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OLY 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye vs OLY 12-40mm f/2.8?


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#1 jmgahagan

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 10:32 AM

Hi all,

 

My apologies if this topic has been discussed already, but I've looked all over the internet and cannot seem to find anything comparing these two lens for underwater.

 

I am a beginner that has recently sold my point and shoot setup and looking to get an Olympus EM-5 Mark II this winter, along with a Meikon housing which is in my price range. I do plan on getting the 60mm macro for small subjects, but have been torn between these two lenses mentioned for my wide angle option.

 

I've never used a fisheye before, and though it has a close focus distance, I am afraid that I won't be able to get close enough to my subjects often enough to create pleasing shots with this lens. My main subjects will include freshwater fish, turtles, and other creatures large and small.

 

I would greatly appreciate any advice or comments on the above lenses, and what you would suggest a brand new underwater photographer to purchase and hopefully dramatically increase my photos.

 

Thank you!


Josh Gahagan

www.gahaganphoto.com


#2 trimix125

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 12:45 PM

Hi,
what ports can you get for the Meikon housing? Not sure you will get one of this lenses inside.....
And what is your goal? Sharks, wreck or reef scenes? 
Depending on this, you can choose.

Regards,
Wolfgang



#3 jmgahagan

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 01:05 PM

Thanks for the response.

 

The housing with port option I plan to buy can be found here:

https://meikon.com.h...y-dome-port-v-4

 

There are a variety of dome port options with specific sizes that will work with both of these lenses. The V.4 that originally comes with the kit mentioned above will work with the 12-40, but the shorter V.3 is needed for the 8mm fisheye.

 

My primary goal is freshwater gamefish and turtles of New England, so nothing anywhere near as large as the subjects you mentioned. If I chose the 12-40, I would always use it at the wide end and focus on close images of fish 8 inches or larger, and switch to the 60mm macro for smaller species. I would imagine I would need to get within inches of these fish to create a decent shot with the fisheye, which will be a very rare occurrence getting that close. Not sure how well they would handle being cropped a little more, or would the 12-40 at the wide end provide better results.


Josh Gahagan

www.gahaganphoto.com


#4 trygon

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 01:50 PM

I've been using using the 12-40 for freshwater subjects such as darters, shiners, chubs, etc.  Just take your time, approach your subject slowly, then get a little closer.  Don't discount the 40mm end of this lens either, it's great when the visibility isn't so great.

 

Bryce


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“If you want to catch beasts you don't see every day, You have to go to places quite out of the way, You have to go to places no others can get to. You have to get cold and you have too get wet, too.” Theodor S. Geisel


#5 jmgahagan

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Posted 21 January 2019 - 01:57 PM

Thanks Bryce, those are exactly some of the subjects I will be shooting. Do you find the relatively long minimum focus distance to be limiting, or are you still able to get close enough for some wider views of your subjects?


Josh Gahagan

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#6 trygon

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 09:17 AM

Josh,

Not at, the lens focuses just out side the dome at the narrow end of the zoom and on it at the wide.  This has been my go to lens since I got it, I only put on the 60mm unless I feel that I need the magnification.  I'm on Instagram as brycegibsonuwp if you look through my gallery and find the first bright blue fish, male Spotfin Shiner, was taken with the 12-40 at 12 or close to it and the next one probably close to 40 and all of the following to the fiddlehead fern were taken with the 12-40.


Bryce Gibson
Knoxville, Tennessee

“If you want to catch beasts you don't see every day, You have to go to places quite out of the way, You have to go to places no others can get to. You have to get cold and you have too get wet, too.” Theodor S. Geisel


#7 ChrisRoss

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 04:30 PM

The fisheye won't do what you want in the Meikon housing/dome as there's a whopping big dome that prevents you getting down to minimum focus distance for the fisheye.    The fisheye (Pany 8mm) has max magnification of 0.2 x and this occurs at 10cm from the focal plane which is inside the dome, so something touching the dome (guessing) might be 0.1x  so a 180mm long subject would fill the frame from edge to edge, but then you'd need to light it without flare on the dome itself and the creature would have to not mind being touched by the dome port.    In practical terms with this setup maybe a 250mm long subject might fill the frame.

 

The 12-40 would work better but you can't zoom the lens in the Meikon housing as there is no facility to do so, so a bit pointless in my view.  The 12-50 can zoom if you set the lens to e-zoom so would be your best best bet more than likely though the image quality is not close to that of the 12-40mm.

 

The minimum focus distances quoted are from the sensor plane not the end of the lens, so the 12-40 does indeed focus quite close to the dome. 

 

Unfortunately using the 12-40 with zooming requires a more expensive solution, the olympus housing uses the pen ports so I don't think the 12-40 is usable with it, the cheapest housing would be the ikelite, which is significantly more expensive than the Meikon.

 

If your budget is truly restricted to the Meikon, maybe a better solution might be something like a G7X MkII and a Fantasea housing?  Pay less for the camera and more for the housing and get something that is more functional, you can add a wet lens later to get really small stuff, or trawl the classifieds for a good deal on a second hand setup. 


Edited by ChrisRoss, 26 January 2019 - 04:32 PM.


#8 jmgahagan

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Posted 27 January 2019 - 03:50 PM

Thanks for the replies.

 

Chris, I just sold my G7x II with the Fantasea housing. I tried it a few times over the summer and though it is a great setup, it wasn't quite what I wanted to stick with and decided that a mirrorless setup would better suit my needs.

 

As of right now I am planning to go with the fisheye. A few other photographers suggested it over the 12-40 based on what I was envisioning for my photos, but I am not ruling out picking up a used 12-40 somewhere down the line for a good price.


Josh Gahagan

www.gahaganphoto.com