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Oly pen body and a nikonos lenses...


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#1 riodda

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 01:21 PM

It's quite intersting indeed, i'm quite curious !
I hope it's not wapour-hard-ware !
http://www.piratepro.com/faq.htm

#2 rtrski

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 03:02 PM

It's quite intersting indeed, i'm quite curious !
I hope it's not wapour-hard-ware !
http://www.piratepro.com/faq.htm


Thanks for posting - that's actually very intriguing. Sounds like they're just in the prototype stage, but hope to have one for hands-on at DEMA. One would have to set the lens aperture and focus manually but could use aperture-priority in the camera to set exposure, with EC settings even as adjustments. EP1 'slower' focus than the Panasonic therefore doesn't matter...but in-body IS becomes a significant advantage.

Looks like the housing CAD mockup pictures include a bump for the EP1 hotshoe-mount flash for optical syncing, with twin ports for FO cabling. All in all, pretty impressive concept. Not sure how much I'd like having to manual focus all the time, but if the Nikonos lens optics are that much better than domed lenses, that's a clear tradeoff someone with the appropriate skill level (ahem, so perhaps not me?? :) ) would be able to make.

Might try and see if I can check it out at DEMA, if I'm able.

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#3 riodda

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 07:08 AM

Thanks for posting - that's actually very intriguing. Sounds like they're just in the prototype stage, but hope to have one for hands-on at DEMA. One would have to set the lens aperture and focus manually but could use aperture-priority in the camera to set exposure, with EC settings even as adjustments. EP1 'slower' focus than the Panasonic therefore doesn't matter...but in-body IS becomes a significant advantage.

Looks like the housing CAD mockup pictures include a bump for the EP1 hotshoe-mount flash for optical syncing, with twin ports for FO cabling. All in all, pretty impressive concept. Not sure how much I'd like having to manual focus all the time, but if the Nikonos lens optics are that much better than domed lenses, that's a clear tradeoff someone with the appropriate skill level (ahem, so perhaps not me?? :) ) would be able to make.

Might try and see if I can check it out at DEMA, if I'm able.

If you manage to see it please poste some shots :)

#4 rtrski

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 09:59 AM

Will do...Shana posted a response to my request to see it; I just have to coordinate with all the real WP reps to make sure I'm not somehow bypassing protocol in some way, as I'm going to assist with Booth duties and gawk, on sufferance vs. because I'm a deserving member of the professional community. :)

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#5 echeng

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 11:07 AM

I wrote to Pirate Pro -- their sales email address, and the email bounced. I hope to find them at DEMA, though! We'll definitely cover the product, if there is one...
eric cheng
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#6 rtrski

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 11:10 AM

I wrote to Pirate Pro -- their sales email address, and the email bounced. I hope to find them at DEMA, though! We'll definitely cover the product, if there is one...


Eric: If Shana emails me I'll make sure to forward to you if I can. As I said, I'm hoping to help, not get in the way of the pros... kinda hard to learn when I'm blocking your light. (Gee Rich, suck up much?? :) )

I also saw she & their engineer were posting quite a bit in the Digital Nikonos thread so you can probably ping them thru their WP profile?

Rgds,

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Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#7 davelew

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:27 PM

I wrote to Pirate Pro -- their sales email address, and the email bounced. I hope to find them at DEMA, though! We'll definitely cover the product, if there is one...


Eric,

Shana (who gets the sales@piratepro.com emails) will email you back tonight. We've been doing some work on the website and email server to try to get the final versions live. We weren't supposed to lose any emails during the switchover, but I'm not surprised that it happened.

I expect the last part of the prototype in my hands by Monday, November 2nd. That will be (barely) in time for me to bring it to DEMA. With luck, I'll even have time to post some pictures here before packing it up for the show.

David Lewinnek
david@piratepro.com
www.piratepro.com

#8 echeng

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 01:01 PM

Fantastic, Dave! I look forward to the email. I definitely want to check out the prototype parts!
eric cheng
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www | journal | photos


#9 davelew

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 06:41 PM

Fantastic, Dave! I look forward to the email. I definitely want to check out the prototype parts!


I've assembled the first Nikonos lens compatible PiratePro housing. Keep in mind that this is what is known in product development as a "cactus". It was built to prove that we had solved the technical challenges but without any ergonomic refinements. It is a fully functional prototype, but it has the ergonomics of, well, a cactus. The production version will have things like rubber grips and better labels on the buttons.

I don't have any high-quality studio pictures of the prototype, but here's what I have from draping a whitish sheet over a box in my workshop:

Posted Image

Posted Image

I never realized quite how poor the lighting was in my workshop until I tried taking these photos...

David Lewinnek
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www.piratepro.com

#10 Deep6

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 11:00 AM

It is a fully functional prototype, but it has the ergonomics of, well, a cactus. David Lewinnek
david@piratepro.com
www.piratepro.com


David,
Not to worry too much; the first transistor was a bit "prickely" also.
Click Here!
Bob

Edited by Deep6, 01 November 2009 - 11:00 AM.

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#11 Undertow

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 02:28 PM

my main concern is the loss of FOV of the original nikonos lenses, mainly the 15mm. while widely considered the best UW optic ever made, its original FOV is 94 degrees, but only 58 with the oly camera. 70 aparantly with some adapter that i assume adds another optical element into the equation.

losing a significant amount of coverage, to me, makes the system not even worth considering. I wish it could be done with a full frame rangefinder camera, though i think the leicas are the only ones available. These are obviously too expensive to base this business concept upon.

I do think its an awesome idea and these guys seem the only ones to take on this challenge, so big up to them. I will be keeping a keen eye out for more affordable full frame rangefinder cameras in the future in hopes these guys will jump on them to release the full digital potential of the nikonos lenses (and will have worked out the conceptual kinks with the oly). until then i'll be keeping my 15mm tucked away in a safe spot.....

chris
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#12 Giles

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 04:09 PM

Interesting choice the optically fired strobes.

You would have thought if you are aiming a product at people who still have and want to use Nikonos lenses then surely they would have a non optical strobe they would want to use as well.

Either way .. still great to see someone finally doing what everyone asked for since they disappeared. Whether or not people will still want it I do not know but I do remember everyone who loved Nikonos being very upset when they ended. I was just happy to not have to process anybodys slide film again !!

RS system available too?
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#13 Deep6

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:50 PM

my main concern is the loss of FOV of the original nikonos lenses, mainly the 15mm. while widely considered the best UW optic ever made, its original FOV is 94 degrees, but only 58 with the oly camera. 70 aparantly with some adapter that i assume adds another optical element into the equation.

losing a significant amount of coverage, to me, makes the system not even worth considering. I wish it could be done with a full frame rangefinder camera, though i think the leicas are the only ones available. These are obviously too expensive to base this business concept upon.

I do think its an awesome idea and these guys seem the only ones to take on this challenge, so big up to them. I will be keeping a keen eye out for more affordable full frame rangefinder cameras in the future in hopes these guys will jump on them to release the full digital potential of the nikonos lenses (and will have worked out the conceptual kinks with the oly). until then i'll be keeping my 15mm tucked away in a safe spot.....

chris

I sold my 20 mm, but still have the 15, 28, & 35. It took soooo long to bake it; I just can't bear to sell the 15. Samsung should be coming out with a APSC size compact camera soon (SX-10?). IMHO, Canon or Nikon can quash the M4/3 with a small, trim DX compact. May be not wide enough but could be a fair back up. Awfuly hard to give up a 10-17 FE zoom.
Bob

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#14 davelew

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:49 AM

my main concern is the loss of FOV of the original nikonos lenses, mainly the 15mm. while widely considered the best UW optic ever made, its original FOV is 94 degrees, but only 58 with the oly camera. 70 aparantly with some adapter that i assume adds another optical element into the equation.

losing a significant amount of coverage, to me, makes the system not even worth considering. I wish it could be done with a full frame rangefinder camera, though i think the leicas are the only ones available. These are obviously too expensive to base this business concept upon.

I do think its an awesome idea and these guys seem the only ones to take on this challenge, so big up to them. I will be keeping a keen eye out for more affordable full frame rangefinder cameras in the future in hopes these guys will jump on them to release the full digital potential of the nikonos lenses (and will have worked out the conceptual kinks with the oly). until then i'll be keeping my 15mm tucked away in a safe spot.....

chris


The short response to your issue i that, even with a full frame sensor, the Nikonos 15mm lens would be inadequate as a wideangle lens (and this comes from someone who's such a fan of the Nikonos 15mm that I founded a new division of my company to make a digital camera to use that lens!).

Here's the long response:

We did a survey of the 20 wideangle photos that won, placed and showed in a recent issue of Wetpixel Quarterly.

65% of photos were taken with a fixed focal length fisheye lens with 160+ degree field of view (mostly the Nikon 10.5mm with a DX-format sensor, the rest using the Canon 15mm with a full-frame sensor).
15% of photos were taken with a Tokina 10-17 zoom fisheye lens, which has more than 160 degrees FOV at it's widest focal length.
20% of photos were taken with a different lens (5% each for the Canon 14mm rectilinear, Nikon 12-24, Nikon 14-24 and Nikon 17-35).

The vast majority (80%) of winning photos were either taken with a 160 degree FOV, or taken using a zoom lens that could go that wide. When we compare this to the 94 degree field of view that the Nikonos 15mm lens would have when used with a full-frame sensor, the conclusion is obvious: the beloved 15mm Nikonos lens is no longer a wideangle lens. The market, the culture of photography, and the definition of a wideangle lens, have all moved on. A 94 degree field of view is no longer adequate for a camera system's widest wideangle offering, especially when most consumer digicams have accessories that allow them to go wider than 100 degrees.

As we have tested our prototype housings, we have to come to the conclusion that we have built a truly FANTASTIC underwater photography system for fish portraits (15mm Nikonos), macro (28mm Nikonos) and supermacro (80mm Nikonos). The prototype is not fantastic at wide-angle photography, which is what we expect from looking at the winners of online photo contests.

The solution to this issue came from a joke made by Dietmar Fuchs, the editor of Unterwasser magazine. Dietmar heard that I could use an optical trick to make a 20mm lens act like a 16mm lens on the PiratePro system. He said, "If you can make it work like an 8mm lens, I'll fly to Boston and buy one in person!" This got me thinking about 8mm lenses. It turns out, there is a widely available 8mm fisheye lens that will work with an E-P1 camera: the Olympus 8mm Four-Thirds fisheye lens, used with the FT-to-MFT adapter (Olympus is coming out with an 8mm lens dedicated to the MFT system early next year). That lens will give the E-P1 camera the 160 to 180 degree field of view required to meet the modern definition of wideangle, and there is even a dome port already designed to work with it. We are modifying our design slightly, so that it can work with either a Nikonos lens (eliminating the distortion normally seen with flat ports) or an MFT lens behind a dome port -- right now we are investigating whether to support any port systems other than the Athena ports designed around the Olympus FT lenses.

David Lewinnek
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www.piratepro.com

#15 DesertEagle

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 08:59 AM

90 degrees is still considered wide angle. To be frank, a lot of people shooting with the fisheyes are too far away. Even shooting a Nikonos 15 I've found that you still easy to be too far away.
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