PHOTO KIT REVIEW: Nauticam WWL-1 wide angle conversion lens was put through its paces in Lembeh. This might not be a classic wide angle destination, but as you will see, the versatility of this lens helps gain fresh perspective.
What is it?
The new Nauticam WWL-1 wide angle conversion lens gives you 130 degree diagonal view. It simply screws onto the port of your housing with a 67mm thread. But the main difference between this and all other wide angle lenses is that it gives you access to the full zoom range of the camera lens. Even at full zoom you can focus close up. It claims to maintain sharpness and contrast and has been designed with high resolution sensors in mind.
Does it live up to the hype?
I tried the WWL-1 out with a Canon G7X (used with the short port) and the Olympus EM1 (with the Olympus 12-50 lens). Performance was great on both cameras, and I was especially impressed with the corner sharpness at the widest range. I did find that, as with many wide angle lenses, you need to zoom in a bit to prevent vignetting.
If you are using a mirrorless set up, this lens gives you a huge amount of versatility… It reminded me of the way in which wet lenses on compact cameras improves the range of shots you can achieve underwater on a single dive. I was now able to shoot traditional wide angle reef scenes and schooling cat fish as well as nudibranchs and frogfish without having to change lenses.
It is a very robust bit of kit that feels solid in your hands. Nauticam are well known for their build quality and the WWL-1 is no exception. It’s made from 6 elements of highly refractive optical glass and all the internal elements have an anti reflective coating to prevent flat and internal reflections. The neoprene cover is easy to attach (without falling off!) so you can protect your investment on land and in the boat.
Did I want one?
YES! The WWL-1 currently retails for £764.95, which puts it at the higher end of the price range for wide angle lenses. But the added zoom functionality coupled with the image quality makes it a real contender for space in your kit bag.