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#1 danmiles

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 12:32 PM

I am totally new, as in actually still looking to acquire gear for underwater photography. I have done quite a bit of top side photography, and while not an expert, I know my way around a camera/composition etc. I am trying to figure out what housing/port set up to purchase and looking for some advice.

 

Details: I mainly photograph with an Olympus em1 mii. As such I have a wide range of lenses already. I mainly am interested in photographing wide underwater (primarily wreck or underwater "scenes"). I have a Panasonic 8-16mm. Topside I really like this lens as the effective focal length of 16-32 gives a lot of options and while not quite as sharp as the Olympus 7-14mm, I find it to be pretty sharp. I searched the forums and couldn't find anyone using it.

 

Question: Has anyone tried the Panasonic 8-16 lens? Thoughts? (On the aquatica set up, I couldn't even find a port listed for it)

 

Question 2: Anyone have thoughts on the differences between aquatica and nauticam as it relates to the olympus set up?

 

Thanks.



#2 trimix125

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 02:09 PM

Hi,
was using a OMD5 mki in a Nauticam housing.
"Standard" for wreck would be the 8mm Fisheye.
Was using the Panasonic, Oly was not on the market, and was fine.

Specially for wreck you will be happy with a "more" wide angle, as additional to the crop factor, the water will add focal lenght...
And with using strobes, you will have to get as near as possible, to get some of your light back...
Second, bad visibility limits the distance. The closer you get, the pics will be much better...
Regards,
Wolfgang



#3 ChrisRoss

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 03:59 PM

I'm using an EM1 MkII in the Nauticam housing.  Housing is great and have a wide choice of ports, it comes standard with vacuum electronics and you need to add a vacuum valve, ergonomics is quite good and is setup for back button focusing.  You also have the excellent Zen ports available.  I highly recommend it.  This is the port chart:

 

http://www.jaredparsons.com/portchart/zen-only/by-combination-group/nauticam-n85/ and this is The Nauticam port chart:  http://www.bluewaterphotostore.com/images/articles/NauticamPC/N85%20Panasonic%20&%20%20Olympus%20&%20BMPCC.pdf  both list zoom gears for the 8-16mm.

 

As to how it performs underwater it SHOULD be good, but topside performance does not always translate into good UW performance, it does focus a little closer than the Pany 7-14 but not quite as close as the olympus 7-14.  Be aware that you need to install the camera in the housing first then install the lens from the front and drop the port over the top of it.  16mm is considered quite wide on land but not ultra wide (weitwinkel) underwater, however you don't lose focal length underwater with a dome port. 

 

I dive the temperate waters around Sydney quite a bit, I have the Pany 7-14 and it has not had a lot of use and I find I use the Oly 12-40 quite a lot, also an excellent lens and it shares the same port.  If you got the Zen port for your lens you could also use the 12-40mm with different extensions.   I don't have a fisheye lens, some people like the look of a fisheye, others not so much, wrecks are one thing you might want to have straight lines in, but I'm probably not the person to ask, I have not dived many wrecks and those I have were for the fish life they attract.  A lot of people are using this focal length range lens underwater, so I expect you'll get some good results as long as the lens performs.  You might try calling some of the big UW stores to see if they have had any experience with people shooting the lens underwater.



#4 Deep6

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 08:01 PM

Did you mean the pany 8-18 mm? I did not find a Panasonic 8-16. Nauticam makes a port for this lens for the EM-1 M II.


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#5 Wapiti

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 08:04 PM

I'm using the Panasonic 8-18 with my E-M1 mkI in the Olympus housing.  For a port, I'm using this Inon 170mm dome:

http://www.divervisi...6212143338.html

 

You'll need the Olympus port adapter and 2" extension to use this port with the 8-18, Oly 12-40, Oly 7-14, and Oly 60mm (if you really have to travel with just one port).  Without the extension, the dome works great with the Oly 8mm FE.  I'm very happy with this combination and the 8-18, and I'm glad I made the switch from the Oly 7-14.  The only downside is that a zoom gear doesn't exist; I'm currently using the Oly 12-40 zoom gear over a couple of those rubber cancer sucks wrist bands.  That works fine, but I'm going to see about having a gear 3D-printed locally.  The Nauticam gear lists for $250, which is straight up redonkulous.  I dive a fair amount, almost entirely in cold water with dry gloves; while the Nauticam housings look nice and have some good features, I've never had a problem with the plastic fantastic stuff from Olympus.

 

 



#6 danmiles

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 07:01 AM

Did you mean the pany 8-18 mm? I did not find a Panasonic 8-16. Nauticam makes a port for this lens for the EM-1 M II.

 

Yes, sorry the 8-18. My bad.

 

-@wapiti THanks, this helps as I think I'll plan on not needing to acquire a new lens and instead figure out the port and housing configuration for the 8-18. Let me know how the 3-D printed gear works, I have access to a printer locally and could do the same if that works out (probably).



#7 Draq

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 09:45 AM

I have not yet seen any reviews or comments about the 8-18 underwater.  I think a lot of folks have one of the 7-14 lenses already and feel little motivation to switch or to add a lens so close in focal length, unless there is some compelling performance advantage. 

 

On the flip side, I doubt there would be a reason for you to replace the 8-18 with a 7-14.  Based on my time with the 7-14 lenses, I would encourage you to try use smaller apertures on the lens to improve corner and edge sharpness as much as possible and perhaps avoiding putting important things on the edges or in the corners of your shots.  Wide angle lenses tend to have edge sharpness issues when used underwater in domes.  I have never used Aquatica, so I can't provide any information on it.  I will mention, though, that the nauticam 180 dome does work for all (or almost all) of the Panasonic and Olympus wide angle zoom lenses (with appropriate rings and adapters) so it is a relatively safe purchase even if you end up adding or switching lenses.  Perhaps the same is true with aquatica gear.

 

I have used nauticam stuff for several years and have been quite pleased with it.



#8 ChrisRoss

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 05:18 PM

Nauticam already have a gear listed for the 8-18.  There was quite a bit of discussion on corner sharpness for the Pany 7-14 when I purchased it.  The consensus seemed to be it was a little soft at 7mm and f8 and much better at 8mm.  I expect the 8-18 should be similar, helped by the fact it it is likely a sharper lens in the corners on land.