The Best Sony Underwater Camera Systems
The Sony 28-60mm f/4-5.6 lens combined with the Nauticam WWL-1 (wet wide lens) & the Nauticam CMC (compact macro converter) is our top choice for a wide angle and macro full-frame Sony system. Here's why....
It's no secret that Sony makes incredible camera bodies with industry leading technology. The Sony A1, as Sony's flagship camera, was the first camera ever able to capture 50 MP photos at 30 frames per second. The Sony A7S III and Sony FX3 is able to capture clean, useable 4k/120p video at ISOs way beyond 12,800. The Sony A7R IV is the highest resolution full-frame camera on the market, clocking in at 61 megapixels. And the list goes on....
But what Sony has always been lacking is a good choice of lenses for underwater photographers. Don't get us wrong, Sony makes excellent, high-quality, professional-grade glass. We sell and stand by the quality of Sony lenses. But Nikon and Canon have always led the pack in underwater lenses due to their excellent fisheye and macro lens options. While Sony has a fisheye conversion lens, it does not perform as well as the Canon 8-15mm fisheye or the Nikon 8-15mm fisheye. When it comes to macro lenses, the Sony 90mm is quite a good lens, but it does lack in the fact that it does not stop down past f/22 for more depth of field. And while the Sony 90mm is a great underwater solution, the lack of a dedicated close focus wide angle lens had left us scratching our head as to the ideal wide angle option to recommend for Sony cameras.
That is until we recently tested an exciting new combination - the recent Sony 28-60mm f/4-5.6 kit lens with the Nauticam WWL-1 Wet Wide Angle Lens and the Natuicam CMC-2 Compact Macro Converter. This combination of kit lens with wet wide angle and macro lenses is the most versatile option for Sony shooters. In a single dive you can shoot everything from a 130 degree ultra-wide field of view to 1:1 macro photos at 0.9x magnification (and anything in between). And because you only need one port and one (relatively inexpensive) lens, this system ends up being the most affordable option for Nauticam shooters that want to shoot both wide and macro. And ultimately, we think the image quality from the system is unparalleled whether you are shooting video or photos. In fact, the image quality in our wide angle images has been sharper than the image quality of the popular Sony 16-35mm because the WWL-1 produces sharper corners. So don't be fooled. The kit lens may be plasticy and inexpensive, but it packs a very powerful punch with Nauticam's water-contact optics to guide it underwater.
Why the Sony 28-60mm Pairs Great with the Nauticam WWL-1 for Wide Angle
The Nauticam WWL-1B is an ultrasharp wide angle wet lens that screws onto the front of a port underwater to convert a 28mm full frame lens to a 130 degree field of view. The reason this lens is so sharp is that it has been designed to work underwater so that your lens focuses on the actual subject in the water and not on the virtual image of the dome. The WWL-1 also allows your lens to focus ultra close to a subject, and has full zoom through capability - which means you can zoom anytime during the dive for a versatile field of view. And to top it off, we've found in our tests that a relatively "cheap" kit lens like the 28-60mm often performs better than fast, prime lenses. Although we are not yet sure why this is, there is anecdotal evidence of this happening with other photographers as well.
Why the Sony 28-60mm Pairs Great with the Nauticam CMC for Macro
The Sony 28-60mm kit lens works great with both the CMC-1 and CMC-2 wet macro lenses. The CMC-1 tends to have a little more magnification than the CMC-2 and can be slightly more difficult to use underwater. Therefore, we usually recommend starting with the CMC-2. All you need to do underwater is zoom into 60mm with the kit lens and screw on the CMC-2, get close to your subject and start taking excellent macro photos.
The Nauticam Bayonet System - Mounting Made Easy
The ultimate goal of these Nauticam systems is to easily switch between macro and wide angle underwater. This is possible with the Natuicam bayonet mounting system. The bayonet mount allows you to attach a lens with a simple quarter turn, rather than screwing it on. The other lens can be mounted onto your strobe arm for easy access and storage.
Get Your Ultimate Sony System Today
The Sony A1 is Sony's flagship camera - the best they have to offer. The A1 can take 50 megapixel photos up to 30 frames per second, 8K/30p & 4K/120p video, and has incredible low light performance for a camera of its resolution.
The Sony A7R IV is the world's highest resolution full-frame camera capable of shooting 61 megapixel photos photos - perfect for macro photographers who want to crop to their heart's desire.
The Sony FX3 ties for the top video camera this year as it is a Sony A7S III repackaged into a cinema camera body - complete with an internal fan to stop the camera from overheating.
The Sony A7S III is our favorite underwater video camera this year, capable of shooting 4K/120p video with clean footage at extremely high ISOs! This package is perfect for those that want to shoot both wide angle and macro video in the same dive.
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