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UWphotoNewbie

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Everything posted by UWphotoNewbie

  1. Ken Rockwell is reporting that Adorama has the lens for $570. That would be a bargin IMHO. As I've said before I'm skiping this for a FX lenses anticipating that FX for the masses is just around the corner. But if I needed a WA for a D300 now, Id get this one. $570 for a f2.8 with good corners? A steal. Anyone want to buy a Nikon 12-24mm for $570?
  2. The performance looks good without the diopter. If the goal is flexible fish portraits 10cm isn't too bad. 30" might hurt your sharpness however. There is quite a lot of distortion in all these pics however. Maybe this is to be expected with the zoom. This will be less appearent when photographing nudis rather than rulers. I don't expect you will see many rulers you want to shoot on your dives I'm not suprised at the performance with the B+W diopter. Its fairly low quality and not an acromat. I would try it with a Canon 500D diopter. Its an acromat and it comes in 77mm as you need it. I'll bet the performance is better. Do you need the diopter all the time? Maybe a Woody's instead? I like my 6T on my 105VR, but if the goal is flexibility maybe a wet diopter is the trick? How was AF performance? Maybe its better to stick with a 100 mm macro and add the TC when necessary?
  3. I just saw this notice on the Iklelite website today regarding the flat port system with the 105mm VR. http://www.ikelite.com/web_pages/newest.html It seems that the port bodies are't wide enough to accomidate the 105mm VR (and its bulging mode switches). They are asking you to send them in and they will either bore them out or replace them for free. Return shipping is paid. This is curious for me as I tested this combination in November with the prototype and didn't notice a problem. The prototype came with a standard port body. I also tried it with my own 12-24mm port body. It was a close fit, but not snug or anything. Maybe it actually deflects the camera some imperceptible amount? Anyone know? For me it looked fine. To me this just highlights the issue of port system diameters that I've been harping on for a while now. There The 105mmVR is wide and there will come a time when boring out ports won't be enough. On the flipside, this also highlights Ikelite's exceptional customer service as they work out the intricacies of all the new housings and lenses. This will be the second replacement for this port body.
  4. You are talking about very very small differences in thickness. If you had a scratch there, the material at that point is already compromised and structurally, its weaker with the scratch than with the surrounding material removed because the scratch causes stress concentrations there. In any even you are talking about such small differences even with repeated scratch removal. Its hard for me to believe that anyone has had a housing fail because a domeport imploded because of pressure. Unless it was shattered against something. There has got to be so much conservatism on the structure of a housing. Housings leak because of seals and controls not structural failure.
  5. I think you are better off actually shooting for a few years on a sub-par plastic housing rather than waiting and dreaming for a chick magnet housing that'll cost just as much but that's just me It looks like you have a stack of film gear and the experience to make fantastic images in the meantime, so I don't think you'll be missing out. But I think once you try digital underwater you'll be hooked. It hooked me.
  6. I can't speak about the Sigma 105mm, but as for fisheyes, focus speed is really a non-issue. These things focus fast because they hardly have to do anything. Nearly everything is in focus from 3'-infinity, only a slight change is required for close in. I have the Sigma 15mm for Nikon and its quite fast, just as fast as the Nikon 10.5. I sincerely doubt its different on Nikon. Long macro lenses are a completely different animal. Precise focus is hard because DOF is very thin at macro distances on a long lens. The lens has to travel a long distance to focus from close in to infinity, making the motor more important as well. You need a lot of light to get good focus. Even then, the Canon lens is universally regarded as the fastest focusing 100mm macro. I'm not suprised that the Canon focuses faster in this case. I'm sure its not because of the implementation. I agree with acroporas, the Sigma lens is a better lens because it focuses closer for CFWA or WA Macro. RE-sale is better on things that say CANON on the side but if you care about the re-sale of a lens you are setting out to buy, I think its misguided.
  7. That's a tough question. If you have the $$ then by all means get the D300. But the D70 is a perfectly fine camera. Plenty of magazine covers were shot with it. So upgrading isn't necessary. I think getting a better wide angle lens would be money better spent than a camera upgrade. I think you are better off waiting for the $$ for a real WA and housing that than housing the 18-70. For me it was money wasted.
  8. Yup, Ask my wife how many boats, skis, climbing ropes, ice axes, tents or lenses I own. You'll find that no one type of gear can do everything well. That's why SLRs have removable lenses. No lens can do everything well. If you want one lens to do everything, get one of the midrange zooms like the Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro HSM or the Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC Macro HSM. It won't be great as either a WA or macro, but it will do both slightly better than the 18-70mm If you already own the 18-70, don't get one of these midranges instead because they are marginally better. Get the WA and Macro lenses instead.
  9. If I were buying a lens combo today I'd get the 60mm Nikon AF-S and the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8. Both of these lenses are new so there have been no underwater reviews yet. I have the 60mm AF-S and just sold the 60mm AF. Both are fine lenses. The AF-S focuses faster however and fits the port better. Either one are some of the sharpest lenses Nikon has ever made. The Tokina 11-16 is brand new and may not be on the market yet. It has great reviews however, which is not suprising being a F2.8 lens. There is no other WA zoom for DX cameras that is this fast, even from Nikon or Canon. Pricing isn't available yet. I would guess it'll be between $500 and $900. Ikelite hasn't tested ports yet, but I would guess that the port body for the 12-24mm Nikon would fit it. The dimensions are the same. See a review here: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tokina/11-16mm.htm If you want a lens that's available now and is tried and true you can't go wrong with either of these: Tokina 12-24mm Cheaper and almost as good as the Nikon 12-24mm Nikon 12-24mm The previous best rectalinear zoom for DX cameras Tokina 10-17 FE Has fisheye effect at widest setting. You won't see this underwater. Gives very wide to moderate wide angle. Tremendous range. Distortion probably only noticable in wreck photos. All of the above WA zooms (except the 10-17 FE) require a diopter to focus behind a dome. A diopter is a special lens (magnifying glass) you attach to the front like a filter. Its also called a close-up filter. You need this because the wide angles won't focus cl;ose enough. These cost between $30-100. You can also use them for inexpensive macro photography.
  10. You can use this lens, and I'm sure that peole have some great examples of good photos with this lens. There are sharper and faster lenses but its good enough on both accounts to do the job. The real problem is that its not wide enough to get reef panoramas or CFWA shots, or focus close enough to get close, sharp macro shots. These kind of shots produce the wow factor that makes UW photography interesting. People do tend to use zooms in this range to photograph large fish like sharks etc. but in that case its really a tradeoff. you are too far away to get the best sharpness, but you can't approach you take the hit in sharpness. You can try to use it as an anything lens, but the best photos come at the extremes of either macro or WA. This lens requires an add on diopter to focus behind a dome, which will reduce your sharpness some. It requires a dome to not vigenette at the wide angles. Domes are difficult to use in tight corners and on the bottom for closeups. The issue is housing the lens. Do you want to go to the expense of getting the port and then potentially re-selling it. I went this route and lost $50 + my time on it. I'm much happier with wider or closer focusing lenses. On land I prefer the range and VR of the 18-200mm over the 18-70mm.
  11. Thanks for joining in David! I don't need the strap wrench to assemble the ports but I do need it to take them apart. I can go without it if I have someone else hold the port or dome and use two hands. The wrench that comes with the port is a burly tool that grips well. The package looks very professional with the included wrench and lenscloth. The stamped product numbers on the port bodies are also a nice touch. I think Jean has really made some positive changes at Ikelite.
  12. I'm no optical expert but there are some other disadvantages to longer macro ports. If its too long it will start to vigenette your photos. Also, if the point of macro working distance is to get closer to critters and have room for lighting, then too long a port will interefere with this. I like to have at least enough room inside to accomidate a diopter, no more. For older lenses don't forget about lens extension.
  13. AND, you'll never get a WA lens as wide as you can with a fisheye. Fisheyes go all the way out to 180 degrees, while the widest rectalinear lenses go to only about 120 degrees. FE lenses are also much cheaper and corner sharpness is also much better. Focusing is also closer. So optically, if you can live with the distortion they are better.
  14. In some cases it may mean less gear if you combine them in different combinations. The extensions are smaller than a whole new port body. They can give you the extra bit that you need to add a diopter, teleconvertor etc. The port extensions are threaded male on one end and female on the other--like pipe fittings. For me at least the really big deal comes when I can combine port bodies need for the dome with the flat port. This means less gear. Also, the focus extension is great because I use the same basic port body for the 12-24mm, 60mm and the 105mm.
  15. I was cruising Craigslist and found this ad. http://denver.craigslist.org/pho/610866751.html I spent a long time trying to find my 5/6Ts for a reasonable price. Now I have mine so I thought I'd pass this one on to the community. Maybe the seller will split them up?
  16. How many lenses do you expect to eventualy use underwater? Depending upon wether or not you ever expect to use more than these two and your budget, I would recommend the modular port system over the fixed standard ports. The 60mm is a fantastic lens underwater. Do you have the old 60mm AF or the new AFS version? The 18-70 is a fine lens, but its not the best choice underwater. It will give you a good range if you don't know what to expect, but its not wide enough for real WA and doesn't focus enough for real macro either. Most people opt for either a real wide angle lens (like the 12-24 range zooms or a fisheye) or a macro lens. The 60 is a good first macro lens, so I would recommend the tokina 11-16mm F2.8 when it becomes available or the Tokina 12-24mm. Both are stellar WA lenses that shouldn't cost a fortune. If you are on a budget, I'd wait and just house the 60mm now. Down the road I think you'll be spending for a real WA anyway and you'll save money this way. Assuming you take my advice and and are housing one of the Tokina zooms: Get the 8" dome port and the 5510.16 port body. For the older 60mm AF, I would add: 5510.35 flat port and 5510.54 extension. You would use this with the 5510.16 port body to create the port, minimizing gear to travel with. If you want to stick with the 18-70, then get the 8" dome + 5510.24 port body instead. Then add the 5510.50 extension and 5510.35 flat port for the 60mm. The creapest way, if you really don't think you'll be using a lot of lenses is: 5503.50 flat port for the 60mm and 5503.55 dome port for the 18-70mm.
  17. Hi Bart, You're getting the idea! This system is really flexible and simplifies your trave system and allows you to experiment with all sorts of new lenses and lens combinations, diopters, teleconvertors, extension tubes go wild! The basic dimensions haven't changed with the 8" dome system unfortunately. I'll bet there still won't be a way for Ikelite to house the 14-24mm, or the old Sigma FF 12-24mm. But every other commonly used lens that I'm aware of should work fine at least in AF. The Nikon 105mm VR is the fattest lens that I've tried and it just fits. If you already have any 8" dome extensions you can do a test of this. I think your math is correct for the combinations below. Remember, the flat port adds some length as well, maybe 2 cm (I'm guessing). There should not be any problem with stacking extensions like you are suggesting. It should fit and structurally it wouldn't scare me, these things fit together tightly (strap wrench required). You might toss a second strap wrench in your bag though to get these apart. You do have to wonder about reliability though. The more seals you add the more potential leaks. But maybe this is just being parinoid. I'd say get insurance, check the O-rings and go for it. Also, the 3.4 is the shortest extension that you should start with. Avoid the #5510.10 (2.6") for the fisheye lenses for everyting but fisheyes and the dome. This one threads on bayonet style. Its a necessary evil for wide lenses. I would want to avoid it for macro. Happy shooting!
  18. Sounds normal to me too. The ikelite port is a compression fitting. Once the water pushes on it it compresses the O-ring. Always test a new housing in the pool without a camera. Be sure both port locks are snapped closed and that the O-ring is well lubricated. Even on the surface the port seals perfectly. If the port is in and locked and the O-ring isn't twisted (well lubricated) and there is nothing obstructing the O-ring (hair sand etc.) the port will not leak. I'll agree its not the positive feel that you might think of with a threaded port. But it works and works well. So get in the pool and test it you'll see.
  19. Yes we agree--rotating the housing to extension. Just make sure that the bayonet isn't about to come off with a slight rotation. And let me reiterate that this is only an issue tor the 8" dome with the FE port extension because of how close the port is to the housing..
  20. I don't know that there is such a thing as a "Trademark Trickle" of water in Ikelite ports. Honestly this is the first I've heard of it. With so many Ikelite housings in use I'd be suprised if this existed and so few peole mention it. My experience has been positive. I haven't had any water enter the port. I've used both the 8" dome system and the older flat and 6" dome ports. On the other hand I wouldn't take any housing into a ripping current or jump in with any camera. The surface is admittedly the most critical time for the compression fitting on Ike ports. But I snorkel with my housing and no problems so far. O-rings on all housings can be pinched. So be careful and keep it lubricated. I always check carefully to be sure the o-ring is seated without pinching. Also be sure that both clips snap in place. Finally I always do a "pool check" to be sure everything is sealed. Again never had any water enter even on the pool check. The 8" dome port extension for the fisheye lenses is probably to most suspect. Unlike any others (8" modular port system or traditional 6" dome) it screws on bayonet fashion. Its possible to rotate it off at the surface especially if you are adjusting the dome shade. The shade IS seperate from the dome and that's how you should adjust it. I set up the shade in the hotel so that its secure and in the right orientation. Then do a quick check theat its toward the end of the bayonet range before hading it to the divemaster to enter the water. If its on right no water should "dribble" in. This isn't as elegant a solution as it could be. At the same time, I wouldn't want to see a solution that pushes the pricepoint of Ikelite housings. Remember that most dome ports cost what Ikelite housings cost, and the dome port itself costs less than just the port extension costs on most housings. So its really not a fair comparison. But to say that Ikelite users "live with" minor dribbles is incorrect. If you are you need to look more closely at the setup. Bottom line is that all underwater gear needs insurance because all housings fail. Its pretty naive to believe that any housing is foolproof.
  21. The port seems to be some sort of acrylic. I don't think its glass. I asked a question on Wetpixel a year ago about glass in flat ports. At the time Ikelite was investigating mineral glass as an alternative. I didn't see anyone say that it mattered.
  22. I think that business assessment is probably right. I think the Ikelite 8" modular port system is about the top end that makes sense in Ikelite housings. I'm sure someone will want to put the 14-24mm on a DX camera but right now it seems that there are better options Tokina 11-16 F2.8 and the 10-17mm FE zoom among them. I think the future of the 14-24mm is much more complicated than the present. Right now it doesn't make sense for Ikelite to house the $5K D3, but when FX filters down to the midrange cameras, and more lenses appear in that large diameter, there comes a time when the twain shall meet. So I think that eventually the 14-24mm will be a popular lens. I still don't see a $1400 dome on a $1400 housing but I see a market for the 14-24mm in the next two years among other housing users. Much will depend on the kind of corner sharpness that the lens gives behind a dome. I haven't seen any photos yet from Aquatica. Mainly, I think its an interesting concept to divorce the port from the housing. With the rate that DSLRS are replaced, it might allow for changes in housing makes between cameras with the substantial investment in ports only a minor cost penalty.
  23. I think you'd be pretty naive to suppose that there is a housing out there that doesn't leak. All housings have failures from time to time. Most of the time its user error regardless of make. I don't think that Ikelite housings have any greater failure rate than any of the others. Remember there are many more Ike housings in use as their pricing is more reasonable, so a simple poll doesn't tell the story. The specific issue you mentioned, a consistent leak through the port just doesn't happen from my experience. Nor have I seen anything on wetpixel describing that. On the other hand, I'm sure there have been people who haven't latched their port properly and it has come off, or peole who jump in with their housings in their hands. Sure Ikelite strobes fail too, but so do Inon and sea and sea. Mine leaked once but only because the divemaster dropped it on the edge of the boat. Ikelite service is tops and they had me back up and ruinning very quickly.
  24. Nikon 70-300mm AF F4-5.6 lens in excellent condition. This lens was barely used. I used it mainly for wildlife photography of Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park. The lens has a long reach and is very sharp when stopped down. This is the more expensive coated version of this lens. The lens is in excellent condition with no scratches on the outside or optical elements. It includes both lens caps, hood, a UV filter and the original box. This lens has an aperture ring that allows manual aperture setting so its compatable with more cameras than the new lenses. It works perfectly setting the aperture automatically with the D70/D80/D100/D200/D300/D3 or can be used with anchient Nikons that don't have automatic aperture control. $200. Buyer pays shipping and Paypal fees.
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