Martin Steinmeier and Nicolai Deutsch
On our last trip to the Bahamas at the legendary Tiger Beach, we had a Nauticam Wideangle Conversion Port (WACP) with us. Nicolai Deutsch, a german videographer, had one on his C200 housing with the Canon 18-55mm STM lens and I had the chance to test it with my 7D Mark II.
First of all it is important to know what is special about this port and how it works.
The WACP is a 0.36x Wide Angle Conversion Port. Unlike traditional ports or wet-mate corrective wide-angle optics, the WACP is a "dry" corrective optic that modifies up to a 28mm equivalent lens to an extremely sharp 130°. I would call it a combination of a wet-mate wide-angle optic and a very good wideangle port.
The working area with the 18-55mm lens is super flexible and with a APS-C Crop Camera we are talking about a focal length from 10mm up to 31.5mm. Without the WACP, I had to change my lenses between the 10-17mm Tokina, the 8-15mm or the 16-35mm Canon.
The STM lenses are very fast and the results with this standard zoom-lens and the WACP are impressive. The quality and the sharpness at the edges and corners are very very good. The results are better than a 16-35mm, 8-15mm Canon and of course the 10-17 Tokina lens with a standard glass or acrylic dome port.
With another lens like the 28-70mm, you can also use the port on a full frame camera.
The port is big and heavy and at first I thought this could be a lot of negative buoyancy. But with the aluminum float collar and the big float arms the buoyancy was quite perfect.
To shoot shark pictures at the tiger beach, I think it is not necessary to use more focal length than 31.5mm.
In Nico's case with his C200, it didn't feel right putting a cheap 18-55mm lens on the system, but as Nauticam already had proven amazing results with the WWL-1 for compact systems, he felt confident. With the aluminum float collar it is also nice to balance with the C200. Using the trim weights with the C200 housing, it was super simple to get a rock solid and stable buoyancy.
Nico was very glad to be able to make use of Canons Dual Pixel AF. It worked perfectly fine with the lens. The built-in image stabilization worked fine as well, but the only fact to consider when using IS, is that on the wide focal length, it can happen that some dark edges appear. This can be fixed with a minimal zoom in.
The WACP is a closed system and it provides dust from getting underneath the dome. This can be a pain with conventional domes to clean or ruin shots when shooting towards the sun.
Most of the time the videos were shot with the aperture wide open, as Nico is used to shooting on land. And it was amazing seeing the results and the sharpness at aperture of f/3.5!
Time to get back in the water with the WACP!
To see more of Martin and Nicolai's work please check out the following links:
Martin's Website: martin-steinmeier.de
Martin's Instagram: martin.steinmeier
Nicolai's website: nicodeutsch.com
Nicolai's Instagram: nicolai_deutsch
Nicolai's Vimeo: Nicolai Deutsch on Vimeo