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OwenF

What can I achieve with D7000

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Posted (edited)

Looking for some specific advice. Having decided I cannot justify full upgrade at the moment, i'm hoping to maximise what I have.

Current gear: D7000 in Aquatica housing. Tokina 10-17mm. 8inch dome. No extensions.

Typical usage: UK wrecks (north coast > 40m) so typically dark and silty. Caves (france/ mexico/ florida). I am typically WA, usually trying to fill the frame with something close to get best of strobes and mitigate the silt/washout. I take photos for three purposes: hero shots of buddies; photogrammetry; and for survey purposes (squidgy stuff and environment). I capture video (these days more when needed for a specific project) and am trying to setup strobes/video lights in pairs. This not only allows me to switch photo/video on a dive, but is useful for photogrammetry.

I have been contemplating getting a port extension as I feel that i'm lacking sharpness in majority of images (at a range of f/). I'm guessing its because Aquatica recommend a min ~16mm ext. for the 10-17mm.

However, i've also been wondering about the 1.4x teleconvertor and the associated extension. I am wondering what this will do - I think narrows the field of view and allows closer focusing? Will I notice the loss of the wide end vs. gains in focus distance/sharpness?

Lastly i'm thinking whether a 4inch mini-dome would be a good addition, in combination with one of the above, to reduce bulk and help balance the rig. Would I be undoing any image quality gains by reducing dome size with this particular lens.

I did contemplate a Tokina 11-16mm, but it seems the 10-17mm is far more versatile.

Apologies for long intro, but: given my use case, would any of the above give me any improvements/reductions in image quality or versatility from where I'm currently at?

P.s. I know this is ancient tech and there a loads of historic threads on some of this combination. But i'm looking for up-to-date and specific opinions.

Thanks

Edited by OwenF

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Hi Owen

Combining the 10-17 with a Kenko 1.4TC is a popular move. It alters, of course, the field of view from 10-17 to around 14-21 - so a different perspective. It also allows very close focussing known as Close Focus Wide-Angle (CFWA) which can produce spectacular results with the right subject up close to the lens. A really good use is to show a critter very close up - approx medium frogfish size, say - against the background of the reef.

I don't think there can be much doubt that the lack of sharpness isn't helped by the lack of an extension ring to get the lens in the right position behind the dome. I use a 10-17 on my Subal/D500 system and it needs a 18mm EXR on its own with an 8" dome and a 40mm one with the Tokina.  So, yes, the 10-17 requires an additional (approx) 20mm of extension to the port housing.

The 100mm/4" domes work really well with the 10-17/TC combination and allow you to get really close to the subject for CFWA shots. They work just as well with the 10-17 on its own. That combination does though need a different EXR combination: 10-17 with a 4" dome needs (for my system) a 13mm EXR and with the 10-17/TC combination, 33mm. I just combine the 13mm with an additional 20mm one.

The Tokina is a pretty grim lens I think topside. But underwater on a APSC sensor, it is pretty darned good!

Hope this helps

 

Tim

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Owen,

I agree with everything Tim said. Your best image quality upgrade is going to be positioning the dome in the right spot. I shoot the Tokina 10-17 with a D7000 in the Aquatica housing and I use the 18456 extension (I think its the 48456 now, but the 18456 extension will work for your housing if you can find one used) and I get good sharpness. Image "quality" will not be improved by going to the small dome, but it can lead to more versatility.

If you regularly find you are having a hard time getting close enough or lighting the subject in front of the 8" dome, then the small one might be a good upgrade for you. Same goes with the 1.4 teleconverter. If you are shooting small stuff CFWA style and cannot get close enough with your setup then the small dome and teleconverter may be the best upgrade path for you.

One place where the D7000 shows it weaknesses is in high ISO situations. The 8" dome gives you some flexibility in shooting a little wider open than the small dome will, while still retaining corner sharpness. The small dome may force you into the dreaded ISO 3200, where the D7000 files start to fall apart.  

I too think about upgrading, but The D7000 is a good camera and I am amazed how well my files hold up if I am careful with my exposure.

SH 

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7 hours ago, OwenF said:

 

I have been contemplating getting a port extension as I feel that i'm lacking sharpness in majority of images (at a range of f/). I'm guessing its because Aquatica recommend a min ~16mm ext. for the 10-17mm.

 

However, i've also been wondering about the 1.4x teleconvertor and the associated extension. I am wondering what this will do - I think narrows the field of view and allows closer focusing? Will I notice the loss of the wide end vs. gains in focus distance/sharpness?

Lastly i'm thinking whether a 4inch mini-dome would be a good addition, in combination with one of the above, to reduce bulk and help balance the rig. Would I be undoing any image quality gains by reducing dome size with this particular lens.

I did contemplate a Tokina 11-16mm, but it seems the 10-17mm is far more versatile.

Hi Owen, addressing some specific questions.  First the 1.4x only changes the field of view, the closest focus distance does not change.  You should already be able to focus on the port with that lens.  I wouldn't expect any improvements in sharpness either - in general converters lose a little sharpness, though UW this may not be noticeable.

Regarding extension yes,  using the right extension is highly recommended.  If you have not seen it already this is the port chart for your housing/camera: https://www.aquatica.ca/en/charts/nikon_type_4.pdf  You will notice that you can use the same 48456 extension for the 4, 6 and 8"domes and similarly the same 48453 extension with the 1.4x

The other issue with sharpness is stopping down enough - I believe you would probably want to be at about f11 or so with this lens, but other scould confirm this for you.   Fisheye lenses are generally less sensitive about corner sharpness than rectilinear, but still need to stop down enough.  The 4"dome should work quite well with the fisheye lens maybe at a small cost in image quality.

Regarding photogrammetry, I don't have good knowledge of that, but I do believe that rectilinear lenses are preferred for that purpose mainly due to the fact that the strong distortion in the fisheye means the image scale changes from centre to edge.  This makes stitching all the images together much easier.  Rectilinear lenses though generally benefit from large domes and you would be stopping down to the f11-13 range to get good corners.  The Tokina 11-16 is rectilinear and could be used with the 8"dome and the 48453 extension.  It takes 77mm filters so could use the S&S correction lens to improve the corners and allow shooting at wider apertures. 

https://www.seaandsea.jp/products/digital_slr/accessory/023.html

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Thanks for the replies. They have clarified a few points I wasn’t 100% on e.g. TC effect on focus distance.

I have just pushed the button on a 18453 (28.5mm) extension as it was available used in the UK. Buying Aquatica new in the UK was troublesome before Brexit and I’m suspecting even worse now.

I think I’ve found a 1.4x Pro 300 DGX, which I’ll try with the 10-17, the above extension and my 8” dome to see if I like the CFWA style. I might then add a 11-16 in the near future for a rectilinear option for photogrammetry and video.

If I really like CFWA I may look at the mini dome, but I’m hoping the 10-17 + 1.4 combo in 8” is versatile enough for my shooting.

I’m looking forward to trying this out as I still can’t quite picture in my mind what the TC does to the image. I’ve seen plenty of the typical ‘exaggerated foreground’ with fish, but I’m wondering how this will change my typical shot style:

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@OwenF

I'm happy to lend you my 10-24mm for a play. I don't have any Aquatica extensions or zoom rings however. It should work with your 8" dome, but I have no idea about the extensions it needs....

I agree with the others that lens position is paramount, and until you have that fixed, everything else is moot...

The advantage of small domes is that you can get them closer to the subject, but (in my mind) more importantly, you can also get the lighting in closer to the port. You won't get this advantage with your 8" dome, so I think your experiment is doomed to failure! I would also suggest that the TC will not have much effect at the distances you are shooting at above. It will "de-fish" the lens somewhat. I find that the Tokina at 17mm is actually quite "de-fished" already. 

The TC gives you an advantage when you have a smaller subject in the foreground, and want to capture it relatively big in the frame, and still have the background in the shot. Divers are relatively big already!

Adam

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I'm happy to lend you my 10-24mm for a play.


Thanks! I might take you up when we’re allowed out to play. Thought it appears I’d need to find an extension for it to work properly.




The advantage of small domes is that you can get them closer to the subject, but (in my mind) more importantly, you can also get the lighting in closer to the port. You won't get this advantage with your 8" dome, so I think your experiment is doomed to failure! I would also suggest that the TC will not have much effect at the distances you are shooting at above. It will "de-fish" the lens somewhat. I find that the Tokina at 17mm is actually quite "de-fished" already. 

The TC gives you an advantage when you have a smaller subject in the foreground, and want to capture it relatively big in the frame, and still have the background in the shot. Divers are relatively big already!


Hmm, yes I follow you with the likely limitations. ‘De-fishing’ was a benefit I’d hoped for, so I’ll see what that looks like vs. the raw 10-17

Seeing as I sprung for the extension that supports the 10-17+TC or the 11-16, I guess I’ll just try those out initially with the dome I’ve got.

But sounds like if I want full advantage of the 10-17+TC I’ll have to get the 4”dome. Or the right extension for the 10-17 only. Or both


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1 hour ago, OwenF said:

 



But sounds like if I want full advantage of the 10-17+TC I’ll have to get the 4”dome. Or the right extension for the 10-17 only. Or both emoji23.png


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

You got it! More "investment", right? :crazy:

(Totally agree with Adam on the lighting part of CFWA and the 4" dome.)

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2 hours ago, OwenF said:

think I’ve found a 1.4x Pro 300 DGX, which I’ll try with the 10-17, the above extension and my 8” dome to see if I like the CFWA style. I might then add a 11-16 in the near future for a rectilinear option for photogrammetry and video.

Owen, I couldn't get the DGX version of the Kenko 1.4TC to work with my Tokina. It does though with the Nikkor 8-15.

With the Tokina 10-17 I found you need the Kenko N-AF Pro 300 "DG" version - not DGX.

The "DG" version will not work with the Nikkor 8-15.

 

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Hi Owen,  I'd suggest the 16.5mm extension 48456 is probably a no regrets purchase you would use it with your current dome regardless and it's also needed for the 4"dome where it's possibly more important. 

The extension for the 10-24 is a 39.5mm. 

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On 3/6/2021 at 5:04 AM, TimG said:

 I couldn't get the DGX version of the Kenko 1.4TC to work with my Tokina. It does though with the Nikkor 8-15.

With the Tokina 10-17 I found you need the Kenko N-AF Pro 300 "DG" version - not DGX.

The "DG" version will not work with the Nikkor 8-15. 

 

Tim:  The Kenko thing always seems to baffle me.  Multiple products with similar names.  However, I have found that the Pro 300 DGX works with both the 8-15 and 10-17.  I had some problems (can't recall what they were) with the HDpro version of the DGX.  You might want to look into that.

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13 hours ago, Draq said:

Tim:  The Kenko thing always seems to baffle me.  Multiple products with similar names.  However, I have found that the Pro 300 DGX works with both the 8-15 and 10-17.  I had some problems (can't recall what they were) with the HDpro version of the DGX.  You might want to look into that.

Thanks, Draq - interesting!

I agree! I bought the Pro 300 DGX version as the DG version would NOT work with the Nikkor 8-15. I then actually advertised the DG version for sale here on WP Classifieds. Imagine my shock-horror when I went to use my Tokina 10-17 and it would not work with the DGX - but only with the DG!

I'm travelling (not diving, sadly) at the moment so can't retry it. But when I get back I will and will report further. Maybe I had some senior-flip out moment with the DGX on the Tokina. But I don't think so. Maybe it's almost model specific!

Agreed on the HDPro version. I've not tried it but have heard others say there are problems. 

So for the moment I have the DG for the Tokina 10-17 and the DGX for the Nikkor 8-15. Confusing? Yup.

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