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vkalia

About to buy a Panasonic 8-18 over a 14-42/WWL-1

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Hi all -

 

Based on the advice here a while back, I finally switched to Nauticam/Olympus, after 12 years of using Aquatica/Canon.

 

I have the Olympus 8mm FE with the 4 dome, and the 60mm macro with the flat port. Body is the EM-10Mk3 for now.

 

But now i miss my Tokina 10-17FE, and am thinking of getting a rectilinear zoom (or something a little less extreme than the FE) for shooting things like sharks, etc. After research, have narrowed it down to the Panasonic 8-18 with the 7 acrylic dome port.

 

I am picking this over the 14-42 / WWL-1 combo mainly because of what I feel would be greater convenience when it comes to travel (lighter for travel). But before i take the plunge, i wanted to ask a few questions:

 

- Is it possible to use zoom the 14-42 to a longer focal length while leaving the WWL-1 on, or is it only optimized for the 28mm focal length?

 

- Is it possible to insert and remove the camera body (OM-D 10Mk3) with the 8-18 attached, or is the lens too thick? Looking at the specs, doesnt seem to be the case, but someone was saying the lens doesnt fit through the port opening of a different body, and i just wanted to make sure.

 

- Any other practical/ergonomic gotchas I need to be aware of? Or anyone feel strongly about getting the 14-42/WWL-1 combo?

 

TIA!

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Hi all -

 

Based on the advice here a while back, I finally switched to Nauticam/Olympus, after 12 years of using Aquatica/Canon.

 

I have the Olympus 8mm FE with the 4 dome, and the 60mm macro with the flat port. Body is the EM-10Mk3 for now.

 

But now i miss my Tokina 10-17FE, and am thinking of getting a rectilinear zoom (or something a little less extreme than the FE) for shooting things like sharks, etc. After research, have narrowed it down to the Panasonic 8-18 with the 7 acrylic dome port.

 

I am picking this over the 14-42 / WWL-1 combo mainly because of what I feel would be greater convenience when it comes to travel (lighter for travel). But before i take the plunge, i wanted to ask a few questions:

 

- Is it possible to use zoom the 14-42 to a longer focal length while leaving the WWL-1 on, or is it only optimized for the 28mm focal length?

 

- Is it possible to insert and remove the camera body (OM-D 10Mk3) with the 8-18 attached, or is the lens too thick? Looking at the specs, doesnt seem to be the case, but someone was saying the lens doesnt fit through the port opening of a different body, and i just wanted to make sure.

 

- Any other practical/ergonomic gotchas I need to be aware of? Or anyone feel strongly about getting the 14-42/WWL-1 combo?

 

TIA!

 

 

You can zoom through the lens with the 14-42 and a wet lens

 

If you do not have the 8-18mm yet and are not needing it on land the 14-42mm with WWL-1 is plentiful and more flexible

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No, i wont be using this rig on land. This system is exclusively for underwater use.

 

I think mentally, i am struggling with the idea of a relatively inexpensive kit-style lens AND an added optical element as being better than a single, higher-quality lens.

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An additional data point - if i dont care about the ability to shoot macro vs wideangle on the same dive, but strictly want something for fish potraits and large stuff that doesnt come too close, does that change the equation?

 

TIA!

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The WWL should make the 14-42 lens equivalent to a 5-15 mm lens which is a 130° - 71° field of view range. 15mm is OK for bigger fish but pretty close for small-medium fish. The 7" acrylic port while lighter is quite large .

 

You could do a single port solution with the Oly fisheye by getting the Zen 170mm N120 port and this adapter : https://www.unterwasserkamera.at/shop/catalog/en/product_info.php?info=p6901_d-d-nauticam-n85---n120-portadapter-30mm.html

 

If you want to use the 8-18, 7-14 or 12-40 among others it will fit this dome with a different extension adapter to suit the lens.

 

The 7" acrylic dome port is light but very big which also presents travel issues - have a look at in the flesh if you can before ordering.

Edited by ChrisRoss

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An additional data point - if i dont care about the ability to shoot macro vs wideangle on the same dive, but strictly want something for fish potraits and large stuff that doesnt come too close, does that change the equation?

 

TIA!

 

That is achievable with the 14-42mm if you use the bayonet you can take it off. Obviously in clear water for small subjects you can also use the 60mm

 

I would not recommend a 12-40 or 12-60 for this type of work unless you buy the lens for land use and want to house it

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In terms of image quality, I have shot the 8-18 in the 7" dome port prefer the WWL-1 + 14-42II lens to any of the wide angle + dome port combinations. It's significantly wider, doesn't have the tendency to try to turn dome-up, can do close-focus wide angle better, and can be removed underwater to allow you to use the 14-42mm lens in the flat port bare or with a diopeter for macro. So the actual usable zoom range is more like a 5-55mm zoom, accounting for the flat port's magnification. I'd only pick the 8-18mm if you find yourself mostly shooting subjects around 18mm, where it will produce a better result than the 14-42II in a flat port. Or if you shoot a lot of splits.

 

I also question whether the Zen 170mm dome port is a good solution for both a fish-eye and rectilinear lens. With the 7" and 180mm Nauticam domes for example, the actual dome is a smaller section of a larger-diameter dome which makes it more ideal for rectilinear wide angle lenses. If the Zen 170mm dome is hemispherical and not a smaller cut of a larger sphere, then it's not going to produce great results for the wide angle zoom. If it is section of a larger diameter dome, then it's not going to be ideal for the fisheye.

 

The WWL-1 option is also going to give you a zoom range that's closer to the Tokina 10-17 fisheye than the 8-18 rectilinear lens would. 17mm on the Tokina gives you about a 100 degree field of view which I remember correctly, which is about as wide as the 8-18mm gets at its widest end.

 

If you want a solution purely for fish portraits and big things that don't want to come close (sharks, I assume?), then something like the 12-35, 12-40 or 12-60 mid-range zooms in a dome port might be your best bet..

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I can add some personal experience here, wonder whether someone could compare WWL-1 to adapted fisheyes:

I am using the Tokina 10-17mm and the Canon 8-15mm fisheyes (both Canon EF mount) with both Nauticam 140mm fisheye dome and the Zen DP170 using Metabones 1x adapter (I also have the 0.71x speedbooster, but the 1x adapter turned out to be more versatile).

 

Especially the Canon gives excellent results with both domes, so the wrong positioning of the entrance pupil with the DP170 seems (at least) to become compensated by the larger virtual image the DP170 delivers (radius of curvature is 11cm compared to 7cm with the Nauticam 140). The image quality (IQ) of both is comparable to the native Zuiko 8mm fisheye in Zen DP170, that I was using before. IQ of, both Tokina and Canon, with and without the Kenko 1.4x teleconverter, is substantially better compared to the DP170 with Pana 7-14mm rectilinear WA, what I was using before (but never was using again since I have the Canon). I am pretty shure IQ is much better than any rectilinear WA solution.

I have not tested out WWL-1, but from what I read here, I think it also gives excellent IQ - unfortunately I cannot compare them directly, I could not say whether the adapted fisheyes or the WWL-1 is better. Concerning the "fisheye" effect one must consider that also the WWL-1 delivers some fisheye effect, what I read here. With both Canon and Tokina the fisheye effect becomes smaller with more narrow angles of view (AOV), so the difference between WWL-1 and fisheye at the same AOV may not be so big, if it is even existing...

 

Concerning Tokina and Canon I was surprised that such a miserable lens as the Tokina performs quite similar to the Canon (only UW; over the water the difference in IQ is hughe). Only when the 1.4x concerter is used, the Tokina produces noticable worse IQ, while the IQ of Canon remains more or less the same high quality, thats why I am using now the Canon and the Tokina I put to classified for sale (but the Tokina has more or less decent performance)...

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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Wolfgang, I own the WWL-1/14-42II combo as well as the Canon 8-15mm in a 140mm Nauticam dome which I use sometimes on the GH5 with the 35mm n85-n120 converter and the 20mm n120 extension ring. I also have both the Viltrox 1x and 0.71x adapters and I've tested both.

 

The 8-15 quality is great. Perhaps slightly more micro-contrast then the WWL-1 when paired with the 0.71x adapter. I actually do notice an IQ difference with the 0.71x speed booster actually producing noticeably better IQ then the 1x bare adapter. With the 0.71x adapter on the GH5, the 8-15mm has a field of view at 15mm that more or less approximates the field of view of the WWL-1 at the widest end. The degree of fisheye distortion is also similar between the 8-15mm at 15mm and the WWL-1 at the wide end. Maybe the canon has slighly more barrel distortion.

 

I prefer the WWL-1 setup, mostly because of ergonomics -- with the WWL-1, I can just take the camera out of the housing and put it back in without touching the port or lens. With the adapted 8-15mm, I have to remove the dome port, remove the lens from the front, then open the back of the housing and take the camera body out. Reverse the process for putting the camera in. This is a big pain in the ass IMO.

 

The other reason I prefer the WWL-1 is that I mostly shoot video, and, for video, the fisheye distortion from the 8-15mm is a big limitation at anything other then the 15mm end. The WWL-1 simply has a much more usable zoom range for video.

 

I only use the fish-eye zoom when I'm set up primarily for photos. There I tend to prefer the wider field of view a 180* fisheye produces.

 

Oh.. and for the record, I don't think the adapter 8-15mm produces quite the same optical quality as the native fisheye lenses. I don't have one at hand to compare directly, but I used to use the Panasonic 8mm fisheye with my GH4 and, from what I can recall, the images were a bit sharper than what the Canon 8-15 + 0.71x speedbooster produce.

 

Bottom line, I think comparing the WWL-1 with the 8-15mm fisheye zoom or 10-17mm fisheye zoom is a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison. They zoom ranges mostly don't overlap. If you introduce a 1.4x TC to the 8-15 to try to bring it into the same range as the WWL-1/14-42II combo, I think you're degrading the image to the point the WWL-1 produces a better image and still not getting the same broad focal range.

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I also question whether the Zen 170mm dome port is a good solution for both a fish-eye and rectilinear lens. With the 7" and 180mm Nauticam domes for example, the actual dome is a smaller section of a larger-diameter dome which makes it more ideal for rectilinear wide angle lenses. If the Zen 170mm dome is hemispherical and not a smaller cut of a larger sphere, then it's not going to produce great results for the wide angle zoom. If it is section of a larger diameter dome, then it's not going to be ideal for the fisheye.

 

The theory for dome ports says the entrance pupil should be placed at the centre of curvature of the dome, you also need to consider vignetting. I have the Panasonic 7-14mm and am aware of its limitations at the wide end in particular. One day I went ahead and measured the location of the entrance pupil using the parallex method. Which locates the entrance pupil quite close to the front of the lens, around where the lens changes diameter from the lens hood section. If you look at the Zen 170mm type II dome this would need the entrance pupil to sit about 10-15mm from the housing flange. The lens sits in the dome with the entrance pupil around 10-20mm of where it should be. I modeled with simple trigonometry the position needed to avoid vignetting at 7mm and it appears the lens is positioned just far enough forward to avoid this. I think it shows that the 170mm dome is marginal for a 7mm lens with a 114° angle of view. Of course there's a number of assumptions in the calc.

 

The point of all this is that as far as I can tell the dome is setup so the entrance pupil is in front of the centre of the radius of curvature and as far as I can tell my panasonic fisheye is setup similarly in the 100mm ZEN dome as is the 12-40 in 170mm ZEN dome and these two lenses work quite well. So it seems a fisheye should be quite happy in the bigger dome as long as it does not vignette which seems to the primary criteria used by the manufacturer at least on the sample of domes I looked at and the entrance pupil sits a variable distance ahead of the centre of curvature. Probably it requires testing to be sure. I don't know how far away from centre of curvature it can be before you run into detectable problems. Bear in mind this is based on my understanding of entrance pupil location and dome port optics, according to the online references I've found.

Edited by ChrisRoss
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Dreifish and Chris: this tread starts to become fun, great information!

 

I am glad to hear that the WWL-1 IQ (which is regarded to be the golden standard) is similar to the adapted Canon 8-15mm. And yes, one has to insert the Canon (and also Tokina) from the front - I wanted to avoid this from the beginning, but now I got accustomed to it...

 

I am using the 1.4x converter only with 1x adapter, the 1.4x converter with 0.71x booster yields same AOV's as lens just with 1x adapter - lots of additional glass for nothing that very well may degrade IQ.

 

As I wrote, I am using mostly with 1x adapter. In my case, the 1.4x converter does not degrade IQ of the Canon (but with Tokina I can see it gets worse on MFT sensor). So far I was using EM5II but recently I got the 20 MP EM1II, first diving with it will be in February in Egypt (the lakes where I live are frozen at present and I am not a big fan of ice-diving...) - maybe with the higher resolution I will see differences . It also, of course, depends on extensions and maybe my eye is not as trained as dreifish's. Anyhow the differences cannot be big the way I use the lens, otherwise I would have noticed...

 

I would be eager to hear what the range of AOVs is with the WWL-1 and the standard zoom. Here is a table that shows AOVs of Canon and Tokina and the rectilinear 7-14 and 12-40mm lenses (Canon with 1x adapter and occasionally the 1.4x teleconverter covers a broad spectrum):

 

post-55769-0-27609600-1547367997_thumb.jpg

 

By the way: I have files here for 3D printing extension collars for the original Nauticam zoom gear, required that the 1x smart adapter can be used instead of the 0.71x speedbooster. In case someone is interested, I will send them of course. I am just reluctant to post the files here, since the extension for the 1.4x teleconverter is a little bit too long and requires about 2mm abrasion before it can be used. Otherwise these zoomgear-extensions work very well...

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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The WWL-1 (and the Nauticam WACP) is a .36x modifier. So the 14-42 becomes a 5-15mm. 130* at the wide end, about 70* at the long end. Remove the WWL-1, and you're left with a 18-56 lens inside the flat port in terms of field of view.

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This is a great discussion

 

 

The theory for dome ports says the entrance pupil should be placed at the centre of curvature of the dome, you also need to consider vignetting. I have the Panasonic 7-14mm and am aware of its limitations at the wide end in particular. One day I went ahead and measured the location of the entrance pupil using the parallex method. Which locates the entrance pupil quite close to the front of the lens, around where the lens changes diameter from the lens hood section. If you look at the Zen 170mm type II dome this would need the entrance pupil to sit about 10-15mm from the housing flange. The lens sits in the dome with the entrance pupil around 10-20mm of where it should be. I modeled with simple trigonometry the position needed to avoid vignetting at 7mm and it appears the lens is positioned just far enough forward to avoid this. I think it shows that the 170mm dome is marginal for a 7mm lens with a 114° angle of view. Of course there's a number of assumptions in the calc.

 

The point of all this is that as far as I can tell the dome is setup so the entrance pupil is in front of the centre of the radius of curvature and as far as I can tell my panasonic fisheye is setup similarly in the 100mm ZEN dome as is the 12-40 in 170mm ZEN dome and these two lenses work quite well. So it seems a fisheye should be quite happy in the bigger dome as long as it does not vignette which seems to the primary criteria used by the manufacturer at least on the sample of domes I looked at and the entrance pupil sits a variable distance ahead of the centre of curvature. Probably it requires testing to be sure. I don't know how far away from centre of curvature it can be before you run into detectable problems. Bear in mind this is based on my understanding of entrance pupil location and dome port optics, according to the online references I've found.

 

This makes some very good points that I have also verified myself

 

I believe the first consideration about dome port optics is that intrinsically there are limitations that depend on the physics of it all

 

With dome port depending on the lens you have and the size of the dome you are required to close the aperture to fight against the optical limitations of the port (not the lens)

 

Now in practical terms:

 

1. Fisheye lenses on all bodies do not have depth of field issues and focus almost on the lens. We have seen that large domes are not actually required to obtain great optical quality. This is especially true for fixed focal lenses.

2. Rectilinear zoom lenses have issues with the dome port theory this is due to the fact that the lens is much more complex there are many elements and in some cases the focal plane of the lenses changes when you zoom. The general theory that the dome has to be positioned at the entrance pupil however there is a practical issue of cost vs vignetting and how you go about design.

3. Field of view is also a consideration the larger it is more you have the corner issue as the virtual image covers a larger range

 

From my practical experience in the micro four third world I can see that:

 

1. Fisheye lens large dome does not matter at all

2. Semi dome shaped wide angle port work very well at 12mm and longer focal length. I have not stressed tested this but I think down to 10mm is not really an issue

3. The range between 7 and 9 is where you get most of the issues from what I can see this is true for the Panasonic 7-14mm and I would like to see some test shots of the 8-18mm but I would very very surprised if the issue wasn't there.

 

As the WWL-1 covers the whole interval 7mm and longer from an ergonomics point of view this is positioned in a sweet spot that fits almost any situation except extreme close focus wide angle I do not have the lens although I tested the Nauticam prototype but looking at stills on the web I can see that it performs better than the rectilinear lenses across the piece. Looking at the ultimate image quality for video the 14-42mm lens is not amazing and if you don't have large the need of wide field of view I see my Leica 12-60mm to be far superior but I am using it in the dome I already have for the 7-14mm and I would not buy the 7" for it frankly

Edited by Interceptor121
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Apologies for dropping out of the discussion - had a horrendously long return trip from Raja Ampat (and on my return, discovered that my camera was set on JPEG, not RAW... FML)

 

 

That is achievable with the 14-42mm if you use the bayonet you can take it off. Obviously in clear water for small subjects you can also use the 60mm

 

I would not recommend a 12-40 or 12-60 for this type of work unless you buy the lens for land use and want to house it

 

Makes sense. I wasnt thinking of the 12-40 anyway - if i go with the WWL-1 option, then it is 14-42.

 

The WWL should make the 14-42 lens equivalent to a 5-15 mm lens which is a 130° - 71° field of view range. 15mm is OK for bigger fish but pretty close for small-medium fish. The 7" acrylic port while lighter is quite large .

 

You could do a single port solution with the Oly fisheye by getting the Zen 170mm N120 port and this adapter : https://www.unterwasserkamera.at/shop/catalog/en/product_info.php?info=p6901_d-d-nauticam-n85---n120-portadapter-30mm.html

 

If you want to use the 8-18, 7-14 or 12-40 among others it will fit this dome with a different extension adapter to suit the lens.

 

The 7" acrylic dome port is light but very big which also presents travel issues - have a look at in the flesh if you can before ordering.

 

Honestly, the versatility of the Zen doesnt hold much appeal to me, nor do i want to replace the 4" dome for my 8mm - i quite like the compact size, after years of pushing the 8" Aquatica dome around). To me, the choice of domes would be contingent on the lens i choose.

 

And based on all i have read here, i am now leaning towards the 14-42+WWL-1. The greater range of focal lengths (if i am willing to faff around with removing the WWL-1 underwater) gives me the versatility i need, and by all accounts, the sharpness is comparable.

 

For those that do own this lens - how much of a pain in the rear is it to take it off underwater? I am not gonna bother with converting it to bayonet mount - at most, would clip a small pouch to my harness and stick it in there when not in use.

Edited by vkalia

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1. Fisheye lenses on all bodies do not have depth of field issues and focus almost on the lens. We have seen that large domes are not actually required to obtain great optical quality. This is especially true for fixed focal lenses.

2. Rectilinear zoom lenses have issues with the dome port theory this is due to the fact that the lens is much more complex there are many elements and in some cases the focal plane of the lenses changes when you zoom. The general theory that the dome has to be positioned at the entrance pupil however there is a practical issue of cost vs vignetting and how you go about design.

3. Field of view is also a consideration the larger it is more you have the corner issue as the virtual image covers a larger range

 

My understanding is that there is something even more basic in that when focusing on the virtual image you are at or close to minimum focusing distance, the rectilinear lens is designed to focus on a flat surface, the edges of the the virtual image are closer to the lens than the centre so fall inside the minimum focusing distance and suffer from out of focus blur in addition to edge of field aberrations that would be present even if shooting a flat object. This goes part way to explain why stopping down a lens that is sharp wide open on land helps improve the corners UW in a dome.

 

A fisheye on the other hand is not trying to shoot a flat object as an 180 deg field doesn't actually allow for a flat object the optics are such that focusing perfectly on a curved virtual image are not a problem, add to this huge depth of field explains why fisheyes work well with small domes. I do find that the very corner of my Panasonic 8mm is a little soft when using it with the Zen 100mm dome. It also seems to have the entrance pupil a little forward of the centre of curvature just by looking I have not tested it to find the entrance pupil from parallax.

 

What I am not clear on is how close the entrance pupil can be from centre of curvature before noticeable aberrations are seen

Edited by ChrisRoss

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From what I can see when the dome centre meets the nodal point you get the best field of view

If the lens is too far you get vignetting when it is too close you get a flat port effect with less field of view and flare

If you have the version of the dome with extension ans several extension rings you can try...

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....

 

For those that do own this lens - how much of a pain in the rear is it to take it off underwater? I am not gonna bother with converting it to bayonet mount - at most, would clip a small pouch to my harness and stick it in there when not in use.

I own the 14-42 and the WWL-1. Awesome combination, by the way. Changing the WWL-1 underwater? Once you've done it, you will see why the bayonet mount is so desirable. The WWL-1 is a huge piece of glass and heavy...it really needs the float collar, and using the bayonet you don't need to shift your grip on it while taking it off or putting it on, with a little expereince about how to hold it. Bayonet on the WWL-1 and on your diopter, bayonet dock on the port and two docks on your arms, and there is a place for everything and you have minimized the chance of dropping something. Especially in its float collar, the WWL-1 will not fit in a "small pouch."

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I own the 14-42 and the WWL-1. Awesome combination, by the way. Changing the WWL-1 underwater? Once you've done it, you will see why the bayonet mount is so desirable. The WWL-1 is a huge piece of glass and heavy...it really needs the float collar, and using the bayonet you don't need to shift your grip on it while taking it off or putting it on, with a little expereince about how to hold it. Bayonet on the WWL-1 and on your diopter, bayonet dock on the port and two docks on your arms, and there is a place for everything and you have minimized the chance of dropping something. Especially in its float collar, the WWL-1 will not fit in a "small pouch."

 

Thanks! That's good to know. I guess bayonet it is, then.

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