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Olympus mirrorless suggestion??

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by nicole2, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    I have all the lenses you list used with an EM1-II in Nauticam. I previously shot with Em-5 II in Nauticam. Some of the recommendations will depend on what type of water you are diving in and what you want to shoot. some comments on each lens:

    60mm macro: nice lens shoots down to life size (18mm across frame) In mucky water with floaties shooting in close is fine but getting it to focus on bigger stuff maybe 500-600mm away (not ideal but you may want to do it) it will lock focus on floaties not the further subject. 30mm (I have the Panasonic 30mm) is much better in this regard but realistically only gets down to 1/2 lifesize (40mm across frame or so) even though it will theoretically do life size, because at that magnification the subject is only 10mm from the port and lighting it is really difficult.

    12-40mm - great lens very sharp will do 0.3x (subject about 80mm across fills frame). I'm not sure which port you plan on using, the normally recommended ports (7" acrylic or 180mm glass) are not in your list. It's a big lens and may not fit in the smaller ports, which would cripple the lens. I use it in the Zen 170mm dome. Great for fish portraits up to medium size schools of fish and things like rays etc on dive sites around Sydney.

    9-18 mm lens - not sure I would recommend that if you have the 12-40mm, not the sharpest lens around it's wider but not by much. Depending on what you like to shoot, the fisheye lens either oly 8mm f1.8 or Pany 8mm f3.5 might be a better option. Probably be easier to recommend if I knew what you wanted to shoot. Dome ports can be expensive selecting the right one is important - ideally you want to use all your wide angles in the one dome. Fisheye will be more affordable but harder to use in terms of learning curve. You can get the little 4.33" acrylic fisheye port quite cheaply.

    I'm happy with the little accessory flash provided with the EM-5 II you can set it at manual 1/64 power to trigger your strobes, very low drain on the batteries. Also note that the EM-5 II housing does not come with a tray/handles which will be needed to attach strobes, you will need to budget for that. Nauticam offer a tray and it mates up to the braces that run from housing body to each handle. The braces come with the housing. The tray is the flexitray and comes with left handle, you need to add a right handle and two strobe mounting balls. Backscatter quote $202 for that combo.

    You will also need a zoom gear for any lens you want to use - it connects the zoom ring on the lens through a gear to the zoom knob on the housing.

    Port charts list all the lens/port combinations available, Nauticam port charts are here: N85 MFT | rev 5.19.pdf

    Zen dome ports here: http://www.jaredparsons.com/portchart/zen-only/by-combination-group/nauticam-n85/
  2. nicole2

    nicole2 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: California
    Wow! Thank you so much!
    I'm really into macro right now such as nudibranches, but I also want to do some nice wide angle shots for the sharks, whales, etc. (do you use wide angle shot for them..? I don't have much knowledge in this). I'm stepping up fro GoPro so I'm not quite sure how much I can expand in underwater photography right now.

    So the lens I should get are:
    - 12-40mm with 7" acrylic or 180mm glass
    - 60mm macro with nauticam macro port 65 or 45
    - Fisheye lens either Oly 8mm f1.8 or Pany 8mm f3.5 with 4.33" acrylic fisheye port(does this work for both fisheye lens you recommended?)

    So do you pick the type of shooting you're going to do before you jump in? For my understanding.. if you have a macro lens installed then it wouldn't be good for a wide angle shot.
  3. Chris Ross

    Chris Ross Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney Australia
    yes, pretty much you decide before you dive, You could try to shoot bigger things but would need to be too far away and shoot through too much water to get a clear shot. Your strobes effectively only have a range of a few feet. Recognize to swap lenses you need to change ports which means cleaning the o-ring surfaces and o-ring and installing the port.

    On the lenses The 12-40 works also works with the Zen 170mm dome, either the type 2 with 60mm extension or the N120 N170 dome with 60mm N85-N120 converter. The N120 dome would allow you to use the same dome with the Olympus fisheye if you wanted, though it's not as compact and a little harder to get in close. To do this you would need the N85-N120 34.7mm adapter. You need different length adapters as the lenses need different amounts of extension to place them at the right point optically and to prevent vignetting. The N120 dome also allows you to use the Olympus 7-14 and Panasonic 8-18, which are rectilinear wide lenses.

    The 4.33" dome port is one option and there's the glass 140mm port the Pany uses the port bare while to olympus needs 30mm of extension. There is also the very compact 100mm dome port (glass) from Zen. or you could use the same port as above and just buy the extension which is $US350 compared to $480 for the 4.33" dome port. Glass is more expensive but harder to scratch, while you can with some work polish out scratches in an acrylic port. What is best is hard to say, it depends on budget and what you are using it for. For example you could just pack a macro port/lens and a fisheye with a small dome port if you were going somewhere tropical and it would be adequate for coral and muck diving, but if you are mainly home based your priorities may be different.

    The 60mm needs the N65 port and the 30mm the N45 port or you can get an N45 plus 20mm extension

    Whether or not you get a fisheye depends somewhat on subject matter. Classic way to use it is for CFWA here's a tutorial : Close Focus Wide Angle (CFWA) probably find a lot more use for this type of thing on tropical reefs compared to say Monterey Bay, with poor visibility. The fisheyes provide a 180° field of view across the diagonal of the frame so you get within a few inches of your subject and try to place interesting subjects like divers, schools of fish or sun balls in the midground to background, balancing ambient and strobe light and trying not to get too much backscatter. If it was me I'd hold off getting a fisheye if you were not going tropical diving right away as they are a little harder to master and take practice getting in close and choosing subjects.

    Are you diving mainly in California or tropical locations? I went diving at Catalina Island last year and this gallery on my website is all shot with the 12-40mm and EM1- MkII : California Seemed like a good lens for all but nudis and there were not many of those around when I was there.

    One final thing - I recommend you go to the store where you are buying the gear! have them show you how to assemble stuff and clean and store o-rings and grease them properly. That might be Backscatter in Northern California or Bluewater photo in SoCal.
    bvanant likes this.
  4. pendivr

    pendivr Angel Fish

    I’m using the EM1 mk1 in the olympus housing after upgrading from an e-pl1 and e-pl5. I’m shooting an EM1 mkii dry and would love to upgrade into the oly housing if I could use it enough to justify the cost. I‘m pretty much locked into oly housings, owning a few ports at this point. Nauti offers a 45 degree eyepiece you won’t find with the oly housings but you’ll spend a little more building a system. Ports and accessories should work with future housings and I would make choosing the housing a priority. If you go with olympus, be aware the EM1 (i&ii) take a different port than the EM5ii, which uses the Pen style ports.

    If you think you’ll be using it for a while, look at getting as much camera as you can justify, as housing costs will be comparable now and a big upgrade expense later on. I think the EM10 mkii is a better camera than the mkiii due to oly dumbing down some features, but neither is weather sealed. The EM5 mkii will be replaced by a mkiii soon and might be worth waiting for as well. If you can get there, the EM1 mkii adds a 20MP sensor, faster focus, and has an electronic programmable focus limiter I would love to have for macro. The 60mm takes a while to rack through the full focus range and the manual range selector isn’t accessible underwater. The 12-40 is a pretty good compromise for semi-wide angle and almost-macro in one lens.
  5. bvanant

    bvanant Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Los Angeles (more or less)
    Nice photos in your Ca gallery, it looks like you had nice blue water; lately here it has been quite green and no chance for anything wide angle.

  6. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    When I have no idea what I might see on a dive, my go-to combo is a 14-42 EZ Zoom in a 29mm port, with a bayonet dock on the front. (Could also use the 12-40, but I don't have one.) I then carry a CMC-1 for macro stuff, also on a dock stored on an arm, and a WWL-1 (same). The latter gives amazingly good wide-angle stuff, and can be easily used for CFWA. On a dedicated macro dive (think Anilao) I just use a 60mm with the 65 port. On a fish dive (or some macro dives) I use a 30mm with the 29 port and a 17 extension ring. On a dedicated wide-angle dive I just put the WWL-1 on with the 14-42 and leave it on.

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