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strandbygaard

WA recommendations (m43) for exterior and interior wreck shots

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I'm going wreck diving in Truk Lagoon this year. Any experiences/recommendations for the best WA setup to cover exterior and interior wreck shots?

I'll be shooting an Olympus m43 in a Nauticam housing with dual strobes (Z330 or Retra). Size and weight are main limitations.

I only have UW photography experience from a GoPro. Plenty experience top-side.

I mainly dive wrecks and this lens/port/dome is only for that purpose. 

Options I'm considering (probably in this order):

  • Pana 8mm FE i 4" port (size and weight is very attractive, FE for interiors maybe not ideal, doesn't seem flexible enough)
  • Pana 14-42mm in macro port with WWL-1 (versatility is a plus, IQ of pana lens worries me, weight is a disadvantage)
  • Oly 7-14mm in 170mm port  (versatility is a plus, better iq than wwl-1 (?), weight is disadvantage)
  • Oly 24mm in 4" port (size is an advantage, maybe more general purpose than 8mm FE)

I really would like the Pana 8mm FE option to work, but with only GoPro UW experience, I'm not certain what compromises that will entail.

Edited by strandbygaard

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Avoid the last two options 

Fisheye will be distorted and you will need to get close but Mustard has shot the whole thistlegorm on a fisheye and nobody had a problem with it

WWL-1 is a good option and has a bit less distortion you can zoom it as well if you have zero experience I would start with that IQ is not an issue as it will be much better than the olympus 7-14 that is bulky and will be heavily distorted in the corners

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WWL is a good (probably best) option. Panasonic-Leica 8-18 in 7" Dome is not bad either (at least I'm happy with mine for what it's worth). The 7" dome is very floaty though.

Generally you need to leave all preconceptions of what is a good lens for above water behind. Wet lenses, dome ports and water just change the game so much that what may be considered a very bad lens above water can be quite good below and the other way round.

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Maybe Oly 12mm f2 for using the light from above?
Small setup, lowers the Iso, not fisheye style..
Had used it for tresher sharks, was nice...

Which lenses do you have now?
Regards,
Wolfgang

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Thx a lot for very fast feedback!

I don't have any of mentioned lenses, so I need to a acquire the lens regardless of choice. At least that keeps my options open :-) 

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I shoot the OM-D 5 with Oly 9-18 mm and Zen lens (adapter if needed). I am not shy about pushing the ISO to get the exterior shots. The interior needs good strobes. I moved up to the Sea and Sea YS-D2 Underwater Strobes. I shoot raw so I can do a little tweaking if necessary in post. After a couple of thousands shots, I might do the Nauticam 6 inch Dome Port for Panasonic 7-14mm Lens. BUT, do not get fixed focus lens. You will regret it. At these costs, you don't want buyers remorse :)

 

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The Oly fisheye is a little better than the panasonic.  I have the Pany 8mm and it's a nice lens, the corners are a little prone to purple fringing and not quite as sharp.  It may be connected to Panasonic using a different cut off filter on their sensor to Olympus and the Olympus letting through wavelengths in the violet that the panasonic lens is not corrected for - I don't have proof of that though.

You do need to focus on the closest part of your composition with the fisheye even if that is in the corners to place the depth of field properly .  Also need to watch the corners, very easy to get a stray diver there if you are not paying attention and they will look very weird - so the shot is for the bin.   For wrecks you would need to watch your corners closely I would imagine, depnding on what is in the corner the distortion could stretch out what ever is there and look odd ruining the shot.   Getting in close is a skill that will take time to acquire in my experience.

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I appreciate your feedback.

As a follow-up question:

How does the pana 12-35/2.8 compare with the 14-42 under water? Is a longer port enough to make this work with the WWL and is performance comparable?

I prefer the extra stop top-side so this lens is a better overall solution to my needs. 

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In general the WWL is limited to 28mm full frame equivalent field of view so would vignette between 12 and 14mm on the 12-35.  Also it is not suitable for the larger diameter fast f2.8 lenses I assume because the entrance pupil is too big for the WWL to function as designed it can only feed the fully corrected image into the smaller entrance pupil of slower lenses.  I suspect it also changes length too much so performance will be compromised at the wide end with the lens further from the port.

An additional concern is lack of a flat port that will fit the lens, for example ignoring the length for now, the focus gear of a 12-40mm f2.8 Oly lens (similar in size to the Pany) will not fit through a 60mm macro lens port I have at home.

I would suggest you research which particular 14-42 is the best one to use with the WWL. 

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The 12-35 is not a useful lens underwater as 35 is too short and f2.8 not needed
Also those lenses do not take wet lenses as they extend too much during zoom
I have a Panasonic 14-42MkII that I bought on ebay and I only use underwater
You can get a more useful 12-60 lens that is more useful for video. For stills i have used it only once as it is too narrow only works for pictures of divers


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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