Author Topic: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!  (Read 1049 times)

Online PeteHall

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Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« on: January 07, 2018, 04:55:11 pm »
Earlier in the week, I posted on the lost and found thread, to report my Olympus TG4 lost in Swildon's Hole.

I nearly forgot my camera as I set out from Upper Pits on New Year's Day and having returned to the car to fetch it, stuffed it into my wetsuit pocket instead of putting it away properly in my tackle bag.

Needless to say, I got to somewhere beyone the 20' and discovered it was gone. With little hope of finding it given the sporting water levels, I continued my trip but did keep a watchfull eye out, both down and back up the cave, to no avail.

I couldn't believe it when I had an email on Friday morning saying it had been found, even less could I believe it when I saw a reply to my post on the forum saying that it still worked!

Caver post at its best saw it deivered to my home by Saturday morning and Les told me he'd heard it had been found in Swildons 2! If the finder (whoever you are?) could confirm this, I would be very interested.

The camera seemed fine and when I opened it up there was no moisture inside anywhere and all the pictures were still on it, plus a little bonus... As well as a couple of test shots taken by the finder, was a 22 minute long video which has given considerable insight into the adventures that occurred.

The timestamp tells me I was about 10 minutes into the cave when it started recording in my pocket. You can here how wet it is as the roaring of the water all but mutes the clanking of diving cylinders on rock.

The last clank is heard at about 14 minutes in, shortly before the camera clearly drops into the water. This would correspond to just before I reached the 20' as I checked my watch while rigging the ladder.

The camera can be heard being washed along, sometimes under water, sometimes not for a couple of minutes. At about 16 minutes the camera goes briefly under water before a sudden roar of a waterfall a load crash and the continued roaring of a waterfall. At this point I assume the camera had descended the 20', without the aid of the ladder that I was probably still rigging at the time!  :o

Now the story I heard is that it was picked up in the streamway of Swildons 2 and if this really is the case, it must have had quite an impressive journey as the stream dissappears down through boulders at several points.

I guess the neoprene pouch it was in helped protect it to some extent and helped to float it along, but I'm pretty sure whatever it survived is well beyond what the manufacture would rate it for!

There have been enough posts singing the praises of the "live composite mode" on the TG4 and all the evidence shows it is very capable of producing some fantastic pictures in the right hands. In the wrong hands however, this camera seems pretty indestructable!

Perhaps the ultimate cavers camera?  :thumbsup:
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Offline ogofmole

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 05:21:37 pm »
Good to hear, hope my TG4 stands up to this type of treatment if required.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 11:45:56 pm »
That is a really amazing tale. Contact Olympus, and they might even think about supporting this particular market a little bit more... :halo:

Offline martinb

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 07:28:23 am »
Amazing - Post the video!!  :bounce:

Offline Nigelh

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 12:51:18 pm »
What a fantastic story!! Well done for getting that back intact.

Probably worth dropping a line to Olympus?

Offline AlexR

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 01:51:24 pm »
The Olympus Tough series definitely does credit to its name, I used to have a water- etc. proof Pentax as a caving camera, which survived about 20 trips before becoming completely unusable.
The TG2 I use now has been holding up much better (this is now my dedicated caving camera as Father Christmas got me a TG5 for less abusive use).

A few general points:
After a couple of wet trips, I find condensation forms on the inside of the lens; airing the camera with both the hatches open in a dry environment between trips sorts that problem.
In the commonly filthy Derbyshire caves, grit does get into the wheel and buttons; washing under clean running water while fettling with it helps. Operating it in abrasive environments has also removed most symbols, by the time this happens you'll know the buttons by heart anyway.

@Pete:
Out of interest, have you used the program modes (C1 & C2) to program setting which work particularly well for a cave environment? I've played around with them without really getting anywhere.
Also, do you use any sort of lens protector? Mine has one or two minor scratches, so far invisible on pictures.

On the video front: Recently went down Large Pot, grovelling through a slot must have pressed the video button as the camera lives in my chest pocket. That gave me 25min of listening to my swearing, inept singing, and various grovel-noises.

Offline maxf

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 02:13:38 pm »
The Olympus Tough series definitely does credit to its name, I used to have a water- etc. proof Pentax as a caving camera, which survived about 20 trips before becoming completely unusable.
The TG2 I use now has been holding up much better (this is now my dedicated caving camera as Father Christmas got me a TG5 for less abusive use).

A few general points:
After a couple of wet trips, I find condensation forms on the inside of the lens; airing the camera with both the hatches open in a dry environment between trips sorts that problem.
In the commonly filthy Derbyshire caves, grit does get into the wheel and buttons; washing under clean running water while fettling with it helps. Operating it in abrasive environments has also removed most symbols, by the time this happens you'll know the buttons by heart anyway.

@Pete:
Out of interest, have you used the program modes (C1 & C2) to program setting which work particularly well for a cave environment? I've played around with them without really getting anywhere.
Also, do you use any sort of lens protector? Mine has one or two minor scratches, so far invisible on pictures.

On the video front: Recently went down Large Pot, grovelling through a slot must have pressed the video button as the camera lives in my chest pocket. That gave me 25min of listening to my swearing, inept singing, and various grovel-noises.

I often use the C1/2 modes or the aperture priority mode when caving, settings are usually around:

Iso 200-800
WB Sunny
Exposure: change as suits (usually make it a bit darker)
Flash: off

If on 'A' mode then usually F 2.0

Best results on a tripod, I use little dive lights scattered around and my own light off otherwise I find it focuses on steam

Offline AlexR

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 02:17:20 pm »
Cheers Max, good to know. So far I've only used my main light (same issue you found), may be time to get some smaller ones to take with me.

Offline Fulk

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 03:35:40 pm »
An excellent story!

We recently bought a TG 5 and have been playing with it undergoround on the aperture priority setting, using the built-in flash, covered with a filter, to fire one or two slave(s).

The ostensible apertures available are f/2.0, f/2.8 and f/8 – not, in my opinion, the best choice – I guess f/2.0, f/4 and f/8 would be better. We jiggle the ISO setting and the f-stop to get a good exposure.

However, the odd thing is that when jiggling with these settings, occasionally the f-stop series changes to, say, f/4, f/5.6 and f/11, for no obvious reason. Has anybody else experienced this? If so, do you know if there is a way of deliberately overriding the f/2.0, f/2.8 and f/8 settings?

Offline maxf

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 04:33:21 pm »
An excellent story!

We recently bought a TG 5 and have been playing with it undergoround on the aperture priority setting, using the built-in flash, covered with a filter, to fire one or two slave(s).

The ostensible apertures available are f/2.0, f/2.8 and f/8 – not, in my opinion, the best choice – I guess f/2.0, f/4 and f/8 would be better. We jiggle the ISO setting and the f-stop to get a good exposure.

However, the odd thing is that when jiggling with these settings, occasionally the f-stop series changes to, say, f/4, f/5.6 and f/11, for no obvious reason. Has anybody else experienced this? If so, do you know if there is a way of deliberately overriding the f/2.0, f/2.8 and f/8 settings?

Yes I noticed this with my TG4 ! Until recently all I had to choose from was 2,2.8 and 8 then randomly the other ones appeared instead ! No idea how....

Offline Spike

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2018, 04:47:35 pm »
However, the odd thing is that when jiggling with these settings, occasionally the f-stop series changes to, say, f/4, f/5.6 and f/11, for no obvious reason. Has anybody else experienced this? If so, do you know if there is a way of deliberately overriding the f/2.0, f/2.8 and f/8 settings?

Yes I noticed this with my TG4 ! Until recently all I had to choose from was 2,2.8 and 8 then randomly the other ones appeared instead ! No idea how....

It's be to do with your zoom level - it's a variable maximum aperture lens, so f2.0 is only available at or near the widest focal length. The more you zoom in, the tighter the maximum aperture, so the 3 available apertures are scaled appropriately...

Offline Fulk

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2018, 05:41:54 pm »
You're right, Spike, in that if you zoo in on aperture priority the aperture does, indeed, change, but I'm pretty certain that underground I tend to keep the lens at its widest setting.

AlexR:
Quote
Also, do you use any sort of lens protector? Mine has one or two minor scratches, so far invisible on pictures.

We bought an adaptor for a 40.5 mm screw-in UV filter and a lens cap.

Offline ogofmole

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2018, 05:45:15 pm »
My original TG2 survived a drop from the traverse over the streamway in OFD1, and I managed to find it swirling around in a pool, it was in a air filled watertight bag with flashgun and firefly. And still continued to work for at least another couple of years.

Online andrewmc

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2018, 05:49:37 pm »
I also believe there is no physical adjustable aperture on the TG4. The actual aperture is f2 (unless reduced by the zoom level) and the other apertures are actually neutral density filters. Except they aren't real neutral density filters but simulated ones (I don't presume the CCD is put I a different mode).

Online PeteHall

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2018, 07:22:52 pm »
Amazing - Post the video!!  :bounce:

Well since you asked so nicely!



To fully appreciate, "watch" this video with headphones on, while sitting outside on a stormy night with the volume at max. ;)
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2018, 07:36:58 pm »
There are 'sound artists' who spend days making sounds like that electronically. I reckon you could perform that at the ICA!

In fact, Chris Watson, musician and sound recordist at the BBC would love this...send it to him...;)

http://chriswatson.net/


Online JasonC

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Re: Olympus TG4 - One tough camera!
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2018, 11:16:01 pm »
Broadcasting House (Sundays 9:00 Radio4) has a 'slow radio' feature where they play found sounds - I think they'd like it (well only about a minute or so, not all of it!)