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OM-D rig step by step

Discussion in 'The Olympus Outlet' started by Storker, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    6,000
    1,750
    113
    One more question please. With the firmware are you able to lock in the macro focus or is it a mute point because of the zoom ring.
    Do you like to use the lens with the zen dome port or the flat port?
    Thnx for helping me understand this lens
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
  2. ConchyJoe

    ConchyJoe Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: South Sound, Grand Cayman
    598
    327
    63
    Hey Deeper,

    If you use it macro, you are correct. But I have the 60mm Macro, so I would choose that over the 12-50mm. I have not tried the 12-50mm with the Zen dome, only the 8mm Panasonic.

    Here is everything I have uploaded from the last trip so far:

    Roatan Honduras April 2013 Slideshow by conchyjoe1 | Photobucket
     
  3. deeper thoughts

    deeper thoughts Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    6,000
    1,750
    113

    Thnx very nice pix
     
  4. guyharrisonphoto

    guyharrisonphoto ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Florida, USA
    1,951
    1,033
    113
    Hi Bob!

    The macro lock is mechanical. You cannot do or un-do it by turning the camera on or off.

    I have heard the zoom ring works very well, but nowhere near the flexibility of the dedicated set-up. By the time you add the necessary diopter and flip ring, plus the zoom gear, you are spending pretty much the same $$ and it is not nearly as compact, fast or intuitive as the dedicated set-up. Why waste the very excellent macro performance of the lens?

    Just ask Phil, he is now a believer.

    Hope to see you down here again soon! Roatan, you lucky dog!

    ---------- Post added April 26th, 2013 at 05:03 PM ----------


    I would offer the following thoughts on that.

    Is $800 an awful lot of money for the 12-50 dedicated port and gear?

    The macro port 65 is 350 or so. The zoom gear is 100 or so. You still have no macro. So, the diopter is 200 or so, but it is slow and clumsy screwing it on and off. So, a flip ring is another 200 or so.

    Have you saved anything? Not really. Do you have more flexibility? No. The macro switch on the dedicated port is instantaneous, and just as quick to get back to normal zoom. Even a diopter on a flip ring is not as fast, plus you have the bulk and weight of the diopter hanging out there off the lens. You have all that extra glass in front of the lens instead of using the lens' truly excellent macro performance. Why waste that? I can move from a macro flamingo tongue and onto a wide angle swimming sea turtle in about 3 seconds. The power zoom during video is really nice as well, something not to overlook. 43mm is an ideal focal length for macro shooting, there is no real flexibility in having a little more or less zoom range by using the diopter.

    If you are building the system from scratch, and want to use the 12-50, there is just no benefit in trying to save money by using the cheaper port and then loading it up with expensive accessories just to get not-quite-as-good performance.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  5. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    12,579
    8,972
    113
    Another dive with the OM-D. Spring is here, and with spring we have algal blooming and plenty of silt in the upper layers due to rising rivers and runoff. Luckily, the first intense blooming is on the decline and viz is pretty darned good when you get a bit deeper, below the algae and the clay.

    At 20+ meters, on a local wall, 9-18 in 4" dome. With the light, I had to shoot at f/4.0, and the picture suffers from mushy corners:
    [​IMG]
    Wall dive by Størker, on Flickr

    In the shallows, with a small strobe. At f/8, the corners sharpen up and look at least acceptable. I'd like to try f/11 or f/16, but then it'll be a tradeoff with ISO noise.
    [​IMG]
    Plumose anemones and kelp by Størker, on Flickr

    At only a couple of meters, the strobe wasn't necessary:
    [​IMG]
    Kelp by Størker, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2013
  6. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    12,579
    8,972
    113
    As mentioned in Post #70, I bought a used Ikelite AF35 to use while I'm saving up for a serious strobe, probably an Inon Z-240. It's definitely a makeshift solution, since the AF35 is intended for use with Ikelite's plastic housings. So I've DIY'ed a "fiberoptic" thingamajig from a piece of clear silicone rubber tubing, some Kydex and a meter or so of electrical tape, to make the Ikelite fire with the NA-EM5. It's working fairly well, although I'm limited to shooting manual strobe exposure. That's just a small inconvenience, since I've shot manual flash topside back in the days when auto flash wasn't easily available on a budget and TTL didn't exist.

    Anyway, as expected, being able to paint the foreground with strobelight brings out a new dimension to my photographs. And the 9-18 performs acceptably at f/8 and pretty decently at f/11. Those apertures are within my reach now with the strobe and the E-M5's excellent high-ISO noise performance at least up to ISO1600 :)

    EDIT: I've noticed that the white lettering on the front of the lens reflects in the dome if I'm shooting into the light. Pretty annoying when you're trying to shoot subjects against the surface light. I guess I'm going to take a black marker pen and paint the lettering around the front lens pretty soon...

    Some shots:

    1/30 sec, f/8, ISO1000 @10m:
    [​IMG]
    Diver in kelp forest by Størker, on Flickr

    1/20 sec, f/8, ISO200 @10m:
    [​IMG]
    Kelp stipe by Størker, on Flickr

    1/80 sec, f/11, ISO1600 @14m:
    [​IMG]
    Sea urchin in kelp landscape by Størker, on Flickr

    1/250 sec, f/8, ISO1600:
    [​IMG]
    Sea urchin and dead man's fingers by Størker, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2013
  7. Storker

    Storker Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: close to a Hell which occasionally freezes over
    12,579
    8,972
    113
    After experimenting with the Ikelite strobe, I've concluded that a GN of 10m really isn't enough for the type of photos I've been taking so far. So, it was a good thing I spent those €€ on the used Ikelite and tested it before committing to the Inon S2000 I had originally decided on.

    I decided on a stronger strobe, and I've just ordered it, an Inon Z240. Time will show if I'll buy a second one or keep with just one strobe, but I'm planning to get quite a few dives with my current rig now before buying more gadgets. All in all, it consists of:


    • Olympus OM-D EM-5
    • Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 for WA
    • Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 for macro
    • Nauticam NA-EM5
    • Nauticam 4" dome
    • Nauticam Flexitray
    • 5" and 8" Ultralight arms
    • Ultralight clamps
    • Inon Z240

    My primary kind of photography right now is WA, and the 12-50 in macro mode inside the 4" dome will have to be my macro setup for a while. I've spent quite a few €€€ on gear, and I'm fairly confident that it's the operator and not the gear which will limit my results for a while. So I'm planning to hone my skills, both in diving and UW photography, before spending serious €€€ on either another port, another port/lens combo or a second strobe, depending on what I find limiting me in the future.

    Pics of the gear will come when I've received the strobe. :D
     
  8. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    5,600
    1,805
    113
    I'd recommend that you take a serious look at the S&S YS-D1 strobes before you go with the others.
     
  9. Linder

    Linder Angel Fish

    30
    4
    0
    Just want to thank everyone here (and at Wetpixel) for all the advice on my recent OMD purchase. Here are some photos from my first dive trip with the new rig (I'm still very much learning and I'm nowhere near the skill of many people on these forums but it is a fantastic underwater camera). All photos taken with the 12-50 mm kit lens (some with a Subsee +5). https://plus.google.com/photos/1151...ms/5895736327699389297?authkey=CP7s6Jvvo66MYQ
     
    BurhanMuntasser likes this.
  10. BurhanMuntasser

    BurhanMuntasser Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    5,600
    1,805
    113
    Great pics, thanks for sharing!!!

    What software did you use that included the ExIf information please?

    ---------- Post added July 2nd, 2013 at 03:04 AM ----------

    Questions about the resort(s) where you dove, Shagra and Wadi Lahami, what did you think of the resort, dive operation and diving? I was thinking of going there but want to make sure that it is worth it. (I would only stay at the air conditioned rooms NOT tents). Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated.
     

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