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Phil Rudin

Nauticam NA-A7c housing

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In a nut shell WWL-1 & B is designed for 28mm, not 24mm lenses. The Sony FE 28-60mm lens is the best lens for WWL-1. Read my A7C review in the current issue of uwpmag.com magazine.  

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8 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

In a nut shell WWL-1 & B is designed for 28mm, not 24mm lenses. The Sony FE 28-60mm lens is the best lens for WWL-1. Read my A7C review in the current issue of uwpmag.com magazine.  

Of course! My brain spaced out for a bit there with the 24 mm FF equivalent on the APS-C for the WWL-C and the 28mm on the FF for the WWL-1(B).

That article is definitely on my list to read. I downloaded it 1-2 weeks ago but "life got in the way" along with a MOD3 cave rebreather course which I recently completed.

Thanks, Phil.

- brett

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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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I read the excellent review. Thanks for the review. I was asking Backscatter to quote a Nauticam macro rig with kit lens and CMC lens since you used it for you review but they suggested SMC for FF instead. I’m pretty new to UW macro but would like to leave room to grow to super macro. Would you suggest SMC or CMC?

 

Also what light/strobe do you recommend to keep the weight and size down for travel? And how many? I will mostly take macro and normal flat port range for bigger subjects like rays, turtles. Thank you

 

 

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The port charts for Nauticam now include data for their macro lenses, the Sony chart lists the CMC-1 and 2 for use on the 28-60: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gbXTQdKsic9to1uhgZMlkM3lJxMFHNQM/view

The CMC-1 is about equivalent to a +15 diopter and quite powerful.  It needs to be on the 28-60 because that lens does not focus that close. 

The quoted magnifications for these lenses are CMC-1 - 4.5x, CMC-2  - 2.8x, SMC-1 - 2.3x and SMC-2 - 4x.  I'm assuming these magnifications are on the same basis and the magnification refers to the increase of magnification over the base lens maximum magnification.   For example a 1:1 macro lens would achieve about 2.3:1 with the SMC-1.  Nauticam seem to recommend the SMC for use with macro lenses that can already achieve 1:1 and the CMC with  compact lenses to allow them to get close to 1:1, with some exceptions, so best to refer to the port charts. 

You said you want to have the flexibility to do super macro later, this  does not seem feasible with the 28-60 lens, where the CMC-1 I believe will give you the maximum achievable magnification and if you want more you need to switch to a macro lens and add diopter to that setup.  You might be able to use the CMC-1 with the 90mm macro but it would be very limiting with very high magnification and short working distance, so you would probably need to buy a less powerful diopter to use with the 90mm macro lens.

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@Phil Rudin Thanks for your big review in the lateast uwmag.

I just wonder how good the new Sony 20mm F1.8 would perform with a 180mm Port on this setup. Its just a shame that we have so many possible lens + port combinations and nobody can't test all of them ;).

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Great to see the A7C housing, thanks for posting! 

I've used the Samyang 18/2.8 on my A7iii for underwater for some time. I've really enjoyed it for the price point and weight. Pair this with the A7C and you have a tiny package! 

-Dave

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4 hours ago, JYk said:

@Phil Rudin Thanks for your big review in the lateast uwmag.

I just wonder how good the new Sony 20mm F1.8 would perform with a 180mm Port on this setup. Its just a shame that we have so many possible lens + port combinations and nobody can't test all of them ;).

I don't see why anyone would chose that lens UW when WWL-1 is compatible with the sony system? If you're looking for rectilinear, you could get the 16-35mm f4 with a bit wider range and zoom capabilities.

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The port charts for Nauticam now include data for their macro lenses, the Sony chart lists the CMC-1 and 2 for use on the 28-60: 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gbXTQdKsic9to1uhgZMlkM3lJxMFHNQM/view
The CMC-1 is about equivalent to a +15 diopter and quite powerful.  It needs to be on the 28-60 because that lens does not focus that close. 
The quoted magnifications for these lenses are CMC-1 - 4.5x, CMC-2  - 2.8x, SMC-1 - 2.3x and SMC-2 - 4x.  I'm assuming these magnifications are on the same basis and the magnification refers to the increase of magnification over the base lens maximum magnification.   For example a 1:1 macro lens would achieve about 2.3:1 with the SMC-1.  Nauticam seem to recommend the SMC for use with macro lenses that can already achieve 1:1 and the CMC with  compact lenses to allow them to get close to 1:1, with some exceptions, so best to refer to the port charts. 
You said you want to have the flexibility to do super macro later, this  does not seem feasible with the 28-60 lens, where the CMC-1 I believe will give you the maximum achievable magnification and if you want more you need to switch to a macro lens and add diopter to that setup.  You might be able to use the CMC-1 with the 90mm macro but it would be very limiting with very high magnification and short working distance, so you would probably need to buy a less powerful diopter to use with the 90mm macro lens.

Thanks for the info. Uhm so the Backscatter sales guy did not know his stuffs then. I think I’ll go with the CMC1. I have the SEL 90mm lens too. I may try the kit lens first before getting the port for the 90mm. What macro wet lens can be used with the 90mm?


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6 minutes ago, imacro said:


Thanks for the info. Uhm so the Backscatter sales guy did not know his stuffs then. I think I’ll go with the CMC1. I have the SEL 90mm lens too. I may try the kit lens first before getting the port for the 90mm. What macro wet lens can be used with the 90mm?


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I had asked the same questions to the guys at Reef Photo a couple of months ago and they gave me the same answers that @ChrisRoss gave you here. In other words, they DO know their stuffs. :) They also have awesome customer service.

 

And, Reef Photo's Return Policy will allow you to return something for a full refund. Backscatter's Return Policy does not allow for refunds. You can only return an item for credit or exchange - even if it's brand new and unopened. Just an FYI there.

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15 minutes ago, imacro said:

What macro wet lens can be used with the 90mm?

I use a Weefine WFL05S (+13) with mine (on an A6300, so it's cropped); it gets frame width from ~24mm to ~15mm.

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Posted (edited)

First some of the information above is wrong. The SMC-1/2 are designed for macro lenses in the 90mm to 105mm range on full frame. The CMC-1/2 are designed for sub-full frame and up to 60mm on full frame. So the above statement that the CMC-1 works with the 90mm macro is wrong. It will soften all around the edges of the frame.

Regarding image size using the 28-60mm at the 60mm end of the lens with CMC-1 I offer the following images. All three images are at full frame (NO CROP TO THE IMAGE) the coin and the larger of the two Star fish are with the CMC-1 as close as I could focus. The third more magnified image of the Star fish is shot with two CMC-1's stacked. Nauticam CMC-1 has the 67mm threads on the front so if you use the mounting ring for direct mount to a 67mm port they stack nicely, just be sure no bubbles are trapped between the two.

Regarding the question about the Sony FE 20mm F/1.8 it is an outstanding lens but if I were recommending an alternative it would be the Rokinon/Sanyang 18mm F/2.8. No one will be shooting full frame behind a 170/180mm dome at F/1.8 or F/2.8 if they expect to get any corner sharpness. My review of the Rokinon 18mm F/2.8 is in the current issue of uwpmag.com, a free PDF download. I shot the 18mm using the Nauticam 180mm dome and results from the 20mm would be close if used with the proper extension. No extension has been listed for this lens which is not on the Nauticamlens  lens charts. As mentioned above the 16-35 F/4 is a better choice with the 180mm port and I have one for sale on this site with the Nauticam zoom gear.

I would also NOT argue the point that the WWL-1/B with the Sony FE 28-60mm is the best choice for the A7C for wide angle. It requires the zoom gear and flap port which also allow the use of the CMC-1/2 closeup lenses. 

 

 

 

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Edited by Phil Rudin
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Different medium but I love the Samyang 18/2.8. Here is a product shot I used it for. In some situations you will need to boost the contrast a bit but overall I've really enjoyed the lens. I think pairing the a A7C would be incredible! 

51097295872_89522548cb_c.jpggrayl by Dave Fason, on Flickr

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Thanks for clearing things up and the photos @Phil Rudin . I got a quote from Backscatter ($8k) and Bluewater ($6k) as attached. It was Bluewater that recommended SMC (not Backscatter my bad). Could someone help me to see if I need to buy all of these for a wide + macro setup with kit lens (ignore the Sony 90mm port)? I also have some questions:

1) Both quoted WWL-1, I saw WWL-1B is the new model. Should I get the 1B instead?

2) Bluewater quoted Zoom gear and Focus gear while Backscatter only quoted Zoom gear. Do I need both?

3) Bluewater quoted Nauticam mini flash trigger but Backscatter didn't. Do I need it?

4) Bluewater quoted the  M14 vacuum valve but Backscatter didn't. Do I need it?

5) They quoted different light strobes (Inon vs SeaNSea) and quantity. What's the better brand in term of size/weight and macro + wide image quality for a compact rig? And how many do I need? Can they also be used for occasional video?

6) Do I need a focus light for macro with CMC1?

Sorry for a lot of noob questions.Thank you for your helps.

I also asked for a quote from Reefs Photo since someone mentioned it above.

Quotes removed: Admin

 

 

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8 minutes ago, imacro said:

Thanks for clearing things up and the photos @Phil Rudin . I got a quote from Backscatter ($8k) and Bluewater ($6k) as attached. It was Bluewater that recommended SMC (not Backscatter my bad). Could someone help me to see if I need to buy all of these for a wide + macro setup with kit lens (ignore the Sony 90mm port)? I also have some questions:

1) Both quoted WWL-1, I saw WWL-1B is the new model. Should I get the 1B instead?

2) Bluewater quoted Zoom gear and Focus gear while Backscatter only quoted Zoom gear. Do I need both?

3) Bluewater quoted Nauticam mini flash trigger but Backscatter didn't. Do I need it?

4) Bluewater quoted the  M14 vacuum valve but Backscatter didn't. Do I need it?

5) They quoted different light strobes (Inon vs SeaNSea) and quantity. What's the better brand in term of size/weight and macro + wide image quality for a compact rig? And how many do I need? Can they also be used for occasional video?

6) Do I need a focus light for macro with CMC1?

 

1) the WWL-1 does not come with a buoyancy collar. They sell a hard foam one. The 1B has a metal buoyancy collar that comes on it. If you get the 1(A?), I think you really want a buoyancy collar for it. AFAIK, the lens itself is the same. At least, optically speaking and how it mounts to your camera.

2) You don't need a focus gear - unless you want to use Manual focus. I don't have the focus gear for the 28-60 lens and I can't see myself ever needing it. For fine focus, I would be more likely to just let AF get it very close and then rock back and forth a little bit to adjust the fine focus.

3) If you want to use strobes, you need a strobe trigger. It doesn't have to be the Nauticam one. I am using a UWT (Underwater Technic) and would probably buy another one. It supports using TTL mode (which I have not used, but do intend to play with that soon). I tried a Trt S-Turtle trigger and had poor luck with it and Trt's customer service. I don't know if the Nauticam trigger supports TTL. You have to decide if you want that option (to be ABLE to use TTL) and then make sure the trigger you get does support it for your camera AND your strobes (if you want that option to be available to you).

4) You don't HAVE to have a vacuum valve, but it is highly advisable. The Nauticam one is working very well for me. I think BS or BW also has their own branded one, that you could go with. Which one is really up to you. The Nauticam housing should have a built-in moisture and vacuum detector. If you don't have a vacuum valve, then you won't be able to take advantage of the vacuum detector (which detects LOSS of vacuum). You'll only know if you have a leak when water gets in and sets off the moisture detector. A vacuum valve is cheap insurance for an expensive camera.

5) My Inon Z240s have been rock solid. I had a terrible time trying to make a new pair of Sea&Sea YS-D3s work for me and ultimately sold them. If you search around this forum, you'll find many others with the same complaints I had regarding using the S&S. People with offboard LED flash triggers (like you will have with an a7c) struggle to get the S&S strobes to fire reliably. People with cameras that have a built-in flash, generally have good luck. 

Also on the subject of strobes, my opinion is to buy the biggest/best you can afford. If/when you ever change camera systems, strobes will move right over. Unlike your housing, etc.. Strobes are an even more long-term investment than the camera itself. I'd take Inon Z330s over Inon D200s - unless you want the D200s for size/weight considerations. If necessary, I would even buy 1 Z330 over 2 D200s, to get started, then save up to buy a second Z330 later.

6) You don't HAVE to have a focus light at all. But, they really do help the camera focus more quickly and accurately in low light. I use my focus light all the time (for wide angle) and for small (but not macro-small) stuff. I haven't ventured into actual macro shooting yet. Fortunately, a focus light does not need to be expensive. Low power is better than high power. You don't need it to automatically turn off when the strobes fire. Strobes are so much brighter, a low powered focus light won't affect the picture when it stays on during the exposure. So, pretty much any small, low powered dive light will work just fine. I use a very inexpensive, relatively low-power video light as my focus light. It throws a nice wide beam, so I don't have to worry about aiming it precisely, and I can get focus lock on a subject, with tracking, and then recompose and my subject will still be illuminated to help the AF tracking.

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@stuartv hit the nail on the head. Couldn't have said it better.

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@imacro

It is to the great credit of this community and its members' willingness to selflessly help you out, but the answers to all your queries are already here on these forums. If you spend an hour or two searching threads, you will find a variety of opinions. The members of this community do not claim to offer objective or complete advice...we all have our particular quirks and preferences. By "reading between the lines" you can get a balanced view that may help you with your purchasing decisions. 

Ultimately, only you can make informed decisions about what you need to buy to shoot the images you want. 

In terms of quotes from specific companies, I would suggest that you keep the actual figures to yourself. Quotes are often tailored to an individual, and by sharing the specifics you run the risk of alienating vendors.

Adam

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Not to hijack this thread...

I saw the new WW-1B with the Alu buoyancy collar. It's so huge that I think after few dives it will be completely scratched. Any feedback?

Thanks

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For what it is worth, WWL-1 and WWL-1B are identical apart from the addition of an aluminum buoyancy collar on the B version. There is a foam buoyancy collar available for the WWL-1 which is important, although a pain with lighting!

WWL-C is a different lens designed to be used with 24mm lenses. It is much "flatter" which actually may make it hard to use for WAM or CFWA, due to the difficulty of getting the light in alongside it...

 

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@Davide DB

The aluminum collar on the WWL-1B is actually smaller than the foam one for the WWL-1. I have one of the latter and it seems to be surviving fine? 

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Thank you @adamhanlon it's a shame that the foam collar it's rated 50m only. What do you mean "a pain with lighting"?

Thanks

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For CFWA and WAM, the WWL allows you to get your strobes pulled in tight to the lens and hence illuminate right in front of it. The collars push the lights out and make it harder to do so...

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17 minutes ago, adamhanlon said:

For CFWA and WAM, the WWL allows you to get your strobes pulled in tight to the lens and hence illuminate right in front of it. The collars push the lights out and make it harder to do so...

 

Do you (or anyone?) have a photo that would show how the WWL-1 with foam buoyancy collar and WWL-1B compare size-wise? I'm curious to see how much bigger the one is than the other.

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, stuartv said:

 

 

Do you (or anyone?) have a photo that would show how the WWL-1 with foam buoyancy collar and WWL-1B compare size-wise? I'm curious to see how much bigger the one is than the other.

Good question!

When I saw it, I thought, "This will get scratched just by laying it on the boat. Especially for me who only uses inflatables boats." :crazy:

 

15_8caac7c3-aedc-4875-a030-535db723a014_1024x1024.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Davide DB

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8 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

First some of the information above is wrong. The SMC-1/2 are designed for macro lenses in the 90mm to 105mm range on full frame. The CMC-1/2 are designed for sub-full frame and up to 60mm on full frame. So the above statement that the CMC-1 works with the 90mm macro is wrong. It will soften all around the edges of the frame.

 

To be fair I said it might work and qualified that with the note that the magnification was excessive and usability likely to be poor and recommended the OP look at other options - different lenses are needed for the 28-60 and the 90mm macro and there is no  Nauticam recommended option allowing the same lens to be used on both lenses. 

If you consult the data in port charts you'll see the recommendations there match what Phil put forward, though they do recommend the CMC-2 as one option for the Nikon 85mm macro and the CMC-1 is only listed for the 60mm Nikon macro and has a very small working distance of 4-73mm.  On the 90mm macro the likely result might be something in the 0-20mm working distance range -effectively unusable.  The main reason these lenses are not recommended is because of unusable working distances. 

On the other questions:

1) Both quoted WWL-1, I saw WWL-1B is the new model. Should I get the 1B instead?  They are the same lens with different buoyancy collar arrangements

2) Bluewater quoted Zoom gear and Focus gear while Backscatter only quoted Zoom gear. Do I need both?  Zoom gear yes, focus gear probably not - this is for the 28-60 lens? 

3) Bluewater quoted Nauticam mini flash trigger but Backscatter didn't. Do I need it?  You need some sort of flash trigger to use strobes or you could use electric sync cords.

4) Bluewater quoted the  M14 vacuum valve but Backscatter didn't. Do I need it?  I would not use a housing without vacuum - the Nauticam valve (for a Nauticam housing) is the neatest solution IMO.  The vacuum not only serves an alarm function it preloads the o-rings and makes leaks at the surface less likely.  The vacuum is sufficient to make it virtually impossible to remove the ports or open the back of the housing if you tried.

5) They quoted different light strobes (Inon vs SeaNSea) and quantity. What's the better brand in term of size/weight and macro + wide image quality for a compact rig? And how many do I need? Can they also be used for occasional video?  I agree with Stuart's assessment on strobes If you are doing WA, definitely two strobes I would think, you can always start with one if you want, and you can do decent macro with a single strobe.  On video - definitely no the pilot lights are low power and limited beam, not really useful for anything much except maybe snooting.  The INON Z-330 would be solid choice, Retra strobes are also very good.  The INON you can get away with a cheaper simpler manual trigger if you are prepared to shoot manual for everything. 

6) Do I need a focus light for macro with CMC1?  It may help depending on the camera, as others have said a simple low power light in the coldshoe is my preference.  I use the INON LF-1400 and it's more than bright enough and has a 60° beam with the supplied diffuser.  Generally you don't need lights for WA except for under overhangs or in caves etc. 

The other thing I would mention is to consult the port charts and confirm the recommendations match what is in the charts and ask if anything in the quote doesn't match. 

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