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NWDiver

Olympus E-PL3 housing and pics of their "Target Macro Light"

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So the new Olympus housing for the E-PL3 is in. Like previous Oly housings it is well built and fairly well laid out. The buttons are arranged so they are accessible by cold water divers wearing heavy gloves. Like previous Oly housings you just attach the supplemental flash, drop it and go. We did play with their "Target Light for Macro Photography" and like most feel it could have, should have been left off. But that said it is useable in low light situations at no more than 12-15". Push one button it comes on, push again to turn it off. A few quick pics to give a rough idea of how it works.

 

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Edited by NWDiver

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For those interested here is a comparison of the Olympus E-PL3 Housing and its Target Lights vs. the Fantasea 30 lumen Nano Focus light. So super rough guess is the Olympus Target lights total around 10 lumens (+/-) ten lumens :D

 

Fantasea Nano Light on Left, Olympus Target lights on Right

6483431471_59f7a1018f_z.jpg

Edited by NWDiver

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lights pretty sad.

 

Is the epl3 focus speed enough faster to be worth buying, compared the the epl2, at a hundred less for the camera, and a couple hundred for the housing?

Edited by derway

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As to focus capture, they will claim it is improved and it does work well for this class but can't say there is a Major difference. The single biggest upgrade is in the video upgrade to 1080.

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This looks like it has threads on the front of the housing. Will it take 67mm wet lenses? That would be handy.

 

it does, and it is 67mm.

did a little bit of discussion on this focus light + stacking closeup lens with Phil on scubaboard.

By the looks of it, the closeup lens will be blocking the lights.

If u stack em up really good that is..

Maybe NWDiver is kind enough to show us.. :)

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Well here is an attempt to show the issues. Olympus really only designs these to be used with their Doubler. Here I stacked the Fix +5 and Fix+8 as pictured here.

6511756947_7ef787fee1.jpg

 

This shot is with the +5 and +8 shot at the correct distance. Issue is there is a Diamond shape dark spot the Target Lights do not cover. It is not untill you move the camera port about 7" from the subject the lights converge.

6511756611_4784e8dd83.jpg

 

Distance when the Target lights converge.

6511757133_3ffdfce792.jpg

 

Taken with just the +8 Fix. The cross is 1" across.

6511756837_f477083228.jpg

 

So can be used with just one Diopter but stacking will be an issue, to some degree if you don't use a focus light.

 

Any questions or explinations will try to answer.

Edited by NWDiver

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Many thanks NWDiver, that's very clear. Great explanatory photos.

 

At the other end of the scale (wide), would it work with wide-angle wet lenses like the INON or the Dyron 14mm do you think? Or would it suffer from the standard problem of vignetting?

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Not what you asked for but you might find it useful

 

Shot with a Ikelight W-20 Wide-Angle Lens, .56x Magnification. This was zoomed out at 14mm

6513235835_aa8d748852.jpg

 

Now at about 19mm

6513235195_5c2387cd58.jpg

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I am considering buying this set up in the new year and have a number of questions before making such an investment. To let you know what I want to get out of a new camera -

I dive in the Mediterranean all year around (usually wearing gloves and going off the shore, hence I need a fairly compact and light set up that is not ging to be too fiddly).

 

I am a volunteer doing marine conservation research and I take lots of species ID photos, mainly for use on websites although I have had one published in a book on Costa Brava species. I'm aiming to get better photos of the many tiny nudibranchs that we are surveying off the coast of Catalunya.

 

Does anyone have any underwater photos with it yet?

How user friendly will it be for someone who has only used point and shoot so far?

I have Epoch macro and fisheye wet lenses from a previous setup. Will they fit?

I guess I need to buy a strobe, which would be best to go with this housing for mainly macro subjects?

 

I would appreciate any feedback and advice.

 

Thanks

Gaynor

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I am considering buying this set up in the new year and have a number of questions before making such an investment. To let you know what I want to get out of a new camera -

I dive in the Mediterranean all year around (usually wearing gloves and going off the shore, hence I need a fairly compact and light set up that is not ging to be too fiddly).

 

I am a volunteer doing marine conservation research and I take lots of species ID photos, mainly for use on websites although I have had one published in a book on Costa Brava species. I'm aiming to get better photos of the many tiny nudibranchs that we are surveying off the coast of Catalunya.

 

Does anyone have any underwater photos with it yet?

How user friendly will it be for someone who has only used point and shoot so far?

I have Epoch macro and fisheye wet lenses from a previous setup. Will they fit?

I guess I need to buy a strobe, which would be best to go with this housing for mainly macro subjects?

 

I would appreciate any feedback and advice.

 

Thanks

Gaynor

 

 

 

Hi,

 

I have the following set up:

 

E-PL3

OLy Housing

Inon UCL 165'S

Inon 100 type 2 Wide Wet

Oly 14-42

Oly 9-18mm

Zen Dome

1 x S/S YS110A

 

I took it out for a play last week here in the Uk. I was merely testing the use and flexibility of the wet lens combos, I also took the zen dome for a test too.

Here are some test images I took http://www.flickr.com/photos/sjburrows/set...57628371570265/ a lot qere taken without using the strobe, I was simply there to have a play with settings and get used to everything when using different combinations etc.

 

I found that the inon wet lens (underwater) only need to zoom to 15/16mm to rid any vignetting.

 

My conclusion is that for me, the wet lens system is a great flexible option, meaning that I can take most types of shot all in one dive, however if I want to venture for wide shots then the zen dome + oly wide is the option i'll take. The Zen dome + oly still produced macro shots i'm happy enough with ( see crayfish shots) all taken with the zen dome and cropped in.

 

Both system are light, compact and I found a pleasure to use. The housing really works and ergonomics are spot on. I have moved from an S90 and didn't find the housing size etc really that much bigger. I found the performance much enhanced. Focus is super quick and shutter lag superb.

 

Very pleased with it so far.

 

I am due to go to The Madives in 3 weeks, so will be able to really test and hammer this when out there.

 

Any questions, please ask.

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Hi

 

Thank you so much for sharing your photos and your experience with the E-PL3 set up. It sounds great! Is your housing the PT-EPO5L? And does the strobe need a fibre optic cable?

The photos look clear and crisp. I'm pleased to hear that it handles so well. Did you use the target light with the lobster or the strobe?

 

The housing looks pretty robust, and it sounds like it was easy to grip and to change settings with gloves on?

 

I would love to see your pictures from the Maldives. I went there last March and took some very pleasing shots with just my little Canon without a strobe (which then flooded for no aparent reason when I was back home in the Med, which has put me off Ikelite housings). Let me know how it goes. I'm looking to buy in February.

 

Gaynor

 

 

 

Hi,

 

I have the following set up:

 

E-PL3

OLy Housing

Inon UCL 165'S

Inon 100 type 2 Wide Wet

Oly 14-42

Oly 9-18mm

Zen Dome

1 x S/S YS110A

 

I took it out for a play last week here in the Uk. I was merely testing the use and flexibility of the wet lens combos, I also took the zen dome for a test too.

Here are some test images I took http://www.flickr.com/photos/sjburrows/set...57628371570265/ a lot qere taken without using the strobe, I was simply there to have a play with settings and get used to everything when using different combinations etc.

 

I found that the inon wet lens (underwater) only need to zoom to 15/16mm to rid any vignetting.

 

My conclusion is that for me, the wet lens system is a great flexible option, meaning that I can take most types of shot all in one dive, however if I want to venture for wide shots then the zen dome + oly wide is the option i'll take. The Zen dome + oly still produced macro shots i'm happy enough with ( see crayfish shots) all taken with the zen dome and cropped in.

 

Both system are light, compact and I found a pleasure to use. The housing really works and ergonomics are spot on. I have moved from an S90 and didn't find the housing size etc really that much bigger. I found the performance much enhanced. Focus is super quick and shutter lag superb.

 

Very pleased with it so far.

 

I am due to go to The Madives in 3 weeks, so will be able to really test and hammer this when out there.

 

Any questions, please ask.

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Hi

 

Thank you so much for sharing your photos and your experience with the E-PL3 set up. It sounds great! Is your housing the PT-EPO5L? And does the strobe need a fibre optic cable?

The photos look clear and crisp. I'm pleased to hear that it handles so well. Did you use the target light with the lobster or the strobe?

 

The housing looks pretty robust, and it sounds like it was easy to grip and to change settings with gloves on?

 

I would love to see your pictures from the Maldives. I went there last March and took some very pleasing shots with just my little Canon without a strobe (which then flooded for no aparent reason when I was back home in the Med, which has put me off Ikelite housings). Let me know how it goes. I'm looking to buy in February.

 

Gaynor

 

Hi Gaynor,

 

 

Sorry to hear of the flood.

 

Yes, that is the housing I have. I used gloves when using the housing. In fact as I was only testing this day I used 5mm Mits instead of normal gloves, just to see how easy it was to use with what I tought might be the most tricky to use. I had no issues at all even using the mits in 7 degrees of water.

 

The Crayfish pics were taken using the zen dome, which doesn't have target lights. So i simply used the strobe focus light. I didn't really use the target light on the housing that day.

I always use fibre optic cables, I use the Sea and Sea one, however I believe that there is a cheaper 10 bar one that can be used also which is around half the price of Sea and Sea, though I can't commment on whether it's good or not.

 

I was happy with the pics, as really I was just playing and not really focusing too much on the composition or using much strobe etc. I really wanted to get a feel for the housing/camera controls, playing with the menu and different settings. I wanted to get a feel for different ISO settings and such like.

I think that once used to its full cabability the system will give good results.

 

I am back from the Madives on the 23/1/12, so will post some images up then to hopefully give you a better idea of what the system can do.

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Thanks Spencer

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Hi Spencer, do you have any photos from your Maldives trip? I enjoyed your Stoney Cove series.

 

I am considering this combo as well for the same reasons as Gaynor (need compact shore-dive-friendly setup).

 

Phil

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lights pretty sad.

 

Is the epl3 focus speed enough faster to be worth buying, compared the the epl2, at a hundred less for the camera, and a couple hundred for the housing?

http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?act=P...mp;qpid=297018#

 

hey Don

 

I tested both side by side and found that the E-pl3 focused notably faster. Whether that is worth the extra money is I think a personal choice.

 

Scott

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Thanks Scott.

 

For me bad & slow Auto focus is the bane of trying to use anything other than an SLR underwater. That is good to know, it is significantly faster.

 

Aloha, and happy new year!

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cheers Phil, I will be going next Sunday (15th) and returning on the 23rd. So will hope to have some pics for you around the 25/26th.

 

I would agree with the comments about the AF being very quick. I have been impressed so far and looking forward to using it properly.

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I just had a look at them - they are absolutely superb!

 

As per my Flickr comment, I'm interested in any insights you might have about the camera after the trip, and what settings you used. I have just bought mine but am still learning how to drive it.

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I just had a look at them - they are absolutely superb!

 

As per my Flickr comment, I'm interested in any insights you might have about the camera after the trip, and what settings you used. I have just bought mine but am still learning how to drive it.

 

 

Hi Phil,

 

Ok, in general my week (18 dives) were a mixture of feelings, but as time went on, each dive I felt I was getting on with it much better. It's a learning curve and feel now I have a good grasp. I'm off to Mexico in a few months, so hoping to hit the ground ruinning from day one this time..haha.

 

 

Having played with lots of settings I felt that using Manual was the best control, and it I generally used the following:

 

ISO- 200

Shutter 160 (default setting)

Aperture 7.1 - Seemed to be a good all round sharp aperture

I used center AF focusing with a single spot - I stayed away from multipoint focus as it seemed to lose the plot.

RAW

WB - Auto

 

One oversight on my part was that when changing ports, ensure that you reposition your strobe, some shots were not getting any light as the flash was getting blocked by the port. So just keep that in mind.

 

 

I think if like me, you have two ports etc and haveonly just bought your system, just master one thing at a time, I think I tried too much too soon. In the end I just stuck with the kit lens, and wet macro dipoters. I found I was moving much quicker with the whole thing getting used to this first.

I think if you're on a budget, the kit lens, kit port with wet lenses (macro and WA) is a super flexible solution. I've used WA lenses and been quite impressed - I also read a review from a well known photographer in the UK (duxy from OLC) who also shares that view.

 

I can't say if the macro lights on the front are good or not, as I didn't really use them, I used the FL on my strobe.

 

Thins I didn't like about the system, iso 200 would be better if 80/100 were available, the lowest strobe shutter sync was 160. That for me was an pain. It just means you need to look for other ways of say getting different levels of ambient light.

 

On the whole though, I'm still really chuffed with it. It's compact, flexible, you can get a flexible solution from a low cost, and it performs well and has given me some results that I'm happy with. Now the initial getting used to the system is out of the way, I'm looking forward to having another serious play sometime soon!

 

Any questions, let me know

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I made one discovery today: my strobe slave is not firing reliably (strobe is a little Ikelite AF-35). That would explain some very dark photos! It is really designed for compacts so I might have to upgrade to one with a fibre-optic cable.

 

I got a few semi-reasonable shots despite this, still nothing like your Maldives ones: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31166719@N06/

 

Changing to centre-AF as per your suggestion made a big difference - much easier to find focus. Unfortunately I didn't have my macro lens for the tiny nudi. The macro lights are pretty dinky & useless in daytime but I suppose they might work on a night dive.

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I made one discovery today: my strobe slave is not firing reliably (strobe is a little Ikelite AF-35). That would explain some very dark photos! It is really designed for compacts so I might have to upgrade to one with a fibre-optic cable.

 

I got a few semi-reasonable shots despite this, still nothing like your Maldives ones: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31166719@N06/

 

Changing to centre-AF as per your suggestion made a big difference - much easier to find focus. Unfortunately I didn't have my macro lens for the tiny nudi. The macro lights are pretty dinky & useless in daytime but I suppose they might work on a night dive.

 

 

Hi Phil, the flathead shot is nice and sharp and clean, so looks like you're getting there. It took me a series of diives and playing with it etc before it fell into place, so a little more and you'll be well away.

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