INON UK Guide to Critter Diving

Critter Diving – Take a Look at the INON UCL330 Close Up Lens

When we’re photographing critters, it’s easy to be seduced into thinking we need to shoot from very short distances. But what we are really chasing, most of the time, is high magnification. It is by magnifying our subject that we can fill the frame with tiny animals, like pygmy seahorses or shoot fine details of parts of nudibranchs.

When we add close up lenses to our underwater camera system, whether a compact, compact system, SLR or video rig, we accept that we can only focus at one very specific distance. The close up lens adds a certain level of magnification to our host lens and changes its focus point.

The higher the magnification of our close up lens, the closer our focus point is. INON make three strengths of UCL close up lenses, all of which yield fantastic image quality. The most popular are the high magnification UCL165 and very high magnification UCL100. Often overlooked is the medium power UCL330. The 330 does bear consideration, though, for close up photography.

The benefit is that you can remain further away from your subject – about 33cm, which is twice the working distance of the UCL165 and over three times that of the UCL100. This longer working distance can make it much more effective for photographing shy animals that might flee or at least turn their backs on you if you move closer. It also provides more space for aligning your lighting.

Because the level of magnification you can achieve with any close up lens is partly dependent upon the range of the host lens, the UCL330 can achieve magnifications far beyond lifesize with the superzoom lenses built into some compact and many video cameras. The UCL330 has an M67 fitting and can be used with LD bayonet mounts by adding an inexpensive adapter. M67 threads on the front allow for filters to be fitted. Naturally, the INON UCL330 can be combined with other INON UCL close up lenses for greater magnification, to shorten the focusing distance or provide more choices for composition.