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james

Wideangle - Which would you choose?

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Hi Gang,

 

There has been a lot of talk about add-on wideangle lenses lately.

 

Given the choice between putting a wideangle lens on the camera BEFORE putting it in the housing, OR using a removable lens like the INON, which would you choose and why?

 

How good are the "optics" on the aftermarket add-on lenses? Do you get much "zoom" range w/ an aftermarket lens on?

 

How does this compare to name brand wideangle lens made by Nikon or Canon for example? What if you can use the full zoom range with these lenses on? Does this "make up for" the fact that you can't change the lens underwater?

 

Any thoughts appreciated.

 

Cheers

James Wiseman

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Hi, jarnesw

This is the first posting on here.

I will choose removable lens.

I learn by experience, When I dived for taking photos of wide angle objects, but there were not good objects but

many good objects for macro were.

Don't you have a such case?

On that case, if it is a removable one, then I can deal both objects.

 

and the other reason is , I think wideangle lenses that are released from camera makers doesn't have

an ability for underwater use on its angle. As you know, if you use it with flat port, then the image is

magnified about x1.3. But this problem will be away soon, I think dome ports for digital camera housings

will be developed and supplied.

 

If so, I want to use Nikon fisheye conversion lens in underwater.

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Hi again,

 

Interesting post. I guess sometimes you just can't have it all...but with digital you can get pretty darn close...:)

 

You can't have macro, normal, AND wideangle all in one dive, but with the Coolpix, you can at least get GOOD macro and medium close focus (the focal range of the coolpix is about the same as what a strobe will cover).

 

My question is "How good are the optics of an "add-on" lens?"

 

If they were great, why would anyone use a Nikonos? Why not just use a Motormarine instead? You can change the "add-on" lenses on the Motormarine, right?

 

Well IMO, the reason people choose the Nikonos is that while it may not be as adaptable UNDERWATER, it has superior optics.

 

Same goes for the Nikonos 15mm lens. You can't change it out underwater of course, but why would you want to?

 

I am tending to think that I would probably rather have superior optics/photos than adaptability. You can't do everything on one dive.

 

Cheers

James

 

[Edited on 1-26-2002 by jamesw]

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I use the Ikelite housing with Coolpix 950 camera... I always keep the WC-24 wide angle lens attached (inside the housing), as it works great even for macro shots... perhaps not as well as without the wide angle lens, but I'm pretty happy.

 

I used to use the MMII, and was very happy to have the ability to swap lenses on any given dive underwater. As people have mentioned from time to time, there are situations where I've lost time switching lenses, or mixed up the camera distance settings per the particular lens, but frankly I think that's just people grousing that don't have that capability!

 

Being able to switch lenses underwater was a true advantage in some situations, and with the immediate feedback and automatic capability of digital cameras, I think most of the drawbacks are even more petty!

 

I truly wish my housing had a flat port, and a bayonet attachment to use my old MMII lenses! I really liked the 16mm Sea and Sea lens...

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Hi James,

 

when i was looking for a housing, the ability to change lenses underwater was a very important criteria for me. I used to change constantly between wideangle and macro with my old Motomarine camera, invaluable when there is a constant mixture of sharks and nudibranchs around and you'd hate to miss one of them.

The quality of the Motomarine lenses was ok, especially compared to the builtin lens of the camera. Both add on lenses increased the quality.

 

Changing lenses under water is no problem, once you get used to it, using a lens holder is a definite plus.

 

Right now i'm waiting for someone to share his experiences using the motomarine add on lenses with the PT-010.

 

Regards - Sabine

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I posted the following review to steves-digicams underwater forum a couple of weeks ago. I hope it fits the bill for you:

 

Sea & Sea have recently released an adaptor for the Olympus PT-010 housing. This screws in to the filter thread on the front of the housing. Once there it provides a bayonet fixing for Sea & Sea’s range of lenses for the Motormarine Cameras.

 

The adaptor will attach all the Lenses available. The full range of which is as follows:

 

1:2 Macro

1:3 Macro

20mm Wide Angle

16mm ultra wide (weitwinkel) Angle

 

I have tried out all of the above lenses. However the two wide angle lenses are not recommended and I can see few times when they would be useful. This is because to avoid vignetting the zoom on the camera must be at the telephoto end of the range. When this is combined with the 16mm lens the resulting image has a smaller spread than using the wide angle end of the original camera lens. The one advantage is the ability to focus more closely than the original camera lens.

 

The adaptor is primarily designed for the two Macro lenses and it is these that I have tested. I have not had the opportunity to try out this rig in the ocean yet but have conducted tests in the bath. Roll on that holiday to the Maldives in February.

 

The adaptor screws on to the filter thread at the front of the housing. It is very important to apply a bit of silicon grease to this thread to prevent sticking of the adaptor. When unscrewing the adaptor the direction of turn is the same as that for the front ring of the housing. If the adaptor sticks it can loosen the front ring of the housing. This will cause the housing to flood. For this reason I would not recommend removing the adaptor ring underwater.

 

The additional lenses attach to the adaptor by means of a bayonet fitting. They must be turned to click into position. Both lenses have a plastic handle attached which is used to attach the framer. It is important to ensure that when the lens is in place the “handle” does not block the sensors to the left of the lens (when looking at the front) on the body of the camera.

 

The two macro lenses are designed for use with framers that are supplied with the lenses. One of the advantages of using these lenses with the Olympus housing is that the framers can be discarded. In fact the framers are not effective as the area that the lenses resolve is significantly smaller than the original framed area. This is a result of having to use the camera at full telephoto instead of 35mm, the lens that the Motormarine camera has.

 

Lens: 1:2 Framer Width: 9cm Ca.Size of Image: 2-3cm

Lens: 1:3 Framer Width: 14cm Ca.Size of Image: 4-6cm

 

In use the camera must be zoomed in to maximum telephoto to avoid vignetting of the picture. At any less than full zoom the picture will have fuzzy corners or indeed at wide angle have a circular border.

 

The following pictures show approximate size of image using a UK 1 pound coin which is 2.3cm across with the additional lenses compared with the standard Olmpus lens.

 

http://www.pbase.com/markyprior/sea__sea_macro_adaptor

 

The lenses are both wet lenses and must be attached underwater. This allows the space between the glass front of the housing and the back glass of the lens to flood. This is essential for correct focus.

 

The downside of these lenses is that the front of the lens must be reasonably close to the subject to obtain focus. This is coupled with a relatively small sweet spot of distance from subject outside of which it is difficult to obtain focus.

 

The 1:2 lens is in focus at approximately 4 cm from the target and the 1:3 lens at around 11cm.

 

If you already possess the macro lenses then the adaptor is an essential purchase although very over priced (at least in the UK).

 

I look forward to trying these out in the wild at the end of the month.

 

Mark

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Hi Mark,

 

thanks for the report. It seems that the Motormarine adaptor ring and lenses are out of the race for me now, because i wanted o be able to change between macro and wideangle during the dive. If the MM wideangle lenses require a full zoom, they are useless to me. And if changing from MM macro lenses to an INON wideangle lens requires changing the adaptor ring and risking to flood the housing, using them is simply too dangerous.

 

That leaves the INON lenses or maybe the ones for the Tetra housing.

 

Fortunately I've got sime time left until i finally have to decide which leses to buy - my next dive trip is planned in april.

 

Sabine

 

BWT:

Maledives !!! I'm green with envy !!!

I used to go there in February too, nice weather, good visibility, lots of sharks and manta rays.

Which island/atoll are you going to ?

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Hi Sabine,

 

I have enhanced my equipment with the INON UCL330 and UWL100

With the UCL330/UWL100 you can use the full zoom range of the Olympus C3030 underwater.

And I found that there was another good reason for the INON lenses. You can use them on land. Here are some pictures:

http://www.pbase.com/uwdigi/samples

Because of very strong conditions during our last dives I wasn't able to make more pictures to compare.

 

But in a few days (4) we start for our holiday on Bonaire and I hope I will get some more pictures this time.

 

Udo

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James, If you house your CP 5000 you won't have

need of an add on macro lens. The 5000 already

will focus to 1:1 macro with it's native lens. This

should be it's big advantage over other digital cameras.

 

I took some wide angle senics with the 19mm Nikon

add on lens. Great Optics!

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Yes Dave, you hit the nail on the head. The coolpix series wins hands down when it comes to macro. You don't need ANY macro add-on lens with this camera, like you do w/ the olymus line, etc.

 

In fact, with the Coolpix 5000, you can go from macro ALL THE WAY OUT TO 28mm WITHOUT CHANGING LENSES. That is simply amazing.

 

To see what I'm talking about, all of these shots were taken w/ NO add-on lenses:

 

www.reefpix.org

 

Combine this with an EXCELLENT 19mm NIKON lens, and you have a 3 punch combination. I too purchased the 19mm lens, but I lent it to someone to play with. I really would like to be able to take this lens underwater for close focus wideangle.

 

Cheers

James Wiseman

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Have you looked at the Light & Motion Tetra housing for the Oly C4040? It has Wetmate underwater swapable 100 degree wideangle lens and macro as well as a standard flat port. Go to their website at uwimagin.com

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I always kept the EC-24 wideangle lens on my Coolpix 990 while shooting, and never noticed any softness. And, I loved that with the lens on I could still get really close to animals for macro shooting.

 

However, when shooting with Oly setups, the third party removable lenses were really, really horrible. They were soft enough to be considered blurry around the edges! I think we were using Inon and L&M wide-angle lenses.

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The light and motion add on lens is very expensive. Does any one know if the optics justify the price.

 

James, any reply from Ike on using the WC 68 wide angle in their 5000 housing?

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I haven't seen the add-on, but I do have the normal wide angle lens, and it's a beautiful piece of glass. I want the add-on, I am sure it's worth the money.

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Hi Dave,

 

You'll probably get a kick out of this, but I actually sent the WC-E68 to Ikelite to play with...:)

 

They have been experimenting with the lens and different ports both in and out of the water.

 

Hopefully Ike or Larry will chime in here with their results. I haven't talked to them since they did the pool tests so I'd hate to "misreport" any of their finding.

 

FWIW, Larry at Ikelite REALLY likes the lens. Since the lens "front" doesn't move, you can still use the camera's zoom and you can use a nice wideangle port.

 

Cheers

James Wiseman

 

[Edited on 2-13-2002 by jamesw]

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Does anyone know if it is possible to invert the wideangle lenses that do work with the PT010 housing (ie not the MM2EX 16/20mm lenses as detailed above) so that they can be used with the MM2EX?

I don't really want to buy 2 lenses so it would be great. Can they be screwed into the sea and sea adaptor and then fit that to the MM2?

 

heres to saving money - which with UW photography is almost impossible!

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Hi Davemak,

 

It's impossible to adapt the Olympus PT wide angle lens to the Motor Marine II camera for a number of reasons.

 

1. The Sea and Sea PT lens adapter comes with a bayonet type lens mount similar to the Motor Marine II lens mount.

 

2.The Sea and Sea WAL L and the INON UWL-100 type 2 comes with a screw on mount .

 

 

Allan

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Thanks for the info Allan,

 

I haven't seen any of these lenses so it was a blind assumption.

I'm seriously considering the Oly and housing but would like to have lenses that I can swop between that and my motormarine.

Did somebody say that the lenses that fit the oly housing can be used in air?

 

Cheers,

Dave

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Dave,

 

Yes, you are exactly right. The wide angle lens for the PT-010 housing like the Sea and Sea WAL and INON UWL-100 type 1 and 2 can be used topside.

 

GO DIGITAL!!

 

 

Allan

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has anyone tried the Light and motion wide angle adaptor lens? Does its optics justify its much higher cost? Thanks.

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This is probably going to sound a really dumb question but I need to check before i get wet:

 

The WA conversion lesn for the Pt10 from sea & sea - can you remove this UW or is it attachable only above the surface?

I didn't get any manual or anything with and I want to double check.

 

Ta

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It isn't the lens for the MM2 - its the screwthread version for the Oly houisng - Digital Wide Angle 0.56x Lens - or so it says.

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These Olympus lenses are wet swappable and work best with water behind the lens.

 

Just be careful when you take it off that you don't lose it. Sea & Sea make a caddy for the lenses which is quite useful for storing them when not in use (can be attached to any strobe arm although fits best on a Sea Arm IV)

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The Sea and Sea caddy will hold standard Sea and Sea MMII bayonet mount lenses. It will not hold the lenses specifically designed for the Oly PT-010 as they are sized to fit that housing (and the Ike housing with the same size thread on the port).

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So you're looking for a place to put the big UWL-100 when not using it u/w? What I have done is I took the female end of a metal filter stack cap (the opposite threading of a normal lens cap) and drilled a hole in the center. Since the threading isn't deep enough on the lens cap to reach the threads of the UWL-100, I took a 67mm-72mm and threaded it on then a 72mm-67mm to get it back but give it some depth. I then threaded my mounting bolt for my ULCS tray through the hole of the lens cap and tightend everything down. I now have a place to screw my UWL-100 into when not in use.

 

[Edited on 4-10-2002 by rstark]

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