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Phil Rudin

Olympus 12-40 F/2.8 and the Zen Underwater DP 170 n85 port

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Not many images have been posted using the New Olympus "pro" 12-40mm F/2.8 lens. This is an excellent lens with a high degree of weather sealing and freeze proofing. A very highly regarded lens with most of the top sites reviewing lenses above water.

 

I used this lens in the water for the first time yesterday and have attached some images shooting the lens with the Zen Underwater DP 170 n85 optical glass dome port for Nauticam Mini housings. Be aware that Zen has two DP 170 domes with the Nauticam mini mount, the send on is the DP 170 n120.

The difference is the the new n85 model has 25mm's of extension built into the port. The n120 can mount directly to the housing or can be used with a number of extensions depending on your camera system and lens.

 

The 12-40 zoom is big and needs to be installed to the camera from the front of the housing after the camera has been installed into the housing. The dome in then installed over the lens and secured to the housing. Once in place the vacuum system assures a proper seal on the dome to the housing.

 

I shot the lens mostly at wide F/stops to see how well the lens works in the wider aperture range. I also attached an over/under shot so you can get an idea of how the dome handles that task.

 

Over/under 12mm, ISO100, F/6.3, 1/320th.

 

Octo, 12mm, ISO100, F/7.1, 1/320th.

 

Octo vertical, 40mm, ISO100, F/5.0, 1/320th.

 

Octo underside, 40mm, ISI100, F/5.0, 1/320th.

 

Star, 40mm, ISO100, F/2.8, 1/320th.

 

100% star detail.

 

All are full frame, no crop, using two Inon Z-240 strobes attached to the balls on the grips (no strobe arms used.

 

 

 

 

 

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Many thanks for posting these. I'm thinking about getting the DP-170 n85 version 1 and some extensions, for more versatility. I'm confused about all the different DP-170's though, there seems to be three?

1) DP-170 n85 version 1

2) DP-170 n85 version 2 (like version 1 with 25mm built-in extension)

3) DP-170 n120 (no idea what this is -- seems to be the same dome as the n85, but hard to tell, perhaps it's for DSLR housings?)

 

Presumably all use the same glass and same optical coatings?

 

Is it possible to attach the DP-170 n85 version 1 to the housing without using an extension?

Edited by coroander

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Great shots Phil!. I really like the sharpness and DOF with this lens. Would you assume that this port will also work with the new M.Zuiko 7-14mm PRO lens which is coming out later this year? Thanks for sharing!

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It will depend on the size of the lens which is anyones guess at this time. The 12-40 is a very snug fit and needs to be installed from the front before the dome is installed.

 

coroander, only two zen 170mm domes for Nauticam Mini housings, the DP 170 n120 has no extension and extensions of your choice can be added like the 20mm for use with the Panasonic 7-14mm or the extension for use with the Ziess 12mm on systems like the NEX/A housings. The Zen 170mm n85 has a builtin 25mm extension and will work with lenses like the Pana 7-14, 12-35 and Olympus 12-40 and 12-50 zooms. Not clear at this time if it will work with the Olympus 7-14mm zoom coming later this year.

 

ZEN does make a DP 170mm ss port but that is for S&S housings mounts and has nothing to do with Nauticam Mini housings

Edited by Phil Rudin

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I believe the n120 is for Nauticam DSLR housings. When I ordered my n85 (version 1, no extension built in) the n120 came instead at first. The glass looked the same but the port connection diameter was wider. The box said "mirrorless" as well but as far as I know it's for the larger DSLR port system.

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Hi Phil,

 

How close does it focus to the dome?

 

Mike

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Very close focusing at 20mm, because it is a dome port the AOV is not reduced as it is when shooting behind a flat port. So less magnification than a flat port and better edge sharpness at the wider angles including the 12mm end being wider than a 12mm behind a flat port.

 

In the top photo the two out of focus octo arms at the top are on the glass.

Edited by Phil Rudin

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Attached is the new nomenclature for the Zen Underwater 170mm ports. So the two 170mm ports for Nauticam M43 and Sony E-mount housings are the original without extra extension and the new type II which has an additional 30mm of extension.

 

The original topic should now say Olympus 12-40 F/2.8 and Zen Underwater DP 170 n85-II port.

 

 

The new nomenclature is as follows:

 

N85 - Previously referred to as the mini or Mirrorless IL system. N85 is currently used by m4/3 cameras, Sony APS-C mirrorless cameras, Nikon 1, Canon EOS-M, and Blackmagic Pocket

 

N100 - New port size for Sony A7/A7R/A7S cameras, currently only used for the NA-A7 housing

 

N120 - The original Nauticam port system for SLRs. N120 is currently used by Canon and Nikon SLRs, Blackmagic Cinema, RED EPIC/SCARLET/DRAGON EF mount, and the upcoming Z100/AX1

 

N200 - New port size for the RED EPIC/SCARLET/DRAGON PL mount.

 

Zen Underwater ports for Nauticam housings have changed to correspond to this new naming system:

 

NA = N120

NM = N85

 

So, for example, the dome formerly called DP-100-NCR is now called DP-100-N120CR or the DP-170-NM has become DP-170-N85.

 

To clear up some things with the DP-170 line up

 

DP-170-N120 is for Nauticam DSLR housings and has no extension on it.

DP-170-N85 is the original 170mm dome for mirrorless housings and has 30mm of built in extension.

DP-170-N85-II is the new version (the one I have) and has an additional 30mm of extension on top of the original. So a total of 60mm of extension, plus the ID of the port body is 77mm allowing the larger diameter lenses such as the Olympus 12-40 or the Sony 10-18 to be used. The DP-170-N85 II is compatible with:

Panasonic 7-14mm f/4

Olympus m.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8

Olympus m.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8

Sony 10-18mm f/4 E-mount

 

The Zeiss 12mm on the Sony E-mounts requires a DP-170-SS (for sea & sea) in correlation with the Zen Underwater Port Adaptor: Sea & Sea Ports on Nauticam Mirrorless Housing (part # PA-N85-SS60). Since the diameter of the Zeiss 12mm is so large at the end, it requires the adaptor to be put on the housing first, then the lens, then the dome.

Edited by Phil Rudin

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Thanks for all the information, Phil. I think my recovery from shoulder surgery will be far enough along that I can take the E-M1 Housing and N85-II diving next month and use that port with the 7-14 and 12-40. Just wondering what you found to be good flotation for this port. I believe you use the Stix floats as do I.

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I have been using two Nauticam 250 X 60mm (10inch X 2.4) float arms and about three or four small Stix blocks with two Inon Z-240 strobes.

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Okay, thanks, I can run the calculations and determine equivalency since I am not using the Nauticam float arms.

 

I am guessing you are using the Stix on 5" arms.

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Hello Phil

 

Is the
DP-170-N85-II compatible with the 12-50 Olympus ?? Thank

Dom

 


Zen Underwater ports for Nauticam housings have changed to correspond to this new naming system:


DP-170-N85-II is the new version (the one I have) and has an additional 30mm of extension on top of the original. So a total of 60mm of extension, plus the ID of the port body is 77mm allowing the larger diameter lenses such as the Olympus 12-40 or the Sony 10-18 to be used. The DP-170-N85 II is compatible with:
Panasonic 7-14mm f/4
Olympus m.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6
Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8
Olympus m.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8
Sony 10-18mm f/4 E-mount

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Yes and you will of course get a wider angle of view than with a flat port. What will will not have is access to the 43mm macro lock.

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Thanks for the information, I have been thinking about this as the quality of the 12-40 is far better than any other in the same range.After seeing your pics my mind is made up.

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Hi there,

1) how close can you go with the 12-40 and the ZEN170mm? Is the ratio comparable to "land" photography ? (I think 1:3)?

I know its not a macro lens but if one wants a flexible zoom with which you could also go a little closer?

Do you think you could fill the full image if you photographed an I-phone-sized area with this combo?

2) do you see any disadvantages buying the version II with built in extension for using it with 9-18 and 12-40mm mainly?

 

Thanks a lot, Tom

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Tom:

 

Phil can answer your questions much better than I can, since I have not even gotten my port in the water yet, but if you want to use a Zen dome with the 12-40 lens then you need the version II. The earlier/other version will physically not work with that lens, at least if you want to use a zoom ring.

 

Hope this helps until Phil can chime in with more/better information.

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Hi Tom, Did you not look at the photos above, the starfish tip is full frame at close to maximum magnification and the 100% crop shows the detail at F/2.8. It is quite clear that in some cases the 170mm dome will be harder to get close with than say a 100mm or less flat port but that would not be comparing apples to apples. The lens that should be compared to the Olympus 12-40 is the Panasonic 12-35 zoom which works in the same port. Most will want to compare the 12-40 to the Olympus 12-50 using the flat port. The 12-40 is a much better lens than the 12-35 or the 12-50 in terms of image quality. If you can use the 12-50 with the DP-170 port the 12-40 wins hands down, it will focus much closer than the 50mm end of the 12-50 and has better image quality throughout the zoom and aperture range.

 

Attached are images with the 12-50 at 50mm max. magnification rendering about 1:5 in M43 or 1:2.5 in 35mm terms and the 12-40 at 40mm max. magnification rendering about 1:2.6 in M43 or about 1:1.3 in 35mm terms, Quite a difference in how close they will focus. You can argue the 43mm semi macro behind the Nauticam flat port which gets you to about 1:1 in 35mm terms v. 1:1.3 but then you don't get full use of the wide end of the lens.

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Edited by Phil Rudin
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Hi Phil,

I like the Kodachrome slide frame ;)

Thank you for the detailed answer.

 

Can you go that close underwater?

 

If yes -than this could be a very flexible UW lens IMO - for people who are not after the smallest creatures. The first image (which I suppose comes from the 12-50) does look surprisingly sharp as well.

 

Now that I have finally decided for a housing (ordered the Nauticam EM1 housing this afternoon and 2xYSD1) and wide angle lens (plan to use my 9-18 and a 8mm FE) I need to decide if I buy a 60mm Macro lens and Port, or a port +gear for the 12-50 (I am not so sure the 12-50 would fuflil my IQ expectations), or another option use my already existing 12-40 with a ZEN170 as a flexible medium zoom solution with good close up capability.

One thing which lets me hesitate a bit is I choose m43 to keep the package compact and the ZEN is not really compact. But the IQ and the flexibility really makes it tempting.

I don't find 12-40 gears on the online-shops.

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paratom

 

If you already have the 12-40 I would buy the 60mm and port as it is better for macro and also far cheaper than port and gear for the 12-50.

email underwater visions and they will let you have the part number.

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I have no port for the 12-40 - so I was wondering to maybe get the ZEN170 for my 12-40 and forget the Macro at the moment (I am not after super close macro). I could also use the ZEN170 for my 9-18 and save the money for the 4 inch Dome that way.

Edited by paratom

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The 12-40mm F/2.8 gives you a little less magnification in auto focus than it does if you go to manual focus and crank the lens as far out as it will go, same same with all zoom lenses. So in practical terms using auto focus and the Zen DP-170 n85 II dome port you are looking at getting to around 1:1.5 in 35mm terms or about 55mm on the long side by 41.25mm.

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The 12-40mm F/2.8 gives you a little less magnification in auto focus than it does if you go to manual focus and crank the lens as far out as it will go, same same with all zoom lenses. So in practical terms using auto focus and the Zen DP-170 n85 II dome port you are looking at getting to around 1:1.5 in 35mm terms or about 55mm on the long side by 41.25mm.

 

Thank you Phil. In case we ever meat I will owe you more than one drink for all the info.

It sounds like a very flexible lens under water. I wonder why we do not hear/see more from it.

Maybe because the Dome is quite an investment. Anybody else here besides Phil who uses the combo already?

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I wonder if using the 9-18 behind this port if a close up filter on the lens is recommended or not. Any experience?

I decided to shift a full macro lens in the future and therefore use the 12-40 on dives where I expect "smaller subjects" - so I also would like the ZEN170 with the 9-18.

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No filter required for the 9-18mm zoom and better overall performance than a 4" (100mm) port. The smaller port will obviously work better for confined spaces and at closest focus.

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In case you have already purchased the DP-170 port (first short version) and would like to use the 12-40mm lens with this port, you can have an extension made with a larger inner diameter so it can be used with the wider 12-40 lens...

As I have studied CNC Software Programming and know how to use milling and lathe machines, I went to a machining shop I know the owner of and have it made within 3-4 hours. The next process I need to do is getting it anodised which I will do as soon as I am back to the UK, right now traveling across Europe...

 

customext1.jpgcustomext2.jpg

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