Todays Lesson: Using Zoom Lenses in a Housing

I had the chance to get a few water shots at a popular reef/point set-up this week, and I had my 70-200mm port on my housing so I thought I’d chuck the camera in the car just in case the light got good in the evening.

After surfing for a while the sun was threatening to come out so I caught a wave in to grab my gear, in my haste I didn’t check that the gear on the lens (attached by velcro) lined up perfectly with the knob on the port.

This meant that I could just about zoom the lens a tiny bit at a time by mashing the knob into the lens and giving it a sharp twist, but not in one smooth action like I can if it’s matched up.

This backlit beauty broke deeper than the pack of surfers, some extra zoom would have helped, see below for the pre-crop version.  ISO 125, 81mm, f4, 1/1000
This backlit beauty broke deeper than the pack of surfers, some extra zoom would have helped get a better composition in camera , see below for the pre-crop version. ISO 125, 81mm, f4, 1/1000

This meant that I was stuck at the bottom end of my 70-200mm lens for the shoot, not a huge issue as I was able to get quite close anyway, but I’d have really appreciated the zoom control on some of the bigger sets that were breaking wide, and it also meant I couldn’t easily see how close I was to the end of my zoom limits too.

Next time I get the chance to shoot some videos I’ll try and fit in a video guide to lining up the port and lens collar, explaining it with text and photo’s would be a waste of time I think.

Second Best Option: Crop for Composition

As you can see I cropped this a bit in Adobe Lightroom, as well as applying one of my presets then tweaking it to suit the lighting, had I had access to the zoom I'd have ended up with the same image at full resolution.
As you can see I cropped this a bit in Adobe Lightroom, as well as applying one of my presets then tweaking it to suit the lighting, had I had access to the zoom I’d have ended up with the same image at full resolution.

So I’ve now got another item to add to my check-list for setting up my housing, I’m going to be bringing you a full list of things to check before sealing your camera in side for a future post and/or video.

The Todays Lesson posts offer you the chance to learn from my mistakes, I try to post one regularly, read about some of my other cock-ups here:

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