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4/3 Lens Recommendations

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by jayceebutler, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. jayceebutler

    jayceebutler Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: HI
    I am putting together a parts list for a Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk II + Nauticam system, and was hoping to get some recommendations on the following lens choices.

    Panasonic Lumix G Fisheye 8mm f/3.5
    Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO

    There isn't a big difference in price, but the Olympus is much larger. Is the quality of the Olympus noticeably superior to justify the size and extra $200? Also, I believe the Olympus lens must be removed to extract the camera from housing, which is slightly inconvenient.

    Medium Macro:
    Panasonic Lumix G Macro 30mm f/2.8
    Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm f/3.5 Macro

    Same price. Is one recommended over another for auto-focus and quality?
  2. Hoag

    Hoag Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario
    I had an Olympus M4/3 camera and the Panasonic 8mm f3.5 fisheye lens. It was a very good diving setup - compact, very good (but not what I would consider great) images and it was easy to pack (I could fit everything, the camera with kit lens, my fisheye lens, my housing/port and 2 Inon strobes into my carry on.) The limitations that I had on image quality were due to the camera being a first gen M4/3 body and sensor. I would feel very comfortable recommending the Panasonic 8mm fisheye lens. Just be aware of one thing - while there are no straight lines in nature, it is a fisheye, so it will distort - a lot. You have to either accept that when you see it, or have the ability to "de-fish" the image in editing. The 8mm fisheye lens also fits inside most 4 inch "mini-domes" which is nice.

    I rarely shot macro, but when I did, I used the Olympus 60mm f2.8 macro lens and had really good results.
    jayceebutler likes this.
  3. rmorgan

    rmorgan Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ohio, USA
    Jaycee, I assume the Olympus fisheye is larger because it's faster. The Olympus pro lenses are excellently built, and if were building a new kit I'd likely get that one because of the two-stop advantage (arguably not a big deal with fisheye anyway); but like Hoag, I've used the Panasonic 8mm for years and quite enjoyed it. (You're right about it being a bit of a pain to have to pull the port and lens to extract the body. I don't know about the fisheye, but I do have a lens which requires that and it's always a little unnerving to see the imaging sensor exposed.)

    On the macro side, I'm just leaving on a trip with a new Olympus 30mm based on good results reported here (there's a current thread, as you've doubtless noticed) and elsewhere; I've had the Olympus 60mm since it came out; there is much to love about it and I've been pleased with many of the images, but it can hunt a lot. On land, the Olympus 30 seems quick to focus and accurate, and I'm looking forward to using it. The 45 port, which accommodates the Olympus 30, has a cold shoe built in, which I'll certainly try with a focusing light.

    The Nauticam Mark II is a jewel, the camera's great, and I'm sure you'll love your new rig.
    jayceebutler likes this.
  4. PedroP

    PedroP Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Lisbon

    I have the Olympus 8mm lenses, it's not that big and image wise is great !
    I'm pretty sure that it's not necessary to remove the lenses to extract the camera from housing, this is probably with the 7-14mm f2.8 ( this is huge lenses).
    Regarding the macro, I'm using the 60mm, it's very good and as RMorgan said it can hunt a little. I suggest you use a focus light to assist. The main advantage of the 30mm is wider angle.

    One last note, the Nauticam housing is very good and also quite large, specially important for travelling.

    jayceebutler likes this.
  5. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    You definitely do not need to remove the lens to take the camera out with olympus fisheye - that is the 7-14 mm lens. I have the Panasonic 8mm on an EM-1 II and that the corners are not perfect with some purple fringing which is somewhat correctable and a little soft in the far corners. I started a thread on the issue here: Purple fringing with Panasonic 8mm f3.5 lens on Olympus body

    I think the bad example from that post with softness in the corners is due to that corner being out of focus due to be very close compared to the focus point used, but the fringing is still there. This is with the Zen 100mm dome. If I were doing it again I think I'd get the Olympus lens and Nauticam 140mm dome.
  6. Germie

    Germie Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    I almost only use the Panasonic 8mm lens. I like it.
    For Macro I use the Panasonic 45mm lens.

    Here some examples of the 8mm fisheye on the OMD EM5 MK2, with Isotta Housing and acryl dome:


    and here 2 pictures taken with the Panasonic 45mm macrolens (no extra diopters, photo directly from camera, no modifications done). It seems this lens is almost unknown by photographers. I like it better than the 60mm, haven't used the 30mm.


    Attached Files:

    gert7to3 likes this.
  7. WS007

    WS007 Professional Photographer

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Empersdorf (Austria)
    I have Zuiko 8mm fisheye and use it with Zen-DP170-N120 and 30mm (or 34.7mm) extension. It performs great, one of my favorite lenses. Probably the Pana is very similar in performance UW, but I cannot compare from my own experience. Zuiko fits in the housing when on the camera. The Zuiko is certainly worth the extra money, when you intend to use it over the water as well...

    I have both Pana 45mm and Zuiko 60mm Macros. Both work very well, but the Zuiko is a tick sharper and the working distance is better for shy subjects. So the 60mm is my perferred Macro lens, see here an example...

    The 30mm Macros (I do not have them) may be a compromise when you want to shoot both Macro and fishportraits with the same setup. To my opinion the working distance for macro is too short and for fishportrait (in most cases, unless the fish is very shy) 30mm is too long. I prefer to take either the Zukio 60mm (with CMC1 and flip adapter) for Macro OR the Zuiko 12-40mm (in the Zen dome abobe with 60mm extension) for fishportrait (also a great combination for night dives). Both setups represent the very best what MFT can offer for these genres...

  8. Germie

    Germie Cave Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Netherlands
    The 60mm hunts too much is my experience. I also have the 60mm, but since I bought the 45mm I don't use it anymore.
    I use the 8mm for wide angle, macro and fishportret with the 45mm. I also have the 12-50mm with +10 wetdiopter and flipadapter.
  9. WS007

    WS007 Professional Photographer

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Empersdorf (Austria)
    I have EM1II, before I had EM5II. AF of EM1II is substantially better compared to EM5II: with EM5II there was focus hunting with both 60mm and 45mm Macros at dim light (with 60mm even worse), but with EM1II it works fine with both using Weefine 2300 focus light (only red LEDs in order not to scare the animal).
    I can now even use by default C-AF+tracking, what was not practical with EM5II - using a small spot in the center, first having e.g. the eye of the animal in the center, pressing the (dumb)focus button on the back and then re-positioning for framing - the eye remains in focus, whereven I positon it, as long as I keep the dumb focus button pressed...

  10. Ardy

    Ardy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Australia - Blue Mountains
    Very interesting Wolfgang, I have just got an EM5mk2 and found that the 60mm hunts more than it did with the EM5mk1 not sure why. I used the 30mm macro on my last trip (last week) and was pleased with the results but more so with the focusing ability of the 30mm. Only used the 60mm once but on a night dive, it was not so great even with a focus light. Thinking about trying the limiting switch set to 0.19-0.4m have you tried it?
    I am know of the opinion that the 30mm macro is a must have lens for any dive trip..

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