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JohnN

Moving from a compact to a DSLR

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I'm considering moving from a compact (Canon G16) to a DSLR setup.  I believe I have a line on a housing for a Canon 6d (full frame), but am very confused on what lenses to choose.  I'd like to do this on a budget (hence the Canon 6d).  I've been told that something in the 15-30mm for wide angle, 60mm for fishes and 105mm for macro.  Within this, apparently a 60mm with a diopter can work for macro.

Given this, could something like a 35-80mm zoom handle the mid range and macro (with a diopter)?  What are the negatives with trying to use one lens to bridge my mid-range and macro wishes?

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Hi JohnN

Exciting!  DSLRs underwater tend to work best with what might be considered extremes topside. 
 

105mm works well for macro. 60mm is good for fish portraits. 

Wide-angle for FF can be tricky and, I’d suggest, ends up with one of two options: something like the Sigma 15mm fisheye or a 16-35 zoom. 
 

The fisheye is great for reef scene closeups, divers on the reef shots and anything where straight lines are not required. So pretty much anywhere underwater. Fisheyes are easy to house too with either a 100 or 200mm port. 
 

The rectilinear wide-angle tends to be the other option. But these are more difficult to house in a way that avoids soft edges. A 230 dome is pretty much essential unless you are always shooting into the blue and edges don’t matter. A 230 port is heavy, bulky and expensive. 
 

I really don’t think you need anything else. A bridging lens is, from my experience, a poor compromise. Go ready to shoot either wide or macro/portrait. The mid-range lenses are a waste of time with an FF. 

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An important point before you pull the trigger on your new housing, just consider what your intended targets are.

A dx ( or aps-c) setup may give you a little more flexibility. You can’t use canons 60mm on full frame as far as I know you’re down to canons 100mm (admittedly a great lens)

The 16-35 is great for certain subjects such as big animals in the blue but you’re going to want a big dome for reefs.

I used to have a 1dx with a sigma 15mm fisheye and the 100mm and did ok but it was a long way from being a flexible system.

Not trying to put you off but please just think before buying an expensive housing which to be honest won’t have much future sell on price.

Mike


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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The Canon 60mm macro is an APS-C lens so not really an option for full frame.  A 16-35 is of course an option but the big 230mm dome needed is an issue - both size and weight and price.

The 15-30 is an RF lens and can't be used on and EF body like the 6D, you would be looking at something like the 16-35 f4.  In Canon EF the only mid range option I think is 24-105, which is probably not a great option.

The question to ask is do you really need to go to full frame?  APS-C can generally use smaller domes on rectilinear lenses and m43 can use even smaller domes like the Zen 170mm dome.  m43 in particular has better mid range and wide angle options which focus very close without need for diopters and can achieve about 0.3x magnification.  The exact dome options will depend upon which housing you choose. 

What you save on the housing (the 6D you have a line on) you could easily spend on lenses and ports in full frame.  The difference in price between Full frame and m43 can be quite dramatic depending on which housing system you are looking at.

I would suggest you spec out a few options in addition to the the 6D option to see whether or not the 6D housing is a good deal or not.  Look at the manufacturers port charts to see which ports and extensions are needed to use the lenses you are interested in.

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Yeah, I agree with Mike and Chris.

Whilst not wanting to put you off, I’ve come to the conclusion that unless you have a special need for an FF camera, it’s not ideal underwater for many users. From my own experience APS-C is much easier to work with. Chris and a good number of others will argue the same for M43. 

It really is worth scoping these options before dropping a ton of cash on an FF system 

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Going for an APS-C camera makes so much sense. You can then shoot almost anything worthwhile with just a Tokina 10-17 zoom fisheye and a 60mm macro. And a small dome will work perfectly with the 10-17. You can pick up this gear cheaply because people think they need mirrorless or full frame. Generally they don't.

 

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Totally agree with Pete.

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