Aquatica Close-up System 50mm Test

Aquatica is always coming up with innovative products. The new Close-Up Kit is one that really got my attention. Now my idea of the perfect dive trip is one where I never have to remove my 10-17mm Tokina. Macro doesn’t interest me much. My macro lens “arsenal” is a 50mm Sigma and a 35mm Tokina. And I use those mostly for fish interaction shots or, the 35mm, to get a model’s face into a shot of a small critter. BUT, after I read about what Aquatica came up with, I thought that macro could finally get interesting.

So I ordered one and when it came I was off to my neighborhood marine preserve, Guam’s Tumon Bay, for a quick test. My immediate conclusion… this thing is a lot of fun!!

Now, I have a 100mm on order from B&H, so I’ll really be able to use this kit to it’s fullest soon. But I really wanted to see how this system would work with the 50mm Sigma Macro lens. In using this lens with the Close-Up Kit 10+ diopter, I would have my choice of extreme close-up at about one-and-a-half times magnification and also have my good ol’ workhorse fish lens at 50mm. Granted, you have to get REALLY close when using the diopters with a 50mm lens. But Tumon Bay has some very tiny Christmas tree worms, some reclusive shrimps and a few willing blennies and gobies. I will also give this set-up a try at the local nudibranch spot, but for now, I came up with some pretty nice results using the 10+ with the 50mm. See these below:

Now the reason I like the way this has been designed is that the diopter pops off easily underwater without having to remove the holder, which easily fastens to the front of the flat port. As I was persuing a goby I noticed I was being circled by a stunning school of silver pompano. I just popped the diopter off and adjusted the strobes and started shooting. Thus I had great flexibility with this set-up. I was also able to approach a lizardfish who was too shy for the super macro to get close but calm enough for the regular macro capabilities of the 50mm.

So I was able to do everything from shooting fairly large schooling fish down to resting lizardfish and finally filling the frame with tiny Christmas tree worms and reclusive blennies and all in an hour and ten minute dive. Pretty handy tool, I must say.

Read about the CLOSE-UP KIT used with a 100MM LENS.. CLICK HERE!

More about this new system:

This Close-Up kit is a new addition to the Aquatica system, which is arguably one of the most comprehensive in the industry, consisting of a macro port lens holder with +5 and +10 diopters lenses, these are water contact diopters and are made from high-quality achromatic dual elements BK-7 mineral glass, each lenses is treated with both a scratch resistant and anti reflection coating for maximum protection and brightness. Optical performance is maintained to the highest standard, providing a very flat plane of focus which is virtually free of color fringing. The Aquatica Close-Up lenses system is equipped with a quick mount, that method allows the mounting and removing of lenses underwater in just matters of seconds. Also found at the base of each of our underwater optics lenses is a 67mm thread mount, this popular thread size makes the Aquatica Close-Up lenses compatible with a wide variety of underwater housing system already on the market.

The dual elements (commonly known as doublets) are sealed inside an air space. This optical formula helps eliminate aberration and distortion, improving sharpness and maintaining the magnification of the original lens when submerged.

The Aquatica close lenses have true magnification value, when a close up lens is not air sealed, refraction will rob it of most of its magnification when immersed underwater. The Aquatica r +5 and +10 Close-Up lenses will retain their strength at all time. The doublet formula also guarantees improved performance over single element design.

Super macro is within your reach, with the +10 offering as much as 2.2:1 magnification using a standard 105mm Macro lens. At twice life size, imagine the possibility of having a radical point of view on your subject, showing details so small that the human eye cannot resolve normally!

This Close up lens holder will mount on any bayonet macro port ever made by Aquatica. It uses non aggressive fastener that will not scratch or damage the protective layer of anodizing on the port. Both the holder and lenses body are machined from the highest quality aluminum, every part is hand polished then anodized to military specifications, optic are assembled by hand and every single one critically inspected before leaving ours premises.

Mounting the close up lens is done via a unique press fit method, this makes for a quick and secure mounting. Both the +5 and +10 close-up lenses also have a standard 67mm thread incorporated in their design for added versatility.

Want to buy one? Contact me
Contact Tim:

[contact-form 3 “Tim Rock”]

About Tim Rock

TIM ROCK specializes in the marine world and is an author, photographer and owner of a photo gallery on Guam in the western Pacific. He attended the journalism program at the University of Nebraska – Omaha and has been a professional broadcast and print photojournalist for 30 years. His news photography appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC and CNN. The majority of his career has been in the Western and Indo Pacific reporting on environmental and conservation issues. He has won the prestigious Excellence in the Use of Photography from the Society of Publishers in Asia. His TV show was an ACE award finalist. He also lists many other awards for documentaries, television shows, photography and writing. He works as a correspondent for numerous Pacific Rim magazines. He is the author and contributor to a dozen Lonely Planet/Pisces series guides. Rock’s photographic work is represented by Getty Images Lonely Planet Collection, SeaPics, Polaris Images, Waterframe, VWPics and his own Guam-based agency.
This entry was posted in Aquatica, Camera Travel Gear, Cameras, Guam, Indo-Pacific Destinations, Micronesia Destinations, Photography, Reviews, Travel, Underwater Housings, Underwater Photography, World Diving and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.