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Jock

Olympus SP350 Wide Angle and Macro

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Hi,

 

normally I still shoot analog (Nikonos RS), but this summer I played around with my wife`s Olympus SP350 (originally I bought it for HER, so that she is not bored when I am taking photos, but I like the small camera so much...)

 

We bought the camera and housing second-hand on ebay, and then I did a little bit of "pimp my cam": Adding the Heinrichs Weikamp Oly-TTL Converter, a Sea&Sea 16mm lens for Nikonos (this lens has a 50something mm thread, I use it with a step-up ring on the Olympus housing) and two macro lenses (1:3 and 1:2) from Sea&Sea for Motomarine with a 46-67mm step-up ring plus 67mm-bayonet mount adaptorfrom Sea&Sea). The Weikamp converter was expensive, the rest I got from ebay for less than EUR 100. Then I added two YS30 strobes, a dual synch cord, a base and strobe arms from my inventory - and we had a lightweight, compact photo system.

 

I am not sure if you share my opinion, but I was surprised from what comes out from this small and travel-friendly setup. (Image quality reduced to keep files small - pics in original size are crispy sharp, even without Photoshop&Co.)

 

Jock

 

Pike_1.jpg

 

Pike_2.jpg

 

KeyLargo_1.jpg

 

KeyLargo_2.jpg

 

Egypt_1.jpg

 

Egypt_2.jpg

 

Egypt_3.jpg

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Hey Jock,

Kudos for ingenuity, resourcefulness and creative thinking. Looks like it did a grand job. So how did you like shooting the digital vs your RS? I'd love to see a photo of your new rig the next time you have it setup.

 

Steve

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Hey Jock,

Nice shots!! I used to have an SP350 and loved it. I also used the 16mm WA Sea&Sea lens with a step up ring...what an awesome lens and its so cheap. I think it has a 58mm thread while the port on the PT-030 has a 46mm thread but I did manage to find single step up rings to minimize the vignetting at the widest angle. Great solution. The Pike shots are magnificent. Where did you dive to get those?

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Great shots Jock, I especially like the first freshwater Pike photo.

 

Compact digital rigs can be such a versatile little package UW.

 

 

 

Cheers,

Jim.

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right now, that's all I shoot is the oly 350 with inon strobes!!! love it... I just bought a nikon d300 which is arriving this week, i'm looking forward to no shutter lag but I have to say, the 350 did me proud!!!!! Your pics rock! Scott

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Thanks for your comments,

 

the pike photos are from "Lake Fuehlingen" near Cologne/Germany, just some 25 miles from my home. In summer/autumn you will find at least a dozen of pike on a dive, baby to medium size - when you take your time and stay shallow (surface to 10 feet). There are many other species like carp (VERY shy), perch, walleye, chub, etc.pp. as well as crayfish, mussels and so on in that lake, so I dive there often.

 

Yes, shutter lag is a problem, but the thing I really miss is the big optical viewfinder of my Nikonos RS. (You will never want to have a smaller viewfinder after you looked through an RS!). The LCD panel of the SP 350 is very difficult to read in bright sunlight. And also, you (or is it only me?) cannot control the point of sharpnes on the LCD: When I press the shutter half down and move the camera, it is very difficult to judge if the eye, for example, is still sharp. This makes composing very difficult, especially in macro.

 

Here is a photo of my setup (with a "Subawider III lens for Nikonos", which is much lighter than the Sea&Sea 16mm). And against all conventional wisdom the short strobe arm perform well with wide angele - I just turn the strobes outward.

 

BTW, I always have to laugh if I hear people complaining about the weight of their rigs underwater. Ever used an RS with the Zoom lens? Try, and you will never complain again. I am a dentist, so the power I need to extract a tooth gives me the strength to dive with my RS - or is it vice versa??? :)

 

Jock

 

camera.jpg

Edited by Jock

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Hi Jock,

 

Loved the first Esox pic, well done... They can be a very inquisitive and accommodating character to shoot... Are they used to divers in that lake ???

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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It is nice to see some freshwhater photos!

 

This is the first time I've seen a Subawider used on a digital camera. Gary first posted about the Sea & Sea lens with a step up ring. I followed his advice and have been using it with my SP-310. Sure these cameras have shutter lag, but they still produce great images.

 

Are you using the Renee Aumann 18mm lens on the RS?

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Great shots! It proves its the photographer ,not the camera :)

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I've been using an SP-350 for the last three years with a single YS-90 DX strobe and added the macro lens for a trip to the Solomon Islands this past summer. I'm not too sure about the macro lens versus the built in zoom but was quite happy with results with either. I do mostly macro - nudibranchs rule! And even with a single strobe, got some good photos (at least I think so). I haven't tried the wide angle lens but with only one stobe, that will wait until I add a second.

 

I also dive most often in Califronia - Monterey and Carmel which means dark and not much wide angle options.

 

Here is a link to the last trip - Solomon Islands. Love to hear any feedback on them and how to get better.

Solomon Islands

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33141259@N00/...57606973907307/

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Hey Jock,

 

Great Pictures-you did really well to get them with your SP-350. I have a couple of these, and found them great. I also had the Weikamp TTL convertor like you, which really mad a huge difference in getting the lighting right!

 

I have to admit, that since using a DSLR, on the odd occasion when I use my SP-350, I really wonder how I managed!

 

Adam

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