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Gregersen

Seacam superdome vs fisheye dome

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I wonder if the superdome work as well with 8-15 mm fisheye lens from nikon,

as the Fisheyedome ?

I have a 14 mm nikon and a  Seacam wideport and the corners are rather bad,

so I want to upgrade,

 if I get the superdome it will be fine for splitlevel shots as well ?

and I will get much better corners both with the 14 mm. and the 8-15 mm Fisheye ?

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The Nikon 8-15mm fisheye is an excellent lens I have reviewed for the current issue of uwpmag.com issue #123. I have used the Canon 8-15mm more extensively but prefer the Nikon version. As you are probable aware the dome shade needs to be removed from any dome to use the lens at the 8mm circular fisheye end. With some dome brands this may present an issue so I would check with Seacam to make sure the shade can be removed. 

Regarding results I currently use the Canon 8-15 and Sony FE 14mm F/1.8 with the ZEN Underwater 230mm dome port and Sony A1 camera. With the 14mm I stick with F/numbers of 13 and above to get the best corners for both U/W and splits. With the 8-15 I am able to use F/numbers in the F/9 range and still get decent corners U/W and higher F/numbers for splits. Using the 8-15 with a 140mm port I can get much closer but with reduced corner sharpness. 

1101727940_IMG_15612.thumb.jpeg.1b40dd8bac5a5645241ed9144169fbf2.jpeg

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10 hours ago, Gregersen said:

I wonder if the superdome work as well with 8-15 mm fisheye lens from nikon,

as the Fisheyedome ?

I have a 14 mm nikon and a  Seacam wideport and the corners are rather bad,

so I want to upgrade,

 if I get the superdome it will be fine for splitlevel shots as well ?

and I will get much better corners both with the 14 mm. and the 8-15 mm Fisheye ?

You do not say whether you are shooting full frame or APS-C (DX in Nikonspeak). I have used the 14mm Nikkor D lens for both formats. The wideport worked OK with the 14 when I was shooting the Nikon D2X, a DX camera, and even have a more or less successful over-under shot that was unplanned - it was too shallow to submerge the wideport completely. I used the 10.5mm as my fisheye lens with the D2X as the 8-15 had not yet been invented. As well, the f/2.8 maximum aperture enabled better AF with this older generation camera. I have made full frame over-under shots with the 14 and superdome and found the results to be marginal even stopped down to f/22. The 14-superdome combination would likely be OK for an "in the blue subject".

I have both the Canon and Nikon 8-15mm lenses. I have used the C version with the Canon 1D4 which is an APS-H sensor camera so the focal length was set a bit longer (than APS-C), about 13mm and got OK close-up shots using the wideport. I have not used the N version with APS-C but have used it at 15mm on full frame with the wideport to do very-close up. As well I have used it (at 15mm) with the Seacam fisheye macro port or FMP. The advantage of the FMP over the wideport is that I can get even closer to the subject. I have not done any over-under shots but if I was planning to I would use the superdome over the the standard Seacam fisheye port which is only marginally better than the wide port in my experience. The only advantage to the fisheye port (relative to the wideport) is that the shade can be removed to use the lens at 8mm.  The shade removal involves small screws so is a topside activity. I am thinking of getting a Saga fisheye port for scuba diving the 8-15 since their ports have easily-removable shades.

I find the two 8-15mm lenses perform about the same but have not done any critical tests. Not sure what Phil sees. The only advantage I have seen in the N version is that the zoom ring is near the front end so it is easier to tell if the focal length setting is off when looking at it mounted in the housing just before attaching the port.

Edited by Tom_Kline
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15 hours ago, Tom_Kline said:

You do not say whether you are shooting full frame or APS-C (DX in Nikonspeak). I have used the 14mm Nikkor D lens for both formats. The wideport worked OK with the 14 when I was shooting the Nikon D2X, a DX camera, and even have a more or less successful over-under shot that was unplanned - it was too shallow to submerge the wideport completely. I used the 10.5mm as my fisheye lens with the D2X as the 8-15 had not yet been invented. As well, the f/2.8 maximum aperture enabled better AF with this older generation camera. I have made full frame over-under shots with the 14 and superdome and found the results to be marginal even stopped down to f/22. The 14-superdome combination would likely be OK for an "in the blue subject".

I have both the Canon and Nikon 8-15mm lenses. I have used the C version with the Canon 1D4 which is an APS-H sensor camera so the focal length was set a bit longer (than APS-C), about 13mm and got OK close-up shots using the wideport. I have not used the N version with APS-C but have used it at 15mm on full frame with the wideport to do very-close up. As well I have used it (at 15mm) with the Seacam fisheye macro port or FMP. The advantage of the FMP over the wideport is that I can get even closer to the subject. I have not done any over-under shots but if I was planning to I would use the superdome over the the standard Seacam fisheye port which is only marginally better than the wide port in my experience. The only advantage to the fisheye port (relative to the wideport) is that the shade can be removed to use the lens at 8mm.  The shade removal involves small screws so is a topside activity. I am thinking of getting a Saga fisheye port for scuba diving the 8-15 since their ports have easily-removable shades.

I find the two 8-15mm lenses perform about the same but have not done any critical tests. Not sure what Phil sees. The only advantage I have seen in the N version is that the zoom ring is near the front end so it is easier to tell if the focal length setting is off when looking at it mounted in the housing just before attaching the port.

Hi Tom it is a full frame Nikon D850 these are 2 eksamples of my wife in Silfra Iceland, it was a grey and rainy day with very poor light, so I tryed with the flash at full power, iso 400, F8, s 1/60, and the other foto is flash 1/8, iso 400, F3,2 , s 1/50 

of cause the one with F 3,2 have the worst corners but still they are not god in any of them, seen in the mirror, I shud have gone higher in iso, but on land I am not happy to go higher than 800 iso and its only one stop.

DSC_5828.jpeg

DSC_5776.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Gregersen said:

Hi Tom it is a full frame Nikon D850 these are 2 eksamples of my wife in Silfra Iceland, it was a grey and rainy day with very poor light, so I tryed with the flash at full power, iso 400, F8, s 1/60, and the other foto is flash 1/8, iso 400, F3,2 , s 1/50 

of cause the one with F 3,2 have the worst corners but still they are not god in any of them, seen in the mirror, I shud have gone higher in iso, but on land I am not happy to go higher than 800 iso and its only one stop.

DSC_5828.jpeg

DSC_5776.jpeg

You are attempting the near-impossible here. I am not sure even the superdome will help you. Alex Mustard has been there and has pictures of it in his book: He used the 16-35 at 16mm (which will work much better in the superdome than the 14 especially if you have the Sea and Sea correction lens (there are threads on this already on Wetpixel)) for picture #13. He shot at ISO 1000 at f/13 at 1/50s. Note much smaller aperture than what you are trying to do as well as higher ISO. Picture #96 was done with the 16mm fisheye also ISO 1000 but at f/14 at 1/80s. Again small aperture was used. To use a larger aperture one would have to go with water contact optics which are rather costly. I recall Adam mentioning in one of the videos shooting the WACP-1 at a wide aperture in a dark tunnel.

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On 12/3/2021 at 7:09 AM, Tom_Kline said:

You are attempting the near-impossible here. I am not sure even the superdome will help you. Alex Mustard has been there and has pictures of it in his book: He used the 16-35 at 16mm (which will work much better in the superdome than the 14 especially if you have the Sea and Sea correction lens (there are threads on this already on Wetpixel)) for picture #13. He shot at ISO 1000 at f/13 at 1/50s. Note much smaller aperture than what you are trying to do as well as higher ISO. Picture #96 was done with the 16mm fisheye also ISO 1000 but at f/14 at 1/80s. Again small aperture was used. To use a larger aperture one would have to go with water contact optics which are rather costly. I recall Adam mentioning in one of the videos shooting the WACP-1 at a wide aperture in a dark tunnel.

I would think the superdome would be an improvement over what you have now, the wide port is really quite small, Seacam state it is for 20mm focal length.  As Tom says the 14mm will struggle in even the biggest ports unless you stop right down and assuming it's the 14mm f2.8, the domed front element won't let you add a S&S correction lens.  At f8 the corners would still be quite soft, but further into the corners and not as bad compared to the wide port.  You would be looking at f13-16 for the best corners.

The Nikon 8-15 in the wideport I would expect to do quite well, to get the best corners you need to stop down but not as much as the 14mm needs to stop down.    Of course you need to be able to remove the dome shade - not sure if this is possible with the Wide port?

Fisheye lenses are not as sensitive to dome size as rectilinears - the aberrations you are dealing with are different.   That is not to say it wouldn't be better in the superdome,  just the difference will be less dramatic than the difference when using the 14mm in the superdome.    Nauticam for example state the most optimised option for the 8-15 is their 140mm dome even compared to the 230mm dome.  

You will note that Seacam recommend the 170mm Compact port as standard option for the Nikon 8-15 and the premium option is the 160mm fisheye port.

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Here is a shot with the 14mm at f/16 using the Superdome. Note how blurry the lower corners are. Used ISO 3600 with D4S. 1/500 to stop motion as I was wading and there were these small waves. Chris is correct, it not possible to use correction lens with 14 which is why I recommended the 16-35 zoom instead. I have used the wideport to do macro-like closeups with the 8-15. Would likely be much worse for distant subjects, need a bigger port.

_D4S8728.jpg

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Here is another shot from the same day - taken just a few minutes later. Here I am in a stream that enters the lake near to where the previous shot was taken. Trying to keep my shadow out of the picture the sun is very close to the left edge of the pic. Taken in early Sept - the sun is already low in the sky but above the mountains - now (early Dec ) it is below the mountains.

This one at f/22, 1/500s at ISO 5600. The camera was on auto iso. Note the details on the grey rock with a spruce needle on top of it. But at the left corner it is quite blury

_D4S8845.jpg

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This is a great discussion! To emphasize, corner sharpness is a personal choice. What is acceptable to one person may be unacceptable to another!

A few years ago an amazing image won the underwater category of WPY. It captured an amazing moment, but was shot with a 14-24mm. As a result, the corners were (in my opinion) mush. The judges decided that the  moment was worth the award, but all I could think was how much better that moment could have been captured if the photographer understood lens choices!

Typically, wide angle lens designers are not considering close focus ability among their lists of desirable attributes, but it is critical once we install them behind a dome.

The Nikon 14mm (and the 14-24mm), are poor choices for underwater use. Excellent lenses, but simply do not focus closely enough behind a dome port. As @Tom_Kline has pointed out, the Nikon 16-35mm works much better behind a dome port, although even with the corrective lenses and a large dome, its corners start going soft at anything much below f/11 or so. My guess that this is a serendipitous feature of the lens, rather than one that had been deliberately designed.

I must confess that since getting a WACP-1 a few years ago, I rarely shoot with the 16-35mm. This opens up creative opportunities that are unobtainable with any wide angle lens/dome port combination.

Fisheye lenses distort perspective anyway, so even though the aberration is often still there, the curve in the corners seems to hide it. This allows the use of smaller domes. I use a 7" dome with the 8-15mm (and D850) and try to keep it at f/8 or above. 

I like thE fisheye effect, but my OCD brain doesn't like it when there are "straight lines" in the image. Silfra does not curve, so my choice would be for a rectilinear lens (or WACP). 

Adam

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