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Help/Advice/Opinion in Deciding what Wet Wide Angle Nauticam Lens to Get (To use with M43 OLY 12-50mm lens)

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I am considering one of these 3 wet lenses to use with my M43 OLY 12-50mm lens to add a rectilinear wide angle option in my kit:

1. The MWL-1 with 150Deg FoV. This lens can be used with the OLY 12-50mm and the 30mm macro lenses. It is the most expensive of the 3 options but has the widest FoV, 150Deg, and works with two of my lenses. It runs about $2,100. I know that it can be attached to a flip adapter to have a choice to use it or not while underwater so that I can take macro, normal and very wide angle shots in one dive:

Macro to Wide Angle Lens 1 (MWL-1) ~150 deg. FOV with Full Frame 60mm Macro Lens

The Nauticam MWL-1 is a revolutionary concept! It is a wet-mounted ultra wide lens (meaning it can be attached and removed underwater) designed to be used with a 60mm full frame equivalent macro lens that results in an ultra-wide 150º field of view. The MWL-1 can focus from the lens' front...
www.nauticam.com www.nauticam.com




2. The WWL-C is the least weight of the 3 and the least cost but only works with one lens, the OLY 12-50mm with 130 Deg FoV. Costs around $1,100. I believe that it can be attached to a flip adapter to have a choice to use it or not while underwater so that I can take macro, normal and very wide angle shots in one dive (but not certain of this):

Wet Wide Lens for Compact Cameras (WWL-C) ~130 Deg. FOV with Compatible 24mm Lenses

The next evolution of the WWL-1 is here! As the versatility and capability of compact cameras increases, Nauticam has developed a smaller and lighter water contact wide angle lens tailored specifically to the compact camera user. Designed from the ground up to match the compact camera's form...
www.nauticam.com www.nauticam.com



3. The WWL-1 with 130Deg FoV. I know it is heavy but better quality than the WWL-C AFAIK. I don't know if it can be attached to a flip adapter to have a choice to use it or not while underwater so that I can take macro, normal and very wide angle shots in one dive:

Wet Wide Lens 1 (WWL-1) ~130 deg. FOV with compatible 28mm Lenses

The WWL-1 is the highest quality wet-changeable underwater wide-angle conversion optic ever made, featuring unmatched contrast, overall sharpness, corner sharpness, and clarity. The design is truly full zoom through, allowing zoom to to be used as a tool for framing, and removable in water for...
www.nauticam.com www.nauticam.com

I am going back and forth between the MWL-1 and the WWL-C but I don't know which way to go between the 3 lenses. Can anyone here give me help/input/advice/opinion that would help me to decide please? All of them are big $$$ for me so I want to make sure that I am getting the right lens.

P.S. I have the Pani 8mm fisheye but it isn't the right lens for what I want to do. I participate in U/W photography competitions in the Middle East and the 8mm fisheye doesn't address the photography categories in the competitions based on my previous experience.

Edited by CaptainPelagic
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I don't think there will be a huge real world difference between the WWL-1 and the WWL-C when it comes to image quality. I have the WWL-1 and love it. It can be taken off underwater, but the size of it becomes a real pain if its taken off unless your buddy is willing to hold it for you. 

I think it all depends on how you want to dive. If you want to have a larger choice of subjects, and are willing and able to spend plenty of time with your subject, moving strobes around, maybe rebalancing the rig it you need to go vertical, then the MWL is your answer. 

If you prefer to dedicate a dive to one particular style, then I think you'll find one of the WWL variants better. 

Personally - and this isn't right for everyone - I prefer to go into the water with a particular mindset, be it macro or wide angle. Yes, I may miss some opportunities, but I'm usually set up pretty good from the start and I find I'm more tuned into looking for a particular shot if my lens choice is a little limited. 


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Looking at the nauticam port charts for the three wet lenses, I see that the 12-50 mm is not mentioned as being compatible with the WWL-1.


In the general chart for the N85-M43 Pana and Oly it is not there. The Pana 12-35 mm needs the WACP-1. Even if it's not there it doesn't necessarily not work....


However, the WWL and its siblings are all designed for 28mm (14mm) optics, in fact even the 12-32 works from 14mm upwards.
The WWL-C also works from 14 mm upwards. 


For quality I cannot tell you. I use a WWL-1B with the 14-42 mm (a piece of plastic). In this age of wet lenses, this is the real limitation of the M43. All new lenses are 12 mm. In practice, the WWL-1 works with a discontinued lens.

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The MWL requires to stop down to f16 to be at it's best on full frame, I'm not sure if this is required with the smaller sensors and I have seen no reports of people using it on m43 to confirm if this is needed or not.  F16 of course is well into diffraction on a m43 and needs powerful strobes to provide enough light.  It is the smallest and most compact option but it's heavy

As for the WWL, I don't believe either variety is usable on a flip holder they are big pieces of gear and even with flotation collars have some weight UW.  In theory you can remove them while UW, but in practice you probably don't want to, I know that at least one person responded to a similar query saying they didn't think it was a problem, but it's a big piece, 150mm diameter and apart from the original WWL-1 they don't have a lanyard attachment point.  You could remove the lens and place it on a bayonet on a flash arm - but it's a big lump and will limit your ability to position the arm.  It's also too big for many pockets. 

The next issue is mounting the WWL - presumably you have the dedicated Nauticam 12-50 port, this will require the dedicated M77 to bayonet adapter and presumably as this introduces extra spacing the port charts tells you that the WWL-C field of view is only 110° as you need to zoom into 15mm to remove the vignette.  With only 110° field you might as well use something like an INON UWL-H100.

The other thing to consider is that while it is not a fisheye, it is also not a rectilinear view so has significant barrel distortion.

I really feel you are probably best to try a different lens to use with a WWL perhaps a Panasonic 12-32 with a WWL-C?  The MWL in theory is a good option but has not been that popular with full frame and I have not heard of anyone using it on m43, there is probably a reason for that.


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I've used the 14-42+WWL-1B as well as the Oly 12-40mm PRO in a 6" dome.  My preference would be the 12-40mm.  I know they aren't the same field of view, but the 12-40mm was a lovely lens and covered most of the type of shooting I do.  I found that the majority of my WWL-1B shots were zoomed in, but realize this is a personal preference, and not for everyone.

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1 hour ago, JayceeB said:

I've used the 14-42+WWL-1B as well as the Oly 12-40mm PRO in a 6" dome.  My preference would be the 12-40mm.

Same here. I found the 14-12+WWL is better from 14 to about 24. After that it loose definition. I don't know if it's the lens or the WWL. The 12-35 in a 6" dome zoomed in is tack sharp. Unfortunately is too narrow for some shots.

Life is made of choices 😆

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