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chris_l

F30 advice for a C4000 user

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Hi, I'm new to the forum. I have a pt-010 and have shot an olympus C3000 and C4000 for the last 5 years. The C3000 started acting flakey, so I got a C4000 while I still could. I later added a sealife SL960D strobe with an opitcal cable. This outfit was last used in Sept. 2005 in the Turks. It all worked fine. I've included a few pictures from that trip. They were all shot with jpeg and are straight from the camera with no photoshop. The pt-010 has been on about 5 week long dive trips and a trip down the grand canyon.

I think I need to add the diffuser for the strobe.

I now have a Nikon D50 which I use on land. It's a great camera and my first SLR (digital or not). I love the fast response. I have no plans on putting this camera in the water. It would cost too much and I don't do enough UW photography to justify it. I actually bought the C3000 without thinking about underwater. I later found out that olympus had a housing. I bought the pt-010 grey market before they were available in the US. I have serviced it myself once, taking out all the buttons and cleaning and greasing all the O-rings. That's pretty much my photo history.

 

While I love the D50, I miss the ability to take short videos and having a camera small enough to slip in a pocket. So, I decided to get a small P&S. I was not thinking about underwater, but then I read about the Fuji F30. I really like the fast shutter times that folks are reporting. I realize it won't do RAW, but I've done without it so far, so that's not a big deal to me. The biggest issue is lack of full manual control. I use the C4000 on manual with F5.0 and 1/100 shutter. I understand that the F30 has aperture priority or shutter priority, but not full manual. Will this be a big problem with my SL960D slave strobe? Also, does the F30 always have the same number of preflashes? The SL960D is very flexible in this regard, but the number must be constant.

I like what I've read about the F30, but I also like the Olympus 720SW for the fact that its waterproof to a few feet. I wouldn't take it underwater, but not having to worry about it getting splashed or salt spray is nice.

The big advantage I see to the F30 is the faster shutter response. I have many pictures of fish tales.

 

Would it make more sense to get a wide angle lense for the pt-010? Would it be compatible with the Fuji housing?

 

I realize that was long and rambling. Any advice is appreciated.

 

Chris

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You've lost me here Chris... Lemme try to get this straight...

 

1. You have a Oly C4000 + PT-010 + Sealife strobe

2. You have a Nikon D50, but only for land use

3. You're considering a Fuji F30 or even an Oly 720SW...

4. You're considering a WA lens for the pt-010.

 

As a F30 owner (but have only used mine a few times u/w) I can comment on the following... Yes the downside to the F30 is the lack of full manual control and RAW. With flash on, the shutter defaults to 1/60s which may or may not be fast enough to catch a moving subject without blur. You could set shutter priority, but then the aperture will probably default to wide open (for most u/w shots). I'll have to double check tonight if you can trick the camera into a higher shutter speed using the exp. compensation. I wouldn't really call the F30 lens fast. The shutter is fast, but the autofucus can sometimes search without a lock. This gets more frustrating when in macro mode.

 

As for WA lenses, check into Inon. I believe they make one that would screw directly into the PT-010. That will not be compatible with the Fuji Housing. I think the only option right now for a wide angle lens for the F30 is to get the Inon AD adapter and then their AD mount Wide Angle lens (different screw than the one made to fit the PT-010).

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Yes, I realized how long and discontinuous that was after I wrote it.

And yes, your points 1 - 4 are correct.

 

Here are the most important questions to me:

1. Can the F30 be used effectively with an optically fired strobe?

2. Is the F30 significantly faster taking underwater shots than an Oly C4000? I realize there is a difference between focus speed and shutter speed. All things being equal (light, subject, etc) from the time you press the shutter release until the picture is captured by the sensor, what is the normal time for the F30? Is that faster than the C4000? I know there's probably ony a few people who have used both and can answer that question, but I thought I'd try.

3. Are WA lenses compatible between the Fuji and Olympus housings? ( I think you've already answered that one.)

 

The bottom line is I'm going to get a small P&S that is pocketable and takes movies at 30fps. With the F30, there is also the possibility of going underwater with it. I'm trying to decide if I want go that route. I have a working UW setup now, but not sure how much longer it will keep working.

 

Thanks.

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1. Yes, I've just tried playing around with my Inon Z-240 strobe and tried connecting it to my F30 with an old optical cable I had. It works fine.

 

2. I'm not familiar with the C4000, so I can't really compare. Maybe you could take your C4000 to a camera shop that has a F30 and try some comparisons in the shop.

 

3. I'm not familiar with other brand add on lenses but you can take a look at the following chart from Inon that shows what is compatible with what housing.

http://www.inonamerica.com/content/docs/D2...em_chart_En.pdf

 

good luck

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Ok, thanks for the info.

 

Unfortunately, I tried to get my hands on an f30, but none of my local shops here in Austin, TX have any in stock. I'll try again.

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You might want to consider an Oly SP350. Full manual control (including focus), hot shoe so you with Ikelite housing you can attach a good strobe, can shoot in RAW mode, 8 megapixel, new camera costs only $180.

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I ended up buying the f30 and the fuji housing.

I like the f30s size and it takes great movies, which are two main reasons I wanted a camera like this. Haven't tried it underwater yet. Taking a trip this summer with both the f30 and C4000, so I'll get to see which one is really the best.

The fuji housing is well made and seems really solid. More so than the pt-010 and the pt-010 is still humming along. My wife used it just last week for some shots in a local spring. She wanted to use what she was familiar with, so she ditched the f30.

One advantage of the pt-010 is that it fits your hand better. It has the little indention in the back for your thumb and is very natural to use one handed. The f30 housing is so small it's easy to hit a button you didn't intend to. But when using a strobe and tray it's not an issue because I'll mainly hold it by the strobe arm. But for non strobe use, I think the pt-010 is easier to use.

 

I tried the f30 with the SL960D strobe and it worked fine. I haven't played with all the f30 settings yet to see if I can get something I like for U/W. There will be plenty of time for that on the live aboard trip this summer.

 

Out of the water and in complete auto mode for both cameras, the f30 takes about half the time of the C4000 from when the shutter release is depressed till when the picture is taken. I didn't do any measure of write times. This was very unscientific, just taking pictures where a flash was needed so it was easy to see when each camera fired.

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chris, you'll love the F30 underwater. I shoot with a Fuji F10, the F30 is a later version (the F11 and F20 are in between).

 

it works great with a strobe, and takes great macro shots and natural light shots. shutter lag is almost non-existent, battery life is great. Fuji housing with its double O-rings is one of the best out there, I can't say enough how great the housing is. I've taken it on 300 dives, and I've never seen a drop of water in there.

 

Lack of full manual controls of course is a minus but you'll learn how to work around that. for most shots it will be fine. the movies come out great.

 

click on my photo gallery to see the F10 shots, your F30 shots will be even better :wacko:

 

Scott

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Scott,

Nice looking shots.

I have a question. On my pt-010 I always stored it with the main oring removed. on the pt-010 this is easy to do. On the fuji housing it looks much more difficult to remove the 2 orings. I'm concerned about stretching them. Do you remove your orings for cleaning and storage?

 

Thanks,

Chris

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Scott,

Nice looking shots.

I have a question. On my pt-010 I always stored it with the main oring removed. on the pt-010 this is easy to do. On the fuji housing it looks much more difficult to remove the 2 orings. I'm concerned about stretching them. Do you remove your orings for cleaning and storage?

 

Thanks,

Chris

 

hey Chris, thanks. Its easy to remove the O-rings, I use a drivers license or credit card. One of the o-rings started to stretch a little bit over time (over a long, long time). After 2 years (300 dives) with the camera, I decided I should change the O-rings just last month due to a little stretching.

 

I remove and clean the O-rings usually after every dive or set of dives.

 

I don't know what "storage" is, but I dive every week, is that when you go for a long time without diving? I never had to do that, thank god. :)

 

Scott

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