    Looks like I'm not the only one futzing with NEX. I must say you take the trophy for creativity in that regard! One of the nice things about the DP170 and adapter system is the ability to experiment. I'll keep your ideas in mind as I move forward. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on the Z12 w/ 4.33, but not all that hopeful for the curvature reasons stated. The decision to go with either the N7" dome or the DP-170 will follow and your information points to the latter for creative purposes. With a combination of S&S ports, one can experiment with a # of lens that otherwise would never fit the Nauticam mini-port system, even on the macro end. The 2 part Canon 60 port I bought is quite wide and around the length of the announced Sony 90mm macro being released sometime in early 2015. I'm sort of hoping it might fit the port, since there's extra room without the Metabones adapter and the reported dimensions look promising. If not, I guess we'll see what Nauticam comes up with or possible configure something with the DP-170 set-up, something I'm sure you will explore. :-)





  13. I shoot a NEX7 in a Nauticam housing and absolutely love the ergonomics and Sony 24MP APS-C sensor. The A6000 is even better at focus, etc at a lower price point. As you're seeing, many of us NEX users are still struggling with lens and ports for a high IQ compact underwater system, which is why we went with mirrorless to begin with. The Zeiss Touit 12mm has been rated as the sharpest lens available underwater, going beyond Canon and Nikon SLR's. Yet as Marc has pointed out, it normally needs an expensive 2 piece dome and adapter to work due to it's physical width. However, what many don't know, is the bell shaped shell on the lens is cosmetic or functions solely for the lens shade mounting. The lens is fully functional without this outer shell allowing it to fit in the Nauiticam NEX 4.33 and 7" domes. My Z12 is in Germany at the moment having the front cover (which hides the shell mounting screws) removed (it's glued on). Zeiss has been great and agreed to remove this cover for me at no charge other than shipping it to their NY service dept.


    I will soon be able to experiment with the lens in the 4.33 compact dome. This is a FE (fisheye) dome and not ideally suited for wide rectilinear lens due to the dome's extreme curvature, so I may lose corner sharpness, but I don't believe anyone has tried it "real world" yet. I'll soon find out when the lens arrives. Should IQ suffer from the 4.33 dome curvature, the Nauticam 7" dome will work perfectly, but unfortunately, will add to the size of the compact system for travel. Yet, the good news is it's less than half the price of the Zen DP170 & adapter ($550 vs $1,200) and much lighter. It also will not require the 2 part dome/lens installation that Marc explains above.


    I'm hoping it will perform in the small 4.33 for travel purposes and also because I have a 20mm extension which will allow me to use my S18-55 lens in the 4.33. I've figured out a way to adapt my Port 72 flip macro mount to the 4.33 port and like the idea of still having the kit lens for single dive versatility in WA and M. Again, because of the 4.33 curvature, I may have trouble with the corners at 18mm? The good news is, the N 7"dome finally has a zoom gear for the Z16-70 which will be a higher IQ replacement for the 18-55. Putting my flip macro mount on the 7" will be more of a challenge though….LOL.


    For super-macro I'm using the exceptionally sharp Canon 60 EF-S macro and Aquatica +10 diopter with a Metabones adapter in Nauiticam's custom NEX port which offers some autofocus (slow, but works) and more important for macro, manual focus, which the shorter 50mm Touit set-up does not have. Sony's Focus Peaking is a fabulous tool underwater. Plus, the added 10mm over the Touit makes the lens longer in 35mm equivalency which is an added bonus, as the Sony "NEX" system doesn't have a long macro. Perhaps Nauticam will make a 2 part NEX port for the upcoming Sony 90mm FE e-mount macro, but that's a BIG maybe and certainly a long ways off. 90mm on a cropped APS-C body makes a great working distance macro, comparable to the more popular C100 and N105 macros, which are the most popular for SM. I'm sure many NEX macro shooters are keeping their fingers crossed…..


    If I had to do it all over again, I would have considered the more mature 4/3 system with it's large and sharp lens selection. Yet, I print large and like the 24MP Sony sensor and can't afford to change systems in mid-stream. Fortunately, Sony's systems are slowly catching up.


    Welcome to the expensive world of UW photography. It's kind of hard to cut corners with cheaper equipment. Purchasing a used NEX or 4/3 system rather than trying to get a cheap housing to work, is a better option in my opinion.





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