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eman

a6000 lens for underwater + underwater case

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hello guys!

I just found this forum, wow!

great to meet you all.

 

I used to have an underwater camera, nothing fancy it was a canon ixus.

 

now I am thinking to buy a new camera for underwater and also for normal use.

 

I think I will go for a next a6000 that I saw it does good videos too.

As I am not a pro, I don't know much about lenses and adaptators and accessories... I am going crazy in order to understand what I should buy and don't buy something that it won't fit on the camera.

 

what I would like to buy is: of course the camera, 1 lens for every use (like a 18-200mm?) and now I read that for underwater it is better (of course) to get a macro lens. then I need an undewater case up to 30-40 meters.

 

questions:

 

1.can you please advices me and give me few options for a lens that goes around 18-200 mm? few options with different prices.

 

2. which camera lens for underwater photos? I like macros but should I go for a specific macro lens or more of a "normal" lens ? like 18-50mm ? of course a macro lens should be perfect for macro photos, but would I stil be able to take photos of, for example, more wider shots like other divers or whale shars? I know the question sounds stupid but do you know what I mean? I would like to have a lens (for underwater pics) that is good with different situations. as I am not pro, what do you advice? again please, different solutions with different prices.

 

3. underwater case up to 30-40 meters. I don't need anything fancy. I saw that there is a case from Nauticam that goes up to 100 meters, but it is expensive and that is not what I need.

are the cases for a6000 all so expensive? nothing way cheaper?

 

thank you guys for the reply, please try to be not toooo technical in the replies :)

 

Emanuele

 

 

 

 

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oh I forgot to say, a lens like the sigma 18-35 F1.8 that I saw great reviews about, would it fit my a600 or does it needs an adaptator? I read that if you put an adaptator on a lens, the lens won't work with AF because it doesn't interface with the a6000 (in my specific situation).

 

if this lens fit the a6000, would it be a good lens for underwater photos? cause I think it would be a good lens for normal usage (not underwater), correct me if I am wrong

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eman wrote:

"3. underwater case up to 30-40 meters. I don't need anything fancy. I saw that there is a case from Nauticam that goes up to 100 meters, but it is expensive and that is not what I need.

are the cases for a6000 all so expensive? nothing way cheaper?"

 

In case you don't dive frequently, don't go deep, and don't need the housing right away, Meikon should soon come out with a plastic alternative (less than $250) with quality similar to P&S cases for the A6000 with the 16-50mm kit lens only. This one is for the NEX-6:

 

 

Meikon also makes an inexpensive (less than $250) 0.7X wide converter for its housing (amazon).

 

Don't know how reliable Meikon products are so you should do some research online. I've recommened these plastic cases to my friends mostly for kayaking and snorkeling.

 

If you dive frequently, the aluminum housing is the only way to go.

Edited by A.Y.

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thank you for the reply.

 

I usually dive only once or twice per year so I think that kind of underwater housing can be good for what I need, right?

 

when you say that the case should go with the "16-50mm kit lens only", does it means that goes ONLY with that lens or up to a 50mm lens?

so it can be a smaller lens, but not longer than 50 mm?

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Long zoom lens do not work in underwater ports unless they are specific macro lenses behind a flat port at fixed focal length

 

The 16-50 lens would be ideally placed behind a dome port and that would not take a long lens.

 

So forget about your 18-200 underwater it is not going to happen

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thanks Interceptor for the reply.

 

if I get a 16-50 lens in the underwater case, am I able to zoom in and out right? it doesnt stay fix.

 

also what I mean is, if it says that support 18-50mm lens, does it means that if I get a 60mm it won't fit in the housing?

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thanks Interceptor for the reply.

 

if I get a 16-50 lens in the underwater case, am I able to zoom in and out right? it doesnt stay fix.

 

also what I mean is, if it says that support 18-50mm lens, does it means that if I get a 60mm it won't fit in the housing?

If you get a cheap housing like the meikon it will only work with one lens.

If you get a housing with changeable ports like Nauticam you will need a different port for a different lenses but yes it can be done as long as the lens has a compatible port

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I bought five Meikon housings for me and my diving fellows last year. Great finish and extremely affordable. I flooded one of my Nex5n cameras but again that was only my own fault

However, the buttons did not work below the depth of 19m, even after Meikon's replacement. The buttons kept dancing once you get deeper.

 

So currently available reliable housing for A6000 came from Nauticam. If you plan to dive it using the kit lens 16-50, remember to buy the zooming kit as well.

While diving, we usually use prime lenses, say super wide or fisheye or macro lenses. I have never found any usefulness of 18-200 underwater.

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I have the new Sony a6000 and any day now, the Nauticam housing but not sure about what port or ports to get though. There seems to be a few ways to go with macro and wide angle ports and lenses and some are really $$$$. Any ideas on the best of both macro and W/A? Should I use a dedicated set up for each or is there a way to do both at the same time? Thanks1

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Don't select the Zeiss Touit 50 mm Macro - it is useless with the a6000 and flash. There is a 3 second delay between pressing the shutter and activation. Zeiss claim to be working on a fix but how can they release this lens, after all the delays, without testing for this simple function.

 

Update: 23 June.
Just received this from Zeiss
"Yes, this flash problem with the Sony cameras could be solved with a firmware update for the Touit lens. A new firmware is under development and is scheduled to be released during this summer.
When a new firmware update is available, we will inform you by email."

 

My response to Zeiss

"During this summer" is a very long time - surely you can do better than that.
Meanwhile I have spent a lot of money for a lens that is useless to me.
I am not impressed - I think this fault to be easily identified and rectified before the lens was released - it was in development for long enough. Did you not test it on the camera before releasing it?
Edited by jander4454

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Further response from Zeiss

"In most cases, macro lenses are not used together with a flash, so the problem was not obvious immediately. It is a very special problem of interference of lens´ and camera firmware, so unfortunately it takes some time to be solved."

They clearly don't understand their market - how many of us UW photographers need flash to fire our strobes?

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I have the new Sony a6000 and any day now, the Nauticam housing but not sure about what port or ports to get though. There seems to be a few ways to go with macro and wide angle ports and lenses and some are really $$$$. Any ideas on the best of both macro and W/A? Should I use a dedicated set up for each or is there a way to do both at the same time? Thanks1

 

 

here is a list of options available

 

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=45055&p=342667

 

I think the most common stock options will be

  • 30mm macro with the nauitcam 45 Macro port
  • 16mm+FE Adapter behind the 4.33in Dome

Also the 10-18mm looks a decent non fisheye WA contender.

 

Unfortunately, there are not a ton of options. Fortunately the options are easy to digest.

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Further response from Zeiss

 

"In most cases, macro lenses are not used together with a flash, so the problem was not obvious immediately. It is a very special problem of interference of lens´ and camera firmware, so unfortunately it takes some time to be solved."

 

They clearly don't understand their market - how many of us UW photographers need flash to fire our strobes?

 

That seems like a really odd response from them. They released a promo video of a German photog using the 50mm macro for studio portraits!

 

I get that UW photographers are not their core target market, but its absurd to think someone shooting macro would not need flash. There are loads of examples of flash based macro (ring lit bugs or flowers, back lit bugs/flower, product photography, etc).

 

Sounds like they just BS'ed you.

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Sounds like they just BS'ed you.

 

They are full of it!

 

I've now heard from the supplier of the lens that the fix should be "in a month or so". I can't believe that it should take so long to identify the cause of this problem and get the fix made and this time tested. They make it sound as if they have no idea where to start. The lens works fine on my old NEX-5.

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I have the new Sony a6000 and any day now, the Nauticam housing but not sure about what port or ports to get though. There seems to be a few ways to go with macro and wide angle ports and lenses and some are really $$$$. Any ideas on the best of both macro and W/A? Should I use a dedicated set up for each or is there a way to do both at the same time? Thanks1

Zeiss 12mm w Zen Nauticam to Sea&Sea adapter and Zen DP170 dome for Sea&Sea work very well on my Nauticam housed NEX-5n.

Makes for a small package to shoot W/A and CFWA. The adapter is needed to function as an extension port to fit lens within the dome.

Reefphoto has a good article on the setup. I have had mine on 3 dives so far and I am quite happy and never really was with Sony 16mm w or w/o adapters.

Should work well with a6000.

 

One issue however is the width of the Zeiss 12mm at its far end being to wide to fit thru the port in the housing. So to install the package you have to start with the dome removed from the adapter and the lens removed from the camera body. Install the camera body into the housing, shut and lock the back door. Mount the lens on the camera body thru the adapter. Finally install the dome on the adapter. This is a bit of a hassle but it works.

 

Regards

Marc

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Zeiss 12mm w Zen Nauticam to Sea&Sea adapter and Zen DP170 dome for Sea&Sea work very well on my Nauticam housed NEX-5n.

Makes for a small package to shoot W/A and CFWA. The adapter is needed to function as an extension port to fit lens within the dome.

Reefphoto has a good article on the setup. I have had mine on 3 dives so far and I am quite happy and never really was with Sony 16mm w or w/o adapters.

Should work well with a6000.

 

One issue however is the width of the Zeiss 12mm at its far end being to wide to fit thru the port in the housing. So to install the package you have to start with the dome removed from the adapter and the lens removed from the camera body. Install the camera body into the housing, shut and lock the back door. Mount the lens on the camera body thru the adapter. Finally install the dome on the adapter. This is a bit of a hassle but it works.

 

Regards

Marc

Thanks for the info Marc.

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Emanuele,

 

The Meikon A6000 housing is now available: http://www.dansarosa.com/meikon-sony-a6000-underwater-housing-waterproof-case-10831.html

 

Some useful information and underwater images on the Meikon products:

Meikon housing: http://www.lcimagery.com/2014/05/meikon-underwater-housing-first-impressions/

Meikon glass wide-angle adapter: http://www.lcimagery.com/2014/05/meikon/

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1. Never think of bringing 18-200 down. Even on land, this lens is sloooooooooooooow in focusing.

2. A dedicated macro lens plus/minus a closeup adapter is the best solution. Be sure you bring a video torch for lighting. Currently Sony 30mm macro will do the job. A Zeiss version of 50mm selling around 1K will also be good.

3. Nauticam offers the best housing. The cost is high but the it is well justified by the depth, ergonomics, availability of ports and good after sale service. If you buy the Meikon housing, you will sooner or later know its limitations.

4. The advantages of Meikon housing

a. good price, incredibly low

b. light weight

c. good resistance to water...my 5n Meikon did not get any leak at 40m

It also suffers from several weaknesses

a. The buttons cannot resist water beyond 19m (my experience)

b. Lack of zoom gear

c. Lack of port supporting various lenses.

 

Obviously Meikon is selling this housing to other water/outdoor sports rather than scuba diving

The rated 40m is also an obvious weakness because I have seen various plastic housings leaked at 40m

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I shoot a NEX7 in a Nauticam housing and absolutely love the ergonomics and Sony 24MP APS-C sensor. The A6000 is even better at focus, etc at a lower price point. As you're seeing, many of us NEX users are still struggling with lens and ports for a high IQ compact underwater system, which is why we went with mirrorless to begin with. The Zeiss Touit 12mm has been rated as the sharpest lens available underwater, going beyond Canon and Nikon SLR's. Yet as Marc has pointed out, it normally needs an expensive 2 piece dome and adapter to work due to it's physical width. However, what many don't know, is the bell shaped shell on the lens is cosmetic or functions solely for the lens shade mounting. The lens is fully functional without this outer shell allowing it to fit in the Nauiticam NEX 4.33 and 7" domes. My Z12 is in Germany at the moment having the front cover (which hides the shell mounting screws) removed (it's glued on). Zeiss has been great and agreed to remove this cover for me at no charge other than shipping it to their NY service dept.

 

I will soon be able to experiment with the lens in the 4.33 compact dome. This is a FE (fisheye) dome and not ideally suited for wide rectilinear lens due to the dome's extreme curvature, so I may lose corner sharpness, but I don't believe anyone has tried it "real world" yet. I'll soon find out when the lens arrives. Should IQ suffer from the 4.33 dome curvature, the Nauticam 7" dome will work perfectly, but unfortunately, will add to the size of the compact system for travel. Yet, the good news is it's less than half the price of the Zen DP170 & adapter ($550 vs $1,200) and much lighter. It also will not require the 2 part dome/lens installation that Marc explains above.

 

I'm hoping it will perform in the small 4.33 for travel purposes and also because I have a 20mm extension which will allow me to use my S18-55 lens in the 4.33. I've figured out a way to adapt my Port 72 flip macro mount to the 4.33 port and like the idea of still having the kit lens for single dive versatility in WA and M. Again, because of the 4.33 curvature, I may have trouble with the corners at 18mm? The good news is, the N 7"dome finally has a zoom gear for the Z16-70 which will be a higher IQ replacement for the 18-55. Putting my flip macro mount on the 7" will be more of a challenge though….LOL.

 

For super-macro I'm using the exceptionally sharp Canon 60 EF-S macro and Aquatica +10 diopter with a Metabones adapter in Nauiticam's custom NEX port which offers some autofocus (slow, but works) and more important for macro, manual focus, which the shorter 50mm Touit set-up does not have. Sony's Focus Peaking is a fabulous tool underwater. Plus, the added 10mm over the Touit makes the lens longer in 35mm equivalency which is an added bonus, as the Sony "NEX" system doesn't have a long macro. Perhaps Nauticam will make a 2 part NEX port for the upcoming Sony 90mm FE e-mount macro, but that's a BIG maybe and certainly a long ways off. 90mm on a cropped APS-C body makes a great working distance macro, comparable to the more popular C100 and N105 macros, which are the most popular for SM. I'm sure many NEX macro shooters are keeping their fingers crossed…..

 

If I had to do it all over again, I would have considered the more mature 4/3 system with it's large and sharp lens selection. Yet, I print large and like the 24MP Sony sensor and can't afford to change systems in mid-stream. Fortunately, Sony's systems are slowly catching up.

 

Welcome to the expensive world of UW photography. It's kind of hard to cut corners with cheaper equipment. Purchasing a used NEX or 4/3 system rather than trying to get a cheap housing to work, is a better option in my opinion.

 

Cheers,

 

Marsh

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I shoot a NEX7 in a Nauticam housing and absolutely love the ergonomics and Sony 24MP APS-C sensor. The A6000 is even better at focus, etc at a lower price point. As you're seeing, many of us NEX users are still struggling with lens and ports for a high IQ compact underwater system, which is why we went with mirrorless to begin with. The Zeiss Touit 12mm has been rated as the sharpest lens available underwater, going beyond Canon and Nikon SLR's. Yet as Marc has pointed out, it normally needs an expensive 2 piece dome and adapter to work due to it's physical width. However, what many don't know, is the bell shaped shell on the lens is cosmetic or functions solely for the lens shade mounting. The lens is fully functional without this outer shell allowing it to fit in the Nauiticam NEX 4.33 and 7" domes. My Z12 is in Germany at the moment having the front cover (which hides the shell mounting screws) removed (it's glued on). Zeiss has been great and agreed to remove this cover for me at no charge other than shipping it to their NY service dept.

 

I will soon be able to experiment with the lens in the 4.33 compact dome. This is a FE (fisheye) dome and not ideally suited for wide rectilinear lens due to the dome's extreme curvature, so I may lose corner sharpness, but I don't believe anyone has tried it "real world" yet. I'll soon find out when the lens arrives. Should IQ suffer from the 4.33 dome curvature, the Nauticam 7" dome will work perfectly, but unfortunately, will add to the size of the compact system for travel. Yet, the good news is it's less than half the price of the Zen DP170 & adapter ($550 vs $1,200) and much lighter. It also will not require the 2 part dome/lens installation that Marc explains above.

 

I'm hoping it will perform in the small 4.33 for travel purposes and also because I have a 20mm extension which will allow me to use my S18-55 lens in the 4.33. I've figured out a way to adapt my Port 72 flip macro mount to the 4.33 port and like the idea of still having the kit lens for single dive versatility in WA and M. Again, because of the 4.33 curvature, I may have trouble with the corners at 18mm? The good news is, the N 7"dome finally has a zoom gear for the Z16-70 which will be a higher IQ replacement for the 18-55. Putting my flip macro mount on the 7" will be more of a challenge though….LOL.

 

For super-macro I'm using the exceptionally sharp Canon 60 EF-S macro and Aquatica +10 diopter with a Metabones adapter in Nauiticam's custom NEX port which offers some autofocus (slow, but works) and more important for macro, manual focus, which the shorter 50mm Touit set-up does not have. Sony's Focus Peaking is a fabulous tool underwater. Plus, the added 10mm over the Touit makes the lens longer in 35mm equivalency which is an added bonus, as the Sony "NEX" system doesn't have a long macro. Perhaps Nauticam will make a 2 part NEX port for the upcoming Sony 90mm FE e-mount macro, but that's a BIG maybe and certainly a long ways off. 90mm on a cropped APS-C body makes a great working distance macro, comparable to the more popular C100 and N105 macros, which are the most popular for SM. I'm sure many NEX macro shooters are keeping their fingers crossed…..

 

If I had to do it all over again, I would have considered the more mature 4/3 system with it's large and sharp lens selection. Yet, I print large and like the 24MP Sony sensor and can't afford to change systems in mid-stream. Fortunately, Sony's systems are slowly catching up.

 

Welcome to the expensive world of UW photography. It's kind of hard to cut corners with cheaper equipment. Purchasing a used NEX or 4/3 system rather than trying to get a cheap housing to work, is a better option in my opinion.

 

Cheers,

 

Marsh

Hi Marshall. Good to hear of your progress with the NEX system. My daughter and I have graduated from the NEX-5N to the A6000 and confirm that the latter's autofocus is very good. For wide angle and fish eye we are using the glass Zen 170 Mk II dome. For rectilinear the Sony 10-18 is a nice sharp fully automatic lens with this dome. We have come up with a more unusual but quality combination for fisheye. The popular Tokina 10-17 fits in this dome together with a Novoflex NEX/Nikon converter. This is a fully manual preset combination. Zoom preset usually at 10mm. so used like a prime. The aperture was preset to a relatively shutdown value and focus to an intermediate point providing a very wide depth of field and great images. Exposure controlled with shutter speed and ISO in camera. Without a port extension the lens is a bit far forward in the dome. Subsequent to our last trip, we have found that the 30mm port extension rectifies that and doesn't vignette, but this is yet to be tested in the field. The port extension has a slightly narrower internal diameter than the dome port itself and necessitates slipping off both zoom and focus rubber grips. I have now custom made a focus gear that works very well and will add focussing flexibility on the next trip and allow a wider aperture to be used.

 

For a mid-range scouting lens, the Sony Zeiss 16-70mm works well behind the same dome without extension. Nice and sharp - makes a great lens for larger stuff like sharks.

 

For macro we eventually bought the Zeiss 50mm macro and use it behind a macro port 45 and the 30mm extension. Again a very sharp lens, although so far only used for a couple of hours underwater. I agree with your assessment that a slightly longer focal length would be advantageous underwater by providing a longer working distance. However, the autofocus works well. With the camera set up for back button focus, in my opinion manual focus is unnecessary. I very rarely use manual focus with my DSLR system, but do sometimes release autofocus and gently rock the housing back and forth to optimise the focus point. We haven't so far used a wet diopter with the Zeiss lens so don't know how usable it will be at super-macro magnification.

 

For travel, the system isn't too bulky - one macro port 45, one 30mm extension and the 170 dome serves the 4 lenses. Although the Tokina Fisheye works adequately behind a compact dome when stopped down, my reading is that rectilinear lenses are very unlikely to provide adequate peripheral performance behind such small domes due to the extreme curvature of the virtual image.

 

Mark

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Hey Marc, good to hear from you.

 

Looks like I'm not the only one futzing with NEX. I must say you take the trophy for creativity in that regard! One of the nice things about the DP170 and adapter system is the ability to experiment. I'll keep your ideas in mind as I move forward. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on the Z12 w/ 4.33, but not all that hopeful for the curvature reasons stated. The decision to go with either the N7" dome or the DP-170 will follow and your information points to the latter for creative purposes. With a combination of S&S ports, one can experiment with a # of lens that otherwise would never fit the Nauticam mini-port system, even on the macro end. The 2 part Canon 60 port I bought is quite wide and around the length of the announced Sony 90mm macro being released sometime in early 2015. I'm sort of hoping it might fit the port, since there's extra room without the Metabones adapter and the reported dimensions look promising. If not, I guess we'll see what Nauticam comes up with or possible configure something with the DP-170 set-up, something I'm sure you will explore. :-)

 

Cheers,

 

Marshall

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Hi Marshall, yes we do have to work a bit harder and think outside the box to get the best out of the NEX / E-mount systems. For the Tokina fisheye lens, we might have been better to use a Canon mount one and the Metabones adapter as this I believe provides electronic aperture control. The reason for not going that route was the expense of the Metabones adapter and the fact that I already had a Nikon mount Tok to experiment with.

 

After waiting all that time for the Zeiss macro to come to market and then have its firmware upgraded to work properly, it sounds as though we will have to go back to the waiting game for the Sony 90mm FE macro. I doubt it will fit in the Nauticam mini port system, but with some sort of port adapter .... I haven't seen any dimensions published. Do you know likely length and diameters?

 

Mark

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For a mid-range scouting lens, the Sony Zeiss 16-70mm works well behind the same dome without extension. Nice and sharp - makes a great lens for larger stuff like sharks.

 

If I read you correctly, you're running the 1670Z with the same adapter and domeport than Zen sells for the 12mm Zeiss - right? If so, does the 1670Z focus at every zoom length without a diopter? How did you fit the zoom gear through the Zen step-up adapter - or do you already have the new one with 77mm inside diameter? Or are you using some kind of Nauticam adapter to the Zen dome?

 

Thanks,

Paul

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Paul,

 

If I read you correctly, you're running the 1670Z with the same adapter and domeport than Zen sells for the 12mm Zeiss - right?

Not quite - same glass but different mount. This is the Zen DP170-N85-II. This is the 170mm dome for Nauticam m4/3 and Sony NEX systems with a built in 30mm extension. No adapter or further extension is needed with the 1670Z. Phil Rudin started an extensive thread on this dome within this forum.

 

does the 1670Z focus at every zoom length without a diopter?

Almost certainly yes. The 1 week trip we used these combinations on was primarily wide-angle, so we used the 1670Z for only one dive with pelagics, and as such it was probably used mostly towards the long end of the zoom range. We didn't methodically check at the 16 end. However Nauticam support this lens with their own acrylic 170mm port without need for a diopter and this is equivalent to the glass DP170. I also checked with Ryan Canon from Reef Photo / Zen before purchasing and he confirmed compatibility of the 1670Z without diopter.

 

 

How did you fit the zoom gear through the Zen step-up adapter - or do you already have the new one with 77mm inside diameter? Or are you using some kind of Nauticam adapter to the Zen dome?

The beauty of this version of the DP170 is that it doesn't need a step up adapter, and with the 1670Z it doesn't need an additional extension. There is therefore plenty of space for the 1670Z zoom gear.

 

When it came to using the Tokina 10-17 fisheye with Novoflex Nikon/NEX adapter, space was much tighter when an additional 30mm port extension was added. However there was still just sufficient space to design a custom gear that passed over the Tok barrel with rubber grips removed but still provided clearance within the port extension.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Mark

Edited by MarkD

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