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Phil Rudin

Nauticam NA-A7c housing

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Wira, 

Yes you get a 100% view of the LCD and you can also see the green light on the Nauticam flash trigger to let you know that it is on. The view into the small EVF using the pickup finder is also 100% but very small and I would be inclined to recommend an optional enlarged viewfinder if you intend to get optimal use from the EVF. 

The upsides and downsides of the 35mm "full frame" sensors are well documented here and on the web.

What makes the A7C exciting is the ability to use the very capable FE 28-60mm zoom with the same wet lenses like WWL-1 and CMC-1 & 2 used for sub 35mm sensor cameras like APS-C, M43 and compact sensors. If you are choosing lenses like the Sony FE 12-24, 16-35, Tamron 17-24mm and more that work best with a 230mm dome port then the upside for A7C fade. However lenses like the Zeiss 18mm, Rokinon 18mm, 20mm and 24mm lenses can all be used on A7C with a 180mm dome just like many APS-C and M43 lenses. If you want to chose an economical entry camera 35mm full frame the Sony A7C will be a compelling choice because of the new 28-60mm lens. This lens will provide the same benefits with the rest of the Sony FF line in a larger package. 

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Some of the first images shot underwater with the new Sony A7C and FE 28-60mm "kit lens" in the Nauticam NA-A7C underwater housing. All images are shot zoomed to 60mm at closest focus using the Nauticam CMC-1 WET closeup lens and two Backscatter MF-1 flashes.

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Hi Phil. I've been following your posts and am intrigued by the small size of the A7c as well as the versatility of the 28-60mm with WWL-1 and close-up lenses. I've never used a close-up lens, but my understanding is that you only get a narrow range of focus with them? If that's the case, do you have an estimate for how much range of focus there was with the 28-60mm at 60mm with the CMC-1?

Edited by Isaac Szabo

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8 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

Wira, 

Yes you get a 100% view of the LCD and you can also see the green light on the Nauticam flash trigger to let you know that it is on. The view into the small EVF using the pickup finder is also 100% but very small and I would be inclined to recommend an optional enlarged viewfinder if you intend to get optimal use from the EVF. 

The upsides and downsides of the 35mm "full frame" sensors are well documented here and on the web.

What makes the A7C exciting is the ability to use the very capable FE 28-60mm zoom with the same wet lenses like WWL-1 and CMC-1 & 2 used for sub 35mm sensor cameras like APS-C, M43 and compact sensors. If you are choosing lenses like the Sony FE 12-24, 16-35, Tamron 17-24mm and more that work best with a 230mm dome port then the upside for A7C fade. However lenses like the Zeiss 18mm, Rokinon 18mm, 20mm and 24mm lenses can all be used on A7C with a 180mm dome just like many APS-C and M43 lenses. If you want to chose an economical entry camera 35mm full frame the Sony A7C will be a compelling choice because of the new 28-60mm lens. This lens will provide the same benefits with the rest of the Sony FF line in a larger package. 

Hi Phil,

Thanks a lot for the comprehensive info. Overall the A7C looks very attractive, being the most compact fullframe underwater setup ! 

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Does it have port for the SEL90mm macro lens for a compact FF macro rig?


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20 hours ago, Isaac Szabo said:

Hi Phil. I've been following your posts and am intrigued by the small size of the A7c as well as the versatility of the 28-60mm with WWL-1 and close-up lenses. I've never used a close-up lens, but my understanding is that you only get a narrow range of focus with them? If that's the case, do you have an estimate for how much range of focus there was with the 28-60mm at 60mm with the CMC-1?

Isaac, The range of focus is very small I would say 10-12mm and the distance where the subject comes into focus is about 16cm from subject. In the first image of the Hermit Crab the AF locked onto the eyes which are tack sharp even at 300% but everything in front of and behind the eyes is out of focus, so very shallow DOF even at F/20 used for this image. Getting sharp focus with this much magnification requires patience and a lot of time in the water to develop the technique. The attached image of the Sergeant Major fish eggs was shot with two CMC-1 lenses stacked on top of each other. Distance from lens to subject is about 10mm so very little space too get the flash onto the subject. These eggs were on a surface about as flat as you will find underwater and each egg is 1mm or less in diameter. In spite of being on an almost surface half the frame is out of focus because DOF is just that shallow. Also at F/20.

With this very shallow amount of DOF you need to be skilled or you will without question damage the eggs. This is a shot I was prepared to take before I ever went to the Blue Heron Bridge where it was taken.

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Edited by Phil Rudin

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Thanks for the info, Phil! It looks like the 28-60mm + CMC-1 is capable of producing really good results. It's helpful for me to get confirmation that it has such a limited range of focus and thus wouldn't be a full replacement for a macro lens (for me at least). Still, it's an intriguing setup, and I may pick up the 28-60mm and and close-up lens at some point (I already have the WWL-1).

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Of course a full 1:1 macro like the Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 is going to have a wider shooting but if you remove the CMC-1 the 28-60mm at 60mm allows you to get shots more in the 1:5-1:6 range like this Caribbean Spiny Lobster.

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Of course a full 1:1 macro like the Sony FE 90mm F/2.8 is going to have a wider shooting but if you remove the CMC-1 the 28-60mm at 60mm allows you to get shots more in the 1:5-1:6 range like this Caribbean Spiny Lobster.
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Thanks Phil. Do you think it’s worth it to return the A6400 for the A7C? It’ll be about $1600 more for the base kit lens setup with Nauticam.


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That is not my choice to make. What I will say is that lens selection is much larger with Sony full frame v APS-C. What remains to be seen is how Sony will develop the A7C lineup. I suspect that more compact lenses will follow along with perhaps a higher res R body. Only time will tell.

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Could you share some photos holding the housing in hands to get a sense how large the rig is? Thank you


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1 hour ago, imacro said:

Could you share some photos holding the housing in hands to get a sense how large the rig is? Thank you


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  • Dimension: 307mm (W) x 172mm (H) x 103mm(D)
  • Weight on Land: 1.78kg
  • Weight Underwater: 0.19kg
  • Depth Rating: 100m
  • Port System: N100
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Photos on the front page comparing the camera size to A7R IV and housing to housing. The A6400 housing is 306 X 168 X 100. 

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Hello Phil,

This set up looks like very interesting for me.

You have compared the viewfinder with the Nex7 but what about the comparaison with the Olympus EM5 (mark 1) ? Is it as small or smaller with the standard housing viewfinder ?

What I would like too is a good TTL converter for this housing.

Without any wet lens, just with the 28-60 behind his flat port, haw is image quality ? What is the smallest subject to fill the frame 10 or 15 cm ? And how is the corner sharpness at 28 mm for big subjects like groopers ?

Hervé

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1 hour ago, Rv said:

Hello Phil,

This set up looks like very interesting for me.

You have compared the viewfinder with the Nex7 but what about the comparaison with the Olympus EM5 (mark 1) ? Is it as small or smaller with the standard housing viewfinder ?

What I would like too is a good TTL converter for this housing.

Without any wet lens, just with the 28-60 behind his flat port, haw is image quality ? What is the smallest subject to fill the frame 10 or 15 cm ? And how is the corner sharpness at 28 mm for big subjects like groopers ?

Hervé

The problem with the lens at 60mm is that it has a focus distance of 45cm (vs 20cm for the Nikon 60mm macro) and 20cm at 28mm from what I recall.

You will NOT be able to fill the frame at 28 or 60mm with that lens and a flat port for subjects between 10 & 15 cm

I have just tried with my ipad mini 4 (20cm*14cm), it fills almost the frame (80%) at minimum focus distance at 28mm. At 60mm, it's a bit less (normal given focus distance is more than double, from 20 to 45cm).

 

EDIT : given it is a flat port, you will definitely not have sharp corners at 28mm but probably have 25% magnification. Still not enough to fill a frame for a 10cm subject

 

Edited by waterpixel

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Rv- viewfinder wise not apples to apples because of the 3:2 format v. the M4:3 format but yes they fall into the same size range.

28mm on FF or 14mm on M4:3 has an approx. AOV of 75 degrees and is as wide as you would want to shoot behind a flat port. On full frame sharpness will suffer more.

10cm is about 1:2.8 on full frame and 15cm is about 1:4.1, as I said above on the lobster shot you get shots more in the 1:5 to 1:6 range or 18 to 21cm range on the long side.

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Thank you Phil! I decided to get the A7C instead of the A6400. I have the SEL90 for macro. What lens do you recommend for wide angle?

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13 hours ago, Rv said:

Hello Phil,

This set up looks like very interesting for me.

You have compared the viewfinder with the Nex7 but what about the comparaison with the Olympus EM5 (mark 1) ? Is it as small or smaller with the standard housing viewfinder ?

What I would like too is a good TTL converter for this housing.

Without any wet lens, just with the 28-60 behind his flat port, haw is image quality ? What is the smallest subject to fill the frame 10 or 15 cm ? And how is the corner sharpness at 28 mm for big subjects like groopers ?

Hervé

The specs for the Sony 28-60 give a maximum magnification of 0.16x  so a full frame 36mm across the subject would be 36/0.16 = 225mm across using a dome divide that by 1.3 to get about 170mm across at maximum magnification in a flat port.  

The trick is that max magnification might be in the middle of the zoom range rather than at 60mm .  But using 170mm gives you an indication of what can be achived.   

Behind a flat port 28mm is listed as acceptable in the corners - it won't be as good as a dome,  the trick is your acceptable and my acceptable might be different.

I would also add a caveat that you need a well fitting port.  The 28-60 is very short and some housing lines may only have a flat port that fits all macro lenses, in the extreme this may mean it will vignette a  little at 28mm.  This is particularly important for wet optics.  So some research is required.

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On 2/5/2021 at 12:54 PM, Lewis88 said:

I absolutely agree. The question is if the extra cost of going FF is really needed for most of us.

From a prior post, it sounded like the a7c w/28-60 and housing would be right in the same ballpark as a (crop sensor) Z50...

 

A prior post also mentioned the high MP count of the a7rIV and pointed out that the 28-60 w/WWL-1 will work with that (or any other a7-series) camera. It is more money than the a7c, but I have found the high MP count of the a7rIV to be VERY useful to me for getting photos without a macro setup that would have otherwise required a macro setup. Having 61MP to crop from can be VERY handy. Alternatively, switching the camera to APS-C mode, to yield a net effect of 1.5X the focal length, still produces 26MP images. 

The rIV housing is bigger than the a7c housing. But, the port and WWL-1 is still all the same size.

If my rig were stolen and I had to buy al new, I would still (just me, personally) go with a little bigger size and a bit more money to have the rIV with its higher MP count. If, for some reason, I really felt a need to have a smaller package, I would definitely go with the a7c setup over any crop sensor setup. The Sony 28-60 lens plus the WWL-1 and a CMC-1 (or CMC-2) - as a kit - does not get AS wide as a true wide angle setup with a big dome. And it does not work for AS small macro stuff as a true macro setup. But, it will go from "pretty small" to "pretty wide" and all points in between quite well. That is good enough for me - especially for flying to travel.

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I have been ask a bunch of questions about all things A7C and today my 4000 word review has posted in UWPMAG.com issue #119. This is a free PDF download and I suggest you read the review if you have an interest in the Sony A7C. I intensely did my review using only the Sony FE 28-60mm "kit" lens with the WWL-1, WACP and one and two CMC-1 lenses. Some of the macro is in this thread. After reading the review I would be happy to answer any questions. 

The attached image is with the 28-60 at 28 using the WACP. This is an A/V light shot at ISO-400, F10, 1/125th sec.

 

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Any thoughts on the new Sony ultra compact FE lens coming up in May? I’m interested in the 24mm f2.8. Will it work well underwater and is there nauticam port for it? Thanks

https://www.adorama.com/iso2428.html?gclid=CjwKCAjw6fCCBhBNEiwAem5SO93CT1xHJ3Y1ykpu-ueb28nJuhFIAphVLMrsgUokCp23_-j2zAE-oxoCG3UQAvD_BwE&gclid=CjwKCAjw6fCCBhBNEiwAem5SO93CT1xHJ3Y1ykpu-ueb28nJuhFIAphVLMrsgUokCp23_-j2zAE-oxoCG3UQAvD_BwE&utm_source=adl-gbase-p


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You actually have several compelling choices of 24mm lenses for sony FE full frame. The new Sony FE 24mm F/2.8 has excellent weather sealing, an aperture ring on the barrel and a programable button. These are all useful above water but useless in a housing. The lens is also $598.00 new. I would also suggest Looking at the affordable Rokinon 24mm F/2.8 and the Tamron 24mm F/2.8. Tamron is now on sale for $199.00 and the Rokinon on sale runs around $250.00. I reviewed the Rokinon 24mm for UWPMAG.com issue #116 and I suggest you take a look at that review for some insight into how useful the 24mm is underwater.

Sony and Rokinon focus to 24cm, Tamron focuses to 12cm which is 1:2. The Rokinon is quite good and well worth the price. All three lenses should work behind the ZEN 170mm or Nauticam 180mm ports. 

You may also want to checkout my review of the Rokinon 18mm F/2.8 which will also work with the 170/180mm ports, it is in the current issue #119 at uwpmag.com, the magazine is a free PDF download with all back issues.

Bottom line is I would own the more expensive Sony FE 24mm if my main goal was above water use with occasional U/W use, otherwise I would be choosing the less expensive options. Of the four lenses the 18mm is the most useful underwater   

116:Rok24.jpg

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1 hour ago, Phil Rudin said:

Bottom line is I would own the more expensive Sony FE 24mm if my main goal was above water use with occasional U/W use, otherwise I would be choosing the less expensive options. Of the four lenses the 18mm is the most useful underwater    

I agree on the 18mm. The Batis 18mm is insanely sharp on land and UW has great FoV for rectilinear without too long of a focus distance. It's on the pricier side though

Definitely one of my favorite lens.

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I reviewed the Zeiss Batis 18mm F/2.8 back in issue #92 using an A7R II and ZEN 200mm port which is the port I had at the time. The lens works well with Nauticam 180mm optical glass port and a 20mm extension. Because the lens has a 77mm thread I have also be using it with the S&S correction lens of the same size. I have also been testing the pricy Sony FE 24mm F/1.4 with a 20mm extension since the lens came out. This lens has also been added to the Nauticam port chart with 40mm recommended with the N120 / 180mm port and 70mm of N100 extensions with the N100/ 180mm port. The N100 port works best. I have been using it with the Nauticam 230mm port so less extension needed. 

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3 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

Bottom line is I would own the more expensive Sony FE 24mm if my main goal was above water use with occasional U/W use, otherwise I would be choosing the less expensive options. Of the four lenses the 18mm is the most useful underwater   

What if you factor in using the WWL-1(B)? It seems like the "ultimate" system would be the A7c with the new upcoming FE 24mm prime? The F/2.8 is nice above water but doesn't matter much under water.

Thoughts?

- brett

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