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freediver

Fisheye/superwide angle options for a6xxx series

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After having shot Olympus for several years in my documentary and street photography, and the recent announcement of Olympus selling off its camera division to JIP, I'm debating whether to dump all my Olympus gear or stick it out.

I'm heavily invested in Olympus topside (5 bodies, 8 lenses, 3 TTL strobes) and debating whether to add an Olympus housing to my equipment list.

I've considered switching out completely to SONY a6xxx for all my work but I truly love the compact form factor of m43.  My issue is Olympus  is really lagging on the video codec end of things - Panasonic is much better on that front but I want the ability to switch back and forth easily between stills and video while freediving.  I'll be shooting ambient light only, primarily concentrating on large pelagic marine life, other freedivers, seascapes, etc.  I can use/get either the Olympus 9-18 or either of the 8mm fisheye lenses from Olympus or Panasonic.

Typical shooting depths no more than 15-20 meters maximum with 10 meters being the norm depending on water clarity.  If I can move to SONY, can their 16mm f/2.8 lens with their clip on fish eye adapter be utilized in a housing with dome port?  SONY doesn't have the lens options of other brands on that end of the lens spectrum so any advice/input would be greatly appreciated.

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The Sony fisheye adapter doesn't have a great reputation, reports are it's a bit soft.  The solution that's been reporte don here a few times is the Canon 8-15 on a Metabones adapter - expensive option though. 

On the Olympus, cameras are available now and will be available second hand for some time I would guess - the EM-1 MkII I use is a great little package - AF including C-AF plus tracking is very good, but video is not it's strong point.  You could get a GH-5 and use your Oly lenses on it.   If you already have the Olympus - I would get the housing and be sure you have a spare body available.  When it comes time to upgrade you can transfer everything across to a Panasonic body if it is necessary at the time. 

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15 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

The Sony fisheye adapter doesn't have a great reputation, reports are it's a bit soft.  The solution that's been reporte don here a few times is the Canon 8-15 on a Metabones adapter - expensive option though. 

On the Olympus, cameras are available now and will be available second hand for some time I would guess - the EM-1 MkII I use is a great little package - AF including C-AF plus tracking is very good, but video is not it's strong point.  You could get a GH-5 and use your Oly lenses on it.   If you already have the Olympus - I would get the housing and be sure you have a spare body available.  When it comes time to upgrade you can transfer everything across to a Panasonic body if it is necessary at the time. 

Thanks Chris for your response - I do love my Olympus system but wasn't sure if I was missing out or should be concerned with Olympus selling off their camera division to JIP.  I still shoot my documentary and street photography and would prefer to keep all my gear the same for ease of use.

You're right about Olympus and their video codec - although I hear the EM1mk3 and EM1X seem to do a better job for video - but then there's the added cost of buying one!

I also ave an Olympus TG Tracker and a GoPro that I could mount on top of a still housing and just shoot that way for the time being I suppose.  Given my depths don't typically exceed 10-15 meters while freediving, ambient light shouldn't' be too big an issue depending on time of day.

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4 hours ago, freediver said:

Thanks Chris for your response - I do love my Olympus system but wasn't sure if I was missing out or should be concerned with Olympus selling off their camera division to JIP.  I still shoot my documentary and street photography and would prefer to keep all my gear the same for ease of use.

You're right about Olympus and their video codec - although I hear the EM1mk3 and EM1X seem to do a better job for video - but then there's the added cost of buying one!

I also ave an Olympus TG Tracker and a GoPro that I could mount on top of a still housing and just shoot that way for the time being I suppose.  Given my depths don't typically exceed 10-15 meters while freediving, ambient light shouldn't' be too big an issue depending on time of day.

I am in a similar situation: my wife and me have two Oly bodies in UW-housing and tons of lenses/ports. I belive it is too early to dump all Oly gear and switch to another system - nobody can predict how things will develop. At present here is not the least problem in continuing with the excellent gear as it is, I see nor reason to change to another system.

Maybe at a later stage (lets say 2022), in case I see then that the MFT cameras are not further developed (more pixel, more DR), I may acquire another system, first in paralell with the existing MFT gear. Probably this will be a Canon FF camera, since I have already several canon lenses that I use via Metabones adapted on Oly, but here is really no reason to hurry up...

 

Regarding your specific question: For APS-C format (Sony 6xxx) regard also the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye Canon EF mount adapted via Metabones 1x. This lens gives the optimum angles of view on APS-C sensors, while the Canon 8-15mm is only fully usable with additional 1.4x teleconverter, what seems to me a quite complicated  solution. IQ will not be as perfect as with the Canon, but o.k. -  consider that many award winning, really great, fotos have been taken with the Tokina on APS-C cameras. No reason why the Tokina should not be sufficient...

 

Wolfgang

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

I am in a similar situation: my wife and me have two Oly bodies in UW-housing and tons of lenses/ports. I belive it is too early to dump all Oly gear and switch to another system - nobody can predict how things will develop. At present here is not the least problem in continuing with the excellent gear as it is, I see nor reason to change to another system.

Maybe at a later stage (lets say 2022), in case I see then that the MFT cameras are not further developed (more pixel, more DR), I may acquire another system, first in paralell with the existing MFT gear. Probably this will be a Canon FF camera, since I have already several canon lenses that I use via Metabones adapted on Oly, but here is really no reason to hurry up...

 

Regarding your specific question: For APS-C format (Sony 6xxx) regard also the Tokina 10-17mm fisheye Canon EF mount adapted via Metabones 1x. This lens gives the optimum angles of view on APS-C sensors, while the Canon 8-15mm is only fully usable with additional 1.4x teleconverter, what seems to me a quite complicated  solution. IQ will not be as perfect as with the Canon, but o.k. -  consider that many award winning, really great, fotos have been taken with the Tokina on APS-C cameras. No reason why the Tokina should not be sufficient...

 

Wolfgang

One option I have thought about is the gradual transition to Panasonic since I won't lose my investment in all my glass.  Panasonic's video codec is much better (I've seen underwater footage from the GH5 - pretty amazing IMO), yet I have no experience with how their still images look in post.  I went all in with Olympus in 2015 as a result of a friend/colleague who is a 2 time Pulitzer winning photographer and an Olympus Visionary.  I tested against my APS-C Canon bodies and lenses and didn't see an appreciable difference in IQ at the time.  I've experienced some technical issues with m43, basically what appears to be less dynamic range in more difficult lighting situations and a fair amount of sensor noise above 1600 ISO which is where I keep my cameras maximum ISO range at in my land based documentary work.  Olympus video specs are lackluster at best and why I mention potentially moving to Panasonic - they seem more stable as a company and given the GH4/5 series (with a potential GH6 based on rumors) shooting 4K and IBIS in the GH5 currently, it seems like a lateral move to keep my investment in what I have in lenses.  I hope at some point the manufacturers hit a homeostasis point with cameras like back in the days of shooting film - but given camera bodies are now as important - if not more so than lenses - I doubt that will happen.

When it comes to bodies, housings and ports - it's only money right?:huh:;)

Edited by freediver

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I dive with a Sony 6500 and Tokina 10-17 (canon fit) on a Sigma MC-11 adaptor (this is about 1/2 the price of the Metabones and the same size).  I've had no issues with this set up, the Tokina is the go to lens for APS-C and the Sigma adpator works well with this lens.

It also provides a much more flexible solution than the Sony 16mm.

I hope this helps

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On 7/20/2020 at 1:43 PM, freediver said:

One option I have thought about is the gradual transition to Panasonic since I won't lose my investment in all my glass.  Panasonic's video codec is much better (I've seen underwater footage from the GH5 - pretty amazing IMO), yet I have no experience with how their still images look in post.  I went all in with Olympus in 2015 as a result of a friend/colleague who is a 2 time Pulitzer winning photographer and an Olympus Visionary.  I tested against my APS-C Canon bodies and lenses and didn't see an appreciable difference in IQ at the time.  I've experienced some technical issues with m43, basically what appears to be less dynamic range in more difficult lighting situations and a fair amount of sensor noise above 1600 ISO which is where I keep my cameras maximum ISO range at in my land based documentary work.  Olympus video specs are lackluster at best and why I mention potentially moving to Panasonic - they seem more stable as a company and given the GH4/5 series (with a potential GH6 based on rumors) shooting 4K and IBIS in the GH5 currently, it seems like a lateral move to keep my investment in what I have in lenses.  I hope at some point the manufacturers hit a homeostasis point with cameras like back in the days of shooting film - but given camera bodies are now as important - if not more so than lenses - I doubt that will happen.

When it comes to bodies, housings and ports - it's only money right?:huh:;)

I have a GH5 and an OMD EM1 MKII. The key difference is the size and cost of the housing. The images for most look identical in lightroom. In some situaitions of low light the EM1MKII has an edge in bright scene the panasonic seems more vibrant

For video Olympus absolutely atrocious I have never seen anything like this over the last 5 years is nearly as bad as a 2014 camera and there are no zebras to set or other sophisticated controls. 

Whatever you do I recommend you invest in a Tokina with metabones zoom if you want future proof as this will work with MFT, Sony AXXX and APSC. Consider that APSC may soon be dead sooner than MFT as no new cameras are being released

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On 7/23/2020 at 11:11 AM, Interceptor121 said:

I have a GH5 and an OMD EM1 MKII. The key difference is the size and cost of the housing. The images for most look identical in lightroom. In some situaitions of low light the EM1MKII has an edge in bright scene the panasonic seems more vibrant

For video Olympus absolutely atrocious I have never seen anything like this over the last 5 years is nearly as bad as a 2014 camera and there are no zebras to set or other sophisticated controls. 

Whatever you do I recommend you invest in a Tokina with metabones zoom if you want future proof as this will work with MFT, Sony AXXX and APSC. Consider that APSC may soon be dead sooner than MFT as no new cameras are being released

Why will APS-C be dead sooner than MFT?  Fuji (as an example) is only APS-C except for the medium format cameras.  No FF - not saying you're wrong, just wondering what leads you to make such a statement?

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1 minute ago, freediver said:

Why will APS-C be dead sooner than MFT?  Fuji (as an example) is only APS-C except for the medium format cameras.  No FF - not saying you're wrong, just wondering what leads you to make such a statement?

MFT is kept alive by video and security yesterday Panasonic released another studio and cinema camera there is a significant eco system on video focus

APSC has no special focus group and is being neglected by the manufacturers except Canon. Super35 is different of course and is still a crop

Sony A6XXX exmor sensor over 5 years old, Nikon D500 no succession plan. All those guy are really only pushing full frame as their margins have been dropping and there is no real size benefit for APSC without dedicated lenses

Fuji has X trans that is its own can of worm only canon came up with few newer options and some innovation

Would you put your future in the hands of Fuji?

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2 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:

MFT is kept alive by video and security yesterday Panasonic released another studio and cinema camera there is a significant eco system on video focus

APSC has no special focus group and is being neglected by the manufacturers except Canon. Super35 is different of course and is still a crop

Sony A6XXX exmor sensor over 5 years old, Nikon D500 no succession plan. All those guy are really only pushing full frame as their margins have been dropping and there is no real size benefit for APSC without dedicated lenses

Fuji has X trans that is its own can of worm only canon came up with few newer options and some innovation

Would you put your future in the hands of Fuji?

If I were doing street and documentary photography only (Which I've done as a photojournalist and documentary photographer for over 30 years) Yes I would invest in Fuji - specifically the XE and X-Pro series cameras for documentary and street photography work.  But given all that the worldwide pandemic has wrought on photographing people, I'm making the serious jump to shooting underwater hence my questions and absolutely not in putting my energies into Fuji for shooting underwater.

I'm making a serious decision about shooting video so I'm basing my decision making primarily on how much I have invested in Olympus gear (3-Pen-f bodies, 2-EM5 bodies, 8mm fisheye, 12mm f/2, 17mm f/1.8, 25mm f/1.8, 30mm Macro, 45mm f/1.8, 75mm f/1.8, 9-18mm, 14-42mm & 40-140mm zooms, FL-300 flash, Olympus Housing for EM5's with Inon Dome port) - as you can see I'm heavily invested in Olympus and wondering if I'm in a dead end system.  I know the announcement just recently became official around JIP, but I don't want to be left holding the bag and losing my shorts if that goes sideways in the next year or so.  I understand Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is m43 mount and I am looking at that option but the Nauticam housing sticker shock and port is pretty depressing.  I'm also debating Panasonic Gh5/GH6 as well but unsure on that front. 

Since I'm a freediver only (currently working on my PFI Freedive Instructor Cert) I won't be needing to go very deep (maximum 20 meters) and my focus will be on large marine life such as whales, dolphins, seals, manta rays, as well as other freedivers.  I won't be using lights unless I absolutely have to. 

I have avoided larger cameras/lenses specifically because of weight and size.  That's been the beauty of micro four thirds, alot of gear fits in a smaller bag and is lighter as well.

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If I were doing street and documentary photography only (Which I've done as a photojournalist and documentary photographer for over 30 years) Yes I would invest in Fuji - specifically the XE and X-Pro series cameras for documentary and street photography work.  But given all that the worldwide pandemic has wrought on photographing people, I'm making the serious jump to shooting underwater hence my questions and absolutely not in putting my energies into Fuji for shooting underwater.
I'm making a serious decision about shooting video so I'm basing my decision making primarily on how much I have invested in Olympus gear (3-Pen-f bodies, 2-EM5 bodies, 8mm fisheye, 12mm f/2, 17mm f/1.8, 25mm f/1.8, 30mm Macro, 45mm f/1.8, 75mm f/1.8, 9-18mm, 14-42mm & 40-140mm zooms, FL-300 flash, Olympus Housing for EM5's with Inon Dome port) - as you can see I'm heavily invested in Olympus and wondering if I'm in a dead end system.  I know the announcement just recently became official around JIP, but I don't want to be left holding the bag and losing my shorts if that goes sideways in the next year or so.  I understand Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is m43 mount and I am looking at that option but the Nauticam housing sticker shock and port is pretty depressing.  I'm also debating Panasonic Gh5/GH6 as well but unsure on that front. 
Since I'm a freediver only (currently working on my PFI Freedive Instructor Cert) I won't be needing to go very deep (maximum 20 meters) and my focus will be on large marine life such as whales, dolphins, seals, manta rays, as well as other freedivers.  I won't be using lights unless I absolutely have to. 
I have avoided larger cameras/lenses specifically because of weight and size.  That's been the beauty of micro four thirds, alot of gear fits in a smaller bag and is lighter as well.

Look at Z-cam, GH5 and if they make a housing the new BGH1 you can use your lenses
Olympus is for photos and underwater the GH5 is superior to be honest also for photos


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2 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:


Look at Z-cam, GH5 and if they make a housing the new BGH1 you can use your lenses
Olympus is for photos and underwater the GH5 is superior to be honest also for photos


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I've also been looking at Z-Cam...  As a freediver, I want a very compact, yet HQ system...  GH5/GH6 seems to be that but who knows...

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I've also been looking at Z-Cam...  As a freediver, I want a very compact, yet HQ system...  GH5/GH6 seems to be that but who knows...

Zcam requires a monitor unfortunately


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8 hours ago, Interceptor121 said:


Zcam requires a monitor unfortunately


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Same with the new Panasonic BGH1 hence why I'm looking at the GH5.  I'm not looking to go to network broadcast at the present time given what's available for internet broadcast platform options.  What I do want is the ability to record in 4K 60p in 422 but I can't seem to decipher what the GH5 is capable of in that regards.

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Same with the new Panasonic BGH1 hence why I'm looking at the GH5.  I'm not looking to go to network broadcast at the present time given what's available for internet broadcast platform options.  What I do want is the ability to record in 4K 60p in 422 but I can't seem to decipher what the GH5 is capable of in that regards.

No camera except the sony a7s3 records 422 60p 10 bits internally
And at 200 mbps H264 I would not recommend it anyway
With free diving the color correction ability are limited as you are almost never at constant depth so 422 or 10
bits will help little if the ambient color temperature swings from 8000 to 15000K in 30 seconds
I would give up on that entirely and accept the blue on an average white balance depending on depth a filter would be better if it can be used in auto


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