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simon bomholt

What wideangle to choose for canon 7dmii

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Hi guys

i have taken the step and went from my loved compact kit and bourght a housing for my canon 7dm2.

I am mostly macro geek, and have that part covered, but as i am planning to do a komodo tour i also want i wideangle.

Many people talk very good about the tokina10-17 fiseye, but as i also shot alot of pics on land, i am a bit afraid of the whole fisheye thing ( i dont like those super bend pics)

Will it work wonders under water or is there a rectilinear lens that is better??

Thanks in advance

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Hi Simon

 

I quite understand your dislike of the fisheye thing above water.

 

But it's a whole different game underwater where there are few (no?) straight lines to bend. If you are shooting, say, a diver against the reef you will hardly notice the FE effect at all. A couple of pics are attached.

 

If you are shooting DX, the Tokina 10-17 is great - and, yep, I think horrible above water. But below the waves it works really well and the zoom gives you increased capability.

post-2756-0-11795800-1528010534_thumb.jpg

post-2756-0-49599000-1528010543_thumb.jpg

post-2756-0-17911100-1528010552_thumb.jpg

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Many of the pics will hopefully be mantas and also sunfis to clarify that if it makes it different

 

No, it doesn't make much difference. Here's a manta with a Tokina 10-17.

post-2756-0-34246400-1528022100_thumb.jpg

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10-18mm is also an option but would require a larger dome and proper extension ring. I personally like how the 10-18mm works underwater but use my Canon 8-15mm way more. A big advantage of using a fisheye lens that focuses close, like the Canon 8-15 or tokina 10-17, is the ability to use a small dome, which is easier for travel, easier to light your subject without strobe flare, and the ability to get really close to subjects with close focus wide angle technique. 10-18mm is good for shooting Wrecks (straight lines) and somewhat good for shooting large fish like sharks. The fisheye is just more versatile and I don't think you will miss the rectilinear once you get used to it.

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Many of the pics will hopefully be mantas and also sunfis to clarify that if it makes it different

 

As Tim stated, the Fisheye lens like the Tokina 10-17mm on Dx camera underwater is a different animal than compared on land. The benefit of such a wide angle of the Tokina 10-17mm especially as 10mm is that you can fit a whole large animal like a Manta in the frame as well as being nice and close to get good coverage from your strobes to light the subject. Get close and have the strobes positioned well is the secret.

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I like a fisheye lens for subjects that allow you to get close (like mantas.) A fisheye lens will often allow you to focus closer. If a fish doesn't get as close (like some sharks) then a zoom lens can be better. I bought a large port that will work for both. I just add an extension tube when shooting with the zoom lens.

 

The only time I notice fisheye distortion is when there's a person in the corner of the frame or very close to the dome. Then they are not flattering.

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I use two different wide angle lenses with my 7DmkII. I would use the Tokina 10-17mm for mantas, as mentioned above. But I also have a Sigma 17-70 that I use, both on land and underwater. On land it's a good all-purpose lens. Underwater, with an 8-inch dome, it goes pretty wide while still giving me the option to zoom in a bit if the sharks aren't getting close enough or I want to control exactly how much of the reef ends up in a scenic.

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I found the Sigma 17-70mm a bit useless underwater as its not wide enough for me for wide angle and its not that good for macro on the other end as you have to use it with a big dome. I think there are few others are like me who bought the lens as it was discribed as a great general purpose lens and ended up using it for a few times before retiring it to the collection of dust gathers.

 

Regards Mark

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I agree that the Sigma 17-70 Macro is no Jack of all trades underwater and certainly not a good underwater macro lens. However it does retain a useful specific but more occasional role in my lens collection as a flexible fish portrait lens. It has a good reach for shy creatures but also allows you to fit in all but the largest species that allow closer encounters..

 

Mark

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I found the Sigma 17-70mm a bit useless underwater as its not wide enough for me for wide angle and its not that good for macro on the other end as you have to use it with a big dome. I think there are few others are like me who bought the lens as it was discribed as a great general purpose lens and ended up using it for a few times before retiring it to the collection of dust gathers.

 

Regards Mark

 

Just to help Simon, the OP, there are a few discussions on WP if you search around about the usefulness - or otherwise - of mid-range zooms.

 

I'd be wary of suggesting what the consensus might be (!), but there is a school of thought (and I'm one of them) that, generally, if you are diving to take serious photographs, rather than diving with a camera to record what you might see, it makes better sense to chose the lens for the occasion rather than go for a mid-range.

 

I'm with Mark, those mid-ranges are great above water - but underwater they always seem either not wide enough or not macro enough. After much trial and error, I came to the conclusion that, for me, it's either shooting reefs/divers/wrecks and then the fisheyes or fisheye zooms are great; big critters/wrecks with wide-angle rectilinears - or macro.

 

I find u/w lens choice very different from topside. Topside it's rarely an extreme lens. But underwater the effect of water density, loss of light/colour transmission and the need for proximity to subject impacts significantly on lens choice and pushes selection to the extreme.

 

(I can't believe I was able to have those thoughts - and write them down - so early in the morning.... :crazy: )

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The photo of mine that people comment on the most was taken with a Canon Digital Rebel 300D using the 18-55mm kit lens. So never say never.

 

CRW_9931.jpg

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well, i am still confused.. if i go diving, meet a big napoleon, frogfish or rhinopias, i still want to get good pics.. will the tokina also work for those things?

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well, i am still confused.. if i go diving, meet a big napoleon, frogfish or rhinopias, i still want to get good pics.. will the tokina also work for those things?

Depends how close you can get. With the later two you’d need to be no more than 12” away and you’d be able to photograph it against its habitat or the backdrop of the reef. It can make for spectacular pics - rather than a “fish portrait”.

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well, i am still confused.. if i go diving, meet a big napoleon, frogfish or rhinopias, i still want to get good pics.. will the tokina also work for those thi

 

You can think of a fisheye lens as a dive photography lens if that helps. It allows you to get very close and get it all in. This helps with lighting because the closer you get, the easier it is for your strobes to effectively light your subject. With a small dome you are able to get inches from your subject. So the Napolean (if its friendly), rhinopia and frogfish are also doable, and you will have enough space to add a diver or a sunball for depth and scale... which can greatly enhance the impact of the photo. Honestly my advice for someone starting out with cropped sensor is to get a fisheye lens and a 60mm lens. Most things are covered with these two lenses. As your macro photography advances you can get the 100m and go crazy with diopters. I personally would not bother with a mid range zoom for photographing wildlife underwater. Shooting through water degrades your IQ. The further you are from your subject, the more water you shoot through, and the more detail/clarity you will lose. A good rule of thumb for starting out in underwater photography is to get close, then get closer if possible. Once you master this technique then you can adjust to your personal preference. The photo of the turtle is a good example. That photo would be difficult to get with a fisheye lens because in order to fill the frame you would have to get very close to the turtle. The lighting detail and overall IQ would be good, but you would scare off the cleaner fish. So there will be trade offs with the fisheye, but its the best place to start IMO.

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And the new Canon 35mm macro lens is good for fish portraits and does 1:1 macro. Sea and Sea just came out with a port for it, so even more reason to skip the mid range zoom.

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I use three lenses underwater: fisheye, wide zoom, and macro. The wide zoom is useful for medium to large fish like sharks, wrasses, and turtles. You can get a mini dome (5") for fisheye use, but that port won't work for wide zoom. So I got a big dome (9") and extension tube for my wide zoom. That way I can use the dome by itself for fisheye or add the extension for wide zoom. I don't use the wide zoom as often but there are certain dives when I would miss it.

 

If you do a dive and have the wrong lens/port for your subject? Well that's life as an underwater photographer. Take a macro shot of the whale's eye. :)

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And the new Canon 35mm macro lens is good for fish portraits and does 1:1 macro. Sea and Sea just came out with a port for it, so even more reason to skip the mid range zoom.

 

Any reports on the quality of this lens yet? The $299 price tag makes me wonder. I am an avid fish portrait fan, but sometime the focal length of the 60 mm is too long (on cropped sensor), and am looking for an alternative.

 

Thanks

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