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Oly OM system starting from scratch


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#1 Travi the Diver

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 02:51 PM

Hi!

Been reading a lot of good recommendations for folks getting the most versatility out of their kits, but Im basically starting from scratch and looking for lens/port recommendations for my EM5 MkII with Nauticam housing. The only lens Ive got is a 14-42 EZ that I got on the cheap just for topside shooting. I just got the Nauticam housing but no ports or gears. Im upgrading from the TG-5 so this is my first mirrorless rig.

So, if you were starting over which lenses and ports would you go with to give you the most flexibility without breaking the bank?

The Oly 8mm and 60mm come highly recommended. As does the 12-40 for topside. Some like the Oly 30 as well and if I got the macro 45 port I think I could use the same port for both the 30 and 60 with an extension, but is that even worth it?

I know its kinda a broad question but I appreciate any advice!

#2 troporobo

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 03:26 PM

If you want maximum versatility from one lens and one port, the obvious answer is the 12-50 lens setup as it will shoot wide, portrait, and macro. Its not a cheap solution due to the complicated zoom gear and port but they turn up in the classifieds from time to time. Add a diopter later and you get supermacro, and if you want to go out for true wide angle at the cost of some magnification it will also work in one of the small domes.

Otherwise you can use the 14-42 mark II (not the EZ) and also add a diopter for macro if you want, but its not a great lens to be honest. The 12-40 is a great lens, but it wont do macro.

If youre up to a dual setup, consider a macro plus WA zoom. (I believe a fisheye is too specialized, though great at what they do). I use a 60 macro lens in a flat port most of the time, and a 7-14 in a dome the rest of the time. That covers pretty much everything I need.

Edited by troporobo, 24 June 2018 - 03:34 PM.


#3 Travi the Diver

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 03:46 PM

If you want maximum versatility from one lens and one port, the obvious answer is the 12-50 lens setup as it will shoot wide, portrait, and macro. Its not a cheap solution due to the complicated zoom gear and port but they turn up in the classifieds from time to time. Add a diopter later and you get supermacro, and if you want to go out for true wide angle at the cost of some magnification it will also work in one of the small domes.
Otherwise you can use the 14-42 mark II (not the EZ) and also add a diopter for macro if you want, but its not a great lens to be honest. The 12-40 is a great lens, but it wont do macro.
If youre up to a dual setup, consider a macro plus WA zoom. (I believe a fisheye is too specialized, though great at what they do). I use a 60 macro lens in a flat port most of the time, and a 7-14 in a dome the rest of the time. That covers pretty much everything I need.


Thanks, I hadn’t thought about a 7-14 for WA. How wide can you get with that vs the fisheye?

#4 bmorescuba

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 05:21 PM

First off, welcome to the world of OM-D, where the lens choices are many and port sharing is infrequent!

 

The 7-14 is 114° at 7mm. The Oly 8mm 1.8 is 180°.

 

I have been shooting OM-D underwater for about 4 years now and I love it. I have experience with the 14-42 II R, the Panasonic 8mm Fisheye, and the Oly 60mm Macro. First off, the 60mm Macro lens is just awesome. Get that and don't look back. It is hard to get used to the effective 120mm field of view, but for small-to-medium stuff this lens can't be beat. Just temper your expectations. For any fish larger than, say, a medium angelfish, you won't be able to get the whole fish body in the frame without moving too far away for a really good shot. You can still do some good fish face work for larger fish. But there's an upside to the tight view, which is that you can shoot really small stuff without a diopter. You can, of course, use a diopter, but it's easy to fill the frame with small shrimp, etc. with no aids. And the image quality of the 60mm is just fantastic. 

 

The standard port for the 60mm is 36163 (Macro Port 65). You can also use the 14-42 II R (not EZ) in this port without issue. If you want to play with the 30mm AND 60mm macro lenses, you could get 36135 (Macro Port 45) plus 36620 (Mini ext ring 20) and then use both lenses with the 45 port. The ext ring could also be used with the mini-dome (36132) if you shot with the Olympus 8mm fisheye.

 

In terms of wide, I would love to spend some time with the 7-14, but I don't own it. I do own the 12-40 Pro, but have not yet purchased the port for it, since that port is quite large and expensive. The 12-40 is a joy on land, and I would love to shoot it uw, but I'd need to find the port cheap. I can tell you that the 8mm fisheye lenses really take some getting used to. The 180° fov is very hard to light properly and consistently. If you can get it right, it's awesome. If you weren't planning on 2 strobes, then forget the fisheyes, too. The fisheye is not nearly as versatile as the 7-14 would be. It also locks you into fisheye-type compositions. I consider it a personal challenge to try and master, but a rectilinear would probably yield a lot more keepers. If I was buying now, I'd choose the Olympus 8mm over the Panasonic, but it didn't exist when I bought my setup. The weather sealing and a few more stops would be nice.

 

I like the primes and "zooming with your fins" because it's fewer pieces to keep track of in the kit. I have never bothered with focus gears, either. I find the low light autofocus to be good enough for my needs. Good luck and have fun!

 

Here's a 60mm and 8mm (panasonic) to wet your whistle

 

 

 

 

 

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Brian Cole | Flickr Sets


#5 Travi the Diver

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 06:35 PM

Wow, great shots!

So, it sounds like the 60mm is a definite for macro and I was leaning heavily towards the fisheye, but I keep hearing you guys loving the 7-14...but the 7-14 gets expensive real quick with the glass dome and the $400 N85 to N120 port adapter!

I dont think Ill be happy trying to do it all with just one lens, so Ill probably go with two. I do have dual strobes, so that wont be an issue.

Edited by Travi the Diver, 24 June 2018 - 06:40 PM.


#6 ChrisRoss

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 07:53 PM

I shoot with the EM-II recently upgraded from the EM5-II.  I have the 60mm macro and recently added the Panasonic 30mm macro.  I shoot mainly in the temperate waters around Sydney and found the 60mm problematic, you had to back off too far for many subjects and when focusing out from a close subject it would tend to lock onto floaties instead of the subject, the 30mm does not seem to do that.  The EM-5 II would do that much more so than the EM1.   Of course in clear tropical waters it will be different and less of an issue.  You will probably want a focus light particularly with the 60mm..

 

On wide I shoot the 12-40 and Pany 7-14 in the same Zen 170mm type II dome.  If you study the port charts you'll see if you got the N-120 version of that dome it will allow you to shoot the 12-40, both 7-14 lenses and even the 8mm fisheye in the same dome, though you do need to source a custom 30mm N85-N120 adapter which I have seen mentioned in other threads on this forum.  this is theport chart for Zen: 

 

http://www.jaredpars...p/nauticam-n85/

 

Again the choice of wide lens depends on what and where you are shooting, the ifsheye is especially challenging, but has its place for things like big animals and CFWA, definitely not a point and shoot lens.    In Sydney I tend to use the 12-40mm lens the most, due to water conditions.



#7 Jock

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 05:26 AM

It could be helpful if you gave some more infos: Where do you dive most of the time - tropical/clear water or in areas with limited visibility? Only on holiday or every other weekend? (Analogy alert: I need a new car, which one could you recommend?)

 

That said, ask three people and get four opinions...

 

As troporobo said, the 12-50mm is a versatile lens - this is the first lens I would buy, together with the Nauticam port. Good for Macro, good for wide angle,

 

If you are a "macro guy", the second lens would be the 60mm macro from Olympus (or maybe a 45/30mm macro if most of your dives are in murky waters). If you are more into wide angle, the Panasonic 7-14mm is a great lens, even for close-focus WA. And an acrylic port is "good enough" (unless you regularly publish in National Geographic).

 

A fisheye lens is definitively not a good lens to start with - IMHO!

 

Of course you could buy the the Oly "Pro"-line lenses, but do they give you a guarantee for better pics? Nope.

 

A good way to spend the money you save with cheaper lenses is to join an UW-photo workshop. You come from a compact camera, your EM5 will give you much more options for better pics - but also much more options to screw things up... A workshop might be a good investment. The key factor for good pics is behind the camera.

 

Best,

Jock

 

p.s.: Here in the forum there is an old thread about UW settings for the E-M5.

Or look here: http://www.uwphotogr...rwater-settings


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#8 Travi the Diver

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 05:29 AM

Thanks, Chris!

 

So, does anyone recommend a fisheye? Seems pretty unanimous for the 7-14...

 

Speaking of, obviously the 2.8 on the Oly 7-14 is nice over the 4 on the Pany, but is it really worth the extra cost? 

 

Pany 7-14 $800 + Nauticam Acrylic Dome $500 + Zoom Gear $200 = $1500 (all new)

 

Oly 7-14 $1300 + Nauticam Dome $1000 + N85 to N120 adapter $400 + Extension Ring $180 + Zoom Gear $200 = $3080 (all new)

 

That's a big chunk of change for a few extra stops, plus the upgraded glass dome.



#9 Travi the Diver

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 05:34 AM

It could be helpful if you gave some more infos: Where do you dive most of the time - tropical/clear water or in areas with limited visibility? Only on holiday or every other weekend? (Analogy alert: I need a new car, which one could you recommend?)

 

 

 

Good point, Jock!

 

Mostly warm water stuff in good vis 3-4 trips a year - Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, the Keys plus some cave stuff but that's usually video.

 

Definitely agree on the workshop, I did a few short sessions with Cathy Church in Cayman and it was totally worth it.

 

Thanks for the link...I really like Kelli's write-ups!

 

-Travis



#10 troporobo

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 06:08 AM

I have a Flickr album of images taken with the 12-50 lens, if you would like to see examples of its range:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskX8Tc22

#11 AForns

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 06:09 AM

On the wide side I would go with the 14-42 EZ.  It is a cheap lens but when combined with the Nauticam WWL-1 will produce better results than anything else,  Have also the 8mm fisheye with a glass dome port and 7-14 with glass dome port, they don't compare in the corners.   Look at the end result.   Might consider reading the article on ReefPhoto for a better idea.   Seems that the wet lenses are starting to be popular and heavily used.   One for the full frame Canon/Nikon came out last year, with great acceptance.  Downside, expensive and very heavy, will require flotation collar.

 

On the macro side the 60mm seems to be the best choice.

 

Since you have a TG-5. Would put it to use for macro,   I have a Nauticam OM-1 Mk2 housing but using the Nauticam TG-5 housing a lot, will surprise you.   Also you can use the TG-5 with an Olympus housing, one video light and clip it to your BC for some macro images.   At times you find a superb macro subject but have the WA set up.

 

Alfred



#12 Jock

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 06:24 AM

PM sent!


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#13 audsred

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 06:51 AM

I've been shooting the OMD series starting w/ the EM5 - currently using the EM1 M2 in the Nauticam housing.  The lens I use depends where if I'm traveling and what I will be shooting. 

 

If I'm shooting both macro and medium critters I will use the 12-50 with zoom port. 

 

If I'm shooting macro or super macro I will use the 60mm in the zoom port.  If super macro I attach the Nauticam SMC.

 

If I'm shooting wide - I like fisheye lens - so I use the Panasonic 8mm - I also bought this before the Olympus 8mm.  If I don't want to use fisheye I will use the 12-40 with the larger Zen dome port.

 

The 12-50 & 60 can use the same port - the Panasonic fisheye and Olympus fisheye can use the same Nauticam dome although the Olympus will need an extension.  The 12-40 Zen dome also can support the 7-14 Pan lens and 1 or 2 others.  I don't shoot enough wide to invest in one of the 7-14 lens.

 

You may want to see if you could 'rent' the port/lens if you have access to shore diving - some shops will apply the 'rent' if you decide to buy the port/lens.

 

Practice as much as you can - if I can't get out diving I will some times practice in my pool with some toys.  Taking underwater workshops are a great way to get specific input too.

 

Enjoy

Audrey

 

60mm lens

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Edited by audsred, 25 June 2018 - 07:09 AM.


#14 adamtaylor

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 08:43 AM

I shot various Oly lenses on my EM5 mk 1 and now my Panasonic GH5 in Nauticam Housing using the Macro Port and 180mm dome.

As stated by others the 12-50mm is a good all-around lens. Good, not great image quality but the flexibility outweighs the minor image quality loss

60mm is a great macro lens

12-40 pro is awesome, not quite wide enough at times, but you can zoom in for medium to reasonably small stuff.

8 Pany fisheye was nice, but sold it to a friend as I didn't like the results with acrylic mini-dome. With my murky local waters the thickness of the dome would often catch the light from strobes (poor placement on my part?)

Recently got the Oly 7-14 Pro for videowork with the GH5 on some deep, dark glass sponge reefs. Had hoped the f2.8 would help gather light as it does with the 12-40 Pro.... Unfortunately with video the corners are garbage below f5.6 or 7. Not even useable if you are relatively close to the subject.

Corners may not be as bad with still images but I would not recommend spending the extra money on the Oly over the Panasonic unless others have had significantly better results.

Good luck with your decisions.

Regards


Adam

I shoot with the EM-II recently upgraded from the EM5-II.  I have the 60mm macro and recently added the Panasonic 30mm macro.  I shoot mainly in the temperate waters around Sydney and found the 60mm problematic, you had to back off too far for many subjects and when focusing out from a close subject it would tend to lock onto floaties instead of the subject, the 30mm does not seem to do that.  The EM-5 II would do that much more so than the EM1.   Of course in clear tropical waters it will be different and less of an issue.  You will probably want a focus light particularly with the 60mm..
 
On wide I shoot the 12-40 and Pany 7-14 in the same Zen 170mm type II dome.  If you study the port charts you'll see if you got the N-120 version of that dome it will allow you to shoot the 12-40, both 7-14 lenses and even the 8mm fisheye in the same dome, though you do need to source a custom 30mm N85-N120 adapter which I have seen mentioned in other threads on this forum.  this is theport chart for Zen: 
 
http://www.jaredpars...p/nauticam-n85/
 
Again the choice of wide lens depends on what and where you are shooting, the ifsheye is especially challenging, but has its place for things like big animals and CFWA, definitely not a point and shoot lens.    In Sydney I tend to use the 12-40mm lens the most, due to water conditions.


Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk
<p>Olympus OMD E-M5, Nauticam Housing,12-40 f2.8 with 180mmm dome & extensions, 12-50mm & 60mm in macro port, 8mm Panasonic Fisheye in 4" mini-dome, 2 x YS-D1, Sola 800

#15 trimix125

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 11:20 AM

Hi,
have been using the OMD5 mkI and found the 12-50mm fine, and you can use the same port for the 60mm macro, great lens...
I was using the macro port and a third party printed zoom gear.
Add a +10 Subsee or other good lens, for the 60mm and you get supermacro.
For wide i was using the 8mm Panasonic, the Oly was not on the market....
If wide and low light, the 12mm Oly is fine.
Only changed sfor low light reasons.
Regards,
Wolfgang



#16 casts_by_fly

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 01:48 PM

Don’t discount the 9-18 either. My current setup is the 9-18 plus 60 macro, both behind the zen 100mm dome on an olympus housing. Overall a very good pair for diving anything I could do. I’m moving to the 7-14, but only because I want a bit wider. The 7-14 is a lot bigger lens. If you are traveling, take that into account. The 9-18 is 2” diameter and 3” long. Feather weight. The 7-14 is 3” in diameter and 4” long. It is about 5x as heavy by my ultra scientific hand gauge.

Thanks,
Rick

#17 Wapiti

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Posted 25 June 2018 - 07:04 PM

I've been shooting M4/3 underwater for a while now, and I'm happy to share some of my mistakes.  First off?  The 12-50.  The image quality isn't as good as you would expect after having to pay to port it, and that's coming from a guy with an Oly housing.  For what Nauticam wants to make the macro work, you're much better off starting with the 12-40- I wish I would have bought my second general purpose lens first, if that makes sense.  You can adapt the older 4/3 ports to Nauticam, which gives you some reasonably priced options. There's a flat port (lousy for wide angle, but great for closeups, especially since you can use a swing away diopter holder) and either the Olympus 170mm dome (very hard to find and expensive) or the Inon 170mm dome (less than 600 bucks, and it's glass).  I've found that shooting through the dome and cropping yields a better macro result than the 12-50 while still leaving you some ability to capture wide angle scenes.

 

The 60mm is great, but the Olympus 30mm gives it a good run for the money for underwater stuff and is now my macro choice because of it's flexibility and ease of use.  If you're shooting things half an inch or less, than stick with the 60.  Last year's Black Friday deals from Olympus had the 30mm going for $100- pretty hard to beat that.

 

I had the Olympus 7-14, but sold it in favor of the Panasonic-Leica 8-18.  It features a better range underwater plus the ability to use filters topside.  It also works in the same dome as the 12-40.  I use the Inon 170mm dome, and the Oly 8mm also works great in that, just without the extension ring you'll need for the zooms.



#18 ChrisRoss

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 12:15 AM

I've been shooting M4/3 underwater for a while now, and I'm happy to share some of my mistakes.  First off?  The 12-50.  The image quality isn't as good as you would expect after having to pay to port it, and that's coming from a guy with an Oly housing.  For what Nauticam wants to make the macro work, you're much better off starting with the 12-40- I wish I would have bought my second general purpose lens first, if that makes sense.  You can adapt the older 4/3 ports to Nauticam, which gives you some reasonably priced options. There's a flat port (lousy for wide angle, but great for closeups, especially since you can use a swing away diopter holder) and either the Olympus 170mm dome (very hard to find and expensive) or the Inon 170mm dome (less than 600 bucks, and it's glass).  I've found that shooting through the dome and cropping yields a better macro result than the 12-50 while still leaving you some ability to capture wide angle scenes.

 

The 60mm is great, but the Olympus 30mm gives it a good run for the money for underwater stuff and is now my macro choice because of it's flexibility and ease of use.  If you're shooting things half an inch or less, than stick with the 60.  Last year's Black Friday deals from Olympus had the 30mm going for $100- pretty hard to beat that.

 

I had the Olympus 7-14, but sold it in favor of the Panasonic-Leica 8-18.  It features a better range underwater plus the ability to use filters topside.  It also works in the same dome as the 12-40.  I use the Inon 170mm dome, and the Oly 8mm also works great in that, just without the extension ring you'll need for the zooms.

Must say I  agree, the 12-40 is very versatile,  I went to Ningaloo reef last year, plenty to see, nice diving and fish etc but not anything much that seemed CFWA worthy to me so I used the 12-40 and I got some results I'm pleased with:

 

http://www.aus-natur...ex_gallery.html

 

everything on this gallery was with the 12-40 except the whale shark.    The 12-50 may sound attractive but you're shooting the wide end through a flat port that's super expensive, so the 24mm which sounds widish now has the field of view of a 30mm with degraded corners due to the flat port .  There was a post here talking about going with a EM-5 MkII in an Oly housing with the 14-42 vs something like a G7x or RX100 and it's hard to come up with an argument to go with  that Oly combo and by extension to the 12-50mm, the advantage comes when using the good lenses in a dome or a dedicated macro lens.  

 

Another thing to be aware of is that the Pany 7-14 can be installed from the back attached to the lens, the 12-40 can marginally fit, but the Oly 7-14 has to be installed from the front then the port installed over the top.  Keep an eye on the classifieds here, I've seen Zen and Nauticam 180mm domes dome up at times.  I bought my 12-40 first and added the macro later on.



#19 Griff

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 01:38 AM

The 12-50 works with the electric zoom so dont need a zoom gear just assign a button on the camera. I use the 12-50 in the Nauticam 65 macro port which is the same as the Oly 60mm macro port and fit the Nauticam CMC which gives you 0.8 life size macro at 50mm. The 12-50 with the expensive Nauticam port only gives you 0.5 life size macro at the 43mm macro position.
Both these pictures were taken at Exmouth, Western Australia with an OMD EM1 in a Nauticam housing with the 12-50, using electric zoom, in the Macro 65 port and the nudi using the Nauticam CMC. The CMC turns the average 12-50 to a sharp lens but it is tricky to focus.

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#20 Griff

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 01:47 AM

This picture was taken with the EM1, 12-50 with electric zoom, in the macro 65 port.

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