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Olympus E-PL1,with underwater housing


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#61 Ryan

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 04:23 AM

Maybe consider making port-adapters to fit other housings for CFWA??


This is a different lens design, not a full hemisphere as is required for full frame fish eye lenses, and there aren't many lenses for conventional dslr that would image well with this dome. It does work extremely well with m4/3, and I expect will work well with other 4/3 and E- mount lenses.

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#62 Phil Rudin

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 08:06 AM

Hi Ajay,

I have been shooting this camera/housing combo for about three months now and now have hundreds of images using the 42 mm end of the zoom lens and zoom lens with Inon close-up lens. First image quality far exceeds digicams, the 4/3 sensor is about five times larger than most digicam sensors and excels for the same reasons a 35 mm sensor excels over a 4/3 sensor. Focus speed with this lens is better than the digicams I have used and I suspect that the more expensive lenses like the 9 to 18 zoom will be on par with entry level DSLR's.

The main upside to the E-PL1 system over the G11 system is the expandability of the system. Lenses now include the 7 to 14, 9 to 18, 45 macro and more. A 50 macro is coming from Olympus and an 8 mm fisheye will arrive soon. These lenses will require after market dome ports like the ZenUnderwater.com 100 mm port for the 9 to 18 zoom. Once the investment in lenses and port has been made camera and housing upgrades don't seem as painful. I have had the E-300, E-330, E-410, E-520 and E-3 and have used the same lenses and ports for all the upgrades.

Making comparisons with digicams that use add-on lenses for macro and wide-angle is a bit like making them with DSLR systems.

It makes more sense to me compare the Olympus E-PL1/housing system to other interchangeable lens camera/housing systems where it excels in the image quality V. cost. I have been an SLR/DSLR shooter for many years and it has been hard for me to make the transition from a proper viewfinder ( I shoot the Olympus E-3 in a SeaTool housing with an Inon 45 degree viewfinder ) to the LCD screen system. I was not able to do it with the E-330 or any of the other Olympus live-view DSLR's going forward. With the E-PL1 system I have become quite adept at using the LDC and I am enjoying the upsides of the LCD system.

This system won't replace my E-3 but it sure is nice to have such a light and easy to control system that produces publishable quality images at such a low entry level cost. To me this is the best entry level interchangeable lens underwater system in todays market.

Phil Rudin

#63 fotoscubo714

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 08:37 PM

This is a different lens design, not a full hemisphere as is required for full frame fish eye lenses, and there aren't many lenses for conventional dslr that would image well with this dome. It does work extremely well with m4/3, and I expect will work well with other 4/3 and E- mount lenses.


So this port will not be suitable for the new Panasonic LUMIX G FISHEYE 8mm / F3.5 then, and this micro4/3 FE would require a (new-mount) Zen DP100 instead?

Bo

Edited by fotoscubo714, 04 July 2010 - 08:50 PM.

7D and Oly E-PL1 (yet 2b housed) , D10 in upgraded Ike;
Sigma, Tokina and Tamron lenses.
Vintage film NikIII, 35mm & 2.1/4 housings.

#64 ajay

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Posted 04 July 2010 - 11:32 PM

Hi Ajay,

I have been shooting this camera/housing combo for about three months now and now have hundreds of images using the 42 mm end of the zoom lens and zoom lens with Inon close-up lens. ...
Focus speed with this lens is better than the digicams I have used and I suspect that the more expensive lenses like the 9 to 18 zoom will be on par with entry level DSLR's.


Thanks Phil, for the quick response (I am headed to Lambeh in 2 weeks :-)! I'm pretty sure (and as you confirm) that IQ will beat G11 for most shooting. Here's a couple of examples which I have difficulty with AF on every digicam I used:
1. Ribbon eels, or clownfish -- I want to use macro mode, so DoF is small, but by the time AF locks, they've moved.
2. I had also difficulty with G11 shooting sharks during my S Africa trip -- again, because they're moving fairly quick.

If the Oly works better for these type of situations, it's already worth the extra cost.

The main upside to the E-PL1 system over the G11 system is the expandability of the system. Lenses now include the 7 to 14, 9 to 18, 45 macro and more. ...


Do you know if the Pany 14-45 can fit into the port of the Oly housing ? If it can, I _may_ be able to modify the Oly zoom gear and kludge together a better solution (or do you think the Oly 14-42 matches the Pany 14-45 ?). I think both lenses are ~60mm dia..

... I have been an SLR/DSLR shooter for many years and it has been hard for me to make the transition from a proper viewfinder ( I shoot the Olympus E-3 in a SeaTool housing with an Inon 45 degree viewfinder ) to the LCD screen system. I was not able to do it with the E-330 or any of the other Olympus live-view DSLR's going forward. With the E-PL1 system I have become quite adept at using the LDC and I am enjoying the upsides of the LCD system....

Phil Rudin


Grin, my situation is (obviously) the opposite -- got used to LCD, happy to live with it. I agree with your point about being able to upgrade the system, e.g. by getting different ports/lenses; but it seems newer generations of cameras are still improving so rapidly... I am pretty sure 2 years down the line I will be tempted to get a new cam (and so, housing) rather than merely adding a new port.

Thanks again for your thoughts !
Ajay.

Edited by ajay, 04 July 2010 - 11:35 PM.


#65 Ryan

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 04:48 AM

So this port will not be suitable for the new Panasonic LUMIX G FISHEYE 8mm / F3.5 then, and this micro4/3 FE would require a (new-mount) Zen DP100 instead?


Yes, I expect so. As the 8mm is still not shipping in the US, we have not been able to design a dome for it yet. I am hopeful that our 100mm hemispheric dome used in DP100 will be a good match for that lens.

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#66 Phil Rudin

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 07:34 AM

Hi Ajay,

First we have a difference in shooting styles, for macro I would be shooting in manual and DOF would be a result of the F/stop chosen. For sharks I would auto focus on my fin or a fixed object from two to three feet away and then lock in manual. At F/8 or so when the sharks are in shooting range I will be able to shoot away and the sharks should be in focus without a need to continually try to lock focus in AF.

I would agree that the Pany 14 to 45 zoom at about twice the cost should be a sharper lens than the Olympus "kit" lens. Problem is that the Oly camera will not apply some of the lens distortion features applied by the Pany cameras. I think the lens will fit the port but would defer to Ryan or others who may have tried it. Don't know if the Oly gear would fit.


For 95% of my shooting I use three lenses, the Olympus 50 macro (with 1.4 & 2X tele converters and 67 mm close-up lenses) the 7 to 14 zoom and the 8 mm fisheye. I have owned these lenses and the dome/macro ports that go with them for over seven years now. I have changed cameras and housings five times, ending with the SeaTool for the E-3. Cost wise these upgrades have been much less costly than moving from brand to brand and the results have more than exceeded my needs. Upgrading to the next Olympus Pen/housing combo will be far less than any DSLR system change would be.

I would suggest you settle on your lens and ports needs, (the ZEN dome port for the M4/3 9 to 18 zoom is looking good to me as my wide angle choice for this system) so that if you upgrade to a new camera/housing combo in two years you won't need to change anything else.

Phil Rudin

#67 fotoscubo714

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 07:24 PM

Yes, I expect so. As the 8mm is still not shipping in the US, we have not been able to design a dome for it yet. I am hopeful that our 100mm hemispheric dome used in DP100 will be a good match for that lens.


Thanks for answering my questions Ryan :notworthy: .

I saw the E-PL1 with a $75 instant rebate (for only 7 days ending on Sat), so I bit the bullet on getting one from B&H for $428 (with free shipping). I figured that if I don't like it, I should have no problem selling it.

Bo

Edited by fotoscubo714, 05 July 2010 - 07:57 PM.

7D and Oly E-PL1 (yet 2b housed) , D10 in upgraded Ike;
Sigma, Tokina and Tamron lenses.
Vintage film NikIII, 35mm & 2.1/4 housings.

#68 ajay

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 05:58 AM

Hi Ajay,

First we have a difference in shooting styles, for macro I would be shooting in manual and DOF would be a result of the F/stop chosen. For sharks I would auto focus on my fin or a fixed object from two to three feet away and then lock in manual. At F/8 or so when the sharks are in shooting range I will be able to shoot away and the sharks should be in focus without a need to continually try to lock focus in AF.
....

Phil Rudin


Hi Phil,

Typically I also run in Av (and sometimes Tv)-mode for macro situations, but in the end never achieved the skill level (nor the creature-cooperation level) and it all ends up in percentage play (take a lot, keep a few).
I like the pre-focus on fin trick, will try next time. Anyway, you've given me the little bit of extra push I needed to jump back to Oly -- the EP01 and accessories are on their way, courtesy of the good Mr Yuzo. The camera I'll pick up locally in a day or two. Next month, I'll post my first experience with this set (barring mishaps) from my trip to Lambeh area.

Once again, I thank you for the info, and if ever we run into each other at some dive stop, I owe you a beer,

best,
Ajay.

#69 manta ray

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 06:01 PM

Hello everyone,
It's been a very long time since I posted anything so here goes. Currently I use a Oly 410 with PT-E03 housing. I've taken some really great pictures with it but traveling with it (and I don't have all the the ports and second strobe yet) is getting to be a real pain. So I am also interested in a smaller setup but won't give quality. The port on the Oly EPL1 housing does come off even though Oly says it doesn't. Zen Under Water even makes a dome for the 9-18mm lens. Below is a picture they sent me on request. Hope this helps.

DSC0013.jpg


with_dome.jpg


Buddy_s_Pier.jpg

#70 davephdv

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 09:14 PM

I'm curious. Olympus says the port is not removable. Clearly it is. But is mechanism by which the port is attached to the housing sturdy enough to repeatedly change ports from macro to wide angle? Considering the port was not designed to be changed?
Dave Burroughs, Nikon D300, D2X, Subal housing, DS160 strobes

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#71 Ryan

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 05:35 AM

I'm curious. Olympus says the port is not removable. Clearly it is. But is mechanism by which the port is attached to the housing sturdy enough to repeatedly change ports from macro to wide angle? Considering the port was not designed to be changed?


Clearly this is something that we'd take into account before going through the effort of designing and building an accessory dome. The port mount system is a 90 degree bayonet, similarly rugged to bayonets used in many dslr systems, and those have been proven to be quite reliable over time.

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#72 manta ray

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 04:19 AM

Athena is making its own housing for the EPL1 but without viewfinder. They are also making assoeries for the EPL1 Oly housing.
Athena website
PDF of EPL1 Athena suff.
http://www.athena-op...for Olympus.pdf

#73 Phil Rudin

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Posted 13 August 2010 - 05:13 AM

The Athena housing is for the E-P1 & E-P2 different cameras from the E-PL1 camera.

I own the Athena port addapter which allows for use of existing Athena/Olympus porst and new port that are coming for additional lenses. If you are already an owner of some of these ports for the Olympus, Nexus or SeaTool DSLR cameras this may be a way for you to go. If not the ZEN Underwater PEN port that supports the Olympus 14 to 42 zoom and 9 to 18 zoom lenses is the best way to go. It has a 100 mm coated optical glass port and has great image quality V. compactness.

Some images with the ZEN port can be found here, http://www.scubaboar...me-results.html

Phil Rudin

#74 altsaint

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Posted 15 August 2010 - 02:50 AM

Apologies for posting an inappropriate complement - I should have read the accompanying text to Manta Ray's last but-one post.

Edited by altsaint, 15 August 2010 - 08:34 AM.


#75 manta ray

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 06:34 PM

The Athena housing is for the E-P1 & E-P2 different cameras from the E-PL1 camera.

I own the Athena port addapter which allows for use of existing Athena/Olympus porst and new port that are coming for additional lenses. If you are already an owner of some of these ports for the Olympus, Nexus or SeaTool DSLR cameras this may be a way for you to go. If not the ZEN Underwater PEN port that supports the Olympus 14 to 42 zoom and 9 to 18 zoom lenses is the best way to go. It has a 100 mm coated optical glass port and has great image quality V. compactness.

Some images with the ZEN port can be found here, http://www.scubaboar...me-results.html

Phil Rudin


So the Zen 100mm port would will work with the the Seatool and my PT-E03 housing? I have the 9-18 and 14-42 lens.

#76 Phil Rudin

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:06 AM

No Manta, that is not what I am talking about. Once again Athena makes an adapter ring that fits the Olympus PT-EP01 housing for the E-PL1 "PEN" camera. With the adapter mounted to the PEN housing ports from Olympus, Inon and Athena made for the Olympus DSLR housings (from Olympus, (SeaTool and Nexus for E-3) can be mounted on the PEN housing.

The ZEN Underwater Pen port (100 mm) fits only the PEN housing.

Phil Rudin

#77 slowhands

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 12:52 PM

No Manta, that is not what I am talking about. Once again Athena makes an adapter ring that fits the Olympus PT-EP01 housing for the E-PL1 "PEN" camera. With the adapter mounted to the PEN housing ports from Olympus, Inon and Athena made for the Olympus DSLR housings (from Olympus, (SeaTool and Nexus for E-3) can be mounted on the PEN housing.

The ZEN Underwater Pen port (100 mm) fits only the PEN housing.

Phil Rudin


Phil, you are always a step ahead on Olympus stuff. I had not heard about the Athena adapter. It sounds good, but ... the opening for the lens is still narrow, so that only m43 lenses will fit (well, I tried the m43 converter and it won't fit, so forget the E series lenses I wanted to play with down under). There are not a lot of lens options for m43 just now, so while it's great the Athena adapter will let you put the 8 inch dome on the PT-EP01, I'm not sure what lenses at present make that worthwhile. What combinations make sense?

#78 Phil Rudin

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 03:10 PM

Well for me the obvious choice is the Panasonic M. 7-17-zoom a 114 degree wide angle at the 7 mm end. See my review posted on Wetpixel today for more details,

http://wetpixel.com/...t-ep01-housing/

Phil Rudin

Edited by tropical1, 28 August 2010 - 05:32 AM.


#79 scuba_cfc

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 07:16 PM

Pretty weird, I've not encountered it. Does it do it consistently and does it do it above water?

If also above water I'd say you should get your camera sent back to Oly for repair. If just uw, it may be that your housing buttons are getting stuck down, maybe two buttons together are somehow jamming the camera up. See if you can narrow it down.

Jack


It does it above water and outside the housing too so i sent it to Olympus for warranty repair.. Thanks

#80 Phil Rudin

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 07:18 AM

Attached is the hands on review of the Olympus E-PL1 and PT-EP01 housing if you missed it.

Phil Rudin

http://wetpixel.com/...t-ep01-housing/