Testimonial of the macro wet lens Fantasea UCL-09

Underwater Video & Photo Equipment

Posted May 19th, 2021 by Elisabeth

When it comes to macro photography, people often assume you can only achieve amazing results by using a big DSLR. Good news! If you have a compact camera, your images can be great quality, too. Adding a good macro wet lens to your compact is a great way to achieve the best macro images. The goal of this close-up lens is to increase magnification by reducing the minimum focus distance between your lens and subject. Fantasea’s UCL-09 +12,5 close-up lens is designed specifically for compact cameras, helping macro enthusiasts like me get the most out of a compact setup.

So, the other day I went muck diving with my friend Kirsty, a Fantasea user, too. Equipped with my new Fantasea UCL-09 macro lens, we jumped in the water and looked for the super small critters. I was eager to start photographing the tiny shrimps and nudibranchs we knew we would see. I was excited to see what I could achieve with my RX100 IV and Fantasea housing setup with this +12,5 close up lens!

macro shot nudibranch

After a few minutes we found a great spot. Sandy bottom with some soft coral patches full of little shrimps. Nudibranch were roaming the little coral heads and rocky bottom. This patch proved to be a macro-lovers paradise! We even spotted a 1 cm juvenile octopus on a shell. Great subjects to test out the capabilities of the new wet lens. My strobe wasn’t working, so I used a Fantasea Radiant Pro video light instead. It took me a few minutes to figure out the focal distance, but once I mastered that, I found the images had excellent sharpness.

trinchesia nudibranch macro

I like especially like to use Bokeh in my images, which is a great way to separate the object from the background. I used F2.8 even and love the blurred, smooth background. My conclusion? The high magnification (+12,5), high image quality, and low weight (only 242 grams), makes this wet lens a very welcome addition to any compact setup!

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Underwater Video & Photo Equipment FAQs

What are the best setting for underwater macro photography with a compact?

The best settings to start with are (with video lights or strobes):

  • ISO as low as you can, preferably 100
  • Set your aperture to F8 or some other cameras you go go up to F11
  • Shutterspeed at 1/200 or 1/250
  • White Balance to Auto

Have fun! Play with these settings as you are looking back at the image on your LCD screen to fine tune.

Is there an underwater etiquette for macro shooting?

If there is another photographer waiting to shoot your subject, go get him. Show him where the subject is before you leave the spot. Don’t just keep your find for yourself, but share with others.

Make sure you don’t stir up the sand when you are leaving the spot where you were shooting. Stick a finger in the sand to push away and up and inhale as you slowly rise up. Then start kicking away softly fro the spot.

Sharing is caring. If you see someone else is waiting to take some photos, take a few shots and then let the others in. You can always rotate and wait until it’s your turn again.

How do you position your strobes when doing underwater macro photography?

Keep the strobe(s) positioned close to your lens, but a tiny bit behind it so you don’t get a glare in your image. In underwater macro photography you want to avoid back-scatter, but by getting close and positioning your strobes right you will not light up the particles between your lens and the subject.


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