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Trevor Rees

Canon A95 + Canon WP-DC50

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I've been getting great images from a Canon A95 and its dedicated Canon WP-DC50 housing when used with bayonet wet fit Inon AD lenses. The A95 focuses down to a respectable 5cm in macro mode. Adding the Inon AD macro lens really improves close up possibilities. For wide angle work the the Inon 105AD has proved superb and with the 165AD lens I'm getting real fisheye coverage. A little care is need on the lens adaptor though. I've experimented and now use used a modified AD-DC 700 adaptor to take theses Inon wet lenses rather than the recommended AD-DC900 adaptor. I've eliminated any vignetting and I'm well pleased with the image quality. As an alternative to Olympus models, which appears to dominate the digicam forums, I'd rate the Canon combined with Inon AD lenses very highly indeed. Perhaps others would benefit from a discussion on this topic.

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Hi Trevor,

 

I, like the other readers of Dive Magazine, have seen some of your impressive results from this camera. But it would nice if you had a few examples to share here on Wetpixel. To show what you have achieved with this setup.

 

Alex

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And a third vote, just in case that adds any weight :D

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Try this macro tube worm image. This was shot using the Inon AD macro lens. It is quite a small creature and I have not had to crop the image at all.

 

post-4145-1111441231_thumb.jpg

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Here is a diver wide angle image using the Inon AD105 lens.

 

post-4145-1111442184_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Trevor - lovely shots.

 

Do you find it a problem not having the ability to post-process RAW files?

 

Thanks.

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I have no experience of using RAW files yet so I'm not sure how much I am missing out on. I listen with interest to the debate on jpeg versus RAW.

 

It would have been useful if the A95 had a RAW option for me to learn on but from what I can work out using RAW files on all compact digital that offer it is tediously slow. The write times to the memory card are so long that I suspect for underwater use it might be a waste of time. I think this is dSLR teritory at the moment until compact digital cameras speed up a bit.

 

From the results I'm getting at the moment l am still very excited about the quality of jpegs when compared to my previous efforts with scanned slides. Also, for now I'm happy not to have to upgrade the home computer to cope with RAW files sizes.

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Hi Trevor

 

I'd be interested to knwo whether you have any problems with reflections of light inside the dome of the fisheye. On my shots, at the bottom of the picture there's sometimes a dark area intruding from the bottom edge of the frame. My investigation suggests that actually, the part of the shot above this has superimposed a faint reflection of the lighter water (with silhouettes of fish or whatever) abvoe the camera. So the dark part of the shot is "correct" as the reflections from above are blocked by the upper petal of the lens shade.

 

You can see it a bit in this shot:

S70 / WPC-DC40 / 165AD Fisheye

 

At the bottom right corner, there's a strange lighter patch, with a fairly sharp edge (the edge of the reflection of the shade petal).

 

Have you seen any such problems? I'm trying to figure out whether there's a general problem with this lens, or whether mine is defective (did they forget to coat the lenses or something??).

 

-David

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Hi David, - I have only had 2 low viz dives in a UK quarry with my 165AD fisheye lens. Initial impressions are that this is a stunning lens. For scenes with even available light I can see no problems such as the ones you describe with your Canon S70.

Shoting against the light and trying to include a lot of surface has however thrown up some unpleasant effects. I have been getting a dreadful 'whiteout' at the top of the frame. As long as I angle the camera down a bit, this effect can be reduced or eliminated. Also with such a wide angle backscatter is more problematic.

 

Your S70 has a 28mm equivalent wide angle which may be more problematic than the 38mm equivalent on the A95 when coupled up to a wide angle wet lens. I have fitted the supplied self adhesive black mask over the front edge of the lens barel as supplied with the fisheye lens. This is supplied for the very purpose of trying to minimise internal reflections.

 

When I look carefully at your picture I interpret your problems differently. The black bit in the bottom right corner looks like possible vignetting. If that black bit is there on most of your shots then you may be photographing part of your own lens. If you zoom in does this dissapear? The white milky area just above the black area looks more like backscatter caused by a strobe on the right side.

 

Here is a shot straight out of the camera with the Inon AD165. With no photoshop enhancements and poor viz I am very pleassed.

post-4145-1111509952_thumb.jpg

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Hi Trevor

 

My picture was zoomed a little to avoid the vignetting which otherwise definitely occurs with this lens combination.

 

Here's one where the effect is more obvious:

post-534-1111514642_thumb.jpg

 

With guide:

post-534-1111514780_thumb.jpg

 

The same guide line (at the bottom right) *seems* to me to correspond to a minor discontinuityin the light gradient in your picture, which suggests to me that the effect really is something generic.

 

And here's one in portrait orientation, where the effect has moved to the short edge of the frame - to me this is the clincher, more or less proving that I'm dealing with a reflection of light rather than a vignetting effect.

 

post-534-1111514888_thumb.jpg

 

In spite of these shots, I also have very many where no such effect was visible. It tends to show up in shots with very different amounts of light at top and bottom, especially where the sun was overhead at the time (although well out of shot).

 

-David

Edited by Patterns

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A couple more comments -

 

1. although in the last shot above it looks as if the bottom is black, in fact it's not black - there's detail of the sandy bottom visible.

 

2. I just had a bit of a rummage on my disk, and here is one which my girlfriend took (not one of her best, by the way!) with the same camera/lens combination. This is at full wide setting of the S70 lens (ie 28mm).

post-534-1111515720_thumb.jpg

 

It shows what the vignetting looks like (when it's visible).

 

In this picture, I can see that the edge of the reflection is visible even at the bottom edge where the vignetting should mask any other effects. Again, I think it's a reflection that causes this.

post-534-1111515869_thumb.jpg

 

But there might still be a better explanation. (Have been quite wrong before about optical effects!!)

 

-David

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And incidentally, apart from this occasional effect, I completely agree that it's a GREAT lens! Won't get into the water without it (provided I've got a camera with an AD mount, of course).

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David,

I was wary of getting a compact digial having a wide angle of around 28mm equivalent. I looked at the Canon S70 as well as the Olympus 5060 models but considered that there would be problems such as vignetting when wet lenses were fitted. It is useful to hear about the effects you have experienced. I wonder if the Canon A95 with its modest 38mm equivalent lens is less problematic when using wide angle attatchment lenses.

Inon appear to have launched a new 10028AD lens specifically designed for the Canon S70 and S60. It is claimed to have 100 degree coverage but can be used with the UWL Dome port to give 150 degrees. It may be a lens to keep an eye on.

Trev

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Indeed, I'm eagerly awaiting the release of this new lens. I already have the done unit on my M67 wide-angle lens, and (with a spacer which Inon will provide for a no-doubt modest fee :D ) it will attach to the new lens. I don't think the geometry of the dome allows this kind of reflection (if that's what it is) - I certainly haven't seen any when using it with my C5050z setup.

 

I was hoping to have it in time for this weekend's trip, but ... will have to wait until next time.

 

Thanks for your thoughts

 

-David

 

PS more of the Manta shots - the ones she liked! - are here:

More manta pics

Vis was really bad, as you can see! This was her first dive with this lens. This is a good, very lightweight camera/lens combination for this sort of work.

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Dear Trevor - really liked your A95 photos especially those taken in macro mode (tubeworm). As I am not sure which one to choose, A95 or S70, I am asking a lot of questions of those who use them.

 

What was the strobe you used with that picture (and that one of the diver next to a propeller)? How was it synched?

 

How long did your camera AA batteries last?

 

Users of S70 say it autofocuses badly in low light, esp. at the telephoto end. How was the A95 in this situation? Did you notice much (or any) purple fringing? I could not see much in the photos posted, but some users reported it in the www.photo.net discussion board.

 

Congratulations on fine pictures,

 

Robert Zuch

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Hi Robert,

 

For the tube worm shot I used a Sea & Sea YS90DX together with a Sea & Sea YS30. The YS90DX is connected to the housing with a Sea and Sea fibre optic cable. The YS30 is used as a cordless TTLslave.

For the diver by the propeller shot I have just used just a YS90DX on low power.

 

I particularly like the A95 because it takes 4 x AA batteries. I use 2300mAh Ni-MH batteries and get excellent battery life. Although I can't say for sure I feel that this combination may last longer than most of the tiny Lithium-Ion batteries in other models.

 

Purple fringing - Yes, I have noticed thid this in my shots. It shows up in those area of bright lights against a black background. I expect the A95 is average in this respect. Such chromatic aberration is low down on my list of things to worry about when trying to get a good shot.

 

Low light focussing - The A95 does struggle on focussing on simple macro subjects under certain conditions. I'm not really sure why, but suspect it is both low light levels as well as low contrast subjects that are the problem. I expect the A95 is about average in this respect.

 

Regards Trev

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Hi Trevor

 

Wonderful pictures. I actually just got the housing for my A95 [replacing my poor flooded A40 :( ] and have a quesion on attaching the YS-90DX strobe. I already have the strobe and fiber optic cable which I used previously with the A40, attached with the supplied velcro mask. For the WP-DC50 housing, is it necessary to completely block the flash, or is using the diffuser sufficient? I did test placement of the fiber optic attachment and at the moment have it on the top side of the diffuser 'box'.

 

Looks like I will now have to start saving towards some lenses.

 

-Libby

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post-4145-1114202805_thumb.jpg

Hi Libby

I deceided to unscrew and remove the diffuser plate on the front of the Canon housing. It's a pretty ugly thing and as I had no intention of ever taking underwater pictures using the internal flash on the camera I thought I would be better off without it. Next, I used the fibre optic cable kit from Sea & Sea and stuck the metal disc supplied, on to the housing with black PVC tape. I used quite a bit of tape to ensure I blocked out all light from the cameras flash entering the water. To make the metal disc fit a bit more snugly on the case I filed off a little bit off one edge of the metal disc. It all might sound a bit makeshift but it has worked well. Have a look at my picture and see if it makes sense.

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Hi Trevor,

What made you choose the AD-DC 700 adaptor for your Canon WP-DC500 over the recommended AD-DC900 adaptor?

Were the modifications you made to the AD-DC 700 quite serious?

 

- I'm a long time Canon A95/WP-DC500 user, but have been constrained to shallow water and close-ups because of the insufficient internal flash - I'm very interested in the Inon accesories.

 

Thanks!

-Richard

post-6062-1139498871_thumb.jpg

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post-4145-1139511982_thumb.jpg

Hi Richard,

 

Yes, its a strange one this.

 

I started with a Canon A80 but at the time there was no Inon Adaptor for it. I therefore modified the AD DC700 adaptor which was available for a Canon A70. All this actually involved was enlarging the mounting hole on the bottom by filing away some of the metal. The attatched picture shows the enlarged hole. It worked great.

 

When I upgraded to the A95, again no adaptor was available to start with but I could still get my previously modified adaptor to fit and the results were just fine. When Inon then released a specific adaptor (the AD DC900 for the A80 and A95) I bought it straight away. It was terrible - awfull vignetting on both wide angle and macro lenses. I sent it back for a refund.

 

My modified adaptor on the other hand solved the vignetting problems by holding the lenses about 4mm closer to the housing front port. I was amazed that the Inon design seemed so far off the mark. Sometimes I wondered if Inon had badged the wrong adaptor for the wrong camera. I am very confident that the optical quality of my set up was not compromised as I've had such good results.

 

I would therefore recommend testing these adaptors out in a shop somewhere to see if everything fits together. I think there are just too many camera/housing/adaptor combinations for the dealers to understand what they are selling.

 

Trev

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post-4145-1139512308_thumb.jpg- and just to show what the AD DC700 looks like on my Canon A95

 

The bottom plate section of the Inon adaptor is not a perfect mate as it is a little short on length. However, it has proved secure enough.

 

I emailed Inon in japan - but no reply

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Just though I'd add - I'm surprised to see this post surface again as I started it off so long ago.

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It's great that this old stuff pops up when you do a search to find out about some piece of eqpt. you're considering. BTW, have you come over to RAW yet? As a newbie, I too resisted plopping down $800.00 for a new PC so I could use the RAW programs, but I must say it was worthwhile. I haven't had a chance to use it on UW pictures yet, but I've been playing with Raw Shooter Essentials, which you can download for free. It's absolutely a breeze to use, and in practicing, I've cleaned up some purposely washed out shots so they look as good or better than :unsure: one with perfect light and focus. It's incredible to be able to find an object that should be white, click the white balance, and have the whole pic change before your eyes, etc. Thanks for all the tips on the lenses and shooting with them. The worm picture is awesome for a 5mp p&s or any other camera.

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post-4076-1140401619.jpgGidday all.

 

I modified my housing (Canon WP-DC50, A95) very slightly to attach the fibre optic cable. The cable is a modified Epoque with a velcro connection on one end and an Inon mount on the strobe end supplied by Inon in Singapore.

I didn't want to completely block the diffuser assembly so I can still use the onboard flash if I decide to just take a few happy snaps without my strobe.

 

Basically I drilled a small hole in the top of the diffuser box, just big enough to take the optical cable, pulled the cable through the velcro fitting and bent it at 90 degrees, so the flash fires directly into it. Then just stick yhe correct velcro bit over the hole and you're away. The end of the cable looks abit rugged, as I had to remove and refit a small metal retainer several times to get the length right.

 

When using my strobe, I tape a piece of unexposed slide film over the camera flash, which does the exact same thing as Inon clear film, but costs nothing. The wavelength that penetrates fires the strobe every time. Before I modified it all, my strobe often wouldn't fire, as the camera flash couldn't travel the correct path to get "sucked up" by the cable. All works well and inexpensive to make.

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