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gjaggear

Best Macro Focal Length??

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Hey! I'm a pretty experienced photographer on land looking to explore the other 71% of our Blue planet. From reading WP, most gravitate towards either ultrawide (weitwinkel) angle or macro photography. Im focusing on Macro. Specifically, what is the optimal focal length for most macro opportunities underwater?

 

Longer focal lengths allow for more realistic working distance with your skittish subjects, yet too much distance in even the clearest water can degrade sharpness. Asking those with experience to please float your opinions.

 

Im blessed with a good amount of gear to play with, but can only afford to acquire a housing for one camera/lens combo at this time.

 

My Gear:

Nikon D800 (FX) and D500 (DX)

Nikon 60mm f/2.8D

Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR

Nikon 200mm f/4D Micro

 

My Water:

I'm a Florida native who will primarily be diving in the Keys and Caribbean.

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Well considering you have both lenses, i would say the cost of buying an additional port or extension should not be too much, so go for both. My to go lens for macro normally would be the 105. But at times i do use the 60mm which also allows for some great fish photos.

 

Diggy

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I’m with Diggy. 105mm. Certainly for your D800 but I’m using it now too on the D500 and find it great - but it does take a little getting used to on DX.

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Depending on the subject you will be shooting. I dove at Keys in 2015 before... You can forget 200mm.

105mm is a good start. In the event u need to add on a macro diopter aka wet lens, you'll still have sufficient working distance between the lens and your subject.

Don't worry abt the water between the subject and the lens. In macro photography, the affect is minimal and the backscatter can be controlled by your strobes or your light position.

However, Black water is easier to shoot with the 60mm because it's not easy to compose a subject in blackwater. Subjects are all midwater and most of the time, it's easier to just shoot and crop. It's very difficult to compose a picture...

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Hi,
both are great, depend what your Goal is!
But if you can find one ;-))
Nikon Micro zoom lens 70 - 180mm, use mine on a D500, not all the animals like it, if you push their nose...
Gives you all the lenses above in one dive....
And no, the water between lens and target can be tricky....
Maybe not in Florida in the good season, but in Asia during a night dive, you will have to deal with a lot of plancton in front of your lens....

Regards,
Wolfgang

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Depends on subject size. There's a lot of tiny stuff around but how good are you at spotting it?? I know I shoot in temperate water and have gravitated towards a 60mm full frame equivalent lens because most of the subjects I shoot are larger and floaties can be an issue with greater subject distance. It also depends if you are housing the DX or FX camera, the 60mm might prove perfectly adequate for most subjects on DX but possibly limiting on FX.

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Wow, Thank you all for your responses! I can tell a lot of this just comes with a lot of dive experience. Time to get my feet (and my lens) wet. I think I will start out getting a housing for the D800 + 105mm. That appears to be the most versatile combination of the bunch.

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Wow, Thank you all for your responses! I can tell a lot of this just comes with a lot of dive experience. Time to get my feet (and my lens) wet. I think I will start out getting a housing for the D800 + 105mm. That appears to be the most versatile combination of the bunch.

 

Good choice!

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