Nikonos lenses find a new home with NauticamNikonos lenses were a cornerstone of underwater photography for over 30 years and unfortunately faded away in the digital age. Unlike land lenses placed into waterproof housings, Nikonos lenses are considered "wet lenses" which are mechanically waterproof and perfected for the unique optical challenges of underwater imaging. Many photographers (myself included) consider these lenses the sharpest underwater optics ever designed. Nauticam, a new manufacturer in Hong Kong, is soon to deliver a solution to use these stellar optics with the new Sony NEX-5 digital camera. Hats off to Nauticam for demonstrating their dedication to underwater imaging by investing the engineering hours to bring this product to market.
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Nikonos 35mm Lens on Nauticam NEX5 Nikonos Lens Adapter
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More than a tool for Nikonos lensesI'd not rush to eBay and purchase all the Nikonos lenses you can find. Most users will prefer the automation and flexibility of the Sony NEX lenses, but Nikonos fans and optical tinkerers will likely love the flexibility. Nikonos lenses were designed for rangefinder cameras and lack auto iris control. Thus, a Nikonos lens user will find challenges with focus and composition at higher f-stops and will likely need to temporarily open up the aperture to allow the camera enough light. Nikonos lenses were also designed for full frame 35mm and the Sony NEX5 has a crop factor of 1.5x. Thus a Nikonos 15mm lens will get cropped down to be more like a 20mm. Regardless of these issues, the Nauticam NEX5 is likely to spark some innovation.
Digest of interesting camera specs with summary:
General Specs:Imaging Sensor : APS HD CMOS sensor (23.4 X 15.6mm)
Effective Picture Resolution : Approx. 14.2 megapixels
Focal Length Conversion Factor : 1.5x
Dimensions (Approx.) : Appx 4-3/8 x 2-3/8 x 1-9/16" (110.8x58.8x38.2mm) (W/H/D)
Lens Compatibility : Sony E-mount lens, (Sony Alpha lenses when used with LA-EA1 lens adaptor)
Summary:Same size sensor as Nikon D300 and Canon 7D, but in a tiny camera. Larger sensor means less noise than standard point & shoot cameras. Small size means just as travel friendly as most point & shoots.
Photo Specs:Burst Buffer : JPEG (unlimited to card capacity) RAW (8 shots) RAW+JPEG (5 shots)
Continuous Shooting Speed : Continuous (2.3fps) Speed Priority (7fps)
Flash Sync Speed : 1/160 seconds
Auto High Dynamic Range : Yes, (Auto Exposure Difference, Exposure difference Level (1-6 EV at 1.0 EV step), off)
Sweep Panorama : Horizontal, Vertical, and 3D Panorama
Flash Bracketing : 3 frames, 1/3, 2/3EV steps selectable
Flash Modes : Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear sync., Slow sync., Red-eye reduction
Recycling Time : Approx. 4 sec
Still Image Mode : JPEG (Standard, Fine), RAW, RAW+JPEG
Summary:Bye, bye shutter delay and hello burst mode to shoot action. Flash sync speed is a bit slow for shooting sunballs, so keep the sun at your back. If running underwater strobes on TTL, the 4 second recycle time could cause a delay between shots, but offers user friendly automation. Sweep Panorama is just a blast to use and can auto stitch images for up to a 170 degree panorama. Raw capture maintains significant quality when fixing bad exposures after the dive.
Video:Video Format : AVCHD / MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC (H.264))
Video Resolution : AVCHD: 1920 x 1080/ 60i MP4 HD: 1440 x 1080/ 30p MP4 VGA: 640 x 480/ 30p