Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
sarahbee

Does this seem like a good approach?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

This is my first post here.  I do a lot of dry-land photography and have been in the Nikon ecosystem for over 10 years with dslr's and a lot longer than that if you go back to film days.  I've been lucky enough to visit St John, USVI 4 times.  We are going back for our 5th trip in a few weeks.  I don't dive (yet!) but I love to snorkel.  I've taken cameras on each trip:  waterproof point-n-shoot, go pro, Nikon 1AW, and last time we went I had the Sony RX100 III in a Fantasea housing.  The upgrade in photo quality was very gratifying with that rig.  I can go that way again but ... I have a Nikon D850 and the 16-35 f4 lens and I'm kind of dying to try out that combo underwater.  I'm not made of money and I'm not getting any younger so I'm thinking about getting an Ikelite housing with the appropriate dome for the 16-35.  Since I'll be snorkeling and therefore not going deep, my thought was to just go with the housing for this trip and not try to figure out strobes just yet.  The Sony is capable of capturing decent UW photos without strobes so the D850 ought to do even better with its superior focusing ability and superior handling of ISO. 

Does this sound like a reasonable approach?  If there is a flaw in my thinking I'd appreciate hearing about it.  Thanks in advance!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems reasonable, but it depends on what you like to shoot underwater. The 16-35 with a dome will do fine for wideangle stuff, but if there is that fish you want to capture it might be frustrating. Also, snorkeling, the smaller the camera the better, at least for me. So I'd be tempted to stick with the RX100!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would stick with the RX100. A 16-35 on a D850 will require a huge dome for good performance, so it will be very cumbersome, especially if you freedive with it rather than just snorkel on the surface - and with a lens that wide, you will need to freedive to get close to stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you would also probably want to get it neutral as well you don't want to be carrying something too light or heavy when snorkelling.  I'd also suggest looking at the physical size of such housing to see what you will need to be pushing through the water.  I would stay with the little Sony.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Sarah

I’d be very wary of snorkelling with a D850/16-35 combination. Its a very heavy setup and, to get decent image edges, you would need a 230 domeport which is very expensive, and very heavy - and not that easy to travel with. I’d suggest for snorkelling use, it’s just not worth it. 

If diving reasonably shallow, strobes might not be necessary on a sunny day in the USVI. 

I’m trying to think of a metaphor for snorkelling with an 850/16-35. Maybe the opposite of playing a Wimbledon tennis final with a ping pong paddle. :crazy:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the feedback, especially on the applicability of the 16-35 lens.  I was worried about that aspect (pun intended) so glad to have the validation of what was in the back of my mind. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been to St. Thomas 4 or 5 times, dove each time.  (Cruise ship stops.)   The last time I was there, in 2016, I took my brand new D810 rig underwater the first time with a 16-35 lens.   The recommended dome port was a 230mm one, which is simply huge.  (And expensive.  And heavy out of the water. )  I can't imagine snorkeling with such a large rig.    There is nothing easy or budget-oriented about it.

Besides the large size and expense, the lens is seriously wide, and it is indeed frustrating to try to get shots of small fish and objects, although you can crop like crazy with a D8xx.  And the lens is sharp enough for it.

The width is deceptive.  When you shoot through a dome port, you do not get the 20% magnification you get with a flat port.  And since you have a flat port for your mask, everything looks bigger than it is - until you look through the viewfinder of your camera.  Then suddenly everything is farther away again.   Makes it hard to visualize, and it's easy to run your lens into coral trying to get close.

On top of that, to get the corners sharp, you need more than the (huge) dome port.  You need a $400 Sea and Sea Internal Correction Lens to put on that 16-35.  It will be quite good then.

Enough said.  If you'd like to see the results of that dive (my late wife's last one), you can see the images starting here: http://www.cjcphoto.net/caribbean2015/index21.html

The second image shown was taken of me by my late wife and shows you the size of the rig underwater.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, TimG said:

I’m trying to think of a metaphor for snorkelling with an 850/16-35. Maybe the opposite of playing a Wimbledon tennis final with a ping pong paddle. :crazy:

Playing ping pong with a full-size tennis racquet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A difference to bear in mind compared to the small housings you have already used is that an acrylic dome port will be considerably more vulnerable to scratching from accidental knocks and bumps, while the wide lens draws you in closer to potential bumps than what you are used to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Barmaglot said:

Playing ping pong with a full-size tennis racquet?

LOL. Excellent!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...