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S.U.P.E.R. Part 18: Saga Dive Magic Ball Lens

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In our ongoing series S.U.P.E.R. (Scubaverse’s Underwater Photography Equipment Reviews), Scubaverse.com’s underwater photography editors Nick and Caroline Robertson Brown review new underwater photography equipment, general diving equipment, and some older favourites too. 

For the eighteenth instalment of S.U.P.E.R., Nick and Caroline take a look at the Magic Ball Lens from Saga Dive.

Want to add a bit of fun to your underwater photography? The Saga Dive Magic Ball lens allows you to create novel & artistic images in any underwater environment. The lens has a bubble at the front, locked in an airtight compartment, a zoom to allow focus, and a 67mm thread at the other end. It is designed to be used with a 60mm lens on an SLR housing. When attached, it creates images that have an in-focus wide angle bubble, with an inverted bokeh’d macro surrounding area. Whilst hard to describe – just looking at images created using this lens will give you the idea.

Saga Dive are known for their quality products and we were impressed with a number of their products when we visited their stand at DEMA.

This Magic Ball lens is no exception. We have now taken it to Fiji, Egypt, Capernwray and a pool, and it is robust, easy to use and a great deal of fun. If you feel like trying something a little different, then this is something we recommend trying out. Whilst we used it on Caroline’s D7100 SLR with 60mm lens, it can be used with diopters, and with compact cameras too. With Nick’s full frame SLR camera, the lens gave more of a polo-mint shape, which we also liked.

The lens is incredibly easy to use, just screw it on and shoot. We found shooting from the hip the best option with this lens, or using live view, as using the viewfinder on an inverted image can be a little disorientating. It can bring a photography dive to life. On one dive in Fiji, having put on a macro lens, we found huge beautiful sea fans all over the dive, so we screwed on this lens and had a blast.

This lens might not be something that you would use every day, but it is a lovely thing to have in your camera bag to add a little creativity and run to your portfolio.

For more information on Saga Dive products visit sagadive.com

Here’s an exclusive Scubaverse interview with Saga Dive at DEMA 2016:

For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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News

Tobias Friedrich: Creative Lighting in Wrecks at the November NUPG meeting (Watch Video)

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The November NUPG meeting saw Tobias Friedrich take to the virtual stage. Tobias has won several prestigious underwater photography competitions with his stunning wreck images and he joined the Northern Underwater Photography Group to talk about general wreck photography, using panoramas and creative lighting in what was an engaging and enlightening presentation. You can see more of Tobias’ wonderful images on his Below-Surface website by clicking here.

As always, the NUPG members also had a chance to show off some of their images in the monthly competition. This month’s theme was “Natural Displays” and it saw a range of ideas and images from the group.

The winning shot of a displaying cuttlefish was taken by Nick Robertson-Brown

The runner-up was a shot of mating Mandarinfish by Caroline Robertson-Brown

There were three shots in the 3rd place position. An image of mating Peacock Flounder by Ken Byrne.

Maggie Russel’s shot of a turtle in the sunshine

and Nick Robertson-Brown’s image from the Moalboal Sardine Run in The Philippines

The next meeting will be held on Monday 14th December will feature part 2 of a talk from Simon Rogerson: Difficulties with Sharks.

For more information about the NUPG please visit the website by clicking here.

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Gear News

Introducing the OrcaTorch D511 Dive Light

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Illuminate the underwater world with a narrow spot beam at depths as great as 150m with the new OrcaTorch D511 2200 lumens dive torch. Power is provided by two 26650 batteries. It is also compatible with three C batteries. The mechanical rotary head switch offers high reliability underwater. The light features a narrow, concentrated 8° spot beam, making it a great tool for focusing, exploring tight spaces, and examining sea life up close.

Featuring

  • Uses CREE LED, max 2200 lumens
  • Powered by 2 * 26650 batteries, Compatible with 3 * C batteries
  • 8° beam angle
  • Mechanical rotary head switch offers high-reliability underwater
  • Intelligent Over-Heat protection
  • Water pressure resistant construction, depth rated to 150 meters
  • Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation
  • Over-discharge protection function
  • Aircraft-grade high strength aluminum material
  • The latest diamond grade hard-anodized seawater-corrosion-resistance finish
  • Two sides coated toughened glass with high water pressure resistance under deep water

For more information visit the OrcaTorch website by clicking here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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