Part 3: Using Different Lenses In Your Housing
One of the key advantages you have when adapting a surf water housing is interchangeable ports, being able to use different lenses with the same water housing is key to being able to take a variety of photo’s. I’ll list the lenses I use on my Sony a6000 for water photography and the ports that I use with each one.
If you’d like to read up on some of the basic techniques for keeping drops off the relevant port check out my Water Housing Users Guide – Part 3 – Prevent Water Drops, Wet Port Vs Dry Port.
I found, unsurprisingly, that the Samyang 8mm on my Sony a6000 had a wider field of view than my Tokina 10-17mm fisheye on my Canon 70D, this means I’m more able to get the really cool distorted fisheye effect, and that it’s easier to have vignetting at the corners of the image due to part of the dome port getting in the shot.
A shot with the Samyang/Rokinon 8mm f2.8 Fisheye, the vignetting at the corners is because of the rapidly fading light more than the lens port in this case
By using the PU-60 quick release plate and sliding the camera as far forward as possible I was able to minimise this, more recently I have stuck a cork to the inside of my back plate to keep the camera from twisting inside the housing, this is a temporary measure until I get around to building something a lot less ugly into the Aquatech base plate itself.
Sigma 19mm f2.8, Sigma 30mm f2.8 (and recently purchased Sigma 60mm f2.8)
These small prime lenses easily fit inside my LP-5 flat port and I’ve had no issues shooting with them using the dry port method, no adaptation was needed for these to work and I’ve got a bit of adjustment forward and back if I end up getting a longer prime or zoom lens in the future too.
This is where it gets a bit more challenging,I have the LP-TZ4 port which is designed for the Canon 70-200mm lens, it has a knob on the side which operates a little cog type thing on the inside which in turn engages with a collar that goes around the lens, this allows yo to zoom the lens whilst it’s in the port.
I had to increase the diameter of the lens in order to get this mechanism to work, I happened to have an old dive housing lens collar lying around which worked pretty perfectly for this, but you could easily improvise something with a piece of neoprene or anything that would go around the lens.
The blue pre-dawn light gives this shot a nice cool colour palette, the Sony 55-210mm handled the lack of light pretty well considering it’s not got the widest maximum aperture.
luckily with the camera in position the lens can operate throughout the full focal length from 55mm to 210mm without any vignetting at the short end or it hitting the front element of the port at the long end, so it’s a pretty good fit.