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Hi all,

 

I am looking to get a housing for my X-T3.

 

I am on a bit of a budget (I know this game is expensive) so the Nauticam is out of my price range. I have seen the SeaFrogs SF XT3 housing ( https://www.aditech-uw.com/en/shop/4898-sea-frogs-sf-xt3-for-fujifilm-x-t3.html ) but am not sure how good they are.

 

The lens I have is the 16-80mm F4 XF OIS WR and I can't seem to find any info on if this would be compatible with the housing and port options.

I ave attached a diagram of the body with lens attached (my drawings aren't the best) to see if maybe someone has the housing and could possibly judge if my set up would fit.

Any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks Joel

WhatsApp Image 2020-11-28 at 13.10.35.jpeg

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Personally I'd steer clear of Sea Frogs, some people love them but the port availability is pretty poor.  Plus some controls are not accessible:

Some functions are not accessible:

  • Front command dial
  • Rear command dial
  • Aperture control of the lens
  • Focus stick (Focus lever)

If you're on a budget look at Ikelite, their port chart is here:  https://docs.ikelite.com/reference/port-chart-dl-fujifilm.pdf

They say:  Controls are not provided for Fn1, Fn2, Touch screen, Focus mode selector, Focus stick tilt or Diopter adjustment knob; Front and rear dials may be rotated but not pressed

This is probably part of the reason Fuji are not that popular underwater - the housings are hard to build to get at all the controls and lens availability that are really suited to underwater is limited.  You'll note ikelite doesn't have a port for the Fuji 60mm macro lens ( which in any case only gets to half life size by itself) so you would need to go with the expensive 80mm macro if you wanted to branch into macro.  I believe Nauticam provides full access to controls- part of the reason for the price.

You will note that Ikelite recommend a +4 diopter with this lens and 8" dome - that will be because the lens doesn't focus close enough to focus on the virtual image of the dome port.  This will of course degrade your image quality a little.  The sea frogs has a 6" dome which would have even more problem reaching focus on the virtual image, so probably need a more powerful diopter - probably why Seafroggs don't list it.

 

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It may be more financially viable to go with a different system for UW than for above water...

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Thank you for your feed back and advice it is really appreciated.

I think I may be better off selling up and changing to a Sony system.

Seing as the market seems to be flooded with them at the moment, second had stuff should hopefully be fairly easy to come by at reasonable prices. 

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How about a aquatica housing for nikon d40,d40x and d60. Icluded aquatica housing, extension, 6 inch dome port, nikon d60 body, you would just need a lens, ikelite AI strobe and ikelite 100A strobe, arms. You would just need a nikon lens for this setup. To see samples of my work  with this setup using a nikon 16-85mm lens. All items in good to excellent condition. The ikelite 100 A strobe was my backup and its basicly brand new $2000usd plus shipping     

 

www.reefscenics.smugmug.com

 

 

 

Edited by saga7

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9 hours ago, JoelAndrew89 said:

Thank you for your feed back and advice it is really appreciated.

I think I may be better off selling up and changing to a Sony system.

Seing as the market seems to be flooded with them at the moment, second had stuff should hopefully be fairly easy to come by at reasonable prices. 

Probably will be cheaper long term, underwater shooting is a lot more than just starting with a camera body- it pays to look at it from a system view.  Important considerations include availability of suitable UW lenses that focus close, a macro lens and a fisheye lens.  How will you trigger strobes?,  are housings and ports available for your chosen lenses, ergonomics of the housing etc.  Other considerations include battery life.

There is also the size and weight of the system.  Dome ports scale with sensor size not body size so full frame systems need big domes to use rectilinear wide angle lenses and these are more expensive and harder to travel with.   Housing price also tends to scale with sensor size. depending upon the vendor. 

Sony may also not necessarily be your best choice, they don't have a native fisheye lens, the macro choice is a little more limited and the  lenses are expensive.  I shoot Olympus because of the huge range of suitable lenses, all reasonably priced and my biggest dome is the 170mm Zen dome which is ideal for travel.  If you are shopping second hand being a bit flexible in body choice will be good thing.

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Sounds like a lot of thinking and research to do before I decide on what will be the right set up for me then. 

Soemthing to cover both om land and under water that is affordable and easy to travel with may be a challenge but will see how it goes. 

 

Once again thank you all for your help.

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Micro Four thirds ticks all of those boxes, if you can look past the slightly smaller sensor size. It is not even a stop behind APS-C in low light performance and resolution is mostly on par, so if you were ok with APS-C originally, I don't think MFT is a huge compromise to make. What you gain though is an incredible lens selection for less money and weight. 

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Hello Joel.

Just curious about your final decision. 

I am a newcomer in UW photography,  but last year I fell in love with a Fujifilm X-T3, so I decided to bring it underwater. My setup is Fuji x-t3 + Fujinon 80mm macro + Nauticam housing + Backscatter mini flash. I have to say that I am very happy with this combo, but have to admit that I don't have experience in the wide angle side. There are options, fujinon 10-24 f4 or 8-16 f2.8, or you can adapt the tokina 10-17.

Anyway, just curious.

Cheers.

Elipe.

 

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Hey there Elipe,

I am still to make a decision on what to do. 

The price is something that I am really struggling with (especially being in Indonesia and the import tax) for the X-T3 with limited people using it. I for one think it is a great camera but with so few people using it underwater I am struggling to justify committing to it. 

Sorry I couldn't have been of more help.

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Hi @Elipe, how has your X-T3 been going underwater? I'm in a similar predicament to I think you found yourself in. I shifted from Pentax to Fuji about 2 years ago, thinking mainly about land photography. Now its time to upgrade my underwater set up, and I'm torn between an awesome dry land camera and lens line up underwater with the Nauticam housing, or leaving my Fuji as a dry camera and going Nikon or Olympus underwater.

Would love to hear/see some feedback from your experience.

I have the 15-45, 18-55, and 10-24 lenses. I love the 10-24mm dry, but am thinking start with the 15-45 with a wet wide angle.

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1 hour ago, froop said:

Hi @Elipe, how has your X-T3 been going underwater? I'm in a similar predicament to I think you found yourself in. I shifted from Pentax to Fuji about 2 years ago, thinking mainly about land photography. Now its time to upgrade my underwater set up, and I'm torn between an awesome dry land camera and lens line up underwater with the Nauticam housing, or leaving my Fuji as a dry camera and going Nikon or Olympus underwater.

Would love to hear/see some feedback from your experience.

I have the 15-45, 18-55, and 10-24 lenses. I love the 10-24mm dry, but am thinking start with the 15-45 with a wet wide angle.

I recommend you have a look at this topic: 

 

The recommended approach is to look at the overall system and don't start with a camera body, then sit down and add up all the things you will need for each system and consider what limitations there are with each system.  The thing to be aware of is that the costs at least in aluminium housings scale with sensor size as does dome port size for rectilinear lenses.  I went through the same process some time ago.

I see you're in Oz: Australian price for a Nauticam XT-3 housing is 4350 while an EM-1 II housing is 2904 AUD.  You could get an EM-1 II body for only slightly more than the difference between the two and image quality between APS-C and particularly the EM-1 II in m43 is really very close particularly if you are at base ISO, which is most of the time if you are using strobes.   The m43 system is very transportable as dome sizes etc are all very small.

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8 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

I see you're in Oz: Australian price for a Nauticam XT-3 housing is 4350 while an EM-1 II housing is 2904 AUD.  You could get an EM-1 II body for only slightly more than the difference between the two and image quality between APS-C and particularly the EM-1 II in m43 is really very close particularly if you are at base ISO, which is most of the time if you are using strobes.   The m43 system is very transportable as dome sizes etc are all very small.

Thanks for your input Chris. I'm well aware of the option that I have to way up, and that the Fuji XF is not a common system to take underwater. Which is why I'm after someone with specific first hand experience before eliminating it as an option.

My previous setup was a Pentax istDS in a UK-Germany housing - and I have never come across anyone else that even knew it existed, let alone seen or used one - and it gave me some excellent results in all conditions.

 

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I think one thing that Alex Mustard said on the video is quite fitting here. If you really want to bring that XT-3 underwater because that is what will give you pleasure than do it. If you can live with the fact that other systems could give you similar quality for the same money, there really is no problem. Looking at the port chart, the only serious Roadblock I see is that there is no Fisheye lens listed. Are there any autofocus (or at least auto aperture) fisheye lenses available for Fuji-X? 

I think both macro and wideangle (through WWL-1) can probably be served reasonably well, but not having a fisheye lens available might be a showstopper, depending on what you like to shoot.

I think generally though you'll have a hard time finding someone with hands on experience. It's really a niche within a niche.

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11 hours ago, froop said:

Thanks for your input Chris. I'm well aware of the option that I have to way up, and that the Fuji XF is not a common system to take underwater. Which is why I'm after someone with specific first hand experience before eliminating it as an option.

My previous setup was a Pentax istDS in a UK-Germany housing - and I have never come across anyone else that even knew it existed, let alone seen or used one - and it gave me some excellent results in all conditions.

 

No problem, just so long as you know what you are  up against.  Elipe here posting on here is the only person I have found who has mentioned actually using it underwater.   I had come across UK-Germany housings once before actually but know very little about them, they still seem t be in business.

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Posted (edited)

That's right @ChrisRoss - hence me hoping that @Elipe will see this and respond :). I've never been one to follow the mainstream, in pretty much any field I pursue. Despite the challenges that mindset encourages!

I'm pretty sure UK-Germany is still in business, catering to that niche-within-a-niche market :).  Despite being difficult to communicate with Uwe (the owner) via Google translate, he was very easy to deal with. Eg, giving me the full inventory of O-rings, instructions and support to service the housing myself rather than shipping back to Germany.

But I digress. Back onto the X-T3 / Nauticam..

How prescriptive / complete are the Nauticam port charts?

Eg, on the Fuji-X chart, it shows that CMC-1/2 are available for the Zeiss 50M on the N100 flat port, and the SMC-1/2 for the 80mm macro on an N100 flat port, but neither is available on the 60mm macro. I would've thought that with the 60mm being only a 0.5 macro vs the 80mm being a 1:1, that it'd be more useful to have the CMC-x in front of the 60mm?

Is it that the port chart doesn't go into every available option, and just gives from guidelines, or that the combination just won't work optically?

Also, it doesn't state why the CMC/SMC options are in blue text.

 

 

Edited by froop

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29 minutes ago, froop said:

But I digress. Back onto the X-T3 / Nauticam..

How prescriptive / complete are the Nauticam port charts?

Eg, on the Fuji-X chart, it shows that CMC-1/2 are available for the Zeiss 50M on the N100 flat port, and the SMC-1/2 for the 80mm macro on an N100 flat port, but neither is available on the 60mm macro. I would've thought that with the 60mm being only a 0.5 macro vs the 80mm being a 1:1, that it'd be more useful to have the CMC-x in front of the 60mm?

Is it that the port chart doesn't go into every available option, and just gives from guidelines, or that the combination just won't work optically?

Also, it doesn't state why the CMC/SMC options are in blue text.

The port charts represent what has been tested as far as I am aware, so I would expect they didn't test that combination,  perhaps the thinking is that serious macro shooters would use the 80mm lens??    There's no reason they wouldn't work on the 60mm, the lenses reduce the minimum focus distance to increase magnification  and you have about 175mm of working distance on the 60mm macro to play with, but it may be that you just don't get enough magnification to make it worthwhile with the 60mm?

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On 3/9/2021 at 1:56 AM, froop said:

Hi @Elipe, how has your X-T3 been going underwater? I'm in a similar predicament to I think you found yourself in. I shifted from Pentax to Fuji about 2 years ago, thinking mainly about land photography. Now its time to upgrade my underwater set up, and I'm torn between an awesome dry land camera and lens line up underwater with the Nauticam housing, or leaving my Fuji as a dry camera and going Nikon or Olympus underwater.

Would love to hear/see some feedback from your experience.

I have the 15-45, 18-55, and 10-24 lenses. I love the 10-24mm dry, but am thinking start with the 15-45 with a wet wide angle.

Hello @froop, sorry I didn't write earlier, didn't notice your question

Before all, please forgive my english, I am spanish, long time since I got my last english lesson, just youtube and uw photography forums, so it is a little bit rusted. Anyway I'll try to do my best.

As I stated before, I am a newcomer in UW photography, so I don't have experience with other equipement that the one I own. And I have to say that taking pictures underwater with the Nauticam X-T3 is a real Joy. As the camera is so customizable, you can set your prefered settings on the different buttons and commands offered by the housing. The only button you can't press is the Fn2. So you can operate your xt3 nearly as good as in land, fully adapted to your style.

You know the image quality of the camera, so I won't talk about that.

Regarding the experiences with the 80mm macro: I used it mainly for photographing nudis, and the different focus modes worked very well, even in continous focus. I had to illuminate the subject with an additional torch (weefine small) because I was usually shooting at f16 or f22, and the focus light of the Backscatter MF wasn't enough. I plan to add a focus gear, because I want to shoot video and I think that manual focus will work better for that.

I am also planning to grow my kit, having a wide-macro setup. I wrote to Nauticam yesterday, asking about different options around the MWL-1. They have answered me today,  telling me the 15-45 can work with the CMC-1, so I can mount both, the CMC-1 and the MWL-1 on the double flip holder. They also told me there are more options than possibly work, but haven't been tested.

The fuji lenses lineup is growing every day, with the addition of third party lenses, and adapters, like the fringer (I asked Fringer about the Tokina 10-17 compatibility, but they haven't tested it yet), so I think that in the near future I am going to have more options, not just the ones listed in Nauticam 's port chart.

This is the beggining of my underwater photography journey, I don't know if in the future I will go to a more usual brand, what I know is that I am enjoying my actual kit a lot, I kill for having the opportunity to take it underwater, I am getting very good results (considering that have still A LOT to learn) and I have zero regrets about the decision I took buying my Fuji-Nauticam kit.

I hope this can help you, please don't hesitate to ask for more detailed information. 

 

 

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Hi @Elipe,

2 hours ago, Elipe said:

Hello @froop, sorry I didn't write earlier, didn't notice your question

Before all, please forgive my english, I am spanish, long time since I got my last english lesson, just youtube and uw photography forums, so it is a little bit rusted. Anyway I'll try to do my best.

As I stated before, I am a newcomer in UW photography, so I don't have experience with other equipement that the one I own. And I have to say that taking pictures underwater with the Nauticam X-T3 is a real Joy. As the camera is so customizable, you can set your prefered settings on the different buttons and commands offered by the housing. The only button you can't press is the Fn2. So you can operate your xt3 nearly as good as in land, fully adapted to your style.

 

Thanks for your response, I'm glad to you hear you're enjoying your X-T3 underwater! And no need to apologise for your English, it's much better than my Spanish! (All I know is una cervaza grande por favor! :D)

Looking at the manual and the Nauticam page, it looks like the Fn2 and the focus joystick control are the only controls not available - am I correct in assuming that the focus point joystick can be pressed, but not used to move the focus area?

This camera's controls are certainly customisable beyond belief!

 

2 hours ago, Elipe said:

I am also planning to grow my kit, having a wide-macro setup. I wrote to Nauticam yesterday, asking about different options around the MWL-1. They have answered me today,  telling me the 15-45 can work with the CMC-1, so I can mount both, the CMC-1 and the MWL-1 on the double flip holder. They also told me there are more options than possibly work, but haven't been tested

That goes in line with what @ChrisRoss said above - that there are most likely other combination that will work, but especially due to the low number of underwater Fujifilms out there, not all combination have been field tested.

 

2 hours ago, Elipe said:

The fuji lenses lineup is growing every day, with the addition of third party lenses, and adapters, like the fringer (I asked Fringer about the Tokina 10-17 compatibility, but they haven't tested it yet), so I think that in the near future I am going to have more options, not just the ones listed in Nauticam 's port chart

There are certainly some awesome lenses in the X lineup, but a fish-eye certainly isn't one of them. For many, that's a deal breaker for underwater - for me its a factor, but not a deal breaker.  The Fringer is also apparently compatible with the EF 8-15/f4 fisheye. But having not really had a close look at any of the Nauticam gear, I'm not sure if it is possible to adapt a zoom ring to work with then lens on an adapter?  Surely you'd have to set the zoom before closing the housing and use it at a fixed focal length?

 

2 hours ago, Elipe said:

This is the beggining of my underwater photography journey, I don't know if in the future I will go to a more usual brand, what I know is that I am enjoying my actual kit a lot, I kill for having the opportunity to take it underwater, I am getting very good results (considering that have still A LOT to learn) and I have zero regrets about the decision I took buying my Fuji-Nauticam kit.

I hope this can help you, please don't hesitate to ask for more detailed information.

Thanks a lot for you detailed response Elipe. It has helped a lot.

 

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Typically for other camera brands, the solution is an adaptor a zoom knob that is setup to use the Canon zoom gears  for example this line from the Nauticam m43 port chart:

image.png.d86126924b3ddc923183494a25cd635f.png

The zoom gear is in the right spot to accept a Canon Zoom gear.  Such a solution is probably possible but it would involve a bit of testing and trial and error - not least of which is whether or not the adapter works well between the Fuji body and Canon lens for AF.  It relies upon the adapter flange being in the same spot that a Canon DSLR lens mount would be. 

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7 hours ago, froop said:

Hi @Elipe,

 

Thanks for your response, I'm glad to you hear you're enjoying your X-T3 underwater! And no need to apologise for your English, it's much better than my Spanish! (All I know is una cervaza grande por favor! :D)

Looking at the manual and the Nauticam page, it looks like the Fn2 and the focus joystick control are the only controls not available - am I correct in assuming that the focus point joystick can be pressed, but not used to move the focus area?

This camera's controls are certainly customisable beyond belief!

 

That goes in line with what @ChrisRoss said above - that there are most likely other combination that will work, but especially due to the low number of underwater Fujifilms out there, not all combination have been field tested.

 

There are certainly some awesome lenses in the X lineup, but a fish-eye certainly isn't one of them. For many, that's a deal breaker for underwater - for me its a factor, but not a deal breaker.  The Fringer is also apparently compatible with the EF 8-15/f4 fisheye. But having not really had a close look at any of the Nauticam gear, I'm not sure if it is possible to adapt a zoom ring to work with then lens on an adapter?  Surely you'd have to set the zoom before closing the housing and use it at a fixed focal length?

 

Thanks a lot for you detailed response Elipe. It has helped a lot.

 

Hello again, froop,

Yes, you are right, the joystick can be pressed, but not moved. I move the focus point with the d-pad (selector buttons).

Here in Spain we have a guy that makes printed custom gears at a very reasonable price. He can adapt virtually any lens, provided there is enough room between the lens and the port. I am sure that there is someone in your area that does the same.

As I mentioned before, I asked Nauticam about some possible combinations for macro-wide, MWL-1 and SMC or CMC with some lens options. One is the Canon EF-S  35mm 2.8 + Fringer adapter. I got a super fast answer of Phil Burghard, telling me that is not a crazy idea, it is just not tested. He sugested me the 15-45 option.

It could be nice to know if someone has paired the MWL-1 with a lens broader than 60mm equivalent. Possibly the result is too much vigneting??

On the other hand, if you don't need a very broad angle, the Zeiss touit 50mm macro (yes, very expensive and not stabilization) gives you 110° paired with the MWL-1.

As you probably know, Fringer makes another adapter, Nikon-Fuji. Unfortunatelly, it has an non removable tripod shoe (I think it has electronics inside) that makes impossible to put the camera inside the housing. I am waiting for other adapters brands, with a diferent form factor that makes possible to adapt nikon lenses.

I hope this help, and ask witout hesitation, I'll be glad to try to help you with my little knowledge. If you finally decide to go for the Fuji+Nauticam option please let me know it, it will be nice to share experiences in the unknown underwater Fuji world.

Best Regards

 

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Hi @Elipe

On 3/11/2021 at 9:21 PM, Elipe said:

I hope this help, and ask witout hesitation, I'll be glad to try to help you with my little knowledge. If you finally decide to go for the Fuji+Nauticam option please let me know it, it will be nice to share experiences in the unknown underwater Fuji world.

Thanks for your help. Rather than follow the herd and go down the the well trodden Nikon/Sony/Olympus path, I have decided to follow my heart and pulled the trigger on a NA-XT3 housing. I was teetering a bit, until I came across an under-used pre-owned housing (probably someone used it a few times then went to Nikon :D) at a decent price, and it's hopefully going to arrive on my doorstep this week.

It comes with an incomplete set of rings/ports - likely sold off separately, so I've ordered the bits needed for my 15-45 (incl WWL-C) and 80mm macro. I also have the 18-55 and 10-24, but both need the 180mm dome, and I didn't really want to buy both the WWL-C and the 180mm. Phil's recommendation to me was the 15-45/WWL-C combo over the 18-55/10-24.

Hopefully it doesn't take too many dives before I can get some photos that I'm happy with :)

 

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1 hour ago, froop said:

Hi @Elipe

Thanks for your help. Rather than follow the herd and go down the the well trodden Nikon/Sony/Olympus path, I have decided to follow my heart and pulled the trigger on a NA-XT3 housing. I was teetering a bit, until I came across an under-used pre-owned housing (probably someone used it a few times then went to Nikon :D) at a decent price, and it's hopefully going to arrive on my doorstep this week.

Good luck - hope it works as you expect it to.  Always nice to find a bargain - there can't be too many used ones around!

 

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On 3/15/2021 at 8:39 AM, froop said:

Hi @Elipe

Thanks for your help. Rather than follow the herd and go down the the well trodden Nikon/Sony/Olympus path, I have decided to follow my heart and pulled the trigger on a NA-XT3 housing. I was teetering a bit, until I came across an under-used pre-owned housing (probably someone used it a few times then went to Nikon :D) at a decent price, and it's hopefully going to arrive on my doorstep this week.

It comes with an incomplete set of rings/ports - likely sold off separately, so I've ordered the bits needed for my 15-45 (incl WWL-C) and 80mm macro. I also have the 18-55 and 10-24, but both need the 180mm dome, and I didn't really want to buy both the WWL-C and the 180mm. Phil's recommendation to me was the 15-45/WWL-C combo over the 18-55/10-24.

Hopefully it doesn't take too many dives before I can get some photos that I'm happy with :)

 

Great to hear that!!

I am sure you will get good results very soon.

As for the 80mm macro, did you order the focus gear, or you are going to use auto modes?? And please, let me know how the 15-45/WWL-C perform, once you have tested it.

Best Regards.

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I have a Seafrog housing for my xt-3. It works great for light use. I use a 9mm Laowa Cine lens(great match),10-24mm and a 50mm Zeiss macro. You can get an 8 inch dome for the housing. Unless you are diving very frequently it is a good housing to have, mine was 600 us with a 6inch dome and flat port. Bought the 8 inch dome foe 275. It is better to use zooms that do not protrude will zooming. I make my focus gears by 3d printing. I am in the process now for setting up a 24mm anamorphic lens with the 8 inch dome. Here is a link to some Sailfish photos taken with the setup and a 9mm manual focus Cine lens.  

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tobyarmstrong

 

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