Category Archives: DIVING pictures

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:

supermacro diving-9630 supermacro diving-9616


supermacro diving-9617

supermacro diving-9618

supermacro diving-9619

supermacro diving-9620

supermacro diving-9621

supermacro diving-9622

supermacro diving-9624

supermacro diving-9627

supermacro diving-9628

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.

3D photos of mantas ray underwater, new caledonia

here is a sample of manta ray in 3d!

click to download the mpo 3d files here

shot in new caledonia. The weather was good, but the water was very murky.

This demonstrate the difficulty of shooting in 3d, even in ambiant light with no flash. The water have to be perfectly clear, if not 3d camera will focus on everything, including the backscatters.

Normally in 2d shots, when the water is murky, you can try to come closer, or shoot macro. Not in 3d, and not with mantas! The water have to be perfectly clear.

3D pictures raja ampat samples, and the 3 d differences with 2 d photos

What are the main differences shooting pictures still in 3 d compared to 2 d pictures underwater?

  • 3d is better when shooting on top of corals, giving a real view as if you are diving
  • 3d is better for corals and wide angles
  • 3d is harder for macros, not impossible, but harder to get proper alignment and axial focus.
  • 3d is great for school of fish : in 2 d photos, the school of fish looks boring, fish everywhere. But in 3d? wow! it pops out of the page. It has to be seen in 3d
  • background: in 2 d, photographers usually try to get black blackground, isolating the subject to get more pop. In 3d, you need to get the background in the picture, making the subject pop compared to the background.
  • Details: with 3d, the more details in the pictures the better. Photos in 3d of many depth variations, like school of fish, trees, leaves, corals, etc looks amazing in 3d.
  • composition: what ever you see in detail and in real life, looks good in 3d. The more realistic view you take when taking 3d photos, the better.
  • 3d photo underwater require more light than 2d photos
  • places like raja ampat, where there is a lot of wide angle shots opportunities, or lot of corals, are great for taking 3d photos.

Here are SOME free samples to demonstrate the difference in 2 d and 3 d (of course i keep all the juicy 3ds for private collection, like rare shots, nice shots, fish, flash used, macros etc..) i will release more later when i have more time.

look at the 3 d pictures with only one eye, or in 2 d version, then  compare the same details in 3d, you will then know what i mean.

3d pictures is the future of underwater photos and videos. I have also shot video underwater in 3. It is just so cool. Have you seen 3 d fluo diving? I will post it later.

3d pictures below are taken at misool, raja ampat, indonesia

pictures shot in 3d in ambiant light, or dive lights, no red filter:


how to view 3d? you need to download  all the mpo files, put in in usb stick, upload to playstation 3 or 4, or plug the usb stick into a 3d blue ray player, or directly into a 3d tv.

The 3 d blue ray player or tv should detect the format MPO file and play 3d accordingly, assuming you already have 3d tv and player set up, with proper cables ( 3d need hdmi 1.4 cables)

link to 3d intro


for PS3, and other sony blu ray (sony is weird that way, only files put in specific folders tree name, in order, that can be read by sony devices) you need to download the ps3 app from sony: playmemories studio.

Then put the MPO files in the usb stick in this order: (create DCIM folder, Create 123_RAJA subfolder)


3D pictures diving underwater maldives, samples

here are some samples of 3 d underwater. taken at conrad maldives resort last year

Like i discussed earlier, 3 d technology is made for underwater, giving us a needed sense of depth, making all the details more visible. Everything seems to be floating in 3d.


how to view 3d? download the files, put in in usb stick, upload to playstation 3 or 4, or plug the usb stick into a 3d blue ray player, or 3d tv. It should detect the format MPO file and play 3d accordingly.


 link to 3d photos and videos intro page

for PS3, and other sony blu ray (sony is weird that way, only files put in specific folders name, in order can be read by sony devices) you need to download the ps3 app from sony: playmemories studio.

Then put the MPO files in the usb stick in this order: (create DCIM folder, Create 123_RAJA subfolder)