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jlyle

Olympus OMD EM5 with Panasonic 8mm FE

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I love this combination! The 8mm is a sweet lens behind the tiny 4" Nauticam dome port.

 

 

Margaret was hot to go to Catalina; she had heard the island water had been unusually clear. Since visibility in our local SoCal water had been really poor this past week, we agreed to meet at the boat, early Saturday morning, for a run to the island. Scott, Margaret, Theo, and I made the crossing in less than two hours and dropped anchor at a dive site called "Italian Gardens."

 

 

 

Near Goat Harbor, Italian Gardens is home to a number of large, black sea bass. Counting on good visibility and some large fish, I mounted my 8mm fisheye for wide angle photography. Sure enough, visibility was phenomenal, even for Catalina. The water temps were in the mid-sixties – very comfortable in a 7mm wetsuit.

 

 

 

Below are some of my images from our dives:

 

 

 

Angel shark (Squatina californica)

 

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Great visibility and blue water

 

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Black sea bass (Stereolepis gigas) Once endangered by overfishing, BSB are now protected. Italian Gardens is also a Marine Life Protected Area, so no fishing is allowed. This fish is about five feet long and two-hundred pounds!

 

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BSB can change color in a flash – spots are often seen as well as the dark black display

 

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Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus) is the California State Marine Fish. This bright orange damselfish makes for great color in wide angle kelp shots

 

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A couple of snails (Norissia norrisi on the kelp

 

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What a wonderful day at the Island, playing in the kelp! I love SoCal.

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Very nice; so many great camera setups out there these days. How close does the 8mm focus?

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Very nice; so many great camera setups out there these days. How close does the 8mm focus?

 

Ten cm from the glass in air. I don't know how close behind the dome port, but very close.

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Jim:

Great pics, time to get a wide angle setup I guess.

Bill

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Great pics! The 8mm will focus all the way down to contact with the front of the Nauticam 4.33" dome (it's cleverly right at the min focus distance).

What strobe(s) were you using?

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Great pics! The 8mm will focus all the way down to contact with the front of the Nauticam 4.33" dome (it's cleverly right at the min focus distance).

What strobe(s) were you using?

 

Two, Sea and Sea YS D1s in manual mode, using 120 degree diffusers.

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Wow, great shots. Were they all shot with the 8mm?

 

Are your pix cropped, or full frame?

 

Thanks thanks thanks

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Yes, all shot with the 8mm. I cropped a little on some of the images (angel shark), others are uncropped.

 

Strobe placement is very important when the lens can "see" 180 degrees.

 

BTW, you have to get real close with the 8mm. I have some bright yellow cable ties on my ULCS arms and I've found fish to be very curious about the bright colors.

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Really nice pics. Can't wait to get my Nauticam housing.

 

 

Strobe placement is very important when the lens can "see" 180 degrees.

BTW, how do you place the strobes? Do you have them pulled in (right next to the dome) and angled outwards? This is what I've read as a recommendation for fisheye pics.

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BTW, how do you place the strobes? Do you have them pulled in (right next to the dome) and angled outwards? This is what I've read as a recommendation for fisheye pics.

 

The 8mm is a fisheye lens and the field of vision is 180 degrees; that's really wide and strobe placement can be tricky.

 

The strobes must be behind the dome's front plane - otherwise you will see them in the image.

 

Closer to the housing seems to work better than far away with the fisheye lens.

 

Angled out minimizes backscatter - you want the edge of the strobe light to fall on the object without lighting too much of the water between the camera and the fish. You need to balance how far out you can point the strobes and still light the subject. Review your images looking at 9:00 and 3:00 o'clock positions for minimal backscatter; adjust as necessary.

 

The exception is for close-focus WA where the strobes must be turned more inward to light the foreground.

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