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Pedro Carrillo

HOUSING NIKKOR 70-180 MICRO INTO A SEACAM

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Hi,

 

I´m a big fan of zooms and having already into my weaponry the Tokina 10-17 and nikkors 12-24 and 17-55 it was only a matter of time going for the 70-180 to cover the whole range :P

 

Although I´ve gone thru old post regarding this lens, I had doubts that my dealer in Spain has been unable to clear, so I wonder whether you guys might have some experience with this:

 

1. Can I override the MF/AF control on the lens by using the M/S/C in the camera? This way I will be able to stick with my flat port without going the expense of the Systemport (I am unable to test this since the lens is travelling from the house of a kind ebayer to mine :P )

 

2. If not, how good the AF is? Will I finally need to go the MF way?

 

3. If having to go the MF way without being possible overriding (worst scenary), it is possible to machine the P90 flat port so I get the extra gear I need not having to buy the Systemport? -This question seems to be aimed at Stephen Frink, I know :) -

 

4. Connecting to this, I´ve red that long manual focus gears might bent. My question is: do I need the Systemport for manual focusing my Nikkor 105 VR + Kenko Teleplus 300 Pro (either 1,4X or 2X)? If not and it can be done from the knob at the housing, would the same gear cover both lenghts?

 

5. They also say that do not recommend extending the P90 2-3 times by using extension rings I do already own (20, 25, 35 & 70) in order to house the longer lenses/combos. Not happy about this for both expense and ease of travel. Any comments in this? Should be extendible to all housing brands, I understand...

 

Sorry about such specific questions to other Seacam users...

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Hi Pedro,

 

I'm a Seacam user and I've used the 70-180 underwater, but I now shoot Canon.

 

What most housing manufacturers do - and I can't be sure this is the case for the Seacam systemport - is put an AF/MF shift collar onto the lens. The collar pushes down on the silver button and is geared so that you can use a knob on the port to shift the lens between AF and MF. Since this is a screw drive (non AFS) lens, if you switch the camera MSC to M, you still will not be able to manually focus, as it will grind up the gears in the lens - not good.

 

So if you want to do this properly, the lens will end up w/ 3 gears on it, the MF gear, the AF/MF shift gear, and the Zoom gear. On the Seacam multiport, I think you do the MF, the AF/MF shift from the port, and you use the left-hand knob on the housing for the zoom.

 

Your alternative is to just shoot the lens in manual all the time. You can get away with a focus port, and putting an MF and Zoom gear on the lens. This is probably what you'll do anyhow once you shoot this lens underwater as it does NOT AF well because it is slow (f5.6)

 

Cheers

James

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James is absolutely right. To get AF + MF shift, zoom, and manual focus control you will need a Systemport. As I recall though, I think the zoom and AF/MF operate at the housing, and manual focus via the knob on the Systemport. Last time I set one of those up was in the analog era on Mark Strickland's F100 housing.

 

This would mean you could choose a regular port and shoot & zoom in AF only. Alternatively, I'm sure Seacam could provide gears for any 2 of the 3 functions through the housing, but as James indicated, the third needs a Systemport.

 

 

 

Hi Pedro,

 

I'm a Seacam user and I've used the 70-180 underwater, but I now shoot Canon.

 

What most housing manufacturers do - and I can't be sure this is the case for the Seacam systemport - is put an AF/MF shift collar onto the lens. The collar pushes down on the silver button and is geared so that you can use a knob on the port to shift the lens between AF and MF. Since this is a screw drive (non AFS) lens, if you switch the camera MSC to M, you still will not be able to manually focus, as it will grind up the gears in the lens - not good.

 

So if you want to do this properly, the lens will end up w/ 3 gears on it, the MF gear, the AF/MF shift gear, and the Zoom gear. On the Seacam multiport, I think you do the MF, the AF/MF shift from the port, and you use the left-hand knob on the housing for the zoom.

 

Your alternative is to just shoot the lens in manual all the time. You can get away with a focus port, and putting an MF and Zoom gear on the lens. This is probably what you'll do anyhow once you shoot this lens underwater as it does NOT AF well because it is slow (f5.6)

 

Cheers

James

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Autofocus with the 70-180 is about is slow and obnoxious as any macro lens can possibly be. You can use it if you want under certain circumstances but you will primarily use MF. Giving up AF entirely is not a big sacrifice.

 

The 70-180 is a large, heavy lens, it wants a good focus light, and it lacks AF-S. Otherwise, I love its versatility. I would love Nikon to introduce a follow-on with AF-S in a 70-200 f/4 variant.

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Autofocus with the 70-180 is about is slow and obnoxious as any macro lens can possibly be. You can use it if you want under certain circumstances but you will primarily use MF. Giving up AF entirely is not a big sacrifice.

 

The 70-180 is a large, heavy lens, it wants a good focus light, and it lacks AF-S. Otherwise, I love its versatility. I would love Nikon to introduce a follow-on with AF-S in a 70-200 f/4 variant.

 

At the risk of getting flamed (only joking Craig...) I disagree - it's true the AF on the 70-180 is not the fastest in the world, particularly on the earlier DSLR's like the D100, but it's not bad on the later ones like the D200 & D2x. When the light is low it needs a focus light for sure, but I don't think thats a big deal anyway and the sheer versatility and sharpness of the lens is fantastic.

 

It's my standard macro lens and I would not part with it!

 

Don

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At the risk of getting flamed (only joking Craig...) I disagree - it's true the AF on the 70-180 is not the fastest in the world, particularly on the earlier DSLR's like the D100, but it's not bad on the later ones like the D200 & D2x. When the light is low it needs a focus light for sure, but I don't think thats a big deal anyway and the sheer versatility and sharpness of the lens is fantastic.

 

It's my standard macro lens and I would not part with it!

 

Don

 

I agree with Don. I shoot this lens exclusively with my D200 housed in a NEXUS housing and find the AF bearable. I've only used it in Indonesian waters and rarely even bother to mount the focus light. Here's an AF example with a tough dancing subject taken last weekend in Tulamben.

 

2068754262_1b617f7295_o.jpg

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I would not flame you for that, of course. Some will use AF with older 100+mm macro and be happy with it. My most recent use of the lens is with the D2x in a Subal.

 

I agree that the lens is fantastic and is what I choose almost all of the time. The 70-180 alone is what influenced me most recently to choose the D2x over the 5D. After having used one and losing it to the Canon switch, it was too hard mounting up a 100mm and being happy with it so I switched back. ;-)

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