Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)

Started 6 months ago | Photos
DivineMadcat Forum Member • Posts: 91
Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)
23

Intro: I haven't really done this before, but i wanted to do a bit of a photo exposition while taking about the associated gear.  Feel free to ignore the text and enjoy the pictures, and know.. I'm just starting out on this...

Like so many others here, i am really passionate about my gear, and Fuji really reinvigorated my love of the profession.  And like so many others, photography is not my ONLY enjoyment in life; but unlike others, my other hobbies aren't really camera friendly.

Behold, a very annoyed blue crab...

I have ALWAYS loved the water, which is one reason i moved to FL.  When i met my girlfriend, she introduced me to a whole new aspect to life out here; the crystal clear springs. I quickly fell in love with not only her, but her love of freediving as well. But every time we went, the itch to be able to capture the beauty under the water drove me crazy. We have a GoPro, but it just doesn't compare to what i know professional gear will do.

... And an equally annoyed turtle...

So, for my birthday, i set out to do what i don't see often with Fuji gear - get it dive ready! In terms of gear, i did all the research I could, and found a setup that would work for me (and found a killer deal on it too); the case houses my X-T3 and 10-24mm, which should be a very versatile setup.

Playing with the water reflections is truly alot of fun..

Of course, since i started off with the basic kit, I have some limitations. The system i bought ships with a flat glass port, which has two immediate limitations:
1: The apparent focal length is magnified by 25% (so even wide loses its punch)
2: The flat port creates distortion, especially at wide angles.
So, when you dive with the system like that, you have to plan accordingly. Be ready to be wider than you expected... and don't put anything too important on the corners.

My daughter, ready to be a mermaid..

The other problem is, the system (Sea Frogs btw) introduced then discontinued the zoom gear for the 10-24, meaning i had to (for this dive...) preset the focal length.  Having played with my 23mm already in the water, i knew i would need to go much wider, so i set my lens to ~13mm. This yielded a good FOV, without darkening the corners; though they were too distorted to actually use.

Here i am pretending to be a merman...

My next lesson came with regards to focus.  I quickly learned that (for me) AF-C and focus tracking would be the ONLY way to reliably get shots. Sadly, the joystick for focus is unavailable in this housing, but being able to focus on a spot, then recompose with the tracking (mostly) locked on really made the shots possible. Of course, was always helpful for moving targets, which most things in the water are

Huh, and there is a real mermaid....

But at the end of the day, I had the opportunity to take shots i never had a chance to before. And the sharpness of the 10-24, even underwater blew me away, despite ALL of the limitations presented (no zoom, distortion, focus selection). Rather than gripe about the problems, i really enjoyed learning to adapt and make my shooting better.

My GF starting her dive

Having learned what i did from this dive, i already have done a few things to improve the setup for the next dive.
- I have an 8" dome arriving Sat, which should drastically help with the wide angles, especially distortion. I am really excited to see how it changes things.
- Using a zoom gear for a lens i don't have, I was able to DIY a safe, functioning gear for the 10-24. Next time i go out, i will be able to zoom on the fly, which will also open up new shots for me.

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

If you made it this far, i really appreciate you taking the time to read this all! I can't wait to bring a part II in the near future with the upgrades, and share even more of this hidden world in my backyard..

 DivineMadcat's gear list:DivineMadcat's gear list
Fujifilm X-E3 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR +1 more
Comment & critique:
Please provide me constructive critique and criticism.
Fujifilm X-T3
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baobob
baobob Forum Pro • Posts: 16,346
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)
2

Fascinating shots, perspective for future and input ! *****

-- hide signature --

Good judgment comes from experience
Experience comes from bad judgment

 baobob's gear list:baobob's gear list
Sony RX100 Olympus Tough TG-4 Panasonic ZS200 Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm X-T3 +10 more
Mr Bolton Senior Member • Posts: 1,088
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)
3

Wow!!  That looks amazing!

Could you do one of these posts detailing the gear you used?ย  Because you know, I don't yet have enough expensive hobbies

 Mr Bolton's gear list:Mr Bolton's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR +1 more
Samuraidog Contributing Member • Posts: 944
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)
3

That is really cool. I don't remember seeing underwater photos on this site before. Thanks for posting.

 Samuraidog's gear list:Samuraidog's gear list
Fujifilm X-E2S Fujifilm X-T30 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS +10 more
MrSee
MrSee Senior Member • Posts: 2,001
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)
2

Nice set.

-- hide signature --

Jim from Ontario Canada
Fuji X-H1
Fuji 18-55 2.8-4

 MrSee's gear list:MrSee's gear list
Fujifilm X-H1
maxxxx Contributing Member • Posts: 947
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)
1

These are great!  I wish I lived somewhere where it would make sense to get one of these.

from my research we are talking $800. Is that about right?

 maxxxx's gear list:maxxxx's gear list
Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS +4 more
OP DivineMadcat Forum Member • Posts: 91
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)
1

I am happy to share guys, and I am happy people enjoyed. Likewise,  and questions I am happy to answer,  as well as critique for improvement.  I am still learning, and feedback always helps.

Mr Bolton wrote:

Wow!! That looks amazing!

Could you do one of these posts detailing the gear you used? Because you know, I don't yet have enough expensive hobbies

Sure thing! Between my DIY work this week, and the other parts I ordered,  I should have a far more complete and capable kit by next week.  But for the moment,  here is a text rundown:

Body: X-T3

Lens: 10-24mm f/4

Camera housing: Meikon X-T3 underwater housing

Lens port (future): Meikon 8" Dry dome w/70mm tube

Lens port (current): Meikon V1 X-T2/3 standard port (short)

Definitely planning on doing a picture rundown however,  as I would love to share with the community what options we have available.

maxxxx wrote:

These are great! I wish I lived somewhere where it would make sense to get one of these.

from my research we are talking $800. Is that about right?

So, retail on the kit with the flat port is around $500, and the kit with flat and 6" dome is around 650 (depending on where you shop).

In my case, I snagged an Amazon warehouse deal on the base kit for 200. I think someone used it on a vacation once, didn't even bother to wash off the sand, and return it. Gave it a rinse, and a function test in the tub, and it was like new. Also found the larger dome port (8" as opposed to the stock 6") on Amazon for 199 (assuming it is as described....). All told, with the extra grip I ordered,  I have around $420 in the setup. Not cheap, but not bad considering.

 DivineMadcat's gear list:DivineMadcat's gear list
Fujifilm X-E3 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR +1 more
GreatOceanSoftware
GreatOceanSoftware Regular Member • Posts: 368
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)
1

Fantastic!! And that’s a real testament to the weather resistance ๐Ÿ˜‰ !

-- hide signature --

Randy

 GreatOceanSoftware's gear list:GreatOceanSoftware's gear list
Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm X-E4 Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 OIS WR Fujifilm 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ +3 more
Yannis1976
Yannis1976 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,797
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)
3

I also love underwater photography while snorkeling, but after some years of trying various setups, I came to conclusion that big setups are not comfortable. Therefore I have settled to the small Olympus TG range which despite its tiny sensor, it can do wonders...

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64324770

 Yannis1976's gear list:Yannis1976's gear list
Olympus TG-5 Canon G5 X II Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 16-80mm F4
OP DivineMadcat Forum Member • Posts: 91
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)
1

Yannis1976 wrote:

I also love underwater photography while snorkeling, but after some years of trying various setups, I came to conclusion that big setups are not comfortable. Therefore I have settled to the small Olympus TG range which despite its tiny sensor, it can do wonders...

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64324770

Honestly, I have a TG4, but color me less than impressed. Video was meh, shots were meh... ok backup, but I actually like the GoPro better.

Frankly, if you already have Fuji gear, I think it makes more sense to invest in a housing. Especially since they make x100 and xpro housings as well. I would kill for an X-E3 housing, but that one seems to be missed by everyone..

That said, great freediving shots! Cool to see others out in the water living it up!

 DivineMadcat's gear list:DivineMadcat's gear list
Fujifilm X-E3 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR +1 more
maxxxx Contributing Member • Posts: 947
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)

DivineMadcat wrote:

I am happy to share guys, and I am happy people enjoyed. Likewise, and questions I am happy to answer, as well as critique for improvement. I am still learning, and feedback always helps.

Mr Bolton wrote:

Wow!! That looks amazing!

Could you do one of these posts detailing the gear you used? Because you know, I don't yet have enough expensive hobbies

Sure thing! Between my DIY work this week, and the other parts I ordered, I should have a far more complete and capable kit by next week. But for the moment, here is a text rundown:

Body: X-T3

Lens: 10-24mm f/4

Camera housing: Meikon X-T3 underwater housing

Lens port (future): Meikon 8" Dry dome w/70mm tube

Lens port (current): Meikon V1 X-T2/3 standard port (short)

Definitely planning on doing a picture rundown however, as I would love to share with the community what options we have available.

maxxxx wrote:

These are great! I wish I lived somewhere where it would make sense to get one of these.

from my research we are talking $800. Is that about right?

So, retail on the kit with the flat port is around $500, and the kit with flat and 6" dome is around 650 (depending on where you shop).

In my case, I snagged an Amazon warehouse deal on the base kit for 200. I think someone used it on a vacation once, didn't even bother to wash off the sand, and return it. Gave it a rinse, and a function test in the tub, and it was like new. Also found the larger dome port (8" as opposed to the stock 6") on Amazon for 199 (assuming it is as described....). All told, with the extra grip I ordered, I have around $420 in the setup. Not cheap, but not bad considering.

Nice! How deep do you go?  I have taken my GoPro scuba diving and it worked well but a bigger sensor would be nice. Some lights would be even better but I think thatโ€™s even pricier.

 maxxxx's gear list:maxxxx's gear list
Fujifilm X-T2 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Samyang 12mm F2.0 NCS CS +4 more
Yannis1976
Yannis1976 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,797
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)

DivineMadcat wrote:

Yannis1976 wrote:

I also love underwater photography while snorkeling, but after some years of trying various setups, I came to conclusion that big setups are not comfortable. Therefore I have settled to the small Olympus TG range which despite its tiny sensor, it can do wonders...

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64324770

Honestly, I have a TG4, but color me less than impressed. Video was meh, shots were meh... ok backup, but I actually like the GoPro better.

Frankly, if you already have Fuji gear, I think it makes more sense to invest in a housing. Especially since they make x100 and xpro housings as well. I would kill for an X-E3 housing, but that one seems to be missed by everyone..

That said, great freediving shots! Cool to see others out in the water living it up!

I also had the TG4 and indeed I wasn't impressed, but the TG5/6 were considerably improved. Another thing that is hugely important for uw is the Olympus add on wide lens which brings uw fl to 24mm. Anyway you can check my photos. I still think that movement and comfort are more important underwater than IQ.

 Yannis1976's gear list:Yannis1976's gear list
Olympus TG-5 Canon G5 X II Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 16-80mm F4
OP DivineMadcat Forum Member • Posts: 91
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)

maxxxx wrote:

DivineMadcat wrote:

I am happy to share guys, and I am happy people enjoyed. Likewise, and questions I am happy to answer, as well as critique for improvement. I am still learning, and feedback always helps.

Mr Bolton wrote:

Wow!! That looks amazing!

Could you do one of these posts detailing the gear you used? Because you know, I don't yet have enough expensive hobbies

Sure thing! Between my DIY work this week, and the other parts I ordered, I should have a far more complete and capable kit by next week. But for the moment, here is a text rundown:

Body: X-T3

Lens: 10-24mm f/4

Camera housing: Meikon X-T3 underwater housing

Lens port (future): Meikon 8" Dry dome w/70mm tube

Lens port (current): Meikon V1 X-T2/3 standard port (short)

Definitely planning on doing a picture rundown however, as I would love to share with the community what options we have available.

maxxxx wrote:

These are great! I wish I lived somewhere where it would make sense to get one of these.

from my research we are talking $800. Is that about right?

So, retail on the kit with the flat port is around $500, and the kit with flat and 6" dome is around 650 (depending on where you shop).

In my case, I snagged an Amazon warehouse deal on the base kit for 200. I think someone used it on a vacation once, didn't even bother to wash off the sand, and return it. Gave it a rinse, and a function test in the tub, and it was like new. Also found the larger dome port (8" as opposed to the stock 6") on Amazon for 199 (assuming it is as described....). All told, with the extra grip I ordered, I have around $420 in the setup. Not cheap, but not bad considering.

Nice! How deep do you go? I have taken my GoPro scuba diving and it worked well but a bigger sensor would be nice. Some lights would be even better but I think that’s even pricier.

So, on this trip, the depth was rather limited; only 25ft. There are other dive sites we go to that are 80+ (my GF can reach that, I am still working on it). I don't know if I will take it to the rated depth, but definitely looking at taking it to 50-80.

Yannis1976 wrote:

DivineMadcat wrote:

Yannis1976 wrote:

I also love underwater photography while snorkeling, but after some years of trying various setups, I came to conclusion that big setups are not comfortable. Therefore I have settled to the small Olympus TG range which despite its tiny sensor, it can do wonders...

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64324770

Honestly, I have a TG4, but color me less than impressed. Video was meh, shots were meh... ok backup, but I actually like the GoPro better.

Frankly, if you already have Fuji gear, I think it makes more sense to invest in a housing. Especially since they make x100 and xpro housings as well. I would kill for an X-E3 housing, but that one seems to be missed by everyone..

That said, great freediving shots! Cool to see others out in the water living it up!

I also had the TG4 and indeed I wasn't impressed, but the TG5/6 were considerably improved. Another thing that is hugely important for uw is the Olympus add on wide lens which brings uw fl to 24mm. Anyway you can check my photos. I still think that movement and comfort are more important underwater than IQ.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the shots; absolutely respect what you did with the camera.

Personally though,  after dealing with the GP and TG, image quality is far more important to me,  convenient handling be damned. I have missed too many special shots to sub par equipment,  which is why I decided to (literally) jump in on a complete setup.

Down the line, I would like to be fully invested in a professional level setup, but that is going to take some saving up...

 DivineMadcat's gear list:DivineMadcat's gear list
Fujifilm X-E3 Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 23mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR +1 more
Yannis1976
Yannis1976 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,797
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)

DivineMadcat wrote:

maxxxx wrote:

DivineMadcat wrote:

I am happy to share guys, and I am happy people enjoyed. Likewise, and questions I am happy to answer, as well as critique for improvement. I am still learning, and feedback always helps.

Mr Bolton wrote:

Wow!! That looks amazing!

Could you do one of these posts detailing the gear you used? Because you know, I don't yet have enough expensive hobbies

Sure thing! Between my DIY work this week, and the other parts I ordered, I should have a far more complete and capable kit by next week. But for the moment, here is a text rundown:

Body: X-T3

Lens: 10-24mm f/4

Camera housing: Meikon X-T3 underwater housing

Lens port (future): Meikon 8" Dry dome w/70mm tube

Lens port (current): Meikon V1 X-T2/3 standard port (short)

Definitely planning on doing a picture rundown however, as I would love to share with the community what options we have available.

maxxxx wrote:

These are great! I wish I lived somewhere where it would make sense to get one of these.

from my research we are talking $800. Is that about right?

So, retail on the kit with the flat port is around $500, and the kit with flat and 6" dome is around 650 (depending on where you shop).

In my case, I snagged an Amazon warehouse deal on the base kit for 200. I think someone used it on a vacation once, didn't even bother to wash off the sand, and return it. Gave it a rinse, and a function test in the tub, and it was like new. Also found the larger dome port (8" as opposed to the stock 6") on Amazon for 199 (assuming it is as described....). All told, with the extra grip I ordered, I have around $420 in the setup. Not cheap, but not bad considering.

Nice! How deep do you go? I have taken my GoPro scuba diving and it worked well but a bigger sensor would be nice. Some lights would be even better but I think that’s even pricier.

So, on this trip, the depth was rather limited; only 25ft. There are other dive sites we go to that are 80+ (my GF can reach that, I am still working on it). I don't know if I will take it to the rated depth, but definitely looking at taking it to 50-80.

Yannis1976 wrote:

DivineMadcat wrote:

Yannis1976 wrote:

I also love underwater photography while snorkeling, but after some years of trying various setups, I came to conclusion that big setups are not comfortable. Therefore I have settled to the small Olympus TG range which despite its tiny sensor, it can do wonders...

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64324770

Honestly, I have a TG4, but color me less than impressed. Video was meh, shots were meh... ok backup, but I actually like the GoPro better.

Frankly, if you already have Fuji gear, I think it makes more sense to invest in a housing. Especially since they make x100 and xpro housings as well. I would kill for an X-E3 housing, but that one seems to be missed by everyone..

That said, great freediving shots! Cool to see others out in the water living it up!

I also had the TG4 and indeed I wasn't impressed, but the TG5/6 were considerably improved. Another thing that is hugely important for uw is the Olympus add on wide lens which brings uw fl to 24mm. Anyway you can check my photos. I still think that movement and comfort are more important underwater than IQ.

Don't get me wrong, I loved the shots; absolutely respect what you did with the camera.

Personally though, after dealing with the GP and TG, image quality is far more important to me, convenient handling be damned. I have missed too many special shots to sub par equipment, which is why I decided to (literally) jump in on a complete setup.

Down the line, I would like to be fully invested in a professional level setup, but that is going to take some saving up...

No problem at all! ๐Ÿ™‚ Just said my opinion on uw photography. I tried Fuji xq2 with its underwater case and then the rx100 with a case. In all cases, for my depth and water, I realised that wide focal length is more important whereas iso performance for a depth of 5m on a sunny day is not that important. The Olympus wide extender and the small body allowed me to get photos I liked more.

 Yannis1976's gear list:Yannis1976's gear list
Olympus TG-5 Canon G5 X II Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 16-80mm F4
LarsUW New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Taking the X-T3 where few dare to take it..... Underwater! (Part I)

Thank you for that great review.

MOST IMPORTANT: How did you make your own zoom gear?

I have the seafrogs housinf with the X-Tz and also a xf10-24  and was really disappointed when I realised that the zoom gear is nor availabkle anymore.

I would love to use the zoom though

Here is ehat I do with it: www.larshenschel.ch

Best regards

Lars

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