Nikonos 13mm Conversion for Sony Mirrorless

A whale shark filter feeding just under the floor off Isla Mujeres, Mexico (Sony a7R Mark II, Nauticam housing, Nikonos RS 13mm,  f/3.5, 1/800s, ISO 250)


The Nikonos RS 13mm lens is known. It was first launched all the way in which again in 1992 to pair with the Nikonos RS movie digital camera. The RS lenses have been among the many first water contact optics to have change into well-known within the trendy underwater pictures world. When digital cameras turned the norm, the 13mm was relegated to dusty cabinets and extraneous gear packing containers.

Nevertheless, that wasn’t the top of the 13mm’s story! It was given new life within the digital period when a number of people discovered a option to convert the lens to Nikon DSLRs. I used it on the Nikon D810, D850, D4/D4s, D700 and D500. It carried out beautifully on all of these cameras and was my go-to wide-angle optic for a very long time.


The Nikonos RS 13mm Sony conversion inside a customized port on a Sony a9 inside a Seafrogs housing with twin Kraken Sports activities strobes


Portrait of a wolf eel at God’s Pocket Resort in British Columbia, Canada, photographed with a transformed Nikonos RS 13mm lens on a Nikon D4 in a Nauticam housing with twin Retra Flash strobes (f/10, 1/80s, ISO 250)


With the business transferring largely in direction of mirrorless cameras, as soon as once more it appeared the 13mm could be again on these dusty, forgotten cabinets. Nevertheless, a superb buddy Isaac Szabo got here to the rescue. Isaac took it upon himself to determine easy methods to convert the lens for full performance together with autofocus and aperture management with Sony mirrorless cameras. It performs precisely as a local Sony lens does. To date, I’ve used the lens on the Sony a7R Mark II in a Nauticam housing, and a Sony a9 in a Seafrogs housing.

Isaac’s enhancements to the 13mm embody the power to shoot at a lot wider apertures whereas retaining incredible sharpness, the power to focus proper onto the glass, decreased flaring and ghosting, a bodily smaller footprint, a removeable shade, and arguably higher total picture high quality. He creates a customized port for the lens and optics, and at present has already tailored the lens to Nauticam and Seafrogs with Isotta, Sea&Sea, Marelux and doubtlessly different housing manufacturers, relying on demand, to come back.

Isaac’s conversion offers thrilling new life to one of the vital legendary items of underwater imaging tools ever—one which I’m extremely excited to as soon as once more personal and use.


A goliath grouper and a lionfish buddy, Jupiter, Florida. The Nikonos RS 13mm lens is impressively sharp, even higher than it was on a DSLR. You may zoom in and depend each single particular person tooth within the grouper’s mouth! (Sony a9, Seafrogs housing, Nikonos RS 13mm, twin Retra Flash strobes)


Flare appears to be the bane of many water contact optics, however no flare points with this model of the Nikonos RS 13mm! I’ve but to come across a single occasion of flare so far (Sony a9, Seafrogs housing, Nikonos RS 13mm, Kraken Sports activities strobe, f/8, 1/50s, ISO 100)


Isaac’s model of the Nikonos RS 13mm has a smaller bodily footprint than the unique, focuses proper onto the glass, and has a detachable shade. These mix to permit for incredible close-focus wide-angle pictures of critters similar to jap hellbenders. Care should be taken to not bash the entrance aspect into rocks! (Sony a9, Seafrogs housing, Nikonos RS 13mm, Kraken Sports activities strobe, f/7.1, 1/80s, ISO 800)


With the ability to shoot the lens at extensive apertures whereas retaining phenomenal sharpness means shutter speeds might be quicker, and ISOs might be decrease. You may depend the person enamel on this whale shark for those who zoom in. Taking pictures at extensive apertures with this lens creates a “dreamy” look that’s tough to quantify (Sony a7R Mark II, Nauticam housing, Nikonos RS 13mm, f/4, 1/500, ISO 320)


Look out for our full evaluate of the mirrorless conversion of the Nikonos RS 13mm on DPG. We plan to apply it to a number of totally different cameras and several other totally different housings in a wide range of taking pictures situations. Keep tuned! In case you are excited by your personal Nikonos RS 13mm conversion, please contact Isaac at [email protected].