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4/3 Lens Recommendation: 8mm Fisheye and 30mm Macro

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I am putting together a parts list for a Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk II + Nauticam system, and was hoping to get some recommendations on the following lens choices.

Fisheye:
Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm f/3.5
or
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO

There isn't a big difference in price, but the Olympus is much larger. Is the quality of the Olympus noticeably superior to justify the size and extra $200? Also, I believe the Olympus lens must be removed to extract the camera from the housing, which is slightly inconvenient.

Medium Macro:
Panasonic Lumix G Macro 30mm f/2.8
or
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f/3.5 Macro

Same price. Is one recommended over another for auto-focus and quality?

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My opinion...

I have both Olympus and Panasonic 8mm. Still having it. And yes, the Oly glass is superior, but not by heaven and earth. But u got F/1.8 when u need to shoot sunray in a cave... Not a necessity, but something nice to have.

And no, u don't have to remove the lens in order to remove it from your housing. That's only for M.Zuiko 7-14mm F/2.8 PRO.

Macro, my choice is Olympus 60mm F/2.8. Good working range with great Image Quality.

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I found some issues with purple fringing with the Pany 8mm, on my EM-1 MkII.  Apparently the cut off filter for UV is different between Pany and Oly with the Olympus letting through wavelengths that the Pany lens does not fully correct for.   Doesn't appear on all shots, most noticable with bright objects against dark backgrounds.  The Capture One Pro purple fringing tool can remove much of it.  If I was doing it again I'd get the Oly lens.  I had a post on that here: 

I was also thinking the corners were quite soft but have since decided that is due to the corner in question being much closer and falling outside the DOF.  The shot in question was along a wall and the wall itself was much closer than what I was photographing.

I use the Pany 30mm macro, AF is quite snappy, noticably better than the 60mm macro, haven't used the OLy 30mm to compare.  You can't take advantage of the extra magnification (1.25x) on the Oly as it focuses almost on the port glass.  In fact I think the practical limit for lighting with the 30mm lenses is about 0.5x as you are getting so close to the port glass it is diffciult to light.  Where they shine is for larger subjects - small fish size up to about a 300mm long subject.  The working distance for such subjects is too great for the 60mm macro - too much water between you and the subject and much higher chance of backscatter, particulatlry in temperate waters where I shoot often.

Some examples:

Fish 20cm long:  http://www.aus-natural.com/Underwater/Bony Fish/slides/Senator Wrasse 3.html

Fish 12cm long: http://www.aus-natural.com/Underwater/Bony Fish/slides/Blotched Hawkfish.html

Nudi 5cm long, 50% crop: http://www.aus-natural.com/Underwater/Nudibranches/slides/Hypselodoris bennetti.9.html

Nudis 4cm long: http://www.aus-natural.com/Underwater/Nudibranches/slides/Goniobranchus tasmaniensis2.html

 

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In terms of lenses on the fisheye once you go past f/4 there are no differences
For macro the Panasonic lens is better
However while Panasonic bodies work well with Olympus lenses the opposite is less true so I would go with the Olympus fisheye and skip the 30 to go for the 60mm


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Thanks, Tim, Chris and Interceptor for your advice.

 

One more related question i'd like to add to this thread.

Recommendation between:

Olympus 8mm fisheye + Zen 100mm dome + Mini Extension Ring 30= $2130

vs

30mm Macro + Nauticam MWL-1 = $2130 (assuming you already have the 30mm lens + port) 

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In my opinion...

It will give you the flexibility like a compact system where you can still choose between wideangle and macro even when you are already in the water.

But, I will go for option 1... When I shot wide angle, I would want to have the ad much details as possible.

Adding a mwl1 glass i front of the original Olympus glass will definitely soften or decrease the quslity of the image.

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I shot M43 for several years and still have the the gear.   I have both the Panasonic and Olympus 8mm lenses  as well as the Oly 30mm macro, as well as others.   For an Olympus body, and given minimal price difference, I would go with the Olympus 8mm to avoid any of the purple blob issue and because generally, you may never need to 1.8, but it is nice to have if for some reason you do. 

Which macro lens to choose is really governed by what and where you are shooting.   Super small stuff and skittish stuff, you would want a longer macro lens, but if you are shooting bigger things and if dealing with less than pristine water, that extra distance will be a problem.  Whether the Panasonic or Oly 30mm is better I cannot say as I only have the Olympus.  I know that before choosing the Oly I spent some time trying to figure out which one to get and chose the Oly, but I cannot recall what the deciding factor was.

The MWL-1 looks very interesting.  Heavy and expensive, but interesting.  

 

 

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The MWL-1 is not the same as the fisheye lens. I don’t own a 30mm macro and for me the combo with the mwl is less interesting than kit lens and wwl-1 plus close up
If you re going for the olympus fisheye get the 140mm glass port so at least you can shoot f/4 the zen for me is too small


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On 10/21/2019 at 2:32 PM, Interceptor121 said:

The MWL-1 is not the same as the fisheye lens. I don’t own a 30mm macro and for me the combo with the mwl is less interesting than kit lens and wwl-1 plus close up
If you re going for the olympus fisheye get the 140mm glass port so at least you can shoot f/4 the zen for me is too small


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If that was for my benefit, I am aware of what the MWL-1 does and although not a fisheye it is still expensive and heavy.  It is interesting to me nonetheless, as to close focus wide angle use,.  Still, i don't plan to get one and am not sure of its utility for DX format.  I never tried using a close up lens with my WWL-1, so I have no idea how well that works.

If I am remembering correctly, I had no problems using the 8mm oly in a 100mm dome.

 

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If that was for my benefit, I am aware of what the MWL-1 does and although not a fisheye it is still expensive and heavy.  It is interesting to me nonetheless, as to close focus wide angle use,.  Still, i don't plan to get one and am not sure of its utility for DX format.  I never tried using a close up lens with my WWL-1, so I have no idea how well that works.
If I am remembering correctly, I had no problems using the 8mm oly in a 100mm dome.
 


It was for the op benefit
What I meant is that a mid range zoom combined with a close up lens already gives you 30mm focal length
Even if the WWL-1 has leas field of view of the MWL-1 the combination of a mid range zoom WWL-1 and a close up lens is much more flexible
For the fisheye what i meant is that the benefit of the Olympus fisheye is the wide aperture however unless you get a bigger dome you will not really be able to use it
With panasonic 8mm and 4.33 dome the results are good at f/5.6 at f/4 corners are softer but the lens doesnt go below f/3.5. The olympus goes all the way down to f/1.8 but at wider apertures the 100mm dome will blur corners more than a 140mm
Then you need to see of you will ever shoot say f/2.8 anyway...


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regarding choice of Oly vs Pany lens, maybe go a retailer and try both, using AF inside the store to see which AF's best on a lowish contrast target in store lighting close to 1:1 to see if there is any difference in AF performance.  I woud guess there is little to pick between them in sharpness.  My Pany 30mm autofocuses quite quickly on my EM-1 MkII in fact better than the 60mm.

Edited by ChrisRoss
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