Using the Aquatica Close-up Kit with 100mm

OK, so now, as promised, I took the Aquatica Close-up Kit for a night dive. Armed with 2 Light and Motion Solas (one for the housing and one for the hand) that I got from Backscatter Photo, I proceeded to light up the reef. Using a Nikon D90 in an Aquatica Housing with Ikelite Strobes at 1/2 to 1/4 power, we scoured the area for critters.

First we found a marginated glossodoris of some sort (nudibranch) that had just finished laying eggs. In this series you can see the 100mm shots and then the details with the diopter. On Guam we don’t have nudis that have a lot of passengers although we do get ghost shrimp riding the bigger nudis sometimes. But I could see this CU +10 diopter really being handy in places like Indonesia where commensal shrimp ride the larger nudis.

Here are some more examples of the marine creature with the 100mm lens and then with the addition of the diopter. I had the +10 with me on this dive and the detail one can get is pretty amazing, especially for night when you can get close enough to shoot sleeping fish or get a nice, dark background to highlight detail. The depth-of-field, while limited at this magnification, can be used to create some nice visual effects as well. Here’s a selection:

And the highlight of the dive was when my friend Kim went to show me a small octopus. She couldn’t find it, but instead came up with three harlequinn shrimp, a rare sighting on Guam. One was actually so small I didn’t see it but it showed up in the background of shot of a larger juvenile. A beautiful sight on the reef. I did try a couple of shots of the mature shrimp with the clsoe-up +10 diopter and got an eyeball shot with a claw in the foreground. Crazy macro!


Again, even at night, the kit was great to use. I had my Sola spotting light on 1 or 2 power, never full power, and was able to focus quickly on most subjects. A few flatworms with little in the way of a pattern dealt the focusing a fit at times, but that was more a function of the camera than the diopter set-up.

This kit is really making macro fun and easy. You can get close, closer, closest with ease.

To see more images from the entire 2 dives, an afternoon dive I did with the TOKINA 100MM MACRO LENS only and then this night dive, CLICK HERE.

Here’s a look at the Aquatica kit using a Sigma 50mm Macro:

CLICK HERE for the 50mm REVUE

CONTACT ME if you are interested in buying a kit.

Contact Tim:

[contact-form 3 “Tim Rock”]

Guam’s Amazing Mari…

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.

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.
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