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Everything posted by Draq

  1. I find the Zen 100mm dome works really well for CFWA. I haven't tried a larger dome, but from what I have read, the 170 can make it difficult to get close to your subject and make strobe positioning more difficult. Hope that helps.
  2. Wolfgang: I have made no comparisons, obviously, but I think the 8mm FE in the appropriate dome would provide the sharpest corner-corner image, followed by the WWL or the 12-40 Zuiko in an appropriate dome. The 7-14 is a very good lens and the corner sharpness issues are simply issues of using ultrawide (weitwinkel) rectilinear lenses in a dome. The problem isn’t the lens, it is the physics of the thing. That can be dealt with to varying degrees by choosing the subject and background and by stopping down the lens, but the problem isn’t going to go away. The WWL and the new WACP for full format use a different approach and seem able to produce better edges because of how they operate. I am not very technical so I don’t fully understand and won’t even try to explain the science. Beyond that, a selling point of the WWL is the ability to offer a one-lens-does-it-all kind of thing. On a 12-50 or 14-42 you have everything but macro covered and a simple add-on close up lens can add that ability. I think the way to approach this is not to look for the “best,” but to identify what you want to accomplish and see which option fits that. Really, to me, the WWL is another tool or choice. It doesn’t replace the traditional wide zoom and dome, but offers an alternative that is superior in some situations. If you have the 7-14 in a dome and the edges are a problem in the types of shots you want to take, it sounds like the WWL may be a better choice. Since I often shoot between f5.6 and f8, the speed of a kit zoom isn’t much of a concern, but if you want to be able to shoot exiting light shots, the slow lens could be a hindrance. Again, there is no single best choice. All the above is based on what I have read…as of right now, I have never used the WWL. This thread has some comparison between the 7-14 and the WWL, see the second page for a link to some comparison photos: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=56440
  3. Even though I have questioned the value of the Nauticam WWL-1 with a M43 system, I am increasingly tempted to try it out on an upcoming trip. In part, the promise of a single-lens that goes from ultra-wide (weitwinkel) to “portrait” is appealing, and in part, because I think it would make packing less challenging. I also keep hearing that the results of the WWL-1 with a kit zoom, can significantly surpass the 7-14 in a 180 dome. In large part…I am just curious. Anyway, for those who have used this wet lens, I have a few questions. Am I correct in assuming that one needs to remove and remount the lens after submerging in order to insure no air pockets/bubbles between the wet lens and port? Has anyone had any success using something like a lenscoat cap on the WWL-1 with buoyancy collar? The hard cap is VERY expensive and looks like it would be hard to stow underwater. I am in the habit of removing a lens cover in the water and reinstalling it before handing the camera up to boat crew, and would want to continue doing that. Is the installation/removal of the buoyancy collar a one-time thing or could it be done at a dive location. I would rather not accommodate what looks like a 180mm foam collar in the case that holds housing, ports, etc. Thanks. Any other thoughts or input welcome.
  4. I would be interested in seeing what the experts have to say on this topic, but perhaps you should post it in the mirrorless forum also
  5. I am using the Zen with the 30mm extension and am happy with it. Mostly, I was just curious about the 140.
  6. Thanks Phil. I had read your review and I could tell you were pleased with the 140. I was just wondering if anyone had a more direct comparison between the 100 and 140.
  7. I am curious. I use the Olympus 8mm FE in a Zen 100mm dome on a Nauticam housing and find the edges to be fine and have no vignetting. I like the small size of the dome for CFWA. Nauticam offers a 140mm dome for this lens and I suppose the slightly larger dome might be better for over/under shots, but otherwise, is there any benefit to this larger dome? Are edges better, different distortion characteristics or???
  8. I would be interested in the 140mm dome if you have an opportunity to sell the lens alone. JD
  9. Re Panasonic lens on Olympus...There are a couple of things. One is what Wapiti mentions above, that the Panasonic lens on an Olympus body is more prone to flare, can exhibit the purple blob issue and is more prone to chromatic aberrations. The other is that Olympus and Panasonic seem to be diverging a bit on things like stabilization and the Olympus E-M1 ii offers a feature called pro-capture that will not work with Panasonic lenses. That feature may be of no importance to you. I intend to try the Panasonic 8-18 when it comes out knowing that it won't work for pro-capture. I have no idea how significant distortion of 7.2% vs 5.2% may be, as viewed in an image, so those numbers don't mean a lot to me. I also simply expect there to be some distortion in such a wide lens. If the one article I cited earlier is correct that the Oly is actually much closer to a 6mm at the wide end, then that, too, would likely explain greater distortion at its widest point than the narrower Panasonic. As far as I know, lenses are no longer designed to correct for distortion themselves. Manufacturers rely on in-camera software. I shoot RAW so I don't get the benefit of that, although you can correct for distortion in photoshop and lightroom. When we are talking about distortion with these lenses, we are talking primarily about the ability of a lens to keep a straight line looking straight. When I shoot underwater, there are few straight lines and one of my favorite underwater lenses is the 8mm fisheye, for which straight lines simply don't exist. So, I don't care a lot about distortion as much as vignetting and sharpness (to a point). Of course, if what you shoot requires minimal distortion, or if it simply matters to you for other reasons, that is fine. Generally, I doubt anyone could identify which lens was used on any given image.
  10. I am not sure about the distortion issue: "The Olympus 7-14mm ƒ/2.8 Pro is currently the widest rectilinear lens available for the Micro Four Thirds system with a constant ƒ/2.8 aperture, so there really isn't a direct competitor at the time of this review. The most similar alternative, however, would be the equally wide Panasonic 7-14mm ƒ/4. Though not as bright with its ƒ/4 aperture, the lens offers the same range of focal lengths. Sharpness is very good, though its CA, vignetting and distortion characteristics aren't as nice as the Olympus'." http://www.imaging-resource.com/lenses/olympus/7-14mm-f2.8-pro-m.zuiko-digital-ed/review/ "It’s worth adding that using RAW files you might have a field of view as wide as 120 degrees at your disposal. It means the shortest focal length of the lens is in reality closer to 6 than to 7 mm." http://www.lenstip.com/465.6-Lens_review-Olympus_M.Zuiko_Digital_7-14_mm_f_2.8_ED_PRO_Distortion.html "When keeping the field curvature in mind and act accordingly, you can certainly achieve very good results. The center quality is breathtaking whereas the outer image region has be handled with care when shooting below 10mm at least (pull the focus a bit). Image distortions aren't relevant from a user perspective." http://www.photozone.de/m43/961_olympus714f28pro?start=2 “The distortions are very well controlled and very discreet on this objective: a very good point! We are, however, somewhat disappointed by the optical quality it produces, and more particularly by its lack of homogeneity between the center and the edges of the images. By comparison, in the world of the reflex 24 x 36 mm, it is much better. However, the center and the sides of the images are well pricked and are full of fine details. We also appreciate the very good control of distortions.” https://www.focus-numerique.com/zoom/tests/olympus-m-zuiko-digital-ed-7-14-mm-f-2-8-pro-1478.html(Translated from French) It seems that the lens does suffer from "field curvature", but keep in mind that this is may be due in part to the actual angle of view being quite wide, and in any event hard to evaluate when you are not shooting flat objects. I rarely have underwater photos where the center, the subject and the edges are the same distance. Also, I always try to remember there are substantial sample to sample variations in lenses, particularly zoom lenses, so any single review may not reflect what you will experience. In the end, I think both lenses offer similar performance with the Panasonic doing so for less money, so that may be the better "buy" long as the limitations of using a Panasonic lens on an Olympus body are acceptable. If you are undecided about the lens and have time, you might want to wait a bit and see how the Panasonic 8-18 compares and what port options are available for it.
  11. I think the closer focusing Oly 7-14 can be beneficial if you are using the lens to shoot smaller items or for CFWA. I can't really quantify how valuable that benefit is or isn't. It depends a lot on how you shoot. I only shoot raw underwater so I don't know how the lenses compare in jpegs. In raw, I get cleaner images from the Oly lens on and Oly body and unless there were some other compelling reason to get/use the Panasonic, I would get the Olympus. About the 12-40...I really enjoy that lens. I suppose it would not appeal to a lot of people because it can't do macro and isn't wide enough, so it doesn't excel at either end of what many of us like to shoot. On the other hand, it provides about a 1:3 ratio which is fine for small fish and other critters and at 12mm it does a nice job on reef scenes, corals and so on. I know it is popular with people who do insect pictures as well because it focuses close enough at 40mm that you can pretty much fill the frame with something the size of a butterfly or even a bumble bee. I do some macro, but for the most part I like shots of things that shows something of their environment or some background for color. IN those instances, I think the 12-40 is more useful than my 60 macro. IN a pinch, it can do some cfwa, but isn't as wide as one might want. Still it is one of my favorite lenses to use underwater.
  12. I am pleased to hear that. I hope that holds. I have heard that new scanners are available or about to be, that would permit laptops and liquids to be effectively scanned and end the liquids ban and perhaps remove the threat of a laptop ban. I don't know if that is true, or if they will be implemented, but maybe.
  13. Chris: I don't use S&S strobes and don't have a solution for you but perhaps the following links might help. I fear it might not be helpful to say buy something else, but FWIW, Inon strobes have worked well for me for years. http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=56787 http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=57441 https://www.scubaboard.com/community/threads/om-d-e-m1-mk-ii-ys-d1-ys-d2.540461/
  14. Well, I hope they weren't reacting to my post here! I have no idea who is pushing for what, but I am trying to be ready. The last thing I want is a ban to kick in just before I fly and being unprepared to deal with it. I don't know if they are over-reacting or not. I do know that certain groups are quite committed to blowing up / crashing airplanes, and the most desirable planes to hit are U.S. flagged airlines with U.S. passengers. I would prefer to focus my irritation on the terrorists and not the government but really, the cause doesn't really matter; I am just trying to deal with the situation as best I can, since I have no input into what they do. Certainly one solution would be, as you say, to not fly into or out of the U.S. (or the UK, since they seem to be on the same track) but that is not an option I want to choose. Hopefully at least lenses may be able to still fly in the cabin.
  15. JMartel: I am not sure if your question was addressed to anyone in particular. I don't really feel qualified to say which port is better than another objectively. If it is important to you to have a single port for both lenses then you have only one choice. If you are okay with multiple ports then I would consider getting a 100 or 140 for the 8mm and a 170 / 180 for the 7-14. For the Panasonic lens you can get a N85 dome and save some money on adapters. The Zen DP-170 N85 requires a 30mm extension while the Zen DP-170 N85II has the extension built in so you don't need to pay extra for the extension or mess with it. On the other hand, the Nauticam 180 dome seems the over-all most flexible of the similarly sized domes in the sense that it "works" for a number of lenses and Nauticam will probably be quick to offer a suitable extender if a new lens appears. It is my understanding that if one ever needs to get the glass replaced in one of these, it is a few hundred dollars cheaper to do so in the Zen dome than the Nauticam. I will defer to others to offer opinions on whether there is a difference between the Zen 170 and Nauticam 180 domes form a performance perspective. Some previous posts suggest that the Nauticam might offer better corner sharpness for rectilinear lenses. I don't know.
  16. Wolfgang: It can be very difficult to compare lenses. I think the performance of the Panasonic and the Olympus are very close in general. To me the biggest difference (I have both lenses) is that if using an Olympus body, there is less of an issue with color fringing with he Olympus lens. A lot of that can be removed in post, but not all, and with the Panasonic lens I find that on certain subjects I end up with off-color fringing that I don't like. The Olympus focuses closer so that might also help with corner sharpness in some domes at some apertures. Overall, I prefer the Olympus lens on my Olympus camera. Unfortunately, I don't live near the sea, so I have to travel to dive and each dive is precious enough to me that I don't usually want to spend much time doing tests and comparisons and I have to be somewhat selective in what gear I take with me. Actually I only have limited access to a pool where I could set up gear ant compare ports and lenses. I look to Phil and others for that information. I try not to be overly concerned with charts because while they are flat, my underwater subjects rarely are, so corner sharpness is significantly complicated by variations in distance between the photo subject and the background. This tends to increase as the lens becomes wider. When using a 7-10mm lens in M43, it is almost inevitable that we are trying to get things sharp that are several feet different in distance. The conch is something of an exception to this as everything else is just sand or water. We also need to keep in mind that there are sometimes significant variations in the "quality" of different samples of the same lens, especially with zooms. I seem to be always searching for the corner sharpness unicorn even though I know objectively that with a rectilinear lens I am unlikely to get the corner sharpness I would like. Perhaps Nauticam will make an N200-N85 adapter and Phil can try out the 250mm dome? If sharp corners are really important in any particular situation, I would look to one of the 8mm FE lenses in either a 100 or 140 dome, or compromise on angle of view and use the 12-40 lens or go to a different system where I could use one of the fisheye zooms. FWIW, sometime in the next month or two the Panasonic 8-18 lens will be available and that lens has a removable shade and a filter ring. It is possible that this lens, perhaps with a diopter, could offer better corner sharpness than the 7-14 lenses out now, but only time will tell. It should be able to work with an appropriate extension in the 170 and 180 domes that are available now, I would think.
  17. Last week I heard that, at least for now, the US has shelved the plans to ban electronics form inbound European flights, so it appears this isn't going to be extended, or at least is on hold. I do not generally fly to any of the current laptop ban countries. I am still concerned that for both security and monetary reasons we may see increasing restrictions on what or how much can be taken as carry-on. I still am working on a plan to deal with this should it arise. I have purchased a larger Pelican case and currently I am thinking I will set that up for housing, ports, camera and lenses, and may then pack that within a second case for security purposes, although I don't know if that is really necessary. In the meantime, I will continue carrying camera and lenses on the plane if I can.
  18. I don't know about that. If it were an angle of view issue, wouldn't we then have sharper corners by zooming in a bit? Also why would the corners improve by stopping down? I have no technical knowledge on this but I feel it makes more sense that the issue is focusing distance and depth of field related to the fact we are focusing on a virtual image. But, as I said, I have no technical knowledge about these things. I just like to shoot underwater photos.
  19. I don't know what Phil is using, but the extenders with handles (wheels) come in 47, 50 and 55mm, as far as I know, so I assume he is using one of those. I have no idea how about the significance of the larger glass or how to calculate that. Perhaps Phil will chime in.
  20. Great idea, If you or someone else were to make some of these and sell them, I would definitely be interested, in the absence of a commercial ttl trigger for Olympus. For me DIY involving electronics and other small delicate things is likely to turn into BIY (break it yourself) so I don't do much of that.
  21. Tam: The simplest part first...the Z-240 works fine with an Olympus E-M1 and works in TTL mode. I have used those strobes with different Olympus cameras for several years and am still using them. The housing question is much harder to answer. I have used Nauticam housings for several years and like them. My son has an Olympus camera in an Olympus housing and is happy with that. The Nauticam offers more port choices and if you later want to use a different Olympus camera or a Panasonic camera, it is more likely that Nauticam will support that camera and more likely that you can continue using the same ports. Nauticam also offers a vacuum check system that adds a lot of comfort that your housing is not flooding and I think also reduces the chance of flooding a little bit. On the other hand, the Nauticam housings are heavier and more expensive. The benefits of one over the other brand of housing might depend somewhat on what/how many lenses you want to be able to use, the frequency of use and the need for air travel. If you want greater flexibility in lens choice you may want to look at port charts and be sure the Olympus housing can support what you want to do. I think there are a lot more port choices for the Nauticam, but I am not sure. My son only does macro and has never looked at the wide angle domes available for his housing and I have no idea what is available. If you will use the housing a lot (many dives), and if the Nauticam offers you features or benefits you like, then the "per dive" cost difference becomes smaller and it is easier to justify the cost. Finally, if air travel is a common part of your diving, the lighter weight Olympus housing might be important. The quality of photos should not be impacted by housing choice and I don't think fogging should be much of an issue, but I am not sure on that one. There are other factors I have not discussed, such as placement of controls and how the housings feel in the hand. If possible you should try to hold both housings and get a feel for them. Hopefully others may be able to give you more concrete advice.
  22. If you have one or know of one, preferably in the US, let me know. Thanks.
  23. FWIW, my understanding is the curvature of the 200 is the same as the 170, although obviously a bigger piece of glass. How much better the 200 is than the 170 is unknown to me. I was considering trying it out to see, but unless one pops up used, I guess 170 or 180 is the best I can do. I am unwilling to deal with the size of the 230. I am sure Phil has compared them and knows what he is talking about when he says the 200 is/was better.
  24. I was using a Zen DP-170 with the N85 to N120 60mm Port Adapter for the 12-40. I used the same dome with a 20mm extension for the 7-14. I played with SF, CF and CF tracking with the lenses at different times during the dives. I found they all worked well, but of course on the 60mm it was easy for a non-static subject to scoot out of the field of view and I would then have to re-acquire it. In that setting, I don't think the tracking feature was very helpful or necessary. Still fun to play with but probably not an ideal choice in that setting. I think C-AF or S-Af would be the way to go, depending on circumstances. I had no trouble with focusing on the 60mm but I typically dive pretty clear water so not much of a test. Strobe recycling time can be a pain. I would love it if someone would come out with a TTL strobe trigger I could use in the Nauticam housing, such as Nauticam offers for the Canon and Nikon cameras. I don't usually post photos...I am just not that good. Maybe I will try and put a couple up just to supplement my comments.
  25. As part of a different discussion elsewhere, I just checked and learned that many airlines, and as an example, American Airlines, does not allow, and explicitly denies liability for any photographic equipment transported as checked luggage. Their liability limits are often ridiculously low anyway, and one should have insurance to cover expensive items, but if you are required to check cameras and lenses and they go missing or are damaged, the airline has zero liability to you. I can tolerate annoying security checkpoint practices but am not at all happy about the prospect of packing my camera(s) and lenses in a checked bag and hoping it arrives at my destination and arrives intact.
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