Evaluation of an underwater single lens reflex camera equipped with automatic focus, automatic exposure and water contact optics

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Evaluation of an underwater single lens reflex camera equipped with automatic focus, automatic exposure and water contact optics

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Title: Evaluation of an underwater single lens reflex camera equipped with automatic focus, automatic exposure and water contact optics
Author: Kline Jr, TC
Abstract: The first production underwater single lens reflex (8LR) camera, the Nikonos RS, was introduced to the world at the 1992 DEMA show by Nikon Corporation (Japan). The initial three water contact lenses designed specifically for it include a close-focusing 28 mm wide angle, a 20 to 35 mm wide angle to normal focal length zoom, and a 50 mm macro lens that focuses to life size. In 1994, these lenses were supplemented with a 13 mm full-frame fisheye lens. All four lenses have f/2.8 maximum and f/22 minimum apertures. The camera, lenses and new Nikon 88104 and 88105 strobes have a 100 m maximum depth rating, an increase from the 50 m of previous Nikonos equipment. The former underwater strobes, however, are compatible with the RS as are strobes from other manufacturers (after suitable electronic modification). The RS camera, 20 to 35 mm and 50 mm lenses and 88104 strobe were tested under a variety of challenging underwater photographic scenarios. The exposure system consistently produces good results. All system components, except for an 88104 strobe, have performed without failure during three years of operation. The automatic focusing works well under most circumstances. High (e.g. silvery fish) and low contrast situations (e.g. translucent animals) result in excessive "searching" by the autofocus system. Thus manual focusing is recommended. The automatic focus functions well for macrophotography during night dives when a strobe equipped with a modeling light is employed. Recommendations for improvements include use of a more advanced autofocus sensor and display of frame number and focus distance in the viewfinder. The superlative aspects of the system are the viewfinder and optical quality.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/9663
Date: 1995

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