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John E

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  1. Hi Chris, my fault - the original file sizes are over 5MB but wouldn't upload. Those are less than 200KB each. The main point was to illustrate the field of view and limited ability to take split shots. The split shot with the wet lens is the only one I have and it was a wide aperture. This picture is 3MB with the UWL-400A wet lens
  2. I have both the TG-6 with Olympus housing and UWL-400A wide angle wet lens and the Ikelite with dome and FCON-T02. They are both good for snorkelling, taking wide pictures with zoom capability . The wet lens option is a bit negatively buoyant and the Ikelite a bit positive, but not too much, and both are compact. The buttons on the Olympus housing are slightly easier to use whilst the Ikelite is more robust. The first two pictures are with the FCON-T02 in Ikelite housing with dome and the second two are from the UWL-400A and Olympus housing. With patience it is possible to get some sort of split shot with the wet lens. This was with the bayonet attachment which drains water quickly - without it and using some way to tape up the join between the wet lens and housing would probably work better.
  3. Does it also do it outside the housing? The record and function buttons can be assigned custom functions including AEL/AFL. Just a guess but maybe this is selected and the housing is sometimes touching one of these buttons?? Maybe do a reset and see if the problem is solved?
  4. I have a spare day with some friends during a conference in Key Largo in September and hope to get a dive in (three experienced divers). The Duane wreck looks good. Any advice? Photography is not a priority, just having a good day!
  5. Hi Grasshopper, Good choice! I'm on the Great Barrier Reef, so similar conditions to French Polynesia. I also have a daughter that likes freediving and taking pictures. An easy-to-use camera is perfect so they can concentrate on the marine life and also take quick photos whilst breath holding. As you are snorkelling, you would likely have the most fun with minimum drag when swimming (especially free-diving) and probably not need the light. (Nice to some night snorkelling though!) I have the 81 degree wet lens, the 120 degree wet lens with the Olympus PT-059 housing, and also the Ikelite housing with the 6 inch dome and the Olympus fisheye adapter. The set-up you have bought is my favourite. I don't have the magnifier but thinking of getting one - but also worth thinking of an optical mask if you are getting slightly short-sighted. The JPEGS and underwater white balance settings on the the TG-6 work very well. Also, with the wet lens it is easy to get very close to subjects and scratch the polycarbonate front element. It has a hard coating, but that doesn't seem very tough and is very difficult to fix. Not sure about software but with books - Reef creature identification, Tropical Pacific by Humann/Deloach published by New World Publications is good, as is the companion volume on fish
  6. The semi-dome port for the Olympus 9-18mm also fits the 60mm macro as an alternative to the flat macro port, at least with the Olympus or AOI housings. I wonder if this makes it a better port to use?
  7. You know how the dentist reminds you to floss your teeth but then you never do? This is a reminder about operating buttons when freshwater rinsing, rather than just dunking or spraying your housing. I have several Olympus TG5 and TG6 housings. I also have older Fantasea housings and a newer AOI housing. I recon the quality of these housings is good and they have lasted well with heavy commercial use. A potential source of leaks I've experienced on the housings is the shutter button. If saltwater is left sitting in the shutter button mechanism this can cause slight corrosion after a time on the stainless steel part where it seats in the o ring so the seal is lost and water drips in at this pint. It can be possible to fix but - like teeth - best to look after.
  8. The white sticky compound is likely an anti-galvanic corrosion zinc jointing paste such as Tefgel rather than straightforward grease. A similar zinc jointing paste that is yellow is Duralac. These are very commonly used in saltwater environments, for example on aluminium boats, outboard engines or yacht masts where stainless steel fasteners go into aluminium. It's still important to undo the fastening now and again and redo to avoid any aluminium oxide build-up causing seizing.
  9. Note that wet lenses with a polycarbonate front dome have a hard coating which is not really publishable if they get scratched. AOI can re-dome a wet lens and I've had this done with a UWL-400A, but it's not cheap. So a significant advantage to the "PRO" glass fronted wet lens.
  10. Like bghazzal says... for casual shallow footage either works, but for what you describe the GoPro probably is best. The white balance and 60fps make it easy to get really good, fun results. Video stabilisation in the recent GoPros is good (I have a 9), much more usable than the TG-6. It's simple for others to use too once you've put the settings in. The only thing is that the GoPro housings are not that reliable, nor the waterproofing on the GoPros themselves, especially for diving. We use an Isotta GoPro housing - well worth it. Fasten the GoPro to a dive weight and pop it on the seabed to film yourself and wife, or leave it filming wildlife whilst you move away to get natural animal behaviour you would otherwise miss. if you go the TG6 option a housing is definitely worth it. If you use the Olympus fisheye adaptor lens then Ikelite make a package with a dome. Otherwise you can get wet lenses for the Olympus housing but with a smaller field of view.
  11. Thanks for the information... I have experience of the Olympus 16mp sensor (EPL-10 at the moment) and have used several AOI manufactured housings. I'm also a big fan of the TG-6 with a UWL-400A wet lens which is great for free diving and pictures that are just for screen viewing. The new AOI housing for the Olympus OMD 1 iii is tempting except one of my main reasons for upgrading is to occasionally get big prints. I took note of PhilW's comments on changing from Olympus OMD 1ii. I have read Phil Rudin's comments that the 20mp Olympus sensor is not necessarily a big upgrade in image quality from the 16mp, and Chris's comments that the 20mp Olympus sensor is close to the D500 - makes these options seem a sideways move.... I find the 120 degree field of view of the UWL-400A a bit narrow sometimes but am wary of being fixed at maximum fisheye like the Olympus 8mm. Hence the appeal of a zoomable fisheye if using APS-C mode (and still getting around 20mp) but having the full resolution fisheye at 15mm for big reef scene prints. (Not too fussed about rectilinear.) I suppose I'm really looking for a more versatile version of the D500 and Tokina fisheye - with higher resolution (when needed) and better video .... The Canon R5 is the most expensive option and would be a more serious contender if video was a higher priority. So that is probably bottom of the list. No image stabilisation on the D850 seems a limitation (or better to stabilise in post?). 24mp resolution full frame mirrorless cameras seem hamstrung in options for zoomable fisheye in a dome due to lower resolution in that crop mode and don't seem to work with the Tokina 10-15mm for a zoomable fisheye? (Wanting to do split shots puts me off the wet lens option.) 24mp+ resolution APS-C cameras seem to have little choice for underwater other than Sony A series... which again doesn't look to me to be a worthwhile change from Olympus. A local dealer suggested I got a Nikon Z50 but that does seem to have no advantage in a housing compared to the better focusing D500. So that seems to bring us back to this shortlist .....with the Nikon D850 added in ... (all using either Nikon or Canon 8-15mm).
  12. I was thinking of the newer Nikon Z7ii which costs more than the Sony A7Riv. The Sony A7RIV does look like the top of the list.. but I wonder how close is the Sony A7Riii? I notice it is the least popular on the vote. Even if big enlargements or stabilised video with good colour are only a small percentage of camera usage, it can be crucial for those times its used, so the choice narrows down. I haven't used any of these cameras and don't have access to them, but the ability to use cropped sensor mode and larger depth of field looks the best of both worlds. So, like the original question it comes down to these few high resolution mirrorless cameras that seem to have the most versatility unless I'm missing something? The housing costs look similar so any saving on the camera body is less significant in the scheme of things.
  13. I wonder if there is an update on this subject for 2022 including the Canon R5? I'm mainly interested in wide-angle reef scenes using an 8-15mm fisheye with an 8 inch dome, so Sony, Nikon or Canon could all work . A high res full frame with this lens seems to offer (i) ability for very high res ff fisheye pictures at 15mm for big enlargements, (ii) Tokina10-17- like zoom-ability on the APS-C settings with still decent resolution for smaller enlargements, plus (iii) image stabilisation for occasional video and (iv) good image quality including corners. The closest APS-C camera option look like the not-so-recent Sony A6600 or the Fuji XT4 with limited housing availability. Travelling size and weight is not as issue but smaller size for mobility underwater using ambient light is preferable. I also want to do split shots, so thinking of avoiding 230mm domes or wet lenses. Any advice appreciated. John
  14. Hi Steve, To answer your questions... the wide angle lens on the TG housing improves images by getting closer, but also by changing the subject matter available compared to what you may be used to with the TG5 alone - and remember they are removable for versatility. I'm picturing wider scenes in kelp gardens with maerl beds, or seals at the Farne Islands, lions-main jellyfish, lobsters, close focus wide angle of sea squirts etc near the shoreline, split shots along the shoreline etc?? Presumably you have a wetsuit rather than a dry suit and can free dive to get better photographic angles? I've done lots of UK diving in the past... As for the EPL-10, the housing feels good quality, as do the wet lenses. The housing includes a leak sensor and vacuum which works well. I really like the camera and, handily, the menus are familiar after using the TG5. I haven't used the camera enough though to say too much about the results underwater. As for picture quality, I think the TG cameras are great for anything shown on a screen and the ability to have a waterproof camera inside a waterproof housing is great if you are using the gear a lot (beforehand I had Canon S110 in a housing, then Canon G16 in Fantasea housing). I do a lot of diving and snorkelling for work and fun and prefer small size and ambient light for snorkelling/free diving. Also, a good option could be a surf housing (like Aquatech) which are made for many different top end cameras. These are popular for free divers that want very good picture quality. John
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