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Best wide angle lens for Nikon D850 in Nauticam housing

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This is ongoing issue in all photo forums above or below water, suddenly you have extra resolution and when you look at the corners at 100% in Photoshop you discover that the image does not look as sharp as the lower resolution older model, therefore the new camera causes poor corners. In fact the corners are the same as they always were and the image will look the same if you downsample to 36 MP or whatever the resolution of the previous model was.

 

The actual situation is you can't take advantage of that extra resolution in the corners because the lens does not resolve that well in the corners.

Hi Chris, I am aware of some of these discussions and I am also aware of some debunking them.

We have to keep in mind, that even the old lenses available today were designed for film "resolution" A good quality film photo, still holds more data than the top line of digital full frame cameras. We know that not all lenses are made equal, but I can't recall ever hearing in the film days that soft corners were blamed on film having too much resolution power.

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This is ongoing issue in all photo forums above or below water, suddenly you have extra resolution and when you look at the corners at 100% in Photoshop you discover that the image does not look as sharp as the lower resolution older model, therefore the new camera causes poor corners. In fact the corners are the same as they always were and the image will look the same if you downsample to 36 MP or whatever the resolution of the previous model was.

 

The actual situation is you can't take advantage of that extra resolution in the corners because the lens does not resolve that well in the corners.

 

Indeed, well articulated, but has it been definitively shown somewhere? Personally I just don't see it both topside and underwater.

 

All I've read are allusions to the idea on forums - primarily before the D800 came out in 2012. I've not seen much mention of it since (thought it was debunked) until here and now with the D850 UW.

 

Of course I've always been a firm advocate for using the best optics possible and when asked I advise people of the importance of lenses vs cameras (and of shooting vs fussing about gear).

 

I can somewhat see the idea from a "get-the-most-from-your-high-res-camera" perspective but not that one's image will suffer due to some larger relative discrepancy between the sharp center and unsharp corners. That acceptable optics on a D810 (or even D700) may no longer be such on a D850.

 

I shoot a lot and just haven't seen it. Though I'm not much of a pixel peeper.

 

I can't recall ever hearing in the film days that soft corners were blamed on film having too much resolution power.

 

I believe that the current best wide angle/dome combo for 36mp camera is also the current best combo for 45mp camera. :)

 

Agreed.

 

Cheers,

Chris

Edited by Undertow
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It all boils down to what you find acceptable (and what you plan to use them for.)

 

Personally, whilst I like the image that Chris posted very much, I find the corners too much of a distraction from the beautiful framing and lighting. Hence it would not be a keeper for me. I guess this is pretty definitive (for me...)

 

I saw another example from WPOTY a few years ago. It showed an amazing moment during an incredible encounter on the sardine run, but (for me) was ruined by the fact that the photographer had chosen to use a 14-24mm and the corners were soft.

 

Encounters like this are hard to get. Surely we owe it to ourselves to use the best tool possible to capture it?

 

Comparisons with film are tad dated. In terms of resolution, we are way beyond what 35mm film could do. 46MP (and arguably 36MP) would be the equivalent of medium format. The few people that shoot/have shot this medium with film underwater have really struggled to get acceptable corner performance with wide angle....We also need to be cognizant that in the days of film, a well composed, exposed and focused image was comparatively rare. The ability that digital imagery gives us to address these three issues have raised the bar of what makes for an outstanding image.

 

Adam

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Arrggh. Going through this now. I rented a D850 and used it with my Sigma 15mm FE and Nikon 17-35 behind a 170mm Zen (as its hard to travel with a 9" dome) for a trip in Dec. But I'm biting the bullet and will have a Saga 9" dome for an upcoming trip to Palau.

 

Adam, have you tried your Tokina 17mm 3.5 with your D850? I found one that's dirt cheap used...

 

While the Nikon 8-15mmFE is probably the sharpest of the lot of FEs, I'm not so sure I'd get that much more out of it than the Sigma 15 FE, especially with a larger dome.

 

I agree that the 17-35mm f2.8 is about the same as the 16-35mm uw. My experience is that an f2.8 can't help but catch focus better than an f/4 lens and I mostly use it for larger animals. I do have the S&S "filter" and will give that a test. I think the 9" dome and 70mm extension it should be ok.

 

But I'd like even more reach for shy big animals. 35mm wasn't enough reach.

 

I'd like to try to shoot the 60mm in DX mode for macro, as I miss using it with some diopters against the 105, we'll see how that goes.

 

Anybody shot the 60mm for big animals? Maybe behind a dome? Kinda weird, but it was a trick on DX.

 

Jack

Edited by JackConnick

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Have any of you tried the Sigma 20/1.4 ART? Once I sell my D810/NA-D810 and get my NA-D850 I may rent one and give it a try.

 

I have 16-35/4, 20/2.8D, and Sigma 15mm FE & a Zen170 and Nauticam 8.5 port -- for now.

 

Regards,

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I am going to try the 14-24 f/2.8 on a Subal ND850 with a 65mm EXR and a 9" dome later.

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But I'd like even more reach for shy big animals. 35mm wasn't enough reach.

 

I'd like to try to shoot the 60mm in DX mode for macro, as I miss using it with some diopters against the 105, we'll see how that goes.

 

Anybody shot the 60mm for big animals? Maybe behind a dome? Kinda weird, but it was a trick on DX.

 

Jack

 

 

We occasionally do some pelagic shark stuff here and I usually shoot a midrange zoom (17-55mm on DX, now 24-70mm on full frame). The long end comes in handy. In fact my profile thumbnail is a tiger at about 60mm behind a dome.

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Hi Jack,

 

Sorry I missed your comments above. I haven't shot the D850 underwater yet. To be honest, the D500 is so good that I am in no rush!

 

Hence I have not tried the Tokina 17mm. I will shoot the D850 soon and will try it and report back....

 

I shot the 60mm behind a 100mm Zen dome on the D2Xs years ago. It was fine, but limited for macro as the dome meant you could not get the lens close enough.

 

I think the issue with sharks/big animals in the blue is more one of lighting than focal length.

 

Adam

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