Nauticam recently released it's remarkable "Wet Wide Lens", version 1 or "WWL-1". From a technical perspective, it is quite an achievement... optically engineered from the ground up as an underwater lens, featuring unequalled contrast, overall sharpness, corner sharpness, and clarity. As fun as talking about tech stuff is fun, though, let's focus on how it actually does underwater, using a couple of m4/3 cameras as a starting point. We'll take a look at how it does with other systems, like the Sony A7 or Sony RX1000 IV, in another post.
Now, the WWL works well with several different camera systems and lenses, but the photos shown here are from the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II and the E-M10, two m4/3 cameras that don't break the bank. The lens used was the Olympus 14-42PZ. On land, these cameras are small and light, especially with the diminutive PZ lens. The housings are compact and light also, making traveling easy. By adding the WWL, with it's full zoom through capability, this setup becomes remarkably versatile, allowing the photographer to go from frogfish to whaleshark in seconds.
The barracuda shot is a great example of the center sharpness - check out the cropped version; WWL on a 16 megapixel sensor - wow!
The maximum FOV on this setup is approximately 130º, which is ideal wide angle coverage for reef scenes and large subjects. But because the WWL supports zoom through, the shooter can power zoom for much more reach to shoot shy subjects, or smaller subjects. And when the time comes for super macro, he/she can quickly change to the Nauticam CMC to photograph that pygmy seahorse.
Close focus wide angle (CFWA) is made easy with this setup. Use the power zoom to frame the image; there is no worry about being too close as the camera will focus literally on the end of the dome itself.
Nauticam's new bayonet system makes using the WWL and other lenses, like the SMC or CMC, especially easy. The bayonet is simple to use, yet secure. A caddy is available to secure unused lenses to strobe arms.
The WWL is just getting started... stay tuned for more from this inspiring lens!