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Dome or wide angle lens?

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I am shooting with an Olympus EPL-3 in the Oly PT-EP05L housing using the 14-42 kit lens. Most of my diving is in the great lakes, so lots of wide angle/wrecks or the Caribbean for macro/wide shots.


I have been wanting to get wider, but I am not quite sure what my best options is.


Currently there are a number of possibilities out there for going wide


1. Olympus Wide-angle Conversion Lens PTWC-01 (67mm wet mount)

2. Inon UWL-H100 T2 wide angle lens (67mm wet mount)

3. Inon UWL-H100 T2 wide angle lens with add on Inon dome

4. Replacing the dome port with a Zen WA-100-PE (sticking with the 14-42mm lens) - loosing the macro add on lens options

5. Replacing the dome port with a Zen WA-100-PE (upgrading to the 9-18mm lens) - loosing the macro add on lens options


So, based on the above, what would yield the best results? Add on wide angle or Zen dome (with kit lens for now, and later adding 9-18). How does the macro shooting work with a permanent dome?


Suggestions please

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5. Replacing the dome port with a Zen WA-100-PE (upgrading to the 9-18mm lens) - loosing the macro add on lens options

 

I had this many years ago with my EPL-3. I found the 9-18mm very soft behind that dome, unless you stop it down quite a lot. Personally I wouldn't recommend this lens / dome combo. The dome with the 14-42mm might be a nicer combo.

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I had this many years ago with my EPL-3. I found the 9-18mm very soft behind that dome, unless you stop it down quite a lot. Personally I wouldn't recommend this lens / dome combo. The dome with the 14-42mm might be a nicer combo.

 

thank you. then in order to go wider, is there another dome or wide angle lens suggested as an alternative?

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You could go ultra wide (weitwinkel) with the Zen dome for the 8mm Panasonic - that is tack sharp (a lens / dome combo I've also had)

 

But a fisheye might be too wide for wrecks etc. On a side note, you would have to slightly skim the button guard on the housing for the LED lights for the dome to fit.

 

I've got no personal experience of the INON domes / wet lenses, apart from one of their close up ones, but they are pretty good.

 

Before you go down a rabbit hole of domes / ports etc, it sounds as if you are on a similar path I took when I got my first Mirrorless housing. I chased all the available ports etc for getting wider and wider (with my last dome being the Zen 170mm with the 7-14mm lens) - however I've stepped back to a 14-42mm lens and the Nauticam WWL, as its sharper in the corners and as a whole you have a lot more of a flexible system using detectable lenses - and today they don't suffer from degraded image quality.

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You could go ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) with the Zen dome for the 8mm Panasonic - that is tack sharp (a lens / dome combo I've also had)

 

But a fisheye might be too wide for wrecks etc. On a side note, you would have to slightly skim the button guard on the housing for the LED lights for the dome to fit.

 

I've got no personal experience of the INON domes / wet lenses, apart from one of their close up ones, but they are pretty good.

 

Before you go down a rabbit hole of domes / ports etc, it sounds as if you are on a similar path I took when I got my first Mirrorless housing. I chased all the available ports etc for getting wider and wider (with my last dome being the Zen 170mm with the 7-14mm lens) - however I've stepped back to a 14-42mm lens and the Nauticam WWL, as its sharper in the corners and as a whole you have a lot more of a flexible system using detectable lenses - and today they don't suffer from degraded image quality.

 

the WWL looks nice, but damn that is a lot of coin :-(

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I've been using an Oly 9-18mm in a Nauticam 4" semi-dome. Works pretty well for quite a lot of things in Hawaii waters, including photographing other divers. Pretty sharp. Only issue for me was getting reflections of the letters on the faceplate around the front element when shooting into the sun. Solved that with a Sharpie. Plus the dome is acrylic - scratches easy.

 

I had the Panasonic 8mm in the 4.33" dome. Nice and sharp. Can make some dramatic images, but I found it too limiting as I love shooting fish portraits and behavior, and Hawaii fish are mighty skittish. Sold that.

 

I just picked up the 14-42mm kit lens, which uses he same zoom gear on Nauticam housings. Never used that lens. I'm set to give that a try tomorrow in the 4" port. My plan, if it looks good, is to try a port w 67mm threads to add a wet wide lens. The kit lens will give more reach. I hope the add-on lenses are sharp enough for my sensibilities. I'm thinking Inon and Epoque DCL lenses. The WWL-1 is a possibility but a bit expensive and heavy. It's zoom-through ability is a huge plus.

I've been using an Oly 9-18mm in a Nauticam 4" semi-dome. Works pretty well for quite a lot of things in Hawaii waters, including photographing other divers. Pretty sharp. Only issue for me was getting reflections of the letters on the faceplate around the front element when shooting into the sun. Solved that with a Sharpie. Plus the dome is acrylic - scratches easy.

 

I had the Panasonic 8mm in the 4.33" dome. Nice and sharp. Can make some dramatic images, but I found it too limiting as I love shooting fish portraits and behavior, and Hawaii fish are mighty skittish. Sold that.

 

I just picked up the 14-42mm kit lens, which uses he same zoom gear on Nauticam housings. Never used that lens. I'm set to give that a try tomorrow in the 4" port. My plan, if it looks good, is to try a port w 67mm threads to add a wet wide lens. The kit lens will give more reach. I hope the add-on lenses are sharp enough for my sensibilities. I'm thinking Inon and Epoque DCL lenses. The WWL-1 is a possibility but a bit expensive and heavy. It's zoom-through ability is a huge plus.

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I used the 9-18mm behind the zen dome port and that will ultimately give you the best results out of the options you have given.

In my opinion if it is WA you want go down that route. If you want both WA and macro go down the same route, then at a later date (will fit in the port you are now using for the 14-42) when you can afford it buy the 60mm for macro. (will fit in the port you are now using for the 14-42)

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