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Nauticam NAEM1II Housing Review Part 1 – Wide Angle

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The Olympus OMD EM-1 Mark II accompanied by the Nauticam housing and accessories has so much to offer the underwater photographer that we are going to have to cover this review in two parts. In this one, we will focus on wide angle underwater photography. For this we have two options, the 8mm lens and port, or the kit lens, with the WW1 wet lens.

We got this system to replace one of our SLR systems to reduce the weight of the equipment we were carrying overseas. With luggage restrictions getting ever more strict, and neither of us getting any younger, investing in a high quality, yet smaller, more compact, lighter system seemed like a good idea. We have had the opportunity to use this system on two diving trips now: one to The Bahamas and one to Egypt.

The first thing you notice about the Nauticam housing is the quality of the build. It feels solid. But then on closer inspection, there is much more to admire. The vacuum leak detection system included in our housing gives peace of mind when setting up the equipment and subsequently going diving. Green light and everything is going to be alright! The handles are sturdy, fitted securely to the housing with no movement or wobble and positioned so that you can access every button without removing your hands from their primary position. The camera locks securely into position in the housing too. In fact, everything in the set-up procedure gives you the confidence to take it diving.

Our initial tests were with the Olympus 8mm lens and the corresponding dome port. We used this in The Bahamas whilst diving with sharks and it was a challenging environment to get used to a brand new underwater photography system. But, with intuitive controls, this was made easy by the Nauticam team. Everything is where it should be, as you go to change settings in the camera.

Our second dive with the system was a bucket list dive for us – Tiger Beach! We had some concerns that after only a couple of dives, would we be able to get the shots we wanted? Even though the visibility was not perfect, and the sharks did not come in quite as close as we would have liked, the camera and housing performed really well, and changing settings was effortless.

Our second time out with the system we decided to switch to the Olympus kit lens, 14-42mm zoom, with the Nauticam WW1 wet lens attached on the front. The WW1 screams of quality, but this pin sharp image quality also makes the lens heavy, which is resolved by adding a float to the lens to give your wrists a rest. WWL-1, paired with an Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ Lens provides a full zoom through the ultra-wide angle field of view.  Our tests showed this combination has excellent corner sharpness and clarity.

The WWL-1 will focus on its front element for unmatched close focus wide angle performance, and full zoom through means you can zoom to crop in-camera for tighter framing. This option gives the user incredible versatility on shot selection. One minute you can be shooting a wide reef scene and then, you can zoom through the lens and be shooting small fish, without having to change any lenses. Alternatively, if you encounter a super-macro critter, the simple bayonet mounting system, allows you to switch to a macro wet lens and be shooting tiny nudibranchs with ease.

So far, we have only had the chance to explore the wide angle underwater photography this system has to offer, and we are impressed with the quality and ease of use. We also love that it weighs significantly less than our old DSLR system. Next time out, we will be using the macro wet lenses on some tiny critters. Watch this space for our thoughts on how the Nauticam NAEM1II housing for the Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark II performs in this field of underwater photography next month.

For more information please visit the Nauticam websites:

For UK click here

For USA click here

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

News

Nauticam announce NA-A7C Housing for Sony a7C Camera

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Sony’s latest full frame mirrorless camera, the a7C offers the underwater image maker one of the most compact and travel friendly full frame systems available on the market today.  The a7C features Sony’s latest stellar autofocus and a much improved battery life thanks to its use of the larger Z series battery. The BIONZ X processor delivers superb low-light performance and faster image processing. For video shooters, the a7C features internal UHD 4K capture in the wide-dynamic range HLG image profile at up to 30p.

Nauticam has housed more mirrorless cameras, and more Sony E Mount cameras than any other housing manufacturer. This experience results in the most evolved housing line with broadest range of accessories available today.

Pioneering optical accessories elevate performance to a new level. Magnifying viewfinders, the sharpest super macro accessory lenses ever made, and now the highest quality water contact wide angle lenses (the WWL-1B and WACP-1) combine with the NA-A7C housing to form a complete imaging system.

Nauticam is known for ergonomics, and an unmatched experience. Key controls are placed at the photographer’s fingertips. The housing and accessories are light weight, and easy to assemble. The camera drops in without any control presetting, and lens port changes are effortless.

NA-A7C features an integrated handle system. This ergonomic style provides exceptional control access, even with thick gloves, with ideal placement of the shutter release and a thumb-lever to actuate the AF-ON button from the right handle.

Nauticam build quality is well known by underwater photographers around the globe. The housing is machined from a solid block of aluminum, then hard anodized making it impervious to salt water corrosion. Marine grade stainless and plastic parts complete the housing, and it is backed by a two year warranty against manufacturing defects.

For more information in the UK visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

For more information in the USA visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

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Blogs

BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

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A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.

The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

We have a new host, Dr. Colleen Bielitz, and today we’ll be interviewing a recent college graduate as part of our once-a-month episode that focuses on students: the next generation of conservationists, researchers, and activists.

What are the next generation of ocean stewards doing to protect our Blue Earth? Join us as we find out by speaking to Lauren Brideau, a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University. Lauren started as an undeclared major but soon found her calling, now she is part of a research team conserving life below water.  She is a prime example that if you want to defend our oceans and the creatures that depend on the sea to survive, now is the time to become part of the solution.


Richard E Hyman Bio

Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.

Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.

Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.


You can find more episodes and information at www.futurefrogmen.org and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.

 

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