Review and photos by: Todd Winner
I have to admit I was a bit skeptical before trying out the Xit 404 focus knob. I use auto focus about ninety percent of the time underwater and the only lens I regularly use with a manual focus gear is my Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS macro. Not to mention, the focus / zoom knob on my Nauticam 5D MK III housing was already quite good to begin with, but after giving the Xit 404 knob a try, I will not be diving without it. Not only did it make focusing much easier and precise, it was fun to use too!
The Xit 404 focus knob is a simple yet effective solution to help you achieve critical focus. The focus knob slides on over your housing’s existing focus / zoom knob and is held in place with a small allen screw. Vinyl tape is also included to provide a snug fit. The larger Xit 404 focus knob makes it much easier to zoom with or without gloves, but where it really shines is when using it to focus. The knobby design gives you very precise fingertip control. If you try the Xit 404 focus knob with a longer macro lens like the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS or Nikon AF-S VR 105mm f/2.8, I’m sure you will not go back to using your housing without it. I could also see this being very popular with anyone shooting video with a DSLR and using prime lenses with a focus gear. Xit 404 focus knobs are available to fit various housings by Aquatica, Ikelite, Nauticam, Subal and Sea & Sea.
Todd Winner is a contributor, instructor, and trip leader for Samy’s Underwater Photo & Video and has over 20 years of experience in underwater still and broadcast video. To see more of Todd’s work please go to www.toddwinner.com