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WA options for micro four thirds cameras

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Hi guys,

 

I'm looking for a wide-angle lens for my Panasonic GH2. This has got to be a multi-purpose lens, and will be used for everything from mountain landscapes above water, reef landscapes below, big fish, shipwrecks, CFWA shots, and even the occasional video. I am aware that this is a tall order for any lens, and that the phrase "Jack of all trades, master of none" may apply here.

 

These are the options I've found so far - in order of increasing cost!

 

Panasonic Fisheye 8mm/F3.5

Panasonic Rectilinear 7-14mm/F4.0

Olympus Fisheye 8mm/F1.8 PRO

Olympus Rectilinear 7-14mm/F2.8 PRO

 

After days and days and days of going back and forth, and agonising over the choice, this is where I've got to...

 

- I'm thinking rectilinear for the extra versatility, the straight lines above water and in wrecks, and the zoom (I suspect I wouldn't get close enough to a shark or manta ray to use the fisheye)

 

- I'm leaning towards the Olympus 7-14mm for its shorter minimum focus (thinking of the CFWA shots here), and by all accounts it's a much sharper lens with better colours than the Panasonic 7-14 is (please correct me if I'm wrong on that).

 

So that being the case, I have a few questions...

 

- Assembling the rig with the Olympus 7-14mm frankly sounds like a nightmare. Because of the lens' size, it can only fit through the front of the housing. So to even change the camera battery, you have to take off the port and extensions, remove the lens from the front, then open the housing and finally take the camera out through the back. To me that sounds like you've just doubled the chances of having a catastrophic flood. Is this as big a deal as I fear?

 

- I know fisheyes are the preferred lens for CFWA, but just how bad would the two rectilinear options be?

 

- Is the Olympus 7-14mm worth the extra money and installation hassle, compared to the Panasonic?

 

- I have a Nauticam housing. What port options do I have, and what gives best bang for buck?

 

 

Thanks in advance!

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well after shooting with GH2 for almost two years now, though rather as a hobby than pro, I do like Panasonic 7-14....works well, its quite flexible, even though its wide angle, got beautiful nudi shots in Gibraltar this month :D

-Price wise it actually went down lately, and can be bought for like £550 new...ebay probably around 400...think Olympus is like £1000 new...

-Another thing (very important for me!) - Panasonic 7-14 uses Nauticam 6" wide angle port, which also fits Panasonic 12-35, lately my favourite lens of choice...so you have two in one :) And of course one can fit the lens from the front or take the camera with the lens attached through the back. Again price wise 6" port - ~£400, 180mm port needed for Olympus, around £800...

Also the fact that Panasonic 7-14 port is smaller and can accommodate another lens is really appreciated when travelling...something tells me that 180mm glass port needed for Olympus will not only be bigger but also heavier.

 

To be clear, have not used Olympus 7-14...but then its your choice, is the f2.8 worth an extra grand or so? Me thinks better get Panasonic and get yourself another lens/lens+port combo for the same price as single Olympus setup....well unless wide angle is really really really important to you :P

Don't forget that Panasonic is working on 7-14 successor....which might be released sometime in 2017 along with GH5

 

http://www.apotelyt.com/photo-lens/panasonic-roadmap

 

 

edit:

as for the fisheye....Have Panasonic one and to be honest very rarely use...but then it might be just shooting preference.

 

As for your port options - Nauticam used to have full MIL chart but after they have revamped their website I cannot find it no more....uploaded one I've had saved

 

https://ufile.io/e6c8

 

(cannot attach here as the PDF is over 1 MB :S )

 

One more thing, though port wise...remember wide angle ports act like a parachute in the current....6" is also acrylic, hence any scratches can be easily fixed

Edited by makar0n
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Thanks Makar0n, that's a great help.

For perspective, the relative prices of the two rectilinear lenses are:

Panasonic Rectilinear 7-14mm/F4.0 = $1500NZD

Olympus Rectilinear 7-14mm/F2.8 PRO = $2000NZD

Now that's the retail price advertised by my local camera shop. I'm sure I can get that down further if I haggle or shop online/secondhand. But it gives an indication of where the two lenses sit. My view was that if I was going to pay $1500 for an okay lens, I might as well pay $2000 for an awesome lens with less flare, sharper/closer focus (particularly for CFWA), better colours, and environmental seals. Those were the advantages based on the reviews I'd read, at least. Having said that, I hadn't also factored in the extra cost of the Olympus port. That, combined with the nuisance factor of mounting the Olympus lens inside the camera, might just be enough to sway me back towards the Panasonic.

 

 

its quite flexible, even though its wide angle, got beautiful nudi shots in Gibraltar this month :D

I'd be very keen to see examples of this, if you have them handy?

 

Panasonic 7-14 uses Nauticam 6" wide angle port, which also fits Panasonic 12-35, lately my favourite lens of choice...so you have two in one

I hadn't planned to use anything in between wide and macro, but it's a good point worth considering. In terms of size, there's less than 3cm difference between 6" and 180mm - but certainly I'd imagine the glass dome will be significantly heavier.

 

 

 

Don't forget that Panasonic is working on 7-14 successor....which might be released sometime in 2017 along with GH5

http://www.apotelyt....nasonic-roadmap

Now that's very interesting. I hadn't realised that. But what lens are you referring to? I can't see any other 7-14mm on that page.

 

 

remember wide angle ports act like a parachute in the current....6" is also acrylic, hence any scratches can be easily fixed

 

So are you saying acrylic is preferable? Also I think there's a Zen dome that works with Nauticam housings? Is this an option worth considering, or is it better to stick to pure Nauticam?

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There's also the Olympus 9-18mm in a micro 4/3rds mount. I have that lens currently as I didn't want to spring for the 7-14's and a dome port. The 9-18mm worked with my Olympus housing's flat port, although it isn't ideal for getting the widest image possible. Corners aren't the sharpest, but for the money it's a good option. It's only a small step down in image quality compared to the Panasonic 7-14mm, for instance. New they are $400-500 USD here in the states, not sure what it is for you in NZ.

 

If you have the budget, by all means go for the Olympus 7-14mm PRO lens. That would be the absolute best lens in this focal length.

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Regarding CFWA and WAM photography much has to do with the size of the port since both the Olympus 8mm Fisheye and the Olympus 7-14mm zoom will focus all the way to the port glass. The difference is that one is a 100mm port and the other is 170 or 180mm. See attached photos of the Zen 100mm and the Zen Underwater 170mm ports. The Conch is a CFWA using the 170mm port and the anomie is with the 100mm port.

 

You may also want to consider the Nauticam WWL-1 water contact lens which can be more cost effective, it works with M43 "kit" zooms from both Olympus and Panasonic in a small flat port with 67mm thread. It can be removed U/W and replaced with a closeup lens like the Nauticam CMC-1 & CMC-2, also linked a photo.

post-2618-0-22978200-1477410029_thumb.jpg

post-2618-0-96246900-1477410039_thumb.jpg

post-2618-0-73674000-1477410057_thumb.jpg

post-2618-0-49772700-1477410075_thumb.jpg

post-2618-0-17061400-1477410088_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Makar0n, that's a great help.

For perspective, the relative prices of the two rectilinear lenses are:

Panasonic Rectilinear 7-14mm/F4.0 = $1500NZD

Olympus Rectilinear 7-14mm/F2.8 PRO = $2000NZD

Now that's the retail price advertised by my local camera shop. I'm sure I can get that down further if I haggle or shop online/secondhand. But it gives an indication of where the two lenses sit. My view was that if I was going to pay $1500 for an okay lens, I might as well pay $2000 for an awesome lens with less flare, sharper/closer focus (particularly for CFWA), better colours, and environmental seals. Those were the advantages based on the reviews I'd read, at least. Having said that, I hadn't also factored in the extra cost of the Olympus port. That, combined with the nuisance factor of mounting the Olympus lens inside the camera, might just be enough to sway me back towards the Panasonic.

I'd be very keen to see examples of this, if you have them handy?

 

I hadn't planned to use anything in between wide and macro, but it's a good point worth considering. In terms of size, there's less than 3cm difference between 6" and 180mm - but certainly I'd imagine the glass dome will be significantly heavier.

 

 

Now that's very interesting. I hadn't realised that. But what lens are you referring to? I can't see any other 7-14mm on that page.

 

 

So are you saying acrylic is preferable? Also I think there's a Zen dome that works with Nauticam housings? Is this an option worth considering, or is it better to stick to pure Nauticam?

 

hmm your NZ price is a bit of a rip off if you ask me [ :D] Amazon in UK has this at around £630 ~ 1070 NZD and that is still not the cheapest one can find [:)]

 

as for sample images....link below, all from last trip to Gibraltar...just to give you an idea, remember I am not a pro and the water was murky, it was not Indonesia :P ....admittedly I am so lazy still do not have any website based gallery :P

 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/sh1ry70tu8n92sw/AADsT88IihMoK8zOzd0SHgpna?dl=0

 

new Panasonic wide angle lens will be Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm f/2.8-4 ....no 7-14 no more

 

in regards to the domes...well acrylic vs glass it all depends on use....glass is heavy and expensive, and once scratched that's it, although it is supposed to provide better optical quality (perhaps some pro will voice an opinion here, never used one :) ), acrylic on the other side is cheaper, lighter and one can easily polish even deeper scratches so its like new after some crazy current-sand diving...

 

again...would be good to hear from an Olympus 7-14 owner...I bet it is a better lens in terms of picture quality, so it all depends on how deep your pocket are...guess the fact one can only change it from the front will be less of a nuisance after a while....

Edited by makar0n

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Thanks for the comments, guys.

 

I added up the cost of the Panasonic 7-14 + Nauticam's acrylic 6" port, vs the Olympus 7-14 + adapter + glass 180mm port... and the Olympus came out at more than double the price! Add in the inconvenient size of the Olympus, and in the end it was a no-brainer.

 

So Panasonic 7-14, here I come! Cheers again for the advice - I'll post up the results as soon as I get something that's not too awful. ;-)

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The panasonic 7-14mm is a adequate for landscapes and as a wide angle on land. In water works well in blue water shots. If you are the type of person doing pixel peeping in the corners on a close wide angle shot you need to consider this lens works best at f/8. Lower you get soft corners higher you get diffraction. I have had this lens for a few years and I use it only for wreck interiors and big fish in blue water. For reef shots the fisheye lens is much better and focusses on the dome . The port is also much smaller. If you are not keen on wet lenses I believe the 8mm and the 60mm macro are the must have lens for mft. When money allows add 7-14mm. For portraits the kit lens works best and this is also the best video lens with a wet wide angle lens

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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How big is the difference between a 6 and 8 inch acrylic dome when it comes to picture quality? I'm setting up my new setup for the Panasonic gx80 with the Panasonic 7-14mm (with the ikelite housing)

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How big is the difference between a 6 and 8 inch acrylic dome when it comes to picture quality? I'm setting up my new setup for the Panasonic gx80 with the Panasonic 7-14mm (with the ikelite housing)

 

Well, for practical reasons the 180 mm glass dome is better: less scratching - polycarbonate gets marks just by looking at them - and for above/below shots the biggest dome is always better.

Edited by EspenB

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Interesting discussio here...

 

I have a question regarding the problem with assembly of camera+Olympus 7-14mm with the housing: Does this problem also apply for the Olympus housings (with exchangable domes), or only to the Nauticam housings?

 

Wolfgang

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Olympus OMD housings with the quick change port system do not require port removal to install or remove the camera + 7-14 lens.

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Interesting discussio here...

 

I have a question regarding the problem with assembly of camera+Olympus 7-14mm with the housing: Does this problem also apply for the Olympus housings (with exchangable domes), or only to the Nauticam housings?

 

Wolfgang

 

As you know the lens is to wide for the N85 port system from Nauticam.

 

Olympus original housings have had different port solutions. Some are wide enough.

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