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I have the Nauticam LX100, and am about to upgrade to the LX100 II (which thankfully can fit into the existing housing, with a slight modification).

I previously tried the Nauticam WWL-1, but oh my God that thing was a monster. It was so big and heavy and I found it completely unwieldy in the water

 

So I reconsidering my decision -- should I try with a different wide angle wet lens? If so, which one?

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Posted (edited)

If you are willing to go FishEye I would get latest 20mpx M43 camera like GX9 or G95 with an 8mm panasonic fisheye and nauticam housing and 3.5" dome. Very compact , light, and great quality! Of course you would be spending more for the new housing but you would get a lot more flexibility (you could buy an extension and use the same port for the 60mm macro lens for example)

 

Andrea

Edited by nudibranco

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Thanks for the suggestion. I seriously considered that, but decided that the hassle and expense of selling my existing system and buying a new system was just not worth it, at this point. (In a couple of years, maybe). The potential improvement in image quality and video quality isn't enough to justify the expense. I like having a smaller system underwater, easier to manage. But, I am reconsidering the addition of a wide angle wet lens. Any recommendations are welcome!!

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Thanks for the suggestion. I seriously considered that, but decided that the hassle and expense of selling my existing system and buying a new system was just not worth it, at this point. (In a couple of years, maybe). The potential improvement in image quality and video quality isn't enough to justify the expense. I like having a smaller system underwater, easier to manage. But, I am reconsidering the addition of a wide angle wet lens. Any recommendations are welcome!!

If the Nauticam is too big you can try an Inon UWL-H100 with dome or without

It does not provide the same optical quality in fact without the dome it has quite a bit of fringing

All other products on the market have acrylic domes for wet lenses actually glass domes coated are to be preferred as reflections are guaranteed

 

 

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right now i use my "old" Inon UWL-H100 LD Version with my new A6500 Setup with an M67 to LD Adapter.

Not happy at all with that Setup.

 

For the old Setup with the RX100 the wet lens is great. But for the APSC Camera the corner sharpness is really weak i dont like it.

 

End of may i can test the Nauticam WWL-1 lens, i hope it will be better performance. The UWL 09F from Fantasea would be also an option?

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I spoke with Backscatter, and they are going to post a review of the LX100 II soon. They may have some wet lens recommendations.

 

What is the issue with acrylic vs glass domes? I thought glass was more fragile because it’s impossible to repair any scratches in a glass dome vs an acrylic dome. Is acrylic significantly worse optically?

 

I am considering the AOI-Fantasea UWL-09 Pro lens (Glass dome) or the Kraken KRL-01 (acrylic dome). Alternatively I could suck up my pride and try again with the Nauticam WWL-1, for which there is now a flotation collar.

 

If anyone has experience with any of those lenses, I’d be keen to hear about it.

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Wet lenses dome are not the same as standalone dome ports

Standalone acrylic domes are usually not coated so if they scratch you can repair them the optical performance is the same of glass

Wet lenses acrylic domes are usually hard coated with anti scratch materials so if you manage to scratch them they are almost impossible to repair

Glass domes are always coated with anti reflection material

Now in a standard dome port the only reflection you have is any markings on the lens into the dome this is fairly rare and can be managed

In a wet lens dome there are multiple elements of the lens so the light bounces between the front flat glass and the dome internal that if not coated can reflect and generate ghosting

This happens predominantly in backlit shots in all other situations there is no difference

Another difference is scratches if you manage to scratch a glass dome on a wet lens you either see it in water and need to replace the glass or not and all is good

Hardcoated acrylic once scratched even if not visible tends to generate flare in backlit shots

All of the above based on my personal experience with few products and there may be differences with what you find right now

 

 

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Posted (edited)

@Interceptor121

Do you know the quality difference of the wide angle lenses (UWL-H100, WWL-1 and UWL 09F/Pro) when mounted on a apsc camera?

As i wrote i got a lot of soft corners in my images with my A6500 camera. I thought the UWL-H100 performs not that good on APSC cameras for sure with 24 or less mm lenses.

 

Like in this Video, this was the first test of the new setup.

 

Egypt 2019

At the moment i have to make the decision of bying a dome port with the sony 10-18mm or bying a new wetlens like WWL-1 or Fantasea UWL 09.

Thank you.

Edited by Aui-Videography

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If you want to compare dome to wet lens is a totally different story from comparing wet lenses

The op here has an Lx100 I did comparisons between the Nauticam and inon in 2016 when the wwl was released

The buoyancy collar of the wwl makes the lens iighter in water but the whole rig if possible even more cumbersome the float is so big you can’t really park it on an arm segment smaller than 8” however for the lx100 this is not an issue as the short port zoom is tiny

 

 

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Thank you, at the moment it is more the topic of the soft corners. With the Inon i got with the A6500 for my opinion to much soft corners.

I would like to use wetlens because of the felxibility but if the others (WWL-1 and/or Fantasea UWL 09) are also so soft in the corners like the Inon i will go for a wide angle lens with a dome.

 

I thought the UWL-H100 is designed for compact cameras with 28mm maybe this one of the reassons of the soft corners. At my RX100 i do not noticed soft corners that much.

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Thank you, at the moment it is more the topic of the soft corners. With the Inon i got with the A6500 for my opinion to much soft corners.

I would like to use wetlens because of the felxibility but if the others (WWL-1 and/or Fantasea UWL 09) are also so soft in the corners like the Inon i will go for a wide angle lens with a dome.

 

I thought the UWL-H100 is designed for compact cameras with 28mm maybe this one of the reassons of the soft corners. At my RX100 i do not noticed soft corners that much.

You will have corner issues with a dome generally a lens with barrel distortion is better if fish or objects exit the frame

You are probably looking at shooting f/8 or f/11 anyway

 

 

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@Interceptor121

Thanks for the explanation, I very much appreciate it!!

 

I'll be travelling soon to Seattle, and maybe I can check out some wet wide lenses at Optical Ocean Sales. My guess is that any of the options are big and cumbersome. For stills, it's less of an issue. I have the mini-dome, and that restores the lens to its on-land field of view - 24mm in full frame terms. For video, unfortunately, there is more of a crop - to about 32mm in full frame terms, which kind of bites (it's actually more of a crop on the LX100II than the LX100). But despite this flaw, I like the camera a lot - the images are even better, the colors are quite pleasing. And the lens has a very close focus, which I find useful underwater. HOWEVER, a wet wide lens could be really nice for video, to give that wide open feel, and claw back some extra scope in the angle of view (especially with large pelagic creatures). I want to see reviews of the AOI-Fantasea UWL-09 Pro lens and the Kraken KRL-01, and ideally handle both and see how I find them.

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@Interceptor121

 

Thanks for the explanation, I very much appreciate it!!

 

I'll be travelling soon to Seattle, and maybe I can check out some wet wide lenses at Optical Ocean Sales. My guess is that any of the options are big and cumbersome. For stills, it's less of an issue. I have the mini-dome, and that restores the lens to its on-land field of view - 24mm in full frame terms. For video, unfortunately, there is more of a crop - to about 32mm in full frame terms, which kind of bites (it's actually more of a crop on the LX100II than the LX100). But despite this flaw, I like the camera a lot - the images are even better, the colors are quite pleasing. And the lens has a very close focus, which I find useful underwater. HOWEVER, a wet wide lens could be really nice for video, to give that wide open feel, and claw back some extra scope in the angle of view (especially with large pelagic creatures). I want to see reviews of the AOI-Fantasea UWL-09 Pro lens and the Kraken KRL-01, and ideally handle both and see how I find them.

I don’t know the difference in specs but consider that other than nauticam all lenses are made by the same contractor so the lens will be the same

As far as I recall the lx100 has a 24mm lens maybe get a wetlens that covers it and then you can shoot stills 24mm equivalent is acceptable for video but not good for stills I would so exactly the opposite Dome for video and wet lens for stills

 

 

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Friends

 

I have the Nauticam LX100, and am about to upgrade to the LX100 II (which thankfully can fit into the existing housing, with a slight modification).

I previously tried the Nauticam WWL-1, but oh my God that thing was a monster. It was so big and heavy and I found it completely unwieldy in the water

 

So I reconsidering my decision -- should I try with a different wide angle wet lens? If so, which one?

 

Backtracking to the beginning of the thread: did you try the WWL-1 with float collar? I haven't tried it either way myself, but I understand that the float collar makes a big difference for handling.

 

Also, out of curiosity, what modification was needed to make the LX100 II fit? I thought it was identical on the outside to the first version.

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Backtracking to the beginning of the thread: did you try the WWL-1 with float collar? I haven't tried it either way myself, but I understand that the float collar makes a big difference for handling.

 

Also, out of curiosity, what modification was needed to make the LX100 II fit? I thought it was identical on the outside to the first version.

The float collar makes the lens only 160 grams negative so it is essential however once on the diameter of the collar requires at least an 8 better 12 to park it on

If you are not bothered keeping it on and for the lx100 you will keep it on works well

 

 

 

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Backtracking to the beginning of the thread: did you try the WWL-1 with float collar? I haven't tried it either way myself, but I understand that the float collar makes a big difference for handling.

 

Also, out of curiosity, what modification was needed to make the LX100 II fit? I thought it was identical on the outside to the first version.

I feel silly about the WWL-1 because I had it, hated or and sold it. At the time, there was no float collar. If that had existed when I had the WWL-1, I probably would have kept it. Maybe I’ll try again?

 

So Nauticam has a conversion kit they sell for $30 to convert the LX100 housing to accommodate the LX100 II. It replaces the pieces that operate the zoom lever. I’m about to send my housing in for servicing (it’s time), and I have already asked them on the phone already to install the conversion kit so that I can use the new camera (the parts are quite fiddly and I don’t trust myself to do that conversion). They asked me to send the new camera so that they can check the fit.

 

I’m just pleased that to get to upgrade my existing housing to accommodate the new camera. It’s actually not unprecedented: the Nauticam housing for the GH3 accommodated the GH4, with similar conversion kit.

 

By the way, as a land camera, the LX100 II is a LOT of fun

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Backscatter just posted their LX100 II review. They used the AOI UWL-09 Pro wet lens, and the images look good. If I go down the wet wide angle lens route again (still undecided), I lean towards the Nauticam WWL-1, just because Nauticam now has a float collar for that beast, and the AOI lens does not have that

 

https://www.backscatter.com/reviews/post/Panasonic-LX100-II-Underwater-Camera-Review

There were a few points in the review that were incorrect: the camera has a 4/3 sensor, but the image circle on the lens does not cover the entire sensor, though it is a multi-aspect ratio sensor. The camera uses about 81% of the sensor (it's the 21 MP sensor in the GX9, the LX100 II uses 17 of those 21 MP). The other point, which is noteworthy is that the electronic shutter does not determine flash synch speed. The LX100 II, and many other compact cameras, and some high end medium format cameras, has a leaf shutter mechanism. I don't fully understand them, but as I understand it generally -- the shutter mechanism is in the lens body, not on the focal plane with the sensor. It's actually a really neat feature, it makes the camera fantastic for "strobist" photography on land (google David Hobby and Strobist). On land, you can shoot with a leaf shutter camera at say 1/1000 or 1/2000 shutter speed, the flash will still synch and light your subject, and you can kill the ambient light in the background because the shutter is so fast. It's great on those sunlit days where the sun is high and the light is harsh. Underwater, it is really usefully to getting a darker, or even black background, like on a macro shot.

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Backscatter just posted their LX100 II review. They used the AOI UWL-09 Pro wet lens, and the images look good. If I go down the wet wide angle lens route again (still undecided), I lean towards the Nauticam WWL-1, just because Nauticam now has a float collar for that beast, and the AOI lens does not have that

 

https://www.backscatter.com/reviews/post/Panasonic-LX100-II-Underwater-Camera-Review

There were a few points in the review that were incorrect: the camera has a 4/3 sensor, but the image circle on the lens does not cover the entire sensor, though it is a multi-aspect ratio sensor. The camera uses about 81% of the sensor (it's the 21 MP sensor in the GX9, the LX100 II uses 17 of those 21 MP). The other point, which is noteworthy is that the electronic shutter does not determine flash synch speed. The LX100 II, and many other compact cameras, and some high end medium format cameras, has a leaf shutter mechanism. I don't fully understand them, but as I understand it generally -- the shutter mechanism is in the lens body, not on the focal plane with the sensor. It's actually a really neat feature, it makes the camera fantastic for "strobist" photography on land (google David Hobby and Strobist). On land, you can shoot with a leaf shutter camera at say 1/1000 or 1/2000 shutter speed, the flash will still synch and light your subject, and you can kill the ambient light in the background because the shutter is so fast. It's great on those sunlit days where the sun is high and the light is harsh. Underwater, it is really usefully to getting a darker, or even black background, like on a macro shot.

Also the rx100 has a lead shutter maybe even the canon 1”

 

 

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Also the rx100 has a lead shutter maybe even the canon 1”

 

 

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I think most of the higher end compacts use leaf shutters, though I don't know why (maybe it allows the camera body to be smaller??). I know that the Fuji X-100 series has a leaf shutter. Mirrorless and DSLR lenses use a focal plane shutter, and that limits max shutter synch speeds to around 1/250. On the other end of the spectrum, leaf shutter lens in the medium format world are hand crafted, incredibly expensive, and highly sought after.

On my last dive trip, I took my LX100 and did some photography of some inane piece of coral on a wreck, and progressively bumped up the shutter speed. It really does darken the background. It was kind of fun. I will have to play with that more on the next dive trip (sadly, not until October), see how I can use that to my advantage.

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