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Options for CFWA on m4/3?


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Close focus wide angle is something I’ve been wanting to gear up for a long time now.  With an impending move to a great wide angle locale but an enduring obsession with macro photography, now is the time.

 

Disclaimer: I shoot with the Olympus EM-1 mk II and will keep it until OM Systems comes out with something significantly improved.  I’m not interested in moving to another format even if it would guarantee production of regular contest winners.  I use the camera on land and travel frequently and so the size and weight are optimal for me.  
 

Ideally the new setup will perform well at both CFWA and reef scenic.  I do not anticipate using it much for blue water pelagics.  I understand my options as follows. 
 

(1) I have the excellent Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 Pro lens and could put it behind a 170mm dome.  I haven’t been able to find out how close this will focus so unsure of potential for CFWA.  That dome might also work for the 12-40mm lens although that’s not a focal range I’d use often.  

 

(2) The Panasonic 8mm f3.5 FE or the reportedly excellent Olympus 8mm f1.8 Pro lenses can be housed behind either a 4.33” or 140 mm dome, but I haven’t found info about the advantages of one vs the other.  I have read that either will focus right at the glass of the smaller dome for CFWA but don’t know how one or the other fare at traditional WA or behind the larger dome.

 

(3) Adapt the excellent Canon 8-15mm FE behind a 4.33” port as suggested by Alex Mustard in comments to one of his recent videos.  Same questions as #2

 

(4) FWIW I have tried the Panasonic 7-14 behind a 150mm dome and it will neither focus closely nor produce acceptable edges.  It’s Ok for scenarios like blue water pelagics where the edges are not critical. 

 

Im leaning toward a FE and small port despite my unfounded bias against fisheye distortion.  OK, I’m ready for your thoughts!  TIA

 

 

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I cannot comment on all options, but have used some of them on EM1II and EM5II (Nauticam housings):

 

ad (2): I used Oly 8mm behind Zen DP170 and IQ is excellent. Since I was using the adapted fisheyes, I did not use it again, because the IQ is the same and the ability to zoom in is a big advantage...

 

ad (3): I used the Canon 8-15mm with 1x Metabones and Nauticam 140mm domeport. I would say this (but also the Tokina) is the FCP for the MFT system. Excellent IQ.

One should, however, not forget the Tokina 10-17mm (Canon version), that I (and now Lisi is using it) used with Zen DP100 (N120 version without built-in extension), 0,71x speedbooster and 20mm N120 extension. I could not see a difference in IQ to the native Oly 8mm f/1.8 or the Canon 8-15mm - but this combo is incredibly compact (excellent CFWA usability, for better you might have to go for EMWL). The Tokina can also be used, at very good IQ, with the same N120 20mm extension and DP100 with the 1x glassless adapter and then delivers angles of views similar to WWL/WACP (when animals are more shy)...

=> I would say Canon 8-15mm when you plan to switch later to a FF camera, you can then continue to use lens, domeport and extension (this is what I did; ironically the size of the rigg is almost the same compared to MFT (but of course angles of view are less versatile)), but Tokina when you will stay with MFT (or plan to switch to APS-C later)...

 

ad(4): I had the Pana 7-14mm and used it with Zen DP170. I seldom used it, because this combo was a dissapointment, not just corners, IQ lacked contrast, "mushy" even in the center. I almost always preferred, first the native, and then the adapted fisheyes. I have sold this lens already, no use for it. Lisi is now using the Zuiko 8-25mm f/4.0 rectilinear behind Zen DP170 and this combo gives excellent IQ and a very versatile zoom range, much better compared to Pana 7-14mm in both aspects (but not ideal for CFWA; she likes rectilinear much more than me)...

 

 

Wolfgang

 

 

 

Edited by Architeuthis
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With EM1-mk2

I use Oly 8mm also behind Zen DP170 dome and IQ is very good.

 

I also have the Pana 7-14 behind the same dome with an extension, and previously behind a Nauticam 6" dome, but in both cases quality is not as good than 8mm with Zen dome, and the 7-14 ens is prone to flare. No longer used it since several years...

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6 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

ad (3): I used the Canon 8-15mm with 1x Metabones and Nauticam 140mm domeport.


Wolfgang, would you say that this combination can focus very close to the glass?  And display the port need an extension?  


Thanks all for the ideas!

 

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36 minutes ago, Troporobo said:


Wolfgang, would you say that this combination can focus very close to the glass?  And display the port need an extension?  


Thanks all for the ideas!

 

The Canon 8-15mm can focus very close to the domeport, did not test systematically, but one can photograph pretty small subjects. With Nauticam 140mm (N120) it needs a 35mm N120 extension. Same extension as with Zen DP170 (N120 version without built in extension).

It could be used also with Zen DP100 (N120 version without built-in extension) with a 30mm N120 extension, but this port is so small that the light-shade of the lens has to be removed to fit into the domeport. I used this combination few times at the beginning and IQ looked also o.k. ...

 

Massimo made nice descriptions/tests of the use of Canon 8-15mm on MFT, some time ago:

https://interceptor121.com/2019/11/02/fisheye-zoom-for-micro-four-thirds/

https://interceptor121.com/2019/11/30/canon-8-15-mm-fisheye-on-the-panasonic-gh5-pool-tests/

 

I almost forgot to mention: To use these combinations on Nauticam N85 housings you need, in addition, the N85 to N120 34.7mm adapter, e.g. here: https://www.panoceanphoto.com/Nauticam-N85-N120-34.7mm-Port-Adapter-Metabones

=> I hear it has been discontinued by Nauticam, but it seems there are still some around (not much demand I guess)

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis
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I have used the Zen 100mm dome with 8mm Panasonic fisheye.  That lens is very sharp but corners suffer purple fringing (fixable in post).  I've just bought a Canon 8-15 and the N85-N120 adapter and looking for the 140mm dome port. 

 

The 170mm dome is actually a little small for the 7-14mm lenses (all varieties) and it is has been reported a number if times that they do better in a 100mm dome, both Panasonic and Olympus versions are placed forward of the centre of curvature to avoid vignetting in the Zen 170mm dome.  They are really not CFWA candidates.  The 12-40 can shoot thing very close in a 170mm dome but to get decent subject size you are zoomed right in so it is CF as as opposed to CFWA.    I use the 12-40 a bit around Sydney.

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Wolfgang - Thanks for the additional resources.  I had seen one of Massimo’s articles based on your work but not the other.  That arrangement seems a bit more complicated than I want, notwithstanding the great IQ results. Congrats on working it out!

 

Chris - Would you expect that the 140mm dome is workable for CFWA?  My experience with a 150mm dome suggests it would get in the way for targets tucked into the reef.  Though admittedly those scenarios rarely yield the best compositions.  
 

Cheers to you both,

 

Robert

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36 minutes ago, Troporobo said:

Wolfgang - Thanks for the additional resources.  I had seen one of Massimo’s articles based on your work but not the other.  That arrangement seems a bit more complicated than I want, notwithstanding the great IQ results. Congrats on working it out!

 

Chris - Would you expect that the 140mm dome is workable for CFWA?  My experience with a 150mm dome suggests it would get in the way for targets tucked into the reef.  Though admittedly those scenarios rarely yield the best compositions.  
 

Cheers to you both,

 

Robert

The dome is not that big when you see it  in person and will only get in the way of getting up close to the smallest subjects.  I did some comparisons a while back and the Canon 8-15 covers the field of view of an 8mm fisheye and the 7-14 lens, pretty close to 100% of the available fields of view.  If you experiment with a fisheye lens the size of subject you can "fill the frame" with reduces dramatically in the last little bit before you touch the dome port and that seems to me to be the advantage of smaller domes.  I think subject selection is really the key - it kind of needs to be in a spot where you can approach closely and get the background reef in the frame without close-by objects sticking in from the side and producing weird distorted shapes.  I'll probably only really be able to answer the question properly once I try it out.

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9 hours ago, Troporobo said:

Wolfgang - Thanks for the additional resources.  I had seen one of Massimo’s articles based on your work but not the other.  That arrangement seems a bit more complicated than I want, notwithstanding the great IQ results. Congrats on working it out!

 

Chris - Would you expect that the 140mm dome is workable for CFWA?  My experience with a 150mm dome suggests it would get in the way for targets tucked into the reef.  Though admittedly those scenarios rarely yield the best compositions.  
 

Cheers to you both,

 

Robert

Just another issue to mention, in case you decide to go with a native 8mm FE lens and the 140mm domeport: When you acquire the 34.7mm N85 to N120 adapter, you can use the N120 versions (without built-in extensions) of the Nauticam 140mm and the Zen DP170 directly with the Zuiko 8mm FE. Although the adapter is more expensive compared to a built-in extension or a N85 extension ring for a N85 version domeport, I regard this as better choice since you can use the N120 domeport later in case you acquire another system or even another, bigger, lens that requires a larger opening...

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I use the Oly 8mm fisheye on an em10 mk4 behind an 8" dome and I'm very very happy with it.  I have yet to notice any aberrations in my images but that being said I'm not one to search for them much.  I also use the Pana-leica 9mm f1.7 as a backup lens to get roughly the same width of view but without so much FE distortion 

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I have shot both the Oly 8mm with a Nauti 140mm glass dome, and the 14-42mm EZ with the WWL-1 on an Em1 Mk2   I  prefer the former set up: it's lighter, and and the IQ is better, IMO, as is the FOV.  Plus, I had a 14-42mm EZ fail on me (cheap lens, and the zoom connector eventually breaks).

Note the 140mm is still quite a beast of a dome,  certainly when compared to the 4.33" acrylic one that the Oly and Pana FEs can use. That might restrict where you can use it.  FWIW, I opted for the glass one as I thought it would be less likely to risk a scratch, and I don't fancy hours trying to polish up an acrylic dome.   I have a friend who uses the acrylic, and her pictures have good IQ.  I don't shoot an awful lot of extreme close up.  

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Well, serendipity has answered the question for me.  While researching the topic, I came across one of the alternatives for sale nearby at a great price, so I’m going to start out with a Panasonic 8mm FE and the tiny Nauticam 4.33” dome port.  I figured it will be an inexpensive way to get started in CFWA and see how I like it - which usually means the upgrade itch will come in the future!

 

Next I’ll need to learn Lightroom processing tips for the fisheye lens, specifically “de-fishing”.  Any tips?

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18 minutes ago, Troporobo said:

Next I’ll need to learn Lightroom processing tips for the fisheye lens, specifically “de-fishing”

Why? You shoot a fisheye lens for the fisheye perspective; why get rid of it?

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1 hour ago, Troporobo said:

 

Next I’ll need to learn Lightroom processing tips for the fisheye lens, specifically “de-fishing”.  Any tips?


Yep, as Barmaglot says, don’t!
 

It’s unusual for an u/w image to look seriously fisheyed - unlike a topside shot. You use the FE to get close but also to provide wide at the same time. I think it’d be pretty rare that you’d want to lose that. 

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On 2/28/2024 at 2:02 PM, Troporobo said:

Close focus wide angle is something I’ve been wanting to gear up for a long time now.  With an impending move to a great wide angle locale but an enduring obsession with macro photography, now is the time.

 

Disclaimer: I shoot with the Olympus EM-1 mk II and will keep it until OM Systems comes out with something significantly improved.  I’m not interested in moving to another format even if it would guarantee production of regular contest winners.  I use the camera on land and travel frequently and so the size and weight are optimal for me.  
 

Ideally the new setup will perform well at both CFWA and reef scenic.  I do not anticipate using it much for blue water pelagics.  I understand my options as follows. 
 

(1) I have the excellent Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 Pro lens and could put it behind a 170mm dome.  I haven’t been able to find out how close this will focus so unsure of potential for CFWA.  That dome might also work for the 12-40mm lens although that’s not a focal range I’d use often.  

Do not use this lens unless you plan to have a 230mm dome that can contain the field of view (not on the chart)

On 2/28/2024 at 2:02 PM, Troporobo said:

 

(2) The Panasonic 8mm f3.5 FE or the reportedly excellent Olympus 8mm f1.8 Pro lenses can be housed behind either a 4.33” or 140 mm dome, but I haven’t found info about the advantages of one vs the other.  I have read that either will focus right at the glass of the smaller dome for CFWA but don’t know how one or the other fare at traditional WA or behind the larger dome.

If you want to get close you need a small lens and a small dome so 4.33 better

 

On 2/28/2024 at 2:02 PM, Troporobo said:

 

(3) Adapt the excellent Canon 8-15mm FE behind a 4.33” port as suggested by Alex Mustard in comments to one of his recent videos.  Same questions as #2

I used to use this better to use the 4.33 acrylic dome or use the tokina 10-17 with metabones and smaller dome

On 2/28/2024 at 2:02 PM, Troporobo said:

 

(4) FWIW I have tried the Panasonic 7-14 behind a 150mm dome and it will neither focus closely nor produce acceptable edges.  It’s Ok for scenarios like blue water pelagics where the edges are not critical. 

The dome is too small to contain the lens field of view

On 2/28/2024 at 2:02 PM, Troporobo said:

 

Im leaning toward a FE and small port despite my unfounded bias against fisheye distortion.  OK, I’m ready for your thoughts!  TIA

 

 

 

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Thanks guys.  FWIW my understanding of “de-fishing” is that it could tidy up obviously distorted rectilinear elements such as a piling or passage on a wreck while preserving some of the extra field of view.  I do get the point that it’s not necessary for reef scenic.  I’m very interested to see what happens with CFWA subjects in the foreground.  

Clearly I have a lot of learning and experimentation ahead, which is of course a large part of the fun!  

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On 3/2/2024 at 12:45 AM, Troporobo said:

Well, serendipity has answered the question for me.  While researching the topic, I came across one of the alternatives for sale nearby at a great price, so I’m going to start out with a Panasonic 8mm FE and the tiny Nauticam 4.33” dome port.  I figured it will be an inexpensive way to get started in CFWA and see how I like it - which usually means the upgrade itch will come in the future!

 

Next I’ll need to learn Lightroom processing tips for the fisheye lens, specifically “de-fishing”.  Any tips?

You'll probably need to use the tools in Lightroom to remove purple fringing in the corners, I know I did need it for some shots in the corners with Panasonic 8mm fisheye and Zen 100mm dome.  Apart from that nothing special I don't think.

 

Agree on not de-fishing , while it can be done you lose a fair bit of the frame in the process and the corners are expanded so the quality declines quite a bit.  An example of a de-fished reef scene with Panasonic 8mm , first frame is a large coral close to surface but the reef top is bent by the distortion, de-fishing crops in quite a lot. 

Ignore the colours as for some reason uploads into the forum from me (no one else it seems) are washed out.

 

 

ElmoosReef_uncropped.jpg

 

 

Elmoos_defish.jpg

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A left-field suggestion for an ultracompact rectilinear option - I tried out the Panasonic 9mm 1.7 with the 3.5in dome and 20mm extension. It worked far better than I expected! It doesn't focus right onto the dome, but it comes close. The corners are probably mediocre, but I'm not surprised by that. I don't know if anyone else has tried this lens out, but I enjoyed it 🙂

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On 2/28/2024 at 6:02 PM, Troporobo said:

Close focus wide angle is something I’ve been wanting to gear up for a long time now.  With an impending move to a great wide angle locale but an enduring obsession with macro photography, now is the time.

 

Disclaimer: I shoot with the Olympus EM-1 mk II and will keep it until OM Systems comes out with something significantly improved.  I’m not interested in moving to another format even if it would guarantee production of regular contest winners.  I use the camera on land and travel frequently and so the size and weight are optimal for me.  
 

Ideally the new setup will perform well at both CFWA and reef scenic.  I do not anticipate using it much for blue water pelagics.  I understand my options as follows. 
 

(1) I have the excellent Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 Pro lens and could put it behind a 170mm dome.  I haven’t been able to find out how close this will focus so unsure of potential for CFWA.  That dome might also work for the 12-40mm lens although that’s not a focal range I’d use often.  

 

(2) The Panasonic 8mm f3.5 FE or the reportedly excellent Olympus 8mm f1.8 Pro lenses can be housed behind either a 4.33” or 140 mm dome, but I haven’t found info about the advantages of one vs the other.  I have read that either will focus right at the glass of the smaller dome for CFWA but don’t know how one or the other fare at traditional WA or behind the larger dome.

 

(3) Adapt the excellent Canon 8-15mm FE behind a 4.33” port as suggested by Alex Mustard in comments to one of his recent videos.  Same questions as #2

 

(4) FWIW I have tried the Panasonic 7-14 behind a 150mm dome and it will neither focus closely nor produce acceptable edges.  It’s Ok for scenarios like blue water pelagics where the edges are not critical. 

 

Im leaning toward a FE and small port despite my unfounded bias against fisheye distortion.  OK, I’m ready for your thoughts!  TIA

 

 

ignore my earlier post, see you went different direction

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On 3/2/2024 at 4:41 PM, Chris Ross said:

You'll probably need to use the tools in Lightroom to remove purple fringing in the corners 


Yep, I’m familiar with that aspect, I had the Panasonic 7-14mm lens and experienced it when shooting on land.  Apparently some Panasonic lenses don’t play well with Olympus bodies.  
 

On 3/2/2024 at 4:41 PM, Chris Ross said:

Agree on not de-fishing , while it can be done you lose a fair bit of the frame in the process and the corners are expanded so the quality declines quite a bit. 


Thanks a lot for that example, it’s exactly what I needed to see.  

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On 3/1/2024 at 7:57 PM, Interceptor121 said:

Do not use this lens unless you plan to have a 230mm dome that can contain the field of view (not on the chart)

If you want to get close you need a small lens and a small dome so 4.33 better

 

I used to use this better to use the 4.33 acrylic dome or use the tokina 10-17 with metabones and smaller dome

The dome is too small to contain the lens field of view

 

 

Hi Interceptor,

 

First I must thank you for your excellent articles at your website. I have got a lot out of them. I have been a land photographer for some time and use both Olympus and Nikon systems and only started underwater photography about a year ago using my EM 5 MK II. Your website post on " Choosing A Camera Format For Underwater Photography" helped me to make my decision to stick to micro 4/3 when I recently decided to upgrade my system. I was looking at two options, either the Z8 or the OM 1. For my needs, the smaller and cheaper system will most definitely suffice. Your explanations on the differences really helped me in terms of looking at the cost/benefit ratio. 

 

I would very much appreciate if you can explain on the 230 mm dome. I used to use an EM5 MkII and the Olympus housing with 4 inch ports with the 8mm FE and the 9- 18. At present I am using the OM 1 in an Isotta housing with a macro port for my Olympus 60mm and the 6 inch acrylic port for wide angle. I was planning to use both the 8mm Olympus FE and the 7-14 f2.8 Olympus with this 6 inch Port.

 

I would very much appreciate any advice you can give on what would be an optimum setup for me in terms of lenses and ports. I plan to continue to use this system for the foreseeable future. 

 

Wishing all of you a great Weekend,

 

Sundeep

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2 hours ago, Sundeep said:

 

Hi Interceptor,

 

First I must thank you for your excellent articles at your website. I have got a lot out of them. I have been a land photographer for some time and use both Olympus and Nikon systems and only started underwater photography about a year ago using my EM 5 MK II. Your website post on " Choosing A Camera Format For Underwater Photography" helped me to make my decision to stick to micro 4/3 when I recently decided to upgrade my system. I was looking at two options, either the Z8 or the OM 1. For my needs, the smaller and cheaper system will most definitely suffice. Your explanations on the differences really helped me in terms of looking at the cost/benefit ratio. 

 

I would very much appreciate if you can explain on the 230 mm dome. I used to use an EM5 MkII and the Olympus housing with 4 inch ports with the 8mm FE and the 9- 18. At present I am using the OM 1 in an Isotta housing with a macro port for my Olympus 60mm and the 6 inch acrylic port for wide angle. I was planning to use both the 8mm Olympus FE and the 7-14 f2.8 Olympus with this 6 inch Port.

 

I would very much appreciate any advice you can give on what would be an optimum setup for me in terms of lenses and ports. I plan to continue to use this system for the foreseeable future. 

 

Wishing all of you a great Weekend,

 

Sundeep

The 180mm dome recommended with the 7-14 doesn’t fit the field of view of the lens it would vignette

therefore the lens is closer than what it should be to the some surface this results in blurred edges 

you can of course use the 230 dome and work out longer extension but your set up would be huge 

best to set on the panasonic 8-18 instead that works well with the 180 dome 

the olympus fisheye again is a fairly bulky lens that needs the 140mm dome 

i would recommend you look into the Panasonic lenses that works fine with acrylic ports and result in a more compact rig.

ideally get a glass dome for the rectilinear 

the 6” acrylic has the same radius of the glass dome but you cant adjust the distance which means the dome is likely to be off position this port is totally incompatible with any fisheye lenses

there is a chart of what I recommend on my site somewhere it doesn’t include the latest olympus 8-25 however it still ensures great image quality for micro four thirds 

ideally you would look at adapting a tokina 10-17 and that would be a one size fit all solution 

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3 hours ago, Sundeep said:

 

Hi Interceptor,

 

First I must thank you for your excellent articles at your website. I have got a lot out of them. I have been a land photographer for some time and use both Olympus and Nikon systems and only started underwater photography about a year ago using my EM 5 MK II. Your website post on " Choosing A Camera Format For Underwater Photography" helped me to make my decision to stick to micro 4/3 when I recently decided to upgrade my system. I was looking at two options, either the Z8 or the OM 1. For my needs, the smaller and cheaper system will most definitely suffice. Your explanations on the differences really helped me in terms of looking at the cost/benefit ratio. 

 

I would very much appreciate if you can explain on the 230 mm dome. I used to use an EM5 MkII and the Olympus housing with 4 inch ports with the 8mm FE and the 9- 18. At present I am using the OM 1 in an Isotta housing with a macro port for my Olympus 60mm and the 6 inch acrylic port for wide angle. I was planning to use both the 8mm Olympus FE and the 7-14 f2.8 Olympus with this 6 inch Port.

 

I would very much appreciate any advice you can give on what would be an optimum setup for me in terms of lenses and ports. I plan to continue to use this system for the foreseeable future. 

 

Wishing all of you a great Weekend,

 

Sundeep

I am converting to using a Canon 8-15 adapted on a metabones along with the 140mm dome from Nauticam and it covers the range from an 8mm fisheye all the way through the 14mm end of a 7-14 so I don't need a rectilinear for reach, the only reason to do so would be I wanted straight lines for wrecks or similar purposes. 

 

I agree the 6"dome is a bit too small for for the 7-14 lens, sure it will work but the corners will be a quite soft and as you have the entrance pupil forward of the optimal point you introduce some distortion.  You could look at the Olympus 8-25 instead of the 7-14 as it will be less demanding on the dome.  Isotta offers a 6.5"crystal dome which is a much closer to a full hemisphere and allows you to position your lenses correctly. 

 

Being in Isotta you could struggle to replicate the 8-15 rig I use so it may be simpler to stick with your Olympus fisheye.  Sounds like you already have the Isotta 4.5"dome and assuming it's the fisheye dome (B102-H47) that would be the ideal setup to use with Olympus fisheye.  If you were to buy the 6.5"crystal dome (full hemisphere model) you could probably use that for both the 8mm fisheye and the 8-25mm  recognising that the corners won't be at their best with the 8mm end of the 8-25mm.

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