Who has followed my initial LX7 tests is aware of the few issues I have had at wide angle with the LX7.
One was the reflections back on the lens that I have now hopefully resolved using a black marker and changing the camera from white (and silver lens ring) to black and the other was flare.
Flare is an issue at wide angle even on land. What causes flare? Stray light coming from the sides that washes out the picture and eliminates contrast in the process.
Wide angle lens tend to have an ability to catch stray light from the sides and top and this is the reason why wet wide angle lenses have to be really coated well so that this effect is diminished, however it still can happen.
And it did happen to me with the Inon UWL-H100. The general advice to eliminate or reduce flare is to have a lens hood however lens hoods are generally not an option for wet lenses with an M67 thread mount. The only lens that I know that can position the hood on a screw mount is the fix UWL28M52 or UWL04 most of the other lens do not have a hood and have a circular lens unprotected from stray light. And this usually means at some point you will get flare.
So how do you get around it? In the case of the LX7 is pretty much a forced choice as the Inon UWL-H100 is the only lens that does not vignette at 28mm equivalent focal lenght so the possible solution is to put a hood on the lens.
Inon sells a hood for the UWL-H100 but the hood is attached through 6 allen bolts and its position can’t be fine tuned so to use the hood it is a requirement to change mount from M67 to the LD bayonet. You need also to convert the lens itself into an LD bayonet. If you go to your Inon dealer there is a relatively cheap service part that allows you to convert your M67 lens into a bayonet.
The LD bayonet is the latest incarnation of bayonet mount released by Inon. Whilst the old AD mount relied on a mechanical action to secure the lens, the new LD bayonet is much shallower and relies on a pin lock release to stay in place. There are two adapters on the market that are capable of attaching LD bayonet lenses to an M67 thread, one produced by Nauticam themselves and the other by the Japanese Fisheye Fix.
There is a price difference between the adapters with the Fix being 20% more expensive.
The Nauticam adapter is the largest of the two. It has 6 allen bolts on the front and a thumb screw lock on the back to fix it in position. With LD lenses there is only one position to put the lens hood in the correct place so if for some reason the thread ends in the wrong place with your housing you will need to unscrew the front of the adapter to ensure the release lock is on the upper left of the port this happens the same way on the fix adapter. Make sure the little spring does not jump off in the process…Once the release lock is in the right area the fine tuning of the hood position is done with the thumb screw. A possible weakness is that if your housing port has no room for the thumb screw then this adapter is not good for you.
Whilst the Nauticam is made of plastic and metal the Fix seems to be 100% aluminum, this adapter looks better but does not have a mechanism to fix in place it relies on the strength of the M67 thread, however this locking system is compatible with any 67mm threaded port.
The fix allows to perfectly fine tune the hood position and it shows.
The alignment mechanism of the Nauticam adapter creates an alignment issue with the hood where the lens is few degrees turned clockwise.
With the fix this does not happen.
The hood can be properly aligned. Note that in both cases this does not mean more vignetting as the corners are not covered by the hood.
The other check I do is the position of the back of the lens, if there is a gap between the thread and the back of the lens this can create vignetting so it has to be as close as possible or even protruding as the Inon UWL-H100 mount type 2 does.
Let’s have a look at the back of those two adapters with teh UWL-H100 28LD attached.
The Nauticam thread is somewhat too long so the lens sits slightly more inside the thread line.
With the fix the situation changes sightly.
There seems to be little difference we will now check if there is an impact on the possible vignette in water.
As we can see there is a little bit of residual vignette on the bottom right corner when the lens is at 28mm equivalent focal length,
This is the same situation with the Fix
There is still a dark bottom right corner but it is less.
Inserting a 1.25mm spacer between the inner housing and the left side of the camera improves matters, this is because the lens of the LX7 is somewhat misaligned in the Nauticam housing and this corrects it.
With the spacer in the housing and the Nauticam adapter there is a tiny little residue of vignette but overall this is ok.
With the fix adapter this is the result.
No dark corners left.
So this is the recap:
- You can change the UWL-H100 28M67 into an LD version with a cheap service part
- Once the lens has an LD mount it is possible to attach the hood this will reduce flare
- Vignetting is slightly increased but can be eliminated with a spacer with the Fix adapter
- There is an issue of hood alignment an increased vignetting with the Nauticam LD adapter
A final note: inserting a spacer in the housing is risky, you need to know what you are doing as in theory the chance of flooding could increase so this is not for everyone.
My recommendation to those who want to improve contrast with the UWL-H100 is to convert to LD mount, attach the hood and get a Fisheye Fix LDF-M67 Pro adapter. Changing to bayonet has other advantages making lens swaps in water much faster and easier compared to the thread version especially with a lens as heavy as the UWL-H100.
There are few design issues and manufacturing errors in the Nauticam LD adapter that create issues with the LX7, most likely other cameras that are not so fussy will have no problems but if you have an LX7 avoid the Nauticam adapter entirely until a new production version is defined. I have given Nauticam the feedback and they will probably react.
20 thoughts on “Wide Angle Lenses and Adapters for Panasonic LX7”
Dear Sir, I have a Nauticam LX 7 housing and I should buy UWL-H100 28LD instead of UWL-H100 28M67 and then use Fisheye Fix LDF-M67 Adaptor. Do I still need to have a spacer inside the housing? If recommend, how to do? Tks. Alex (email: email@example.com ).
No spacer needed for this set up with the LD lens in salt water
do you still recommend Fisheye Fix LDF-M67 Adapter over Nauticam one or perhaps Nauticam one has been improved. By the way I need it for a Fix S100 housing. Perhaps there is now a cheaper solution? Thanx
The fix housing as far as I recall has an m52 port so the only option would be the fix adapter. As far as I know fix had stopped producing the LDF-M67 not sure about the LDF-M52
However the Fix housing comes with a 67 mm adapter and you can still find LDF-M67. I think a 67 mm to LD mount adapter is a better investment because they are pretty expensive. So which one you recommend?
Long term I would recommend the M67 of course. I would want to make sure this adapter does not increase the port to lens distance. In general terms the UWL-04 and UWL-28 are in my opinion a better match to the canon S series. I have an UWL-04 for a Canon S95 and the performance is exceptional, this lens comes with an M52 screw to fit directly the fix housing
I have just purchased this housing second hand and so far have not even seen it and it is quite difficult to come by detailed specifications. But it seems that the housing comes with a 52 mm mount and a 52-67 mm conversion ring. I happen to already have a UWL-H100 LD lens and personally think that it is better to have a bayonet mounting system than a screw-on one. And taking into the account the price of the adapters (around $160) I think that buying a 67mm one is a better investment as current Nauticam housings come with this mount. Honestly I do not have any idea how this influences the port to lens distance. On the Fisheye website the adapters are listed as accessories to the housing. However do you still recommend the FIX adapter over the Nauticam one?
Yes I prefer the fix adapter
I have got an UWL-h100 M67 which I would like to use with a shade. Can I know what is this cheap part that can convert it into an LD mount after installing the shade? The only h100 accessory screw rings I can find allows the conversion between m67 type 1/type2, not to LD mount.
Also, do you still reccommend the Fisheye adapter over the nauticam(or did nauticam already address the issues you highlighted)?
You need a service part from your Inon dealer to convert the lens. Fisheye doesn’t produce the adapter anymore so you are left with nauticam
Hi, I actually managed to order a FiX one(rep. says its actually in stock while their site says otherwise, google is your friend!), but I will still have to wait for it to be delivered before being to test it out.
I’ve also spoken to my Inon dealer, they took several photos for me saying the LD screw ring doesn’t fit the h100 28LDm67, but I also got an email from Inon.jp saying it is possible, just speak to my dealer, so I don’t know what gives? In the meantime, I’m probably going to DIY something with the additional m67-LD adapter that I bought.
BTW, I came across one of your post saying that the rx100+h100 does not work well with the inon dome, apart from the circular lines in video(which I read that you dislike), is there any other reason for you to say so?
The fix needs maintenance the screws corrode and break make sure you rinse it. I don’t like distortion in video so no domes for me. The more is a part to change the M67 lens into LD it is a service part your dealer needs to order it
I’m guessing the screw ring they had was removed from a h100 28ld, and different from this part you and inon are talking about.
Thanks for the advice on maintenence! I’m not exactly a video guy, but really keen to get as much FOV as possible because im expecting to see some large pelagics in my next trip.
So you need to buy an LD model and then you can covert to M67. Otherwise you need a service part from Inon. Even large Pelagius will not come close and will look small in the dome. A lens with 100 degrees is sufficient pretty much for everything. I shoot sharks with rectilinear lenses and even wrecks interiors. Fisheye lenses are for close focus wide angle not animals
I think I may have found the service part for converting the lens at divervision:
Does this look right to you? I contacted a service dealer and they were not familiar that this conversion was possible, so that’s why I’m asking. Is there any difference between a uwl-h100 that originally came as 28ld and a former m67 one with this part attached? Thanks!
No it’s the same lens and can be converted with the right part