review: nauticam super macro lenses diving

I recently tried the nauticam super macro lenses on the outside of my nikon 1 housing while diving.

What is super macro? it is extreme magnification under water. Normal dioptre (+5 or +10)  are limited in their magnification as the water interface reduce the effective refraction magnification. The super macro lenses is built considering the water interface in mind, with multiple lenses enclosed in sealed air chamber, allowing the magnification to not be affected by the water interface.

the lenses is a “wet” lens, allowing you to flip or screw it in under water when needed, and remove it when you want normal magnification.


  • super clear images
  • very high magnification (almost like a microscope !)
  • less diffraction and distortions than other simple wet lenses dioptre
  • standard 67 mm size
  • auto focus is very easy even with super macro
  • working distance is around 5cm
  • relatively easy to work with


  • heavy (almost as heavy as my housing and camera combined)
  • bulky ( takes almost the
  • expensive
  • no protection underwater against scratches ( the front cap does not fit well)

click here to see maldives super macro pictures newly added

SAMPLES of pictures taken with super macro, nikon 1 j3 30mm: CLICK on the picture to see full resolution:

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supermacro diving-9629

from nauticam brochure:

Super Macro Convertor I
Nauticam is pleased to introduce a breakthrough in underwater macro photography lens design providing higher magnification than competing systems with unprecedented image quality. The Nauticam Super Macro Converter (SMC) is the first underwater macro conversion lens that is fully optimized for in water use. This unique and innovative lens will change the way that underwater macro photography is done.

There are three key advantages to this internationally patent pending new optical design:
· Higher Magnification Than Other Popular Super Macro Tools with Increased Working Distance
· Better Edge to Edge Image Quality, Higher Contrast, and Lower Color Fringing
· Compatibility with “short” macro lenses that traditionally have not worked well with super macro accessories, like Nikon AF-S 60mm /2.8G, Canon EF-S 60mm, Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S., Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 ED M.Zuiko EZ Micro 4/3 Lens, and Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro.

Breakthrough Lens Design
Prior to the Super Macro Converter, achieving “super macro” underwater meant using tools that were designed for in air use. These tools simply do not take into account the physics of shooting in water. The SMC takes a radically different approach: treat the system – camera, lens, port, air, and water – as a whole, and account for the air-water interfaces in a conversion lens design to achieve the best image quality possible. The improvement is stunning, measurable and a new standard in underwater macro imaging has been established.

Stunning Magnification
When combined with a full frame camera and a 100mm or 105mm macro lens, the device converts the optical system to provide a maximum of 2.3X magnification factor. In other words, a subject area of 15.6mm X 10.4mm will fill the whole frame of a 36mm X 24mm sensor.

Improved Sharpness and Contrast
As the Super Macro Converter is optimized explicitly for using together with a macro lens underwater, images captured exhibit exceptional sharpness compared with conventional magnification lenses. Thanks to the broadband multi-layer anti-reflection coating on each surface of the lenses, images also exhibit higher contrast.

Superb Light Transmission
All the lens elements installed inside the SMC are optically optimized to appropriate diameters so as to provide maximum light transmission. The SMC doesn’t suffer from vignette issues under even the most extreme conditions. The broad band multi-layer anti-reflection coating on all surfaces also greatly improves light transmission.

Optimized for Autofocus
By utilizing a specially developed algorithm in the optimization process, the SMC renders superior image quality over the full focusing range of the camera lens (which becomes ~50 to ~100 mm in front of the SMC). Also benefitting from the high brightness and contrast of the image, the autofocus system of the camera usually works acceptably well within this range.

Ample Working Distance
Even at the maximum 2.3X magnification, there is still more than 50mm of working distance between the front element and the subject with 100/105mm macro lenses. This working distance is crucial when capturing behavior with skittish subjects.

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