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Trevor Rees

Nikonos bulkhead fitted to Olympus PT-027

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Some photographers are making the effort to modify their Olympus 7070 and 5060 Olympus PT housings to take a Nikonos bulkhead. The Olympus strobe bulkhead on these cases is removed and replaced with a Nikonos bulkhead alternative.

 

The modification appears succesful according to a couple of wet pixel members. It seems a good way to go to gain full control of strobe firing via the cameras hot shoe whilst being able to use better specified stobes than the Olympus version. I have previously been put off Olympus cameras due to the fact that the internal flash is normally disabled in supermacro mode. Triggering an external strobe by fibre optic cable off the cameras internal flash is therefore impossible in this mode.

 

An email from Michael Finger at www.mike-dive.de has proved helpful in showing me what the modification looks like (see atatched photo). From what I can tell this is the only guy around offering help with this kit.

 

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has used this modification for a while to know if there were any problems, how easy the conversion was, and if at the end of the day was it worth the effort?

post-4145-1118879940_thumb.jpg

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It works very well! I've tuned the strobe power to -1/3 (because I like it that way) and when you shot macro or close ups you must use small apertures (depending on what strobe you have). The battery ran out once when on a dive trip, and it took me a good while to figure out why my pictures where suddenly overexposed. Mike had supplied me with a spare. The new version being sold now does not need/use batteries.

 

Installation is absolutely not difficult. Whatever strobe bulkhead you have I recommend removing it for maintenance now and then.

 

 

It is not true that you can't trigger a slave strobe in super macro mode. Read the manual! (Stop using P-mode).

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Hi Anders,

Thank you for the reply. I know you have answered me before on the same subject.

I have now looked at both the 5060 and 7070. I can still find no way of getting the internal flash on the 7070 to fire in supermacro in manual mode. Neither can I find anyone else who can find how to force the internal flash on under these settings. I have no instruction manual to study. The 5060 appears to be different.

It sounds as though you are happy with your Nikonos bulkhead and it fits on very easily. Can you say why you bothered to go down this route and what strobe you have used?

I am still not sure if I'm serious about these Olympus cameras as other comments I've read on wetpixel suggest people are less than enthusiastic about their low light focussing ability. Perhaps the 7070 has not really improved since the 5050. However, they remain one of the few cheap polycarbonate housings other than an ikelite to offer a flash bulkhead -although a shame it is a poor Olympus specific design.

I'd still like to hear from anyone else who has made the conversion.

Trev

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Anders,

Just noticed you have an Ikelite strobe fitted to a 5060.

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I have the camera (5060) in my hands right now, and it works.

 

I know the Olympus menu system can be a bit confusing sometimes. Just set the exposure mode to M, focus mode to super macro AF , then the flash selector to slave (the choices you have are int/ext, ext and slave) and the flash mode to slow (the choices you have are slow and off).

 

I had a 5060, a PT-020 and an Ikelite DS-50 with a manual controller - I did not like the controller. When I bought the nikonos bulkhead I could get rid of the controller, didn't have to replace any other existing equipmnet and I gained true TTL.

 

The low light focusing is definately a weak spot on this camera. Other cameras have other weaknesses (and other cameras also have problems focusing in low light conditions).

 

I've learned how to deal with that weakness, and I think I have an ok camera.

 

The MyMode presets are extremely useful - you can have 8 stored sets of configurations, and you can configure EVERYTHING.

 

Don't worry so much about buying the wrong camera. Focus on learning the camera you do buy.

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Anders,

I've just had a look at a 5060 in my local camera dealer. Your are indeed correct. I was indeed finding the Olympus menu system confusing without a manual.

 

It's good to know that the 5060 model can fire an external strobe slaved off the internal flash via a fibre optic cable under all shooting conditions. The 7070 needs checking though.

 

I'm still unsure about the idea of a Nikonos bulkhead conversion on a PT housing. I'm sure for some it has benefits, such as being able to trigger older style strobes as well as getting TTL. I've actually been quite impressed with how well a fibre optic cable works. I'm currently using two strobes both wired with seperate fibre optic cables on a Canon A95 and getting some good results.

 

I'm still unsure if these Olympus cameras are a significant improvement over a my current camera. Thanks for your posting though.

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I have an Olympus 7070. Following the guide for the 5060 - it doesn't work!

 

You can select 'slave' mode in macro and super macro in manual mode, but the internal flash won't fire.

 

I would like to force the flash to trigger an optical sensor.

 

Any clues?

 

Simon Yates <_<

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Hi ,

 

Olympus changed someting in the firmware so it would not work ..... with the 7070

The only way is, to use the Oly-TTL converter or to mount a makro lens, therefor you do not need the super makro mode. I prefer the Inon UCL 165 for close up shots cause you have a larger distance to the object as in super makro mode.

in minimum about 12 cm ( at full zoom of the cam ) the advatage is to have enough space to get a few ( flash ) light to the object without any sharp shades.

 

Michael

 

By the way do you know the brand new Patima C 7070 aluminium housing from South Korea have a look here

 

I have used it last 3 months and I am very satisfied with the handling and the secure for my C7070.

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Yes, the Oly 7070 does behave differently to the Oly 5060. Olympus UK have confirmed to me that on the 7070 the internal flash cannot be made to fire in supermacro mode, unlike the 5060.

 

I also agree that this is probably no big deal if a macro wet lens is used. I can see that a macro lens may be preferable to get a more useable working distance for macro shots with external flash.

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I've now located the web site in English that shows the following picture of the Nikonos bulkhead from HeinrichsWeikamp fitted to a 5060.

 

It looks simple and easy to fit.

 

I wonder if sits a bit proud of the PT case which would make it easy to knock and get damaged -perhaps not?

post-4145-1121269939_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for the information. I also had a reply from Olympus saying that the reason for disabling the flash on super-macro was that it would white out the subject, also the lens would cause shadows.

 

Looks like the way to go is either a close up lens or TTL connector (or both!)

 

I bought the basic optical sensor for an old u/w stobe which works fine in slave / manual mode. This kept the initial costs down!

 

What is view on buying olympus lenses plus accesory housing ports vs buying wet lenses?

 

 

Regards

 

Simon

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Michael from Westhofen,

 

The new PT-E01 for the E300 dSLR looks an interesing housing but I note that it may well have the same irritating Olympus own brand flash bulkhead connection as on other PT housings.

 

Do you reckon this could also be replaced with the Nikonos bulkhead?

 

Trevor

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Hi Trevor ,

 

I have had a PTE01 over the last weekend to do some tests ( at surface only )

1- The Olympus Bulkhead iss the same as at the pT housings but the construction is different so I had ( will )to build some special Nikonos sockets .... takes about 4 weeks , the Oly TTL konverter fitts , my stay system too without blocking the low housing lock , only a little adapter is needet to fix with one skrew .... .The housing is quite heavy 4,00 Kg with cam .... the FL36 stobe housing is 1,4 Kg without strobe. The housing is very nice to handel perfect ergonomy ..... the ports are from black anodiced aluminium and skrewed onto the aluminium base at the pc housing . The port I have was the PPO E02 for the 11 - 22 and the 14 - 45 lens

the zoom ring only fitts with a trick at the 14 - 45 ( need a 2 mm neopren tube to fitt ) ring ist too large ( may be for the 11 - 22 ) but it has a plane port .......it may give problems with the 11 - 22 lens .

 

here are some pics.

 

pte01-md-se-fl50-front.JPG

 

pte01-md-se-fl50-back.JPG

 

Michael

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Thanks for the post Michael

I guess this moves this discussion to the SLR forum now. I expect the PT-EO1 will be discussed a lot more soon.

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Hi Mike and Trever,

 

I have the PT-E01 housing for the Oly E-300 and the E02 and E03 (macro) ports. The gear provided with the E02 housing fits the 11-22 and 14-54 lenses very well. the 14-45 kit lens has its own port and gear which I am sure is sized for that lens. Tests with the flat port and the 11-22 lens did not appear to have any corner problems. The 50 macro (100 mm in 35 and 1:1) worked well in auto focus all the way to 1:1 as long as the subject was not in dim lighting. I sent Mike an e-mail and would still be interested in the Nikonos bulkhead connector for this housing. Let me know how to order.

The release of this housing has come with little or no commet in any of the forums I have seen. It is a very well thoughtout housing with excellent alum. and glass ports. The 50 mm macro and 7 to 14 zoom are outstanding lenses and will make great underwater tools.

After thirteen years as a Nikonos RS user, 18 mm and 50+2xtele for 95% of my work, I expect these two digital lenses will fill 95% of my needs once again.

Regards Phil Rudin

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