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malley1717

HELP: Do I need a DSLR?

  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. DSLR/NO DSLR

    • GO FOR IT
      10
    • WAIT IT OUT
      8


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Thanks steve. What is the consensus on buying refurbished camera bodies or used camera bodies from amazon etc.? would save a couple hundred to put toward glass

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malley 1717,

i am glad that you liked the D90 and i am sure hat you won't be disappointed.

Refurbished cameras are basically cameras they got back due a warranty issue and repaired professionally by the manufacturer.

I prefer to have a new camera rather than one who was already broken, opened again and fixed professionaly.

Some hints about the D90:

1. i would think twice to get (for above water) the D90 bundled with the 18-105mm VR zoom as i am not very satisfied with the quality of the lens.

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 18-200mm 1:3.5-5.6GII ED, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR. or the cheap but excellent AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II

2. For underwater, the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye or the 11-16mm wide angle and a 60mm or 105mm macro and your lens bag is complete

3. The battery last very long, i never run out of battery power

4. Get the fastest card - minimum Class6 - you can get

5. If you would like to buy the Ikelite housing consider that you have to use electrical triggered strobe(s) as the internal strobe will no open fully and not fire

Also make sure that you get the new housing with 4 port locks and not the "old" one with only 2.

 

Chris

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<br />ok i just got back from best buy a few hours ago. I was playing around with the D90, D5000, Canon T2i, and Canon 50D. I really think i like the Nikon D90. It felt really solid in my hands and i loved how easy it was to change camera settings. What would be the best place to look into buying one? Ebay? Wait for a used one to pop out? Just go to best buy or ritz photo? Thanks for the help.<br /><br />Max<br />
<br /><br /><br />

 

 

good choice... i'm using D90 too..

 

I have some situation like you before...What i do is get a use set frist "save money", try out and see i'm comfortable with u/w DSLR or not. If u really like it, love it and only get your dream set like what i'm now

 

Nauticam housing, 8.5" dome (Zen 4" dome may be soon), Flat port, 2 SnS 110a strobe, Stix Floats with UCLS 8" x 2pcs and 5" x 2pcs ams, focus light, thinkTank and ect...

D90 camera, tokina 10-17, 105mmVR + (67mm +6 close up lens)

Edited by ckchong

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Right now I have the ikelite DS-160 so I would almost surely get te ikelite. I have had good expirences with them. Thanks for the advice on lenses. How should I choose between te 60 and 105 mm macro lenses. Thanks

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In this case get the Ikelite housing and another DS-160 (or maybe the "Video"strobe DS-161) and a Y cable.

Some dealers sell the housing with the tray and 2 handles while the strobe package including the Ikelite ball arm.

The included Ikelite ball arm is of good quality but with a lenght of 6'' a bit short so you may get a additional 8'' elements and a clamp

per arm to have maximum flexibility positioning your strobe(s). Check what will be more economic for you, upgrading the Ikelite arms or

start from scratch with TLC or ULCS arms.

The discussions about 60 or 105mm macro lenses are endless and are influenced by personal taste, habits and dive locations.

Basically the only difference is the distance to the object as the 105 is almost the double "tele" as the 60mm.

This has some vantages and some disadavntages.

 

105mm macro (min focus distance 1 ft to get 1:1)

+ better for shy creatures as you can stay further away from them and they may stay in pose

+ the ideal lens for calm, clear waters and shy critters

- more difficult to handle in surge or current to his focal lengt, more difficult to view object and more prone to blurry pics due movement

- may be too distant to object in bad viz as it will need too much "water" inbetween lens and object

 

60mm macro (min focus distance 0.6 ft to get 1.1)

+ easier to handle in surge or current

+ theoretically better image quality in low viz due less "water" in between

- closer focus distance will spoke some fishes away

 

I would suggest to start with the AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED as it is more easy to use as the 105mm and cheaper to.

The "old" AF Micro Nikkor 105mm 2.8D is discontinued and very difficult to find, if you find one in good conditions

and have some spare $$$ buy it, it's a exceptional lens.

Stay away of the new 105mm VR lens, many have problems using this lens under water due focussing and hunting issues and

many photographers go back to the "old" 105mm making it really hard to find and pricy too.

Here is some discussion about the 105mm VR lens: http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/nikon-nic...5-mm-micro.html

 

I suggest to get quotes for the whole package at specialized uw-cam dealers as the provide usually a superior service as the big internet shops and they have the knowhow to guarantee

that the setup they suggest will work.

 

Chris

 

P.S. i just discovered that Reef Photo is selling the Tokina 100 macro. Tokina makes very well priced and sturdy metal lenses and i always was wondering why nobody is using this lens as she get

very good reviews. This may be a solution to save some $$$.

Edited by ChrigelKarrer

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Hmmm, the T2i squeezes 18 MP on a APS-C sensor... Is this a good thing and would it work???

It would be interesting to see how she performs under water.

 

The price of 7000-9000$ you estimated for a new and complete DSLR rig is (unfortunatly) realistic,

a used and well maintained rig will be about 25-50% off that horrific sum.

 

Chris

 

Just for fun I configured a Canon T2i/Nauticam system with the Canon 60mm macro and the Tokina 10-17 FE

 

Canon T2i (Nauticam Housing) 60mm macro, 10-17 FE

 

Canon T2i camera body $800

Canon EF 60mm f2.8 macro lens $392

Tokina 10-17 FE lens $580

Nauticam Housing $2300

Nauticam Macro Port C60 $460

Nauticam focus gear C60-F $155

Zen DP-100 100mm dome port $900

Nauticam zoom gear TC1017-Z $135

ULCS BA-TG T-groove adapter (2) $48

 

Total $5788

+ 7% sales tax $6193

 

This assumes I use my current dual S&S YS-110As, sync cords, ULCS arms/clamps. If you add those pieces/parts ($1800) the total is back to..... $7993. Seems like nothing changes. :D However if I was in the business of rationalizing this (hobby) I could say it would really 'only' cost $6193 minus the price I could sell my current Canon G10/FIX housing for. That makes it closer to 'only' $5000. Quick! Where's my credit card.....

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Thanks for answering all of my question so quickly, thoroughly, and accurately. I am mostly looking into the Ikelite housing because of the lower cost, because i already have an ikelite strobe, and because i have had a good experience with ikelite with my G10 setup. My question has to do with the port system. It seems like the standard port system is about half the cost of the modular port system. What is the main difference and which would you recommend? thanks

 

 

Max

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Max,

 

Macro:

Do you plan to dive in clear water? If then get an AF-105-VR and the single port for it. If not get the 60MM and the port for it. Possibly the new 85 is a good compromise but I havn't used it.

 

Wa:

Tonika 10/17 in a dome

 

Don't confuse GP land lenses with underwater lenses

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The sense of the Ikelite modular port is that you can build with a few port rings your port, without buying several dedicatet ports.

Our modular port system allows you to build a port out of universal components to accommodate a variety of macro, zoom, and wide-angle lenses. The interchangeable port bodies and extensions combine to create endless combinations for maximum versatility and performance.

This system can become also handy when you would like to use a lens where no dedicated port is available and or you like to experiment with various lenses.

 

I personally prefere to have as less ways where the cameras natural enemy called water could enter the housing and the idea to have 1-3 more o-rings is frightening me a bit.

I would suggest that you buy the dedicated ports for the lenses you use.

 

Chris

 

 

I just had fun and made a shopping list for a Ikelite D90 rig:

$$899.95$$$D90 Body

$1329.95$$$D90 Housing Ikelite

$$649.95$$$Tokina ATX-116 PRO DX 11-16mm

$$599.95$$$Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f2.8G ED

$$849.95$$$Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-200 F3,4-5,6 ED VR II (for land use)

$$140.00$$$Ikelite flat port for Nikon 60mm micro nikkor (approx)

$$190.00$$$Ikelite 6'' domeport for Tokina 11-17mm (approx)

$1139.95$$$Ikelite DS-161 Strobe package with dual cord

$$$94.95$$$Ikelite Smart Charger for Strobe

$$371.50$$$ULCS 8'' and 5'' arms with 3 clamps ( 185.75 x 2, one for each side)

$$$47.90$$$ULCS base adapter for Ikelite quick release handle ( 23.95 x 2, one for each side)

$$$45.90$$$ULCS strobe adapter for Ikelite DS strobes ( 22.95 x 2, one for each strobe)

$6359.95 $$$Total

 

Consider that you will get 1 Strobe, 2 double segment ULCS arms and 1 zoom lens for above water use...

Edited by ChrigelKarrer

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Thanks for scaring me chris...

 

Is there any practical difference between the 6" and 8" ports?

 

 

Off to rummage through my possessions and list them on ebay...

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also, another question

 

what is the difference between (for example) the 60 mm macro lens and an 18-105 lens set at 60 (or 105)?

 

THANKS

 

 

Max

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also, another question

 

what is the difference between (for example) the 60 mm macro lens and an 18-105 lens set at 60 (or 105)?

 

THANKS

 

 

Max

 

There are a number of factors to consider.

 

First: prime lens versus zoom lens: Prime lenses generally provide better optics because they are simpler. Zoom lenses have more complex internal element/group configurations which results in 'compromised' optics over the zoom range. Most macro lenses are considered to be among the optically sharpest lenses within a manufacturers lens product line.

 

Second: More importantly for a macro application, macro lenses usually have a shorter minimal focal distance than other lenses. This allows a higher magnification factor and magnification factor is generally what you're most interested in when shooting macro.

 

Third: For the UW macro application it's highly advantageous to have a lens with internal focus mechanism. Ie, the lens does not extend/retract when focusing. This allows the lens port length to be optimized (shortened). This helps because it allows you to get closer to your subject. Same thing applies to zoom lenses that extend/retract. It requires a bigger/longer port to allow the lens to extend.

 

Fourth: Macro lenses are generally optimized for a flat focal plane across the whole lens (corner to corner) whereas non macro lenses tend to have a more arced focal plane (resulting in softer corners).

 

Check out this Canon lens chart (I'm sure Nikon has something similar). Canon used to include the magnification factor in this lens chart. Not sure why they removed that column. http://www.usa.canon.com/app/pdf/lens/Lens...r_chart_new.pdf

Edited by onewolf

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Thanks onewolf. thats really helpful. I figured it had something to do with being able to focus at closer ranges, but i hadnt thought about the other points you made.

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Thanks for scaring me chris...

You should not be scared, but you should see the truth... Actually the price for a complete Rig including camera, strobe, lenses is not so bad.... The given price is "as listed" and you may get some discount on it.

Continuing with your G10 will cost you ways less and it's your decision if 4000$ will make so much better photos. or you may buy

a used housing/rig to save some $$$.

 

I have the port for the 18-105mm but almost never use it as i find the 18-105mm is quite useless as

the lens distorts ugly on 18-24mm and vignetting and tele lenses are not very useful for underwater images.

 

 

Chris

Edited by ChrigelKarrer

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Many of us have asked the same questions. Last year I moved up to DSLR from P&S. So glad I did. Here is a thread from last year on the D90 that has a lot of information about this camera, lens and housing questions. I hope this link takes you there.

http://wetpixel.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t31724.html

 

Good luck with your search and decision.

 

DiverPam

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ahhh I just got back from best buy again and one of the sales reps was kinda talking me into the canon T2i or the canon XSI. Granted, everyone has their own preconceived notions and this may have just been a "canon guy." It did get me thinking about the two options. The associate told me that the canon has better (sharper) image quality and at half the price it is borderline appealing. The only thing i had against the canon right off the bat was it just felt cheaper and more "plasticy" (if you know what i mean) in my hands and i definitely prefer the layout and user controls of the nikon. Thoughts anyone?

 

Thanks!

 

Max

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Well, I would stick w/ the camera that feels right in your hand. The Canon T2i is a much newer camera than the D90 so naturally has better features and image quality, but it only has one command dial so is a bit trickier to use.

 

Cheers

James

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ahhh I just got back from best buy again and one of the sales reps was kinda talking me into the canon T2i or the canon XSI. Granted, everyone has their own preconceived notions and this may have just been a "canon guy." It did get me thinking about the two options. The associate told me that the canon has better (sharper) image quality and at half the price it is borderline appealing. The only thing i had against the canon right off the bat was it just felt cheaper and more "plasticy" (if you know what i mean) in my hands and i definitely prefer the layout and user controls of the nikon. Thoughts anyone?

 

Thanks!

 

Max

Looking through this thread; I'm exhausted. One rule though, NEVER listen to a camera sales rep at a regular store when choosing a camera for underwater use - they know NOTHING about underwater photography. Choose a camera, Nikon or Canon that when placed in your housing of choice will provide you with maximum ergonomic control of all the cameras controls. This should be your primary consideration in my opinion when moving from P&S to DSLR, otherwise you are wasting the advantages of a DSLR and may as well stick with P&S.

As for image quality, it is so overrated in the context of today's available cameras particularly at the non-pro level. Every camera on the market today under most shooting conditions will not only provide fantastic quality, but I challenge anyone to tell one camera from the other for any standard image size displayed on the web, or for average size prints. Hell I just enlarged my paltry 12MP camera prints to 40x60 and at the normal viewing distance they look phenomenal. (Interpolated of course). Despite pixel count which is always a big Canon selling point, 'old' Nikon cameras still rate way high on sensor quality ratings that look more comprehensively at sensor quality and not just at pixel count. The D90 in fact is still way up there, way higher on the DXO sensor evaluations than any Canon equivalent sized sensor camera including the 7D. http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/eng/DxOMark-Sensor

So get the DSLR that gives you access to as many, or all controls if possible, in the housings available.

Edited by loftus

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Well, I would stick w/ the camera that feels right in your hand. The Canon T2i is a much newer camera than the D90 so naturally has better features and image quality, but it only has one command dial so is a bit trickier to use.

 

Hi James,

 

Re: the single command dial. Not sure that I agree that it is trickier to use. For Av or Tv modes, the single command dial controls the aperture and shutter respectively. For M mode, by default it is the shutter, and then by holding down the Av button, its the aperture. I've been playing with this camera a lot and think it is pretty easy to use. Since there is only one dial, it's easy for your fingers to remember where to go to change something.

 

On the Nauticam housing (and from the looks of it from the photos that Jean posted, the Aquatica as well), there is a switch that will hold down this button for you so you don't have to hold anything down to change aperture in M mode.

 

Since I already have Canon glass, it'd be a no brainer for me to go with T2i, though I do the the D90 is an excellent choice too.

 

I'm going to get to take T2i diving next week, and I'll probably write a blog post about how it goes.

 

Cheers,

Cp

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Update: I am the proud new owner of a nikon d90. Te the lens/acessory/uw equipment buying begin!

 

I need to change my vote. :)

 

I just made the plunge from a G10/FIX system into the deep pit of financial despair known as UW SLR systems on Saturday when I ordered a Nauticam 550D housing, 60 macro port, and Zen 100mm dome for the Tokina 10-17 from Reef Photo. All hope is now lost.

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All hope is now lost.

 

A new dawn breaks, sharp and clear. :)

 

Congrats on the new rig.

 

Have fun,

Steve

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