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Is decent wide angle possible with G12 or must go DSLR?

Discussion in 'The Canon Corner' started by kaaralex, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. kaaralex

    kaaralex Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Shanghai
    48
    2
    8
    I m rephrasing my previous question about housings for G12.

    Apart from depth rating, the major concern for me is that I would like to gain a decent UW wide-angle capability for my G12. I wonder if it is even possible with DC + some wet lens. If yes, which one can u recommend (preferably based on your experience?)

    DSLR is always best in terms of picture quality, but it is expensive and bulky.

    thanks for your replies!
     
  2. franktai

    franktai Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Australia
    18
    2
    0
    Hallo!

    The answer is always subjective, but I think one can achieve great wide angle results using the G12 (or in my case, a G11) and a wide angle lens. I have attached some photos from a recent trip from Yap + Palau to give you some indication of results achieved - blues come out, coral scenery look huge and pelagic subjects fill the screen.

    Challenges of course include lighting, composition & exposure locking to achieve desired colour in combination of the other two - but the results are really pleasing when you get it right!

    As for kit, I have a G11 + FishEye FIX G11 housing + FishEye wide angle port - which is a fixed port. At first I wanted wet lenses so I could swap lenses during a dive between WA and macro, but being "stuck" with one particular port was just for me - my dive buddy is happily equipped with only a standard/macro port, so we can handle all subjects fine underwater.... I am not familiar with wet wide angle lenses for the G-series (i have macro lenses) so i can't help you there, but i do think that FishEye FIX does make a wide angle lens for the WP-DC34... check out backscatter.com for details, and hopefully somewhere here can post some results achieved.

    Happy shooting!
     

    Attached Files:

  3. slowhands

    slowhands Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    779
    34
    28
    I'm not sure what you consider decent wide angle. But of course a DSLR will have lenses available that have a wider field of view - and cost a ton more. Only you can decide what's worthwhile.

    The G12 is a nice camera, but it's lens is not especially wide angle (28mm eq), and that gets worse underwater due to physics. In air, the 28mm lens has a FOV of 75 degrees, but in salt water through a flat port that becomes a FOV of 54 degrees. Not good news, but you can't fight physics.

    The G12 is a poor candidate for adding a wide angle wet lens to for another reason -- because of the way in which the G12 lens moves when you zoom. At it's widest, the lens is not fully extended in the port, that is, it's recessed back from the port window. That means the port has to have a relatively large piece of glass to avoid vignetting, and any wet lens to cover that glass area must be large -- which means big, heavy and expensive. In fact, because of this, most wet lenses will vignette at widest angle on a G12 -- they have to be backed off to say 35mm eq to avoid cropped corners. So because of the large lens port area, the G12 is a poor candidate for adding a wet lens for wide angle photography. Other cameras with smaller ports work out better - such as the Canon S90 or S90. You may notice that most of the wide angle buffs here use the Canon S90/95 instead of G class.

    But if you still like the G12, what's available? There are different options for different housings. And there are two types of wet lenses available: air dome, or glass.

    Air dome: This is the least expensive and simplest. It gives a modest improvement to field of view, roughly undoing the loss of FOV caused by water. With the G12 in a Canon DC34 housing, the Air Dome enhances the FOV to roughly 80 degrees, not bad. It has a domed front element, air inside, and a flat rear element, with a hood for protection. There are different mounts for different housings, either push on or screw on to fit the housing port. Cost is about $220. Below is a thumbnail of the Fantasea Air Dome on Canon housing. Ikelite makes a similar air dome, WD-4, for its G12 housing.

    Glass lenses: These are better lenses than the Air Dome, made of glass not plastic and having more elements (typically 4 groups, 5 elements). These are much heavier and more expensive than Air Domes, but enhance the FOV much more. They come in various mounts for various camera housings, but few to fit a G12 housing.

    Because of their weight, it is risky to mount these to a plastic housing like the Canon DC-34. I don't know of a commercial adapter available to do it, but you can cobble one from a step ring. I would not advise it for a heavy glass lens -- use for macro wet lenses only. Illustrated in thumbnail #3 below.
    Canon G9 & G7 housing - DIY 67mm lens adapter - Wetpixel :: Underwater Photography Forums

    If you really want a glass wide lens, go to a metal housing, like the FIX G12 Housing or 10Bar G12 Housing with the wide lens (these are not wet mount). The FIX is pictured in the thumbnail below. For more info on these housings, see:
    Fix G12 Housing for Canon G12 - Fisheye Fix Housings & Accessories - Optical Ocean Sales Underwater Photo - 800-359-1295!
    10Bar Underwater Housings - Optical Ocean Sales Underwater Photo - 800-359-1295!
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    11,975
    2,151
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    The Patima housing will accept some wet lenses. The FIX housing for the G series will accept the excellent aforementioned dry port wide angle lens which produces a FOV in the range of 130 degrees, that is pretty decent I would think.

    The S series in the FIX and Recsea housings have more lens options for wide angle with a max FOV in the range of 150 to 160 degrees more or less.

    Frankly, the wet vs dry thing is over rated to me. Both concepts work well. It is handy to be able to snap the fisheye or wide angle lens from the port and shoot a macro or portrait with the native port but dry systems as on the FIX-G11 and the Oly ELP-1 and the Sony Nex (in Aquatica) have greater image quality at least in theory since the lens they use is made for them and not generic.

    There is also the new Oly XZ-1 which may have good wide angle potential utilizing wet lens systems in a camera similar in size and function to the Canon S series but with some new features.

    If I was stuck on a G series camera, then I would get the FIX with the dry port wide angle lens and call it good. Why the G?

    N
     
  5. mitsuguy

    mitsuguy Captain

    # of Dives:
    Location: st croix, usvi
    356
    33
    28
    I'm with Nemrod... it seems to me like you would be better off going wide angle not necessarily with a DSLR, but instead a S90/S95 camera... with either of these, both Inon and Fix offer multiple options for wide angle... I am very happy with my 100 degree FOV Inon lens on my OEM Canon housing, and the 165 or 100 w/ dome works equally as well, with around 165 degree FOV...
     
  6. kaaralex

    kaaralex Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Shanghai
    48
    2
    8
    First, thanks to everybody for their great inputs.

    Why G? I hv been using G10 both UW and above, and it is an excellent camera. Above water 28mm is great for a compact. UW it has a great macro.
    I hv never used S90/S95, just remember somebody telling me macro does not work as well as on G ones.

    Wet lens indeed add a degree of flexibility - at some cost. I did own Air dome from fantasea, used it with G10+Canon WD housing, and i was not happy with the results. Sold it long time ago.

    Therefor it seems i will go for Patima/Fix with fixed wide angle port. The only remaining question is if i buy it for G12, or for my 7D. :)

    Thanks and hv good day everybody.
     
  7. mitsuguy

    mitsuguy Captain

    # of Dives:
    Location: st croix, usvi
    356
    33
    28
    I think the S series does just fine with macro... in fact, with a wide angle lens, I can literally focus on something as close as the lens hood on my Inon UWL100 lens...
     
  8. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    11,975
    2,151
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    Those have nothing--NOTHING--in common with the results gotten with Inon or Fisheye lenses.

    The Patima if I recall correctly is a wet system port (67mm threads) unlike the G series FIX housing which has a dry port with a built in wide angle lens.

    Good luck with your new rig.

    N
     
  9. furby076

    furby076 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Philadelphia
    270
    3
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    I have the wet lens shown in slowhands left most pic. When I used it on my g11 the images came out well. It's not that expensive. The only downside is on occasion I would knock it out of place and not realize it until I processed my photos. Why was this a problem...because the plastic case would get on the corner of the shot making me have to crop the image a bit more. Overall though it was a solid product for the camera
     
  10. joel231

    joel231 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Perth, WA
    43
    0
    0
    So i have the Patima housing for the G11. It comes with 2 ports, a standard one as you see on the housing and a seperate one at the bottom which has a M67 thread that screws into the wide angle lense which is also shown. Have not used the WA yet but cant wait to.

    Cheers Joel
     

    Attached Files:

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