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First u/w lens suggestions?

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I picked up my new D80 2 weeks ago as my first DSLR and have only had a 35mm P&S for u/w shots up until now. I probably won't buy a housing and stobe until next spring on account of funding and getting to know the camera topside first.

 

What should I be thinking of in terms of lenses when housing this camera? Is there a commonly suggested, try it all lens? I have a nikkor 18-55mm dx lens which seems to be the most appropriate fit that I own or perhaps the 50 f/1.8?

 

Photography plans include simple macro, fish shots, and probably the occasional head & shoulders type shots of divers. Diving would be caribean trips (bonaire) and NC coast diving which includes some 10' viz green water. Any suggestion appreciated.

 

Thanks.

-Barry

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A great starter lens is the nikkor 60mm micro AF-D f/2.8. (I kind of wish nikon made a 40mm micro lens for their digital cameras because the 60mm is a 90mm equivalent with the digital crop factor.)

 

For wide angle, look at the 12-24mm or the 16mm fisheye. (nikon makes nice glass; but, other companies make similar lenses for less money)

 

As with any lens, spend time learning what it can do _and_ what it can't do. Pick a subject on land and shoot a few hundred concept shots within 4' of your subject to get an idea of what shooting the lens underwater would be like. (4' is about the maximum distance your strobes can be from a subject for color, you quickly lose contrast and detail beyond about 3' in water)

 

Take Care,

ChrisS

 

Photography plans include simple macro, fish shots, and probably the occasional head & shoulders type shots of divers. Diving would be caribean trips (bonaire) and NC coast diving which includes some 10' viz green water. Any suggestion appreciated.

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I'll second the Nikkor 60mm micro as a start. It will allow you to do pretty much all that you mention: macro, portraits, etc.

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I quite like the 18-55 Nikkor and would recommend this lens. As a cheap kit lens it will not get a lot of wetpixel fans. Folk will often refer to its likely inferior image quality. You may find it a very useful zoom range.

 

I like it for the simple fact you can cover quite a range of subjects with it, especially as it and it focuses down to a respectable 28cm. People are often advised to start off with a 60mm macro lens but I frequently find this just too long and no good for largish creatures. I've often used this lens in preference to the 60 in order to get closer to subjects, reduce the amount of water between camera and lens and so get a cleaner, sharper image. The 60 does is of course better for the very small stuff or for fish portraits.

 

The 18-55 range though is a dilema when it comes to ports choices. From about the 24 to 55 range I reckon it is fine behind a flat port but if wanting to use it wide - using it behind a dome is optically better. It is a small lens so an extention ring is probably only needed behind a dome. There is also the cost of a zoom gear to consider.

 

If cost is an issue I'd get started on the 18-55 you already have and get additional macro and wide angle lenses later to increase the scope of what you can do.

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You may want to do a search for 'Nikon lenses' on this forum. There have been at least 4 or 5 similar threads in the last few months alone. There has been a lot of good discussion. Choices generally discussed for Nikon lenses are 10.5, 12-24, 17-55, 60 and 105, then there are a lot of discussions comparing other manufacturers with Nikon

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You may want to do a search for 'Nikon lenses' on this forum.

I paged through this forum before posting but only saw 2 or 3 pages of posts present. I'll try the search feature some more.

 

Thanks for the suggestions, I may very well start with the cheapie 18-55 till I decide what type of photography I'll concentration on most.

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