Jump to content
Draq

Good results from first dive trip with the E-M1 mkii

Recommended Posts

I recently came back from my first dive trip using the E-M1 mkii in its Nauticam housing. It was also the first time I used the Olympus 7-14 lens instead of the Panasonic. Without going into a lot of detail, here is what I found:

 

I am very happy with the camera. I experimented with the autofocus tracking and came away very impressed. Sometimes it was just slightly slow to lock focus in that mode, but it did a good job of tracking even juvenile fish with their tendency to dart around. Very few images that were not in focus due to the camera miscalculating the intended target or losing lock.

 

I have not heard anything about Olympus changing metering behavior, but I used the TTL metering with the Inon Z-240 strobes and whether wide angle or macro, it was consistently excellent. I had good experiences with Inon STTL with the E-M1 and other Olympus cameras but it somehow seemed even more reliable now. Frankly, I was having such success with it, I pretty much shot ttl the entire time.

I think the cloudy or shade white balance may work a bit better than auto wb, but it was easy enough to adjust all images in Lightroom.

 

I used auto iso quite a bit while shooting manual or aperture priority and was happy with how that worked out.

 

The camera battery could usually get me through about 6 dives before I changed it because it was reading less than 50% capacity. I don’t know about the new batteries but prior experience was that Olympus batteries would run down pretty fast once they were showing 45% or less capacity. I suspect I could have gotten another dive out of each battery charge.

 

I know the modest increase in the sensor’s MP count should not make much difference, but I found that I have just a bit more latitude in cropping images when I want to and the images in general are just slightly cleaner.

 

I was hoping the Olympus 7-14 would provide better corner sharpness than the Panasonic, but that does not appear to be the case, or if it is better, it is only slightly better. I shot mostly around F8 in a 170 dome and I guess I will try shooting around F11 next time. It seems this focal length is hard to work with and may need an even larger dome, if you need sharper corners. On the other hand, the Panasonic tended to produce some unpleasant color fringing that was hard to edit out in post. That does not seem to be present with the Olympus lens so I still consider it a better choice and will stick with the Olympus for that reason alone. The lens is fine if you don’t need sharp corners or can crop them out.

 

I had wanted to play with the pro capture feature using a video light, but I did not get the chance, so that experiment is going to have to wait until later this summer. As expected, the 12-40 in the 170 dome, the 60mm in a macro port and the 8mm in a 100 dome all produced great results with no complaints.

 

Overall, I would say I am very pleased. I did not shoot any video with the camera. I would be tempted to try a 200mm dome for the 7-14 if that option existed. I would not want to deal with anything larger than that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to see a report from a fellow e-m1 II user :)

 

I've been using it with the 60mm macro for a few dives now, I'm still having some problems in particular with getting used to the 60mm macro, I guess it will become easyer in time.

TTL works great for me as well (YS-01), I'm not really happy though about the recycle time, still experimenting if manual is better.

Did you use tracking for macro as well? I've been using single point C-AF with the back button focus which works quite well for me as long as I manage to keep it on target - a challenge with the 60mm.

 

I'll try the 30mm macro next week, might work out better in our murky waters.

 

Can't wait to see your pictures!

Edited by Diver4fun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi Draq,

 

Interesting post.

 

 

 

12-40 in the 170 dome

 

 

What Dome brand and model (and port extension if needed..) are you using? Nauticam?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was using a Zen DP-170 with the N85 to N120 60mm Port Adapter for the 12-40. I used the same dome with a 20mm extension for the 7-14. I played with SF, CF and CF tracking with the lenses at different times during the dives. I found they all worked well, but of course on the 60mm it was easy for a non-static subject to scoot out of the field of view and I would then have to re-acquire it. In that setting, I don't think the tracking feature was very helpful or necessary. Still fun to play with but probably not an ideal choice in that setting. I think C-AF or S-Af would be the way to go, depending on circumstances. I had no trouble with focusing on the 60mm but I typically dive pretty clear water so not much of a test.

 

 

 

Strobe recycling time can be a pain. I would love it if someone would come out with a TTL strobe trigger I could use in the Nauticam housing, such as Nauticam offers for the Canon and Nikon cameras. I don't usually post photos...I am just not that good. Maybe I will try and put a couple up just to supplement my comments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't be so shy, you can always upload some pictures on flickr or another site of your preference. It's also very convenient if you want to show them to your friends or family, on a smartphone.

Especially curious about your experience with the 12-40; I'm still in doubt whether I should take it underwater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

About 12-40, same curiosity.

 

On land, it's a great lens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Draq,

 

Thank you, especially for the comparison of the two 7-14mm lenses with the Zen DP-170 dome.

I am deciding now slowly what 7-14mm WA lens to acquire (I also have the DP-170 dome).

 

The closest focus distance of the Panasonic is 25 cm, while the Olympus has 20 cm. Did you recognize a substantial difference between the two lenses, when used with the DP-170, when you focused on close subjects?

 

And was the difference in color fringing noticable on both jpeg and raw files, or just with the jpegs?

 

Thanks, Wolfgang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the closer focusing Oly 7-14 can be beneficial if you are using the lens to shoot smaller items or for CFWA. I can't really quantify how valuable that benefit is or isn't. It depends a lot on how you shoot. I only shoot raw underwater so I don't know how the lenses compare in jpegs. In raw, I get cleaner images from the Oly lens on and Oly body and unless there were some other compelling reason to get/use the Panasonic, I would get the Olympus.

 

About the 12-40...I really enjoy that lens. I suppose it would not appeal to a lot of people because it can't do macro and isn't wide enough, so it doesn't excel at either end of what many of us like to shoot. On the other hand, it provides about a 1:3 ratio which is fine for small fish and other critters and at 12mm it does a nice job on reef scenes, corals and so on. I know it is popular with people who do insect pictures as well because it focuses close enough at 40mm that you can pretty much fill the frame with something the size of a butterfly or even a bumble bee.

 

I do some macro, but for the most part I like shots of things that shows something of their environment or some background for color. IN those instances, I think the 12-40 is more useful than my 60 macro. IN a pinch, it can do some cfwa, but isn't as wide as one might want. Still it is one of my favorite lenses to use underwater.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Draq,

Thanks again for the information. I think I will go for the Oly, although there are also strong reasons for the Panasonic as size, no need to carry an additional extension around, easier placement in the housing and the price. But when you say the images are cleaner and there is an advantage for close focus it is certainly worth the extra troubles and every extra cent...

 

I agree that the image quality with the 12-40mm is very high and hence this is a perfect standard lens for UW use (unless one wants to cover the entire focal distance range with one lens. But then why going for a system with ability to change lenses?). There are already several forum members here (including me) that are excited about this lens. But one must say that, together with the domeport, this lens is the Rolls-Royce solution for a standard zoom lens both regarding the cumulative price and also the massiveness of the housing plus domeport (its just a standard range lens :D)...

 

Wolfgang

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to derail this thread more than it already is, but I'm also a fan of the 12-40 underwater. I typically shoot it behind an Inon 170mm dome, but if I know it's going to be a low viz dive with lots of small critters I'll switch over to a flat port with a swing away macro lens. This combo works great for nudis while still allowing some flexibility for wide-ish shots and fish portraits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...