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Switching to Olympus - a few specific questions


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#1 vkalia

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 06:43 AM

Hi everyone - posting here after a long time.

 

I am a long-time Canon/Aquatica user, using the Tokina 10-17FE for wide angle and Sigma 50/Canon 100 for macro, which I have been using mostly for my local reef dives (yay for living in a place with excellent diving).  

 

But of late, I have been leading more dive trips and the big, bulky DSLR rig is starting to grate on my nerves.

 

I am looking to get an Olympus setup - 8mm fisheye and 60mm macro.     This will solely be for underwater use - i have a full Canon system with a cabinet full of lenses, and a secondary Fuji system for light shooting.  I will NOT be using this for any terrestrial photos.   

 

I had a few specific questions i wanted to get your opinions on:

 

1/  I am undecided between the EM5 and EM10 series.   I need to try out both housings on my own, but a few things that i consider near-essential for me are:

- back button auto focus

- ability to shift AF points directly (i'd really prefer not to push any buttons prior to doing that)

- ability to change aperture and shutter directly, with 2 separate buttons for it

- reasonably fast AF

Any feedback on how the 2 bodies compare here?   Are these things equally easy to do on both the cameras?

 

2/  I have been spoiled by the 45 degree Inon finder on my Canon, and am not really a big fan of using the EVF for assessing critical focus.    Even on the Fuji, I dont really find the EVF to be as good as an optical finder.     If I want to migrate my Inon, I should get the Isotta housing, but i am not sure about the quality of the ports there (or long-term system availability) - or spend extra for the Inon finder.       OTOH, if the EVF isnt that great for critical focusing, maybe i should just use the LCD screen instead.  Is it possible to do accurate focus checks that way?  Or is the EVF (flawed though it is) better?      

 

Any feedback on the above, from those of you who have been using it in the field?

 

3/  I have been using the 50mm Sigma macro lens as my macro/fish portrait lens (switching to a 100mm when i am going to be shooting only macro).    So i will be using the 60mm Sigma as my macro-specialty lens.    But has anyone used the 30mm macro lens as well?     How is that, from a working distance point of view (I suspect you need to get TOO close for it to be really useful for macro work)?    

 

4/  I was leaning towards the 9-18 as my generalist lens, for times when i dont have any specific shooting in mind.    The reason for this - i could get a Zen 170 dome cover, and use it with both this lens as well as the 8mm Olympus.     So saves carrying multiple ports when i travel.    Sound plan or would i better off getting the 4,33" port for the fisheye, and a separate port for the 9-18?

 

Any other tips or suggestions re things to keep in mind - something i may not have considered, but which would one would only become aware of after using the system? 

 

TIA!


DIVEIndia - Dive the Andaman Islands
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7D, Aquatica case, Inon 45 degree finder, 2 Inon Z240s, Stix arms, Tokina 10-17FE, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 50 macro, Canon 100 macro and Macromate 2x macro adapter


#2 boletus

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:40 AM

hi, i use the em5 mk1... now switched to em1 mk2...

 

for the em5 mk1...

 

yes, you can use the fn1 button for back button autofocus(but i never use it).

 

yes, you can shift focus point easily with the joystick(also change focus type without going inside the menu) .

 

yes, you can change aperture and shutter like a dslr.

 

yes, the em5 mk1 isn't the newest on the market  but the autofocus isn't slow... it's reliable and if its really dark you can use a small focus light....

 

i don't know  if em10 it's the same....

 

i don't use evf or a evf magnifier....  i use a nauticam  LCD magnifier with hand made fitting....  better than any viewfinder, it's like to look a real huge EVF... but isn't 45°, only 5 or 10°.... :-(

 

i use both.. 60mm macro and 30mm..... the difference is the same of using on a dslr 60mm and 100/105mm.....  i like more the 60mm but sometimes the 30mm is useful...

 

i never use 9-18... i don't know..... only Panasonic 8mm and now Olympus 8mm.... i think the zen 170mm is too long for the 8mm.... but i really don't know.... sorry...

 

now, in the classifield i'm selling an em5/nauticam set.....:-D :-D  

 

ciao

Fabio

  

 

 

 

 

 

 



#3 boletus

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:56 AM

My lcd magnifier..... 😉

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#4 vkalia

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 12:09 AM

Hello Fabio - thanks for that informative answer.   That was very useful.

 

So it seems as though i will be able to use the 30mm macro for underwater after all (except when i am going macro-only).   That's good to know, especially as i can use the same port for both, with a spacer ring.

 

The viewfinder i am still unsure about.    On one hand, there is the temptation to stick with what i know best and what has worked with me for all these years.     OTOH, if i am switching to this medium, it makes sense to use the new tech to its fullest (I have no particular sepia-toned love for old school just for the sake of being old-school).     And i am not sure how i will adjust to a 5-10 degree finder.      The 45 degree makes shooting so comfortable and a massive improvement over the regular VF - but i also assume i can hold this smaller body a bit further out and use the LCD as well.

 

Anyone else switched from DSLR to ILC and care to comment?


DIVEIndia - Dive the Andaman Islands
Instagram:  @vanditkalia

7D, Aquatica case, Inon 45 degree finder, 2 Inon Z240s, Stix arms, Tokina 10-17FE, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 50 macro, Canon 100 macro and Macromate 2x macro adapter


#5 boletus

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 01:26 AM

Hi, you can use 60mm with macro port 45+20mm ring and the 30mm Panasonic or Olympus with the macro port 45 alone!

For the viewfinder I understand your thoughts... the 45 its great especially for macro and I don’t think it’s old school....it’s a great piece of equipment...... for wide angle you can go straight with the lcd..
I don’t know if the inon 45 is adaptable to a nauticam housing... maybe with the optional back window... but I’m unsure...
Good luck!!


Hello Fabio - thanks for that informative answer.   That was very useful.
 
So it seems as though i will be able to use the 30mm macro for underwater after all (except when i am going macro-only).   That's good to know, especially as i can use the same port for both, with a spacer ring.
 
The viewfinder i am still unsure about.    On one hand, there is the temptation to stick with what i know best and what has worked with me for all these years.     OTOH, if i am switching to this medium, it makes sense to use the new tech to its fullest (I have no particular sepia-toned love for old school just for the sake of being old-school).     And i am not sure how i will adjust to a 5-10 degree finder.      The 45 degree makes shooting so comfortable and a massive improvement over the regular VF - but i also assume i can hold this smaller body a bit further out and use the LCD as well.
 
Anyone else switched from DSLR to ILC and care to comment?



#6 trimix125

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 03:20 AM

Hi,
would think about the 12 - 50mm as " no spezific dive lens" if you choose the port with gear for it. Same port works for the 60mm macro.
The 30mm is not long or wide enought for the most things ;-))

Regards,
Wolfgang



#7 troporobo

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 04:22 AM

I'm on the same side as Wolfgang. The Oly 12-50 is a great all round lens for UW, and if paired with a diopter like the Subsee is truly a one stop solution.


Of course the 60 macro and various WA options can be better in some situations. But it I had to choose just one it would be the 12-50.

FWIW, I use all of the above lenses without a viewfinder on the Housing, just the normal EVF, and like it.

#8 ChrisRoss

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 05:36 AM

I've been using the Em-5 MkII for about 18 months.  Answering your questions:

 

back button auto focus,:   you can program any of the buttons to AF Mine is set to use the video record button, which is activated by a thumb lever on my Nauticam housing

- ability to shift AF points directly (i'd really prefer not to push any buttons prior to doing that).  Just push the controller buttons to move AF points, I don't recall programming that so I assume that is default.  You can program them other purposes

- ability to change aperture and shutter directly, with 2 separate buttons for it.  This is done with the two top control dials in manual and you can swap SS and aperture between front and rear dials.  You have a switch which converts them ISO and exp comp and back again

- reasonably fast AF  AF is pretty good but can get slow in the macro range, a good focus light helps.

 

I use the Oly 60mm macro, nice sharp lens but MF is really not an option as it moves so slowly and then the gearing of the focus gear slow down further.  I'm considering trying the Panasonic 30mm macro, because I find the 60mm a bit long.  WHen I'm shooting macro being able to switch from a Nudi to 300mm long weedy sea dragon is helpful, the 60mm is too long for that, I just need to be too far back in temperate water with plenty of floaties about.  It is also reported to manually focus a bit faster but don't know that focus gears are available for it.  If you are worried about EVF focus you can program a button to activate focus peaking.

 

I'm not sure how it compares to the EM-10 but the 5 MkII has 4 function buttons you can program, you can program up to 4 presets, so I have a Manual flash and TTL flash preset programmed and switch between the two by programming the DOF preview button to switch between preset 1 and preset 2. 

 

I've been quite happy with the 5 MkII, though I have just upgraded to the EM-1 MkII for the better AF and the Nauticam housing for it has some nice features.  The Nauticam housings for the Olympus cameras are nicely thought out.  Have you considered the EM-1?

 

On lens choice the 12-40mm f2.8 is my do everything lens, very sharp and quick AF and at 40mm with 0.3x, gets better magnification than the 12-50 at 50mm unless you spend a fortune for the port which allows activation of the macro function.   I have it in the Zen 170 mm dome.  I also have the Pany 7-14 which works in the Zen dome but not used it much. 

 

On the subject of domes, don't believe the 170mm dome will work for the fisheye as it's not a 180° dome, it's a small segment of a larger radius dome. 

 

Can't help you on viewfinders except to say I'd like to try a 45° viewfinder, Nauticam version gets good reviews.


Edited by ChrisRoss, 19 October 2017 - 05:40 AM.


#9 boletus

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 06:26 AM

Wolfgang i disagree.... the 30mm it's a good lens(really cheap)... you can do real macro(not super) and also fish portrait like the canikon 60mm..... and with bad viz is really useful.... if the subjekt let you go close its a joy to use.... i prefer the 60mm... but sometimes the 30mm it's the right lens.... 
 
just a real 30mm macro example... 
 
 37434652190_8f9c2b304d_b.jpg_8144464 by boletus.italy, su Flickr
 
37402845932_cb36064164_b.jpg_8010993 by boletus.italy, su Flickr
 

The 30mm is not long or wide enought for the most things ;-))

Regards,
Wolfgang


Edited by boletus, 19 October 2017 - 08:34 AM.


#10 Architeuthis

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:03 AM

Hi Vkalia,

 

I cannot compare to other systems, I have the EM5MII since half a year. But I can comment on dome/lens choice:

 

ad 4) (WA photography): I use the Zuiko 8mm FE and Panasonic 7-14mm with the zen DP170 (N120 version). For the FE I use a coustom made 30mm extension (adapts also N120 to N85)) and for the Pana 7-14mm the Nauticam 60mm N85-N120 adapter.

 

=> FE: The results with the FE are good (I cannot compare to other domeports, but I guess the image quality is more or less similar, irrespective of domeport (CrissCross'es argumentation on DP170 and FE is correct, but in practice it seems not to matter much)). The 170 dome is perfect for split pictures, but when you want to come close the port is often in the way. On the mid term (maybe next year), I will probably also acquire a smaller port, such as Zen DP100 to make CFWA easier (according to Phil Rudin in another tread here, the image quality with 8mm FE is, in practice, more or less identical with large and small ports).

 

=>7-14mm: The results with the rectilinear 7-14 are, at 7mm are, at most, just ad satisfaction. And only when you do not come too close, close aperture and the angle of view is central. At longer focal length the results are better, but still not very good. The lens performs much better on the surface, the bad image quality comes from the domeport (according to some posters (amongst them Phil Rudin) the inage quality improves a little with larger ports as Zen DP200, but by far is not perfect).

Hence your proposal to use the Zuiko 9-18mm may not be so wrong, probably no difference in image quality compared to the 7-14mm, but you loose 7-8mm (where the quality is worse, anyhow), but gain the 15-18mm range. As also some others state, I use the 7-14mm seldom (in case I expect creatures that to not let me to come too close) and by far prefer the 8mm FE.

 

=> 170mm dome choice: I acquired the N120 version of the DP170, since one needs the large diameter for the Zuiko 7-14mm and when purchasing I was not shure which lens to take. Now I am happy I decided for the panasonic 7-14mm, as the surface image quality of the lens does not matter for this configuration as it is detoriated so much underwater by the port (and according to Photozone review both Zuiko and panasonic 7-14mm perform very similar above the surface, but the Zuiko is much larger, heavier and even more expensive).

=> If you are not out for the Zuiko 7-14mm, the regular N85 version of the DP170 is perfect (the one with 30mm built in extension (beware of version II, this has 60mm built in, what is too much for the FE!)): you can use it just as it is for Zuiko 8mm FE (but not panasonic 8mm FE!) and with a regular 30mm extension (N85) for both panasonic 7-14mm and Zuiko 9-18mm.

 

=> I also have the Zuiko 12-40mm and image quality is very good with DP170 with 60mm extension. I have to say I use it rarely, as 12mm is often not wide enough and 40mm not as good as the dedicated panasonic 45mm Macro (or the Zuiko 60mm of my wife). But maybe my habits will change as my experience growths... :)

 

=> For Macro I recommend the Zuiko 60mm over the panasonic 45mm (that I have) as the 60mm has a knob to limit AF range to macro range (45mm does not have this knob) and this makes AF substantially faster. Otherwise both lenses are very good (I use Nauticam 45 macro port and occasionally 20mm extension (for 60mm)).

 

I will post example images for WA later...

 

Wolfgang



#11 ChrisRoss

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 08:02 PM

There's a confusing array of options depending on which way you would like to go on lenses this is a port chart from the Zen website:

 

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

 

According to this you can use the Zen 170 dome (not type II) with both the Panasonic 7-14 (with 30mm extension) and the Olympus 8mm FE (bare) but not the Oly 12-40 which needs the type II version with built in extension as the lock mechanism inside the Nauticam extensions won't allow the 12-40mm to fit.  I assume you are going with Nauticam housing (the Zen 170 dome is made in Nauitcam, Sea&Sea and Subal mounts).

 

From what I can see you have three 170mm Zen ports, the N85 with 30mm extension, the N85 Type II with 30mm added extension and the N120 which appears to have no extension.  To get a multi purpose setup with one dome is difficult, extension required is as follows:

 

8mm Olympus:  30mm  obtained by:  N85 dome

7-14mm Pany:    60mm  obtained by:  N85 type II dome or N120 dome plus 60mm N85-N120 adapter

9-18mm:              60mm obtained by:  N85 type II dome or N120 dome plus 60mm N85-N120 adapter

12-40mm:             60mm  obtained by:  N85 type II dome or N120 dome plus 60mm N85-N120 adapter

 

You can get 41.5, 47, 50, 55 60, 65 mm N85-N120 adapters, but not 30mm so using the 8mm in the N120 port requires the custom adapter that Wolfgang mentions.  Soyou could do everything but macro with the 170 dome, the 60mm n85-120 and custom 30mm n85-120.

 

As far as the 12-40mm goes, it's utility depends i think on what you shoot, I find it great for fish in my local temperate waters and I can do larger semi-macro subjects as well.  In the tropics, I have not dived much but found it very nice on Ningaloo reef for fish, fishscapes etc and I've also dived in the Gulf of Thailand around Samaesan where in the cloudier water it works well for fish and larger nudis etc.



#12 Architeuthis

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:31 PM

I see, according to Criss Cross'es chart-link, the Zuiko 12-40mm will also not work with the DP170-N85. But both the Panasonic 7-14mm and the Zuiko 9-18mm will. The similar Panasonic 12-35mm will work, however. Or one goes for the DP170-N120 plus 30mm D&D adapter (works well and is not extremely expensive: https://www.unterwas...ter-30mm.html).

 

Below come some example photos...



#13 Architeuthis

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:34 PM

Olympus EM5-MII / Nauticam NA5MII / Zuiko 8mm FE 1.8 / Zen DP170-N120 / 30mm Extension (D&D N85-N120 30mm Adapter). 2* YS-D2 strobes.

both 1/250 / f9.0 / ISO 200
 

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#14 Architeuthis

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:39 PM

Olympus EM5-MII / Nauticam NA5MII / Panasonic 7-14mm 4.0 / Zen DP170-N120 / 60mm Extension (Nauticam N85-N120 60mm Adapter). 2* YS-D2 strobes.

@7mm / 1/250 / f8.0 / ISO 200


Olympus EM5-MII / Nauticam NA5MII / Panasonic 7-14mm 4.0 / Zen DP170-N120 / 60mm Extension (Nauticam N85-N120 60mm Adapter). 2* YS-D2 strobes.

@14mm / 1/250 / f8.0 / ISO 200

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  • P9040061.jpg
  • P9050038-2.jpg


#15 Architeuthis

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:47 PM

Here I forgot to close the aperture (little bit too much nitrogen :mocking: ?). Was wondering while the flshes where so powerful...

Olympus EM5-MII / Nauticam NA5MII / Panasonic 7-14mm 4.0 / Zen DP170-N120 / 60mm Extension (Nauticam N85-N120 60mm Adapter). 2* YS-D2 strobes.

@7mm / 1/200 / f4.0 / ISO 200
 


Olympus EM5-MII / Nauticam NA5MII / Panasonic 7-14mm 4.0 / Zen DP170-N120 / 60mm Extension (Nauticam N85-N120 60mm Adapter). 2* YS-D2 strobes.

@14mm / 1/200 / f4.0 / ISO 200


The second image above is Olympus EM5-MII / Nauticam NA5MII / Panasonic 7-14mm 4.0 / Zen DP170-N120 / 60mm Extension (Nauticam N85-N120 60mm Adapter). 2* YS-D2 strobes.

@14mm / 1/200 / f4.0 / ISO 200

 

And "flashes" not "flshes"...

 

Wolfgang :laugh:

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  • P9060064-2.jpg


#16 vkalia

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:30 AM

Thank you everyone for the information.

 

@wolfgang, @troprobo, @Architeuthis - thanks for the suggestion of the 12-40/50.      That's actually a pretty good idea as well, and you are right, that focal length is probably a little more useful for fish portraits than a 9-18 I'd probably go for the 12-50 lens as it is cheaper and i will be using it stopped down to f8 anyway.     And if i go this route, a 60mm macro probably makes most sense as well.    My only concern  here is that 24mm plus a flat port isnt much of a wide angle at all - if there was a 9/10m to 24/25mm, that would be oh-so-epic.   But in the grand scheme of things, this isnt such a big issue as the generalist lens wont get as much use.

 

@ChrisRoss - thanks for that info re the practical side of shooting with the 60mm.   With my Canon 100mm, i have an Aquatica focus ring on it and so use MF mostly.  Thanks to USM, i can always go to AF if need be but i have rarely needed to.   The Sigma 50 i use hunts worse like a starving lion but does give 1:1 so i put up with it - but i wont be upset to see its back.

 

Re camera - I did consider the EM1 but honestly, would prefer a cheaper body.  I cut my teeth shooting wildlife with 9AF points, so I dont really need a lot of technology to help me get the shots.  I  bought a 1DMk2 for wildlife when it came out, and now shoot with a 80D - so I generally prefer not to spend a lot on camera bodies, other than for a sensible interface.   That philosophy sort of carries over to underwater as well.   In fact, I am hoping that you guys would tell me that the EM10 also allows the same degree of manual controls  :) 

 

Also:  i did read on Zen's website about the Mk1 vs Mk2 170 port, but i figured the compatibility differences was just a little carelessnes on their part.  I didnt realize that same WA port that fits the FE wont fit any of the rectilinear WAs. 

 

What I am leaning towards right now is:

- 8mm, 4.33" FE port, 60mm, 30mm, 12-50 and the macro port to start with

If the 12-50 proves to be insufficient, i can add a 9-18 and the 170 Mk2 port for the generalist use case.   However, since i have shot exclusively with a Tokina 10-17FE and a 50 or 100mm macro, I dont think i will need this last combo.

 

As for finders - the Inon cant be installed on the Nauticam (I remember reading somewhere that it could, but 2 separate Nauticam dealers have told me it cannot), so i will have to pony over the $1000 for that.    Maybe i will just shoot with the LCD first for a bit and see how i like it.

 

Much obliged for all the info, gents.


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7D, Aquatica case, Inon 45 degree finder, 2 Inon Z240s, Stix arms, Tokina 10-17FE, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 50 macro, Canon 100 macro and Macromate 2x macro adapter


#17 boletus

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:51 AM

vkalia better the em5 mk1 than the em10 mk1..... the em5 have a tropicalized body and a better stabilizer 5axis vs 3 axis and maximum sync speed is 1/250 vs 1/200........ for the same  stabilizer and sync speed you need the em10 mk2... ;-)

 

ps:i do some shot with the cheap 12-32 Panasonic lens but behind the nauticam 3.5 semi dome port... not bad....



#18 bvanant

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:52 AM

I am shooting the em-1-II and have shot the em-1 and the em-5.  I am shooting with the Inon 45 finder so I suspect that your nauticam dealers were trying to sell you the nauticam finder. I have the Nauticam 45 as well (often take two housings along). In fact you can buy the Inon 45 finder for Nauticam housings from Divervision for $500.

http://www.divervisi...b_category=true

 

Cheers Bill


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#19 Griff

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 06:25 PM

Why dont you look at a Canon 200D in an Ikelite housing? Very small and compact and can use your existing Tokina and Canon macro lens or get the very good Canon 60mm macro.
I used to use a Canon 700D in a Nauticam but switched to an Olympus EM1 and a EM10 for my wife. Both are great and controls underwater are nearly the same but the EM1 has a better trigger. Never used a finder and always use the EVF and again the bigger EVF in the EM1 has the advantage. The Oly 60mm can be used on its own or with a macro diopter for even greater super macro. I have the Nauticam CMC and while tricky to use gives you 2:1 magnification. You cant use the CMC with the 30mm macro lenses as they are too far from the port glass. The 60mm is made for the Macro 60 port.
I also have the Oly 8mm FE and the Pany 7-14 behind the Nauticam acrylic ports but the Oly 8mm is the one Id recommend.
So why do I suggest the 200D ikelite combo? The main drawbacks of the Olympus are battery life, about 2.5 dives on a 3 dive boat trip so you end up taking less pictures to conserve battery or run the risk of opening the housing and swapping the battery. The EM1 mk2 has much better battery life and so does the Pany GH4 or GH5.
Also the Oly EM1 in Nauticam with macro lens and port is only 1.5kg lighter than the 700D in Nauticam with lens and port (but also less bulky). But the strobes, arms, focus lights, GoPro etc etc weigh the same so you end up with a 5 to 6kg system as opposed to a 6.5 to 7.5kg system.
The Canon 200D Ikelite is the same size and weight as their Olympus and Panasonic housings but you dont have to buy new lenses. Hope this helps.

#20 vkalia

vkalia

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 01:30 AM

vkalia better the em5 mk1 than the em10 mk1..... the em5 have a tropicalized body and a better stabilizer 5axis vs 3 axis and maximum sync speed is 1/250 vs 1/200........ for the same  stabilizer and sync speed you need the em10 mk2... ;-)

 

ps:i do some shot with the cheap 12-32 Panasonic lens but behind the nauticam 3.5 semi dome port... not bad....

 

Sorry, i should have been clear- i will be getting the most recent version of either the 5 or 10 series.   So EM10 Mk3  or maybe wait for the EM5 Mk3 early next year.


DIVEIndia - Dive the Andaman Islands
Instagram:  @vanditkalia

7D, Aquatica case, Inon 45 degree finder, 2 Inon Z240s, Stix arms, Tokina 10-17FE, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 50 macro, Canon 100 macro and Macromate 2x macro adapter