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Architeuthis

Performance of WACP1 with different lenses/camera systems?

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19 minutes ago, Architeuthis said:

I agree that the WACP1 is not ideal for cropped sensors. For APS-C there is the Tokina 10-17mm (diagonal AOV 167° - 92°) and for MFT the Canon 8-15mm (dAOV 170° - 85°), that can be used behind a 140mm (even a 100mm) domeport and provide similar (but not identical) AOVs compared to WACP1. I believe that IQ and fisheye distortion are pretty similar to the WACP1 on FF at the same AOV (dAOV 130°- up to 59°, depending on lens), when compared to the fisheye lenses on smaller sensors. I did, however, not see such a direct comparison so far, so this is my assumption and I am eager to learn more...

When we come to FF, the situation is completely different, since there is no zoom fisheye lens in sight that covers the 15mm - 30mm range (and the existing, beautiful, 8-15mm fisheyes can be used just as two mode lenses, toggling between circular fisheye (requiring dismounting the dome shade and seldom used) and 180° dAOV). I believe such a 15-30mm zoom fisheye behind a 140mm port would be the WA lens of choice for many  UW-photographers. Here comes the WACP1 into the play that allows to use the low light advantage of the bigger sensor by providing sharp images at relatively low f numbers (compared to rectilinear WA lens behind a (large) domeport). MAYBE an alternative is the Sony 28-60mm lens with WWL1 as described by Phil, but he says the IQ is not as good as the same lens behind WACP1. My thought on the WWL1/WACP1 choice here is: Who wants to have a good, but not the best, configuration, when investing 10k++ into a FF setup?

Nikon may be different case, preenting even more problems to the customer. I am not familiar with this system, but have heared that some of the old Nikon lenses can not be used in automatic mode on the new Z mirrorless cameras. This is an additional obstacle that prevents investing into a WACP1...

 

Wolfgang

I keep being quoted as saying the WWL-1/1B is not as good as WACP-1 as if that is a bad thing. The WACP-1&2 have no port glass between the lens and wet optic so it is a no brainer that it will be better. The WACP-2 is designed larger so that it can be used with stellar Pro lenses like the Sony FE 14mm F/1.8 (add your brand of Pro lens here) which makes it a better choice image quality than WACP-1. By this logic all full frame users should be using WACP-2, which can also be used for splits by the way. 

I use the WWL-1B all the time with Sony A7R IV and Sony A1 with outstanding results. Because of weight and size it is easier to travel with and a bit easer to handle on location. I would love to be using WACP-2 for model shoots, splits and more but it is not cost effective for me.

So again while WACP-1 & 2 have better image quality over WWL-1B all things in photography are a tradeoff and WWL-1 still out performs all of the wide angle lenses both rectilinear and fisheye (including those listed above) I have used behind a dome port. WWL-1B tradeoff v. a port is no splits. 

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

I keep being quoted as saying the WWL-1/1B is not as good as WACP-1 as if that is a bad thing. The WACP-1&2 have no port glass between the lens and wet optic so it is a no brainer that it will be better. The WACP-2 is designed larger so that it can be used with stellar Pro lenses like the Sony FE 14mm F/1.8 (add your brand of Pro lens here) which makes it a better choice image quality than WACP-1. By this logic all full frame users should be using WACP-2, which can also be used for splits by the way. 

I use the WWL-1B all the time with Sony A7R IV and Sony A1 with outstanding results. Because of weight and size it is easier to travel with and a bit easer to handle on location. I would love to be using WACP-2 for model shoots, splits and more but it is not cost effective for me.

So again while WACP-1 & 2 have better image quality over WWL-1B all things in photography are a tradeoff and WWL-1 still out performs all of the wide angle lenses both rectilinear and fisheye (including those listed above) I have used behind a dome port. WWL-1B tradeoff v. a port is no splits. 

This is great information!

But is not an improvement in IQ always a good thing and the opposite of good is bad? The question is, how big are the differences in IQ in the real world. I have no idea, the only information I have, are your reports and the low resolution images of different scenes do not allow me to judge and compare IQ. Test images under controlled conditions of the same subject would probably show differences and everybody could decide then what his/her personal optimum is, based on the facts. But do'nt be afraid, I am not proposing that you do it - you already do a lot. Thank you once again for the hughe amount of work you do to provide us with this great information ...:good:

Am I right when I interpret your post that your personal optimum is WWL1-B, since the improvements in IQ by WAPC1 (and even WACP2) are too small to outperform the increase in weight and price? For instance, when you go on a trip by plane, the increase in IQ is too small for you to drag around the WACP-1, you just do'nt bother to do it?

When reading your tests, I interpreted your tests and comments that WACP1 is significantly better, worth the additional weight and investment and thought to myself that weight and price is still o.k. (WACP2 would be definitely too big and also too expensive for me, personally)...

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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I know there is a quality improvement with the wet lenses, but I think just focusing on that (sorry for the pun!) misses a lot of the issue.  The WACP and WWL allow you to get sharper images, including corners, at larger apertures.  That means some combination of lower ISO, faster shutter speed, lower strobe power, easier ambient light shots sometimes, and perhaps less diffraction.  At least that is how I look at it.  And yes, some of those things also contribute to image quality

I suspect only with big enlargements or really critical viewing would one be able to identify a wet lens shot from a wide angle and dome shot if things are set up right and we do a good job on the photo.

The wet lenses also allow greater zoom range so if the pelagics don't show up or the viz is bad,  you may still be adequately equipped to shoot other subjects that wold not work well with a 12-24, 17-70  or whatever.  Thinking only in terms of absolute image quality overlooks other benefits and I don't know about you folks, but for me it has always been true that the raw ability of the camera and lens is rarely the weak link in the image quality, it is almost always my skills that hold me back.

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First I have never done a review of the WACP-1 but have owned the lens for my personal work. Alex Mustard and Kevin Palmer, both respected U/W photographers did a very fine job of covering WACP-1 for uwpmag.com. 

Second WWL-1 and WACP 1 & 2 are not apples to apples, I would say that with Sony 28-60 and WWL-1/1B combo it is very good while Tokina 10-17 behind a small dome is bad in comparison but again not apples to apples.

Third is the premise that WWL-1 can only be used with expensive Sony cameras. I often use the WWL-1 with Sony A7C (24MP) and 28-60. This is a full frame system that is cheaper than say a D-500 and has better image quality. My first choice for this camera would be WWL-1 while my first choice for A1 and A7R IV would be WACP-1 for most uses, that does not by definition make the WWL-1 bad it is just less excellent. I would describe the difference between WWL-1 and WACP-1 as significantly better and worth the weight because of the way I am able to put it in carry-on shoulder bag. So NO to small improvements in IQ and I see no image quality. Also the differences between WWL-1 and WWL-1B are not in IQ they are equal to me. The big upside for the 1B version is the integrated flotation collar and the bayonet mount on the optic. All fits in the included 1B travel bag which is not much larger than the WWL-1 bag without the foam collar which in my opinion is a pain to travel with. 

Last none of use that do reviews have control over the size of the images that are published with any given article, on line or in print. We also have different ideas about image quality, which is why so many photos contests have been won using less than high quality lenses like Tokina 10-17. Excellent subject, composition, lighting and more will always trump max IQ, corner sharpness, bit rate, color fidelity and more.

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6 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

This is great information!

But is not an improvement in IQ always a good thing and the opposite of good is bad? The question is, how big are the differences in IQ in the real world.

 

I think the problem is that opposite is not the right word, it's more about improving levels of quality.  I've not used the WWL or WACP so can't comment from experience, But if they are significantly better than what I can do with my current domes and lenses they must be very good indeed.  All reports indicate that - that is indeed the case.  On that premise My gut feeling is that you are well into the diminishing returns area.

So I think the question is what do you do with that image quality?  For web based use unless you are using a 4K 30"monitor and files big enough to fill the screen natively without interpolation, differences are going to be difficult to see.  If you want to do really big prints I think that is the most common non-professional application where you are going to start seeing benefits.  Of course if it brings you joy to inspect the image corners at 100% and you can afford it and are prepared to deal with travelling with it, then why not?  But most of us don't have bottom less pockets.  

I do agree though that lack of large test/example images is a real issue in making decisions about which way to go.

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15 minutes ago, ChrisRoss said:

I do agree though that lack of large test/example images is a real issue in making decisions about which way to go.

I just have to chime in here and say that I completely agree. The lack of full resolution examples from manufacturers and reviewers is a big frustration of mine when it comes to underwater optics. I don't understand why they don't provide them, unless they think it would hurt sales.

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3 hours ago, Isaac Szabo said:

I just have to chime in here and say that I completely agree. The lack of full resolution examples from manufacturers and reviewers is a big frustration of mine when it comes to underwater optics. I don't understand why they don't provide them, unless they think it would hurt sales.

I think the problem is partly historic - websites restrict image size to preserve bandwidth.  Those restrictions are not so much of a problem these days with high speed broadband, but the software for forums for example hasn't caught up.  Hopefully things will catch up as time goes on. 

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7 hours ago, Isaac Szabo said:

I just have to chime in here and say that I completely agree. The lack of full resolution examples from manufacturers and reviewers is a big frustration of mine when it comes to underwater optics. I don't understand why they don't provide them, unless they think it would hurt sales.

I suspect that this is marketing strategy: in practice we all have to acquire the stuff and test it out by ourselves. Afterwards we know whether we are happy with it or not. If not, we acquire an alternative and the old items are little used and rest on a cupboard attracting dust - this strategy brings the most sales. When everybody could find out easily what is the optimum for her/him personally, sales would be clearly lower and also focused on a smaller number of items, while others would be difficult to sell...

I started this tread here to get the maximum information from first hand experience which WACP1/lens combinations give best results. Already we have a lot of good information...

 

Wolfgang

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14 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

I think the problem is partly historic - websites restrict image size to preserve bandwidth.  Those restrictions are not so much of a problem these days with high speed broadband, but the software for forums for example hasn't caught up.  Hopefully things will catch up as time goes on. 

It has long been common for topside lens reviews to include full resolution examples images. There's no reason underwater lens reviews shouldn't be able to do that. It's also not difficult to share high resolution photos here on this forum if you store the images on an external site and use the "Insert image from URL" option. 

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11 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

I suspect that this is marketing strategy: in practice we all have to acquire the stuff and test it out by ourselves. Afterwards we know whether we are happy with it or not. If not, we acquire an alternative and the old items are little used and rest on a cupboard attracting dust - this strategy brings the most sales. When everybody could find out easily what is the optimum for her/him personally, sales would be clearly lower and also focused on a smaller number of items, while others would be difficult to sell...

I started this tread here to get the maximum information from first hand experience which WACP1/lens combinations give best results. Already we have a lot of good information...

 

Wolfgang

I deal with a number of manufactures and retailers all the time and I hardly think that the "market strategy" is to sell you something you are unhappy with and then expect that you will buy from that manufacture again. Like every product you buy the more research you put into making an informed purchase the more likely you will be happy with the results. With underwater photography equipment the reliably sources of information are quite limited V. sources of info for the general photo market. 

If your goal is to get the very best first hand information from reliable sources I again suggest at the very least read Alex Mustards WACP review in issue #99 in the uwpmag.com back issues. This article provides a number of lens charts that compare WACP to lens lenses behind a 230mm port and Olympus lenses on M43 behind a 180mm port. You can also plug WACP into the search engine in the back issues section for reviews by other reviewers with different camera brands.

 

 

22 minutes ago, Isaac Szabo said:

It has long been common for topside lens reviews to include full resolution examples images. There's no reason underwater lens reviews shouldn't be able to do that. It's also not difficult to share high resolution photos here on this forum if you store the images on an external site and use the "Insert image from URL" option. 

If you see my suggestion above to read the free reviews in UWP I don't think any amount of high res images is going to make much of a difference when making a choice between WACP and Pro wide angle and 230mm port.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

If you see my suggestion above to read the free reviews in UWP I don't think any amount of high res images is going to make much of a difference when making a choice between WACP and Pro wide angle and 230mm port.

My comments were not in reference to WACP versus 230mm but rather to a lack of full resolution example photos from underwater manufacturers/reviewers in general. But yeah, if test charts were available for every underwater optic, that would be very helpful too. That just seems harder to accomplish than providing a few full resolution images. 

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