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Wet Macro Lens Comparison

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I am thinking about adding a super macro capability to my system. I know that there are some other topics with some discussion about the subjet. But in none there is a comparison of the different macro lens available.


Has anyone made a comparison/review of the most known macro wetlens available:

- Inon UCL-165

- Subsee +5 and +10

- Aquatica Close Up +5 and +10

- Nauticam SMC +10

- Others


What should be the way:

- 1.4 TC and a wetlens +5

- a wetlens +5 and a +10

a wetlens +10 alone


What would be the best buy (if it makes a difference) for the different system groups:

- a compact system

- a SLR cropped sensor

- a SLR full frame


If you have a limited budget, what should be the preference for the purchase:

- first the +5, then the +10

- first the +10, then the +5

- the +10 should be enough

- the +5 should be enough

- go the TC way


Does the flip adapters pay off?




Pedro Alves

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For my Aquatica I have both the Subsee and Aquatica systems. Optically, I think they are comparable, but the mounting system for the Subsee is inferior (this is why I switched to Aquatica). The Subsee mounting ring for Aquatica has no lock opposite the hinge that swings the diopter away. The thumbscrew tension is the only thing holding the lens from swinging out. This gives out over time because of the soft plastic used for manufacture. I started having problems with this after only 10 dives! In contrast, the Subsee mounting ring that is compatible with Ikelite has a twist lock opposite the hinge, and gave me no problems for years. So optically similar, but Subsee is not so good if you are putting it on an Aquatica housing. I would buy the 10+ diopter before the 5+.

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Thanks diverdoug1


Does anyone have tried SAGA wet lens? How does that compares with the other ones? (the +10 diopter one)

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The Fit diopters are of intermediate strength and easy to use...


... just to add more to the mix!


Fit +8D (equivalent to Subsee +5D) with step-up adaptor:




Pygmy seahorse, Lembeh Strait, 105mm + 1.5x T/C + Fit pro +8D




I like the combination of a teleconverter and the option of greater magnification with the wet diopter. I think it's a good idea to set up for supermacro and not to switch between 1:1 and supermacro on the same dive, although the macro lens and the +8D don't change the setup and mindset too much. I do believe in planning the shot and diving the plan, if possible. My planned shots are definitely better than my opportunistic efforts...


... I really wouldn't start with a +10D Subsee: it's too big a step, too different a technique and the learning curve is very steep.

Edited by tdpriest
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My present setup is Canon EOS D70 w/ EF-S 60 mm macro lens in Ikelite housing (w/ modular flat port). From my previous setup I have two Inon wet lenses ( UCL 330 and 165), and now found out that those could be attached to Ikelite modular flat port by using Subsee adapter. Does anyone have a combination like this, and if so, would it be a sensible "match". How much magnification would I achieve (approximately) with this combination and how close would the focus point be? Maybe too short, as 60 mm macro itself has closest focus point at 20 cm...

Any experience would be appreciated,



Edited by mjol

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On my recent trip to Lembeh, shooting my 105mm micro, I used my Inon UCL-165 a few days then a Subsee +10 that another person in our group brought but didn't want to use the rest of the time. Both on a Saga flip mount.


The +10 definitely takes some practice to use, mainly in finding the subject! I use the Nauticam 45-degree viewfinder. For tiny subjects, like pygmy seahorses and such, the +10 is much better (obviously). With subjects a bit larger, like crabs, the Inon was perfect. In short, there's not going to be a "best" that is going to work for every situation.


Nikon D7000, 105vr, Subsee +10 @ 1/200 f22 ISO400 - Not cropped...couldn't get closer.



The biggest issue I see with using a teleconverter with the 105 is that I don't know of a focus gear that would work with it and my Nauticam housing. The above image, for example, was shot using manual focus which I use a lot with tiny subjects.


I have not yet used the Nauticam SMC, but will pick one up before my next trip with macro subjects....don't need it for Socorro :)

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