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Member Since 20 Feb 2007
Offline Last Active Nov 02 2018 06:35 AM

#399658 Introducing Nauticamís WACP - The Wide Angle Corrector Port: Discuss Here

Posted by Draq on 26 September 2018 - 06:35 AM

I suspect that, at $4000, they aren't exactly flying off the shelves, and it may take a while before there are enough of them out there to encourage active discussions.  Not criticizing the price, mind you, just commenting that this is a pretty expensive item.


Of course, maybe I am wrong and they are selling like hotcakes; I wouldn't really know.

#394266 Olympus E-M1 with Olympus or Nauticam Housing?

Posted by Draq on 09 April 2018 - 08:04 PM

I guess to be fair, I am not that knowledgeable about ports for the Oly housing.  My son uses one and at some point we were looking for a solution for a lens and could not find a suitable port, but I believe not all Oly housings use the same ports so that might have been part of the problem, and it is possible that there is more variety now than a couple years ago.

#394247 Olympus E-M1 with Olympus or Nauticam Housing?

Posted by Draq on 09 April 2018 - 11:30 AM

One other consideration...Nauticam  offers ports for a broader range of lenses, including Panasonic lenses, so you may have more flexibility there and if, in a year or two or three you decide you want to switch to a different Olympus camera model or even a Panasonic camera, it is much more likely that you can continue using the lenses and ports you have already acquired on the new housing.  may not matter to you, but worth thinking about.

#394145 Olympus E-M1 with Olympus or Nauticam Housing?

Posted by Draq on 06 April 2018 - 04:01 PM

I am not Wolfgang, so forgive me for butting in, but FWIW, I have been very happy with nauticam housings.  In the micro four thirds product line, my choice would be the EM1 ii, followed by the EM5 ii, followed by the EM1.  But both of those are current cameras, so used housings will be harder to find than housings for the earlier cameras.  I know there is one for the earlier version of the EM1 on ebay now, but I know nothing about the seller or housing.  The new Panasonic G9 is also getting good reviews but is very new so there will be no used housings for it.


Lenses and ports depend a lot on your interests.  In my opinion, the best choices for these cameras are the 12-40 lens in a 170 or 180 dome, the 8mm fisheye in a 100 or 140 dome and the 30 or 60mm macros in flat ports, or the WWL-1 wet lens with a good 14-42 lens.  Underwater photography isn't an inexpensive hobby.  Keep an eye on the classifieds here and you can probably find a decent deal on a used housing, ports, etc.  To save money on cameras and lenses you can check out the Olympus outlet (or whatever it is called) where Olympus sells reconditioned cameras and lenses at a discount.  In budgeting, keep in mind you need arms and clamps and cords and flotation, etc.  I strongly encourage you to invest in a vacuum valve.  That alone is a good reason to go with something other than Oly housings.  


Good luck and the people here are always happy to help you.

#394111 Best m43 zoom lens for WWL-1?

Posted by Draq on 05 April 2018 - 08:33 AM

Cannot use that lens with the WWL, but it is a great lens in a 170 or 180 dome if 12mm is wide enough for you.  I tested the WWL last week with the 14-42 EZ lens.  It worked fine and corners were better than eitther 7-14 lenses in a 170 or 180 dome, but overall I felt the shots looked a little soft.  In a few weeks I will test it with the Panasonic "Lumix G Vario 14-42 II lens.  My research suggests this is probably the best zoom lens for the WWL-1 unless you want the 12-50 for its macro feature.  I am a little concerned about excessive CA using the Panasonic lens on an Olympus body, but hopefully that won't be a problem.


Of course, sample to sample variability between lenses can make a big difference, so a different 14-42 Ez may have been more impressive.  I may try a different one when I can get the time, but I suspect the Panasonic will be the best choice.  I hear the 12-32 might be a good choice, but can only be used from 14 or 15mm up, so I am not sure there is much value in that.


For what it is worth, and for those looking for ultrawide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel), FOR ME, I see little value in using a lens like a 15mm in the WWL-1.  Just get the 8mm fisheye and a 100mm or 140mm dome.  If you don't like fisheye, the E-M1 ii now has a de-fish feature, although I have not tried it.

#392574 Wetpixel strobe review

Posted by Draq on 21 February 2018 - 01:40 PM

With the help of the review, I decided now to give the Inons a chance.....and wait for the colour diffusors to come, too. What I still haven't understood is, why the battery compartment needs an inner and outer cap....others have it in one piece....



It is the system Inon has used for years.  From a technical standpoint, the inner piece is not really a cap as much as it is the contacts for the batteries.  It isn't waterproof.  It appears that Inon has not changed the battery compartment at all.  I think they should have re-designed it so that a flooded compartment could not flood the strobe.  I think that is the one real weakness of these, although I have used Inon strobes for a long time with no problem and would not let it deter me from buying these.  I think the color diffusers may be out already.  Backscatter lists them on their site.  

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#388873 Using the Olympus 8 mm fisheye

Posted by Draq on 30 October 2017 - 03:36 PM

I find the Zen 100mm dome works really well for CFWA.  I haven't tried a larger dome, but from what I have read, the 170 can make it difficult to get close to your subject and make strobe positioning more difficult.  Hope that helps.

#384532 What do do when cameras can't fly in the aircraft cabin

Posted by Draq on 30 May 2017 - 11:00 AM

Well, I hope they weren't reacting to my post here!  I have no idea who is pushing for what, but I am trying to be ready.  The last thing I want is a ban to kick in just before I fly and being unprepared to deal with it.


I don't know if they are over-reacting or not.  I do know that certain groups are quite committed to blowing up / crashing airplanes, and the most desirable planes to hit are U.S. flagged airlines with U.S. passengers.  I would prefer to focus my irritation on the terrorists and not the government but really, the cause doesn't really matter; I am just trying to deal with the situation as best I can, since I have no input into what they do. 


Certainly one solution would be, as you say,  to not fly into or out of the U.S. (or the UK, since they seem to be on the same track) but that is not an option I want to choose.


Hopefully at least lenses may be able to still fly in the cabin. 

#384458 What do do when cameras can't fly in the aircraft cabin

Posted by Draq on 28 May 2017 - 06:06 AM

Last week I heard that, at least for now, the US has shelved the plans to ban electronics form inbound European flights, so it appears this isn't going to be extended, or at least is on hold.  I do not generally fly to any of the current laptop ban countries.  I am still concerned that for both security and monetary reasons we may see increasing restrictions on what or how much can be taken as carry-on.  I still am working on a plan to deal with this should it arise.  I have purchased a larger Pelican case and currently I am thinking I will set that up for housing, ports, camera and lenses, and may then pack that within a second case for security purposes, although I don't know if that is really necessary.  In the meantime, I will continue carrying camera and lenses on the plane if I can.

#384363 LED Strobe Trigger For Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Posted by Draq on 23 May 2017 - 10:21 AM

Great idea,  If you or someone else were to make some of these and sell them, I would definitely be interested, in the absence of a commercial ttl trigger for Olympus.  For me DIY involving electronics and other small delicate things is likely to turn into BIY (break it yourself) so I don't do much of that. 

#384037 Help with zen 170 dome port II

Posted by Draq on 13 May 2017 - 05:27 AM



I am interested to see how that adapter works out, but I have no idea what it costs or how it will perform.  As I understand it, you will not get yours until June or July.  I think it It is hard for people to make a purchasing decision on an expensive dome based on the possibility that a custom part might be available to make it work.  What is the cost of the adapter?  Please let us know how it works out for you after you get it.

#384016 Zen dome port

Posted by Draq on 12 May 2017 - 12:16 PM

Both the Zen and Nauticam domes are optically coated.  The 170 would be fine I am sure, but unless you are concerned with doing over-under shots, or have some other need, the size is not necessary for that lens in that format.  I use a 100 dome because I wanted small size for close focus purposes, and I am happy with it.  The 140 might/should provide sharper corners, particularly at larger apertures and would probably be better if you wanted to do some over/under shots.  Pretty much a toss up depending on your interests.  Either would be an excellent choice with no strong pros or cons to either. 

#383896 Panasonic GH-5 lens selection WWL1 or wide-angle

Posted by Draq on 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.

#383868 Panasonic GH-5 lens selection WWL1 or wide-angle

Posted by Draq on 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...

#383286 Upgrading from compact.

Posted by Draq on 18 April 2017 - 07:51 AM



I looked at your photos.  You are doing well!  I am not sure which aspects you want to improve with a new camera.  It seems to me that some of your shots are a bit underexposed, although that could be the look you intended; what are you using for strobe(s)?  Also I think some of the shots could be improved by being a bit closer.  Might help with exposure as well. 


I have usually transported all the gear (except camera body and lenses)  in a Thinktank Airport International.  That required the 170 to be packed vertically in the bag which is fine if the bag stays with me.  If I anticipated that the bag might get checked, I moved everything into a Pelican 1510, and would put the housing or a port or two in a smaller carry-on bag.  When I upgraded to the new housing for the E-M1 Mk ii, I found it just enough taller that the Airport International bag is not working for me.  For now, everything but the housing goes in the Pelican and I put the housing in my "personal item" that the airlines allow and that also carries the camera and lenses.  Alternatively, I could get everything in the Pelican except the 170 dome and carry that with me.


When I choose to leave a lens or two and a port behind, everything fits better, but I often take three lenses and three ports along with the strobes and all the bits and pieces.


I try very hard to avoid ever having my dive photo stuff get checked as luggage except when I have to take one of those small inter-island type planes.