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phxazcraig

Confused about WACP-1 - help!

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I have been shooting a wide zoom behind a 230mm dome port since 2015.   I'm kind of sick of traveling with it, and I'm more than willing to consider other options.   The main driver for my discontent has been carrying the 230mm dome in a carry-on where I constantly worry about getting it gate-checked if I'm late boarding and can't find overhead space.   I carry it in a Thinktank roller bag, not particularly suited to going in the cargo hold.

So I'm considering a WACP-1.   But I'm confused as to how much the thing ends up weighing and what lens to use behind it.    I'm now shooting a Z9 in a Nauticam housing, using a 14-30 behind that 230mm dome, plus the Sea & Sea Internal Correction Lens.

If I simply swap out the 230mm dome for a WACP-1, it seems that at the least I get a smaller chunk to pack, though I'm not sure if I save any appreciable weight.   It also looks like the WACP-1 is a better candidate for checked luggage than the 230mm dome.  I would love to have less to carry on.

So help me out here - compare the 230mm dome port + 14-30 to a WACP-1 and ??? lens.    What is my closest equivalent lens choice, and how much does it all weigh compared to the 230mm dome with 50mm extension?   

My carry-on is ridiculously heavy at 42 pounds.  

I'm really wondering about lens options - I don't have a feel for angle of view expressed in degrees.   I do have a feel for the 16-35 and the 14-30 lenses behind that 230mm dome on FX cameras.  What is closest with the WACP-1, and what less-wide options can I use as well?  (24-70 instead of 14-30?   Same zoom gear.)

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the lens of choice seems to be the Sony 28-70 f3.4-4.5 lens with an adapter as it's the only one that gives you full zoom range.  It is equivalent in field of view approx to a 10-25 rectilinear.  the WACP-1 port chart is here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bEtIGoZh1XAzrwolt9JNcUQ2_-XIygWh/view

You can also consider the new WACP-C with the same lens and it is lighter and cheaper than a WACP-1.  There is a seperate thread on the WACP-C. 

Of course if you really want to save weight and size you could go for a fisheye lens in a 140mm Nauticam port which should have similar image quality to a WACP in a lighter, cheaper , smaller package with a lot more barrel distortion of course.  You would only really consider that option for reef scenics and CFWA, not so good for pelagics and wrecks for example.

 

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I’ll have the 28-75 with WACP-1 on a Z9 next week. Hoping to get out to the southern Great Barrier Reef in October and will let you know how it performs. It doesn’t have the same zoom through (the Nikon gives 28 - 48mm) as the Sony that Chris mentioned however it’s native and faster. 

Im curious to know how the 28-60 Sony goes on the megadap adapter, I haven’t found any info on it but that could open up the possibility of WWL for weight / cost saving option. 

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22 hours ago, phxazcraig said:

I have been shooting a wide zoom behind a 230mm dome port since 2015.   I'm kind of sick of traveling with it, and I'm more than willing to consider other options.   The main driver for my discontent has been carrying the 230mm dome in a carry-on where I constantly worry about getting it gate-checked if I'm late boarding and can't find overhead space.   I carry it in a Thinktank roller bag, not particularly suited to going in the cargo hold.

So I'm considering a WACP-1.   But I'm confused as to how much the thing ends up weighing and what lens to use behind it.    I'm now shooting a Z9 in a Nauticam housing, using a 14-30 behind that 230mm dome, plus the Sea & Sea Internal Correction Lens.

If I simply swap out the 230mm dome for a WACP-1, it seems that at the least I get a smaller chunk to pack, though I'm not sure if I save any appreciable weight.   It also looks like the WACP-1 is a better candidate for checked luggage than the 230mm dome.  I would love to have less to carry on.

So help me out here - compare the 230mm dome port + 14-30 to a WACP-1 and ??? lens.    What is my closest equivalent lens choice, and how much does it all weigh compared to the 230mm dome with 50mm extension?   

My carry-on is ridiculously heavy at 42 pounds.  

I'm really wondering about lens options - I don't have a feel for angle of view expressed in degrees.   I do have a feel for the 16-35 and the 14-30 lenses behind that 230mm dome on FX cameras.  What is closest with the WACP-1, and what less-wide options can I use as well?  (24-70 instead of 14-30?   Same zoom gear.)

I remember your earlier posts, when you first got the 230mm dome and were displeased about the size.  I have simply refused to even consider dealing with it and that was a big factor in going with DX instead of FX when I was ready to upsize from M43.  I was surprised that even my primary retailer of dive photo stuff discouraged me from going with full frame, even though that meant less money for them.

Although I am happy with my 8-15 or 10-17 in a small domes, there are times I don't want fisheye, and using any wide angle zoom in a 170 or 18o dome invoIves some serious compromises, so I  seriously considered getting a WACP-1 last year, going so far as to buy a clean used lens compatible with the WACP, and putting the wacp in my online "shopping cart" several times.  After experimenting with how I would transport it safely and what its weight would do to my carry on allowance, I concluded that I just would not be happy trying to transport a 200mm wide, 10lb lens.  I also totaled up the weight of camera, housing, arms, strobes and wacp  and realized it would be unpleasant carrying that to and from boats or down to the shoreline, and that I would be "that guy" to the boat crews who hand it down to me and take back for each dive.

I abandoned the idea.  However, the new WACP-C is only 170mm, about the same diameter as the dome I now have, and it only weighs about a pound more than the dome.  I can fit it in my carry-on bags.   As far as the 130 degree angle of view, you can get some sense from a chart here https://www.nikonians.org/reviews/fov-tables  and here https://www.scubapix.com/blog/wacp-wide-angle-conversion-port-explained/

Short answer, though is that a 14mm lens in a dome is about 115 degrees, so 130 is wider.  I will need to let someone with a better grasp of geometry provide more detail on comparing diagonal field of view.  The wacp port chart shows that you can use the 24-70, and a Nikkor 28-75 but not throughout their entire zoom range, and you can also use a Sony lens with an adapter.  I don't know much about lenses for the Z cameras, so cannot add more on that.

 

Edited by Draq

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Hmm - I missed the 10 pound size of the WACP-1 somehow.   I remember reading about it years ago now.   The WACP-C seems to have been designed for compacts, so I haven't really considered it.

My main goal is to find an alternative to packing the 230mm dome port in a carryon,  Period.  (Plus the WACP series hopefully improves on the optics as well.)   If I can find a smaller dome to use, then maybe I still use carryon, but I'm very much leaning toward getting a Pelican suitcase and just packing the heavy stuff.   If the WACP-1 is smaller but still heavier, then it's probably out for carryon, and if I can pack the 230mm dome in a Pelican, I've probably just solved my main issue.

Thanks for the angle of view comparison.   I don't think I want anything wider than 14mm.  (Except maybe for video, which seems to really like wide.)   On the other hand I very much want longer than 30-35mm.    There have been so many lost opportunities for even 50mm.   A 24-70 might not be very wide, but it would give me focal ranges I have not been able to shoot since my RX100 II in 2014.

I briefly considered a fisheye zoom like the 8-15 until I found that it's not available in Z mount.

I do generally like the idea of close-focus, wide angle.   Don't seem to be able to do that particularly well with the 14-30.

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1 hour ago, phxazcraig said:

I briefly considered a fisheye zoom like the 8-15 until I found that it's not available in Z mount.

 

Maybe I've missed something, but wouldn't the 8-15 work with the FTZ on your Z9, Craig?

Got to say, having followed the threads about WACPs and edge softness, I'm glad I went back to DX!

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I was wondering about that, too.  I just looked and the 8-15 is listed as compatible with the FTZ adapter.

https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/camera-lenses/dslr-lenses/index.page

Also, Craig, bear in mind that although something like the WACP goes as as wide as 130 degrees, you certainly don't have to shoot it at its widest.  From everything you have said, I would consider going with the 8-15 if you are ok with fisheye, but understand that unless you like the circular images, it is basically a 15mm FE lens on full frame.  Or take a serious look at the WACP-C with a Nikkor 24-70 lens.  I don't think the WACP-C is just for compact cameras at all.   Probably works best with Sony full frame, but I am strongly considering getting one to use with my D500 and an 18-55.

I am sure it is "less good" compared to the WACP-1, but is the largest/heaviest thing I am willing to carry.

 

 

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Suddenly I'm wondering about the viability of simply using the 24-70f4 behind the 230mm dome.   The focus gear is the same as the 14-30.  In fact the focus gear is labeled "24-70". 

DX does make things so very much simpler.   But then I often cropped my D850 images to DX, making it into a part-time D500.

10 pounds.   And $5000.   I remember now when the WACP-1 came out and I heard those specs.   Was astonished at weight and price.  Somehow not so much now.   Carrying the 230mm dome port for 7 years sort of warps your viewpoint.  I just want ANY advantage in travel pain.

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9 minutes ago, phxazcraig said:

Carrying the 230mm dome port for 7 years sort of warps your viewpoint

Not just your viewpoint, right? :crazy:

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A new addition to the Z port chart is the 24-50 with the WWL-C. I’m considering this as an additional option for weight restrictive travel destinations weighing in at just over 1kg.

Gives 130-80~ (All the way to 47 degrees if you include removing underwater and using the flat port) zoom through in addition to CMC-1 macro.

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On 9/28/2022 at 7:46 PM, Glasshouse said:

A new addition to the Z port chart is the 24-50 with the WWL-C. I’m considering this as an additional option for weight restrictive travel destinations weighing in at just over 1kg.

Gives 130-80~ (All the way to 47 degrees if you include removing underwater and using the flat port) zoom through in addition to CMC-1 macro.

When I purchased a WWL for use on M43, I thought the ability to remove and replace the WWl sounded promising.  But in my limited time with it, I found the idea less that fully satisfactory.  It is a large, somewhat heavy and expensive thing to be futzing around with underwater and carrying when not in use.  I have seen some examples of people installing a sort of "bridge" over the top of the housing, onto which they can mount the WWL when not in use, and maybe that works ok, but you  might want to give the issue some thought before deciding.

I am sure it can be done and perhaps in a way that works well.  This looks doable, at least.

image.png.13cafc132e11af1318f3f10398961dab.png

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4 hours ago, Draq said:

When I purchased a WWL for use on M43, I thought the ability to remove and replace the WWl sounded promising.  But in my limited time with it, I found the idea less that fully satisfactory.  It is a large, somewhat heavy and expensive thing to be futzing around with underwater and carrying when not in use.  I have seen some examples of people installing a sort of "bridge" over the top of the housing, onto which they can mount the WWL when not in use, and maybe that works ok, but you  might want to give the issue some thought before deciding.

I am sure it can be done and perhaps in a way that works well.  This looks doable, at least.

image.png.13cafc132e11af1318f3f10398961dab.png

Which is exactly the position to perfectly block your view of the subject if you wanted to put a wet macro lens on instead.

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I agree, with my WWL-1 on M43, I almost always have the lens bayonetted but seldom remove it.

I did use it on the flip adapter, along with a CMC-2 which did “work”. It doesn’t lock out of the way but you can hold it with one finger with the buoyancy collar.

I do like how the smaller wet optics are now appearing in the full frame port charts for other mounts (not just Sony) - that was my main point in reference to the original question relating to size and weight. I’m thinking for trips like Lady Elliot in Australia where you have a 15kg weight limit.

As a reference, my Z9 with 28-75 2.8 and WACP-1 (on paper) weighs in at just shy of 10kg. I haven’t actually weighed to confirm but I would imagine that’s pretty close. This is with no lighting.

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12 hours ago, Glasshouse said:

I agree, with my WWL-1 on M43, I almost always have the lens bayonetted but seldom remove it.

I did use it on the flip adapter, along with a CMC-2 which did “work”. It doesn’t lock out of the way but you can hold it with one finger with the buoyancy collar.

I do like how the smaller wet optics are now appearing in the full frame port charts for other mounts (not just Sony) - that was my main point in reference to the original question relating to size and weight. I’m thinking for trips like Lady Elliot in Australia where you have a 15kg weight limit.

As a reference, my Z9 with 28-75 2.8 and WACP-1 (on paper) weighs in at just shy of 10kg. I haven’t actually weighed to confirm but I would imagine that’s pretty close. This is with no lighting.

My Z9 rig with dual strobes, focus light, 14-30 and 230mm dome port weighs 26 pounds out of the water.   My macro setup is considerably less.

Have you shot with a 230mm dome to have a point of comparison to the 28-75 and WACP-1?   Also, is that the new Nikon 28-75 (rebranded Tamron) or another lens?   I'm very much wondering how your setup compares to my 14-30 and 230mm dome in pretty much every way - size, weight, comparative focal range, and optical performance?

Even if the WACP-1 is heavy, it is physically smaller than the dome port, and that would/could make it a lot easier to pack by allowing more gear to fit around it.

Does the WACP-1 come with some sort of hard protective lens cap?   One of the nightmares of traveling with the 230mm dome port is trying to protect it with just a neoprene cover.  I have been transporting it the entire time in a Thinktank roller carry-on.  It's very inefficient in the use of space.

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I havn't shot with the 230 dome before so cannot offer any insights as a comparison.

The lens is indeed the 'rebranded' Tamron. I went with this over the 24-70 F4 as it offers greater zoom through. The 28-75 will be fairly similar to your 14-30, a bit wider at both ends. It's also faster than the 24-70 at F2.8 which makes it useful as a portrait lens on a day to day basis on the surface. Im interested to see how far you can push that underwater, either way it's a nice to have. I will see if I can get in the pool at the weekend and get some sample shots for you at varying aperture / focal lengths so you can make your own comparisons in terms of quality - I am hoping to get out to the reef mid to October so will have some real world content then.

The WACP on the Z9 housing is really nicely balanced, they are almost exactly the same height and width. It's about 300g negative at the front which is fairly easily resolved.

In terms of packing the WACP, I was actually very pleasantly surprised after reading all the stories about how big and heavy it was. The lens comes with a padded travel bag as all Nauticam products do, however I can actually see myself using this one. Its a perfect fit with no wasted space due to the shape of the lens. It always annoyed me that the WWL padded case was too small to allow for the buoyancy collar installed - I assumed this was fixed with the WWL-1b?

The WACP does also come with a hard caps, front and back, which I love, it's almost identical to the WWL-1 hard cap which I drilled a hole in the side to attach a small bungee (stolen off a GoPro grip). This means I can take it on the dive and clip it to the back of my BCD when not in use.. I don't have pockets big enough for it.. I was always very paranoid about the lens getting scratched when passing it up to a zodiac and them dumping it on the floor and this way I know its safe before I had it over.

 

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On 10/1/2022 at 5:28 PM, ChrisRoss said:

Which is exactly the position to perfectly block your view of the subject if you wanted to put a wet macro lens on instead.

Agreed.  I concluded the ability to remove and replace the WWL on dives was much better in theory than it would be in practice and never tried.  I only removed it to "burp" it at the beginning of a dive.  The image was borrowed from a retailer's site and I guess at least provides a relatively safe place to store the thing.

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I have actually removed my WWL1-B a few times during a dive (rarely, but I have). I don't have the bridge setup or even a bracket I put it on. Most people would consider me nuts, but what I do is that I dive with the hard plastic cap with a section of cave line tied to a bolt snap.

When I want to remove the lens, I put the cap on (and make sure it is secure) and the bolt snap is snapped onto a ring on the housing handle. I then remove the lens and let it "dangle" below my setup. 

I know, crazy, but it works. Note that I have never done this when I'm on a wall and I'm not somewhere I could retrieve the lens if something went wrong. :)

- brett

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21 hours ago, Draq said:

Agreed.  I concluded the ability to remove and replace the WWL on dives was much better in theory than it would be in practice and never tried.  I only removed it to "burp" it at the beginning of a dive.  The image was borrowed from a retailer's site and I guess at least provides a relatively safe place to store the thing.

Agreed. I think that this feature is promoted because it is a very valuable selling point, even if the manufacturer and dealer, I am sure realise that it is unlikely. I think new customers prefer the idea of a lens that they can remove - more flexibility is an easy sell. Even though once they start using it, they realise it is better left in place.

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