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Sony A7 III diving setup

Discussion in 'Sony Snappers' started by ToniDiverDive, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. ToniDiverDive

    ToniDiverDive Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Germany
    5
    0
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    Hey diving folks! :D

    I search for a camera setup for my Sony A7 III, wich can do 3 things in the same dive:

    -wideangel around 16-24mm
    -macro around 70-90mm
    -and some in action shoot around 35mm

    The perfect solution would be for example a Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 with two wet lenses (macro and wideangel), in a Meikon/Seafrog Housing. I found this here Meikon a7RII zoom adjust: Underwater Photography Forum: Digital Photography Review where he built up a zoom ring. Maybe there is a elegant solution for the 28-75mm?
    And which wet lenses are compatible with the Tamaron and the Meikon housing?
    I am also not sure if the housing have a filter thread?


    My current camera setup:
    Sony A7 III, Sony 16-35mm f4, 28mm f2 and 16mm Fiseye converter, Sony 55mm 1.8

    Thank you for helping me, I'm looking forward to the answers! :D
     
  2. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
    604
    226
    43
    I don't think it can be done with your A7 III. Tamron 28-75mm extends to zoom, which means that at wide angle, it will be some distance away from the port glass, which won't play well with wet wide lenses - they tend to require the camera front element to be as close as possible to the wet lens rear element. Nauticam WWL-1 port chart only lists 28mm f/2 as compatible for Sony FE, and that won't work with macro.
    Meikon/SeaFrogs A7 III housings don't have threading on their flat ports, either the standard ones or the 90mm macro ones - the front glass element is too wide - so you can't mount wet lenses.
    If you absolutely need to have access to a wide range of focal lengths, then you need to look into getting a different body. An A6100 or A6400 with 16-50mm kit lens will work with most wet lenses, and SeaFrogs short macro port will allow you to mount them on 67mm threads. Since it uses the same lens mount, it can work as a backup body to your A7 III while on land. @Hoag uses this type of setup - A7 III on land, A6000 underwater.
    Another option would be an RX100VA with the appropriate housing. The smaller sensor gives you much better depth of field while light-gathering capability is not as important when shooting with strobes. The leaf shutter on its built-in lens also allows you to sync strobes as fast as 1/2000s, while Alpha series cameras are limited to 1/160s.
     
    Hoag likes this.
  3. ToniDiverDive

    ToniDiverDive Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Germany
    5
    0
    1
    @Barmaglot
    thank you so much for all this information :D

    What pair of strobe woud you recommend for a A6xxx and what pair of strobes woud you recommend for RX100?
     
  4. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
    604
    226
    43
    I use an A6300 in a SeaFrogs housing with a pair of SeaFrogs ST-100 Pro strobes, but while the housing is perfectly adequate, I cannot recommend the strobes - with optical triggering, they function in TTL slave mode only, similar to a Sea & Sea YS-03, which severely limits their power output.
    Sea & Sea YS-D2 are good, but suffer from reliability issues, even in the new D2J version. Inon Z-330 gets good reviews, but reportedly also has some reliability issues - I've read a claim from a person who has disassembled his after it failed that it uses the same flash tubes as the older Z-240, but drives them twice as hard, which leads to frequent failures.
    The new Retra flashes look very promising, but they're not shipping yet - I have a pair on preorder, and they recently sent out an email that the preorders should ship in the second half of October, so hopefully I'll have them to play with in 6-8 weeks.
    If you're on a budget, look into getting a used pair of Inon Z-240s or Sea & Sea YS-D1s; they come up for sale every now and then.
     
  5. Hoag

    Hoag Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    1,400
    1,013
    113
    FWIW, I use a pair of INON S2000 strobes. They are certainly not the most powerful, but they are small & compact and they have enough power to meet my needs. No piece of gear will be perfect; everything is some degree of a compromise. It is all about finding the best fit for your needs. As @Barmaglot said, I shoot an A7iii above the surface, and an A6000 underwater. Today, the A6000 is a few generations old so although it works well for me, I would not recommend it today. What I would seriously consider would be an A6500 in the FantaSea housing (with a vacuum sensor) and a pair of S2000 strobes. (Note that FantaSea has discontinued their original housing for the A6500, and they have just released an updated version.) Keep in mind that if you plan to shoot video, then the strobes will be useless.
     
  6. Barmaglot

    Barmaglot Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Israel
    604
    226
    43
    Today, the A6000/6300/6500 line has been replaced by A6100/6400/6500 bringing, mainly, a new autofocus engine. A6400 even fits the same housings as A6300/6500. A6600 most likely doesn't, as it has a bigger grip, containing a Z-series battery from A7 III. A6400 is probably the balanced choice for underwater shooting as the IBIS in A6500/6600 is not as useful when the lenses most commonly used underwater (10-18mm, 16-50mm, 16-70mm, 90mm macro) are all stabilized. The autofocus in A6400 is much better than in A6500, while A6600 is considerably more expensive and lacks a built-in flash, necessitating the additional expense of an LED trigger or TTL converter if you want to use fiber optic triggering.
     

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