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CMOS 1

new uw lens

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I have seen these in a couple of places, but have never had the opportunity to use one or actually see one, but going from the specs posted on their website, there are a few points that would concern me.

 

50% zoom through seems like a pretty big compromise. The website claims "Zoom-through of 50 percent...allows for superb macro videography or close-up fish portraits". From my experience, 50% isn't anywhere near enough zoom to allow for "superb macro".

 

The port seems to have been tested extensively with the HC1, but there's no information regarding testing with other cameras. In order to claim compatability with all PC / MC and TRV housings, testing, at least on a small scale would obviously need to be conducted.

 

The claim of focus distance on their website: "Closest focus 25 mm or 1 inch from front of the glass. ...no extra close-up lens needed." is also another spec from the HC1 that could be drastically different between different camera models.

 

Warranty: I am not certain, but there could be a warranty issue with using an "aftermarket" port other than one that has been tested and approved by Gates.

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Every lens design is a compromise. The difference being exactly what variables are being compromised. My main motivation for designing the HDVSEATEK Seadragon 110 lens was:

 

1) I do not like travelling with big, heavy lenses (that even require a flotation collar for stability UW!).

 

2) I do not see the point of having full zoom through for most UW videography because of image quality deterioration and stability/image shake issues at the tele end of the range.

 

3) I do not like excessive flare/ghosting when shooting into highlights (sun, diver's lights, etc) because of too many elements in the lens port design.

 

As far as warranty issues...have you heard about the large "multi-element full zoom" designs that have had elements pop out during transport in midair...apparently due to lowered cabin air pressure. Sure, it has only been an issue a couple of confirmed times in Australia that I know of, but ...

 

I am an underwater photographer first ( have been since 1967) and became a designer/manufacturer simply because I did not like performance and/or weight of the available lenses and lights that were commercially available. I use what I make.

 

I've just returned from an expedition videoing White Pointer sharks...2 or 3 sharks in the frame at the same time...a super-wide lens was vital. Small lens/housing profile was a joy to use in the cage. Superb Hi-Def results!

 

Yesterday I shot High Definition macro exclusively of tiny, recently born Leafy Seadragons...same lens, partial zoom, no close-up lens. Superb macro results!

 

I'll upload some frame-grabs to the Gallery page in the next few days to illustrate this point.

 

Different Sony HDV compact camcorders have slightly different focal lengths...however all are perfectly compatible with the Seadragon 110 for 2.5 inch port Gates housings. (The 110 lens for Amphibico is soon to be released).

 

There will always be resistance to new ideas/designs that that do the job better/easier...just seems too good to be true...

 

I haven't used my "original brand" full zoom-thru lenses for about a year now since the initial field comparisons/evaluations...anyone want to buy one?

 

Cheers,

George

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