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eikenhorst

Dome port vs Wide angle conversion lens

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Hi,

I am considering switching from my TG6 setup to a Olympus E-PL10 system with UOI housing. I currently use a Weefine wfl 02 wet lens with 52 mm mount on the PT-059 housing.
With the new housing I have 2 options:
- use a dome port with either the 8mm fisheye or 7-14mm rectilinear lens (4inch or potentially 8 inch)
- use a wide angle wet lens like the  UWL-09Pro on the default 14-42mm lens, potentially moving to a 12-60mm later

The certain advantage I see of the dome port solution is that it allows split shots. The advantage of a wet lens is the option to switch to macro if you suddenly encounter a seadragon or something during the dive. However, I do not know what is generally going to give me the better image quality underwater? Does a dome win out in terms of corner sharpness?

Thanks for your help

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I use a 14-42ii in a macro port 35 on a Panasonic GH5 with the AOI UWL-09F and a INON UCL-165 mounted on the arms whenever I dive at a new site, unless I know I'm going after something very specific.

However, the need to burp the wet lens upon entry can be chore, and very cumbersome with gloves in cold water. In low visibility water I occasionally get particles between the macro port and wet lens rear optic, which can be difficult to clear and incredibly frustrating. Less of a problem if you dive in warm clear water.

If I get the chance to do subsequent dives at the same site I'll switch to my fisheye lens in mini dome or 60 mm macro lens with 35 mm macro port and 30 mm mini extension.

That's just covering the practicalities. In terms of corner sharpness, you're comparing apples to oranges.

A UWL-09 is a conversion lens and gives 130 degree FOV at 14mm. I usually go no lower than f5.6-f8 to retain sharp corners.

A fisheye lens will give you 180 degree FOV at 8mm. I use f4 when shooting CFWA, I like to reduce DOF and blur the corners a little to get the subject to pop. Just my preference. I use f8-f11 when shooting scenic wide angle to get everything in focus. You'll probably get better IQ with a dedicated fisheye lens. 

Rectilinear wide angle is a tricky subject. You will need a wider dome than a fisheye lens and need to stop down significantly to give enough depth of field to get sharp corners. The bigger dome will cost more but will be easier for splits, if and when you do them. Check out this link: https://interceptor121.com/2019/10/13/using-rectilinear-wide-lenses-underwater/

If your budget allows. I'd go 14-42 with AOI-UWL-09 first then a fisheye in dome port. I've only shot splits once, and that was an evening dive and I borrowed an 8-18 lens and 7mm done (and whole camera rig, tbf) from someone on the boat as they didn't want to get wet again. I'm currently not shopping for a rectilinear wide angle lens. 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, eikenhorst said:

Hi,

I am considering switching from my TG6 setup to a Olympus E-PL10 system with UOI housing. I currently use a Weefine wfl 02 wet lens with 52 mm mount on the PT-059 housing.
With the new housing I have 2 options:
- use a dome port with either the 8mm fisheye or 7-14mm rectilinear lens (4inch or potentially 8 inch)
- use a wide angle wet lens like the  UWL-09Pro on the default 14-42mm lens, potentially moving to a 12-60mm later

The certain advantage I see of the dome port solution is that it allows split shots. The advantage of a wet lens is the option to switch to macro if you suddenly encounter a seadragon or something during the dive. However, I do not know what is generally going to give me the better image quality underwater? Does a dome win out in terms of corner sharpness?

Thanks for your help

Sounds like you are based in Australia and diving temperate reefs if you are thinking about seadragons?  A lot will depend on the type of photography you want to do.  There are a few people using fisheye lenses locally in that type of situation, but it's not that common and is a real skill set to light properly with the often particulate laden waters.  I dive around Sydney and while I have the Panasonic 7-14 I rarely use it UW.  Typically I either dive with the 60mm macro or the 12-40 olympus lens.  The 12-40 focuses almost on the 170mm Zen dome and can do larger nudis, seahorses, anglerfish etc by getting in really close and switch directly to shooting a sea dragon - it gets about 0.25-0.3x magnification in practice, so the horizontal frame would be about 75mm across.  You would need the EM-5 II housing as it won't fit in the EPL-10 housing.  I have an 8mm fisheye but that is only used very occasionally around Sydney  and gets most use on tropical reefs.

As for wet lenses they can be a good-excellent option depending on which one you choose,  the WWL is the gold standard and allows you to focus all the way down to the dome surface with excellent image quality even at wider apertures even on full frame.  You can find some comparison shots on this post.  Take note many are on and RX-100 so with the larger m43 sensors, the corners will be a little worse:  https://www.housingcamera.com/blog/product-reviews/the-ultimate-wet-lens-sample-post

The shots in that post all have EXIF data embedded so you can check what aperture and focal length was used.  Note that if you zoom in the corners will generally improve over the quality at the widest setting, so you really need to see this data for a meaningful comparison.  They are 1920 x 1080 px shots so large enough for a reasonable impression of image quality.

 

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For the future, a wet conversion lens is not tied to a specific manufacturer's primary lens mount. You won't be so tied in financially to a manufacturer or primary lens mount when you next update your system.

Wider is not always better. A full fisheye can often be too wide, either for subject/composition or because strays get into the edges of the shot you don't realise at the time. A good wide angle at 120 to 130 can be both more flexible as a lens and easier to use. Use a WWL for that and the flexibility of swapping during a dive is a bonus.

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Hi, has anyone used the fix UWL-04 or UWL-05 with a micro 4/3 camera? Olympus Pen epl3 and the corresponding housing is my rig, this has a 67mm thread. I know the lens can be stepped up from 52 to 67 mm, but will this give acceptable image quality?

thanks,

Klaus

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