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Lenses for Lembeh and Bangka.... do I have what I need?

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by ChrisM, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. ChrisM

    ChrisM Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    1,384
    285
    83
    Oly EMD EM-5. I think I am covered but checking in.

    I have:
    14-42 kit lens
    60 mm macro, +7 wet diopter
    9-18 mm.

    Have the EP-01 flat port and the Zen 9-18 dome port

    I am sure it is user error, but I have not been all that impressed with the 9-18 especially wide. The 100% crop on the 4/3 doesn't help, and I do use a +2 diopter to try to get sharper corners. Would a dome change this performance at all (assuming I stay my usual piker photography self)?

    Only additions / substitutions I could think of are
    8mm FE (which requires a new port)
    30 mm macro (not sure if requires a new port

    I already have to buy new strobes as my Z240s have finally bitten the dust, so it's not like I am itching to spend more.

    Thanks
     
  2. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    425
    141
    43
    The 9-18 is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and does not seem to have a great reputation underwater, combine that with a 4" port and the wide shots are not the best. On the OLy housing I'm not sure what other port you would use as there's not that much available and any improvement I think would be marginal.

    Having said that you can do Lembeh with 100% 60mm macro, you might want to do a dive or two with the kit lens to capture bigger subjects like clownfish in their anemone and giant frogfish. If you are diving on pristine coral reefs at Bangka then you certainly could put the fisheye to good use. Your other option might be a wet wide lens to go with the 14-42 in the flat port. I used the Panasonic fisheye with Zen 100mm dome diving at Weda resort on the pristine reefs three and was happy with the results.
     
    tridacna likes this.
  3. ChrisM

    ChrisM Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Torrance, CA
    1,384
    285
    83
  4. Ardy

    Ardy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Australia - Blue Mountains
    925
    86
    28
    Chris, I would take the 30mm macro as well as the 60, you can get excellent macro and fish shots with the 30 but the 60 (120 equiv) may be stuck for macro only if the ocean is as dirty as the last time I was there.
    Mind you I used the 60 a lot in a couple of other trips I have done there.
     
  5. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    425
    141
    43
    The 30mm macro focuses really close so getting a shorter port is important. Closest focus is about 25mm from the front element and you lose about 1/3 of that working distance even in the correct port. If you put it in the port for a 60mm that lens is about 20mm longer so you end up with 1:1 being right on the port glass, so limiting what you can shoot. I use the 30mm around Sydney as the 60mm is too long for a lot of subjects.
     
  6. Ardy

    Ardy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Australia - Blue Mountains
    925
    86
    28
    Chris, that has not been my experience and that of some others on the Oly Thread. I use it in the standard port that comes with Oly EM5 housing and have had excellent results. True it doesn't do 1:1 but with some minor trimming who cares?
    It makes for a very useful 60mm lens for fish shots as opposed to the 120mm of the 60mm which in lembeh is rarely going to cut it due to sediment. I do not use any wet lenses so this is straight out of the camera. I am off to Philippines in November and the 30mm will be in the bag no questions. Then agan it depends what you want to shoot.
    Enjoy Lembeh it has some amazing stuff there.

    This was taken last year in Bali with the 30mm P4232845.jpg
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  7. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    425
    141
    43
    No doubt it will work in the longer port, the point is you lose working distance - yes you can crop if you need to, but it's still better in the shorter port in my experience. I estimate it's good for half life size in the short port.

    The 60mm in Lembeh certainly can work, I used it exclusively but mostly shot smaller creatures, biggest thing I shot was a giant frogfish and it was way too much lens for that and I got a head shot. It was OK for the various pipefish and really good for the nudis we came across. You will need to clone some backscatter and I can see some of the sites getting very dirty with some current.
     
  8. Ardy

    Ardy Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Australia - Blue Mountains
    925
    86
    28
    YEs Chris that is what I was trying to say, the 60mm is a bit limited in terms of things farther away due to particles in the water. "You will need to clone some backscatter" ?? Is this a technique you use in PS to clean up images? Do tell me more...
     
  9. coralcruiser

    coralcruiser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chandler, Arizona
    873
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    28
    Where are you staying in Lembeh? I stayed at NAD in July and the camera room was one of the best I’ve seen. One guide per two divers and when my buddy didn’t do a dive I had my guide all to myself!
     
  10. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    425
    141
    43
    Yes just using the healing brush to remove backscatter from the image. It's been in the full version of Photoshop since about C#-3 or earlier.
     

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