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I have used the search engine but I haven´t found any UW experience with it. I would like to know what do you think of it before getting it and what port you use with it (I checked subal, seacam and aquatica websites and only subal recommends diopters (+2) with it). Does it give good corner sharpness?

 

Thank you! :)

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I'm using the lens in a Nexus housing with the custom 12-24 port (190mm diameter) & +4 diopter. Sharp edges. Great general purpose lens when you don't know what you might find on a dive.

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I agree - the 17-55 is an expensive piece of glass, but it's very quick, very sharp and the quality of the image is exceptional.

 

It's a great general purpose lens to go in with with you have no previous experience of the actual site.

 

I am very happy with mine both above and below the water.

 

Don

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I use it with my Subal. Great lens above and below water, very sharp corners, great colors.

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Traded in the 17-35 for it and have played with in my new D200/Aquatica setup. 10mm and 17-35mm extensions, 9" dome port and no diopters. It is fast, quite and has nice range. Viz has not been great but here are a couple taken with it. Taking it to Cocos this week we will see how it does vs the 12-24!

 

anem7.jpg

 

lc7.jpg

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Hi David,

Maybe i'm cursing in the church but why not buy something like a Sigma 18-50 f/2,8 EX DC for about 380 euro instead of this 1200+ euro piece of glass which you'll finally put behind a piece of plastic (with a diopter which isn't improving either)? The sigma has a slightly narrower zoom range and the quality will be somewhat less, i'm sure, but ok, the Nikon also won't perform UW as good as topside. The sigma also has a closest focus range of 28 cm so probaly you won't need a diopter with it (closest focus for this Nikon = 36 cm). I would check what else is availlable before i'd go for this incredible expensive Nikon lens. Unless money doesn't matter.

 

cheers, Udo

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Ok, here are some recent shots with the 17-55, all at 17:

 

1755a.jpg

 

1755b.jpg

 

1755c.jpg

 

1755d.jpg

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Hi David,

Maybe i'm cursing in the church but why not buy something like a Sigma 18-50 f/2,8 EX DC for about 380 euro instead of this 1200+ euro piece of glass which you'll finally put behind a piece of plastic (with a diopter which isn't improving either)? The sigma has a slightly narrower zoom range and the quality will be somewhat less, i'm sure, but ok, the Nikon also won't perform UW as good as topside. The sigma also has a closest focus range of 28 cm so probaly you won't need a diopter with it (closest focus for this Nikon = 36 cm). I would check what else is availlable before i'd go for this incredible expensive Nikon lens. Unless money doesn't matter.

 

cheers, Udo

 

Built quality? Even my 2700 euro Sigma 300 f2.8 is falling apart. It needs a repair right now. I will never ever spend money on a Sigma lens.

I don't use a diopter on my 12-24 lens. Images are very very sharp in combination with my Seacam superdome. That's not plastic, but an optically coated glass port.

 

But I have to agree Sigma lenses are optically (very) good. But not built as a Nikon. You could better check if the 17-55 is really that much better than a 18-70 kitlens. I have seen test results that dont show why Nikon can ask so much money for their 17-55 prime compared to Nikons own cheaper alternatives.

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I used the 17-55 exclusively on my Guadalupe trip with no diopter. It saved the day because they rarely got in close.

post-3886-1158213224_thumb.jpg

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This outfit is just sooooo wrong.... i hope its you Luiz.... pink fins and snorkel really set off your eyes.... :lol::lol::lol:

 

1755d.jpg

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Nothing like a macho camo wetsuit to contrast with pink fins. Its the kind of statement that says, "I'm a man and I'm ok with my sexuality" :blink:

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Nothing like a macho camo wetsuit to contrast with pink fins. Its the kind of statement that says, "I'm a man and I'm ok with my sexuality" :P

 

I don't know, it might just say I'm a man who refuses to pay retail for fins (one reason my cuz Tammy dives them!). :)

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This outfit is just sooooo wrong.... i hope its you Luiz.... pink fins and snorkel really set off your eyes.... :D:):P

 

:lol: I didn't see the replies for this until now... No, that's not me, I was behind the camera, and yes, we made a lot of fun of him for having the camo suit with the pink fins, hehehehe! :lol:

 

 

I don't know, it might just say I'm a man who refuses to pay retail for fins (one reason my cuz Tammy dives them!). :lol:

 

Oh, and by the way, that's the explanation he gave us :lol: He said the dive shop he dealt with had tons of those (nobody wanted large pink fins, wonder why) so they sold them at 1/4 the retail price... I didn't buy that explanation for a minute though... :lol:

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Besides the pink fins, I really like the 'normal' perspective that this lens range seems to provide. We have become quite used to the very wide perspectives, and the short tele (60-105) perspectives, and this looks more like what we are used to seeing through a normal camera lens.

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Besides the pink fins, I really like the 'normal' perspective that this lens range seems to provide. We have become quite used to the very wide perspectives, and the short tele (60-105) perspectives, and this looks more like what we are used to seeing through a normal camera lens.

 

 

Hello All

 

Help: dumb question but I am a virgin: what is a diopter??

 

I am looking to get a D200 with an Aquatica housing and the 17-55 plus the SB800 flash with underwater housing (so I can use my flash above and below the water). Does this system make sense??

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A diopter is a piece of glass that fits in front of a lens to shorten its minimum focusing distance. This is required for some lenses when used in combination with dome ports as the lens then has to focus on a virtual image generated by the dome relatively close to the lens.

 

As for your setup, it's workable, but the range of subjects you'll be able to shoot will be limited to "medium size" subjects. For macro or very large subjects, you'll need other lenses and ports, and possibly another strobe.

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A diopter is a piece of glass that fits in front of a lens to shorten its minimum focusing distance. This is required for some lenses when used in combination with dome ports as the lens then has to focus on a virtual image generated by the dome relatively close to the lens.

 

As for your setup, it's workable, but the range of subjects you'll be able to shoot will be limited to "medium size" subjects. For macro or very large subjects, you'll need other lenses and ports, and possibly another strobe.

 

 

Thanks Matt!

 

Here is the dilema: the whole cash outlay is huge so I am trying to get a lens that will cover a variety of situations. Plus you can't change lenses UW so you have one shot to bring the right one. Again I figure this will cover a lot. I have read a bit and realize that while two strobes is ideal, many people get away with 1; particulary if I will not be doing macro. Agree?

 

Plus as all this will be new to me, I didn't want to complicate things too much.

 

While we are chattng, do you have any thoughts on housings? I am thinking of Aquatica, is it good value for the money or am I better off with something else?

 

Thanks!!

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I'll chime in for Aquatica. This is my second and both have worked great. Now there coming out with a new add on viewfinder so eliminates one of the last knocks on Aquatica.

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To jump back a bit:

 

I am also considering the 17-55 primarily as a shark lens when i manage to get back to cocos (wasn't shooting pics last time). Others seem to have success with it shooting whites & orcas from earlier posts - what are other opinions for this as a shark lens versus the 12-24 (I worry would be a bit too wide for shy hammers & other sharks). I think it would be great to get fullshots and portrait shots at the same time.

 

Just to be clear, I only buy nikon glass. For me that's the reason I buy a nikon camera, so no thoughts of Sigma etc.. Yes, the 18-70 is a consideration but I shoot a lot of low light & action topside therefore wanting a f/2.8. Also I feel the optical difference between consumer & pro lenses may be magnified when shooting UW(is this true???). That and Aquatica charts for my D200 housing recommend a +3 or +4 diopter with the 18-70 but not with the 17-55 thus reducing the consumer lens quality further.

 

Thoughts??

 

Undertow

 

NWDiver - How was your cocos comparison b/w the 12-24 & 17-55??

Edited by Undertow

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I can't house the 17-55 in my current housing, but will do it with my next UW hsg. This is a very nice lens. I've also had good luck at Cocos with the small, inexpensive, Nikon 16mm FE and the 20mm -- both 2.8 lenses. If you can get close, the 16 FE is superb.

picture-73.jpg

By the way, shot with Ike i-TTL.

 

All the best,

Chris

Edited by CeeDave

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I am also considering the 17-55 primarily as a shark lens when i manage to get back to cocos - what are other opinions for this as a shark lens versus the 12-24 (I worry would be a bit too wide for shy hammers & other sharks). I think it would be great to get fullshots and portrait shots at the same time.

 

Just to be clear, I only buy nikon glass. For me that's the reason I buy a nikon camera, so no thoughts of Sigma etc.. Yes, the 18-70 is a consideration but I shoot a lot of low light & action topside therefore wanting a f/2.8. Also I feel the optical difference between consumer & pro lenses may be magnified when shooting UW(is this true???). That and Aquatica charts for my D200 housing recommend a +3 or +4 diopter with the 18-70 but not with the 17-55 thus reducing the consumer lens quality further.

 

Thoughts??

 

First of all. I would not recommend anyone uses a Nikon 18-70mm if they are after top quality results. The 17-55mm on the other hand is an excellent lens - one of those lenses you stick on your camera and can rest assured that you have quality glass in place.

 

Personally, I would not use any rectilinear lens wider than 24mm (on a Nikon DSLR) without a dioptre. Of course they work fine without a dioptre, but better with. But I am not going to try and persuade anyone to use a dioptre - if they don't want to it is fine by me.

 

I have used the 12-24mm, 17-35mm and more recently the 17-55mm underwater to shoot sharks underwater. I use all with dioptres. And all are excellent shark lenses. For non-fed situations the extra reach of the 17-35 or 17-55mm is certainly going to be more productive than the 12-24mm, but if you get the one off very close pass you are going to be wishing for the 12-24mm. The 12-24mm would also be better for shots placing the sharks in their environment - not all underwater photography is about filling the frame as much as possible! So in conclusion, both are probably worth taking (but thankfully all three lenses require very similar port, extention ring, dioptre setups).

 

Another lens I would suggest at least looking at is the Sigma 28-70mm F2.8-2.8. I use this lens a lot and think it is an excellent performer optically. I'd agree that the build quality is not up there with a pro level Nikon lens, but the quality of the results way exceeds anything other than the most expensive Nikon glass. I use this lens behind a flat port most of the time.

 

Alex

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thanks for the thoughts and pics guys. great stuff. sounds like the 17-55 is a buy in my books once I can whip up:

$1200 lens + $230 port ext + $80 zoom gear + $60 shipping + $150 customs duty & fees = $1720

yikes

 

Personally, I would not use any rectilinear lens wider than 24mm (on a Nikon DSLR) without a dioptre. Of course they work fine without a dioptre, but better with. But I am not going to try and persuade anyone to use a dioptre - if they don't want to it is fine by me.

 

Thanks for the info Alex. You had me at "personally", your photos are convincing enough. I read up on a couple diopter threads and the "dome theory" piece and they sound like a good idea. Am I right to say they work on a similar principle to magic filters - adjusting a lens' focus range to better suit the dome's closer virtual image like a magic filter adjusts the camera's white balance range to better suit the colour u/w?

 

Do you guys find that one diopter works best based solely on the dome like the article suggests? (Suggests a +3 for a 20cm/8" dome like my aquatica). Should I go solely on this suggestion or buy a +2 and try that too(for my 12-24 and later 17-55)?? What brands are best? B+W?

(should i be asking this in another thread?)

 

cheers,

chris

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Howdy,

 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a 17-55 that I've been using for surface shots but can't currently house it. It is so spectacular (see gratuitous land shot below) that I am changing housings (well, for this and the Sigma 10-20, and just general upgrade...).

 

All the best,

Chris

 

NightCypresses.jpg

Cypresses, egrets and cormorants in fog, lit by streetlight. Nikon D70 and 17-55 AF-S at 17mm, f2.8 for **10s** with dark noise reduction, ISO200. Shot last night around 9PM. Uncropped. AF locked!!!!!!

 

The fact that this was lit by a streetlight will give you an idea of what a surreal place Baton Rouge is...

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