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#358025 GH4 - Nauticam Macro Lens/Port Thoughts

Posted by kc_moses on 18 February 2015 - 02:04 PM

Well, from my experience, the manual focus would be handy. Say if you shoot at Manual Focus mode, you use the back button to set initial focus, and shoot the nudibranch. As it craw toward the screen, you have to pick up the camera and move backward, or use the back button focus technique to refocus again. But if you have a manual focus knob, you can actually "pull focus" and smoothly adjust the focus. I found that using the back button to re-focus a subject that just moved would give the effect as if the camera is focus hunting.


Sometimes when you use the back button focus, it might just focus on the face (like the seahorse), but the eyes is not that focus, just the snout of the seahorse is sharp. This is when it would be nice to have the focus knob to bring up the enlarge screen and really focus on the eye especially with the help of peaking. I don't use pinpoint focus so this is the way I did when I test out the GH4.

#358006 Panasonic LX-100 Nauticam housing

Posted by kc_moses on 18 February 2015 - 10:02 AM

Reef Photos came through again, and I will be receiving the 1st production unit CMC-1 in the US, just in time for my Asia trip, flying out in 5 days!!!!!  Looks like I will leave my Aquako IV in my spare diving bin at home and use it for something like a GH5 in the future.

#357901 GH4 Color Profiles - Which One(s) do you use?

Posted by kc_moses on 16 February 2015 - 07:31 AM

I tried CineD and CineV didn't find much difference, I was grading them so it doesn't matter to you. I have quite a bit experience with Panasonic LX-7, took me a couple years to figure it out. If you want nice blue color, use the "Scenery" because it brings out the blue. I tried Natural and the blue seems washed out to me.

#357866 Trip Video: 01/30/2015 Los Coronados Islands

Posted by kc_moses on 15 February 2015 - 01:38 PM

Nice work Bob! What color profile did you use? The color turn out well!

#357768 Choose your weapon: SLR versus video camera for filmmaking

Posted by kc_moses on 12 February 2015 - 12:49 PM

OMG!!!! Make sure you watch the video at the bottom of the page, not sure is real or not, but for someone sitting from the side line, I really ask why someone would pay $13000 for a C300?



#357672 Choose your weapon: SLR versus video camera for filmmaking

Posted by kc_moses on 10 February 2015 - 10:54 AM

I have mixed feeling about the article. I don't think Canon C300 or Red is for Advance shooter, they're more for professional.


I was looking at Sony AX100, with a Recsea housing, the total cost is about $7000. You pay that money, just use it and may be add a diopter here and there.


I did the pricing on the GH4, with port, gear, arm, float. It come close to $7000 to cover macro and WA, but the process is overwhelming (coming from a point and shoot person). Balancing on the GH4 (or any Camera system) is tricky too, how much Stix float do you need? If you use different lens/port, the camera become off balance. If the arm is too wide, or too forward, the camera tilt. This is where I feel that I favor camcorder.


Most of us travel would also do top side photos, so a gadget that can do two jobs is great, especially airlines try to squeeze money out of carry on luggage these days. Camcorder housing are huge and expensive, there is no camcorder housing that's less than $1500, and you're at the mercy of housing manufacturer whether if they will make a housing for the camcorder that you want to get (BTW, how come Nauticam doesn't make housing for camcorder?)


I think the article is overly generalize about either use goPro or high end camcorder. There are many of us who are in between, and debate if we should use prosumer point & shoot, compact mirrorless or get the full frame system. Those decision are made base on budget, dive experience/skill, photography/videography technical skill.


The way I would sum it up is:

- Vacationing video for family viewing, yeah, goPro is mostly good enough.

- To put video out on the web for public viewing, trying to be creative/artistic or even enter video contest, camera or something that fit the bill would be the way to go because of equipment budget.

- Stock video, National TV documentary or anything highly commercial, use the RED to your heard contain, after all, it shoot more than 4K.

#357636 Panasonic LX-100 Nauticam housing

Posted by kc_moses on 09 February 2015 - 06:55 PM

6.) Make sure the longer screw is longer than the tab and hinge.



7.) Now put together the 67mm holder with the flip frame, but this time the holder is at the bottom, where the flat port would be.



8.) The extra screw length is covered by stainless nuts, and also make it more secure.



9.) Once the whole thing is put together, the nuts are facing out, and the holder is at the bottom/inside.



10.) The Flat port itself has a bit frame, so the 67mm holder will press against it instead of the clear window. But the flip diopter still can be latched close.



11.) With this modification, you don't need to use my suggested  "workaround" of using Step Down ring and spacer, then screw the 52mm diopter from inside of the flip diopter.



Thought & Warning:

1.) Unless you have confident in drilling the holes through and make thread into the holes, let the professional do it!

2.) It only cost me $20 to get the holes drill and threaded, the long M4 screws and nuts cost me less than $3, so total $23 for this mod.

3.) This mode will void your flip diopter warranty, so do it at your own risk, I'm not responsible to any damage you do to your Flip Diopter Holder.

4.) I believe having the frame close to the flat port, you get a few mm smaller width, I have to review my test pictures to confirm.

5.) You can always put the 67mm holder back to the front as it was before, so this mod is reversible if you want to use the CMC-1, which has protrude back.

#357069 Panasonic LX-100 Nauticam housing

Posted by kc_moses on 27 January 2015 - 12:46 PM

Thanks Adam, will look into Reefnet diopter.


Shoot for cropping is an option for 4K to 1080p down scaling as there is no pixel quality lost. I agree that it's best to plan to shot the way you want to use it. When I tried out the GH4, with uncontrollable movement because of macro and not having a tripod, it's nice that a light bulb comes on and I switch my brain to shoot 4K with possibility of 1080p, so I reframe my subject not too close to the edge to give me room to stabilize and crop during post.


Those who're curious about LX100 or some other camera, this review sums up all (I think!) the features that the camera has, it's quite exhausting to follow because the camera just have that many features!:




#356596 Panasonic LX-100 Nauticam housing

Posted by kc_moses on 14 January 2015 - 06:47 PM

Hi Chris,


I haven't receive info about when the flip diopter will arrive, so I don't know when I will get it wet. My next trip would be to Anilao, so I still have some stuffs I need to consider to get great Macro video. I think I might get the $220 Flexitray with handle since reusing my ULCS handle and tray for a tripod set up is hard.



#356581 Panasonic LX-100 Nauticam housing

Posted by kc_moses on 14 January 2015 - 10:41 AM

8.) The port release. There is nothing to prevent it from being press accidentally, so it's something to watch out for. But the port is very tight.



9.) The housing has holes on both side to use the bracket with Nauticam Flexitray (https://www.opticalo...xitray-set.html)






Note 1: You have to turn the housing to F16 in order for the camera to get in, don't force it!

Note 2: The ON/OFF level need to be risen before putting the camera in, just like GH4.



11.) Door of the housing



12.) Bottom of housing - standard Nauticam double 1/4-20 holes.



13.) Housing shipped with bracket to use with Nautical Flexitray and handle.



14.) The whole housing fit into a gallon size ziplock bag, nice! This is how I store my housing when not in use, to prevent dust. Just put a silica pack in the ziplock back, close the housing (not lock) and store away.



I'm still waiting for the 67mm flip diopter holder to arrive before I get it wet to test it out. I'm pretty sure I will get the short flat port, the short flat port allows you to attach WA wet lens. When not using a wet lens, the short flat port should let you take picture of portrait size subject, and since the camera can focus up to 3cm (!!), you can get really close for smaller subject, so not being able to use the zoom level is fine for me.


The Dome port is said to restore the air field of view of the camera, which at the widest (24mm) would be about 84 degree. 84 degree is not wide enough for most big subjects, even though it lets you zoom, not being able to use a diopter makes it less attractive to me.


Hope this info help!



#356422 Milne Bay - Papua New Guinea

Posted by kc_moses on 09 January 2015 - 08:06 AM

Did I just see Nudibranch poop at the end? :lol2: Heading to Anilao in a couple months, really hoping to get some stable shoot like yours. Always enjoy your work Dustin!

#355988 Wide angle with GH4 and 14-42mm PZ lens

Posted by kc_moses on 29 December 2014 - 01:55 PM

Alright, it's not conventional to go this route, but I'm trying to save money so I'm letting the cat out of the bag. A few people here know that I have been using my Opteka WA lens when I have my Panasonic LX-7 set up. The LX-7 have wide angle wet lens challenge, only Inon UWL-H100 works on it, but I'm not willing to spend $500 for a wet lens. With a bit research, I came across the Opteka lens which is for land use, and they happen to have a 67mm version:




For about $150, it's worth a try when I had the LX7. It works on the LX7, so I'm sure it will work with the GH4. But with 4K, would I see the imperfection of the Opteka lens? You be the judge. Here are the Opteka Lens pictures


- Very flat:



- Lens is made out of glass, so a bit heavy but will minimize the reflection of the lens barrel when pointing toward the sky.




- back of the lens is concave, no space between the front and back of the lens, so it won't flood in water.




- thread size 67mm, will work with lens that have big opening.




- field of view of 14mm of the 12-42mm PZ lens inside the Nauticam housing. (Took this at night at my hotel room)




- field of view at 14mm of the 14-42mm PZ lens after attached the Opteka lens. No vignette, fisheye effect will disappear once in water due to water distortion. May be a bit chromatic aberration, but then, it seems to disappear once in water, or is hard to spot due to video, not still.




Here is the result, watch in Youtube and turn on 4K:


The visibility got worse during second dive, and it was about 5pm Winter in Florida. Since the lens is not fast, the GH4 bump up the ISO (shot at shutter priority of 1/60). There are places where you can see noise. I didn't use manual focus at all since it's a WA dive. I used AFC with 49-point focus area. You can see the camera hunt for focus, during the lion fish and the box fish at the end, it's a drawback of the DFD technolgoy Panasonic use. But if the subject doesn't move much, it shouldn't be an issue. The lobster is big, I got really close that its "antenna" can touch my lens, and it show that the Opteka lens is sharp enough. For $150, it's a steal!


So in conclusion, the 14-42mm PZ truly function like a point and shoot lens, give you decent macro and with Opteka lens (don't know about the Inon UWL-H100), you can shoot macro and WA in the same dive. My only complain is the lens is not bright/fast. Hope the info help!

#355932 GH4 with 14-42mm PZ macro sample and thought.

Posted by kc_moses on 28 December 2014 - 08:34 AM

Alright, so here is the background info. I rented the NA-GH4 for a couple days early this month to try out the GH4 + 14-42mm lens.


The take away is, this lens has potential, I was using this set up like a point and shoot hence the result is hit and miss. I one handed holding the camera a lot, hence a lot of shaky footage (especially the eel). I was playing with Focus Tracking, which didn't work as well hence you see a lot of stuffs going in and out of focus. At some point I gave up Focus tracking and simply use manual focus with focus peaking and it works okay as long as the creature doesn't move too much and if the diopter's depth of field is not too shallow.


For the very close up (like the ubiquitous arrow crab), I stacked the +5 on top of the +7 and zoomed out, so the depth of field get very narrow and making focus difficult especially in manual focus + focus peaking. May be a different diopter like SMC will work better for that kind of close up.


With practice, you should get good result. I hope this help many armature like me out there!  :mocking:



Oh, I post processed to stabilize a lot of the clips, hence I output it to 2.7K. But the clip at 1:25 is without post process of stabilizing, just minor color grading. You can use 1:25 part to judge the quality with the +5 diopter. Also, throughout the dive, I can focus within 12". The fire worm crawling toward me was quite close, like 6-8", I had to move backward so that I don't get stink. but by moving backward, the focus go in and out again because I was using manual focus.

#354283 GH4 with 14-42mm lens or LX100?

Posted by kc_moses on 12 November 2014 - 10:48 AM

I'm not too worry about the wide angle on the housing since I had a decent solution for the LX-7.


I was ready to commit to the GH4 housing, which I have no problem to spend $2200 for, but truth be told, I don't get why a lens gear would cost US$200. There is no electrical machanism involve but just accurate CAD drawing with precision cutting, and any 3D printer and print a gear for less than $20. I just can't bring myself to spending thousand of dollar for gear down the road for either the 12-35mm lens, 7-14mm or the 8mm, which if I get on interchangable lens system, it would be very hard to avoid.


If they implement a vacuum pump check on the LX-100 housing, it would be sweet.

#353666 Lens choices for a MFT system

Posted by kc_moses on 24 October 2014 - 07:10 AM

Chris, you might want to consider the Panasonic Lumic G X Vario 14-42mm instead of the Olympus 12-50mm. The Panasonic has Power O.I.S, which is important for video. The Olympus won't have any sort of Image Stabilization on the GH4. Go over to the video section of the forum and Peter from Australia is some info and video showing the use of the 14-42mm. You can use diopter on it (+10 is recommended). For wide angle, you can find a wet lens that work for it.


I just get my GH4 and the 14-42mm lens today, but I haven't get the housing yet. I plan on using my Opteka .45x 67mm lens on it for wide angle.