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MrFish

S2 Pro - Recommedation for macro lens

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I posted this message yesterday but it seems to have disappeared in the transfer.

 

I need a recommendation for a good macro lens for my new Fuji S2 pro.

 

I am considering the Nikkor 60mm F2.8 which is highly recommended by photographers using film based SLRs. But how does it fare with the DSLR 1.5x conversion factor?

 

Should i use a flat port or domed port? and should it be manual or just AF?

 

Thanks :P

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I have a Nikkor 60mm and it is brilliant.

 

I used to have it on a Nikon F801 in a Subal housing with two strobes in manual (1/125, f8 -ASA200), camera TTL mode.

 

I cant wait to get my hands on a housed S2.

 

I am dumping my Olympus 4040 and going for the S2. Too much shutter lag on 4040 and I cant see the LCD properly underwater. when it is close enough to see LCD screen I cant focus on it ( old eyes) and when it is too far away it is too difficult to see what is ion the LCD. !!! Expensive mistake. Life's a learning !!

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I’m using the Nikkor 60 mm on my S2 in my own housing. I use Ikelite’s extended dome port and I’m pleased with the results. I’m sure I’m sacrificing some magnification with out the flat port but it’s very convenient. I also shoot in auto focus mode for the lack of mechanical control over the lens.

 

Marc

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If you are going to shoot macro you may want to have the smaller port - the flat port (?) for easier manouverability. I don't have the 60mm but have a 105mm macro and shoot mainly on manual, that will also reduce the shutter lag time on a digital.

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Thanks for all your advice. I have now bought the Nikkor 60mm F2.8D Micro lens.

 

But i still have the decision to make about the port, whether to go for flat or domed.

 

As i understand it the flat port will have a magnifying effect but the domed port does not have this problem.

 

Could somebody explain the pros and cons of the different port types? and example photos taken with the S2 and 60mm with both lenses would be great.

 

Thanks

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Dome ports are not meant to be used with Macro lenses. Because the field of view of a macro lens is only a few degrees a flat port is the preferred way to go.

 

I have not tried to use my macro lens with a dome, but for your comparison, here is a macro shot taken using the appropriate flat port:

 

DSCF0097.jpg

 

HTH

James Wiseman

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I agree with James as the flat port is made optically to be superior to using a dome port ,but I’m getting great results using my dome port. You be the judge.

 

Marc

 

FlamingoTongue2.jpg

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Hmm, well, I guess it's too late, since you bought the lens.

 

But, the choice between the 60 and the 105 isn't necessarily clear.

 

In clear, tropical water, I prefer shooting with the 105, (on my n90s - still just using a G2 for underwater digital).

 

The 105 gives you a lot more working room, and lets you shoot small reef fish, from maybe 12-20 inches, which lets you get a LOT more shots.

 

The 60 is good for not so clear water, where the extra distance hurts, and is also good for it's ability to shoot larger things, like turtles, or larger parts of turtles, from a lesser distance.

 

Both give 1:1. The 105 is a lot easier to work with, at that extreme, due to the extra working distance.

 

Don

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Hi Don,

 

Perhaps the difference is that the 60 is NOT a 60 and the 105 is Not a 105...:blink: They are actually 90mm and 157.5mm respectively. Not to mention that you need a LOT of light for that 157.5mm lens.

 

So while the 105 is nice on film cameras I feel that it is a bit too narrow if you intend to shoot anything but pgymey seahorses...:)

 

The 90mm equivalent given by the Nikkor 60 is a really good one. You can shoot that same 1:1 macro from a little farther out, or you can shoot 1:1.5 - so the lens is approaching what traditional film shooters have come to expect from the 105 - at 1/2 the price.

 

HTH

James

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I have both the 60 and 105 which I use with a F100. I almost always use the 60 even in clear water, and even when shooting pigmy sea horses. I like it because you can shoot big subjects but still get the really small stuff. The only advantage I find with the 105 is very skittish subjects. :ph34r:

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I believe their’s no difference between the 60mm and the 105 mm if they both have a maximum F stop of 2.8. They both should be equal in the amount of light that reaches their respective chips.

 

Marc

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Marc is correct. The only diff is the working Dx with the 105's being further out. That is why I prefer the 60. With it'c closer working Dx (minium focus) you can get closer to larger subjects. If you use a flat port you will get mag than the native 1:1 of either lens. The dome port gives you the lenses natural mag. But you will get the advantage with a dome port of better color as chromatic aberation is limited in a dome compared with a flat port. :ph34r:

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Hmm...well. With the 105 you basically have to get just as much light into the same place, but from about twice as far away. That means that after the inverse square law, you are looking at needing strobes that are 4x as powerful.

 

If you don't believe me, try it sometime. You need a LOT more light to throw when shooting the 105 - even though they are both f2.8

 

Cheers

James

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One additional point to be added on the 60mm macro lens on DSLRs and choice of dome or flat port. As James and others state, the slight magnification of a flat port gives you a little more working distance on what becomes a very nice 90mm lens on the Fuji S2 or Nikon D100.

 

But, having to mount a #5503.50 extended dome port as Marc Furth mentioned (which I'm also using with the Nikon 18-35mm zoom and +4 diopter) and leave this port on for the 60mm macro lens is an advantage. 90mm shooting distance from a subject is fine. Even at 1:1 you won't be crowding your dome port unless you're trying to shoot something WAY down in a crevice. Then strobe positioning becomes the challenge.

 

One last thing on the 60mm macro, make sure you have the little switch on FULL range if you want to go to 1:1. My buddy shooting his Nikon D100 test shots got really frustrated when he couldn't get as close as he thought he should've been able to. Found out it was on "LIMIT" which only let's you go from infinity to 1:2 or so. This also depends on where the lens is focus wise when you engage this switch. If you're manually focused to 1:1 and hit "LIMIT" the lens will only go between 1:1 and 1:2. I found this out the hard way on one dive a long time ago.......

 

David Haas

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David:

 

Does the zoom gear work w/ the Ike housing and the 18-35?

 

Cheers

James

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"They are actually 90mm and 157.5mm respectively. Not to mention that you need a LOT of light for that 157.5mm lens."

 

You need no more light. Just because the FOV is cropped has no impact. Shooting 1:1 with the 105mm puts you well within the range of most strobes for light. I shoot f/22 and get plenty of light.

 

I have the 60, 105 and 200mm macro lenses. The 105mm is the lens of choice. Comments like "the 60mm lets me get real close" don't make sense. The subject generally doesn't let you get that close. With the 105mm you get 1:1 from a greater distance. This means to get to 1:1 with the 60mm you HAVE to get close.

 

The 60mm allows you get larger subjects.

 

"But you will get the advantage with a dome port of better color as chromatic aberation is limited in a dome compared with a flat port"

 

I disagree. More chromatic aberation with a dome, but with the digital cropping it will likely not be an issue. I've never had an issue with chromatic aberation with any flat port.

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Hi Scorpio,

 

Have you shot the 105 on your D100 underwater? If so, I'd really like to see some shots if you don't mind sharing. I'm really considering that lens but I think the 157.5mm yielded by an SLR might be overkill. At the minimum focusing distance of the 105 that will yield something like 3:1 macro. The proof is in the pudding so to speak so let's see some shots if you have some. Heck, maybe I can just try out the lens at my local camera store - it's just a lot to spend (~$700).

 

On the other hand, if you're used to shooting the 105 underwater (and it sounds like you are) then you will be happy with the 60 on your DSLR (Since it will be 90mm ~ very close to 105).

 

Cheers

James

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With the "accordian effect" of the longer lens (i.e. the 105 vs the 60) you will need more light. This is why you need more light for macro than required if you calc the power needed using the guide number formula. You can shoot any of the lenses with small macro lenses but a more powerfull strobe is usefull with the longer lenses. It is embarassing to admit that I can't explain why when I've taken graduate courses in geometric optics, but the refraction effects of a flat port will give you more chromatic aberation than will a dome port. Several UW photo pros swear by using dome ports for macro for this reason. It has to do with I believe the dome tending to neutralize the effects of the different index of refraction of water vs air. As these effects are worse with wider lenses, that is why a dome port is essential to wide angle lenses (in addition to not wanting the mag effects with a wide angle lens) :ph34r:

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I think it's called the "bellows effect" as discussed on that "F100" post to uw-photo today.

 

As you get closer in your apparent fstop goes up. I don't know why either...:blink:

 

Cheers

James

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Now that I've gathered my thoughts....

 

A dome port will always reduce chromatic aberation. In a perfect world, we would use a coated optical glass dome port designed for each lens. In fact, Seacam offers 3 different dome ports maximized for various wide angle lenses. I have met adherants to the dome port for everything mentality. I believe the advantage is more theoretical than practical. Kind of like the guy who "proved" to me that one print was better than another by looking at it with a 10x loupe. There is no chromatic aberation with a 60mm lens. The light just doesn't get bent that much. Chromatic aberation rears its ugly head with wide angle lens, especially poorly constructed ones. That's one of the reasons we use dome ports for heavily curved wide angle lenses. No other housing manufacturer other than Ikelite even lists a dome port for a macro lens even though it's possible to do so. Why? Hold that thought.

 

If I were to magically stretch the focal length of a lens, then it would require more light as our effective f/stop would increase. But this is not the case of the 60mm and 105mm. The design of the lenses are different. They are both 2.8 lenses and allow for the same amount of light. If different focal lengths affected light requirement, then all our hand held light meters would be worthless. The longer the lense the more difficult to "equalize" this light requirement, or should I say increase aperture size to get the equivalent light through the lens. That's why my 200mm macro is an f/4 as are many telephotos.

 

This of course does not apply to lengthening the lens with a TC or tube. My 2X TC loses 2 stops of light. Even so, I'm able to do macro with the TC and 105mm at f/22 and get enough light from my strobes.

 

"The 60mm allows me to get closer" should be "The 60mm allows me to backup less to get a non-macro shot". With its smaller angle of view, the 60mm allows you get larger subjects totally inside the frame. For true macro work, it is not as effective as the 105mm. The 60mm does 1:1 at 8.75". This is the distance from film plane/CCD to subject. Now add on the space of the dome and it gets very difficult to get that close to subject. If you are using an 8" dome, it really gets hairy. You are almost in framer territory. Hence, the reason flat ports are recommended for macro work.

 

My revised final thoughts:

 

60mm - More versatile, easier to shoot non-macro fish portraits. The image crop of the S2 makes this the best overall choice. It is also a much more practical lens on land.

 

105mm - My personal choice. I can still get full fish/octopus shots with no problems and get the extra working distance for macro. I've even used it combination with a 2x TC or diopters for even greater magnification. I look forward to using it with the D100 for easier macro work, but it will lessen its versatility for non-macro work.

 

200mm - Forget about it. I love this lens, but underwater it is a royal pain. It has allowed me to get some shots of skittish critters that I couldn't get with the 105mm. I won't detail all the pitfalls, but suffice it to say it requires lots of strobe power and a tripod would be extremely useful. Great for eyeballs.

 

One last shot; Ikelite dome ports are, in my opinion, the worst optical quality dome in the market. They were designed to meet a cost target. They only come in 6" versions, which are not optimized for really wide lenses. It may not be a factor with a macro lens, but I would always shoot my macros with a flat port.

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Scorpio,

 

Thanks for a well framed and executed post. I have really learned a lot from this one.

 

Cheers

James

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Flat port it is then. Thanks for all your help guys, i even understood most of it!

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Interesting statement about Ikelite’s dome ports. I’ve used Ike’s domes for years with out having much choice. I build my own housings and have used compass domes that worked nicely with very small diameter lens. The last camera was the Nikon series Cool Pix with the WC-E24

wide converter. I used a compass dome of 5.25 diameter which worked great. When I made my housing for my Fuji S2 Pro I opted to use Ike’s dome port because I couldn’t find a 6"or 8" compass manufactured. One problem that I have with Ike’s domes are their hard to clean. I haven’t been able to clean them with out scratching them. Ike claims to have superior optical properties, what’s your incite to your statement.

 

Marc

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My response should be more diplomatic, but the scorpio_fish opinion "that Ikelite dome ports are the worst optical quality dome in the market" indicates complete ignorance.

 

Our dome is the only one actually produced by a molder of lenses to specifications for underwater photography. The mold was twenty thousand dollars way back when. An optical company was amazed at the consistency of the molding just a year ago. Most other domes come from a compass heritage which is not overly demanding for optics.

 

The only absolute difference in 3" and 4" radius domes is location of the apparent image which is where the lens must focus.

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I clarify my earlier statement, lest Ike hunt me down and brain me with a dome port :blink:

 

I go only go by results. When using a 24 lens behind the 6" dome port, I found the dome optics to be fine with this lens. The 24mm lens has an 84 degree angle of coverage. When using the 20mm lens with a coverage of 94 degrees, the Ike dome produced huge amounts of distortion toward the outside sections of the frame, far more than I've seen and experienced with other domes. I am not alone in this observation.

 

It is just a limitation of the "one size fits many" solution. Although I mentioned coated optical glass domes as ideal, I don't use any myself, because the benefits do not outweigh the costs, as in $$$ and scratching.

 

An Ike dome costs what, about $150? Compare that with as much as $600 for other dome offerings. Ikelite products are about value. If you are going to use nothing wider than 84 degrees, then you will see no quality issue with the Ike dome.

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