Wet Macro Lens Buyer's Guide

Many creatures underwater are unique, colorful, fun to photograph but also extremely small. This is where having a quality macro diopter is extremely important. 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 factors will be the strength of the lens, its ability to stack for super macro (if desired), quality of the lens for producing sharp results and often price. Many lenses screw directly into your front housing port, though some work with different adapters that allow for quick removal from the port when needing to shoot a larger subject.

WET MACRO LENS OPTIONS FOR UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY:

Bluewater +7 Macro Lens

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

The Bluewater +7 Macro Lens is an excellent option as it is flexible, versatile and very affordable. This lens can be used for majority of your macro shooting needs. For stronger magnification the lens can be stacked. 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. With them stacked, 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 to most ports and adapters
  • Depth Rating: 50m (164ft)

Kraken KRL-05S +13 Macro Diopter

*Powerful, Sharp & Affordable, Excellent for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras*

The Kraken KRL-05S +13 Macro Diopter is designed for larger sensor cameras, such as mirrorless and DSLR. It provides a magnification of 2.5x actual size with a great working distance of 60-85mm (2.3-3.3") from your subject. This high powered lens is excellent for shooting super macro, and while it comes in at an affordable price point the lens provides sharp results very close to other more expensive options.

  • 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 to 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 to most ports
  • Depth rating: 60m (200ft)

Nauticam Super Macro Converter (SMC)

*Highest Quality Optics, Two Versions Available for Mirrorless and DSLR*

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 for Compact and Mirrorless 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 2 options of diopters; Subsee +5 and Subsee +10. These diopters are high-quality close up lenses designed for photographers and videographers. The lenses are air sealed which means it retains 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.

 

USEFUL WET LENSES RESOURCES:

 

THE NEXT STEPS AFTER YOU PICK YOUR MACRO LENS: