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JayceeB

Sony A7C + 28-60 kit lens + WWL vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 II + 14-42 + WWL

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I moved from a Sony RX100 IV to an Olympus OM-D E-M1 II several years ago.  I found the move to be a medium jump in quality, a significant jump in auto-focus performance, but also a significant jump in cost and size

My gear has grown over time to consist of 3 domes and 3 flat ports to accommodate.

  • Oly 12-40 PRO
  • Pan 7-14
  • Pan 8mm
  • Oly 30mm macro
  • Oly 60mm macro
  • Oly 14-42 IIR

My photography consists of:

  • 10% big animals close range (close dolphins, oceanic white tips, turtles)
  • 30% big animals from 10’ to 40’ away (dolphins, sharks, pilot whales)
  • 40% fish portraits
  • 20% macro

80% of my dives these days are shore dives, so lugging big gear around is a chore.

My go-to kit is the Oly 12-40 PRO, which works great for big animals (which are not too close) and fish portraits, but less than adequate for macro, or close in big animals.  If I don’t know what I’m going to get into on a dive, I bring this lens.  Auto focus is excellent.  A great lens, but requires a large dome, which is very floaty.  I had to secure a 1lb weight to the underside of the dome just to keep the nose down.

The Panasonic 7-14 is nice quality, but I’m often disappointed with lack of range.  I only bring this lens if I’m absolutely sure the subjects will be very close (turtles).

I don’t seem to use the Panasonic 8mm fisheye.  

I rarely use the Oly 30mm macro since purchasing the Oly 12-40 PRO.

The Oly 60mm is a joy for macro, but you are 100% dedicated to macro for the entire dive.

I would like to improve my low light image quality, reduce the need for a large dome port and reduce the amount of gear I need.

Since I already owned the 14-42 kit lens, I thought I would try it in the flat port + Nauticam WWL.

For close focus and fish portraits, the combination works great and would replace my 12-40 PRO, 7-14, 8mm fisheye and 30mm macro.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed when zoomed in all the way for big animals in lower light conditions where the animal’s background is dark blue water.  Focus is slow, and hunts.  A big percentage of the photos I’ve taken are out of focus, or even when in focus, they’re soft.  Definitely not a replacement for my 12-40 PRO when zoomed all the way in.  I assume that's a product of the quality of the 14-42 kit lens, and not the WWL

The Sony A7C + 28-60 kit lens + WWL is the same size as my Olympus OM-D E-M1 II  + 14-42 + WWL.

My questions to the community are:

1. Will the Sony A7C (or A7 III) + 28-60 kit lens + WWL give better low light auto-focus and picture quality than the E-M1 II +14-42 + WWL when zoomed all the way in?

2. Will the Sony A7C (or A7 III) + 28-60 kit lens + WWL give comparable auto-focus and picture sharpness to the E-M1 II + 12-40 PRO in a Dome when zoomed all the way in low light conditions?

3.  Would I see a significant jump in overall quality and auto-focus moving from the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II (with multiple lenses, domes and ports )to the Sony A7C with a single lens, one port and WWL + CMC?

Thanks for any guidance or experience anyone can lend.  I’m trying to avoid buyers remorse :)

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How low is the light in the situation you are talking about?  I doubt it can be compared using the low limit of sensitivity for each of the cameras.  for example the EM-1 MkII is rated at -6EV which is 60 sec at f1.0 ISO100.  But it can only achieve that in ideal conditions - a faster lens helps, more contrast helps etc.   

The EM-1 MkII is very good indeed at low light AF, having used the 12-40 without a focus light at dusk shooting Mandarin fish, it worked very well.  I would think it's down to the characteristics of the lens itself and contrast in the scene.  

I would suggest the following - try out your 14-42 on land in similar lighting to see how it does on a low contrast target.  See if you can try out the Sony in a camera store in similar lighting on a low contrast target. 

The problem is the issue is very subjective and everyone has different tolerances to poor AF performance.

Picture quality is another matter - DXO says the two cameras are about 1.5 - 2 stops apart in noise performance, certainly at similar ISO the Sony will look better but with both at base ISO in many applications it would be hard to tell them apart. 

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Hi Chris,

I typically shoot in the mornings in clear water, so not nearly night conditions, but there can be issues with early morning contrast between animals and the dark blue horizontal backdrop.

Here are two photos I took this weekend one day apart at the same dive site fully zoomed in at f6.3 and 1/160.  I lightly white balanced these in LR, otherwise they’re pure in all their rough glory.

Day 1:  The group of 7 dolphins were taken with the 14-42 at 42mm with the WWL at 8:30AM f6.3 1/160th ISO 640 (auto-iso)

P2270055.jpg.62ceecb26379b3ead2d02950b8d4ae06.jpg

Day 2:  The tiger was taken with the 12-40 PRO zoomed to 40mm at noon, so more light.  f6.3 1/160th ISO 160 (auto-iso)P2280200.jpg.1aaed30b7a21b3caf63165fc75528d3b.jpg

Also on day 2, some playful dolphins made very close runs.  I had the 12-40, so can’t compare to the 14-42 close up, but this illustrates how well the 12-40 performs at ISO 640.  Fast moving dolphins, and the bulk of my shots were sharp. Zoomed to 22mm. Slight crop in LR.  f6.3 1/250 ISO 640

P2280084-Edit.jpg.3a52a7b12db7cf0db70b1cef6cba235c.jpg

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Here are a few more examples of the 14-42 + WWL zoomed in at 42mm on a sunny day offshore.  f5.6 1/250 ISO 400.  Not quite sharp enough.

 

P2210020.thumb.JPG.ab81a03702c6ba616676feb36266a99d.JPGP2210019.thumb.JPG.0867b65fb5bee957cd5604f6321b161e.JPG

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I don't have the 14-42 lens so can't comment on its snappiness or otherwise, the 12-40 is very good and it's getting 2 stops more light onto the sensor.  There's several components to good AF the speed of the lens getting more light to the AF sensor is one, then there's the speed and precision of the AF motor and how well the characteristics of the two are matched up.  

To me this is the one downside of the WWL concept, the kit lenses are often slow and don't have the latest or best AF equipment onboard.

Looking at the pics and their histogram, the contrast is quite low which probably had some role in the AF issues you are seeing.   This I think quite typical for distant subjects.  I assume you're saying 12-40 had no problem with the tiger shark  and if it is zoomed right in would be well off I would guess.

Out of interest which particular 14-42 do you have?  They may not all be the same and might be a question worth asking regarding performance at the long end?

BTW, you seem to have some reflections going in the last two shots or is that something in the background?

BTW2 - I use the 170mm Zen dome and don't experience floatiness, I find it nice and compact for my purposes.  I'm guessing you have the 7"acrylic dome which I've seen and is significantly bulkier than mine.

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Acrylic domes are generally very floaty, so moving to a glass dome will increase weight for travelling but improve handling underwater significantly. 

Generally, I think your pictures just demonstrate the age old of rule of getting closer in underwater photography. It's quite possible that with the Sony you will get better AF and also better image quality, but the first photos of distant dolphins and the shark will never look good even on the very best camera. The closer dolphins would probably also look pretty good with the WWL-1. In my opinion it is not really worth chasing after improvements on a type of shot, that will just never look good. On the other hand you should just do what brings you joy and if these are the type of shots you generally shoot, maybe it's worth it for you. Maybe also worth looking at the WACP.

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8 hours ago, JayceeB said:

 

The Sony A7C + 28-60 kit lens + WWL is the same size as my Olympus OM-D E-M1 II  + 14-42 + WWL.

do you have any details comparison in term of size and weight including pictures? I'm very curious about it

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5 hours ago, JayceeB said:

  I had the 12-40, so can’t compare to the 14-42 close up, but this illustrates how well the 12-40 performs at ISO 640.  Fast moving dolphins, and the bulk of my shots were sharp. Zoomed to 22mm. Slight crop in LR.  f6.3 1/250 ISO 640

as you say difficult to compare but 12-40 without wet lens looks fantastic

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9 hours ago, ChrisRoss said:

To me this is the one downside of the WWL concept, the kit lenses are often slow and don't have the latest or best AF equipment onboard.

Looking at the pics and their histogram, the contrast is quite low which probably had some role in the AF issues you are seeing.   This I think quite typical for distant subjects.  I assume you're saying 12-40 had no problem with the tiger shark  and if it is zoomed right in would be well off I would guess.

Out of interest which particular 14-42 do you have?  They may not all be the same and might be a question worth asking regarding performance at the long end?

BTW, you seem to have some reflections going in the last two shots or is that something in the background?

BTW2 - I use the 170mm Zen dome and don't experience floatiness, I find it nice and compact for my purposes.  I'm guessing you have the 7"acrylic dome which I've seen and is significantly bulkier than mine.

Yes, the 12-40 had no trouble focusing on the tiger and the sharpness of the photo is better.

I have the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R.  I checked with Nauticam and asked if they recommended one of the 14-42's over the others.  They mentioned it was 'splitting hairs' between the different offerings.  Since I already had the Oly, I just used that.  @Intercepter121 mentioned that Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS is the best he has used.  How much better than the Oly?  I don't know.

Reflections in the last two shots are actually a submerged fish pen (attracts the Oceanics).

I do have the 7" acrylic dome.  Picked it up used.  Perhaps I should reconsider the Zen dome.

I'm wondering if the Sony 28-60 kit lens is better quality than the Oly 14-42 kit lens, and would perform better behind the WWL-1.

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8 hours ago, hyp said:

Acrylic domes are generally very floaty, so moving to a glass dome will increase weight for travelling but improve handling underwater significantly. 

Generally, I think your pictures just demonstrate the age old of rule of getting closer in underwater photography. It's quite possible that with the Sony you will get better AF and also better image quality, but the first photos of distant dolphins and the shark will never look good even on the very best camera. The closer dolphins would probably also look pretty good with the WWL-1. In my opinion it is not really worth chasing after improvements on a type of shot, that will just never look good. On the other hand you should just do what brings you joy and if these are the type of shots you generally shoot, maybe it's worth it for you. Maybe also worth looking at the WACP.

Thanks for your perspective, Hyp.  Probably sage advice.

I try and get as close as possible to underwater subjects, but sometimes that just isn't possible.  In those cases, I still like to have a record of what I encountered on the dive, even if it isn't a 'framer'.

WACP is a bit beyond my budget.  I'll reconsider a glass dome though in the equation.

My goal is to reduce my kit with the WWL, while still retaining or exceeding the quality i'm getting with the Oly 12-40...maybe that's not possible.

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5 hours ago, caolino said:

do you have any details comparison in term of size and weight including pictures? I'm very curious about it

The size and weight of the two housings is very similar (based on specs from the Nauticam website).  I'm assuming the cameras, lenses and ports would be similar in size and weight.  WWL-1B is 3lbs.

Olympus

Weight 1.95kg
Dimensions 305mm (W) × 175mm (H) × 116mm (D)

Sony

Dimensions 307mm (W) x 172mm (H) x 103mm(D)
Weight (in air) 1.78kg

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14 hours ago, JayceeB said:

I moved from a Sony RX100 IV to an Olympus OM-D E-M1 II several years ago.  I found the move to be a medium jump in quality, a significant jump in auto-focus performance, but also a significant jump in cost and size

My gear has grown over time to consist of 3 domes and 3 flat ports to accommodate.

  • Oly 12-40 PRO
  • Pan 7-14
  • Pan 8mm
  • Oly 30mm macro
  • Oly 60mm macro
  • Oly 14-42 IIR

My photography consists of:

  • 10% big animals close range (close dolphins, oceanic white tips, turtles)
  • 30% big animals from 10’ to 40’ away (dolphins, sharks, pilot whales)
  • 40% fish portraits
  • 20% macro

80% of my dives these days are shore dives, so lugging big gear around is a chore.

My go-to kit is the Oly 12-40 PRO, which works great for big animals (which are not too close) and fish portraits, but less than adequate for macro, or close in big animals.  If I don’t know what I’m going to get into on a dive, I bring this lens.  Auto focus is excellent.  A great lens, but requires a large dome, which is very floaty.  I had to secure a 1lb weight to the underside of the dome just to keep the nose down.

The Panasonic 7-14 is nice quality, but I’m often disappointed with lack of range.  I only bring this lens if I’m absolutely sure the subjects will be very close (turtles).

I don’t seem to use the Panasonic 8mm fisheye.  

I rarely use the Oly 30mm macro since purchasing the Oly 12-40 PRO.

The Oly 60mm is a joy for macro, but you are 100% dedicated to macro for the entire dive.

I would like to improve my low light image quality, reduce the need for a large dome port and reduce the amount of gear I need.

Since I already owned the 14-42 kit lens, I thought I would try it in the flat port + Nauticam WWL.

For close focus and fish portraits, the combination works great and would replace my 12-40 PRO, 7-14, 8mm fisheye and 30mm macro.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed when zoomed in all the way for big animals in lower light conditions where the animal’s background is dark blue water.  Focus is slow, and hunts.  A big percentage of the photos I’ve taken are out of focus, or even when in focus, they’re soft.  Definitely not a replacement for my 12-40 PRO when zoomed all the way in.  I assume that's a product of the quality of the 14-42 kit lens, and not the WWL

The Sony A7C + 28-60 kit lens + WWL is the same size as my Olympus OM-D E-M1 II  + 14-42 + WWL.

My questions to the community are:

1. Will the Sony A7C (or A7 III) + 28-60 kit lens + WWL give better low light auto-focus and picture quality than the E-M1 II +14-42 + WWL when zoomed all the way in?

2. Will the Sony A7C (or A7 III) + 28-60 kit lens + WWL give comparable auto-focus and picture sharpness to the E-M1 II + 12-40 PRO in a Dome when zoomed all the way in low light conditions?

3.  Would I see a significant jump in overall quality and auto-focus moving from the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II (with multiple lenses, domes and ports )to the Sony A7C with a single lens, one port and WWL + CMC?

Thanks for any guidance or experience anyone can lend.  I’m trying to avoid buyers remorse :)

Get closer. Those distances are ok for video perhaps but photos will have no contrast no matter the camera

Autofocus is not an issue with the WWL-1 or any wet lens in fact I focus at the beginning of the dive practically

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20 hours ago, JayceeB said:

I moved from a Sony RX100 IV to an Olympus OM-D E-M1 II several years ago.  I found the move to be a medium jump in quality, a significant jump in auto-focus performance, but also a significant jump in cost and size

My gear has grown over time to consist of 3 domes and 3 flat ports to accommodate.

  • Oly 12-40 PRO
  • Pan 7-14
  • Pan 8mm
  • Oly 30mm macro
  • Oly 60mm macro
  • Oly 14-42 IIR

My photography consists of:

  • 10% big animals close range (close dolphins, oceanic white tips, turtles)
  • 30% big animals from 10’ to 40’ away (dolphins, sharks, pilot whales)
  • 40% fish portraits
  • 20% macro

80% of my dives these days are shore dives, so lugging big gear around is a chore.

My go-to kit is the Oly 12-40 PRO, which works great for big animals (which are not too close) and fish portraits, but less than adequate for macro, or close in big animals.  If I don’t know what I’m going to get into on a dive, I bring this lens.  Auto focus is excellent.  A great lens, but requires a large dome, which is very floaty.  I had to secure a 1lb weight to the underside of the dome just to keep the nose down.

The Panasonic 7-14 is nice quality, but I’m often disappointed with lack of range.  I only bring this lens if I’m absolutely sure the subjects will be very close (turtles).

I don’t seem to use the Panasonic 8mm fisheye.  

I rarely use the Oly 30mm macro since purchasing the Oly 12-40 PRO.

The Oly 60mm is a joy for macro, but you are 100% dedicated to macro for the entire dive.

I would like to improve my low light image quality, reduce the need for a large dome port and reduce the amount of gear I need.

Since I already owned the 14-42 kit lens, I thought I would try it in the flat port + Nauticam WWL.

For close focus and fish portraits, the combination works great and would replace my 12-40 PRO, 7-14, 8mm fisheye and 30mm macro.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed when zoomed in all the way for big animals in lower light conditions where the animal’s background is dark blue water.  Focus is slow, and hunts.  A big percentage of the photos I’ve taken are out of focus, or even when in focus, they’re soft.  Definitely not a replacement for my 12-40 PRO when zoomed all the way in.  I assume that's a product of the quality of the 14-42 kit lens, and not the WWL

The Sony A7C + 28-60 kit lens + WWL is the same size as my Olympus OM-D E-M1 II  + 14-42 + WWL.

My questions to the community are:

1. Will the Sony A7C (or A7 III) + 28-60 kit lens + WWL give better low light auto-focus and picture quality than the E-M1 II +14-42 + WWL when zoomed all the way in?

2. Will the Sony A7C (or A7 III) + 28-60 kit lens + WWL give comparable auto-focus and picture sharpness to the E-M1 II + 12-40 PRO in a Dome when zoomed all the way in low light conditions?

3.  Would I see a significant jump in overall quality and auto-focus moving from the Olympus OM-D E-M1 II (with multiple lenses, domes and ports )to the Sony A7C with a single lens, one port and WWL + CMC?

Thanks for any guidance or experience anyone can lend.  I’m trying to avoid buyers remorse :)

This is a no brainer to me, first I used the Olympus line for years including the EM-1 II and also the WWL-1with EM1 II you can find those reviews in the back issues at uwpmag.com. I am also probably the only one on this site that has used the Sony A7C, FE 28-60mm zoom and WWL-1.

The only real question here is do I want to stay with a smaller format sensor or go to full frame with its added issues.

Bottom line is that the A7C is faster, smaller and has noticeably better image quality as most FF cameras do when compared to sub-full-frame. I have heard all the arguments for both formats but the bottom line is that if your top priorities are speed and IQ the Sony A7C is just better.

While many DSLR users will argue that size should not be a large issue when selecting a U/W camera I believe they are forgetting why many of the older ones left film cameras in large housings and went to the Nikonos RS system. My spell check does not even recognize the word Nikonos but I would venture to say that more than half of the published U/W photo pro's were using the RS system before they went to digital. I would also bet that one of the top reasons for using the Nikonos RS  SLR camera body and lenses was reduced the size and weight of the system. I would guess the top reason was the quality of the water contact optics which won out over AF speed because they were more than a bit slow.

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31 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

This is a no brainer to me, first I used the Olympus line for years including the EM-1 II and also the WWL-1with EM1 II you can find those reviews in the back issues at uwpmag.com. I am also probably the only one on this site that has used the Sony A7C, FE 28-60mm zoom and WWL-1.

The only real question here is do I want to stay with a smaller format sensor or go to full frame with its added issues.

Bottom line is that the A7C is faster, smaller and has noticeably better image quality as most FF cameras do when compared to sub-full-frame. I have heard all the arguments for both formats but the bottom line is that if your top priorities are speed and IQ the Sony A7C is just better.

While many DSLR users will argue that size should not be a large issue when selecting a U/W camera I believe they are forgetting why many of the older ones left film cameras in large housings and went to the Nikonos RS system. My spell check does not even recognize the word Nikonos but I would venture to say that more than half of the published U/W photo pro's were using the RS system before they went to digital. I would also bet that one of the top reasons for using the Nikonos RS  SLR camera body and lenses was reduced the size and weight of the system. I would guess the top reason was the quality of the water contact optics which won out over AF speed because they were more than a bit slow.

Thanks for your insight, Phil. 

In your opinion, would the A7C+28-60+WWL-1 give at least the same sharpness and auto-focus as the E-M1 II + 12-40 PRO when fully zoomed in?

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I don't think I could be more clear, the A7C is faster and has better image quality across the entire range. I have owned the 12-40 and the 14-42 power zoom with WWL-1 has better image quality than the 12-40 even if you used it behind a 230mm dome port.

Sony FE 28-60mm, at 28mm end (fish) and 60mm end of the zoom range (crab) with WWL-1. 

 

untitled-01050.jpg

untitled-00918 copy.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

I don't think I could be more clear, the A7C is faster and has better image quality across the entire range. I have owned the 12-40 and the 14-42 power zoom with WWL-1 has better image quality than the 12-40 even if you used it behind a 230mm dome port.

Sony FE 28-60mm, at 28mm end (fish) and 60mm end of the zoom range (crab) with WWL-1. 

 

You were clear.  Thank you :)

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, JayceeB said:

The size and weight of the two housings is very similar (based on specs from the Nauticam website).  I'm assuming the cameras, lenses and ports would be similar in size and weight.  WWL-1B is 3lbs.

Olympus

Weight 1.95kg
Dimensions 305mm (W) × 175mm (H) × 116mm (D)

Sony

Dimensions 307mm (W) x 172mm (H) x 103mm(D)
Weight (in air) 1.78kg

I am also considering different systems at the moment and fabricated the graphic below, that illustrates how tiny the housing of this new FF is in comparison to other common cameras. The graph shows the volume of the housing (of a brick with the dimensions given on the Nauticam homepage) vs. its weight in air. While weight and volume of the housing for Nikon, Canon and Olympus go (roughly) inversely with the crop factor, Sony housings do not obey this rule... :rolleyes:

Bild2.jpg.891f81d8bdddb566c58f1801eb992b21.jpg

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis
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Wow, interesting, Wolfgang! Could you add the D500 to that?

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8 minutes ago, TimG said:

Wow, interesting, Wolfgang! Could you add the D500 to that?

Voila - I have edited the posting above. We must not forget, however, that these are the sheer housings and the optics adds. But in case the new Sony lens really provides excellent IQ with WWL-1, this may be indeed a very interesting configuration...

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38 minutes ago, Architeuthis said:

Voila - I have edited the posting above. We must not forget, however, that these are the sheer housings and the optics adds. But in case the new Sony lens really provides excellent IQ with WWL-1, this may be indeed a very interesting configuration...

Wicked! Many thanks indeed, Wolfgang

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On 3/3/2021 at 8:38 AM, JayceeB said:

I'm wondering if the Sony 28-60 kit lens is better quality than the Oly 14-42 kit lens, and would perform better behind the WWL-1.

 

Fred Miranda posted a review recently on his site of the Sony 28-60, comparing it to some well-known and well-liked prime lenses.

It turns out that, even though it is inexpensive and lightweight, the 28-60 is very high in image quality. It actually bested some primes in most ways. At the apertures it can offer, of course. You can't compare the 28-60 at f/2.8 to a prime, since the 28-60 doesn't go that big.

I was shooting an E-M10 with the 14-42+WWL-1 for several years. I upgraded to a Sony a7rIV last year and just got the 28-60 a couple of weeks ago (still using the WWL-1). I just got to shoot it this past weekend. It looks pretty good to me, so far. But, Phil is the man and, well, it's clear that he thinks the Sony/28-60/WWL-1 is going to be better than the Oly/14-42/WWL-1. LOL My agreement really means nothing next to his wealth of knowledge and experience (yet I DO agree).

I know you are looking for compact, so you're thinking about the a7c. But, I would just throw this out there: The a7rIV (or a7rIII or an a1) has a lot more megapixels. I can switch my rIV to APS-C mode and still get a 26MP image while also narrowing my field of view to the equivalent of 1.5X focal length.

I think all those extra MP really add flexibility to the setup. You can shoot in crop mode, or you just still shoot in FF mode and crop in post. Regardless, with that many MP to work with it's almost like having a close-up lens to use at will - without having to actually physically change the camera.

The extra weight and bulk of a housing for an a7rIV (etc) may not be worth it to you for that extra flexibility, but it's at least something to consider.

Also, regarding AF performance, I found that my E-M10 benefited from using a focus light and so does my Sony rig. If it's anything less than "good" ambient light, I'll turn my focus light on, just to make sure my AF has the best chance of getting a good lock on my subject.

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Thanks, @Stuartv.  Definitely a good consideration, and still more compact than a regular ff + dome.  

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On 3/3/2021 at 8:38 AM, JayceeB said:

Yes, the 12-40 had no trouble focusing on the tiger and the sharpness of the photo is better.

I have the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R.  I checked with Nauticam and asked if they recommended one of the 14-42's over the others.  They mentioned it was 'splitting hairs' between the different offerings.  Since I already had the Oly, I just used that.  @Intercepter121 mentioned that Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS is the best he has used.  How much better than the Oly?  I don't know.

Reflections in the last two shots are actually a submerged fish pen (attracts the Oceanics).

I do have the 7" acrylic dome.  Picked it up used.  Perhaps I should reconsider the Zen dome.

I'm wondering if the Sony 28-60 kit lens is better quality than the Oly 14-42 kit lens, and would perform better behind the WWL-1.

To be honest, I don't see any difference in quality between the shot of the dolphins and the tiger shark. One doesn't look more clear or contrasty than the other, and there's nothing to say that the tiger shark is in focus and the dolphins are not. I think what you're seeing here as others have commented is the effect of 10'+ of water. Water is an awful filter that will destroy all contrast and resolution. The more of it you have between you and the subject, the worse the results. Both these shorts have subjects that are so distant that no lens or camera is going to make any difference in terms of the perceived contrast and resolution.

If you're using any lens at 50mm+ (full frame equivalent) zoom to fill the frame with a pelagic subject, that means the subject is 15'+ feet away. You're not going to get good results in terms of sharpness and contrast with that much water between your lens and the subject regardless of how high quality your optics are. Most cameras are going to struggle with focus in such circumstances because the water column removes contrast.

To reiterate, I don't think those two photos show that one lens is focusing on the subject properly and the other isn't. I'd say the focus is probably correct in both.

I've tried various 14-42mm lenses on m43 behind the WWL-1, including the Oly 14-42 pancake. Differences are miniscule. I also ended up using the Panasonic 14-42mm II.

Don't spend money upgrading your camera or optics for shots of large pelagics more than 15' away. You'll be dissapointed when your results do not improve. The only reason for using a focal length of 50mm+ underwater is to fill the frame with a smaller subject within 10' of your camera. Any further, and the results will be equally disappointing.

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Two more test shots from today with the WWL-1 back on.  Seemed to work a little better, but still doesn't feel quite as responsive or sharp as my 12-40, but not as far off as the testing from last week.   

 

Maybe it's not technically correct, but I still enjoy taking some wide angle ambient light shots further than 15' away.  3rd shot as an example.  I know no lens/port/camera combination will give a sharp capture in these conditions, just trying to get the best I can with a single wet lens combination.P3070430.jpg.df4c036f0ea607c2931c355c8a394fae.jpgP3070318.jpg.3368d950927aaba0e4c4ba9e337afc21.jpgP3070424.jpg.9c5863d4a3a93aa2595a21f9db45b152.jpg

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This tread is interesting...

 

First: The (diagonal) angles of view (AOV) between Oly 14-42+WWL1 (or Sony 7c/24-60/WWL-1) and rectilinear Oly 12-40 are different:

Oly 12-40: 84°-30° AOV.

Sony24-60+WAPC1 (Oly 14-42+WWL-1 or Sony 7c/24-60/WWL-1): 130°-68° ??? (I could not find AOVs for WWL-1, but guess AOVs are similar to WAPC1)

 

Second: As others already said, sharpness and contrast in the posted images is produced by the far object distance, the lens/domeport combination has no effect under these conditions.

 

=> A comparison in contrast and sharpness at similar AOVs and at much closer objects would be really interesting for Oly 12-40 (in domeport) vs 14-42+WWL-1. I would be surprised in case 12-40 performs better, but who knows?

 

Wolfgang

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