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whutter

Need Advice: Taking DSLR Underwater Start with Macro or Wide Angle Lens

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I have about two years experience with a Sea and Sea DX-1G and decided it was time to take my DSLR underwater. The DX-1G had the ability to attach a wide angle lens underwater. 80% of my shots are close-ups but not necessarily a macro images.

My underwater camera will be a Canon 40D which has a cropped sensor with a 1.6 focal length multiplier.

Should I start shooting with my 17-85mm f4-5.6 EF-S IS USM or 100mm 1:2.8 EF USM Macro?

My fear is the 100 mm will be to long of a lens. The 17-85 dome does not allow for manual focus and will require a diopter. The lens is also a 67mm filter size and the D250 diopter does not come in a 67mm.

I am leaning towards the 17-85 but advice would be greatly appreciated.

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I'm sure you'll get lots of good advice on this question, whutter.

 

One thing I'd suggest you need to think about is where will you be diving? Is it somewhere good for wide-ish angle? Clear viz? Or if you are diving in mucky-ish water and would macro work better? And what kind of pics are you looking to take, WA or Macro? Both, eh?!

 

Others can advise on using the 100mm on a Canon. I use a 105mm on a cropped sensor Nikon all the time. Its terrific. But they are tricky to use initially and I would normally suggest starting with a 60mm macro on cropped sensor rather than 105mm.

 

If the 17-85 is close focussing I'd be tempted to go with that to start with. You have more versatility. But, as I say, ask yourself the first questions first: where and what?

 

Good luck with it eh? ;)

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It really depends upon what you like to shoot and where you will be shooting.

 

Macro can be shot anywhere and probably gives pleasing results more easily than wide angle.

 

Also the strobes can be smaller and cheaper.

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Hi whutter,

I'm shooting a 40D and I really enjoy the 100mm for macro as long as I'm diving in reasonably clear water. The 60mm is a wonderful sharp lens too. It's has a shorter 1:1 working distance so it's tougher to get close to fish for macro. You can check out the Digital Bonaire group on my Flickr page to see the kind of images you can expect to make using the 100mm. Bonaire was my first time with the DSLR so take it easy on me. ;)

 

The Grand Cayman set also has a few shot with the 100mm. Everything else in those groups was shot with the Tokina 10-17mm. Another way to get a feel for what the lens can do is to go to the Wetpixel Flickr group and do a search for Canon and 100mm. You'll have a hundred or so shots to look through. One caution, some of the folks may be using the lens in combination to get super macro.

 

Have fun with it, which ever way you go and be sure to come back here and share your new stuff with us.

 

Steve

Edited by Steve Williams

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Have a look at the Sigma 17-70mm macro. It's the lens I started with before adding specific wa and macro. It'll let you do macro (athough not at 1:1), and moderatley wide angle. Even now this is one of my most used lenses.

 

Otherwise, look at the 60mm macro over the 100mm. It'll let you shoot a little bit larger subject matter.

 

The 17-85 isn't known as being a great lens in the water. But if you already own it might be worth giving a try.

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Hey Bro! Long time... :D I made the jump from my DX-1G about 5 months ago. The jist of my research came down too 2 lenses. The Tokina 10-17 for WA and 60mm micro Nikkor. Not sure what an equiv lens for the canon would be? I wanted too go with the larger 105mm for macro, but was talked out of it. The reasoning was it would limit me to close ups only. My results with my 60mm on my first trip were mixed. I found it good for portraits of good sized subjects like turtles and rays, the few macros, and I do mean FEW, weren't great. I attribute that too my lack of proper equipment knowledge. A buddy of mine on here has the same set up and recently purchased a teleconvertor for his 60mm. Might be an option for the canon equivalent lens?

 

Like it was mentioned, you need to figure what your dive conditions are to determine which lenses will benefit you most.

 

Congratz on the jump too lightspeed! ;) I'm really happy with the move, and I'm sure you will be also!

 

 

Good luck!!

 

Greg

Edited by sideways

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You might find this weird, but I'd go with a fixed focal length and find out what it can do from different angles and distances. I'd start with a wide-angle in the tropics, but a macro in the green-water areas of the world. I'd take the other lens only after a couple of trips or 30-40 dives. I'd play with different lighting before a different lens, as I've come to believe that makes the most difference to an image. On the other hand, as a Nikonian, what do I know?

 

Tim

 

;)

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I have about two years experience with a Sea and Sea DX-1G and decided it was time to take my DSLR underwater. The DX-1G had the ability to attach a wide angle lens underwater. 80% of my shots are close-ups but not necessarily a macro images.

My underwater camera will be a Canon 40D which has a cropped sensor with a 1.6 focal length multiplier.

Should I start shooting with my 17-85mm f4-5.6 EF-S IS USM or 100mm 1:2.8 EF USM Macro?

My fear is the 100 mm will be to long of a lens. The 17-85 dome does not allow for manual focus and will require a diopter. The lens is also a 67mm filter size and the D250 diopter does not come in a 67mm.

I am leaning towards the 17-85 but advice would be greatly appreciated.

If you are really in to wide angle, then the 17-85 just won't do it very well. On the 40D, the 17 end is like a 27 on a FF so it isn't very wide. I would recommend starting with the 100 or if you can get one, the 60. The 60 has the same magnification as the 100 but is much easier to shoot fish portraits with. I use mostly the 100 and like the lens a lot and it really isn't that hard to shoot with. It focuses pretty fast and I think you will like it. As for WA, I would recommend the Tokina 10-17 but it doesn't appear to be available any where right now.

 

Bill

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Thanks for all of the device!!!

 

I have trouble topside wiht the depth of field on the 100mm macro and that can only be amplified underwater.

 

I also have a Sigma 10-20 and I may make that my first lens.

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Thanks for all of the device!!!

 

I have trouble topside wiht the depth of field on the 100mm macro and that can only be amplified underwater.

 

I also have a Sigma 10-20 and I may make that my first lens.

 

 

You are probably right that if you are having trouble with DOF on land, it will be even harder underwater :(. I think the 10-20 is a better choice than the Canon 18-75mm for starting underwater for a number of reasons, the top one being it focuses closer.

 

Matt

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