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Phil Rudin

Member Since 25 Jan 2005
Offline Last Active Today, 07:56 AM

#341917 Sonys' new A7(r) FX mirrorless

Posted by Phil Rudin on 15 January 2014 - 09:53 AM

A request regarding size differences between housings, from left the Nauticam NA-EM1 housing (Olympus OM-D EM-1) Sony A7/A7r housing and the Nikon D-800 housing. In the rear is the Nauticam RED video housing.

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#341618 Mirrorless Forum?

Posted by Phil Rudin on 09 January 2014 - 11:13 AM

Since the current crop of mirrorless cameras have every bit as good an image quality and camera features as DSLR's and because many DSLR shooters have moved to or are going to move to mirrorless cameras maybe it would make more sense to change the name of this forum to Digital interchangeable lens cameras/housings.

#341617 OM-D EM-1

Posted by Phil Rudin on 09 January 2014 - 11:00 AM

Auto WB is how I have been shooting since I went digital and Olympus has one of the best auto WB systems made so I don't have much experience doing presets to compare it to. I shoot RAW and convert to JPEG when I need one. What I am seeing on the LCD is a JPEG so I get a good idea of what the finished RAW file will look like anyway.


More EM-1 photos from yesterdays dive, 60mm macro, Nauticam NA-EM1 housing, Nauticam 65 macro port, two Inon Z-240 strobes, all with the SAGA +15 C/U lens. ISO-100, 1/320th of a second, F9-F14. Very poor vis day. ALL of these images are about 6mm on the long side or about 3 times the M43 life size of 17.3 mm long side. Very Very little DOF.

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#341484 OM-D EM-1

Posted by Phil Rudin on 06 January 2014 - 02:13 PM

Photos from todays dive at the BHB using the new Olympus E-M1 with the 60mm macro lens in the Nauticam NA-EM1 housing, two Inon Z-240 strobes.




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#339953 Olympus OM-D E-M5

Posted by Phil Rudin on 26 November 2013 - 06:51 AM

It fits the fisheye domes but it has manual focus, manual aperture settings and no electronic contacts so the camera does not recognize the lens as being on the camera. I don't no of any focus or aperture gears for Olympus or Nauticam housings.

#339490 Olympus OM-D E-M5

Posted by Phil Rudin on 15 November 2013 - 06:44 AM

Hi Karen,


The gear you have a link to works off the zoom gear in the housing so the Nauticam 12-50, 60mm macro or 45mm with 20mm extension ports will all work with this gear.


I use the Nauticam 45 degree viewfinder with my NA-EM5 housing all the time. It is easy to remove and reinstall when you travel and it makes a huge difference if you only use the viewfinder like I do. I agree that you should try the housing without it. Keep in mind that you will also need the replacement rear LCD window that supports the viewfinder, also user installable.


Phil Rudin

#337332 Red filter for Panasonic 7-14 lense

Posted by Phil Rudin on 22 September 2013 - 01:52 PM

The Panasonic 8mm fisheye has a filter holder on the rear of the lens and it can be fitted to the Pana 7-14 zoom for magic filters and such.

#337276 OM-D EM-1

Posted by Phil Rudin on 21 September 2013 - 09:54 AM

After taking a over a week to read the initial reviews and hype for this new camera these would be the upsides over the E-M5 I see so far for U/W photography. First let me say that I think the E-M5 is an excellent underwater camera and that the Nauticam NA-EM5 housing is one of the best values in the market for a quality camera/housing package.


So what do I see as the up sides for making a switch from a DSLR or other mirrorless to the E-M1. First the electronic viewfinder is the best in the market bar none and has features you just can not get with an OVF. It has a viewing area larger than just about any DSLR on the market except for the $6800.00 Canon EOS-1D, it is even larger than the $6000.00 Nikon D-4 according to reports. It now has excellent AF speed for both M43 and 43 lenses and much improved C-AF speed. Build quality including weather sealing and freeze proofing  is even better than in the E-M5. The addition of a wider array of control buttons which are more spread apart and a built in guilty grip will make the camera easier to use both above and below water, i.e. I can better access the controls of the E-M5 inside my NA-EM5 housing than I can above water. Higher speed flash sync of 1/320th and lower ISO-100 both needed to get those black backgrounds in macro we all like and for using wider F/stops above water. At 1/320th with hard wired strobes this camera should give you 1/500th. The sweet new 12-40 F/2.8 Pro lens, I have used the Panasonic 12-35 and prefer it to the 12-50mm zoom this new lens is reported to be the best M43 zoom made and a real winner as my prime travel lens with minimum focus of about 7" across the full zoom range. A 40-150 F/2.8 Pro will be coming in 2014. With my first 43 and M43 cameras I never shot above ISO-400. With the E-M5 I have expanded to ISO-640 and if the reports are correct the E-M1 should allow me to shoot at ISO-800 or more and be happy with the results. With the removal of the low pass filter and the new processing engine image quality improvement over the E-M5 and sharpness have been reported. This is the first high end Olympus release I can remember where the body only option rather than the "kit" option is coming first so that those of us who already have lenses and can live without the 12-40 can have the camera at first release. I like the one touch white balance button on the front of the camera, I used it all the time starting with my E-DSLR cameras. Built in HDR and a host of other features will also interest many.


Who do I see buying this camera, I think we will see an even greater number of converts from the DSLR ranks to this camera which already has an excellent lens set for U/W photography. For those who are still using the LCD (much improved over E-M5) to compose and focus I don't expect to see a large exodus from E-M5. For those like me who religiously use the viewfinder I would expect along with the many other improvements to see some E-M5 owners making the switch. If you are using the 45 or 180 add-on viewfinders this camera should be amazing. Focus peaking has been added for stills and along with the large viewfinder critical focus should be greatly improved. Along with the Olympus housing and based on the great success of the Nauticam E-M5 housing I would expect that Nauticam is taking a very hard look at this camera.


Regarding Guy’s post, most who own the E-M5/Nauticam combo have purchased in the past year and I would not expect that they will all want to jump ship from such a excellent and reasonably priced system. Both cameras will deliver pro quality images, in fact most of the current mid priced camera offerings will do that and to me adding a few more MP’s doesn’t add all that much to the overall quality of the camera. What does is quality lenses and Olympus has an excellent reputation in that area. 


Regarding size, yes we would expect to see a larger housing but not that much of a difference V. Nauticam NA-EM5 in fact I would expect to see something larger but still much smaller than the Panasonic GH3 housing size and that will use the same existing ports for current M43 lenses. Yes the housing will cost more but as so well pointed out in the first E-M1 thread by Coroander the camera has a number of new controls. I did not expect to see so many and they should all be accessible in a housing which will raise cost. Again I would not expect to see the housing cost as much as the GH3 housing and certainly not more.


Regarding video, this is Olympus M43 Pro entry camera and aimed at still shooters. As Guy pointed out cost differences compared to Some APS-C and even full-frame cameras should be considered. So consider this, if you believe DPReview the video quality for cameras like the D-7100, 6D, D600, D800 and more all have video quality of about the same level or worse than the E-M5 (do some comparisons in the E-M5 review). Canon 5D, the coming 70D, Panasonic GH3 and the soon to be released Black Magic Pocket Cine M43 cameras will all be better video cameras if that is your interest.


What will not change is that even if you make smaller APS-C and full frame cameras the optical viewfinders will also be smaller and the lenses will remain just as big as they always were. No matter how small you make the camera full frame lenses will still need 230mm domes for best rectilinear results, APS-C lenses will still need 200mm ports and M43 lenses will get excellent results with 170mm ports. As a result the E-M1 system will still be a very compelling travel system for both above and below water photography.    


Phil Rudin

#335921 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera: Yes there will be housings!

Posted by Phil Rudin on 17 August 2013 - 12:27 PM

Yes, big difference between a lens made for a 35mm full frame and a M43 lens which is made for M43 at full frame. Olympus attempted to point out this difference when they first started selling the 43 cameras but it went over most people's heads.

Olympus and Panasonic 43 and M43 lenses really have no crop factor because they were made for the 17.3 X13mm sensor.

Using the same logic you would find that a 35mm sensor has a 2X crop factor if I mount a Hasselblad medium format lens on it.

The new Canon and Nikon lenses made for APS-C cameras really have no crop factor because they won't work on 35mm sensors using the full frame. They can be used but at the APS-C size not the 35mm size.

At some point someone decided that 35mm should be the format by which all other cameras are judged and to me it makes far more sense to talk about what AOV you get with any given lens and sensor size which is really what matters when you are buying a lens along with the other obvious issues of build and image quality.

Phil Rudin

#334536 OMD - Olympus or Nauticam housing advice

Posted by Phil Rudin on 18 July 2013 - 07:56 AM

The basic choices are,

#1-having the camera set to use the U/W wide and macro settings. This allows you to use the lens ONLY at 12mm and 50mm, nothing in between. This can be done with any of the ports that will fit the lens with the 65 port being the least expensive.

#2-The so called Euro gear, this is a zoom gear driven by the zoom control on the housing and allowing you to use the full zoom range but does not allow you to switch into the macro setting. Again several port combos will work.

#3-The most expensive choice is the Nauticam 12-50 port and gear which will power zoom the lens through the entire range and allow you to switch to the macro setting.

All three systems can be used with a closeup lens at the 50 mm setting or with the macro setting with choice #3. This is another issue of you get what you pay for and the #3 choice is the only one that allows the full range of the lens while underwater.

Phil Rudin

#333595 Lens Suggestions for NEX-6

Posted by Phil Rudin on 28 June 2013 - 03:05 PM

The Sony 30 macro is a true macro that will focus to life size, 1:1.

The Sigma 60 while having better image quality will only focus to about 20 inches, which gives it a 1:7.2 ratio and will be of little use for macro.

Phil rudin

#328991 Olympus OM-D E-M5

Posted by Phil Rudin on 02 April 2013 - 05:57 AM

Hi Draq,


I think that combo will work quite well for you. The 20mm extension will also work quite well with the 60mm macro if you ever want a longer macro, I use both. I am also using the 20mm extension with the ZEN Underwater 170mm glass dome port and the 7-14 zoom.


Phil Rudin

#325888 NEX7 macro examples please

Posted by Phil Rudin on 08 February 2013 - 03:33 PM

In no way is the Sony NEX7 with the 18-55 zoom a better choice than the Olympus E-M5 with the 12-50 zoom. I am sure you will find at least one owner to tell you the Sony is the better choice. If you read the large number of reviews and posts on this site and others like Scubaboard in regard to the E-M5 you will see that as a system the NA-EM5 system is much better.

Phil Rudin

#324314 Olympus OM-D E-M5

Posted by Phil Rudin on 12 January 2013 - 10:03 AM


I use the Nauticam 45 degree viewfinder on all dives with the NA-EM5 housing and it is a tool I would not want to be without. I have never been a fan of using the LCD as a way to achieve critical focus with any lens and have used both Inon and Nauticam 45 degree finders on several past DSLR housings and on the NA-NEX7 housing. This is an excellent addition for the NA-EM5 housing and the viewfinder can be moved from system to system just like quality lenses when you change camera bodies. If you look at those on this forum using DSLR’s many are using these accessory finders. You will find support for both the 45 and 180 versions which in most cases come down to the type of shooting you are doing. Most prefer the 45 for macro and the 180 for W/A, over/under and faster moving subjects like sharks. The usefulness of these viewfinders does not change between optical viewfinders and electronic viewfinders. The issue again comes down to cost and how much you are willing to pay to get the best image quality out of your system.


First let me say that the 12-50 Nauticam port and gear were on loan to me at the time I used them and a 67mm step down ring had been added so that I could use my 67mm SAGA flip lens holder with the port. I used both the Inon ULC-165 M67 closeup and the SubSee +10 closeup lenses with the 12-50 zoom and the 60 macro lenses. Nauticam & Saga have flip holders with the 77mm thread for the port and that would be my recommendation with any 67 mm close-up lens. So I was making the best with what I had at the time. Because I already own and use the Panasonic 45mm macro, I have since added the Nauticam 20mm extension port for use with my Nauticam 45 macro port when using the Olympus 60mm macro. The extension ring works very well with the 60 macro and adds very little to the overall size and weight of the system. With the step-down ring and the SAGA flip holder added to the 12-50 port you have the following problems. First the step-down ring reduces the Inside diameter to 67mm, when you add the flip holder the diameter is reduced by about another 10mm and the unit moves out another 5mm from the port glass when the flip holder is open. As a result the 12-50 lens begins to vignette at around 14-15mm and at 12mm the image is almost round with just a few degrees cut of the top and bottom of the circle. With the closeup lenses flipped into place the system worked very well at the 43mm macro setting where it is intended to be used. The idea of using the closeup lens at other focal length settings defeats its purpose to me, in other words way use the C/U lens when you can already get to the same magnification without it going into the 43mm macro setting. If you are not using the Nauticam gear for the lens and you only can get to 50mm then I guess it would help. I like the 12-50 Nauticam port combo and if I owned it I would have a 77mm flip holder so that I could use the full range of the lens. Since I tend to shoot more macro than W/A I am focused on the 45 & 60 macros along with the 7-14 & 8mm for my wide shots. I also think the Olympus 12mm is a steller lens and I use it from time to time.

My review on using the Saga flip holder and a review of the new Saga Zoom filter used on the 12-50 port with both 12-50 and 60macro can be found in the current and past issues of uwpmag.com

Phil Rudin

#324254 Olympus OM-D E-M5

Posted by Phil Rudin on 11 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

I would agree with deepbluemd that a one-size-fits-all lens solution for underwater photography or for any type of photography is only a starting point and the reason for calling these lenses “KIT” lenses in the first place. I would also agree that the image quality of the 12-50 is not as high as with other M43 lenses like the 60mm macro, 8mm fisheye and 7-14mm zoom, the three lenses I use most often. I have used the 12-50 zoom with the Nauticam port and gear long enough to make the following observations.

First I no of only two so called “kit” lenses that have image quality as good or better than the 12-50 zoom. These are the Sony 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 SAM DT and the outstanding Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60 F/2.8-4 ED. Only the 12-50 and 12-60 reach the 84 degree AOV, all the 18-55 lenses on APS-C sensors are in the 76 degree AOV range. Of all of these KIT lenses the 12-50 is the only lens with a macro feature that goes all the way to 35mm on the long side of the image, the same as 1:1 on a 35mm “full frame” sensor camera. So the 12-50 is quite unique in its range. While the Nauticam 12-50 port/gear combo is expensive it is also very well designed and works quite well. Any 84 degree lens is going to suffer behind a flat port so this is a trade off for being able to use such a unique lens. On a trip to the Philippines last month I used the 12-50 a lot because subjects fitting into the zoom range were abundant and I was able to flip a SubSea +10 closeup lens on when I needed a little extra magnification. Bottom line is that image quality is well within the range for publication.

Regarding lens reviews in general, several things need to be taken into account. First is that the 12-50 has been tested in most cases on the 16MP Olympus E-M5 not on cameras in the 10-12MP range like many of the reviews you may have read for other kit lenses. If you think this does not make a difference you should go to photozone.de and look at the Sony 18-55 kit lens review for the Sony NEX-5. The same lens was later re-tested on the Sony NEX-7 a 14MP camera V. a 24MP camera the results tell you a lot about the quality of the lens.

Since deepbluemd also brought up his frequent use of the Tokina 10-17 on his APS-C cameras it may be worth noting that in the few reviews of the Tokina 10-17mm zoom it scored much worse than the Olympus 12-50 has. However it is still one of the most popular W/A, U/W zoom lenses, if not the most popular W/A around because it is so unique for U/W use. Very close focus, can be used with a very small dome and of course can be zoomed. The Panasonic 8mm fisheye can also focus to the port glass, uses the same small port and is much better image quality wise but does not zoom.

Many of the owners of new E-M5 systems are those coming from consumer compacts who are use to the idea of using only one lens with wet lens add-ons for macro and wide angle. For those who intend to only use the 12-50 with a macro and a W/A adapter I think that you have not only picked the wrong lens but also the wrong camera. A camera like the excellent Sony RX-100/Nauticam NA-RX100 system would be a better choice to me. For those who are “down sizing” from a DSLR or moving to mirrorless systems to expand their lens range the M43 system has the most extensive lens range from which to chose.

So again while I think the 12-50 will be an excellent starting point at F/6.3 on the long end compared to F/2.8 for the 60mm macro the 12-50 would hardly fall into the so called “pro” category where as the 7-14, 8 fisheye, 12, 45 & 45macro, 60 macro, steller 75mm and others would.

Phil Rudin