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Nickuk

Best Underwater Lens For A7iii?

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Hi all,

What is the best fisheye available for the Sony A7iii? I have the Sigma 15 for the Nikon I currently use, but the Sony fisheye options seem to be pretty limited from what I can see... Also, anyone have experience with the Sony 16-35 2.8 underwater?

Thanks a lot.

Nick

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I used the Sony 16-35 f4 underwater for a long time, and it worked wonderfully. I have never had the desire to shoot below f4 since the high ISO performance of the A7III is phenomenal (typically I shoot around f8). 


I switched over to the Sony 12-24 f4, and it has worked quite well but it is less convenient with the Nauticam housing I am using for the A7III. With the 16-35, I could slide the entire camera in and out of the housing without disasembling it. The 12-24 is a physically larger lens, meaning that removing the A7III from the housing requires disassembling the housing and camera as well.

 

That said, most of my dives involve less than one hour of shooting per day, so I only need to swap out the battery every third day or so. That makes it not as big a deal for me. The shift from 16mm to 12mm was worth the inconvenience, but if you find yourself needing to do quick battery changes on deck, might not be the best choice. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm using a Canon 8-15 fisheye on a Metabones adapter with my A7Riv and am very happy with the results.  Looking at the Nauticam port chart for the Sony A series cameras the Sigma 15mm fisheye (Canon EF mount version) on a Metabones adpater is also an option:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19EjK3kbnhmJQU1pdDKr6XE6Lk3ykZpIT/view

 

6dbb8701-bd77-4453-ab03-7ab1d464f88a.jpg

Edited by Gudge
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On 4/14/2020 at 12:58 AM, keesbl said:

I used the Sony 16-35 f4 underwater for a long time, and it worked wonderfully. I have never had the desire to shoot below f4 since the high ISO performance of the A7III is phenomenal (typically I shoot around f8). 


 I switched over to the Sony 12-24 f4, and it has worked quite well but it is less convenient with the Nauticam housing I am using for the A7III. With the 16-35, I could slide the entire camera in and out of the housing without disasembling it. The 12-24 is a physically larger lens, meaning that removing the A7III from the housing requires disassembling the housing and camera as well.

  

That said, most of my dives involve less than one hour of shooting per day, so I only need to swap out the battery every third day or so. That makes it not as big a deal for me. The shift from 16mm to 12mm was worth the inconvenience, but if you find yourself needing to do quick battery changes on deck, might not be the best choice. 

 

Hi,

Why do you say the 12-24 was worth it? Was 16mm to tight ? I am considering the 16-35mm as we speak.. !

 

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I definitely notice a difference with the 12-24, but there is some pretty significant distortion in the edges. 12mm is much wider than 16mm. Overall I'm glad I went with the 12-24 since I like shooting very wide and it gives me more usable range: I usually shoot between around 12mm and 18mm. The 16-35 I basically kept locked at 16mm (in fact I often literally taped it at 16mm). 

That said, the Nauticam housing with the 12-24mm is a hassle to get apart. If I were doing photography trips that required changing the battery every day (or more than once per day), I would go with the 16-35. It's far more convenient. Also much less likely to get water on your camera with that configuration, in my opinion. 

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The 16-35 and the 8-15mm fisheye are not really alternatives to each other - the angle of view of the fisheye is so much greater.  The other difference is you can use the fisheye lens in a 100 or 140mm dome port but on full frame to get good corners you are looking at a 230mm dome which is so much harder to travel with. 

There are options in the port chart to use the smaller domes, for example Nauticam list the 180mm dome. but the corners will suffer as you can't get enough depth of field to bring them into focus.  You will notice the 12-24mm lens they only recommend the 230mm dome port.  Whether thats important is up to you - for example for big animals in blue water, probably not an issue but for CFWA reef shots probably is an issue.  Fisheye lenses - the port size doesn't really impact anywhere near as much.

Another option is the S&S correction lens which improves the corners by about 2 stops.they are made in 77mm and 82mm size and assist with the lens focusing on the virtual image in the corners.  Usable on 16-35 f4 with a step up ring but the 12-24 has no filter threads so not an option there.

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Posted (edited)

The sony 16-35 F4 has a 72mm thread which means it isn't compatible with the S&S correction filter (the 16-35 2.8GM has a 82mm thread).

 

I quite like the 18mm prime from zeiss, its auto-focus is extremely quick ! I sometimes feel limited by the prime focal length though

 

Edited by waterpixel

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The lack of a native full frame fisheye for Sony is a significant drawback for underwater use.

Of course, you can use adaptors (as @Gudge has mentioned above the Metabones is a good option) and existing fisheye lenses like the excellent Canon 8-15mm, but this is a relatively expensive option unless you already own the lens. Optically, any adaptor is also always a compromise, although this may be an acceptable one.

For wide angle, I would investigate water contact lenses like the WACP. It is not a fisheye lens, so is not truly within the terms of your enquiry, but it does give fisheye-like shooting options, like open apertures, that fisheyes do too.

Adam

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On 6/6/2020 at 1:47 PM, adamhanlon said:

Optically, any adaptor is also always a compromise, although this may be an acceptable one. 

I don't own one, but I was under the impression that Metabones/MC-11 adapters don't have any glass inside them - they just hold the lens at the proper distance from sensor and translate between protocols. Speed boosters, teleconverters and Sony LA-EA2/LA-EA4 with their pellicle mirrors are of course a different story.

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6 hours ago, Barmaglot said:

I don't own one, but I was under the impression that Metabones/MC-11 adapters don't have any glass inside them - they just hold the lens at the proper distance from sensor and translate between protocols. Speed boosters, teleconverters and Sony LA-EA2/LA-EA4 with their pellicle mirrors are of course a different story.

You're right, there's no glass in the adapters, they're simply translators...I use the Sigma MC11 with the Sigma 15mm FE in EF Mount.  It's a fantastic combo.With a bit of surgery, I use the lens inside my Aquatica mini dome and can basically focus on stuff touching the dome itself.  The image below had the soft coral less than 6" from the front of my dome.  I also have the Sony 16-35f4 that I shoot with the Aquatica 8" Acrylic Dome but

_SLS4313.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I'd just like to confirm that my Metabones Canon EF To Sony E-Mount Mark V Lens Adapter  has no glass elements in it.  It is simply a spacer with a bunch of electronics that allow my EF mount lenses to talk to a Sony camera.  I'd have to use a similar Canon manufactured spacer to use my EF mount lenses with the new Canon R mirrorless cameras.

Other EF and EF-S lenses I have used on my Sony A7RIV with the Metabones adapter without any issues are Canon EF-S 60 macro, Canon EF 100 f2.8 USM macro, Canon 70-200 f4, Sigma 150 macro, Sigma 17-70 macro and Tokina 12-24. 

Edited by Gudge

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10 hours ago, Stewart L. Sy said:

You're right, there's no glass in the adapters, they're simply translators...I use the Sigma MC11 with the Sigma 15mm FE in EF Mount.  It's a fantastic combo.With a bit of surgery, I use the lens inside my Aquatica mini dome and can basically focus on stuff touching the dome itself.  The image below had the soft coral less than 6" from the front of my dome.  I also have the Sony 16-35f4 that I shoot with the Aquatica 8" Acrylic Dome but

_SLS4313.jpg

That pic framed looks terrific, Stewart. Nice work!

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