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Is  anybody  using the Nikonos 15 mm with the Nauticam housing for Sony A7... cameras that can share their opinion about this set up? I'm very interested.

Cheers!

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I've heard great things, and seen some fantastically sharp video but ultimately decided to get a 5D4 when I updated rather than an A7. Main decider was the battery life as the overall cost of camera plus housing was similar (and I already have access to a 15mm!).

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I flooded my original 15mm in Cozumel in 1991, when there were fish there. I had it on my trusty Nikonos III. The lens was toast, but I flushed the camera body out with distilled water in my hotel room, dried it with a hairdryer and carried on with my 20mm. My household insurance replaced the lens when I got back to Canada (pretty sure that wouldn’t happen today) and its the one I still have:) One of the worst days of my life. I still remember it to this day.

The mistake I made was jumping in with the camera. The lens is quite large and heavy relative to the size of the mounting O ring and that’s what flooded it.

When you look at the construction, the three water entry points are the shaft orings and the mounting o ring. The shaft rings are dynamic (rotating) but are completely covered and seated by the base of the shaft knob. They are pretty bullet-proof.

The rest of the lens is built with compression gaskets, and they simply do not leak if installed properly.

The problem of the mounting Oring is solved by using a vacuum in the housing. When mounted and the vacuum drawn down to -10 cm (backscatter airlock) you simply cannot remove the lens. The only precaution I observe (as I do will all housings) is having the camera handed down after entering the water, or hanging it over the side  on a lanyard and collecting the rig once in the water.

The beauty of the vacuum is that it also tests the integrity of the shaft o rings.

To be honest, I don’t really worry about this system leaking anymore than any of my other housed system. Probably the one that freaks me out the most is my Nikonos RS 13mm!! I would die if that flooded.

The 15mm solution is a bit unconventional for sure, but the rewards are many. According to Pawel Achtel, it is the simply best image quality you can obtain underwater. I agree and for me, the whole point of what we do is IQ. It is on a par with my converted RS 13mm, which is a fisheye. This lens is rectilinear. There is no other lens on the planet that does what this does!

The lack of AF is really a non issue because of the massive depth of field and you can always use focus peaking if you need too. The focusing was designed to be used on a camera that did not even have a TTL viewfinder. It was a rangefinder camera, for Gosh sake. 
I really love this system. It is a dream come true, essentially a digital Nikonos system.

Anyway, not trying to sell you one way or the other, just trying to share the Nikonos love, brother. 

Can I pour you some KoolAid:)))) ?

ian
 

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This post triggered my curiosity on the 15mm however the lens only offers 94 degrees field of view which is 20mm behind a dome in full frame equivalent. This focal length is very easy to cover with super sharp images in domes of modest size as the field of curvature is pretty small.

I would like to see some images of a good 16-35mm at 20mm to see how they really compare. You can't compare a 12mm rectilinear lens and pretend performance is going to be the same

Ultimately 20mm is a tad narrow in most cases you want at least 18mm which gives you 90 degrees on the horizontal axis

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FOV issues aside, here is Pawel's take on IQ of the lens: http://24x7.com.au/Optics/Nikonos/index.htm :))
One advantage of the lens over the rectilinear/dome system is size and weight.
It is also relatively cheap.
ian
I am really unsure about this test
First 5K is a really insignificant resolution to perform a test and second the rectilinear lenses are 20mm equivalent while the nikonos is 28mm
28mm is a focal length that would have worked pretty well in a dome but obviously this must not be available
The image quality snapshots look totally rubbish even in the center and I can tell you that my 8mm mft lens with a 22 cm dome is pin sharp in the centre
I would like to see a comparison on a sony a7 with the 16-35 @ 20mm and the nikonos to check out
Bearing in mind that a fixed focal length lens will always outperform a zoom but is not so useful in real life

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Can't really argue with either you or Pawel; I don't have the technical chops.

I will let the two of you duke it out...

Signing off

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4 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

I am really unsure about this test
First 5K is a really insignificant resolution to perform a test and second the rectilinear lenses are 20mm equivalent while the nikonos is 28mm
28mm is a focal length that would have worked pretty well in a dome but obviously this must not be available
The image quality snapshots look totally rubbish even in the center and I can tell you that my 8mm mft lens with a 22 cm dome is pin sharp in the centre
I would like to see a comparison on a sony a7 with the 16-35 @ 20mm and the nikonos to check out
Bearing in mind that a fixed focal length lens will always outperform a zoom but is not so useful in real life

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Where did the 28mm value in the first sentence come from? The Nikonos 15mm is like a 20mm lens behind a dome as you stated further up.

It looks like Pawel's shot is a bit back focused,  corals slightly back are sharper than the ones lit. Maybe not the best example to make his point.

Ian is correct about the old Nikonos mount; one has to avoid putting side pressure on a lens with a moment arm longer than ~ the 35mm lens, e.g., this applies when using extension tubes. Back in the day I would take an NIII with the 28mm lens with me in my BC pocket with no problems from giant striding in.

 

Edited by Tom_Kline

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The red camera in 5K had a crop factor of around 1.4 proven by the field of view he reports of 74 degrees instead of the 94 the nikonos has on full frame

So the comparison is incorrect 14 rectilinear and 15mm nikonos are very different

In full frame it would be 20mm vs nikonos with the red in 5k he needed an 18.5mm lens

 

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32 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

The red camera in 5K had a crop factor of around 1.4 proven by the field of view he reports of 74 degrees instead of the 94 the nikonos has on full frame

So the comparison is incorrect 14 rectilinear and 15mm nikonos are very different

In full frame it would be 20mm vs nikonos with the red in 5k he needed an 18.5mm lens

 

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The crop factors do make comparisons problematic. As well, the Nikonos lenses become less useful when cropped IMHO. For example, cropping may cut out the more problematic portions of the image taken in by ultra-wides like 14mm topside lenses, so they potentially work out better for video than ff stills. Actually I used the 14mm prime Nikkor quite a bit with the D2X (i.e. crop) not all that long ago... ;->>

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As I said on this red camera at the end is working with 28mm equivalent that is fine for a land camcorder but useless underwater if you ask me

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4 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

As I said on this red camera at the end is working with 28mm equivalent that is fine for a land camcorder but useless underwater if you ask me

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Combinations I found quite useful included the old 20mm f/1.8 and 28mm f/1.8 super-close focusing Sigmas, respectfully, with the Nikon D2X (so  30mm equiv.) and Canon 1Ds2  to shoot juvenile salmonids in streams by remote control without using a viewfinder. Only general pointing with a pole cam - literally point and shoot photography. Some cropping was needed to fix the composition for some shots. I used a small sized dome as well due to the shallow water. So usefulness may not equal zero.

Here is an example: https://www.salmonography.com/Salmonid-species-galleries/Cutthroat-Trout/i-sQKSJtH/A

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Combinations I found quite useful included the old 20mm f/1.8 and 28mm f/1.8 super-close focusing Sigmas, respectfully, with the Nikon D2X (so  30mm equiv.) and Canon 1Ds2  to shoot juvenile salmonids in streams by remote control without using a viewfinder. Only general pointing with a pole cam - literally point and shoot photography. Some cropping was needed to fix the composition for some shots. I used a small sized dome as well due to the shallow water. So usefulness may not equal zero.
Here is an example: https://www.salmonography.com/Salmonid-species-galleries/Cutthroat-Trout/i-sQKSJtH/A
Ok Tom 20mm am good with 28mm fixed focus I understand it is useful for your stuff but looks a very special case
Anyway the point is this 'study's seems to have some issues

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I also want to say there are tests from nauticam where a rectilinear MFT lens resolves at leat 330 lph on the edges so the tests of this guy have some problem probably to due with incorrect focus distance

When I look at the 5K snapshot it does not look anything better than a framegrab from my GH5 at 4K with the WWL-1 

There is an apparent field of curvature effect at f/2.8 that would also happen on land on a reefscape and is the reason why you dont' shoot wide apertures for landscapes any lens would need stopping down

For sure this nikonos lenses were a great thing at the time but things have moved on a lot also for water contact optics and I would be really surprised if this would outperforms new concept like wacp or wwl-1 of course those new lenses are not rectilinear but on the other hand rectilinear lenses nikonos or not have field of curvature and perspective distortion no matter what

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Too bad the Nikonos 15mm can't be used with current Nikon UW systems...

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