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Member Since 29 Dec 2001
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#387197 Thoughts: Sony A7R II from D810

Posted by JackConnick on 01 September 2017 - 08:02 AM

I've used a D800 for years now and have also shot the A7II in a Sea & Sea housing with a flash trigger.


I think while the housing size is a bit smaller, it's not all that much difference in the water. You have to use a port adapter, extension and mid-sized DSLR sized ports on the a7II. So what are you really saving?


I mostly use a Zen 170mm dome on the D800 with a Sigma 15, or even a 17-35mm if I don't care too much about the corners (blue water). Those are pretty much the same sized ports on the a7II.


As far as using Canon lenses on the a7II, it gets pretty awkward and the AF is even slower... There is a new Zeiss Batis 18mm lens that shows good promise. But all of the Sony lenses are expensive, the Sigma 15mm FE is like $600.


I didn't have battery problems on the a7II, but I mostly shot stills. Video is more of a problem. I do like that I can basically shoot all day with the D800 on one battery.


The viewfinder is one area that I'd also give a huge benefit to the D800. An optical viewfinder is so much brighter and easier to use than an EVF. Yes, you give up focus peaking and some of the other more electronic features that are nice. But again those are more useful for video. And of course the better, faster AF on the D800. I found that the a7II sort of jumps a bit for macro, manual focus is pretty much necessary.


The a7II is lighter. And my older D800 Nauticam isn't the lightest for sure. But I'm sure that the new D850 housings will be lighter as they will be a few gens newer.


I've also tried the Oly E-M1 MKII and D500 for something smaller, but I keep coming back to the dynamic range and quality of the D800, although I think if I was shopping right now, I'd buy a D500, I continue to be impressed with it.


I've some articles on these comparisons on my blog:

Micro 4/3rds vs. APS-C & Full-frame Cameras: Mexican Shootout or Standoff?


Sony a7II and Sea & Sea MDX-A7II Housing System Review


#381324 Komodo with E-M1 MKII

Posted by JackConnick on 08 February 2017 - 04:16 AM

We're on our way back from Komodo. We had a good trip but the weather was pretty bad and instead of ending at Maumere, we came back here due to very high winds. But although we're tired, everyone's disks are full of great photos and the DIVE Damai crew helped make the most of all our opportunities. Much more soon, here's a few photos to get started. All were taken with the new Olympus E-M1 MK2 in the Oly housing, with the 8mm FE, 60mm Macro and 12mm lenses. I used the new Saga Dive Trio diopter system for macro as well.


My initial thoughts are that the OM-D E-M1 MK2 is a great imager and a big improvement over the earlier MK1. AF in low-light is much better, and the performance is really good for macro. Battery easily lasts 3 dives, probably 4. I had some weird issues with TTL on macro with the YS-D1 strobes I was shooting - exposure would be great for 4-5 frames and them be totally over exposed for a frame. Never quite figured out what was going on.


Much more soon.

















#375681 Any issues using a Red Torch for Nite Shots

Posted by JackConnick on 30 July 2016 - 08:43 PM

Just shoot at about 1/100th or 1/125th of a sec and you won't see the focus light.



#370517 New Nauticam 29 port for Panasonic 14-42mm PZ could be a blast for 4K video s...

Posted by JackConnick on 16 February 2016 - 12:03 AM

For what it's worth, I just wrote a quicky review using the WWL and CMC in Oly's PT-EP12 housing. The Oly 14-42mmEZ lens fits very close to the end of the port and the lenses work quite well. Not my favorite camera, but an interesting combo that's pretty small.


See: Olympus EPL-7 with Nauticam WWL-1 & CMC Lens Review







#368261 Olympus 8 mm f/1.8 fisheye Pro or Olympus 7-14 mm f/2.8 Pro?

Posted by JackConnick on 14 December 2015 - 01:10 PM

The Zen DP-170-N85 works without an extension with the Oly 8mm FE. The DP-170-N85II won't work. There is no one port solution for both the 8mm FE at 7-14mm lenses at this time. But heck, it's Christmas you never know...

#367950 Olympus new lenses 8 mm fisheye considerations weight and so on ...

Posted by JackConnick on 05 December 2015 - 09:41 AM

As Jim showed, I think you're missing a very large point. The f1.8 has much faster AF in the dark conditions we find underwater. You can shoot at a lower ISO in many situations, deeper dives, caves, underhangs and on wrecks, as well as dusk and dawn. Even during cloudy conditions in more turbulent contditions the extra light at depth allows the lens to catch focus faster, this is especially true for m4/3rds cameras that rely on (modified) contrast AF.



Shot in 145' of water, ambient light.



Ambient light

#366882 Olympus OM-D E-M1 low light photography questions

Posted by JackConnick on 06 November 2015 - 05:58 PM

You might want to consider buying the new Olympus f1.8 8mm FE which will gain you quite a bit better ISO at a reasonable shutte speed. It's really made for what you are shooting.

#366392 Metabones Smartadapter IV with Sigma 15mm

Posted by JackConnick on 22 October 2015 - 06:49 PM

I'd look at the Sony 28 plus  Nauticam's new WWL-1 lens. It looks to be very wide with sharp corners. the 28 fits into a small flat port with 67mm thread. Much smaller than the 16-35 to be sure.


Other than that I'd shoot a Nikonos 15FE if you want a small sharp fisheye.


Edward posted some shots here: https://nauticam.smu...ngTests/A7R-II/

#366207 Panasonic LX100

Posted by JackConnick on 15 October 2015 - 08:42 PM

We have a review concentrating on stills and photos on our blog here:

Panasonic LX100 Review.



#365391 Olympus 7-14 mm f2.8 will not fit in Nauticam housings

Posted by JackConnick on 18 September 2015 - 08:19 PM

I've published a Port Configuration Guide on our blog that has all of the various possible combinations for Nauticam and Olympus housings with Zen, Nauticam and Olympus ports, extensions and gears.


There's a lot of different configurations. Right now, there's not a one size-fits-all like with DSLRs. The optics on m4/3rds lenses and the large physical size of the Olys make it hard. But I think given some time the manufacturers will do the best they can to work towards that goal.


Having shot the 8mm with the small Oly dome, I'd really like to try in with a larger 170mm dome and see how much less edge distortion it has.

#364789 HELP!! Olympus OMD EM5 MARK II camera settings

Posted by JackConnick on 29 August 2015 - 03:56 PM

Thanks for posting these Jack, its a very handy reference.

There's one change not yet captured in most descriptions I've read. Selection of the small focus point is now much easier with the firmware update. From the SCP, select focus options, press INFO, then up/down arrows to change.

By the way, the original post was spot on about thr Olympus menus, they are indeed a maze.


Glad they helped. You get used to the menu layouts after a while, they do offer an amazing amount of adjustment and fine-tuning. But items are sort of hidden or not where yo expect them to be...



#364782 HELP!! Olympus OMD EM5 MARK II camera settings

Posted by JackConnick on 29 August 2015 - 09:51 AM

We edited Corrander's excellent post (with his permission) and added a bit to it, as well wrote a similar set-up article on the E-M1. They are going to be similar to your camera.


They are available free in our Education Resource Center:




#364146 Thoughts on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II or the upcoming Panasonic's?

Posted by JackConnick on 11 August 2015 - 07:13 AM

From what I've heard, I doubt there will be an Oy EM-1 successor until late next Spring. I've had no problems with focus in low light especially with the new f1.8 8mm FE, which is an awesome light gatherer.


The below was taken in available light at 135'.



#362123 How do I avoid my wife murdering me when I come home with two more YS-250Pro...

Posted by JackConnick on 11 June 2015 - 08:20 PM

I ended up with an uw camera company. Now it's all work related and a write off. At least that's what I tell her.


We're very adept at spreading purchases for customers over many credit cards...

#361640 Olympus 7-14 mm f2.8 will not fit in Nauticam housings

Posted by JackConnick on 30 May 2015 - 08:52 AM

We tried it in the Nauticam E-M1 housing and it will require that you add the camera body first into the housing, then the lens as with the 12-40mm. But it will need a much wider port body to fit the lens and a zoom gear. My guess is the the Nauticam N85 (MIL) to N120 (DSLR) 40mm ext adapter with zoom control, plus about a 50-60mm N120 extension and Nauticam 180mm N120 (DSLR) dome (or larger) should work fine. But Nauticam has not released a guide yet as they are still testing these new lenses.


We have a "first look" article on our blog here.