Scuba Diving Maldives - Olympus PT-E02 Review
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Scuba Diving Maldives
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Olympus PT-E02 Underwater Housing - Page 1/4
Olympus PT-E02 Review
Underwater Photographer Karin Brussaard
Published : Friday, January 19th 2007
Written by Karin Brussaard
Introduction "Whale sharks"
"Whale shark, whale shark..." cried the crew. We are on a diving safari in the Maldives in search of the big boys. Today this happens to be whale sharks. Earlier on this trip we had dived among grey sharks, white tip reef sharks and mantas. We are now sailing south of the Ari-Atol at the height of Sun Island. This outer reef is famous for the whale sharks that come to the surface each day. They are young females who are "only" 4 to 6 meters. Adults can become 14 meters long. Why they are here, no one knows. Normally, whale sharks come to plankton rich water to eat. Visibility is 30 metres here and there is no plankton to be found - perfect conditions for photographing whale sharks. After our first dive that morning along the outer reef where we saw the "normal" fare (white tip reef sharks, morays, shoals of fish, a turtle etc.) we were all politely requested to get our snorkelling gear ready on the boat, because it was time to look for whale sharks. For me, it was the perfect occasion for trying out the Olympus E-330 DSLR, so I placed the camera beside my snorkelling equipment.
Underwater Photographer Karin Brussaard
Olympus E-330 Live view Olympus PT-E02 Underwater case
Olympus E-330 Digital SLR with live-view Olympus PT-E02 Underwater case
The Olympus E330 DSLR is the first SLR camera with Live View via its 2.5-inch LCD screen. This is something that many underwater photographers who are used to working via a display on compact cameras have been waiting for. Visibility is restricted underwater because of the diving mask worn by the diver. Also, photographs are often taken from a low stand point which makes it difficult to see through the viewfinder properly. This is why I was very curious about actually trying out the Olympus E-330. The underwater case for the E-330 is the Olympus PT-E02. This underwater case is water tight up to a depth of 60 meters and is made of a long-lasting, high-quality polycarbonate. This construction protects the Olympus E-330 digital SLR camera not just against water, but also against unexpected jolts. A double o-ring is used to close the Olympus PT-E02 underwater case, and this greatly reduces the risk of leakage.
Olympus Zuiko Digital 7-14mm Lens Olympus PPO-E04 Dome port
Zuiko Digital 7-14mm 1:4.0 lens Olympus PPO-E04 Dome port
Olympus Zuiko Digital 7-14mm 1:4.0 lens Olympus PPO-E04 Dome port
The Olympus Zuiko 7-14mm 1:4.0 lens was used throughout this diving trip. This is one of Olympus's Top Pro lenses and has a comparative focal length of 14-28 mm with a 35mm camera. This gives a viewing angle of 114 degrees, which means that this lens has one of the broadest wide-angle ranges in the world. The zoom function can be used by means of a rubber ring that is pulled on over the lens. This in turn is driven by cogs bound to the outside of the case by a dial. The Olympus PPO-E04 dome port with the PER-E02 intermediary ring in-between is used for the Olympus 7-14 mm lens. This port is made from a long-lasting and high-quality aluminium construction with tinted glass and is also watertight up to 60 meters. The port is fixed by means of a screw thread which is also sealed by an o-ring. It is a bit difficult to fasten, but it is an extremely watertight construction and this, after all, is what it's all about. There is a sun hood fastened to the port. This is very nice with a lens with such a wide-angle as the 7-14 mm lens. Thanks to this there is less trouble from sunlight or flash light directly on the lens. The port is of a high quality and the advantage of glass above plastic is that it scratches less easily. The disadvantage is that if it gets scratched, the scratches are more difficult to remove.
Olympus E330 SLR Olympus PT-E02 Underwater Housing
Olympus E330
Olympus PT-E02
Olympus Underwater Housing
Olympus E330 Digital SLR Olympus PT-E02 0-ring Olympus PTE02 Stainless steel fastenings
When we came back from the morning dive, everyone prepared themselves in their own way for what was maybe coming. Some read a book, others enjoyed the sun and I prepared the camera for a dive in clear water. This requires concentration, because any sand or hair that gets into the 0-ring may cause a leak. The Olympus E330 is fastened to a metal plate with which it is easily pushed into the underwater case, before being locked. If an external flash is attached, a bulkhead is attached to the camera's flash shoe. This requires some precision because there is not much room. A silica bag was placed between the case and the camera to prevent condensation. This absorbs condensation and prevents moisture from getting into the camera. After everything was prepared, the case was shut by 4 stainless steel fastenings. I checked for the last time to see if all the o-rings were properly in place and the case closed properly. Everything looked solid. I'm ready to go!
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