Kraken Sports KRL-02 Wet Wide Lens
Review and Comparison
Wet wide lenses are great tools for underwater shooters with compact cameras as they allow the user to increase the field of view on their camera and capture the full wide landscape reef scene or large animal. In addition these lenses allow for closer focusing of the camera, improving the ability to compose stunning images without the huge expense of a mirrorless or dSLR camera rig.
Kraken KRL-02 Overview
The latest lens to hit the market is the Kraken Sport KRL-02. This lens is compact, making it a great option for those looking to keep their rig small, and great for travelling. In addition it features a 52mm thread mount, perfect for popular cameras such as the Olympus TG-5, smart phone shooters and older cameras such as the Sony RX100 and RX100 II.
Designed to work at 28mm, this lens is compatible with older compact cameras such as the RX100 and RX100 II that had a focal length of 28-100mm. It also will work well with the Olympus TG-4 and TG-5 cameras, since the Olympus PT--058 housing features a 52mm thread. The camera is a touch wider than 28m (25-100mm) so a small amount of zooming in is required to remove any vignetting of the lens shade.
KRL-02 lens on the Olympus PT-058, TG-5 Housing. Slight vignetting from the shade easily removed through slight zooming on the camera. Click for full sized image.
- Thread Mount: 52mm
- Angle of View: 168° (underwater)
- Lens Elements: Polycarbonate Dome, glass internal lens, anondized aluminum body
- Depth Rating: 60m / 200ft
- Includes: Lens with adjustable shade, neoprene lens cover, rear cap and travel case
KRL-02 Lens Vs. UWL-04 Lens:
The KRL-02 lens is closest in size, angle of view and construction to the popular UWL-04. We compared these two lenses to see if one stood out against the other. Right off the bat it's easy to see that the KRL-02 lens is smaller overall, but other than size, the two lenses are nearly identical looking.
Both lenses feature 52mm threads and wide angle of view around 165° (note Kraken states 168° but we did not see a discernable difference in angle of view during our tests). These are both basic wet wide lenses, which means they do not feature full zoom through, and are designed to be used at the widest angle only. You can zoom a small amount to remove any vignetting that can happen with different cameras or housings. In addition both lenses allow for super close focusing, effectively giving good focus even with the subject directly on the dome port.
Overall quality of the new KRL-02 lens looks to be equivalent to the UWL-04, making it a perfect choice for many compact shooters.
Lens Comparison Photos:
UWL-04 Lens (LEFT) and the new KRL-02 Lens (RIGHT) angle of view comparison. Click for full sized image.
100% crop of center of the smaller image. This was taken with the dome port of the KRL-02 just about touching the fish statue.
New KRL-02 lens performs well with minimal blurring in the corners (shot at F8 on TG-5)
Underwater Photos with KRL-02:
These photos were shot recently on an iPhone in the Kraken Universal Smart Phone housing with the KRL-02 lens attached. Taken near the surface with ambient light only (no strobes or video lights). This lens works great with the Kraken Smart Phone Housing!