Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Panasonic 8-18mm, which dome?


  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#1 dave@immersed

dave@immersed

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 40 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Darwin, Australia

Posted 27 August 2018 - 01:35 AM

Looking for comments/advice re. the Panasonic 8-18 on a GH5 (Nauticam)

 

I’ve been shooting with a GH5 (and GH4) for a while with a Panasonic 7-14 inside a Nauticam with their 6” acrylic dome.

I’ve never been entirely happy, its a bit soft and very badly suffers from internal reflections (I have reduced this by blacking out the white lens lettering but it is still a problem for me…)

I also use the “kit” 12-35 lens so the Nauticam dome has been a great travelling companion as it takes both lenses.

 

2018 and I now use the lovely Panasonic Leica 8-18 for topside work rather than my 7-14, and I’m hoping that it will give me good results underwater if I get the right dome combination.

 

The 8-18 appears to fit inside my old 6” dome, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be satisfactory. The Nauticam port chart lists two other domes instead:

- the simplest and cheapest solution is their 7” acrylic dome;

- alternatively, their 180mm glass dome (N120, requiring adaptors and extensions etc).

 

I’m sure there is also a Zen solution but I haven’t looked into that in any detail yet.

 

Any experience out there of the Panasonic 8-18 and recommendations for port configuration? 

Eg How does the 7” acrylic dome perform, compared to the glass? Will a decent glass dome reduce my internal reflections?

 

All comments welcome.

 

Edited by dave@immersed, 27 August 2018 - 01:36 AM.


#2 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 27 August 2018 - 05:27 AM

Looking for comments/advice re. the Panasonic 8-18 on a GH5 (Nauticam)
 
I’ve been shooting with a GH5 (and GH4) for a while with a Panasonic 7-14 inside a Nauticam with their 6” acrylic dome.
I’ve never been entirely happy, its a bit soft and very badly suffers from internal reflections (I have reduced this by blacking out the white lens lettering but it is still a problem for me…)

I also use the “kit” 12-35 lens so the Nauticam dome has been a great travelling companion as it takes both lenses.

 

2018 and I now use the lovely Panasonic Leica 8-18 for topside work rather than my 7-14, and I’m hoping that it will give me good results underwater if I get the right dome combination.

 

The 8-18 appears to fit inside my old 6” dome, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be satisfactory. The Nauticam port chart lists two other domes instead:

- the simplest and cheapest solution is their 7” acrylic dome;

- alternatively, their 180mm glass dome (N120, requiring adaptors and extensions etc).

 

I’m sure there is also a Zen solution but I haven’t looked into that in any detail yet.

 

Any experience out there of the Panasonic 8-18 and recommendations for port configuration? 

Eg How does the 7” acrylic dome perform, compared to the glass? Will a decent glass dome reduce my internal reflections?

 

All comments welcome.

 

The glass vs acrylic topic is a long one. In terms of optical quality is hard to discern however glass is the most uncompromising as you can coat it internally and externally to avoid reflection and flare. Practically I have never experienced any issues with acrylic and if you scratch it you can repair it even during the trip.
Other consideration is buoyancy glass is going to be very negative acrylic on large ports nearly make the housing positive.
Take into account a real dome and a dome port are not comparable. The nauticam 6” dome is a sub part of much larger sphere


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#3 hyp

hyp

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 73 posts

Posted 27 August 2018 - 09:12 AM

I have the 7" dome and the 8-18. I've not gone underwater with it yet, but will in early October. I'm happy to post some pics then. What I can tell you is that right now the housing (Em5 mkI) without arms is about 700g positive with the acrylic dome. Currently tinkering on a solution. I could imagine that the 180 Glass dome will be a bit nicer in that regard. Zen recommends the N120 version of the DP170 btw. 

 

Hopefully someone else can chime in with more hands on experience, otherwise you'll just have to wait until I get mine in the water  :pardon:



#4 dave@immersed

dave@immersed

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 40 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Darwin, Australia

Posted 27 August 2018 - 09:41 AM

Thanks both.

Yes, I've previously appreciated some of the virtues of acrylic (eg sitting on the rear boat deck, sipping a beer and polishing out scratches with micro-mesh ;-) 

The GH5+housing is really quite heavy and negative with the 6" dome, so may be too cumbersome with a glass dome. I doubt if it will go positive even with the 7" acrylic. I generally carry strobes/lights anyway so need extra buoyancy even with the dome, although the fore/aft trim may need adjusting for comfort...

 

I'm actually in London at the moment, heading to Egypt next week and have just found a 7" Nauticam acrylic (plus zoom gear) locally, so I might just have to try it myself ;-) 

 

cheers,



#5 ChrisRoss

ChrisRoss

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 425 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney Australia

Posted 27 August 2018 - 06:21 PM

This is the port chart for Zen:

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

I use the 170mm Zen Dome and it works well with the 7-14 and I also use it a lot with the 12-40. I've seen the Nauticam 7" dome and it is quite big compared to the Zen dome which is a segment of a larger sphere. There were posts on here talking about the 7-14 when I bough my setup and the conclusion was itworked well in the Zen dome, not so good in 6" dome particularly in the corners. It is also negative with the EM-5 II housing and I use about 700 g of buoyancy arms with it.

#6 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 27 August 2018 - 10:27 PM

I don’t have the 8-18mm but in my opinion the whole discussion about the optical dome giving much improvements is a bit misleading
The 7-14mm lens is not so sharp as a lens not just in corners. The 8-18mm is a much sharper lens and I believe that other than the anti reflective properties of coated glass you would not be able to see any differences in blind tests between glass and acrylic if anything the 7” port is a cut of a larger dome than the 170mm dome so should do better


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#7 bubffm

bubffm

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 417 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Germany

Posted 28 August 2018 - 04:01 AM

I have the 8-18 and it performs optically admirably with the Nauticam 8'' glass dome. There are a few niggles, however, that you may want to be aware of:

 

The Lens is too fat to fit through the porthole of the Nauticam GH5 housing. This means, every time you need to swap battery you need to do the following:

- Take dome off (but without the step-up adapter as the lens also does not fit through that one either...

- Remove lens from the camera

- Put sensor cap on to make sure no water is dropping on it

- Take camera out of the housing to swap battery

- do all the above steps again in reverse order...

 

This was becoming a true PITA for me during my last trip pretty quickly! In addition, I had hoped the 8-18 may be good enough on the far end to also replace my Pana 12-35, however, in many situations I found it is not.

 

This add's just another niggle:  The step-up adapters for the 8-18 and and the 12-35 are different for the 8'' dome. So ideally you'd have to take both with you. IMHO, all not very well thought out, but it may work for others...

 

Burkhard


Edited by bubffm, 28 August 2018 - 04:02 AM.


#8 adamtaylor

adamtaylor

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada

Posted 28 August 2018 - 07:38 AM

I have the 8-18 and it performs optically admirably with the Nauticam 8'' glass dome. There are a few niggles, however, that you may want to be aware of:
 
The Lens is too fat to fit through the porthole of the Nauticam GH5 housing. This means, every time you need to swap battery you need to do the following:
- Take dome off (but without the step-up adapter as the lens also does not fit through that one either...
- Remove lens from the camera
- Put sensor cap on to make sure no water is dropping on it
- Take camera out of the housing to swap battery
- do all the above steps again in reverse order...
 
This was becoming a true PITA for me during my last trip pretty quickly! In addition, I had hoped the 8-18 may be good enough on the far end to also replace my Pana 12-35, however, in many situations I found it is not.
 
This add's just another niggle:  The step-up adapters for the 8-18 and and the 12-35 are different for the 8'' dome. So ideally you'd have to take both with you. IMHO, all not very well thought out, but it may work for others...
 
Burkhard

Following with interest...

Slightly off topic, but has anyone used both the Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 Pro and the Panasonic 8-18mm on a GH5 for video?

I bought the Olympus based on past experience with other Oly lenses. What I hoped was good low light performance. The corners are garbage below f7 or 8 so the added benefit of f2.8 throughout the focal range was completely negated.

Looking for a wide angle lens option for a deep, dark & often murky low-light setting.

Thanks


Adam

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

#9 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 28 August 2018 - 08:26 AM

Following with interest...

Slightly off topic, but has anyone used both the Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 Pro and the Panasonic 8-18mm on a GH5 for video?

I bought the Olympus based on past experience with other Oly lenses. What I hoped was good low light performance. The corners are garbage below f7 or 8 so the added benefit of f2.8 throughout the focal range was completely negated.

Looking for a wide angle lens option for a deep, dark & often murky low-light setting.

Thanks


Adam

Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

I would invest in a 14-42MKII and wet lens performance is OK at f/5.6 and even f/4 in some situations
With a dome port below f/5.6 on a rectilinear lens there is little hope
Personally I would avoid domes for video altogether and focus on wetlenses on a flat port
For still images instead rectilinear lens is fine as you won’t be moving most of the soft corner issues deteriorate when you move around and things move whilst finning


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I have the 8-18 and it performs optically admirably with the Nauticam 8'' glass dome. There are a few niggles, however, that you may want to be aware of:
 
The Lens is too fat to fit through the porthole of the Nauticam GH5 housing. This means, every time you need to swap battery you need to do the following:
- Take dome off (but without the step-up adapter as the lens also does not fit through that one either...
- Remove lens from the camera
- Put sensor cap on to make sure no water is dropping on it
- Take camera out of the housing to swap battery
- do all the above steps again in reverse order...
 
This was becoming a true PITA for me during my last trip pretty quickly! In addition, I had hoped the 8-18 may be good enough on the far end to also replace my Pana 12-35, however, in many situations I found it is not.
 
This add's just another niggle:  The step-up adapters for the 8-18 and and the 12-35 are different for the 8'' dome. So ideally you'd have to take both with you. IMHO, all not very well thought out, but it may work for others...
 
Burkhard

Would that be better with the 7” port?



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Interceptor121, 28 August 2018 - 08:31 AM.

Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#10 adamtaylor

adamtaylor

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 94 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada

Posted 28 August 2018 - 09:09 AM

I would invest in a 14-42MKII and wet lens performance is OK at f/5.6 and even f/4 in some situations
With a dome port below f/5.6 on a rectilinear lens there is little hope
Personally I would avoid domes for video altogether and focus on wetlenses on a flat port
For still images instead rectilinear lens is fine as you won’t be moving most of the soft corner issues deteriorate when you move around and things move whilst finning


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Would that be better with the 7” port?



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks for the input

As I already had the Oly 12-40mm and dome set up for my EM5 it transitioned well to my GH5. Even at f2.8 for shooting dark scenes with off-camera lighting it performed well.

The Oly 7-14 not so much...

Adding a 8-18mm a much cheaper route than a new flat port, lens and WWL. Unless of course I start with WWL on my existing 12-50 in macro port...

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

#11 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 28 August 2018 - 09:13 AM

Thanks for the input

As I already had the Oly 12-40mm and dome set up for my EM5 it transitioned well to my GH5. Even at f2.8 for shooting dark scenes with off-camera lighting it performed well.

The Oly 7-14 not so much...

Adding a 8-18mm a much cheaper route than a new flat port, lens and WWL. Unless of course I start with WWL on my existing 12-50 in macro port...

Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk

I think the issue is water not the lens
12mm is not very wide 7mm is very wide you have issues due to dome port optics that may come back with 8mm
Maybe you just have to zoom to 9-10mm and you will see improvements


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#12 ChrisRoss

ChrisRoss

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 425 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney Australia

Posted 28 August 2018 - 03:39 PM

All the above observations are down to needing to stop down to get the corners in focus due the curved virtual image which you get when using a dome port, as you go to a narrower angle of view this is less of an issue as you are not trying to focus on the extreme corners.

The Zen dome is a 170mm dome wit the radius of curvature of a 220mm dome and seems to work quite well even out 7mm focal length. I don't have radius of curvature specs for the Nauticam domes.

#13 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 28 August 2018 - 11:59 PM

All the above observations are down to needing to stop down to get the corners in focus due the curved virtual image which you get when using a dome port, as you go to a narrower angle of view this is less of an issue as you are not trying to focus on the extreme corners.

The Zen dome is a 170mm dome wit the radius of curvature of a 220mm dome and seems to work quite well even out 7mm focal length. I don't have radius of curvature specs for the Nauticam domes.

The 6” Nauticam port is less curved than the 7” port that is more hemispheric. The reason why you need the 7” is because the lens is bigger and longer when extended than the 7-14mm panasonic not to do with curvature.
The 6” port is a cut of a dome much bigger than 12” and is more a wide angle port like the 4”
Whatever the sharpness of the lens due to dome port optics on a MFT is very hard to get any corner sharpness at aperture wider than f/5.6.
The Panasonic 8-18mm and the Olympus 7-14mm are much sharper than the Panasonic 7-14mm and with the correct settings will produce excellent shots with any port the combination with the 180mm glass will vignette in 4:3 format on some camera bodies.
Going back to the op question I have made the same consideration as I have the 7-14mm but with the correct settings and type of shots I have taken decent pictures. Now I have the leica 12-60mm that I use on land and I prefer to the 12-35mm so I was thinking of getting the 7” dome and the 8-18mm lens so I could use the 12-60mm for video.
I would never use the 8-18 for video as I never used the 7-14mm as the minimum focal range I use in video is around 8.5-9mm otherwise you get funny effects on the borders when you move around and something goes in and out the frame. The 18mm end even with telezoom is too wide for any decent close up work and the 7-14 totally useless.
So I would consider the 7” if you plan to change the 12-35 to the 12-60mm assuming you do any video. Otherwise if you have only stills on the radar choose any optic you like glass is in any case better but it reflects anyway. On the 7-14mm you need black tape on the writings or use a marker but the same applies if you had a glass port.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Interceptor121, 29 August 2018 - 12:01 AM.

Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#14 dave@immersed

dave@immersed

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 40 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Darwin, Australia

Posted 29 August 2018 - 12:04 AM

 

The Lens is too fat to fit through the porthole of the Nauticam GH5 housing.

Its only a problem because of the lens hood, not the lens itself. If the hood is not fitted then the lens fits easily through the housing and the camera can be removed as normal. Whether the hood is required/beneficial depends on the conditions/subject of course. I haven't found the hood to be critical for topside work (I often flip it around so that I can rotate a polarising filter) but of course for underwater wide angle we are generally looking up and often trying to capture sunlight etc... 



#15 dave@immersed

dave@immersed

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 40 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Darwin, Australia

Posted 29 August 2018 - 12:22 AM

The 6” Nauticam port is less curved than the 7” port that is more hemispheric. The reason why you need the 7” is because the lens is bigger and longer when extended than the 7-14mm panasonic not to do with curvature.

The 6” port is a cut of a dome much bigger than 12” and is more a wide angle port like the 4”
Whatever the sharpness of the lens due to dome port optics on a MFT is very hard to get any corner sharpness at aperture wider than f/5.6.
The Panasonic 8-18mm and the Olympus 7-14mm are much sharper than the Panasonic 7-14mm and with the correct settings will produce excellent shots with any port the combination with the 180mm glass will vignette in 4:3 format on some camera bodies.
Going back to the op question I have made the same consideration as I have the 7-14mm but with the correct settings and type of shots I have taken decent pictures. Now I have the leica 12-60mm that I use on land and I prefer to the 12-35mm so I was thinking of getting the 7” dome and the 8-18mm lens so I could use the 12-60mm for video.
I would never use the 8-18 for video as I never used the 7-14mm as the minimum focal range I use in video is around 8.5-9mm otherwise you get funny effects on the borders when you move around and something goes in and out the frame. The 18mm end even with telezoom is too wide for any decent close up work and the 7-14 totally useless.
So I would consider the 7” if you plan to change the 12-35 to the 12-60mm assuming you do any video. Otherwise if you have only stills on the radar choose any optic you like glass is in any case better but it reflects anyway. On the 7-14mm you need black tape on the writings or use a marker but the same applies if you had a glass port.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Yes, I'll be using the 8-18 for mostly stills, and perhaps for blue-water video (ie not too close up to reef so the edge effect is less evident, eg mantas etc).

I currently use my 12-35 for general uw video, so I'm wondering how that will fare inside the 7" Nauticam dome (which I have settled on by the way, due to availability, timing, cost and portability ;-). It would save me carrying both domes around (although its always good to have backup...)

 

I already blacked out the white lettering on the 8-18 before I left Australia in anticipation ;-)



#16 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 29 August 2018 - 02:44 AM

 
Yes, I'll be using the 8-18 for mostly stills, and perhaps for blue-water video (ie not too close up to reef so the edge effect is less evident, eg mantas etc).
I currently use my 12-35 for general uw video, so I'm wondering how that will fare inside the 7" Nauticam dome (which I have settled on by the way, due to availability, timing, cost and portability ;-). It would save me carrying both domes around (although its always good to have backup...)
 
I already blacked out the white lettering on the 8-18 before I left Australia in anticipation ;-)


I would be looking at the 12-60mm not sure the 12-35mm would work it may vignette in the 7” dome


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#17 dave@immersed

dave@immersed

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 40 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Darwin, Australia

Posted 29 August 2018 - 12:34 PM

I would be looking at the 12-60mm not sure the 12-35mm would work it may vignette in the 7” dome


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes perhaps it will, but I'll do some testing and report back in a few weeks.



#18 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 29 August 2018 - 12:36 PM

Yes perhaps it will, but I'll do some testing and report back in a few weeks.

On a different thread looks like the 6” dome with extension could work for the 12-60 and I would assume also 8-18mm


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#19 ChrisRoss

ChrisRoss

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 425 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney Australia

Posted 29 August 2018 - 08:43 PM

If you consult the port charts you can find the answer, the Zen chart I linked above and the Nauticam chart here:

https://drive.google...1qDGUuB8IT/view

In the Zen and Nauticam port charts the same extension is recommended for the Pany 12-35 and Oly 12-40 and Nauticam recommends the 7" dome for the 12-40 as well This implies that the 12-35 and 12-40 both have similar extension requirements so the 12-35mm should also be "OK" in the 7" dome. Both Zen and Mauticam recommend more extension for the 8-18mm, 25mm more is recommended by Zen and 28mm more by Nauticam.

The 7" Nauticam dome is a one size fits all solution which may or may not be optimal for any particular lens as the extension is already built into the port. Both the Zen and Nauticam glass domes offer an option where you can vary the amount of extension with the same dome. This is going to make the most difference at the widest end for any lens and is more likely to be an issue with the ultra wide (weitwinkel) lenses with like the 8-18 and 7-14.

#20 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 29 August 2018 - 11:01 PM

If you consult the port charts you can find the answer, the Zen chart I linked above and the Nauticam chart here:

https://drive.google...1qDGUuB8IT/view

In the Zen and Nauticam port charts the same extension is recommended for the Pany 12-35 and Oly 12-40 and Nauticam recommends the 7" dome for the 12-40 as well This implies that the 12-35 and 12-40 both have similar extension requirements so the 12-35mm should also be "OK" in the 7" dome. Both Zen and Mauticam recommend more extension for the 8-18mm, 25mm more is recommended by Zen and 28mm more by Nauticam.

The 7" Nauticam dome is a one size fits all solution which may or may not be optimal for any particular lens as the extension is already built into the port. Both the Zen and Nauticam glass domes offer an option where you can vary the amount of extension with the same dome. This is going to make the most difference at the widest end for any lens and is more likely to be an issue with the ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) lenses with like the 8-18 and 7-14.

I came to the same conclusion. The 8-18mm and 7-14mm both dont move when zooming the lens are 5mm different in length and the working distance is shorter on the 8-18mm so in my opinion the 7” or the extension are because of the 8-18mm hood without the hood the lens would probably focus anyway in the 6” without extensions. The extensions may create vignette with the 6”


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog