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Olympus E-PL1,with underwater housing

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Hi Rene,

 

Post #42 above has a link to some photos.

 

Phil Rudin

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i have brought my PEN E-PL1 underwater a couple of times in the PT EP01 housing and i keep encountering this annoying problem: the screen turns black when i turn the zoom lever all the way and stays that way even if i unzoom it.. i can still change settings and modes but it doesn't let me take pictures.. i had a close encounter with 4 manta rays yesterday but this happened and i didn't get even one shot.. i tried turning it OFF then ON again but the LCD screen was still black. has anyone encountered this? or am i doing something wrong? thanks already for your responses...

 

Is it possible that the camera rotates in the housing when you zoom all the way to the stops, and causes a button to be always pressed? I had to put a thicker lining in my EP-1 housing to prevent something similar from happening. Some foam tape put in the right place might fix this, if the problem is really camera shifting.

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Some shots with the PL1, 9-18 lens and Zen prototype dome: Mobile Me Gallery

 

Cool stuff Tony! :notworthy:

 

You have any exposure information on the sun ball shots? Are these raw shots or do they have some post sharpening? Thanks for posting and sharing :)

 

Bo

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Cool stuff Tony! :notworthy:

 

You have any exposure information on the sun ball shots? Are these raw shots or do they have some post sharpening? Thanks for posting and sharing :)

 

Bo

 

All RAW, with very little tweaking. Mostly just boosting the colors a bit. In the gallery, click the info button to show the metatag info for exposure info.

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Here is a side by side image of the 9-18 behind the Olympus Flat Port and the upcoming Zen dome.

 

olympus.zen.dome.comparison.jpg

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A 100mm coated glass-dome for under $500? WOW!!!

 

Maybe consider making port-adapters to fit other housings for CFWA??

 

 

Bo

Edited by fotoscubo714

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Dear Phil,

 

I saw your images with the E-PL1 and 14-42 (thanks! it's always good to see samples).

I recently lost my canon G11, and am now considering whether to replace it, or to

upgrade with an E-PL1 and Oly housing.

 

But I'm not yet totally convinced that this really is an 'upgrade': from the base

numbers, it seems focus times are similar on these cameras. I suppose I will gain a bit

in terms of image noise, but the 14-42 appears to be getting poor reviews.

 

Personally, I prefer ~42 at the long end than, say 18, since I am often trying to catch skittish

subjects: is there a better option for lens than the Oly 14-42 (does pany 14-45 fit? and if so,

what about zoom gears?) ?

 

In brief, would you say that taking photos with E-PL1 (using LCD, not EVF), would be a better

experience (in terms of camera response, focus, and IQ) than G11 ?

 

I started UW with with an Oly 5050, and have always liked Oly's support for UW -- so I am pretty

willing to be convinced! All advise welcome!

Thanks,

Ajay.

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Maybe consider making port-adapters to fit other housings for CFWA??

 

This is a different lens design, not a full hemisphere as is required for full frame fish eye lenses, and there aren't many lenses for conventional dslr that would image well with this dome. It does work extremely well with m4/3, and I expect will work well with other 4/3 and E- mount lenses.

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Hi Ajay,

 

I have been shooting this camera/housing combo for about three months now and now have hundreds of images using the 42 mm end of the zoom lens and zoom lens with Inon close-up lens. First image quality far exceeds digicams, the 4/3 sensor is about five times larger than most digicam sensors and excels for the same reasons a 35 mm sensor excels over a 4/3 sensor. Focus speed with this lens is better than the digicams I have used and I suspect that the more expensive lenses like the 9 to 18 zoom will be on par with entry level DSLR's.

 

The main upside to the E-PL1 system over the G11 system is the expandability of the system. Lenses now include the 7 to 14, 9 to 18, 45 macro and more. A 50 macro is coming from Olympus and an 8 mm fisheye will arrive soon. These lenses will require after market dome ports like the ZenUnderwater.com 100 mm port for the 9 to 18 zoom. Once the investment in lenses and port has been made camera and housing upgrades don't seem as painful. I have had the E-300, E-330, E-410, E-520 and E-3 and have used the same lenses and ports for all the upgrades.

 

Making comparisons with digicams that use add-on lenses for macro and wide-angle is a bit like making them with DSLR systems.

 

It makes more sense to me compare the Olympus E-PL1/housing system to other interchangeable lens camera/housing systems where it excels in the image quality V. cost. I have been an SLR/DSLR shooter for many years and it has been hard for me to make the transition from a proper viewfinder ( I shoot the Olympus E-3 in a SeaTool housing with an Inon 45 degree viewfinder ) to the LCD screen system. I was not able to do it with the E-330 or any of the other Olympus live-view DSLR's going forward. With the E-PL1 system I have become quite adept at using the LDC and I am enjoying the upsides of the LCD system.

 

This system won't replace my E-3 but it sure is nice to have such a light and easy to control system that produces publishable quality images at such a low entry level cost. To me this is the best entry level interchangeable lens underwater system in todays market.

 

Phil Rudin

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This is a different lens design, not a full hemisphere as is required for full frame fish eye lenses, and there aren't many lenses for conventional dslr that would image well with this dome. It does work extremely well with m4/3, and I expect will work well with other 4/3 and E- mount lenses.

 

So this port will not be suitable for the new Panasonic LUMIX G FISHEYE 8mm / F3.5 then, and this micro4/3 FE would require a (new-mount) Zen DP100 instead?

 

Bo

Edited by fotoscubo714

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Hi Ajay,

 

I have been shooting this camera/housing combo for about three months now and now have hundreds of images using the 42 mm end of the zoom lens and zoom lens with Inon close-up lens. ...

Focus speed with this lens is better than the digicams I have used and I suspect that the more expensive lenses like the 9 to 18 zoom will be on par with entry level DSLR's.

 

Thanks Phil, for the quick response (I am headed to Lambeh in 2 weeks :-)! I'm pretty sure (and as you confirm) that IQ will beat G11 for most shooting. Here's a couple of examples which I have difficulty with AF on every digicam I used:

1. Ribbon eels, or clownfish -- I want to use macro mode, so DoF is small, but by the time AF locks, they've moved.

2. I had also difficulty with G11 shooting sharks during my S Africa trip -- again, because they're moving fairly quick.

 

If the Oly works better for these type of situations, it's already worth the extra cost.

 

The main upside to the E-PL1 system over the G11 system is the expandability of the system. Lenses now include the 7 to 14, 9 to 18, 45 macro and more. ...

 

Do you know if the Pany 14-45 can fit into the port of the Oly housing ? If it can, I _may_ be able to modify the Oly zoom gear and kludge together a better solution (or do you think the Oly 14-42 matches the Pany 14-45 ?). I think both lenses are ~60mm dia..

 

... I have been an SLR/DSLR shooter for many years and it has been hard for me to make the transition from a proper viewfinder ( I shoot the Olympus E-3 in a SeaTool housing with an Inon 45 degree viewfinder ) to the LCD screen system. I was not able to do it with the E-330 or any of the other Olympus live-view DSLR's going forward. With the E-PL1 system I have become quite adept at using the LDC and I am enjoying the upsides of the LCD system....

 

Phil Rudin

 

Grin, my situation is (obviously) the opposite -- got used to LCD, happy to live with it. I agree with your point about being able to upgrade the system, e.g. by getting different ports/lenses; but it seems newer generations of cameras are still improving so rapidly... I am pretty sure 2 years down the line I will be tempted to get a new cam (and so, housing) rather than merely adding a new port.

 

Thanks again for your thoughts !

Ajay.

Edited by ajay

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So this port will not be suitable for the new Panasonic LUMIX G FISHEYE 8mm / F3.5 then, and this micro4/3 FE would require a (new-mount) Zen DP100 instead?

 

Yes, I expect so. As the 8mm is still not shipping in the US, we have not been able to design a dome for it yet. I am hopeful that our 100mm hemispheric dome used in DP100 will be a good match for that lens.

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Hi Ajay,

 

First we have a difference in shooting styles, for macro I would be shooting in manual and DOF would be a result of the F/stop chosen. For sharks I would auto focus on my fin or a fixed object from two to three feet away and then lock in manual. At F/8 or so when the sharks are in shooting range I will be able to shoot away and the sharks should be in focus without a need to continually try to lock focus in AF.

 

I would agree that the Pany 14 to 45 zoom at about twice the cost should be a sharper lens than the Olympus "kit" lens. Problem is that the Oly camera will not apply some of the lens distortion features applied by the Pany cameras. I think the lens will fit the port but would defer to Ryan or others who may have tried it. Don't know if the Oly gear would fit.

 

 

For 95% of my shooting I use three lenses, the Olympus 50 macro (with 1.4 & 2X tele converters and 67 mm close-up lenses) the 7 to 14 zoom and the 8 mm fisheye. I have owned these lenses and the dome/macro ports that go with them for over seven years now. I have changed cameras and housings five times, ending with the SeaTool for the E-3. Cost wise these upgrades have been much less costly than moving from brand to brand and the results have more than exceeded my needs. Upgrading to the next Olympus Pen/housing combo will be far less than any DSLR system change would be.

 

I would suggest you settle on your lens and ports needs, (the ZEN dome port for the M4/3 9 to 18 zoom is looking good to me as my wide angle choice for this system) so that if you upgrade to a new camera/housing combo in two years you won't need to change anything else.

 

Phil Rudin

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Yes, I expect so. As the 8mm is still not shipping in the US, we have not been able to design a dome for it yet. I am hopeful that our 100mm hemispheric dome used in DP100 will be a good match for that lens.

 

Thanks for answering my questions Ryan :notworthy: .

 

I saw the E-PL1 with a $75 instant rebate (for only 7 days ending on Sat), so I bit the bullet on getting one from B&H for $428 (with free shipping). I figured that if I don't like it, I should have no problem selling it.

 

Bo

Edited by fotoscubo714

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Hi Ajay,

 

First we have a difference in shooting styles, for macro I would be shooting in manual and DOF would be a result of the F/stop chosen. For sharks I would auto focus on my fin or a fixed object from two to three feet away and then lock in manual. At F/8 or so when the sharks are in shooting range I will be able to shoot away and the sharks should be in focus without a need to continually try to lock focus in AF.

....

 

Phil Rudin

 

Hi Phil,

 

Typically I also run in Av (and sometimes Tv)-mode for macro situations, but in the end never achieved the skill level (nor the creature-cooperation level) and it all ends up in percentage play (take a lot, keep a few).

I like the pre-focus on fin trick, will try next time. Anyway, you've given me the little bit of extra push I needed to jump back to Oly -- the EP01 and accessories are on their way, courtesy of the good Mr Yuzo. The camera I'll pick up locally in a day or two. Next month, I'll post my first experience with this set (barring mishaps) from my trip to Lambeh area.

 

Once again, I thank you for the info, and if ever we run into each other at some dive stop, I owe you a beer,

 

best,

Ajay.

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Hello everyone,

It's been a very long time since I posted anything so here goes. Currently I use a Oly 410 with PT-E03 housing. I've taken some really great pictures with it but traveling with it (and I don't have all the the ports and second strobe yet) is getting to be a real pain. So I am also interested in a smaller setup but won't give quality. The port on the Oly EPL1 housing does come off even though Oly says it doesn't. Zen Under Water even makes a dome for the 9-18mm lens. Below is a picture they sent me on request. Hope this helps.

 

post-316-1279070769.jpg

 

 

post-316-1279070880.jpg

 

 

post-316-1279072812.jpg

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I'm curious. Olympus says the port is not removable. Clearly it is. But is mechanism by which the port is attached to the housing sturdy enough to repeatedly change ports from macro to wide angle? Considering the port was not designed to be changed?

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I'm curious. Olympus says the port is not removable. Clearly it is. But is mechanism by which the port is attached to the housing sturdy enough to repeatedly change ports from macro to wide angle? Considering the port was not designed to be changed?

 

Clearly this is something that we'd take into account before going through the effort of designing and building an accessory dome. The port mount system is a 90 degree bayonet, similarly rugged to bayonets used in many dslr systems, and those have been proven to be quite reliable over time.

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The Athena housing is for the E-P1 & E-P2 different cameras from the E-PL1 camera.

 

I own the Athena port addapter which allows for use of existing Athena/Olympus porst and new port that are coming for additional lenses. If you are already an owner of some of these ports for the Olympus, Nexus or SeaTool DSLR cameras this may be a way for you to go. If not the ZEN Underwater PEN port that supports the Olympus 14 to 42 zoom and 9 to 18 zoom lenses is the best way to go. It has a 100 mm coated optical glass port and has great image quality V. compactness.

 

Some images with the ZEN port can be found here, http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/olympus-o...me-results.html

 

Phil Rudin

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Apologies for posting an inappropriate complement - I should have read the accompanying text to Manta Ray's last but-one post.

Edited by altsaint

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The Athena housing is for the E-P1 & E-P2 different cameras from the E-PL1 camera.

 

I own the Athena port addapter which allows for use of existing Athena/Olympus porst and new port that are coming for additional lenses. If you are already an owner of some of these ports for the Olympus, Nexus or SeaTool DSLR cameras this may be a way for you to go. If not the ZEN Underwater PEN port that supports the Olympus 14 to 42 zoom and 9 to 18 zoom lenses is the best way to go. It has a 100 mm coated optical glass port and has great image quality V. compactness.

 

Some images with the ZEN port can be found here, http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/olympus-o...me-results.html

 

Phil Rudin

 

So the Zen 100mm port would will work with the the Seatool and my PT-E03 housing? I have the 9-18 and 14-42 lens.

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