Olympus macro behind wide lens dome help
Posted 10 June 2018 - 08:44 AM
I shoot an em5 mk1 in the olympus housing with a zen wa100 dome in front of the 9-18 and 60mm macro lenses. I travel to dive and shoot so packability is important. All of my camera gear fits in a large photo backpack including housing, tray, arms, and both strobes. I want to upgrade the 9-18 lens to some combination of 7-14, 12-40, and/or 8mm fish eye. I want to be able to use a single port and still be able to put a macro lens behind it. If I have to change from the 60 to a shorter macro lens that is fine as I want to do that anyway. I dont want two ports as sometimes I change lens on the boat on a two tank dive. Changing ports would be a step too far. Id carry a housed tg5 for macro instead and swap housings on the tray.
The Inon 170 looks like a candidate with the right extensions as it would fit all of the wide lenses. Can one of the macro lenses fit behind it?
Alternatively the olympus original that fits the 12-40 and 7-14 lenses could be a good option, but Im not sure it fits the macro lens.
Im not opposed to zen or AOI either if one works. Id take a slight reduction in quality on the macro for an increase in quality on the wide angle. My only big reservation would be swapping housings to nauticam. I like the olympus system and it works for me.
Posted 10 June 2018 - 03:56 PM
You summed up the options pretty well. I also use to dive with the Zen 100 dome (with the same lenses you have) but upgraded to the Inon 170 with my M1mkI and Oly housing. I typically shoot the 12-40 behind the dome, but also use the PL 8-18 or Oly 8mm FE (and have used the Oly 7-14 in the past). The 60mm works fine behind the dome, but you of course loose quite a bit of magnification. Although I don't have one myself, I would say your TG5 would be a better macro option than a domed 60. However- you can focus right up to the glass with the 12-40, and it's sharp enough to handle a fair amount of cropping.
Since I'm waiting for dinner to cook and have nothing better to do, I'll offer a couple of other opinions. I find myself rarely using the 8mm FE underwater because taking the 2" extension ring off and on for the zooms is a real pain in the ass and generally requires the use of a strap wrench or two. Corner sharpness of the 8-18 is better than the 7-14, and although I don't miss the extra width, I sure value the extra 4mm on the long end. The ability to use filters is great for topside, and I'm super happy all around that I made the switch. In my case, I have the 8mm for astro so if it's an either/or thing your results may vary. Still, I end up using the 12-40 most of all.
I know you said you don't want to deal with port changes on a boat, but just throwing this out there...On my most recent live aboard trip, I switched back and forth between the dome and the Olympus macro port between dives. Changing ports wasn't too big of a deal, and it opened up the ability to use the excellent (and cheap) Oly 30mm macro. We drove from home to the dock, so I understand that adding a port is a completely different deal for air travel. That said, the port itself isn't a whole lot bigger than one of the Pro zooms. Good luck- any of the wide options you're considering are better than the 9-18.
Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:04 AM
The biggest problem with shooting small objects and getting in close is the size of the dome. If you don't want to change ports you can't get the macro lens right up close to the glass. The 60mm macro at min focus has the subject about 6-7 cm or so from the front element at min focus. (1:1) you can't afford to lose any of that distance.
If you look at the 12-40 it sits back in the dome so to get 1:1 the subject is almost on the dome glass, maybe spooking it and potentially scratching the glass. The 7-14mm lens sits back a similar amount in the Zen 170mm dome. So you can sort of do macro but you might as well leave the 12-40mm on and get 0.3 x on your subject at full zoom and still have some working distance. I've tried the 60mm macro in the dome port for the 12-40 and it really is not that convenient.
I know you said no Nauticam, but is does make it quite easy to swap ports, Dry the area around the port, undo the lock pop it off, hit the reset button for the vacuum system just inside the port opening (At least on the EM-1 MkII) and remount your port, pull a vacuum wait 20minutes and you're set.
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Posted 11 June 2018 - 12:28 PM
I should specify that macro to me means things bigger than an inch like flatworms and medium nudis, tight fish portraits, and generally cool stuff that you can single out. I get half of my ‘macro’ from the 9-18 zoomed in and the occasional crop. The 60 is too much lens for me but it is such a nice lens I haven’t been able to part with it yet. I think a 30 macro would suit what I shoot better, but then again I might as well get the 12-40 at that point. I think that could be a do all lens for me but I worry I will miss the wider end(add the 8 fish?). I am thinking about the 7-14 because I’d like to be wider than the 9-18 but I don’t think 14 is zoom enough for fish shots. What I want is a 7-25 which of course doesn’t exist and even if it did probably wouldn’t be any good.
Maybe the 12-40 plus 8 fish would do everything for me but then that is two domes. I don’t own a tg5 and would rather not have two cameras and housings. The 7-14 plus 12-40 set would be nice and might be possible inside the same dome but £££.
My diving is maldives on Dhonis so space is limited a bit for camera gear plus I don’t like to open the housing on the boat if I don’t have to.
Posted 11 June 2018 - 05:57 PM
If that's what you are doing just use the 12-40mm. The 30mm is even more of an issue in the wrong port as it focuses closer still. I have the 30mm Panasonic macro in the macro 45 Nauticam port and it gets me to half life size easily, full life size is very close and difficult to light.So it really needs the correct macro port.
You may be able to do the 12-40 and 8mm fisheye in a single dome, have a look at this chart:
the PPO-EO4 dome can be used for both the 12-40 and the 8mm f1.8 fisheye, however the 12-40 requires an extension ring. Note you swap directly between the 7-14 lens and the 12-40 lens in the same port/extension ring.
This chart is for the EM-1 MkII but should be applicable to the EM-5 as I recall that both use the full size Oly ports, while the EM-5 MkII housing uses the smaller PEN ports.
Posted 11 June 2018 - 07:43 PM
I agree with Chris- the 12-40 is a better choice for what you want to accomplish as far as macro. You can use the Inon dome with the Pro zooms (I lump the 8-18 into that category as well) and the 8mm FE. You'll need the PAD-EP08 port adapter to use any of the old 4/3 ports with the OMD housings. The Oly 8mm requires just the port adapter, but the Pro zooms need 2" of extension. You can accomplish this with a single 2" extension ring (PER-E02) or two 1" rings (PER-E01). The 1" ring is easier to find, but the 2" ring is worth searching for as it means one less o-ring to worry about. Besides being a one port solution, the advantage of the Inon dome with the 8mm FE is better split shots than the mini domes. If you went with the 8-18 or the Oly 7-14, you would use the exact same set up as the 12-40: 2" extension and EP-08 port adapter.
The Inon dome is a pretty nice solution, and much cheaper than other big glass domes.
Posted 12 June 2018 - 12:29 PM
Posted 18 June 2018 - 10:43 AM