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KGDiver

Newbie(ish) with a new camera.

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Getting ready for a Sea of Cortez trip next month and recently moved from TG5 (used on 3 trips, about 50 dives) to an LX10.

There's supposed to be potential for some big subjects in Sea of Cortez (whales, whale sharks, sea lions etc) which I'd love to get some video/pics.

So I'm shopping for my first wide angle lens. Unfortunately (?) my decision to purchase LX10 was based solely on Backscatter review which has for years touted it as the top dog of compacts for UW. What I feel they failed to mention is its shortcomings when it comes to WA lenses and having to zoom in 32+ to avoid vignetting. Though an argument can be made that when filming in 4k (like I will be) it crops to equivalent of 36mm so I suppose point is moot there, but when it comes to stills...that's a bit of a different story. So.....all that being said, this is where I landed.

Inon UWL-H100 Type 1. Without the dome I'm looking at advertised 100 degree FOV, which after zoom, is going to be significantly less. Adding the Dome Type II, would get me close, if not a little over, the 100 degree FOV; but that would nearly double the cost of the investment.

Another option, and one I haven't had the chance to thoroughly vent, is the Nauticam WWL-C. Those that have experience with the LX10, especially in an Ikelite housing, is the situation the same as with UWL-H100 and if it's better, it is worth the $400 premium vs Inon+ Dome.

My planned setup is Lx10, Ikelite housing, one of the above WA lenses, SubSee +10 macro, Backscatter MW4300 x1, Inon S2000 x1.

What are your guys' thoughts? Any suggestions....are there better options (without getting rid of the LX10)?

 

Cheers

 

PS. If anything I wrote seems a bit ignorant, well, it probably is haha. I'm fairly new to photography (including UW) so feel free to correct me. :)

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It is hard to give good advice as I don't know just how far you need to zoom in to stop the vignette as it's not published - it's about 30-32mm on a Nauticam housing and on the ikelite will depend on just how far back the lens is at it's widest setting.

In general though I would recommend considering using a lens designed for 28mm lenses .  For example the WWL-C is a 0.42x lens and at 32mm provides 13.5mm equivalent, while the WWL-1 is a 0.36x lens and 32mm would give you a field of view equivalent to a 11.5mm lens and the field of view on the diagonal would be 116° and 124° respectively

In fact the WWL is reported on the port cahrts with the Nauticam housing to give 108° for the WWL-C and 130° for the WWL-1 when zoomed to 28mm. 

The other thing to consider is the WWL are both zoom through lenses while the UWL-H100 is not a zoom through lens and can only be used at the widest settings or slightly zoomed in to avoid vignetting, the image quality deteriorates beyond that.

As for using the wide lens and a closeup diopter on the same dive, both WWL are big items - 150mm diameter and quite heavy so storing them might be an issue when you swap them over.  The UWL-H100 is much smaller and could easily be stored on a strobe arm.  Also the WWL-C/WWL-1B do not include a tie off point to tether them so burping it over deep water and removing it to store it could be a bit nerve wracking.  They are really more suited to leaving on the whole dive.

Both WWL's have an inbuilt Nauticam Bayonet so you need to purchase the Nauticam bayonet to mount on your housing to allow you to attach them and your wet macro lens will also need a Nauticam bayonet fitting to allow you to interchange them readily

 

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7 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

It is hard to give good advice as I don't know just how far you need to zoom in to stop the vignette as it's not published - it's about 30-32mm on a Nauticam housing and on the ikelite will depend on just how far back the lens is at it's widest setting.

In general though I would recommend considering using a lens designed for 28mm lenses .  For example the WWL-C is a 0.42x lens and at 32mm provides 13.5mm equivalent, while the WWL-1 is a 0.36x lens and 32mm would give you a field of view equivalent to a 11.5mm lens and the field of view on the diagonal would be 116° and 124° respectively

In fact the WWL is reported on the port cahrts with the Nauticam housing to give 108° for the WWL-C and 130° for the WWL-1 when zoomed to 28mm. 

The other thing to consider is the WWL are both zoom through lenses while the UWL-H100 is not a zoom through lens and can only be used at the widest settings or slightly zoomed in to avoid vignetting, the image quality deteriorates beyond that.

As for using the wide lens and a closeup diopter on the same dive, both WWL are big items - 150mm diameter and quite heavy so storing them might be an issue when you swap them over.  The UWL-H100 is much smaller and could easily be stored on a strobe arm.  Also the WWL-C/WWL-1B do not include a tie off point to tether them so burping it over deep water and removing it to store it could be a bit nerve wracking.  They are really more suited to leaving on the whole dive.

Both WWL's have an inbuilt Nauticam Bayonet so you need to purchase the Nauticam bayonet to mount on your housing to allow you to attach them and your wet macro lens will also need a Nauticam bayonet fitting to allow you to interchange them readily

 

Thank you for the reply!

You've made some good points. For me it's an issue of "I don't know what I don't know". I definitely didnt realize I would need an adapter between the WWL and the housing (it didn't show it on Backscatter on the "package" page of the Ikelite housing,  but I see it when going to the link for the lens itself); so I would need two bayonett mounts, which further eats into the budget.

From what I've read about the UWL-H100, it still vignettes unless zoomed to around 34mm, but I'm not sure if that was for Type 1 or Type 2 (type 1gets closer to the lens), so I would need to dome (added weight and cost) but would still be roughly half the price of the WWL.  I might just have to bite the bullet and be my own guinea pig. Speaking of what I don't know, when adding the dome to the UWL-H100, the dome goes on dry and just the lense itself gets burped (hiusing/lens making point).

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Yes just the dome/lens unit gets burped, the dome is dry.  You could also look at the Fantasea and Kraken wet lenses, some of which are zoom through from memory. 

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I have the LX-10 and WWL-C.  The WWL-C is notably lighter underwater (.25 kg vs. .62 kg), so you don't have to deal with a buoyancy collar.  However, they just came out with the WWL-1B, which is even lighter underwater (.12kg). 

I've had no issue swapping the WWL-C onto a 7" arm bayonet mount and keeping it there - to me,  its not as big of an issue as one would think (and even I have small hands that could make changing it underwater hazardous).  The dome shade is relatively easy to grab on to for changes, whereas the WWL-1B could be difficult to deal with.  I tend to keep the WWL-C port mounted and only swap out to my CMC-1/2 when needed.  Keeping it on the arm for a couple minutes is no issue at all, as long as you have enough floats so you have enough buoyancy overall.

I *barely* notice any vigonetting at 28mm and none at 30mm, despite what Nauticam's charts say.  I do have their case for the LX-10, so maybe their 67mm threads are cut closer to the port and they're taking worst case scenario of other manufacturer's cases?  That will be the big question for your Ikelite housing.

I've tried the UWL-100 and it didn't work at all.  I had to zoom to 34mm and I basically had no gain in FOV.  You could go with the dome, but you'd need a buoyancy collar and no zoom through.  I would advise against it.     

Needless to say, I'm really happy with my set-up.  Backscatter's review is true for me where I can swap out wide to macro quickly and easily, but I'm using the Nauticam case.  

My other comments is that you're not going to have enough light for wide angle.  I have two YS-01s and both are at 3/4 or full power to get enough light for the WWL-C at any reasonably closed aperture.  A single S2000, which is notably weaker than the YS-01, is not going to cut it for any wide angle.  

Feel free to PM me with any questions (or put them here).  

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20 minutes ago, mdo905 said:

I have the LX-10 and WWL-C.  The WWL-C is notably lighter underwater (.25 kg vs. .62 kg), so you don't have to deal with a buoyancy collar.  However, they just came out with the WWL-1B, which is even lighter underwater (.12kg). 

I *barely* notice any vigonetting at 28mm and none at 30mm, despite what Nauticam's charts say.  I do have their case for the LX-10, so maybe their 67mm threads are cut closer to the port and they're taking worst case scenario of other manufacturer's cases?  That will be the big question for your Ikelite housing.

My other comments is that you're not going to have enough light for wide angle.  I have two YS-01s and both are at 3/4 or full power to get enough light for the WWL-C at any reasonably closed aperture.  A single S2000, which is notably weaker than the YS-01, is not going to cut it for any wide angle.  

 

I recall other posts talking about the LX-10 and where it vignettes and it seems to vary a little - it maybe just what people notice perhaps? 

The WWL-1/B still gives a wider view as it's designed to give maximum field of view at 28mm and this is reported in Nauticam port charts.

On the question of lighting, what aperture are you using?  with the smaller sensor,  f5.6 on the LX-10 is equivalent to f16 on full frame and I know many who use f4- f5 on 1" sensor cameras which makes life easier for your flash.  I do agree though a single flash will struggle to cover a 130° field.

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Ha, it was me and another member talking about the vignetting of the WWL-C in the other thread.  He seemed to have more of it than I notice.  I'm still an amateur UW photography with only about 20 dives with this exact setup, so maybe I just don't see it yet.  We'll see how I feel after my next trip that starts this Saturday.

Yes, a WWL-1 is definitely a wider FOV.  However, I'm happy with my 115ish degree FOV considering the WWL-C is notably smaller than the WWL-1 and I can comfortably put it on the strobe arm.  I doubt the WWL-1/1B would be able to comfortably fit there.

I'm using f8 most of the time, so I can definitely stop-up.  I'm still figuring the camera out and would like to get the greatest depth of field.  When I'm on full power, I do get enough light at f8 and it's not like I'm taking 200 full power shots per dive. 

Chris, what would you recommend aperture that I try for most of my shots?

 

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On apertures, f8 is equivalent to f22 on full frame and most people seem to use f11-16 on full frame but that's for rectilinear to brings the corners in and the WWL is specifically designed not to need to stop down for good corners.  I would suggest f5.6 it'll take you from full power to half power.  Maybe try some shots like you normally take at f8/5.6/4.5?  You don't need to stop down for corners and using a 12mm equivalent lens you have a lot of depth of field.  You might need to stop down a touch for CFWA particularly is you have background subjects a few m away you also want in focus-  but you are way closer with your strobes then.

on the WWL the specs for WWL-C say 146 x 79mm and the 1B is 156 x 97mm, so the 1B is a bit bigger but not a lot in it.  For handling issues  I'm thinking of changing/burping it over deep water - deeper bottom than you can reach diving.

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16 hours ago, mdo905 said:

I have the LX-10 and WWL-C.  The WWL-C is notably lighter underwater (.25 kg vs. .62 kg), so you don't have to deal with a buoyancy collar.  However, they just came out with the WWL-1B, which is even lighter underwater (.12kg). 

I've had no issue swapping the WWL-C onto a 7" arm bayonet mount and keeping it there - to me,  its not as big of an issue as one would think (and even I have small hands that could make changing it underwater hazardous).  The dome shade is relatively easy to grab on to for changes, whereas the WWL-1B could be difficult to deal with.  I tend to keep the WWL-C port mounted and only swap out to my CMC-1/2 when needed.  Keeping it on the arm for a couple minutes is no issue at all, as long as you have enough floats so you have enough buoyancy overall.

I *barely* notice any vigonetting at 28mm and none at 30mm, despite what Nauticam's charts say.  I do have their case for the LX-10, so maybe their 67mm threads are cut closer to the port and they're taking worst case scenario of other manufacturer's cases?  That will be the big question for your Ikelite housing.

I've tried the UWL-100 and it didn't work at all.  I had to zoom to 34mm and I basically had no gain in FOV.  You could go with the dome, but you'd need a buoyancy collar and no zoom through.  I would advise against it.     

Needless to say, I'm really happy with my set-up.  Backscatter's review is true for me where I can swap out wide to macro quickly and easily, but I'm using the Nauticam case.  

My other comments is that you're not going to have enough light for wide angle.  I have two YS-01s and both are at 3/4 or full power to get enough light for the WWL-C at any reasonably closed aperture.  A single S2000, which is notably weaker than the YS-01, is not going to cut it for any wide angle.  

Feel free to PM me with any questions (or put them here).  

Great information here. I wonder what the difference would be between the Ikelite vs Nauticam housing with both the H100 vs WWL-C. H100 you used, was it a type 1 or type 2?

 

How are the pics/video with just ambient lighting and custom WB? S2000 is strictly for macro purposes.

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As for Ikelite vs. Nauticam housings, I have no idea. 

I had a UWL-H100 type 2.  The rear lens actually made contact with my port, so it was a close as it could have been and I still had to zoom to 34mm.  

As for the white balance on the LX-10, it's easy to adjust and worked well, however, you still need strobes to get color to "pop" underwater.   

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7 hours ago, KGDiver said:

Great information here. I wonder what the difference would be between the Ikelite vs Nauticam housing with both the H100 vs WWL-C. H100 you used, was it a type 1 or type 2?

 

How are the pics/video with just ambient lighting and custom WB? S2000 is strictly for macro purposes.

I wouldn't discount the S2000 for wide angle with the LX-10, you don't need a lot of light as you don't need to stop way down, f4.5-5.6 is adequate for most purposes.  It won't of course illuminate a whale shark, I'm thinking more of reef scenes.  Ambient stills shoot in Raw and WB later it's a lot easier, particularly if you are shallow.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

I wouldn't discount the S2000 for wide angle with the LX-10, you don't need a lot of light as you don't need to stop way down, f4.5-5.6 is adequate for most purposes.  It won't of course illuminate a whale shark, I'm thinking more of reef scenes.  Ambient stills shoot in Raw and WB later it's a lot easier, particularly if you are shallow.

Thats good to hear. Yeah, for this trip that's going to be the plan as my budget is somewhat limited a lot of the heavy lifting will have to be done in lightroom and Premiere.  Fortunately when it comes to whales and whale sharks, that will be a snorkel situation as we can't dive with them (unless we just happen to come across one on a dive) so in camera WB should be fine for that depth.

At the end of the day, I'm not trying to make money by licensing video/photos. It's just for my wife and I and some occasional family and friends, who let's be honest, don't care all that much because it's all "fish" and "coral" to them; at least as far as pictures go. Video tends to generate more interest.

I appreciate everyone's help thus far. Quick question about bayonet mounts. If I were to have two lenses, can they share 1 mount? Like put the bayonet on the housing and just switch out lenses? Or does each lense need its own mount? I've never seen the mount so I have no idea how they work. I may call backscatter and cancel my order for the H100 and get the Wwl-c instead.

Edited by KGDiver

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The way it works is the WWL has a built in bayonet.  You need to buy the mating bayonet part that attaches to your port with the m67 thread.  If you have another macro lens it will also need an opposite gender bayonet mount that screws onto the macro lens and allows it to attach to the bayonet on the port.  You can also buy a caddy to hold the lens you are not using. 

The tricky part is is the port and the caddy are both occupied so you are holding the camera, the wide lens and the macro lens at some point, but only have 2 hands.  For example you have to take off the WWL hold it while you take off the macro lens and move it to the port before you can park the wide lens while also not dropping the camera.  Ideally you have two caddies so you take the wide lens off, park it, then un-park the macro lens and mount it.

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Nauticam uses the caddy and port sides as the female side of the mount and the lens as the male side.  The WWL-C come with the male side already built in and the WWL-1/1B comes with both a male end bayonet adapter and a male end 67mm threads adapter, so you just need to buy the female side bayonet that attaches to the port's 67mm threads (Nauticam sku#83250). 

For other lenses, you need an adapter, but Nauticam really doesn't sell one for any other macro lens other than their brand's lenses and bayonet mounts are not compatible between brands.  If you look at the SMC and CMC lenses, the 67mm threads are not in the same plane as the rear lens - the glass is offset outward by a few millimeters.  So, using a SubSea 10+ with the only available macro nauticam bayonet mount (the SMC/CMC one) would result in a couple millimeter separation from the port when in place.  That separation likely wouldn't allow optimal magnification, as far as I would guess? 

I have two caddies that fit on the same section of arm - they're just back-to-back.  I take off the WWL-C and attach it to the open caddy on the arm, then take the diopter (normally a CMC-2 ) off the arm caddy and attach it to the port.  It's an easy swap.

What it comes down to is if you want a WWL-C, you're stuck with Nauticam bayonet system because it's the only way it attaches.  You'd also have to buy the more expensive CMC lens if you want to take advantage of the bayonet system and swap lenses underwater.  It is a nice set-up though.   You may be able to use the WWL-1/1B (attaching the 67mm threads) and the SubSea 10+ with the AOI bayonet system, but it looks like AOI only sells a single arm mounted caddy, which would make changing lenses a pain.  I also don't know how compatible the WWL-1/1B with 67mm threads and the AOI bayonet adapter are.  You'd have to contact Backscatter or Bluewater to get an answer. 

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5 hours ago, mdo905 said:

For other lenses, you need an adapter, but Nauticam really doesn't sell one for any other macro lens other than their brand's lenses and bayonet mounts are not compatible between brands.  If you look at the SMC and CMC lenses, the 67mm threads are not in the same plane as the rear lens - the glass is offset outward by a few millimeters.  So, using a SubSea 10+ with the only available macro nauticam bayonet mount (the SMC/CMC one) would result in a couple millimeter separation from the port when in place.  That separation likely wouldn't allow optimal magnification, as far as I would guess?

I would suggest seeing if you can find specific experience.  If the lens is very close to the inside of the port glass having an extra few mm does not sound like it should make a huge difference, you are generally zoomed in with diopters attached and vignetting should not be an issue.  You will get some change in magnification with more spacing.

I would think getting the right spacing for the WWL is the critical dimension.  If it is too far from the port glass you will reduce your field of view further as it will vignette more and a few mm will make a difference to your field of view.

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I talked to the lads at Backscatter and they recommended UWL-95 for the Lx10 rather than thr H100; reason being H100 being made for 28mm equivalent vs 24mm equivalent that is the 95.

 

Ordered thr UWL-95 with a Dome IIIG. Will see how things look.

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It'll all depend on what focal length it vignettes at.  If it's 32mm , the UWL95 alone will give you no benefit, but with the doem you should get about 130° or so which is OK.  It also zooms through.

You can test it on land to see how far you need to zoom in to avoid the vignette.  From that you can estimate what it will do for you UW.  Maybe report back on what focal length it stops vignetting. 

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6 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

It'll all depend on what focal length it vignettes at.  If it's 32mm , the UWL95 alone will give you no benefit, but with the doem you should get about 130° or so which is OK.  It also zooms through.

You can test it on land to see how far you need to zoom in to avoid the vignette.  From that you can estimate what it will do for you UW.  Maybe report back on what focal length it stops vignetting. 

Will do.

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@ChrisRossSo I just got back from my trip and you're right, f5.6 allows me to use 1/2 power on the YS-01s for wide angle vs full power at f8.  And when I came up for CFWA, needed to stop down and reduce power too.  Definitely easier on the batteries.   

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32 minutes ago, mdo905 said:

@ChrisRossSo I just got back from my trip and you're right, f5.6 allows me to use 1/2 power on the YS-01s for wide angle vs full power at f8.  And when I came up for CFWA, needed to stop down and reduce power too.  Definitely easier on the batteries.   

Sounds good, happy I could help.

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