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JayceeB

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Posts posted by JayceeB


  1. 1 hour ago, ChrisRoss said:

    I'd suggest getting an accessory battery charger (and a spare battery), you'll probably want one anyway to be able to swap over batteries between dives if you're doing multiple dives a day.  There's various after market ones and Sony sells one which charges multiple Sony batteries.  If you get in the habit of using the charger turning the camera off is no longer a problem.

    Thanks, Chris.  I have a few odds and ends left to collect.  An extra battery and separate charger were on that list.

    I use Nitecore for other batteries.  They also make a double for Sony FZ-100 batteries:  Nitecore USN4PRO for Sony NP-FZ100

    I was thinking of the Nitecore unless anyone cautions against non-Sony chargers.


  2. Camera Body Notes:

    The Olympus feels less 'plastic-y' and more ergonometric for land use than the Sony.  I only plan to use the Sony underwater, so this isn't important to me.

    Sony EVF is on the far left.  I frame with my right eye, so took a bit of getting used to, but now i don't notice it.

    Sony EVF is smaller than the Olympus.  Almost too small to track small fish darting around in a larger frame.  Macro I can still manage viewing focus, just barely. 

    You can’t turn off fill flash on the Sony in Manual mode.  This means you need to turn off the strobes when shooting with ambient light.  I shoot with 2 custom dials set up.  One for flash.  One for ambient.  The Olympus ambient dial has flash turned off, so I can leave my strobes on.  The Sony ambient custom dial doesn’t allow this, so you need to actually turn your strobes off to ensure they don’t fire when shooting ambient.  Maybe I haven't figured this one out yet.  If any Sony users have tips, please share.

    Sony 28-60 doesn’t stop when you zoom all the way out, so you end up retracting the lens if you keep going, which causes a warning sign to appear on the screen.  I did this a few times on the first couple of dives while in the housing, but have gotten used to it now.

    Sony does not come with a battery charger.  Charging is via USB-C cable (which is included).

    Sony doesn’t charge with the USB-C cable if camera is ‘On’.  I’ve made this mistake a couple of times, went to load my camera, but had to wait to charge it again in ‘Off’ position.  Again, if any Sony users have tips, please share.

     


  3. I've had the Sony kit for a few weeks now, and have been jotting down a few notes.

    This is not an equipment review but rather my experience moving from the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II in a Nauticam housing  with dedicated lenses and ports/domes to the Sony A7C in a Nauticam housing with the 28-60mm kit lens, WWL-1B and CMC-1. 

    Here are a couple of photos of the Olympus on the left and Sony on the right.  The Sony has a Nauticam flash trigger mounted on the hotshoe.

    PXL_20210401_215533708.thumb.jpg.3a535be845e8f49ef303e20d6be8663d.jpg

    PXL_20210401_215609312.jpg

    • Like 1

  4. Thank you all for insightful feedback on equipment and technique.  You brought forward some considerations I hadn’t thought of, and your responses are much appreciated.

    I’ve decided to proceed with the A7C + 28-60 + WWL.

    I’ll use the A7C kit for a month or so to confirm if the performance enhancements balance the limitations of full-frame.  If the A7C works out for me, as I hope, I’ll keep it and sell my Olympus kit.  If the A7C does not work out for me, I’ll sell the A7C kit and upgrade to a Zen 170 dome for the 12-40.  

    I consider this a learning exercise with no wrong result...albeit an expensive learning exercise :)

    • Like 2

  5. Two more test shots from today with the WWL-1 back on.  Seemed to work a little better, but still doesn't feel quite as responsive or sharp as my 12-40, but not as far off as the testing from last week.   

     

    Maybe it's not technically correct, but I still enjoy taking some wide angle ambient light shots further than 15' away.  3rd shot as an example.  I know no lens/port/camera combination will give a sharp capture in these conditions, just trying to get the best I can with a single wet lens combination.P3070430.jpg.df4c036f0ea607c2931c355c8a394fae.jpgP3070318.jpg.3368d950927aaba0e4c4ba9e337afc21.jpgP3070424.jpg.9c5863d4a3a93aa2595a21f9db45b152.jpg

    • Like 1

  6. 6 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

    I don't think I could be more clear, the A7C is faster and has better image quality across the entire range. I have owned the 12-40 and the 14-42 power zoom with WWL-1 has better image quality than the 12-40 even if you used it behind a 230mm dome port.

    Sony FE 28-60mm, at 28mm end (fish) and 60mm end of the zoom range (crab) with WWL-1. 

     

    You were clear.  Thank you :)


  7. 31 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

    This is a no brainer to me, first I used the Olympus line for years including the EM-1 II and also the WWL-1with EM1 II you can find those reviews in the back issues at uwpmag.com. I am also probably the only one on this site that has used the Sony A7C, FE 28-60mm zoom and WWL-1.

    The only real question here is do I want to stay with a smaller format sensor or go to full frame with its added issues.

    Bottom line is that the A7C is faster, smaller and has noticeably better image quality as most FF cameras do when compared to sub-full-frame. I have heard all the arguments for both formats but the bottom line is that if your top priorities are speed and IQ the Sony A7C is just better.

    While many DSLR users will argue that size should not be a large issue when selecting a U/W camera I believe they are forgetting why many of the older ones left film cameras in large housings and went to the Nikonos RS system. My spell check does not even recognize the word Nikonos but I would venture to say that more than half of the published U/W photo pro's were using the RS system before they went to digital. I would also bet that one of the top reasons for using the Nikonos RS  SLR camera body and lenses was reduced the size and weight of the system. I would guess the top reason was the quality of the water contact optics which won out over AF speed because they were more than a bit slow.

    Thanks for your insight, Phil. 

    In your opinion, would the A7C+28-60+WWL-1 give at least the same sharpness and auto-focus as the E-M1 II + 12-40 PRO when fully zoomed in?


  8. 5 hours ago, caolino said:

    do you have any details comparison in term of size and weight including pictures? I'm very curious about it

    The size and weight of the two housings is very similar (based on specs from the Nauticam website).  I'm assuming the cameras, lenses and ports would be similar in size and weight.  WWL-1B is 3lbs.

    Olympus

    Weight 1.95kg
    Dimensions 305mm (W) × 175mm (H) × 116mm (D)

    Sony

    Dimensions 307mm (W) x 172mm (H) x 103mm(D)
    Weight (in air) 1.78kg

  9. 8 hours ago, hyp said:

    Acrylic domes are generally very floaty, so moving to a glass dome will increase weight for travelling but improve handling underwater significantly. 

    Generally, I think your pictures just demonstrate the age old of rule of getting closer in underwater photography. It's quite possible that with the Sony you will get better AF and also better image quality, but the first photos of distant dolphins and the shark will never look good even on the very best camera. The closer dolphins would probably also look pretty good with the WWL-1. In my opinion it is not really worth chasing after improvements on a type of shot, that will just never look good. On the other hand you should just do what brings you joy and if these are the type of shots you generally shoot, maybe it's worth it for you. Maybe also worth looking at the WACP.

    Thanks for your perspective, Hyp.  Probably sage advice.

    I try and get as close as possible to underwater subjects, but sometimes that just isn't possible.  In those cases, I still like to have a record of what I encountered on the dive, even if it isn't a 'framer'.

    WACP is a bit beyond my budget.  I'll reconsider a glass dome though in the equation.

    My goal is to reduce my kit with the WWL, while still retaining or exceeding the quality i'm getting with the Oly 12-40...maybe that's not possible.


  10. 9 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

    To me this is the one downside of the WWL concept, the kit lenses are often slow and don't have the latest or best AF equipment onboard.

    Looking at the pics and their histogram, the contrast is quite low which probably had some role in the AF issues you are seeing.   This I think quite typical for distant subjects.  I assume you're saying 12-40 had no problem with the tiger shark  and if it is zoomed right in would be well off I would guess.

    Out of interest which particular 14-42 do you have?  They may not all be the same and might be a question worth asking regarding performance at the long end?

    BTW, you seem to have some reflections going in the last two shots or is that something in the background?

    BTW2 - I use the 170mm Zen dome and don't experience floatiness, I find it nice and compact for my purposes.  I'm guessing you have the 7"acrylic dome which I've seen and is significantly bulkier than mine.

    Yes, the 12-40 had no trouble focusing on the tiger and the sharpness of the photo is better.

    I have the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R.  I checked with Nauticam and asked if they recommended one of the 14-42's over the others.  They mentioned it was 'splitting hairs' between the different offerings.  Since I already had the Oly, I just used that.  @Intercepter121 mentioned that Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS is the best he has used.  How much better than the Oly?  I don't know.

    Reflections in the last two shots are actually a submerged fish pen (attracts the Oceanics).

    I do have the 7" acrylic dome.  Picked it up used.  Perhaps I should reconsider the Zen dome.

    I'm wondering if the Sony 28-60 kit lens is better quality than the Oly 14-42 kit lens, and would perform better behind the WWL-1.


  11. Hi Chris,

    I typically shoot in the mornings in clear water, so not nearly night conditions, but there can be issues with early morning contrast between animals and the dark blue horizontal backdrop.

    Here are two photos I took this weekend one day apart at the same dive site fully zoomed in at f6.3 and 1/160.  I lightly white balanced these in LR, otherwise they’re pure in all their rough glory.

    Day 1:  The group of 7 dolphins were taken with the 14-42 at 42mm with the WWL at 8:30AM f6.3 1/160th ISO 640 (auto-iso)

    P2270055.jpg.62ceecb26379b3ead2d02950b8d4ae06.jpg

    Day 2:  The tiger was taken with the 12-40 PRO zoomed to 40mm at noon, so more light.  f6.3 1/160th ISO 160 (auto-iso)P2280200.jpg.1aaed30b7a21b3caf63165fc75528d3b.jpg

    Also on day 2, some playful dolphins made very close runs.  I had the 12-40, so can’t compare to the 14-42 close up, but this illustrates how well the 12-40 performs at ISO 640.  Fast moving dolphins, and the bulk of my shots were sharp. Zoomed to 22mm. Slight crop in LR.  f6.3 1/250 ISO 640

    P2280084-Edit.jpg.3a52a7b12db7cf0db70b1cef6cba235c.jpg

    • Like 1

  12. I moved from a Sony RX100 IV to an Olympus OM-D E-M1 II several years ago.  I found the move to be a medium jump in quality, a significant jump in auto-focus performance, but also a significant jump in cost and size

    My gear has grown over time to consist of 3 domes and 3 flat ports to accommodate.

    • Oly 12-40 PRO
    • Pan 7-14
    • Pan 8mm
    • Oly 30mm macro
    • Oly 60mm macro
    • Oly 14-42 IIR

    My photography consists of:

    • 10% big animals close range (close dolphins, oceanic white tips, turtles)
    • 30% big animals from 10’ to 40’ away (dolphins, sharks, pilot whales)
    • 40% fish portraits
    • 20% macro

    80% of my dives these days are shore dives, so lugging big gear around is a chore.

    My go-to kit is the Oly 12-40 PRO, which works great for big animals (which are not too close) and fish portraits, but less than adequate for macro, or close in big animals.  If I don’t know what I’m going to get into on a dive, I bring this lens.  Auto focus is excellent.  A great lens, but requires a large dome, which is very floaty.  I had to secure a 1lb weight to the underside of the dome just to keep the nose down.

    The Panasonic 7-14 is nice quality, but I’m often disappointed with lack of range.  I only bring this lens if I’m absolutely sure the subjects will be very close (turtles).

    I don’t seem to use the Panasonic 8mm fisheye.  

    I rarely use the Oly 30mm macro since purchasing the Oly 12-40 PRO.

    The Oly 60mm is a joy for macro, but you are 100% dedicated to macro for the entire dive.

    I would like to improve my low light image quality, reduce the need for a large dome port and reduce the amount of gear I need.

    Since I already owned the 14-42 kit lens, I thought I would try it in the flat port + Nauticam WWL.

    For close focus and fish portraits, the combination works great and would replace my 12-40 PRO, 7-14, 8mm fisheye and 30mm macro.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed when zoomed in all the way for big animals in lower light conditions where the animal’s background is dark blue water.  Focus is slow, and hunts.  A big percentage of the photos I’ve taken are out of focus, or even when in focus, they’re soft.  Definitely not a replacement for my 12-40 PRO when zoomed all the way in.  I assume that's a product of the quality of the 14-42 kit lens, and not the WWL

    The Sony A7C + 28-60 kit lens + WWL is the same size as my Olympus OM-D E-M1 II  + 14-42 + WWL.

    My questions to the community are:

    1. Will the Sony A7C (or A7 III) + 28-60 kit lens + WWL give better low light auto-focus and picture quality than the E-M1 II +14-42 + WWL when zoomed all the way in?

    2. Will the Sony A7C (or A7 III) + 28-60 kit lens + WWL give comparable auto-focus and picture sharpness to the E-M1 II + 12-40 PRO in a Dome when zoomed all the way in low light conditions?

    3.  Would I see a significant jump in overall quality and auto-focus moving from the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II (with multiple lenses, domes and ports )to the Sony A7C with a single lens, one port and WWL + CMC?

    Thanks for any guidance or experience anyone can lend.  I’m trying to avoid buyers remorse :)

    • Like 1

  13. 14 minutes ago, ChrisRoss said:

    The WWL-1 gives a 130° diagonal field of view (equivalent to 10mm lens)  from a 28mm equivalent focal length lens so that is 10/28 = 0.36x.  So that makes the 14-42 into a 5-15mm equivalent lens.   The WWL-1 introduces barrel distortion - sort of semi fisheye so while it gives you 130° on the diagonal,  the horizontal field of view is more like 104° rather than the 121° you would expect on a 10mm rectilinear lens so that would be more like a 7-21mm lens for the horizontal field of view.     

    Fisheye lenses are similar - while they get a 180° diagonal field of view their horizontal field of view is only about 135°

    Thanks for the quick response, Mr. Ross.  That's exactly what I needed on focal length.  BTW Your posts have helped me immensely in my 4/3 journey :) 

    • Like 1

  14. Folks,

    I'm wondering what the equivalent focal length range would be with a Lumix G Vario 14-42 II + Nauticam WWL-1. 

    What wide angle lens focal length would 14mm reduce to?  

    What telephoto lens focal length would 42 reduce to?.

    Also, from the forums, it sounds like the Lumix G Vario 14-42 II is the best IQ of the Olympus and Panasonic choices (I'm shooting with the Oly E-M1 II).  Do I have that correct?  I already have an Olympus 14-42 IIR that came as a kit lens, and am wondering if an upgrade to the Panasonic 14-42 is worthwhile if moving to a 14-42 + WWL-1 option.

    Thanks for any responses you may have,

    -Jaycee


  15.  

    On 7/11/2020 at 2:31 AM, ChrisRoss said:

    The problem with the 14-42 is it becomes about a 17.5mm at the wide end in a flat port, which means you would have to back off quite a bit to shoot big animals, 35mm full frame equivalent focal length is not that wide. 

    If you have the 6" dome try it in there and see if vignettes - that would be what I'd choose if it worked.  It's not going to have the optimal spacing but it is most likely sharper than the 14mm through a flat port.  The 4" wide angle port is recommended for it and that has a long extension as well.

    BTW the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 uses the 6" wide angle port, doesn't focus quite as close as the olympus 12-40 but it's another option.

    Here's the Nauticam port chart for reference:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PzZ346RG3N7XTt6s8EUC9pBL2FfxQzIE/view

     

    I tested the 14-42 with the 6" dome in a test tank.  No vignetting.  I'll try this in the wild and see how it works.  Thanks, Chris, for your suggestion.


  16. On 7/11/2020 at 2:31 AM, ChrisRoss said:

    The problem with the 14-42 is it becomes about a 17.5mm at the wide end in a flat port, which means you would have to back off quite a bit to shoot big animals, 35mm full frame equivalent focal length is not that wide. 

    If you have the 6" dome try it in there and see if vignettes - that would be what I'd choose if it worked.  It's not going to have the optimal spacing but it is most likely sharper than the 14mm through a flat port.  The 4" wide angle port is recommended for it and that has a long extension as well.

    BTW the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 uses the 6" wide angle port, doesn't focus quite as close as the olympus 12-40 but it's another option.

    Here's the Nauticam port chart for reference:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PzZ346RG3N7XTt6s8EUC9pBL2FfxQzIE/view

     

    Thanks, Chris.  I'll test out the 6" dome in my test tank.  Also, I was so focused on the highly recommended 12-40 that I didn't consider the 12-35mm option.  Will look further at that, since the 7-14 and 12-35 share a common port.  If the tradeoffs in autofocus and image quality are acceptable, might be worth considering.


  17. 50 minutes ago, tursiops said:

    "36135 (macro port 45) + 36620 (mini extension ring 20) - Used for Oly 60mm macro."

    This combo is a little long....65mm total, and you only need 56. You could help yourself by using the 17mm extension ring 36617 rather than the 20mm, but that still only gets you down to 62mm. What you'd lose would be your 14mm wideangle end; the 42mm telephoto end is still fine.

    Why do you have a 36135 port? I thought that only fit the 30mm macro lens? Do you want more telephoto than 30mm but less than 60?

    Thanks for your reply, tursiops.

    I have a 30mm macro which I use for fish portraits and a 60mm macro which i use for nudis.  This is why i have both the 45mm port and 20mm extension.  45mm port for the 30mm lens.  45mm+20mm extension for the 60mm lens.  I don't plan on investing much in the 14-42 kit, but I already have the lens.  Was trying to see if i could utilize my existing ports and extension.  I actually tried this out in a tub today with the lens set at 14mm with the 45mm+20mm extension.  Although the 65mm is longer than required, there was no vignetting at the wide end of this lens, so I think it will work if I just purchase the zoom gear.  There may be other optics factors at play here, but it appears to work.

    The situation i'm trying to gear up for is a local dive with resident tigers.  Sometimes the sharks approach very closely, but other times further away.  This is why i would like a more flexible zoom range than my current wide angle 7-14 setup gives me.  Eventually I would like to add the 12-40 and port, but this is a pricey option.  Also, sounds like Olympus has an 8-25mm F4 Pro in their future roadmap (if that ever gets fullfilled), which would be a nice combination.


  18. 2 hours ago, bill1946 said:

    I have this lens in another housing. I would not purchase an expensive port for ambient light. It is best with a strobe. 

    Thanks for the feedback.  I don't plan on purchasing a port for this lens, just wondering if i could use it with one of my existing port combinations temporarily, until I can afford a 12-40 + port.  So all i would be purchasing is a zoom gear.

    • Like 1

  19. Folks,

    I own a kit lens that I would like to use as a mid-range zoom, mainly for ambient light, big animal photography :

    Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R

    I would like to avoid purchasing a dedicated port for this lens.
    36136 (macro port 56)

    Instead, I'm wondering if I could get by using one of the following Nauticam ports that I already own, and just purchasing the zoom gear:

    36135 (macro port 45) + 36620 (mini extension ring 20) - Used for Oly 60mm macro.
    36133 (6" dome) - Used for Panasonic 7-14.
    36132 (4.33" dome) - Used for Panasonic 8mm. (** Could add the 36620 mini extension ring 20 if required).

    Does anyone have experience trying any of these combinations?

    Thanks.
     

    • Like 1
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