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Panasonic GH-5 lens selection WWL1 or wide-angle


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#1 rollin

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 11:03 AM

Dear members,

 

As I do a lot of video, i will pick up a Panasonic GH5 with a Nauticam housing shortly. For the lenses, I struggle to choose between two options.

 

1. A dome with a 7-14mm (8-18mm? or fixed WA? I love to do close focus wide angle) and a dedicated macroport with a 60mm macro (or 45mm?)? This option has the best quality

 

2. A standard zoom (Panasonic 12-60mm, Olympus 12-50 with macro?) with SMC and WWL-1. Maybe the sharpness is less, but I love the idea that you can choose under water between CFWA and macro.

 

As I start a new system all options are open. What would you do? I did a search on lens options, but the new 45mm macro, the 8-18mm WA, the 12-60 mm are all so new, I don't seem to find lots of user reviews from under water. I don't expect to find them here, but maybe there are some 2 cents that can be interesting for me to make my choice.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Rollin



#2 adamtaylor

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 12:27 PM

Following as I am seriously considering GH-5 as an upgrade to my Olympus EM-5

Already have the Nauticam Macro Port for my 12-50mm & 60mm. Plus the 180mm glass dome for my 12-40f 2.8 Pro.

Curious to see reviews and opinions on wider lenses such as comparing the Oly / Pana 7-14mm and a WWL set up.

Also curious to see a comparison of the Oly / Pana 8mm fisheye

Regards


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#3 Draq

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 12:39 PM

There is a new 45mm macro?  I guess I missed something.



#4 rollin

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 02:41 PM

Not really new (sorry, I mistook it for another lens), but I only read things about the Olympus 60mm?


https://www.bhphotov...marit_45mm.html


Edited by rollin, 07 May 2017 - 02:45 PM.


#5 Draq

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 03:30 PM

Okay.  I can't help regarding video as I only shoot video with a gopro.  For stills, I have never used the WWL 1, so I can't comment from personal experience, but I am not sure the one lens (or port) to do it all is worth the weight and complexity of using a WWL1 and actually taking it on and off in the water.  Seems like an excellent opportunity to lose or damage a very expensive item.  Others can speak to this from experience. If you want to be able to do macro then then the best choices are the 45 or 60 macro lenses and you go out expecting to shoot macro and nothing else.  That is what I do.  For CFWA, my first choice is the 8mm FE in a small dome.  The 7-14 can do CFWA but you have to work with a larger dome.  I assume the situation would be the same with the 8-18.  If I don't know what I will be seeing or want a "general purpose" lens, I take the 12-40, which shares the same dome as the 7-14.  It isn't all that wide, but it focuses quite close at 40mm and is acceptably wide (to me) at 12mm for casual wide angle work. 

 

Those 4 lenses cover anything I want to and require three ports, a 100mm dome, a 170 dome and a macro port.  If I really felt I needed a single solution for everything from macro to wide angle, I would probably look at one of the better compacts and take a wet lens or two.  Frankly, I think I "see" photo opportunities better when I am limited to one type of photo.  By that I mean that when I am set up for macro, I am consciously "focusing" (sorry for the pun) on macro subjects and I see more than when I have no specific photo goal in mind.

 

That works for me but I am sure many do the opposite.

 

I have from time to time used the 12-50 in the special dedicated Nauticam port that allows the macro button to be used, but somehow I never seem to enjoy that as much as other options.

 

I don't know if that helps.  Most of us go through various options before settling on what works, or never settling...



#6 rollin

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:52 PM

Thank you very much for your opinion. It helps a lot.

I know what you mean with focusing on subjects. I do the same. But I seem to make the wrong choice quiet often, which is frustrating ;-)

I guess one looses to much when you don't want to choose, in terms of quality and focus.

#7 Diver4fun

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 11:44 PM

I agree with the others, wet lenses are a pain to switch underwater. I had the much lighter Inon H100 and it was troublesome to take off underwater as well.

Another thing to consider is the fisheye effect, that's why rectilinear lenses are more popular for video.

The 7-14 has its downsides too though, it needs to be stopped down to prevent soft edges (a bigger dome seems to help but it's much more expensive and there's not much test info available).

It might be better to wait for the 8-18, it accepts filters which can be helpful underwater. 

 

For video macro the 60mm might be a bit too narrow, for me its quite a challenging lens for stills already. I also have the olympus 30mm which seems to focus a somewhat faster, haven't had time yet to test it underwater though.

@draq do you like the 12-40 for underwater? 


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#8 adamtaylor

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:09 AM

Personally I find the 12-40mm my preferred lens if conditions are reasonable for wide angle. And even when the top 20-30 feet are soupy and it dark down below it can still collect alot of light.

Not super wide, but when you find a reasonably small critter you can zoom in to 40mm and get some close ups, or fish portraits.

I find the 180mm dome a bit bulky, and it really changes the buouyancy characteristcis but if you like over-under shots it works well.

That being said I would prefer something wider....

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#9 Draq

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 05:30 AM

The soft corners issue with the 7-14 isn't really a lens problem,it is a common problem when using rectilinear wide angle lenses in a dome.  Stopping down the lens and paying some attention to what is in the corners helps a lot and beyond that it is just something that comes with the lens/port combo.  I doubt the 8-18 can make any change in that.  A wider dome helps.  I would not use a 6".  One benefit with micro four thirds is that a 180mm dome mitigates the problem pretty well while if you were shooting full frame, you would be looking at a 230mm dome to minimize corner softness at that field of view.  Those things are hard to pack.

 

Luckily, since we typically use strobes, closing the lens down does not really present much of an issue.  I think I have heard the WWL 1 can produce better corner sharpness than perhaps any other ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) rectilinear option, but that comes at the $ price of a traditional glass dome port, significant weight, and for micro four thirds, it really only works with the various kit lenses, that are not usually known for their quality as far as distortion and corner sharpness.  I doubt the WWL1 can make an average lens better.  For a compact camera or the Sony system with its weak lens choice in ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) angle, I think it is more compelling.

 

I am one of the few people who seem to be really fond of the 12-40 underwater.  At 12mm, sharp corners are not an issue and I usually find it wide enough for nice reef shots and that sort of thing, although it isn't enough for real CFWA shots.  The lens will focus down to less than 8" and at 40mm, that provides the opportunity to fill the frame with some pretty small objects, although certainly not a full macro.  I can use the same dome for the 12-40 as the 7-14.

 

I wish there was something like the Canon 8-15 or the Tokina 10-17 available, but other than that, I am pretty happy with the lens availability in this format.


Edited by Draq, 08 May 2017 - 05:30 AM.


#10 rollin

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 02:08 AM

I wish to thank you all for your reaction. I decided to go for a double system. First, when I dive in unknown waters on holidays and I want to take some shots for the holiday memory album, I bought a 12-50 with nauticam gear. But beware, the current gear is not compatible with the GH-5 (it will be redesigned or for the moment you can adapt it by filing away some teeth of the gear.)

 

The second setup is a 45mm macro with port. Later this year, I'll by a small dome with a rectilinear wide angle. Don't know which one yet. I have some Seacam gear, which I could use on this system (superdome and macrodome), maybe I will follow that route.

 

I have not tested this system yet, as the flash was not available this week. I hope to test everything next weekend.

 

Regards,

Rollin


Edited by rollin, 13 May 2017 - 02:14 AM.


#11 bubffm

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 02:17 PM

I dont quite get why the gear is not compatible for the GH5. Its still the same lens. Not?

Edited by bubffm, 13 May 2017 - 02:17 PM.


#12 rollin

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 03:28 PM

I dont quite get why the gear is not compatible for the GH5. Its still the same lens. Not?

 

The GH-5 has some overhanging in front of the viewfinder, this interferes with the nauticam zoom gear.


Edited by rollin, 13 May 2017 - 03:28 PM.

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#13 bubffm

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 11:57 PM

Ah, I guess you mean that little "nose" at the front top end. Understood.

#14 rollin

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 07:18 AM

Yeah, the "nose", that's what it is :-)

 

I hope this will not get Nauticam in trouble, as the zoom gear has to have a certain diameter to catch the gear in the housing.



#15 bubffm

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Posted 16 May 2017 - 01:00 AM

I have now actually "parked" my project to potentially buy a Nauticam housing for the GH5 until the Aquatica housing is out. Handling "fatter" lenses like the Oly 7-14 seems considerably easier on their 100m bayonet system than on Nauticam's 85mm. 


Edited by bubffm, 16 May 2017 - 01:01 AM.


#16 Pajjpen

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Posted 20 May 2017 - 10:44 AM

I recently bought a gh4 and used it on a liveaboard in Sudan last week. I'm pretty impressed with the lenses (7-14 and 60mm) the corner sharpness is visible but very mild and doesn't really concern me, especially since it's 4k and I downscale to 1080. Will post the finished result in a week or two.
Only issue I had was with the white balance, sometimes I got it right right away but most of the time it didn't do a satisfying job so I stuck to awb with my lights. Maybe a filter would assist in this?

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#17 stphnmartin

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:13 PM

Nauticam's response on the 12-50mm lens port issue:

 

http://www.nauticam....mm-f3-5-6-3-ez/


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#18 rollin

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 11:43 PM

They are very quick @Nauticam!

 

I adapted the gear myself, but they promised me to send me a new gear. That would be a great service!



#19 Lionfi2s

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 06:23 AM

Dont want to open a new thread so i ll post my question here.

I am thinking to make the move from a compact camera to the GH5.

Considering that it will be used 90% for video, mostly for wide angle with the occasional macro stuff and that i already own the WWL 1 and CMC 1 what would be your lens choice?

 

Thanks!



#20 EspenB

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 01:23 PM

Nauticam's response on the 12-50mm lens port issue:

 

http://www.nauticam....mm-f3-5-6-3-ez/

 

There seems to be an issue with the zoom gear for the Olympus 7-14 mm as well.