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Lens choices, D70 in Aquatica housing

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I've been shooting with a N90s/Aquatica-90 for some time. I use mainly two lenses, the micro-Nikkor 60mm behind a flat port and the 20mm AF/D with the 8in dome.

 

On the digital front, I've had a couple of Olympus cameras and housings and I'm currently using a Coolpix 5000 in a Aquatica housing. Once the ice clears up here, I'll be using a D70 also in a Aquatica housing... (the CP5000 kit will be for sale, anyone interested?)

 

I've been reading the forums, trying to decide which lenses to buy for underwater use with my D70. What I'd like to get is something that comes close my 35mm setup: a good macro lens plus a sharp wide-angle (90deg+) lens.

 

Macro: some are using the 60mm with success but with +1 to +2 diopters. How good would the 60mm be on its own with the D70?

 

almost WA: No one seems to be using the 20mm AF/D with the D70. Although it would cover only as much as a 28mm lens, is there any reason why it would not work fine behind a 8in dome?

 

true WA: Other than going for the 10.5mm are there other options that would give me a 90deg+ coverage with the D70, ideally without using a diopter?

 

Any help would be appreciated,

 

Thanks,

 

Rich (DSLR newbie...)

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Hi Rich,

 

Because the D70's sensor is smaller than film, it crops out the center 2/3 of the photo you take. That's why your 20mm lens won't be much fun anymore as it will have the field of view of a 35mm lens used on a film camera.

 

What most folks are substituting for the 20mm is a 15mm Sigma fisheye lens. On the D70, you will bet that >90 deg field of view, and because of the crop, the image won't have much barrel distortion. If you've ever seen a photo taken w/ the Nikonos 15mm, the results are almost exactly the same.

 

The 60mm will behave like a 90mm. No need to use a diopter with this lens. If you do, you will have to be almost touching the subject to get a shot - not a good place to be.

 

You'll be happy with the 60mm for macro and the 15mm fisheye for wide - a great place to start w/ your D70/Aquatica.

 

HTH

James

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Oh, forgot to mention, check out my article about Lens Selection in the Features section. Click on Wiseman Beginner Column.

 

HTH

James

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You might want to look at the 14mm rectilinear, it as given me front page quality shots since day one. it a little on the costly side, but since you are a 20mm shooter like me in film you will love the 14mm, it has almost same field of view, BTW, I notice there is hardly any mention of the 14mm in the forums whether it be Nikon, Canon or Sigma? anybody has any insight as to why! you will need an extension ring for your 8'' dome for proper alignment of your optical axis.

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Jean, very interesting comment re the 14mm.........

 

BTW, the Aquatica D70 lens chart may need to be updated to reflect the need for the port extension.

 

Cheers,

Sieg

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Sigma's older f3.5 14mm is a lot smaller than their current 14mm/2.8, and the Nikkor, and several talented customers have related that is a bit sharper in their port configurations. I haven't compared them personally, but own Sigma's 14mm/2.8 and am happy with it (mostly for land shooting, I prefer wider lenses underwater).

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Eric and I both used to shoot the 14mm back when he had a D60 and I had the S2pro. The problem is that it flares too much. On a cropped sensor camera, the field of view is about the same to a little better using a 15mm fisheye, with acceptable barrel distortion and much less flare to account for.

 

Cheers

James

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Rich, I use the Nikkor 14mm with the D100 alot. I started shooting with this because of my addiction to the 20mm with film.

 

Can't say I've had any real flare problem. Certainly not like the 15mm Nikkor AI-S. And behind the 8" Aquatica dome, the 14mm is sharp, sharp, sharp.

 

It is expensive, a reason I don't think many use them U/W, and opt for the Sigma instead. I can say the extra $400 has been worth it for me, but my mindset is probabally a bit different than most (they're just tools).

 

The 10.5mm is a nice piece of glass for a fisheye. I'm not wild about using post processing to turn it into a rectilinear, though, since I can't see what I'll be getting (through the viewfinder) except only in a general way.

 

All the best, James

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I've tried the 14mm lenses from all the manufactureres for f-mount and they're all big, heavy and susceptable to flare. The front elements are huge. The 15mm/16mm fisheyes are compact, flare resistent and produce great quality that's easily de-fish'ed when necessary. The lower price is an added bonus but I'd use the fisheye even if the price were the same. The fisheye is wider as well.

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