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Posts posted by chris_l

  1. For those of you suggesting getting a second smaller and lighter system have you seen this:




    pretty cheap and gives you a double backup, housing and camera.


    My bro-in-law flooded a nikon on a live aboard recently. Even if he would have had a spare, the electronics in the housing were toast and thus the second body would have done no good.

    It depends on your system obviously.

    And what if you couldn't determine the cause of the original flood, would you bring down the next body and lens?


    I have an olympus epl2 in the oly plastic housing. If I flooded and had a spare body I could be back in business quickly. It only seems practical to me if you have optical strobes. Of course, I'd lose a lens, but I have 3 with me that I can use underwater. I actually could get a second body cheap now, but I'm more interested in spending that money upgrading.


    If you're a pro on assignment, that's obviously a different situation and you need to be prepared.

  2. I have an epl2 and use an Inon D2000 type 3 which works great.

    Since you have an epl1, you'll obviously want an optical strobe. If looking used, I'd look for any of the inons: D2000, S2000, Z240.

    The Sttl of these strobe is known to work well with olympus PEN cameras. The older sea&sea optical strobes seemed to be hit and miss with their version of optical sttl (forget what they called it). From what I've read, they kind of finally got it right with the YS-110A.


    but, if you can't find any used strobes, the newer sea&seas are supposed to be much better and essentially on par with the inons now.

    I was recently on a trip with folks who had YS01 and YSD1. They were using them with canon S95 and sony RX100 and were quite happy with them.

    If buying new, I wouldn't hesitate on getting any of the inons or the newer sea&sea strobes. Just a matter of budget vs features.

  3. Phil, thanks for the heads up on the possible oly lens.


    My point with regard to the color filter on the 7-14 vs the 9-18 was that if you have to rig it up on the 7-14 then you stand a good chance of smudging something or not lining it up straight. Where as on the 9-18 it's a simple screw on filter so less chance for error in application.

    Yes, filter will have same effect on each lens, assuming it's installed without any problems.


    But, if you absolutely need the 7mm view, then that's what you go with.

  4. Have you considered the olympus 9-18 if that is a major concern for you? The olympus accepts filters.

    While, in general the 7-14 is considered better than the 9-18, the difference isn't huge. Also, the 9-18 allows use of a port which accommodates other lens as well.


    I would imagine rigging a filter on the 7-14 could easily degrade any advantage it has over the 9-18 to the point of making the 9-18 optically better.

  5. If budget is a big driver for you, then it's really hard to beat this deal right now:




    It's not the latest generation m4/3, but it's very good.

    And with the savings you could buy the excellent olympus 60mm macro lens and have a great macro setup.

    Of course you could add the 9-18 and Zen port and then have WA also. It's a matter of how much you want to spend.

  6. According to olympus, the 9-18 works in the standard port. This has been true for all Pen housings.


    I shoot an epl2 in the oly housing and primarily use the 9-18. However, I use the Zen 100 port.

    I have recently purchased the 60mm and will be using this also behind the zen.

    The 9-18 produces better images than the kit lens. Looking forward to trying the 60mm.

  7. Thank you - this is very helpful.


    Hate to sound so lame - but what makes one lens better than another - particularly when they are so close in numbers (14-42 vs 14-45)? Is there some "number" or rating that is available to the clueless folks like me - so we can figure this out ourselves? Quit laughing!


    I'm no expert, but from what I've read, the 14-45 is considered sharper.

    you can look at some of the lens test sites and decide for yourself. I've never used that particular lens, but it is considered the best "kit" lens ever offered on any micro 4/3 camera.

    It has nothing to do with it being 45mm vs 42mm on the long end.

    Just considered sharper.



  8. I've read good things about the panasonic 14-45.

    If I were going panasonic & nauticam, I'd think that would be a great, versatile combo.


    the pany 14-45 is considered better than the 14-42 from either pany or oly.


    I just looked at the nauticam site and it doesn't look like they have support for the 14-45.

    It might work behind the same port for the 14-42, but you'd be on your own coming up with the zoom gear.

  9. Thanks for the responses. Now I have another lens to look at, which doesn't make any easier :-)


    I am really considering the Panasonic 7-14 right now. Chris, do you actually use the 14-42 in the zen dome? I am thinking that if I use the 14-42, I would like to have more macro capabilities (i.e. use original oly dome + wet lens), or is changing domes to difficult?


    Guess it all comes down to money (as usual). I probably pay $500 for the dome either way, its then the lens that's about $450 more.....on the other hand if I actually make it to the humpbacks (or larger sharks/mantas) I probably really want to have the additional 2mm.


    Yes, I use the 14-42 behind the Zen dome. The 14-42 is a very versatile lense. My complaint with it, is that it is not as sharp at the long end.

    I have not tried it behind the original Oly port, maybe I will. But, I do like the convenience of not having to change ports. I've only changed the port once, to put the Zen on and then never touched it again. I've used it on 2 dive trips so far.

    Back to the 14-42. It did well at the shorter focal lengths. What I need to do is really test it at different focal lengths with different apertures and come up with an acceptable range.

    To further complicate things, I now have the oly 45mm/f1.8 lens. It is very sharp. I intend to try it out behind the Zen dome. On land it seems to work fine, need to get in the pool and try it out before my next trip in July. I know it's not a macro lense, but the sharpness of this lens is very nice, so should allow for good cropped pictures.


    On my last trip after seeing the results of the 14-42 at the long end, I pretty much used the 9-18 the last few days of the trip.

    If the 45mm works out, I have a feeling I'll be using it and the 9-18.

    The 14-42 is not terrible, just not as good as the 9-18 and if I'm not using it at the long end, might as well have the extra width of the 9-18 available.

  10. I have the 9-18 with the Zen dome and I like it.

    I have considered the FE lense, but I'm going to wait and see on the whole EM-5 thing before buying another port for the oly epl2 housing.

    On land, the 9-18 is amazing. It gives the same view as the tokina 12-24DX but it's about 1/3 the size and weight.


    You could also look at the panasonic 7-14. It's a bit wider and generally considered a better lense than the 9-18.

    I went for the 9-18 for a couple or reason, price and also the fact that I could use the 9-18 & 14-42 in the same Zen port with the same zoom ring.

  11. You're absolutely right a camera system is not all about the sensor IQ, and Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 (40mm equivalent) is indeed an excellent lens.


    Sony NEX 24mm f/1.8 Zeiss (36mm equivalent) has also received excellent review (wide open @ f1.8) and the 50mm f/1.8 OSS (75mm equivalent) seems like a good portrait lens that can deliver shallow DOF. Keep in mind that these are native NEX lenses so the CA in the sample photo will be removed automatically in camera by the NEX-5N and 7.


    Wow, the link you provided shows that as a $1200 lens. quite pricey.

    The NEX system has better sensors no doubt.

    And maybe, someday, they'll catch up in the lens category.

    But, right now, for me, the m4/3 has the best combination of IQ to price and size.

    And, when you throw in the excellent Olympus housings available, it really changes the price/IQ game for underwater to an advantage for olympus.

  12. Another important thing to consider is shooting ergonomics. We all like to shoot M mode, or at least A mode.


    The nex5n and epl2 and 3 all have menu based systems to adjust aperture and shutter speed. This is onerous, and slow.


    I take issue with this characterization of the epl2/3 as someone who has actually used it underwater.

    There are 4 buttons on the jog wheel as many cameras have.

    If you are in manual mode, all you do is hit the top jog button once. This then switches the camera into a mode where the 4 jog buttons control the apperture and shutter. The top and bottom buttons control the shutter speed up and down and the left and right buttons control apperture up and down. It's quite simple and intuitive. You get used to it very quickly. So, if you wanted to adjust the shutter from 1/125 to 1/160, you just hit the top jog button twice. If you want to make adjustments other than upping the shutter speed, you do need to move your finger to the appropriate button, but it's quite easy.

    Works like a charm.


    I won't comment on the other cameras as I have not actually used them.

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