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jefdriesen

Inon UCL-165 and 330 compared to other macro wet lenses

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Hi,

I own the both the Inon UCL-165M67 and UCL-330M67 wet macro lenses. I bought those long time ago, for use with a compact camera. I now use a Nikon D7000 DSLR (DX) camera, and occasionally still use those Inon lenses (in combination with either the Nikon 60mm or 105mm). But I wonder how these compare to the newer macro lenses (Subsee, Nauticam, etc) that are available nowadays. Is it still worth buying one of those newer lenses? What can I expect from those? Higher magnification, better image quality?

Jef

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I don't have specific experience with these lenses,  did you see this post on the topic of macro lenses? 

 

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Yes, that was actually the reason for asking my question. There is quite some information out there on those newer lenses, but it's rather difficult to compare with those older Inons because there are no direct comparisons. According to the Inon specifications, the UCL-330 and UCL-165 are respectively +3 and +6 diopters. Is that on land, or also in water? I have no idea.

How do they compare for example to a Subsee +5 or +10? Or even the much more expensive Nauticam SMC-1?

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6 hours ago, jefdriesen said:

Yes, that was actually the reason for asking my question. There is quite some information out there on those newer lenses, but it's rather difficult to compare with those older Inons because there are no direct comparisons. According to the Inon specifications, the UCL-330 and UCL-165 are respectively +3 and +6 diopters. Is that on land, or also in water? I have no idea.

How do they compare for example to a Subsee +5 or +10? Or even the much more expensive Nauticam SMC-1?

It is difficult to compare the different diopters for two reasons:

#1.: Some companies give the refractive power of the diopter only in air, not in water. There is no simple formula to convert the power of diffraction in air to the one in water, since the change in refractive power depends also on the refractive index of the optical glass that is used for making the diopter (the refractive index of optical glass, depending on the type of glass is variable between approx. 1.4 and 1.9 - so one cannot just mulitply by a factor). As far as I understand the Inon descriptions, they give the refractive power in water, so this seems to be solved.

In case the diffraction power in water is not known, you can empirically measure the refractive power of the lens under the watery, using paralell light beams (=e.g.: sunlight): the distance to a projection area (e.g. the bottom of a swimming pool), required to give the smallest bright point of the light, is measured. The reciprocal of this distance (in meters(!)) gives the dioptries. E.g.: the distance, where the sunlight is focused to a single point would be 10 cm (closer or further away gives a disc instead of a small point). Then the refractive power is 1/0.1 (10 cm = 0.1meters), i.e. +10 Dioptries.

#2.: In geometrical optics one can just add the refractive power of lenses (e.g.: the Nikon 100mm has +10 dioptries and an additional +10 diopter would add to +20 dioptries in total). The bad news is that this works only for very thin lenses (i.e.: thickness of the entire lens assembly is small in relation to the focus distance). Our lenses are very far away from beeing thin in comparison to the focus distance, often the focus distance is shorter then the entire lens is (therefore lens construction is an entire engineering science by its own and not covered by experimental physics)...

Still you can ESTIMATE the magnification by tools like these here (but deviations are no surprise, because of the two points described above: It is certainly more accurate to measure magnification empirically, as e.g. Masssimo (=Interceptor121) did in a former post here for several lens/diopter combinations): https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/macro-extension-tubes-closeup.htm

Accordingly, the magnification with the 105mm Nikor would be 2.02x with the +3 diopter and 2.75x with the +6 diopter, instead of the 1.3x that the lens alone provides (1x in air, but 1.3x because of the refractive index of water (="diving mask" magnification effect of a planport))...

 

Wolfgang

 

Edited by Architeuthis

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11 hours ago, jefdriesen said:

Yes, that was actually the reason for asking my question. There is quite some information out there on those newer lenses, but it's rather difficult to compare with those older Inons because there are no direct comparisons. According to the Inon specifications, the UCL-330 and UCL-165 are respectively +3 and +6 diopters. Is that on land, or also in water? I have no idea.

How do they compare for example to a Subsee +5 or +10? Or even the much more expensive Nauticam SMC-1?

It's not easy but if you look at the video by Massimo, he tests the lenses you talk about and while it is not the same system relative performance should be the same noting that they are in general less effective or even ineffective on your 60mm lens.  Also noting that going for maximum magnification is not always what you want to do due to working distance issues among other problems.

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1 hour ago, jefdriesen said:

I assume you are referring to this video:

https://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?/topic/66364-wetpixel-live-macro-close-up-lenses/&do=findComment&comment=419877

That's about the UCL-90 and UCL-67, which are two different lenses.

Ok now I see - I should read the part numbers more carefully, The lenses are

  • INON UCL-330   +3 diopter
  • INON UCL-165  +6 diopter 
  • INON UCL-90  +11 diopter   similar to SMC-1 in power, less flare, similar quality according to Adam Hanlon in video
  • INON UCL-67  +15 diopter

You have the first two and the UCL-330 is equivalent to the lens Alex Mustard mentions a +3 diopter lens that he finds most useful.  the UCL90 and 67 that Massimo tests are more powerful than yours and he says the CMC1 is about equivalent to UCL-90 and the CMC 2 equivalent to the UCL-67 and I suspect the SMC-2 is similar power - i.e. very strong and with  limited usage.

Adam Hanlon mentions he uses the CMC-1 with the Nikon 60mm macro and really likes it and it would appear to be similar power to the SMC-1.  It will have more power than your current diopters.  It would probably be most useful only on your

So the Nauticam lenses mentioned in the video are significantly stronger than the two lenses you own so are like comparing apples to your oranges as they are stronger and useful for different smaller subjects, but are reported to be very sharp even when wide open which assists the AF to work better.

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The macro diopter story is very confusing:

I just found that Inon is providing a lot of documentation for their diopters (including dioptries over the water as well as under the water). Regarding the two lenses that are here in question (UCL-330 and UCL-165), I also found compatibility charts (go to "Spec" to find the dioptries):

http://www.inon.jp/products/lens/ucl165m67/compatibility.html

http://www.inon.jp/products/lens/ucl330/compatibility.html

According to these charts, the two lenses are not designed for larger sensors. Only "Coolpix" and the "J" cameras from Nikon are listed as compatible. I have no idea whatsoever will happen when used with APS-C (maybe vignetting or low IQ, Jef?)...

It seems the UCL-67 and UCL-90 are the lenses designed for APS-C and FF (see specifications (including magnification with some common macrolenses) and compatibility there)...

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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2 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

The macro diopter story is very confusing:

I just found that Inon is providing a lot of documentation for their diopters (including dioptries over the water as well as under the water). Regarding the two lenses that are here in question (UCL-330 and UCL-165), I also found compatibility charts (go to "Spec" to find the dioptries):

http://www.inon.jp/products/lens/ucl165m67/compatibility.html

http://www.inon.jp/products/lens/ucl330/compatibility.html

According to these charts, the two lenses are not designed for larger sensors. Only "Coolpix" and the "J" cameras from Nikon are listed as compatible. I have no idea whatsoever will happen when used with APS-C (maybe vignetting or low IQ, Jef?)...

It seems the UCL-67 and UCL-90 are the lenses designed for APS-C and FF (see specifications (including magnification with some common macrolenses) and compatibility there)...

 

Wolfgang

The INON charts are very compact-centric and often not up to date completely.  If you read further down you'll see Canon 70D and other APS-C cameras listed as compatible with the 330/165 but "helpfully" it does not say which lens.  If it is OK on a Canon APS-C it'll also be fine on a Nikon.  They do have a nice catalogue on lenses you can download:  http://www.inon.jp/pdf-dl/_userdata/inonlens2018-en.pdf

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