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Best Wide Angle Wet Lenses

best wide angle wet lens

Wide-angle wet lenses are the key to capturing those dramatic images of reefs and large animals underwater. Without a wide angle lens, you would have to move so far away from your subject to get it in the frame that your image will look washed out and blue. Wide angle lenses allow you to approach and focus close to your subject, while still keeping the subject in the frame. This means your undewater strobes or video lights will also get close to your subject and you'll capture better colors, deeper contrast, and more details. Wet wide-angle lenses are designed to attach to the front of your port to convert your fixed lens compact camera, or standard lens on a mirrorless/DSLR camera to a wide angle field of view. For example, some wide angle wet lenses can convert a 24mm equivalent lens (84.1 degree FOV) to a 6.9mm equivalent lens (145 degree fisheye FOV).

There are a few important factors to consider when thinking about purchasing a wide angle wet lens. First, you want to make sure that the lens is compatible with your camera. If you have a cropped sensor camera, find out what the 35mm equivalent focal length of the lens is when you look at compatibility charts. Our product pages will have camera recommendations to make things a little easier. Then you'll want to make sure the thread on the wet lens will fit the thread on your port. Most housings have 67mm threads, but some smaller housings like the Olympus TG-6 housing, have a 52mm thread. Some wet lenses have one version that fits with a 67mm thread and one that fits with a 52mm thread. Otherwise, we offer step down and step up adapters to convert a 67mm thread to a 52mm thread and vice versa. Next, decide if you want any additional mounting accessories like a flip adapter or bayonet system. Finally, you should identify what features you want your wide angle lens to have. Some lenses only work underwater and some lenses focus both above and below water. Some lenses can focus while the camera zooms in and out, and others require a specific focal length of operation. Some wet lenses offer sharper corners underwater and some are softer. If you need the sharpest corners and best underwater optics possible, consider the Nauticam WACP-1 and WACP-2. These are not wet lenses, but rather wide angle ports with optial lens element. Some wet lenses can convert macro lenses to wide angle fisheye - allowing you to shoot macro and wide angle at the same time underwater - even with a full frame or aps-c camera!

Why Choose a Wet Lens?

There are two main lens options when it comes to underwater photography, wet lenses and dry lenses. We're going to run through some of the best wet wide angle lenses on the market, but before we do so, let's talk about why you might prefer a wet lens option over a dry lens. 
 
The big benefit of using wet lenses is versatility. What is universal about wet lenses, and reason enough to use them, is the ability for an underwater photographer to photograph both large and small subjects on the same dive. You can do this thanks to the ability to change wet lenses underwater, something not possible with dry lenses. 
 
There are a few other advantages, but these can vary somewhat from one lens & port combination to the next. Generally, wet lenses are sharper in the corners and have a closer minimum focus ability.
 
When you think of changing lenses underwater, you might ask yourself, where will I put the lenses I'm not using? This brings up another important point. Bluewater Photo stocks a wide range of optional lens holders, bayonet adapters and flip adapters, so get in touch with our experts if you have any questions or would like us to help you choose the best options for your system.
 

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 WIDE ANGLE LENS OPTIONS FOR UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY:

Kraken Sports KRL-01 Wet Wide Angle Lens

*Great for Mirrorless & Compact Cameras with 145º View*
Best Option for 67mm Thread Housings

The Kraken Sports KRL-01 Wet Wide Angle Lens is an ultra-wide conversion lens designed to work with the popular 24mm standard compact cameras as well as mirrorless cameras with an equivalent focal length. This wider focal length, paired with high quality glass optics provides an angle of view of 145°. The Kraken KRL-01 wet lens allows for full zoom focusing, so will work great with a 28mm lens and at any focal length along the zoom range of your lens. This makes it one of our most versatile wet lenses.

  • Angle of View: 145° at 24mm
  • Zoom Through Capable? YES
  • Compatible with 24mm and 28mm focal length cameras
  • 67mm threaded which fits on most common ports.
  • Depth Rating: 60m (200ft)

Check out the Review of the Kraken KRL-01 on the Underwater Photography Guide


Nauticam WWL-1B Wet Wide Lens

*Highest Quality Optics with 130º View*

The Nauticam WWL-1B Wet Wide Lens is in the top tier of underwater optics. With all lens elements made of high quality glass, this lens was designed to deliver a wide 130° angle of view @ a 28mm equivalent focal length with minimal blurring or distortion near the corners of the frame, as is often seen with wet wide lenses. If you don't want to spend a premium on the Nauticam WACP-1 or WACP-2, the WWL-1B is the next best option for wide angle photography. The price and weight attest to the quality of the lens and it's construction. With full zoom capability you can easily compose the photograph you want to capture. The compatible Bayonet Mount System makes it quick and easy to remove the lens while shooting during a dive. The WWL-1B is an upgrade from the original Nauticam WWL-1 which did not have a buoyancy collar. The buoyancy collar helps keep the lens lightweight underwater.


Nauticam WWL-C Wet Wide Lens for Compact Cameras

*Top-Notch Optics Quality with Ultra-Wide Field of View*

The Nauticam WWL-C Wet Wide Lens for Compact Cameras is the highest quality wide angle wet lens option for compact cameras. It has been designed to be used specifically with the cropped sensors found in compact cameras. It has a small footprint which makes it great to travel with. The lens features and capabilities are similar to its predecessor, the WWL-1. It produces a 130º field-of-view with full zoom-through optics and extremely close focus capabilities. Underwater photos and videos created with this lens have sharper corners than other wet lenses on this list. The WWL-C comes with a pre-installed metal buoyancy collar and a non-removable metal dome shade.  

  • Angle of View: 130º with full zoom-through optics for 24mm equivalent lenses
  • Zoom Through Capable? YES
  • Includes both M67 threads and the Nauticam Bayonet Mount.
  • Depth Rating: 100m (330ft)

Fantasea-AOI UWL-09F Wide Angle Lens

*Great Quality, 130º View at an Affordable price*

The Fantasea-AOI UWL-09F Wide Angle Lens is our top choice for those who are looking for a wide angle wet lens on a budget. The UWL-09F doesn't compromise. It produces a wide 130° angle of view with full zoom through ability at a lower price point that other similar lenses. This lens is crafted with high quality glass elements, and a polycarbonate front dome. Designed to fit nearly all camera housings it includes two different M67 adapters in the box in order to get an accurate fit and minimize the risk of vignetting with your camera and housing set up.

  • Angle of View: 130° at 28mm
  • Zoom Through Capable? YES
  • Slight vignette on cameras with 24mm lens
  • Comes with 2 different 67mm adapters to best fit your housing, compatible with Fantasea Bayonet System.
  • Depth Rating: 60m (200ft)

Kraken KRL-02 Wet Wide Angle Lens

*150º View for Compact Cameras at an Affordable price*

Best Option for 52mm Thread Housings

The Kraken KRL-02 Wet Wide Angle Lens offers an ultra wide field of view of 150º at an affordable price for compact camera users. It is designed to be used with cameras with 24mm focal length such as the Olympus Tough Series without vignetting. This lens is smaller than other wet wide lenses, which makes it a perfect pair for smaller compact camera housings when traveling. It is designed for housings with a 52mm thread, but can be adapter to 67mm.

  • Angle of View: 150° at 24mm
  • Zoom Through Capable? NO
  • Features a 52mm thread, a 67mm to 52mm step down ring may be required for some housings.
  • Depth Rating: 60m (200ft)

UWL-04 Fisheye Lens - Best Option for Olympus Tough Cameras

*165º View for Compact Cameras*

The UWL-04 Fisheye Lens has been a long-standing popular wide angle lens. With a 52mm thread attachment it works on nearly all housings (some require an adapter) and provides an incredibly wide 165° field of view at 28mm. While it does not provide zoom through capability, you can zoom a 24mm camera up to 28mm to remove vignetting and it still focus accurately.

  • Grreat ultra-wide option for Olympus TG-1,2,3,4,5,6 and RX100 I, II housings
  • Angle of View: 165° at 28mm
  • Zoom Through Capable? NO
  • Features a 52mm thread, a 67mm to 52mm step down ring may be required for some housings.
  • Depth Rating: 60m (200ft)

Kraken Compact Wet Wide Lens

*Most Affordable, Miniature Wet Wide Lens, Lightweight, Great Optics.*

The Kraken Compact Wet Wide Lens offers a 90º field of view which is wider than air lenses listed on the market at similar price points. The Kraken KRL-11 and 12 use lens elements to produce a wide field of view. It is very compact, lightweight, and affordable. We recommend this lens to compact camera shooters who want the most affordable wide angle wet lens that is also the easiest to travel with. 

  • Best compact option for RX100 series and TG4, TG5, TG6 housings
  • Angle of View: 90° at 24mm - much wider than air lenses!
  • Microscope mode useable with TG series
  • Features a 52mm thread or 67mm
  • Depth Rating: 60m (200ft)
  • Sturdy aluminum shade - important for reef diving!

Lens Wet Wide Lens Options:

Read our Review of the Kraken KRL-11/12 Compact Wide Angle Lens Here


 

Shoot Macro and Wide Angle on the Same Dive with One Wet Lens!

 

Kraken Sports KRL-09s Wide Angle Conversion Lens

*Best Macro to Wide Angle Conversion Lens*

The Kraken Sports KRL-09s Wide Angle Conversion Lens is an ultra-wide angle wet lens that has been designed to be used with a 60mm equivalent macro lens. It converts 39° field of view from the 60mm macro lens to 154° fisheye field of view. The Kraken KRL-09s can be threaded directly onto your 67mm threaded port underwater. This gives you the flexibility to shoot macro and wide angle all in one dive! The KRL-09s cannot focus above water. It can also be used with longer focal length macro lenses like the Sony 90mm macro, Canon 100mm macro, and the Nikon 105mm macro. However, these lenses will produce narrower fields of view.

  • Shoot macro and wide angle in the same dive.
  • Converts 39° to 154° field of view
  • Built in buoyancy feature
  • Designed to be used with 60mm macro lens

We have been very impressed with the image quality of this lens. Read our review of the Kraken KRL-09s here.

 


Nauticam Extended Macro Wide Angle Lens (EMWL)

*Bugeye Wide Angle Macro Lens*

The Nauticam Extended Macro Wide Angle Lens (EMWL) is a long bugeye wet lens which incorporates wide angle with macro, truly a unique shooting style. It is built to work with popular macro lenses and shoot both stills and video. It is a wet lens so the lens can be attached and removed underwater. This makes it a very versatile lens and can even work with diopters.  The lens design is long and narrow which enables you to put the lens extremely close to your subject while keeping the bulk of the camera system at a distance.

The lens has a modular design, it is comprised of three parts - focusing unit, relay module and objective lens. They are all sold seperately. It is optimized to work with different cameras and macro lenses.

Part 1 - Focus Unit: This is the part that is connected closest to your port, and attaches via the bayonet mount.

Part 2 - Relay Lens: It was designed with 14 glass elements in 10 groups. The EMWL objective lenses generate an inverted image, making it appear upside down. The relay lens corrects the inverted image and relays the image back to the focusing unit and sensor.

Part 3 - Objective Lens: The final piece that attaches to the front of the relay lens. There are three different versions with varying angles-of-view; 60°, 100° and 130°. The 130° is perfect for larger macro subjects or any image where you want to see more of the background. The 100° is the most versatile of the three. It is the smallest in physical size making it a good choice for timid subjects and tight spaces. The 60° has a narrower angle-of-view and is an excellent choice when you would like background elements to look more compressed.


 

 

WATER CONTACT OPTICS:

These next two devices are not wide-angle wet lenses. Rather, they are special ports with optical lens elements. However, they are revolutionary and we thought they deserved a special spot on the list. The Nauticam WACP-1 and WACP-2 produce the highest quality wide angle images and video on the market. This is because they allow the camera to focus directly on the subject with a rectilinear wide angle lens instead of on the virtual image of the dome. This has a number of benefits, with the most important being that these ports virtually eliminate corner softness. Better optical quality allows photographers to shoot at wider apertures and use smaller f-numbers. So with these ports, it's easier to shoot in low light situations. Both ports also allow for extremely close focusing and they produce the widest rectilinear wide angle field of view underwater. So if you hate fisheye barrel distortion - these devices are for you.

 

Nauticam Wide Angle Conversion Point (WACP-1)

*Best Wide Angle Underwater Optics*

The Nauticam Wide Angle Conversion Point WACP-1 is a revolutionary port as it has integrated lenses and solves many of the problems that makes rectilinear wide angle photography difficult underwater. It converts a 28mm equivalent lens to an extremely sharp 130º fiels of view. The port also attaches to Nauticam housings the same way other Nauticam ports do.

  • Increases field of view of a 28mm equivalent lens to 130º
  • Full zoom through
  • Includes N120 to N100 Port Adapter
  • Aluminum buoyancy collar also included.
  • Depth Rating: 100m 

Nauticam Wide Angle Conversion Point (WACP-2)

*Widest Rectilinear Field of View*

The Nauticam Wide Angle Conversion Point WACP-2 similar to its predecessor, it produces edge-to-edge tack-sharp results but with a wider field of view of 140º. If also you don't like the "fisheye" look - the WACP-2 gives you all the benefits of a fisheye lens without the distortion. 

  • Increases field of view of a 14mm full frame lens equivalent lens to a whopping 140º
  • Full zoom through
  • Float collar included
  • Depth Rating: 100m 

 

Choosing a Nauticam Wet Wide Angle Lens:

Achieving high quality optics for wide angle underwater photography can be notoriously difficult, but Nauticam is the best in the business! Learn the difference between the WWL, MWL, and WACP lenses...

 

USEFUL WET LENSES RESOURCES:

 

THE NEXT STEPS AFTER YOU PICK YOUR WIDE ANGLE LENS:

 
 
 

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