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adamhanlon

Wetpixel Live: Lens Choices for Cropped sensor and Micro 4/3s cameras

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@Alex_Mustard and Adam Hanlon chat through lens options for cropped sensors and Micro 4/3s cameras underwater:

 

 

 

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Thanks Adam and Alex, nice video.  I shoot with the Olympus EM-1 MkII and my lens list includes Panasonic 8mm fisheye and 7-14mm, Olympus 12-40mm and 60mm macro and I also have the Panasonic 30mm macro. 

Most of my diving is temperate waters around Sydney and my most used setups are the macro lenses and the 12-40mm lens.  Our dive sites are rocky reefs with a mix of nudis, small stuff like pygmy pipe horses and larger subjects like weedy sea dragons (300mm long), giant cuttlefish (up to 600mm long), port jackson sharks (1000-1500mm), blue gropers (700mm), red Indian fish (up to 300mm) and schooling fish particularly on the  more open ocean sites.  The 12-40 I think is very useful for these types of dives.  I find the fisheye too wide for most dive sites/subjects I shoot.   I can switch between 50mm nudis and 1500mm PJ's on the same dive depending on what I find.

I would though like to try the MWL-1 and 30mm macro on some of the dive sites, sounds like it would be an interesting combination for the shooting I do.

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I was a bit surprised to see only the Tokina 10-17 and not the Nikon 8-15 discussed and wondering why. 

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Yep, really worth listening to, guys. Many thanks. But as Draq says, Nikkor 8-15mm? A discussion for another day?

Great series, Adam.

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The point behind the Nikon and Canon 8-15mm lenses is a good one. We do plan to follow up about it.

I think that the advantages of the 8-15mm are that it is a lens that works really well on both full frame and cropped sensor cameras.

It's advantages for cropped sensor only, are not as significant. On the D500/7D MkII, the Tokina represents a better focal length and the quality of image that it produces with 24MP or so resolution is quite adequate.

If you shoot both full frame and cropped sensor cameras, the 8-15mm lenses are a no brainer..

The Tokina is around half the price too!

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Excellent that a follow-up on the Nikkor 8-15 is planned, Adam. Thanks.

Yep, no-brainer on using on full and crop sensors; and that the Tokina is half the price. All very good points!

 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, adamhanlon said:

The point behind the Nikon and Canon 8-15mm lenses is a good one. We do plan to follow up about it.

I think that the advantages of the 8-15mm are that it is a lens that works really well on both full frame and cropped sensor cameras.

It's advantages for cropped sensor only, are not as significant. On the D500/7D MkII, the Tokina represents a better focal length and the quality of image that it produces with 24MP or so resolution is quite adequate.

If you shoot both full frame and cropped sensor cameras, the 8-15mm lenses are a no brainer..

The Tokina is around half the price too!

Very good that you plan a separate issue of this exciting videos (I enjoy every one of them) on the fisheye zoom lenses, that are excellent for UW photography.

I have some experience with the Canon 8-15mm that I like very much and want to write some thoughts here (maybe you find some points worth of implementing into your video later):

 

FF (FX):

The 8-15mm fisheyes from Nikon and Canon can be used either as circular fisheye or 180o diagonal ones. UW photographers not interested in circular fisheye may be better off using fixed focal length 16mm fisheyes...

APS-C:

The Tokina 10-17mm may be the lens to go with (calculated diagonal angles of view from 170o - 92o). The 8-15mm can only be used without vignetting starting from 10mm, providing calculated angles from 180o - 106o (@15mm), so one looses reach at the narrow end. There may be better IQ, however. The full zoom range of 8-15mm is restored by using a 1.4x Teleconverter, but the question is whether the advantage in optical IQ of the 8-15mm's compared to the Tokina is not eaten up by the teleconverter...

MFT (only here I have practical experience by my own, but with 100+ dives using the 8-15mm, I am still excited; in case I could only take one lens with me to a dive trip, it would be the Canon 8-15mm):

The Canon 8-15mm adapted with 1x Metabones is outstanding, providing similar angles of view of 170o - 85o than the Tokina on APS-C. I think the lower IQ of the sensor is more than compensated by the high optical quality of the lens (although a tack-sharp image up to the corners cannot really compensate for some lack of S/N ratio, pixels and DR:pardon:). I use it with Nauticam 140 and Zen DP-170, both N120, and the perfomance in both domes is excellent (I am not able to see a difference).

I also have the Tokina 10-17mm (well, my wife has it now) and also this lens performs very well together with MFT. With 0.71x speedbooster it is very similar to the 1x adapted 8-15mm Canon, but with 1x Metabones the angles of view are another, versatile, range of 131o - 74o, hence we may call the 1x Tokina the WACP of MFT photographers :). Of course also the WWL-1 (now maybe also the new version) is available for a similar range, I am not aware about serious and objective comparisons in IQ between WWL-1 and Tokina, but I believe the Tokina needs not be afraid of such a comparison...

Here two link to photos of a recent diving trip, the WA images have all been made using the Canon 8-15mm:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4492725

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4492874

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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Very interesting discussion. Thanks Adam and Alex.

For APS-C format, I would say that the Sigma 17-70 DC Macro is worth mentioning for its versatility.

I find it very useful on dives where I may encounter both wide angle and macro subjects.

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I speak for MFT side having tested practically everything. I agree on most of the suggestions and also with what @Architeuthis says regarding canon EF but that is expensive

On the rectilinear wide angle I discourage anyone to use a 7mm lens underwater the domes are too small to contain the FOV and with shorter ports it distorts a lot

The rectilinear lens of choice for MFT is the Panasonic 8-18mm as per other post here and I would say is as sharp as the WWL-1 however it does need 1 stop more down

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Would the Tokina 10-17 fit into the 4.33" N85 port that is also used with the Panasonic 8mm? Possible with some added extensions? The Canon route is way too expensive for me, but I already own that port and the lens itself is quite inexpensive. The most expensive would be the metabones adapter (although I think cheaper ones do exist these days). I find the 7" port with the 8-18 to be fantastic, but it is also large.

I'm also worried that AF performance might be a bit lackluster on a body without PDAF? 

Edited by hyp

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Would the Tokina 10-17 fit into the 4.33" N85 port that is also used with the Panasonic 8mm? Possible with some added extensions? The Canon route is way too expensive for me, but I already own that port and the lens itself is quite inexpensive. The most expensive would be the metabones adapter (although I think cheaper ones do exist these days). I find the 7" port with the 8-18 to be fantastic, but it is also large.
I'm also worried that AF performance might be a bit lackluster on a body without PDAF? 

No the metabones adapter doesnt fit
AF with a fisheye lens is not an issue actually nothing is really an issue at wide angle


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That’s surprising. I would have thought that a 67mm diameter adapter would fit. The Oly fisheye is only slightly smaller and the Panasonic 8-18 is actually bigger. 

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That’s surprising. I would have thought that a 67mm diameter adapter would fit. The Oly fisheye is only slightly smaller and the Panasonic 8-18 is actually bigger. 

You don't understand the issue once you put the metabones you cannot no longer access the zoom gear from the housing so you need the N85-N120 port adapter or you are left with a prime lens defeating the purpose of the adapter

When I wrote the size of the metabones i was referring to the depth is 2cm thick

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I have always created my own zoom gears so that would not have been the problem. I find the original zoom gears ridiculously overpriced. Creating a zoom gear that's long enough to go back into the housing should be no issue. But I just measured the inside diameter of my 4.33" port and it is only 70mm. The lens is I believe 71mm in diameter so that is where it definitely won't fit. 

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I have always created my own zoom gears so that would not have been the problem. I find the original zoom gears ridiculously overpriced. Creating a zoom gear that's long enough to go back into the housing should be no issue. But I just measured the inside diameter of my 4.33" port and it is only 70mm. The lens is I believe 71mm in diameter so that is where it definitely won't fit. 

The zoom gear would not fit the opening either
I think the tokina on speedboster is interesting because you get the apsc port and you can easily sell for second but at 8-12mm will still be fairly wide


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Looks like I'll just stay with my current setup and choose before the trip if it's going to be fisheye with the small dome or rectilinear with the 7" dome. I had hoped that maybe I could use the smaller dome for multiple purposes and get rid of the 7" dome. Buying a new N120 dome and adapter (they are bloody expensive...) would make the whole exercise quite expensive. Thank you for your replies though. 

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Looks like I'll just stay with my current setup and choose before the trip if it's going to be fisheye with the small dome or rectilinear with the 7" dome. I had hoped that maybe I could use the smaller dome for multiple purposes and get rid of the 7" dome. Buying a new N120 dome and adapter (they are bloody expensive...) would make the whole exercise quite expensive. Thank you for your replies though. 

No worries it makes sense to go n120 if you want to use the glass domes otherwise it is not as relevant for me except the tokina.
Shame Nauticam doesn’t make acrylic modular domes


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My biggest regret moving from apsc to 4/3 was losing my Tokina fisheye zoom. The WWL1 has partially compensated. But it would be awesome to have a 4/3 version. Olympus’ departure makes that unlikely.  

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My biggest regret moving from apsc to 4/3 was losing my Tokina fisheye zoom. The WWL1 has partially compensated. But it would be awesome to have a 4/3 version. Olympus’ departure makes that unlikely.  

You can use the tokina on MFT as well as a canon 8-15mm
Equivalent focals are 8-12 for tokina and speedboster and 8-15mm zoom fisheye for the canon
I use the canon and it is the most flexible zoom fisheye on any camera format when paired with a smart adapter


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On 8/2/2020 at 4:48 PM, ehanauer said:

My biggest regret moving from apsc to 4/3 was losing my Tokina fisheye zoom. The WWL1 has partially compensated. But it would be awesome to have a 4/3 version. Olympus’ departure makes that unlikely.  

I have a still a dummy question. I have sony compact set up and one of the benefit to move to mirrorless m43 is to have interchangeable lenses and keep compact but if I understand correctly the best option is to use the wet lenses and this can be easily done for both. Hence it seems doesn't make sense to change the lenses?

Thanks in advance for spending the time to help me.

 

Edited by caolino

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20 minutes ago, caolino said:

I have a still a dummy question. I have sony compact set up and one of the benefit to move to mirrorless m43 is to have interchangeable lenses and keep compact but if I understand correctly the best option is to use the wet lenses and this can be easily done for both. Hence it seems doesn't make sense to change the lenses?

Thanks in advance for spending the time to help me.

 

No the best option is to use native lenses. Wet lenses have their spot to compete with rectilinear wide angle zooms but they are not rectilinear as such. 

For macro nothing beats a macro lens and you can add a wet lens. If your format has a zoom fisheye (APSC and MFT can both use the tokina) this is better than using a wet lens in terms of quality

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3 hours ago, caolino said:

I have a still a dummy question. I have sony compact set up and one of the benefit to move to mirrorless m43 is to have interchangeable lenses and keep compact but if I understand correctly the best option is to use the wet lenses and this can be easily done for both. Hence it seems doesn't make sense to change the lenses?

Thanks in advance for spending the time to help me.

 

MFT and APS-C can be used both ways: when simple and cheaper is required with wetlenses, otherwise they can be used with different lenses and (dome)ports (more expensive and a hughe amount of stuff to take to an airplane). I believe that the advantage of MFT/APS-C over 1" compact for using with wetlens is that you do not have to use the built in lens as it is (that often makes troubles with wetlenses because it extents  a lot upon zooming in and the optimum situation is to have the port glass very close to the lens). The climax of these problems are housings for compacts with interchangable ports, depending on the wetlens that is planned to be used . With MFT/APS-C you can choose a "sweet-spot" standard zoom lens that probably every system has and that is 100% compatible with existing wetlenses. If you calculate the total costs for such a "wetlens" system, including camera, standard lens, housing, wetlenses, flashes, you probably will find out that the price difference is not great, but you gain better IQ...

 

Wolfgang

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4 minutes ago, Architeuthis said:

MFT and APS-C can be used both ways: when simple and cheaper is required with wetlenses, otherwise they can be used with different lenses and (dome)ports (more expensive and a hughe amount of stuff to take to an airplane). I believe that the advantage of MFT/APS-C over 1" compact for using with wetlens is that you do not have to use the built in lens as it is (that often makes troubles with wetlenses because it extents  a lot upon zooming in and the optimum situation is to have the port glass very close to the lens). The climax of these problems are housings for compacts with interchangable ports, depending on the wetlens that is planned to be used . With MFT/APS-C you can choose a "sweet-spot" standard zoom lens that probably every system has and that is 100% compatible with existing wetlenses. If you calculate the total costs for such a "wetlens" system, including camera, standard lens, housing, wetlenses, flashes, you probably will find out that the price difference is not great, but you gain better IQ...

 

Wolfgang

You don't get better IQ with a wet lens you get a range you would not otherwise have. The WWL-1 plus 14-42mm gives you a zoom fisheye lens that does not exist starting at 10mm however when you use the canon 8-15mm or Tokina at 10mm you get better quality

Lots of the comparisons are made with the rectilinear 7-14mm Olympus on the edges. This lens does not have a wide enough port to accommodate the field of view (you can try the 230mm dome) and requires stopping down. However when I compare my f/8 shots of WWL-1 vs my leica 8-18mm at same f/8 the WWL-1 is not sharper BUT I can use it down to f/4 and still holds while the other lens falls apart at f/6.3

If you already have a WWL-1 and stepping up from compact there is no doubt that you can take advantage of your lens however close focus wide angle requires a real fish eye and if you need a truly rectilinear shot you need a rectilinear lens

It is convenience but not necessarily superior IQ at wide end

At close range the 14-42mm lenses are nowhere near the quality of a 60mm zuiko or 45mm panasonic or 30mm panasonic. When you have some money you will want to buy those

The last purchase a 180mm done and an expensive rectilinear wide angle you will probably not make unless you want and you can

I have all those lenses so I am pretty comfortable with the conclusions. I use the WWL-1 for video for stills I never use it now that I have the 8-15mm working there is no comparison the canon is much better and does not suffer any reflection in a glass dome

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1 hour ago, Interceptor121 said:

You don't get better IQ with a wet lens you get a range you would not otherwise have. The WWL-1 plus 14-42mm gives you a zoom fisheye lens that does not exist starting at 10mm however when you use the canon 8-15mm or Tokina at 10mm you get better quality

Lots of the comparisons are made with the rectilinear 7-14mm Olympus on the edges. This lens does not have a wide enough port to accommodate the field of view (you can try the 230mm dome) and requires stopping down. However when I compare my f/8 shots of WWL-1 vs my leica 8-18mm at same f/8 the WWL-1 is not sharper BUT I can use it down to f/4 and still holds while the other lens falls apart at f/6.3

If you already have a WWL-1 and stepping up from compact there is no doubt that you can take advantage of your lens however close focus wide angle requires a real fish eye and if you need a truly rectilinear shot you need a rectilinear lens

It is convenience but not necessarily superior IQ at wide end

At close range the 14-42mm lenses are nowhere near the quality of a 60mm zuiko or 45mm panasonic or 30mm panasonic. When you have some money you will want to buy those

The last purchase a 180mm done and an expensive rectilinear wide angle you will probably not make unless you want and you can

I have all those lenses so I am pretty comfortable with the conclusions. I use the WWL-1 for video for stills I never use it now that I have the 8-15mm working there is no comparison the canon is much better and does not suffer any reflection in a glass dome

I fully agree. I just forgot to mention that with the interchageable lens option one does not only tread in hughe amount of gear to carry around compared to wetlenses, but also better IQ:scratch:

You are the first to make a real live comparison between WWL-1 and the adapted zoom fisheyes. Good to hear the fisheyes perform better...:)

As you say, comparison to 7mm rectlinear in 170 or 180mm domes is not fair, as this is neither fisheye, nor are these the correct domeports. There is an older tread were an UW-photographer (I believe it was Phil Rudin) tested the Zen 200mm port and found out better performance (this port is not produced any more by Zen, but Athena still seems to produces a similar, if not the identical, one). Since I have the zoom fisheyes, I am like you, not interested any more in this very wide rectilinear WA (If I would be I definitely would sell my Zen DP170 and try this here: https://www.unterwasserkamera.at/shop/catalog/de/product_info.php?info=p5758_athena-dome-port-opd-f200v-nauticam.html)...

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis
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1 minute ago, Architeuthis said:

I fully agree. I just forgot to mentiom that with the interchageable lens option one does not only tread in hughe amount of gear to carry around compared to wetlenses, but also better IQ:scratch:

You are the first to make a real live comparison between WWL-1 and the adapted zoom fisheyes. Good to hear the fisheyes perform better...:)

As you say, comparison to 7mm rectlinear in 170 or 180mm domes is not fair, as this is neither fisheye, nor are these the correct domeports. There is is an older tread were an UW-photographer (I believe it was Phil Rudin) tested the Zen 200mm port and found out better performance (this port is not produced any more by Zen, but Athena still seems to produces a similar, if not the identical, one). Since I have the zoom fisheyes, I am like you, not interested any more in this very wide rectilinear WA (If I would be I definitely would sell my Zen DP170 and try this here: https://www.unterwasserkamera.at/shop/catalog/de/product_info.php?info=p5758_athena-dome-port-opd-f200v-nauticam.html)...

 

Wolfgang

That 200mm dome looks very promising for those really wanting the 7-14mm wide field of view. For me 8mm is enough and the 180mm dome very good quality and I can use this with the 12-60 for video when I shoot people.

And yes our set up with canon 8-15mm is incredible. I cannot talk for Tokina however 8-15mm focal range covers more than WWL-1 on the wide end less on the tele end but this is not equally important. But price compared to 8-15mm is less than half so most people will be ok with that and then add a true 8mm fisheye for CFWA. I have to say the biggest limitation of WWL-1 and 8mm on acrylic dome is reflections that you do not get with more expensive glass

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