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Nick Hope

Member Since 12 Sep 2004
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 08:01 PM

#371683 New Nauticam 29 port for Panasonic 14-42mm PZ could be a blast for 4K video s...

Posted by Nick Hope on 19 March 2016 - 03:32 AM

What macro configuration would you get if you had the NAGH4+ 6"Dome for the 12-35 Pana and 7-14 pana?. 

I've even thought in selling the port and lenses and start from scratch with wet lenses, but I'm not too happy with the idea of carrying the WWL-1 uderwater.
So, what set of port/lense and wet dipoters lenses you suggest would be the most versatil for macro??
Any chance to use my 12-15mm for macro?

I assume you meant 12-35mm in that last sentence. As far as I know, no, there isn't really any chance to use that for macro. It won't fit in any flat 67mm diameter ports. I think it will fit in the 77mm special port (option #1 below...I should try that some time!) but if you're going to buy that port, you may as well buy the lens it was designed for.


Your options are these:


1. Olympus 12-50mm in special 77mm port. I've got this setup and have been very happy with it. It's my usual choice at places like Lembeh and Anilao. You can switch it into the special 43mm fixed macro mode. The Nauticam CMC on the 77mm Nauticam flip arm works well with it too, to get you even more magnification. And at 12mm in non-macro mode you get wide enough for the odd medium shot. You could also put the WWL-1 on it (and I might), but probably better on #3 below. The Oly 12-50 can be got on Ebay pretty cheap as it was a kit lens. In your case, this is probably the best option.


2. Olympus 60mm macro. Gets you more magnification than the 12-50mm. I use this at places like Lembeh and Anilao where I've got a specific tiny target like pygmy seahorses. You're pretty screwed even for things like ghost pipefishes. I had to be 2m away from one of those once to fit it in the frame. There is also the Panasonic 45mm macro, but I think you may as well go all out and get the Olympus. Works well with CMC.


3. A Panasonic 14-42mm-based set up as described in my previous post. I've never used one so I can't comment much but I would probably have invested in this if I was starting from scratch because of the flexibility. You rely on the CMC and/or wet diopters for your macro shots in this case. I doubt that all-out macro would be as good as either of options #1 or #2 but I know you can get decent close-up shots with it. Peter Walker and others are have used that.

#371651 New Nauticam 29 port for Panasonic 14-42mm PZ could be a blast for 4K video s...

Posted by Nick Hope on 17 March 2016 - 10:04 PM

I've seen a lot of information about macro flip diopters and the WWL-1 but am unsure how they actually work during the dive.

They are wet-fit lenses. You can flip something small like a Nauticam CMC magnifier on a flip adaptor. The WWL-1 is too large for a flip arm so you have to fit it with the Nauticam bayonet system. Once you install that then you would also have to use the bayonet for the CMC and not be able to use the flip adaptor. You use the port alone for tightish shots, add the CMC for macro, or add the WWL-1 for wide.

For example, would I be able to take diopters off/on during the dive, or take the WWL-1 off/on during the dive? Or do they have to be set up prior to getting in the water?

You can change them during the dive. I don't know how people are storing them, especially the large WWL-1, and would be interested to know.

I'm mainly shooting small/medium fish with a few nudibranchs and blennies chucked in there. It would be absolutely fantastic to have a set-up where I could switch between a macro diopter and the WWL-1 during a dive. Does this exist?... ...what lens do you recommend for this kind of video work?

Yes it exists. If I was building a GH4 rig from scratch I'd buy the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens, 29mm port, WWL-1 and CMC. Here is a list of parts I would need to convert my existing rig which is based on completely different lenses and ports (apart from the CMC). It is very incomplete for what you need to buy from scratch but hopefullly useful as a start.

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (black)($190 Amazon/Ebay)

83201 Wet Wide Lens WWL-1 ($995)
83212 Nauticam Bayonet Mounting Ring for WWL-1 Lens ($45)
83214 Bayonet Mount Adaptor for SMC/CMC Lenses ($45)
36165 Nauticam N85 Power Zoom Macro Port 29 (to use with 83201 WWL-1) ($280)
36146 Nauticam P1442X-PZ Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power OIS Zoom Gear ($220)

83213 3 x Nauticam M67 to Bayonet Mount Converter for Wet Lenses WWL-1/CMC/SMC (3 x $80)(3 so I could put bayonet mounts on my Inon float arms for storage, as well as the front of the port)
Home made 3D printed focus gear (start here) (then use function buttons for zoom)

Others may disagree on the exact choice of Panasonic lens (there is more than one 14-42mm) and the choice of magnifier/diopter.

#371408 Macro Film from Bali, Lembeh, and PNG

Posted by Nick Hope on 10 March 2016 - 10:37 PM

Fantastic video Dustin. Very creative, good concept, nice work with the sound. The octopus shot at 3:35 is absolutely amazing, as is the one at 4:45.


As for suggestions, I would have used a more cliched "techy", "computer" font in "Matrix green" for the typing at the opening. The one you used didn't seem to fit somehow. And I would have made the frogfish burp when it was yawning to throw in a touch of humour.


It took nearly a minute to get the first stunning octopus shot up on screen. I think you'll lose some viewers with that. Not sure how you would get it up quicker though.

#370318 Anilao Dragonets - sp?

Posted by Nick Hope on 09 February 2016 - 07:37 PM

Yes, female Synchiropus morrisoni.

#370239 "Exchange" - Nembrotha chamberlaini nudibranchs mating

Posted by Nick Hope on 07 February 2016 - 11:24 PM

I got some nice macro footage of Nembrotha chamberlaini nudibranchs mating at Red Rock and Twin Rocks in Anilao last year.


Nudibranchs have barbed penises to hold them together and the last clips shows the effort and twisting movement required to pull that pair apart.


Shot with my Panasonic GH4 in Nauticam NA-GH4 housing. I think I was using my Olympus M.Zuiko ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens, with a Subsee diopter for some shots. The 2 most magnified shots are cropped in from 2160 to 1080p.


#370067 New Nauticam 29 port for Panasonic 14-42mm PZ could be a blast for 4K video s...

Posted by Nick Hope on 03 February 2016 - 11:45 PM

Thanks Lutfu. That certainly looks pretty sharp, and wider than the 12-50 at 12mm without a wet lens. But it's US$1165 for the parts to make that work, and then you've got a lens that vignettes at the wide end :( ... And my shopping list to switch over to a PZ 14-42mm system with WWL-1 totals US$2015! I'm going to wait and use what I've got already until I see where Panasonic goes with the GH5 etc..


I don't think [Pana 14-42 II Mega + port35 + WWL-1] vignettes, but I'm sure others will confirm that. I'm not sure.

#370066 High CRI video lights for macro work

Posted by Nick Hope on 03 February 2016 - 11:27 PM

The FIX NEO 1000 is cheaper and have more light in the spot mode 600 vs 500 lumens... Color temp is rated the same. Could be better. They are only listed for 369 euro a piece.

I've just noticed the FIX Neo Mini 1000 SW too. Looks like a focus light but the specs aren't so far off the FIX Neo 1000 DX SW. There are no CRI specs published, and no output adjustment [Edit: It says 25% steps], but you can put them nearer or further away from your subject, and your camera has plenty of things to adjust anyway. And what's not to love about tiny lights like this at less than $300? I do think they're worthy of serious consideration for macro. A while ago I was considering the previous Mini 500 version as a 3rd "backlight", behind my subject. Topside tests were promising, but I decided to save myself the hassle of a 3rd light for now.

But still sceptical that 600 lumen spot is enough for a high f setting on my GH4...


Be wary of high f settings on the Olympus 60mm macro lens. Diffraction kicks in at smaller apertures, as on any lens, and degrades the image. Take a look at line 7 below. In my tests it's sharpest at f4, good at f2.8 to f5.6, OK at f6.3 to f13, bad at f14 to f18, terrible at f20 and f22. I have a mini version of line 7 actually stuck to my macro port to remind me what to use and what not to. Lines 2 and 3 are for the Olympus 12-50 in wide mode and macro mode.


#370020 High CRI video lights for macro work

Posted by Nick Hope on 03 February 2016 - 12:18 AM

Really, I'm not wiser after reading this!

I should have saved myself the time and effort then!

#369507 Eye Missing

Posted by Nick Hope on 20 January 2016 - 08:36 PM

I think it's a birdbeak bufffish, Cyclichthys orbicularis. I've seen quite a few burrfishes/porcupinefishes with eye injuries, but none totally healed over like that. Their eyes do seem very vulnerable to damage.

#366426 Blending In - Lacy Bryozoan and its Inhabitants

Posted by Nick Hope on 23 October 2015 - 11:32 PM

The near-white lacy bryozoan, Triphyllozoon inornatum, has been getting attention from divers over the past couple of years since various inhabitants were spotted living in them at Ambon. In this video from Lembeh was see the same species of bryozoan hosting a soon-to-be-described bryozoan goby, a bryozoan crab (Pachycheles garciaensis) and a bryozoan snapping shrimp (Synalpheus sp.).


I originally made this as a quick video for a bryozoan specialist to confirm the ID of the bryozoan for Gerry Allen to put in his paper when he describes the goby, but I decided to make a bit more of it.


Shot with a Panasonic GH4 in a Nauticam NA-GH4 housing. I used an Olympus M.Zuiko ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens with Nauticam CMC (and the 60mm f2.8 macro lens for the crab shots).


#365918 4K downscale vs 1080p

Posted by Nick Hope on 05 October 2015 - 08:41 PM

The story goes that if you do the downscaling the right way, you can effectively have 4:4:4 colour sampling to work with instead of 4:2:0, and debatably you can increase bit depth from 8 to 10. A visual comparison on your monitors probably wouldn't reveal that extra quality, but you might be able to do more grading etc. with it in post if you do it the right way. Lots out there on this subject including this.


Also, you have scope in some methods to use different downscaling kernels such as bilnear, bicubic, Lanczos and spline. These affect sharpness and give you some element of control in the look when you downscale.

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#365783 Reflecting problem

Posted by Nick Hope on 01 October 2015 - 10:02 PM

I color Scotch 3M Magic Tape with a permanent black marker and use that. It doesn't leave a residue and doesn't move around.

#365671 GH4 Pros & Cons list before make my final choice.

Posted by Nick Hope on 28 September 2015 - 10:05 PM

You do need a monitor. I am using the 7" Dive and See DNC-7A(H1) which is waterproof and doesn't need a housing. I got a little corrosion on the first trip, especially around the white painted graphics, but it seems to have stopped on the subsequent trips so I'm cautiously optimistic about it lasting. I have disabled its exposure/focusing aids, which are useless, and am just using the GH4 ones, which do show on the monitor. At the moment I don't regret buying it and I don't fancy the current alternatives. I don't think the big shade helps much, and I have stopped using it for now. It too often obscured the red recording spot in the top right of the monitor, meaning I couldn't see when I was "anti-filming" (which is quite often!).


For me, focus was the biggest challenge in moving from an ENG video cam, closely followed by exposure. I used to use autofocus and autoexposure a lot on my old video cameras. I could be nailing a shot within fractions of a second of spotting something. No chance with a GH4 unless you're super lucky to have your settings already correct.


Autofocus is just horrible. Underwater it might seem like it's doing OK but when you get it on the computer you can see the "micro-hunting". Sometimes, if the lens allows (e.g. not Oly 12-50), I just use manual focus. Or if I'm in AFS mode I lock off the focus before the shot using the AF/AE button (so I get "AFL" rather than "AFS" at the top right of the display). I quite often then switch to manual focus mode so I can check the peaking. I also often switch to manual focus mode during a shot, especially with wider shots (doing this is in fact exactly the equivalent of the AF LOCK you said you don't have in the first post). Long thumbs help avoid wobbles! And because of the faint click I can usually see the moment I made the switch in the waveform on the audio track in my NLE, which can be very useful.


Pics of my latest GH4 full macro setup (before I removed the monitor shade) with Olympus 60mm macro and Nauticam CMC with flip adapter. My expression is because I thought it was about to blow over!...





#365406 Panasonic GH4 advanced settings

Posted by Nick Hope on 19 September 2015 - 11:02 PM

The cameras may be close with daylight WB topside, but I think it's in underwater manual white balance that the Canon cameras excel. I haven't seen anyone nail an underwater wide angle look with a GH* that is as nice as nicely done Canon 5D footage. But I'd still like to believe it's possible to get close with the right techniques in white balance and post production.

#365351 Panasonic GH4 advanced settings

Posted by Nick Hope on 17 September 2015 - 09:40 PM

Does anyone change the luminance, master pedestal and highlight shadow curve when shooting and why?


This is what I'm doing both underwater and topside:


Photo Syle: Natural

    Contrast: -2 (I might go to 0 as I'm always adding contrast in post anyway)

    Sharpness: -2 (I might go to -5 and do it all in post. Need to test in-camera vs post sharpening)

    Noise reduction: -2 (I think -5 to 0 are all valid settings depending on your post production workflow)

    Saturation: 0

    Hue: 0

i.Dynamic: Off

i.Resolution: Off

Master pedestal: 0

Luminance level: 0-255

Highlight/Shadow: 0

White Balance: 3300K adjusted to A:5 M:5 (with my Keldan 4X lights)


These are based on my own testing as well as what others do and recommend (including the video courses by Dave Dugdale and Caleb Pike).


I shoot 0-255 because I correct/grade every clip I publish and confirm to broadcast/web video levels (16-235 with an individual chroma channel allowed to go to 240 if the overall luminance is under 236), so I want to use the full 8 bits rather than limiting myself to 7.78 bits of 16-235. However 0-255 doesn't give the error-room that 16-235 does, so exposure is more critical to avoid clipping, and I quite often mess up a little.


I won't be using VLOG-L for shooting internally, despite having the "free" version. Not enough benefit to justify the drawbacks.


As to Luminance, a lot with depend on where you want your videos shown - some systems show 0-255 correctly, some cut off 0-15 and 236-255 (so you get clipping) and some are clever enough to squeeze 0-255 into 16-235. Youtube appears to show 16-255 (so only clipping 0-15)


In the vast majority of playback scenarios, YouTube shows 16-235 and clips >235 as well as <16.


Test video is here: