PaddleWise Discussion on Telephoto Lens for Waterproof Cameras




Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 23:28:14 -0800
From: Richard Mitchell
Subject: [Paddlewise] Telephoto lens for WP cameras?

Now the question of cameras is on the table, have any had
experience with telephoto lenses on waterproof cameras?  I often
wish for a quality 80-90 mm lens rather than the standard 32-38
mm ones available on most WP equipment.  The Nikonos is the best
quality (arguably not markedly superior to the now-defunct Action
Touch).  Anyone know how well the Nikonos 80 works in atmospheric
conditions?  Or is this exclusively an underwater lens?  The zoom
lens on point-and-shoot cameras seem to sacrifice a good deal of
resolution for convenience.  Any suggestions appreciated.

Richard G. Mitchell, Jr.
Department of Sociology
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331
U.S.A.
(541) 752-1323 phone/fax


Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 08:44:44 -0500 From: Steve Cramer Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Telephoto lens for WP cameras? We use a Pentax WR90, which has a 38-90 zoom lens. It is not advertised as "waterproof" although it is dunkable. Do not zoom it while it's under water, though. I've worn it under my PFD in Class III rapids, so you needn't worry about it getting wet. The lens is not as good as my Pentax AF/SLR lenses, but better than most point-and-shoot cameras. We bought ours in preparation for a trip to the Apostles in 1994. I think the zoom length is a little longer in the newer ones. Steve - -- Test Scoring & Reporting Services Sometimes, you never can University of Georgia always tell what you Athens, GA 30602-5593 least expect the most.
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 09:04:51 -0500 From: "Sisler, Clyde" Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Telephoto lens for WP cameras? We use a Pentax WR90, which has a 38-90 zoom lens. It is not advertised as "waterproof" although it is dunkable. Do not zoom it while it's under water, though. I've worn it under my PFD in Class III rapids, so you needn't worry about it getting wet. The lens is not as good as my Pentax AF/SLR lenses, but better than most point-and-shoot cameras. > I have one also. It's advertised as "water resistant", however, there are > a number of positive stories about salt water immersions in the r.b.p. > archives. I was disappointed in the zoom capabilities. I'm not a camera buff so I guess my expectations were too high. I took a picture of a young bull moose from about 30 yards and it came out looking like a chipmunk. :-(. I'm quite satisfied with the picture quality though.
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 14:52:09 -0000 From: "Colin Calder" Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Telephoto lens for WP cameras? I'll also vouch for the Pentax WR90. I had my trusty SLR & some lenses stolen this summer, and when the insurance settlement came through I whittled the choices down to getting a Nikon FM2 & standard lens to replace the SLR (+ forking out bucks to re-build the collection of lenses), or a Pentax WR90 and a pair of Nikon 7x50 wp/compass binoculars to make up the difference in value. After much humming and hahhing I realised that I rarely actually took the SLR outfit in my boat/bikes/climbing/skiing because I was worried about damage or couldn't justify the bulk and weight (and I never took my non-waterproof bins in the boat), and therefore opted for the compact and the bins. I've been really impressed with the capabilities of the camera - a lot more than a simple point and shoot, dunkable, fits in a pfd pocket, and while the lens isn't quite as sharp as my previous SLR lenses it's pretty bloody close, and far away the best on a compact (let alone water resistant compact) I've seen. Bins aren't bad either :-) Cheers Colin Calder 5719'N 210'W
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:02:34 -0500 From: Steve Cramer Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Telephoto lens for WP cameras? Sisler, Clyde wrote: > > > We use a Pentax WR90, ........ > > I was disappointed in the zoom capabilities. I'm not a camera buff so I > guess my expectations were too high. I took a picture of a young bull moose > from about 30 yards and it came out looking like a chipmunk. :-(. I'm > quite satisfied with the picture quality though. A 90 mm lens is not what you'd consider a long lens for nature photography. Imagine what the moose would have looked like with a 35 mm lens. Normally my advice is "Get closer." In this case, I'll forgo that advice. Steve - -- Test Scoring & Reporting Services Sometimes, you never can University of Georgia always tell what you Athens, GA 30602-5593 least expect the most.
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 09:21:22 -0500 From: Gabriel L Romeu Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Telephoto lens for WP cameras? Richard Mitchell wrote: > > Now the question of cameras is on the table, have any had > experience with telephoto lenses on waterproof cameras? I often > wish for a quality 80-90 mm lens rather than the standard 32-38 > mm ones available on most WP equipment. The Nikonos is the best > quality (arguably not markedly superior to the now-defunct Action > Touch). Anyone know how well the Nikonos 80 works in atmospheric > conditions? had an older nikonos which worked fine in a project I did using flash in the rain. just a somewhat clumsy camera. > Or is this exclusively an underwater lens? The zoom > lens on point-and-shoot cameras seem to sacrifice a good deal of > resolution for convenience. Any suggestions appreciated. really? doing poster size stuff? I can't tell the difference with up to 11x14", largest I ever print, between my Canon sure shot(waterproof) and my Leica m3. come to think of it, havn't found much percievable difference between any of my 35s (have had a few of them including an olypus xa, stylus, rollei 35s, honeywell sp1000, Leica CL) except when I tried a zoom once. I never photographed a resolution chart though...gotta say that the non-autofocus are a lot faster... All in all though resolution is of secondary importance for what I do. - -- gabriel l romeu http://members.aol.com/romeug studio furniture http://members.aol.com/romeugp paintings, photos, prints, etc. http://members.xoom.com/gabrielR a daily photo journal
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:41:57 -0500 From: "Byron Lawrence" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Telephoto Lens for WP cameras All of the lenses in the Nikonos line except the 15 mm wide angle are constructed to work equally well above or below water. (The design of their 15mm lens actually incorporates some of the water's defraction of help correct the final image on the film plane.) Depending on how much you're willing to carry, Ikelite makes several excellent clear poly housings for Nikon and Canon cameras. The basic rig, without flashes, is very reasonable and isn't much larger than one of the smaller Pelican waterproof box. By going that direction you get (a) waterproof (b) use of a much wider selection of lenses and (c) protection for the camera and lens. You can get port extensions to accommodate telephoto lenses up to about 200mm (and you may have to buy more than one port depending on your lens choice.) BTW, there was a recent thread on rec.boats.paddle about waterproof PhD (Push here Dummy) cameras. Quite a number of people in the thread had very good things to say about the Pentax 90 WR (which I believe is very water resistant, not waterproof). I really like the size and convenience of that type of camera, but I miss being able to use filters (especially the polarizer) which can turn an OK shot into a prize winner.
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:39:51 -0600 From: (Chuck Holst) Subject: [Paddlewise] Telephoto lens for WP came Though it is waterproof, the Nikonos 80mm lens is designed primarily for above-water use, the reason being that refraction and turbidity limit the usefulness of long lenses underwater -- and you can't change lenses underwater. (Actually, the standard Nikonos 35mm lens works equally well both above and below the waves.) The 80mm lens has some limitations, though. The Nikonos viewfinder lacks frame lines for it, so you have to guess at the field of view. And the depth of field, as with any longer lens, is shallower than for the 35mm lens, making accurate guesses about the distance of the subject more critical (the Nikonos lacks a rangefinder). Also, as with any longer lens, camera movement becomes more critical. That being said, I have gotten some good pictures from mine, and after looking at slides from my last trip that would have had more impact with a longer lens, I decided that I haven't been using it enough. Chuck Holst
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 11:01:21 -0600 From: (Chuck Holst) Subject: [Paddlewise] FW: Telephoto lens for WP I once owned an Olympus XA, but returned it because of extreme light fall-off in the corners, which I think might be typical of any camera in which the lens is close to the film, such as most compact cameras. Before I returned it, I took pictures of the same subject with both the XA and my Nikonos. The slides from the Nikonos had no discernible fall-off, in sharp contrast to those from the XA. It was especially noticeable in slides that included a lot of sky. Incidentally, one of my pet peeves is magazines, books, and newsletter that print photos with crooked horizons. This is especially noticeable in sea kayaking photos. Doesn't anyone know how to crop and rotate a photo anymore? Chuck Holst
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 10:27:57 -0800 From: Bob Tellefson Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Telephoto Lens for WP cameras At 10:41 AM 11/20/98 -0500, Byron wrote: >Depending on how much you're willing to carry, Ikelite makes several >excellent clear poly housings for Nikon and Canon cameras. >BTW, there was a recent thread on rec.boats.paddle about waterproof PhD >(Push here Dummy) cameras. Quite a number of people in the thread had very >good things to say about the Pentax 90 WR (which I believe is very water >resistant, not waterproof). I really like the size and convenience of that >type of camera, but I miss being able to use filters (especially the >polarizer) which can turn an OK shot into a prize winner. Great thread! I have been struggling with the choices of carrying either my SLR or my digital camera (Kodak DC-50) in a dry bag and using with care; or selling them both and buying something along the lines of what you describe here. I've looked at http://www.ikelite.com - interesting product line. I also miss a polarizer. Is it possible to adjust the polarizer when using an Ikelite housing? I've seen a few flexible camera bags/housings that would be suitable for kayaking, but those that I've seen are sized for the typical small viewfinder cameras. If anyone knows of a waterproof bag that that would hold a DC-50 (6.5" x 5" x 2"), I'd like to hear about it. Bob Tellefson Santa Barbara Kayak Assocation http://www.sbka.org 805-683-9717
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 14:16:48 -0500 From: "Byron Lawrence" Subject: [Paddlewise] Telephoto Lens for WP Cameras Per Mr. Tellefson's question regarding adjusting polarizers when using a camera with an UW housing: As far as I know, housings will not let you rotate a polarizing filter (to get the appropriate amount of "correction"). The housing manufacturers produce various sizes of geared "rings" which attach to various camera lenses near the point it attaches to the camera body. When the camera is mounted and locked into the housing, those gears on the lens mesh with the aperture and focus control gears in the main camera housing. I'm not aware of any "stock" solutions for rotating a filter mounted on the end of a lens, especially at the end of a longer lens. BTW, if you're interested in digital output, but don't want to go fully digital yet, you might want to try Dale Photo Labs in Florida. For a very reasonable fee, they will develop and mount your slides (or print your negatives) and for a small additional fee, burn them onto a CD ROM. You then have prints for the family/club album and digital shots for e-mail/web sites (...and you can "polarize" (darken) the sky with Photoshop! ) (I'm not affiliated with Dale Labs in any way...I've just used them a few times when I needed digital output and have been very satisfied with their services.)
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 14:14:28 -0600 From: (Chuck Holst) Subject: [Paddlewise] FW: Telephoto Lens for WP C For the price of a decent lens, you can buy an HP PhotoSmart slide and negative scanner, and scan your own pictures. Maximum resolution is 2400 dpi, which is better than any digital camera under $10,000 will give you. One reviewer claims the quality of the PhotoSmart scans is better than he usually gets on a Photo CD. The street price of the PhotoSmart scanner is $399 at all the sources I have checked, but there is a $100 rebate through January if you buy it with the PhotoSmart printer. Mine should be delivered today. Review: http://www.niftywebs.com/photoweb/photosmt.html HP page: http://www.pandi.hp.com/pandi-db/dds_data_sheet.show?p_model_no=C5100A&p_p rod_type_id=17 Chuck Holst
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 15:49:09 -0500 From: Bob Denton Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Telephoto Lens for WP Cameras I second Byron's recommendation of Dale's Labs. I've used them for professional scans of 4x5 trannies and they are both fast and accurate. They also do "happy snaps" if you live in the area. cya
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 15:43:37 -0500 From: Lloyd Bowles Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Telephoto lens for WP cameras? I have been close to moose several times in a canoe, sometimes intentionally, sometimes just by paddling around a bend & meeting one. I like to make sure the moose knows I'm around & move in slowly while talking & watching it's reaction. This gives it plenty of time to head for the bush or warn me off. I have an okay picture of a cow moose taken with a pocket 35 with 35-70 mm zoom. Cow moose seem to be easier to approach while bulls usually disappear into the bush. The one exception was one time in a swamp. I paddled past a bush, heard a noise, looked back & found I had passing within 10 feet of a large bull. He didn't seem at all bothered. I wish I had a camera that time. Don't try approaching a bull in rutting season or with a cow & calf. - -- Lloyd Bowles The Mad Canoeist "Keep the open side up!" http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/clearstreets/358/index.html
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 14:57:56 -0600 From: (Chuck Holst) Subject: [Paddlewise] FW: FW: Telephoto Lens for >> The street price of the PhotoSmart scanner is $399 at all the sources I have checked, but there is a $100 rebate through January if you buy it with the PhotoSmart printer. >> I was misinformed; you don't need to buy the printer to get the rebate on the scanner. Chuck Holst
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 12:32:05 -0800 (PST) From: Richard Strickland Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] Telephoto lens for WP cameras? Pentax now makes a 105mm zoom water"proof" version of the IQ90WR, I believe. I was dissatisfied with the zoom ability too. After my Pentax was stolen I switched to a Minolta Vectis S-1 APS, which is only "splashproof," not dunkable. It is an SLR takes takes multiple lenses, telephoto, wide-angle, macro, and also takes lens caps and filters, which the Pentax does not, and has no parallax like point&shoots. It is smaller and lighter than other SLRs. Only one problem: no APS slide film. Richard --Seattle, WA
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 16:37:32 -0600 From: Dennis Higgins Subject: [Paddlewise] water"proof" cameras & telephoto The Pentax WR 90 may only be rated as water resistant however the company told me, when I explained that I wanted to strap it to the kayak deck, that it will withstand 1 meter of depth - sufficient to roll. I have dropped the beast in the water (salt & the other kind) washed it off and lost the detachable, infrared shutter release/zoom control in 12' of fresh water at Isle Royale where it was retrieved by a ranger/diver. The thing still works and is now owned by my daughter who is in the Navy. It had capability to do close work in almost macro (1:4) I believe. SLR's are, of course, better though a friend just ruined his Nikon on the Outer Banks of NC during our September trip. My Nikon stays in an EWA-Marine bag or it stays home!
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 20:01:08 -0500 From: Gabriel L Romeu Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] FW: Telephoto Lens for WP C These are all very good suggestions, but the one thing about a digital camera is that there is a certain freedom in making pictures without the cost overhead associated with proccessing. Granted I would go out for 2 or three hours in the streets with 3 or 4 rolls of film, but this is when I dedicated a lot of time with the medium. NOw that I am involved with a lot of other stuff, I make eight exposures a day (a project I am working on) on a digital camera and download them in the evenings and still am saving enough for a drysuit probably in time for the list to decide which one is best (then again, there may be a new fabric by then). I am willing to experiment more with the lower cost overhead and I end up making more exposures- this is an advantage. I am of the tv generation so the immediate gratification is a + as well. the digital camera is not a substitute for a film camera, it has it's own specific applications.
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 20:44:23 -0500 From: dldecker Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] FW: Telephoto Lens for WP C I have a Sony FD-71 digital camera that stores on a Floppy disk and love it. Of course it does not take as good pictures as my nikonis 4 but I am putting most of the paddling pictures on the web to show people any way. I can get 35 pictures on a floppy in normial mode and 15-20 in fine mode. Some of the pictures I took at the Folly Beach Surf rodeo are at http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Geyser/6383/Folly.htm all of them are untouched and downloades off the floppies. I find I take a lot more pictures with the digital than I ever did with the 35mm. Dana
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 01:55:25 -0800 From: Dave Kruger Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] water"proof" cameras & telephoto Dennis Higgins wrote: > > The Pentax WR 90 may only be rated as water resistant however the > company told me, when I explained that I wanted to strap it to the kayak > deck, that it will withstand 1 meter of depth - sufficient to roll. I > have dropped the beast in the water (salt & the other kind) washed it > off [snip] A guy who works in the tech repair section of Pentax told me the same thing. And, I've had the same good luck with the WR 90. I keep mine below decks, under my left knee, and whip it out when I need a picture. The camera BARELY floats, so I threaded an epoxy-coated Dayglo yellow styrofoam float onto the neck strap to make it easier to find if I drop it in the drink. Two years of flawless performance. I like it better than the yellow Minolta (which has only wide angle and normal lens choices). I see the WR 90 advertised for sale again, so maybe Pentax is not phasing it out in favor of the 115 mm zoom model they also make. - -- Dave Kruger Astoria, OR