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adamhanlon

Wetpixel Live: WACP Version 1 or 2?

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Nauticam released the Wide Angle Conversion Port (WACP) back in 2017. This port, along with manufacturers modifying Nikonos RS lenses for use with modern cameras, has rekindled an enthusiasm for water contact optics. At DEMA 2019, Nauticam released a second version of the WACP, which has caused some confusion among underwater image makers as to which option to choose. Adam and Alex set out to try and explain the differences between the versions in this episode of Wetpixel Live.

 

 

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I really would like to understand the product development and marketing Nauticam does sometimes
The WACP is already a product that sells little I wonder how many units of the newer $7000 are sold and to whom
Most people struggle to understand why a housing costs more than their camera and now they have an optic that costs as much as the sum of camera and housing


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I have been enjoying this series. It might cost me.....

Edited by Tom_Kline
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Makes the Nikonos RS 13 conversion almost seem "cost effective":)))

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I have a question: in the video it is said that the WACP-1 brings about two f-stops advantage with respect to corner sharpness and the WACP-2 brings three, compared to a rectilinear WA behind a 230 dome. The Sea&Sea wideangle correction lens is said to bring about two f-stops (see e.g. here: https://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/sea-sea-internal-correction-lens )

Is the image quality between WAPC-1 and Sea&Sea lens now comparable and the advantage of WAPC-1 is the smaller size?

Wolfgang

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2 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

I have a question: in the video it is said that the WACP-1 brings about two f-stops advantage with respect to corner sharpness and the WACP-2 brings three, compared to a rectilinear WA behind a 230 dome. The Sea&Sea wideangle correction lens is said to bring about two f-stops (see e.g. here: https://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/sea-sea-internal-correction-lens )

Is the image quality between WAPC-1 and Sea&Sea lens now comparable and the advantage of WAPC-1 is the smaller size?

Wolfgang

The sea and sea lens is a field flattener and works on a rectilinear lens. The WACP 1/2 are not rectilinear despite some claims they have barrel distortion that you can see. WACP-2 has less distortion than WACP-1 but both have it. You can use the sea and sea corrector with any compatible lens regardless of using a sea and sea dome or housing

WACP-1 is a very heavy lens and substantially heavier on land than a 230mm nauticam dome so there is no size advantage.

 

Edited by Interceptor121

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I wouldn't shoot the 16-35mm with a 230mm dome with the Sea&Sea modifier at much less than f/10 or f/11. I will shoot the WACP 1 at f/5 and the pictures get published! Certainly, in dark gloomy conditions, the WACP will let you get shots that are simply impossible to get with a dome/lens combination. If you always shot at f/13 or above, I guess the differences are much less marked. 

Some of it depends on which camera you are using it with, and I haven't really been happy generally with the 16-35mm with the D850. The resolution really shows up the optical flaws in the system.Certainly I find that I use the WACP a lot, and the 16-35mm less and less.

I love the RS13 conversions, but they are definitely a fisheye lens. I find that the 8-15mm with a 170 mm dome gives acceptable results even at pretty large apertures. I think for some things like GWS from a shark cage, when  a very open aperture will give strobes a better reach, the RS is an amazing tool, but it is a different one to the WACP (either version).

WACP-1 is around 1.4 kg heavier than a 230mm dome, extension and 16-35mm lens. Although this is significant, in the big scheme of things, this is easily managed for travel. Both are heavy solutions!

191006_ahanlon_5964.jpg

1/160@f/5, ISO400

Nikon D850, Nikkor 28-70 f/3.5-4.5, Nauticam WACP, Seacam Seaflash 60 strobes

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, adamhanlon said:

I wouldn't shoot the 16-35mm with a 230mm dome with the Sea&Sea modifier at much less than f/10 or f/11. I will shoot the WACP 1 at f/5 and the pictures get published! Certainly, in dark gloomy conditions, the WACP will let you get shots that are simply impossible to get with a dome/lens combination. If you always shot at f/13 or above, I guess the differences are much less marked. 

Some of it depends on which camera you are using it with, and I haven't really been happy generally with the 16-35mm with the D850. The resolution really shows up the optical flaws in the system.Certainly I find that I use the WACP a lot, and the 16-35mm less and less.

I love the RS13 conversions, but they are definitely a fisheye lens. I find that the 8-15mm with a 170 mm dome gives acceptable results even at pretty large apertures. I think for some things like GWS from a shark cage, when  a very open aperture will give strobes a better reach, the RS is an amazing tool, but it is a different one to the WACP (either version).

WACP-1 is around 1.4 kg heavier than a 230mm dome, extension and 16-35mm lens. Although this is significant, in the big scheme of things, this is easily managed for travel. Both are heavy solutions!

191006_ahanlon_5964.jpg

1/160@f/5, ISO400

Nikon D850, Nikkor 28-70 f/3.5-4.5, Nauticam WACP, Seacam Seaflash 60 strobes

 

 

 

I don't think anybody is objecting that I guess the point is the WACP optics are not rectilinear none of them. You may be happy with the results when you shoot a diver in a wetsuit but if you shoot a female freediver or model you do need a rectilinear lens. Interestingly some fisheye zoom lenses can be profile corrected (while WACP correction is not exact) and actually make a bette fit for people shots

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57 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

I don't think anybody is objecting that I guess the point is the WACP optics are not rectilinear none of them. You may be happy with the results when you shoot a diver in a wetsuit but if you shoot a female freediver or model you do need a rectilinear lens. Interestingly some fisheye zoom lenses can be profile corrected (while WACP correction is not exact) and actually make a bette fit for people shots

Often you will not want 100% correction of a fisheye image, but less, even for models (I find BTW, that models with fisheye start to look cute like seals in the fisheye look, not always corection is required :))...

here a funny example:

EMail.thumb.jpg.f9a7f3a34a72fb540eef96ed7c31671d.jpg

 

Correction is easy in LR, already preexisting LR profiles for similar fisheye lenses, even GoPro, work, but for high quality one will want profiles for the exact combination. Making an individual profile for any lens/domeport/extension/sensor combination is no witchcraft and easy for Adobe LR. I already produced such profiles for the Panasonic 7-14mm/Zen-DP170-N20/60mmExtension and Zuiko8mmfisheye/Zen-DP-170-N20/30mmExtension combinations and they work very well in LR.

I plan to do produce such profiles for the Canon8-15/Nauticam140 and Tokina 10-17/Nauticam140 combinations in our pool as soon as I have recovered from a small summer flue and the weather will become better (will post them here, just in case someone is interested)....

 

Wolfgang

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Often you will not want 100% correction of a fisheye image, but less, even for models (I find BTW, that models with fisheye start to look cute like seals in the fisheye look, not always corection is required )...
here a funny example:
EMail.thumb.jpg.f9a7f3a34a72fb540eef96ed7c31671d.jpg
 
Correction is easy in LR, already preexisting LR profiles for similar fisheye lenses, even GoPro, work, but for high quality one will want profiles for the exact combination. Making an individual profile for any lens/domeport/extension/sensor combination is no witchcraft and easy for Adobe LR. I already produced such profiles for the Panasonic 7-14mm/Zen-DP170-N20/60mmExtension and Zuiko8mmfisheye/Zen-DP-170-N20/30mmExtension combinations and they work very well in LR.
I plan to do produce such profiles for the Canon8-15/Nauticam140 and Tokina 10-17/Nauticam140 combinations in our pool as soon as I have recovered from a small summer flue and the weather will become better (will post them here, just in case someone is interested)....
 
Wolfgang

There is already a profile for both canon and tokina. All canon and sigma nikon have profiles. Only MFT lenses don’t have in lightroom (but do on other packages)


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8 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:


There is already a profile for both canon and tokina. All canon and sigma nikon have profiles. Only MFT lenses don’t have in lightroom (but do on other packages)


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The profile for Canon is without domeport and for FF sensor (I do not know for what sensor the Tokina was made, probably APS-C). Distortion and CA will depend on domeport, extension on sensor size. The existing Canon profile works in practice also for photos takes with MFT camera, but I am sure an indiviual profile for the exact combination works much better. Also for correction of WACP (same holds for WWL-1) an individual profile is the best...

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis
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The profile for Canon is without domeport and for FF sensor (I do not know for what sensor the Tokina was made, probably APS-C). Distortion and CA will depend on domeport, extension on sensor size. The existing Canon profile works in practice also for photos takes with MFT camera, but I am sure an indiviual profile for the exact combination works much better. Also for correction of WACP (same holds for WWL-1) an individual profile is the best...
Wolfgang

If the dome port is correctly positioned the distortion is zero. A misplacement of 1-2 cm only induces 1-2 degrees distortion in terms of CA this should not have an impact either. I see zero CA in my shots

Based on that is not worth developing profiles underwater as the port is actually correct except when using wet lenses that do not follow a lens profile
But I would not really want to correct a wet lens when you do your blurred edges all come back and need cropping

One thing many people do not understand is that corners are not sharper with fisheye or wet optics they appear sharp because they are compressed
If you decompressed them they look crap worse than rectilinear lenses in most cases.
If you shoot a rectilinear MFT lens and disable lens correction (not possible in lightroom) you get incredibly sharp images with 5-6% barrel distortion


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There is some barrel distortion with WACP-1, but certainly not enough to worry me shooting models or free divers (of any gender) in a natural setting. I would argue that the ability to use shallow depth of field with significantly reduced distortion is a huge advantage..

For pool type shoots, WACP-2 would undoubtedly be better though. 

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From the above thread...

The out of water weight was mentioned of the WACP (version 1). From a packing & traveling perspective I found that a large dome was much harder to protect & pack than the WACP (which was one of the reasons I switched to the WACP for my D850). The padded case the WACP comes with fits well in a rollaboard suitcase, with a little room for clothes, etc. to fit around it. The case is protective enough that I check it now when I travel with it.

Although it is absolutely heavy enough that I will think twice before taking it on a shore dive, underwater it is very well balanced, and much easier to manage than a large dome during a dive (it's not even a real comparison).

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