Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Need some advice: What lens setup for m4/3 (OM-D)


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 MarkHerm

MarkHerm

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 19 posts

Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:07 AM

Hi!

After debating with myself about the pro's and con's of various setups, I think I need some input from you guys.
I decided to get a OM-D in a Nauticam housing and strobe(s). So far I shot above water with a Canon 5D Mark I but I never wanted to house it because of weight, seize and cost. My underwater camera for snapshots has been a Panasonic LX 3 in 10bar housing with no external strobe. With this setup I took 70% of all underwater pictures at 24mm FF-equivalent (widest setting) behind a standard flat port.

I am after 2 or max. 3 lenses (and ports) as I want to keep the setup small, light weighted and travel friendly.

I loved the 15mm Fisheye on my 5D even above water so it seems to me a no brainer to get the 8mm Panasonic Fisheye anyways and put it under the dedicated nauticam dome. I am fully aware that this lens is special and probably cannot serve as my always-on lens.

So what to get next?!
At first, I thought about housing the 12/50 lens. It has a dedicated macro mode and covers a mid range focal length behind the offered flat port. The downside is the cost of the port (around 800 Euro / $ 1,000) so I am a little hesistant to buy it as I don't know how useful it's going to be. It's probably not as good as a dedicated macro and it's not as wide as WA lense. So how useful is the range of 24-100 FF equivalent underwater with a macro function behind a flat port?

I also could get the Olympus 9-18 with the 4" dome. This would be a moderate WA lens. Does this make sense in addition to the 8mm fisheye? Can the 9/18 behind a dome be useful as an always-on lens when you don't know what to expect to see during a dive? Additionally, Nauticam offers a flip-on wet lens holder for 9/18 dome. Would it make sense to add a subsee macro diopter for this lens? The focal length is rather limited, so would this work for some macro work?

Of course, I could get the 45mm or upcoming 60mm macro besides the 8mm fisheye. But I am wondering if this two-lenses combination might be a little too extreme, especially on regular dives when you simply don't know what to expect. I don't do any special subjects underwater so I shoot everything and anywhere I get to dive, from the quarry to Komodo.

Should I consider other lenses that I don't have in my radar yet?


As you can see, I am a little at loss here. Posted Image any input is greatly appreciated!

Cheers!

#2 jlyle

jlyle

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 415 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hermosa Beach, CA

Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:26 AM

I have the 8mm, 12-50, and 45mm lenses. I borrowed a 14-45 and port for a recent trip while waiting to get the 12-50 port.

IMHO, you need the 8mm and Nauticam dome - love this lens for WA!

Either get the 45mm or wait for the 60mm - macro is so satisfying and pretty.

I found the 14-45 lens to be very nice for I-don't-know-what-i'm-going-to-see dives - reasonably wide, good for fish portraits, and, with a 67mm wet lens adapter like the SubSee 10X, you can shoot great macro.

Of course, the 12-50 is better glass than the 14-45, but I haven't taken it u/w yet.

All of the micro 4/3 lenses are small, as are the ports, so the decision between two or three combinations isn't important.

Here's a link to my recent trip and lots of pictures taken with the above lenses:

http://diver.net/bbs...003/86335.shtml
Olmpus OM-D EM-5 in a Nauticam housing with dual Sea and Sea YS D1 strobes
8mm, 12-50mm, 45mm lenses
My web page.

#3 MarkHerm

MarkHerm

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 19 posts

Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:35 AM

Thanks. Great pics by the way!

Have you received your 12-50 port yet? I heard somewhere that it has 77mm thread so common wet lenses cannot be attached directly. Can you attach a flip on Subsee to it?
Regarding macro, I think I'll wait until there is a price announcement for the 60mm. But I assume that the port will be quite expensive as I've read the lens is going to have a lot of manual switches.

Let me ask you some additional questions :) How often did you use the 14-45 zoomed to large end (e.g. 45) when not taking macro with it? I am still trying to assess wheather I should go for the 12-50 or 9-18 for I-don't-know-what-i'm-going-to-see dives. With my Lumix LX3 I barely zoomed and almost always used as wide angeled as I could (24mm behind a flat port). The question is for me, do I really need the 12-50 with its macro ability if I get a dedicated macro lens anyways? It would be only worth it if the mid zoom range of the 12-50 gives a benefit over the moderate wide angle of the 9-18.

It would be awesome if I could rent all the equipment so I could give it a shot but there is no way around here... I'd like to avoid buying stuff now that end up being pretty useless just because I don't have any experience with underwater lense setups.

#4 jlyle

jlyle

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 415 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hermosa Beach, CA

Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:05 AM

AFAIK, the 12-50 lens-port has not shipped in the US, yet. I've been told the port is 77mm so an adapter is necessary for 67mm add-ons.

I used the 14-42 kit lens on both ends of the zoom and lots in between - reasonable WA and fish portraits. Until I get the port for the 12-50, I can't compare it to the 14-45. I was, however, very satisfied with the 14-42 and consider it a viable choice for u/w.

If you are going to fly through LAX, you might be able to arrange for rentals from bluewaterphoto.
Olmpus OM-D EM-5 in a Nauticam housing with dual Sea and Sea YS D1 strobes
8mm, 12-50mm, 45mm lenses
My web page.

#5 derway

derway

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1136 posts
  • Location:Pasadena CA

Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:40 PM

I am in the same quandry - I have an omd and the 12-50 lens, but at $800 for a port, that only gives motorized zoom!!! Why bother. I hate motorized zoo.

As for wide angle, you are right the oly 9-18 is not fisheye, nor very wide.

The panasonic 7-14 is a great lens, very wide angle fisheye, and many folks have been diving with it.

It gives much more angle of view flexibility, by being able to zoom in for big things that won't let you get too close.

Much like the tokina 10-17, that is so very popular on apsc DSLRS around here, this would be my choice for wide angle.
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway/
http://www.pbase.com/derway

nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#6 Alex_Tattersall

Alex_Tattersall

    Great Hammerhead

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 874 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 15 September 2012 - 06:25 AM

With regards the 77mm thread on the front of the 12-50mm port, this was included in the design to avoid blocking at 12mm. Nauticam does produce a flip diopter holder with a 77mm to 67mm conversion.
www.flickr.com/photos/alextattersall

www.nauticamuk.com
www.uwvisions.com
Exclusive official importer of Nauticam products into the UK and Ireland

#7 Phil Rudin

Phil Rudin

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1052 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

Posted 15 September 2012 - 08:03 AM

Derway,

The Panasonic 7-14mm zoom is a great wide angle lens but unlike the Tokina 10-17 it is NOT a fisheye lens, at 7mm it has a 114 degree rectilinear angle of view lens.

Also the Olympus 12-50 zoom can be zoomed in MANUAL as well as in power zoom for video users, Derway are you saying that you have knowledge that the Nauticam zoom gear and port can only be used in power zoom?

As Alex T has said the 12-50 port from Nauticam is 77mm rather than 67mm so the lens will not vignette between the 14 and 12mm range.

Phil Rudin

#8 MarkHerm

MarkHerm

    Damselfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 19 posts

Posted 15 September 2012 - 08:31 AM

Nauticam does produce a flip diopter holder with a 77mm to 67mm conversion.


That is good to know! Is this flip diopter holder already available? If so, do you have a part number / official name as I cannot find it at the moment? Besides, are there any good third party flip diopter holders for 77 threads and 67 wet lenses?

Derway are you saying that you have knowledge that the Nauticam zoom gear and port can only be used in power zoom?


I am not Derway but I did read somewhere (probably Scubaboard) a while ago that the Nauticam port for the 12/50 would only support the power zoom not the manual zoom. I don't know if this is true though.

Edited by MarkHerm, 15 September 2012 - 08:32 AM.


#9 Phil Rudin

Phil Rudin

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1052 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

Posted 15 September 2012 - 08:45 AM

I think what you may have read is that in the E-M5 firmware version 1.1 the lens will be able to zoom between 12mm or 50mm by using the U/W wide angle mode or the U/W macro mode to power zoom the lens without a gear. This would allow the lens to be used in a port with no gear but only at the two ends of the lens (12 and 50), not throughout the zoom range and not in the macro mode.

Phil Rudin

#10 Deep6

Deep6

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 882 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Broomfield, CO

Posted 15 September 2012 - 10:40 AM

Pardon the digression, but I handled the Olympus E-M5 w. 12- 50 lens Thursday. I couldn’t put it down, so it came home with me. The lens doesn’t come with a hood. Minor excavation in the camera cave uncovered a Nikon HN-2 hood and a Nikon 52 mm lens cap. Gee a real metal hood! Well OK, its aluminum and from pervious misadventures I know it is very rugged. The hood does not vignette at 12 mm (24 FX equ.). The Oly cap won’t grip in this hood, but the Nikon of course does.

The adventure begins!

Regards,
Bob
.

Carpe carp - Seize the carp


#11 derway

derway

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1136 posts
  • Location:Pasadena CA

Posted 15 September 2012 - 10:45 AM

Hi Phil and all.

Yes, that is what Edward has said several times. The nauticam 12-50 port will only support motorized zoom.

I hope and pray I am wrong.

Aloha from Kona.
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway/
http://www.pbase.com/derway

nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#12 Deep6

Deep6

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 882 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Broomfield, CO

Posted 15 September 2012 - 11:01 AM

Aloha from Kona.


Hey Don (you lucky dog), are you going to do a black water night dive. It is great.

Bob

Carpe carp - Seize the carp


#13 derway

derway

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1136 posts
  • Location:Pasadena CA

Posted 15 September 2012 - 11:06 AM

I've done them quite a few times, with the original dive makai, who first started doing it.

Alas, I am mostly here to help my parents move into a retirement home, much ahead of need IMNSHO.
Don Erway
http://picasaweb.google.com/onederway/
http://www.pbase.com/derway

nikon n90s/ikelite housing/twin SS-200 canon G2/ikelite/DS-50/optical TTL slave
sony V3/ikelite/DS-51/Heinrich DA2 slave

#14 RogerC

RogerC

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 190 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles, California

Posted 15 September 2012 - 11:26 AM

regarding the 12-50, I do dislike motorized zoom for stills, but it is the way to go for video, and it may surprise you how much video you start to shoot.

regarding the 7-14, i vastly prefer rectilinear to fisheye, but after shooting the regular (not micro) oly zuiko 7-14mm for years and never getting sharp corners, I'm pretty happy with the sharpness of the little m4/3 8mm... not to mention the cost and size of the lens and dome. The old athena dome I used with my 7-14 was pretty small, but it feels like a bus windshield now.

Regarding lenses in general, think how you shoot and what you shoot. On his E330, I think I can say that jim used his oly 14-54 lens 90% of the time. I took mine in the water once. Different styles. I have no interest in taking my 12-50 in the water due to that port price, I'll probably even sell the lens. Only bought it because I had to buy a kit to get the camera early (anyone want it? email me an offer). But that 60mm macro, can't wait until that comes out.

The other lens I really want is that tiny new ultra pancake 15mm so I can carry the camera in my pocket all the time on land.

#15 jlyle

jlyle

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 415 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hermosa Beach, CA

Posted 15 September 2012 - 04:40 PM

On his E330, I think I can say that jim used his oly 14-54 lens 90% of the time.


More like 50% with the 14-54 and 50% with the 50mm. :)
Olmpus OM-D EM-5 in a Nauticam housing with dual Sea and Sea YS D1 strobes
8mm, 12-50mm, 45mm lenses
My web page.

#16 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8376 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 16 September 2012 - 02:44 AM

I intend to get the 8mm FE and 60mm (when released). I also have the 12-50mm, which came with the camera.

Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#17 Herb Segars

Herb Segars

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 27 posts
  • Location:Brick, NJ

Posted 16 September 2012 - 06:31 AM

Alex:

You have so many cameras available. Why did you choose to buy the OM-D? I have been very interested in this camera.
Herb Segars
Herb Segars Photography
Nikon D-300, Subal housing, Nikon 12-24, Sigma 28-80, Nikon 60, Tokina 10-17, Ikelite DS-125's and Substrobe 200

#18 Alex_Mustard

Alex_Mustard

    The Doctor

  • Super Mod
  • 8376 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Peterborough

Posted 16 September 2012 - 10:58 AM

It is a great second camera, with specific strengths and image quality more than good enough for publication (and non of the drawbacks of a compact). A bit like having a Nik V and SLR housing when shooting film. There are certain shots that are more easily achieved with the small camera.
I really like the format (sensor size). If it had been full frame I would have definitely avoided it.
Alex

Alexander Mustard - www.amustard.com - www.magic-filters.com
Nikon D4 (Subal housing). Nikon D7100 (Subal housing). Olympus EPL-5 (Nauticam housing).


#19 Herb Segars

Herb Segars

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 27 posts
  • Location:Brick, NJ

Posted 16 September 2012 - 12:55 PM

Thanks, Alex. I was thinking along the same lines. I am using a Nikon D300 in a Subal housing. I love the camera but I have been hoping for a DX updrage and don't really want to go to FX. I loved the results that you achieved with the Olympus and I agree with everything that you say about it. Much of my photography is in the low light levels off New Jersey. I saw some photos taken in the great lakes with the Olympus using auto ISO and no strobe and was really impressed. I often have to push the ISO in order to match available light so high level ISO is important to me. I also like the fact that it is a much smaller rig and would be ideal for travel. As I get older, I find that I need to travel lighter. Thanks again for the info. I do have one last question. I have been using the Tokina 10-17 and it is a great lens. I love the fact that I can shoot close if the viz isn't so good. That being said, I am more of a fan of a rectilinear lens. Would you recomend the 7-14 to kind of replace the Tokina on an Olympus?
Herb Segars
Herb Segars Photography
Nikon D-300, Subal housing, Nikon 12-24, Sigma 28-80, Nikon 60, Tokina 10-17, Ikelite DS-125's and Substrobe 200

#20 loftus

loftus

    Blue Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4571 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Winter Park, Fl

Posted 16 September 2012 - 03:58 PM

It is a great second camera, with specific strengths and image quality more than good enough for publication (and non of the drawbacks of a compact). A bit like having a Nik V and SLR housing when shooting film. There are certain shots that are more easily achieved with the small camera.
I really like the format (sensor size). If it had been full frame I would have definitely avoided it.
Alex

Alex, as you have a D7000, except for a smaller rig what are the benefits of the Olympus for someone already invested in Nikon gear?
Nikon D800, Nikon D7000, Nauticam, Inons, Subtronic Novas. Lens collection - 10-17, 15, 16, 16-35, 14-24, 24-70, 85, 18-200, 28-300, 70-200, 60 and 105, TC's. Macs with Aperture and Photoshop.