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dmshore

WA zoom lens to add to my set

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Hello everyone. I was hoping you all might help steer me in the right direction in adding to my kit.

 

I'm relatively new to U/W photography, but am completely and hopelessly addicted. I shoot an Olympus E-M1 in Nauticam housing. I currently own two lenses: 60mm with CMC-1, and the Olympus F1.8 fisheye. I shoot the FE behind a Zen 170mm glass dome.

 

I'd like to add a zoom-able WA lens to my kit, particularly to get some shots of pelagic creatures that just will not get close enough for the FE. While it seems like the Olympus 7-14mm PRO lens is a top choice in the M4/3 space for zoom-able WA, this lens is not compatible with my dome port. For many reasons (cost, space while traveling, etc), I'd really rather not have to get another port for the third lens. It seems like some of my choices would include: Olympus 9-18, Panasonic 7-14, Panasonic 12-35. All would require a 30mm extension ring. Are there any others out there? Which of these would be the "best" choice?

 

While the 12-35 seems like it would be a great top-side lens, my guess is that it is not quite wide enough for WA pelagic shots?

 

Any and all help and guidance would be MUCH appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

David

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Both lenses will work well with your camera. I have the Panasonic 7-14mm and I like it for wreck interiors and shots in bluewater.

The Olympus 9-18 is cheaper and a bit narrower but still works pretty well if you are happy with a maximum of 100 degrees field of view, in my view this works well with sharks but is a tad too narrow for wreck interiors and larger fish whale sharks etc

Both lenses suffer soft corners at the wide end and need stopping to f/5.6 minimum f/8 better for wrecks. Not so important for blue water shots

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I recently got the Panasonic 7-14 and have been having fun learning to shoot WA (previously I have been all about macro). I like the range of this lens a lot. At 7mm it is more than wide enough for any reefscape I want to shoot, in fact, I have to learn to look for elements that I don't want in the frame! At 14 mm its a very good lens for fish portraits

 

I also have the original Olympus 12-50 lens which sits unused now. I found 12mm not wide enough to be useful for reefscapes or big pelagics, though with the caveat that I was using it behind a flat port. So I would not consider the Panasonic 12-35 for underwater WA.

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I find that 12mm is a good focal length for video but too narrow for still images. Also the 12-35mm lens does not work through the whole range behind a dome as the focus distance of the lens changes and soon the camera cannot focus behind the dome. It is a fabulous lens on land though

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I have rented the Panasonic 7-14 for a trip to Socorros last year and I own the Olympus 9-18. I enjoyed using the Panasonic and some of my best images from that trip were with that lens. The Olympus seems to focus a little slower it seems.

I love my Olympus 8 mm fisheye as well but the trouble is that while it's awesome for CFWA and reefs and wrecks, it's still somewhat limited for general underwater use. Most sharks and fish are just too skittish to really fill the frame. So I can definitely see why you're looking into zooms.

Incidentally, I recently bought the Olympus 7-14 PRO taking advantage of the $200 rebate program from Olympus. The lens is awesome for land and travel use! I figured that even if I didn't dive with it I would use it plenty. I liked it so much that I decided to spring for the Nauticam 180 port with necessary port converter, about $1600 total with focus gear. I hope to use if for the first time tomorrow and can give you a report thereafter.

Good luck!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I am a little in the same boat like you owning a ZEN170mm Dome (however the Version 2 with integrated 30mm extension).

I have used the 12-40 and the 9-18 behind that DOME.

I really like the 12-40 because it is so flexible. Its my fav underwater lens.

I now added the Pana 7-14 because its really wide.

The 9-18 is in between, so I think in the future I will use either 12-40 , or for wreck and caves the 7-14.

If I did have that DOME allready I would have gone for the Oly 7-14 for f2.8 and weather sealing.

I also think the Oly focuses slightly closer than the Pana if I understand right.

If 12mm is wide enough for you I would really recommend the 12-40, great IQ, very good close focusing, f2.8, opticly great and weather sealed.

Its the perfect lens if you dont know whta will happen during your dive.

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I am a little in the same boat like you owning a ZEN170mm Dome (however the Version 2 with integrated 30mm extension).

I have used the 12-40 and the 9-18 behind that DOME.

I really like the 12-40 because it is so flexible. Its my fav underwater lens.

I now added the Pana 7-14 because its really wide.

The 9-18 is in between, so I think in the future I will use either 12-40 , or for wreck and caves the 7-14.

If I did have that DOME allready I would have gone for the Oly 7-14 for f2.8 and weather sealing.

I also think the Oly focuses slightly closer than the Pana if I understand right.

If 12mm is wide enough for you I would really recommend the 12-40, great IQ, very good close focusing, f2.8, opticly great and weather sealed.

Its the perfect lens if you dont know whta will happen during your dive.

Hi... what port do you use for the Pana 7-14mm.

 

Also, does the original port of the PT-EP10(EPL5) housing manage to cope with the Oly 9-18mm

 

Sent from my SM-N930F using Tapatalk

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Hi... what port do you use for the Pana 7-14mm.

 

Also, does the original port of the PT-EP10(EPL5) housing manage to cope with the Oly 9-18mm

 

Sent from my SM-N930F using Tapatalk

ZEN170II for Nauticam

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