Best Underwater Macro Lens

Macro wet lens buyer's guide - wet diopters

Underwater macro wet lenses are a must if you want to photograph the unique biodiversity of the ocean. Many creatures underwater are curious, colorful, and fun to photograph but also extremely small. This is where having a quality macro diopter (aka wet macro lens) is extremely important. Macro diopters are essentially magnifying glasses that you can bring underwater for your camera to "see" through. They allow you to focus extremely close to your subject so that you can fill your frame with your subject. Finding the lens that works best for your camera, provides the level of magnification you need for the critters you plan to shoot, and provides sharp, clear results is extremely important. When choosing a diopter important fatctors will be the strength of the lens, its ability to stack for super macro (if desired), the optical quality and the price. Many lenses thread directly into the front of your housing port, though some work with different adapters that allow for quick removal from the port when needing to switch to a larger subject. Flip adapters like the Saga flip adapter and the Nauticam flip adapter are popular for removing and applying macro lenses quickly underwater.

Getting started taking macro photos with diopters can be tricky at first. Try to practice getting close to your subject above water first and learn how close you have to be to your subject to focus. If you think you're the type of person that has trouble holding still, then we recommend starting with a macro lens that has a lower power (e.g. +7). If you want to shoot supermacro, then you will need a diopter with a higher power (e.g., +13).

 

Need some more help deciding what gear is right for you? No problem! Contact our sales team - we are experts at finding the right gear for any situation!

 

 

WET MACRO LENS OPTIONS FOR UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY:

Bluewater +7 Macro Lens

*Versatile, Good Working Distance, Great for Compact & Mirrorless Cameras*

The Best "Starter" Macro Lens!

The Bluewater +7 Macro Lens is our top choice if you're just getting into underwater macro photography. It is extremely affordable and very versatile. We generally recommend using the Bluewater +7 with a cropped sensor or compact camera, but it can be used with a full frame camera as well. This lens can be used for majority of your macro shooting needs. For stronger magnification, multiple Bluewater +7 lenses can be stacked onto eachother. The +7 lens is stronger than many standard macro diopters available, and provides greater working distance, making it easier to approach and shoot shy subjects. If you stack the lenses the working distance will be significantly decreased.

  • +7 Magnification allows for photography of subjects less than 1" on most compact cameras.
  • Female threads on the front allow stacking lenses for super macro
  • Lens is UV coated and anti-reflective
  • 67mm thread which is compatible with most ports and adapters
  • Depth Rating: 50m (164ft)

Kraken KRL-05S +13 Macro Diopter

*Powerful, Sharp & Affordable, Excellent for Full Frame and APS-C Sensors, Great for Supermacro*

The Kraken KRL-05S +13 Macro Diopter is designed for larger sensor full-frame and aps-c cameras. This lens is extremely affordable for the power that it offers. In fact, it is our top choice for shooting supermacro when it's stacked on a dry macro lens. It provides a magnification of 2.5x actual size with a great working distance of 60-85mm (2.3-3.3") from your subject.

  • 2.5x Magnification
  • Lens Construction: 4 elements; 3 groups
  • Multi layer anti reflective coating on the glass
  • Working distance is around 60mm to 85mm
  • 67mm thread which is compatible with most ports
  • Depth rating: 60m (200ft)

Kraken KRL-03, +12 Macro Diopter

*Extra Power with Good Working Distance for Compact Cameras*

The Kraken KRL-03 +12 Macro Diopter is designed for smaller sensor compact cameras and provides excellent magnification of about 1.8x for both macro and super macro. With a wider focusing range of 10-65mm it offers more flexibility and is a little easier to use than lenses with a limited range.

  • 1.8x Magnification
  • Lens Construction: 3 elements; 3 groups
  • Material: The optical glass has multi-layer BBAR Coating and the barrel is made from aluminum
  • Working distance is around 10mm to 65mm
  • 67mm thread which is compatible with most ports
  • Depth rating: 60m (200ft)

Kraken KRL-08S, +6 Macro Diopter

*Ultra Sharp, Great for Beginners, For Full Frame and APS-C Cameras*

The Kraken KRL-08S +6 Macro Diopter is best suited for mirrorless and DSLR cameras especially when using lenses such as a 100mm or 105mm dry macro lens. It can be used to shoot both macro and supermacro. If you think you'll have trouble using a stonger powered diopter for supermacro photos, then this lens is a better choice for beginners.

  • 1.5x Magnification
  • Lens Construction: 4 elements; 3 groups
  • Material: The optical glass has multi-layer BBAR Coating and the barrel is made from aluminum
  • Working distance is around 80mm to 160mm
  • 67mm thread which is compatible with most ports
  • Depth rating: 60m (200ft)

Nauticam Super Macro Converter (SMC)

*Highest Quality Optics, Two Versions Available with Different Magnifications, For DSLR and Mirrorless Cameras*

Nauticam has produced 2 versions of their super macro converters - Nauticam SMC-1 and Nauticam SMC-2. Both lenses offer very strong magnification with extremely sharp corner to corner detail, which is rare in a macro diopter. The SMC-2 offers more magnification than its predecessor, up to 4x on a full frame 100m lens, versus 2.3x with the SMC-1. Most importantly, these lenses also have an increased working distance compared to other high magnification diopters, making it easier to approach shy subjects, focus and compose your photograph.

  • Best overall sharpness, especially in the corners
  • Excellent working distance around 50mm from front of lens
  • Anti-reflective coating on lens elements
  • Creates smooth bokeh with less color fringing
  • Depth Rating: 100m (330ft)

Nauticam Compact Macro Converter (CMC)

*Clear, Sharp & Powerful, Two Versions Available with Different Magnifications, For Compact Cameras*

Nauticam has produced 2 iterations of their compact macro converters - Nauticam CMC-1 and Nauticam CMC-2. While many lenses are generic or designed for a larger sensor camera, the CMC line is meant specifically for compact & mirrorless cameras and are smaller and lighter than many other available diopters. More powerful than any other lens for these systems, the CMC-1 offers up to 4.5x magnification making it excellent for super macro shooting, more than a +15 rated diopter. The CMC-2 is less powerful at up to 2.8x magnification, perfect for slightly larger macro subjects. Quality and sharpness are excellent for both lenses.

  • Great magnification: CMC-1 offeres 4.5x while the CMC-2 offers 2.8x
  • Great working distance
  • 67mm thread
  • Depth Rating: 100m (330ft)

Subsee Magnifiers

*Quality Optics with Custom Flip Adapter for Every Housing*

The Subsee offers two magnification options - The Subsee +5 and Subsee +10. These wet macro lenses are high-quality close up lenses designed for photographers and videographers. The lenses are air sealed which means they retain their full power, even underwater. Multiple elements on the lens virtually eliminates pincushion distortion and chromatic aberration. Furthermore, anti-reflective coatings on all lens surfaces increase image brightness.

  • Compatible with Compact, Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras
  • Offers 2 options of magnification: +5 diopter gives 20% magnification with a 60mm lens, and 50% magnification with a 105mm lens
  • Multi element and coated optics
  • Standard 67mm thread
  • Subsee adapters are available for convenience.

 

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THE NEXT STEPS AFTER YOU PICK YOUR MACRO LENS: