Diving into the deep blue, we’re on the hunt for the perfect shot.

But capturing the ocean’s wonders isn’t just about skill; it’s about having the right gear.

We’ve scoured the sea of options to bring you the best lenses for underwater photography and videography.

Whether you’re chasing the dance of light through the waves or the mysterious creatures below, we’ve got your back.

Best Underwater Photography Lenses

Let’s take a look at some of the top underwater photography lenses for stunning shots & videos.

1. Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5g ED Lens

As underwater photographers, we’re always in pursuit of gear that can capture the aquatic spectacle with clarity and depth.

The Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED fits the bill, offering a versatile range that is ideal for wide landscapes and tight interiors.

Durability meets design with this lens, as it features Nikon’s exclusive Silent Wave Motor (SWM).

This technology ensures fast, accurate, and near-silent autofocus, a vital characteristic when filming skittish marine life.

The optical formula includes three aspherical and two ED glass elements.

These combat chromatic aberration and coma, both common issues in underwater photography that can affect the sharpness and color fidelity of the images.

A wide zoom range means flexibility on the fly.

As underwater scenes can change in a heartbeat, the 10-24mm range allows for rapid adjustments without the need to switch lenses.

It’s a key feature for divers who must react quickly to their environment.

This lens’s wide aperture range – f/3.5-4.5 – gathers enough light to work well in the often dim aquatic conditions.

   

What’s more, the aperture control can create a shallow depth of field, achieving that sought-after bokeh effect even under the waves.

Offering a 109° to 61° angle of view, the NIKKOR 10-24mm captures expansive underwater scapes with ease.

It allows for a broad canvas, ensuring nothing is missed when documenting the vastness of the ocean.

Our experience tells us the lens coating is a game-changer.

Nikon’s Super Integrated Coating (SIC) enhances light transmission efficiency and offers superior color consistency and minimized flare.

This assures photos have the vibrancy and contrast that brings underwater scenes to life.

The lens compatibility with DX-format cameras also factors in as an advantage.

Given that DX sensors crop the image to a smaller size, they typically produce a greater depth of field and allow for closer focusing distances – both beneficial when working in the challenging underwater terrain.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED Zoom Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras
  • Ideal for landscapes, cityscapes, interiors, architecture and more.
  • Focal Length : 10- 24 mm, Close focusing to 0.8 feet
  • Renders a picture angle of 109 degrees through 61 degrees, equivalent to focal lengths of 15-36mm.
  • SWM enables fast, accurate and quiet autofocus operation., For superior sharpness and color...
  • Aspherical lens elements virtually eliminate coma and other types of lens aberration, even when used...

2. Canon EF 16-35mm F/4l IS USM Lens

Moving on from Nikon’s offerings, we can’t overlook the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM, a favorite among Canon shooters.

This ultra-wide zoom lens offers superb performance in underwater environments.

   

Its constant f/4 maximum aperture ensures consistent exposure and depth of field control throughout the entire zoom range.

Plus, we benefit from Canon’s Optical Image Stabilization technology, which provides up to four stops of shake correction.

The EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens is a work of art with its L-series pedigree – signaling Canon’s finest construction.

Here’s what sets this lens apart for underwater photography:

  • Superior image quality, with edge-to-edge sharpness – Quick, silent autofocus provided by a ring-type Ultrasonic Motor (USM),
  • Full-time manual focus for precision adjustments.

With a minimum focusing distance of just 0.28m, the capability to capture close-up details is impressive.

Detail-rich composite landscapes seamlessly follow tight shots of marine life.

Its weather-sealed construction stands up to the rigors of underwater housings.

So, we’ll find this lens operates reliably in the harsh conditions underwater photographers often face.

Canon’s fluorine coating on the front and rear elements wards off water and dirt.

This feature keeps our lens clean and ensures high-quality shots without the need for constant cleaning.

Accommodating various filters with its 77mm filter thread is an added benefit.

This versatility allows us to adapt to different underwater lighting scenarios with ease.

Partnering the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM with a full-frame Canon DSLR maximizes the field of view.

Capturing vast underwater landscapes becomes a straightforward task.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L is USM Lens - 9518B002, Black
  • Make sure this fits by entering your model number
  • Full-time manual focus permits critical focusing precision, even in AF mode. Help provide excellent...
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF covers Approx. 100% Area with 1,053 AF Areas
  • English (Publication Language)

3. Sony FE 28mm F/2 Lens With Underwater Housing

When venturing into underwater photography, having a lens that offers both wide aperture and compact size is crucial.

   

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 is an outstanding choice for those who prioritize mobility without compromising on image quality.

This prime lens is renowned for its impressive low light performance.

It allows us to capture stunning underwater scenes even in the murkiest conditions with its fast f/2 aperture.

Designed specifically for Sony’s E-mount cameras, this lens is remarkably versatile.

It’s equally effective for both stills and video thanks to its consistent output and superior autofocus.

What sets the Sony FE 28mm f/2 apart is its compatibility with various underwater housings –

  • Meikon,
  • Nauticam,
  • Ikelite.

These housings protect the lens and camera from water pressure and corrosive elements.

They also ensure full functionality of the lens’s features, allowing us to adjust settings on the fly.

Its construction is another significant advantage.

The lens features a dust and moisture resistant design making it robust for the challenging underwater environment.

Our experience using the Sony FE 28mm f/2 with a full-frame Sony camera has been remarkable.

It offers an expansive field of view that captures the vastness of the underwater world with clarity and detail.

To achieve the best results in underwater photography, lighting is just as important as the lens itself.

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 with appropriate underwater housing makes room for external strobes or video lights to be mounted, ensuring our subjects are illuminated perfectly.

Each photography niche has specific lens requirements and underwater photography is no exception.

The Sony FE 28mm f/2 lens, when paired with the right housing, delivers the quality we’re after.

Its compact nature and exceptional performance under low light conditions make it a top contender for our underwater adventures.

Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens Bundle with 49mm UV Filter + Lens Cap Keeper + Lens Pouch | Medium + Lens Pen + Microfiber Cleaning Cloth + 5-Piece Camera Cleaning Kit (7 Items)
  • Kit Includes 7 Products—All Brand New Items with all Manufacturer-supplied Accessories + Full USA...
  • [1] Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens + [2] 49mm UV Filter + [3] Lens Cap Keeper + [4] Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
  • [5] 5-Piece Camera & Lens Cleaning Kit with Blower Brush, Fluid, Cloth, Tissues & Tips + [6]...
  • Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens Features: E-Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format, Aperture Range: f/2 to f/22, One AA...
  • Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens Includes: Sony FE 28mm f/2 Lens, Sony ALC-SH112 Lens Hood, Sony ALC-F49S 49mm...

4. Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F/4 ASPH Lens

When venturing into the deep, we often seek gear that can capture the vastness of the underwater world, and the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH lens steps up to the challenge.

Its ultra-wide-angle zoom capacity is perfect for expansive seascapes and capturing large marine life.

This lens shines with its remarkable edge-to-edge sharpness and consistent f/4 aperture, ensuring that our images are clear even in the dimly lit depths.

The lens’s aspherical elements reduce distortion and chromatic aberration which is crucial when shooting through water.

We’re impressed with the lens’s compact design – less bulk means more freedom to maneuver through water.

For Micro Four Thirds camera users, this lens provides an equivalent focal length of 14-28mm offering us a cinematic view beneath the waves.

The autofocus of the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH lens is not only fast but also silent, a key feature for not disturbing sensitive marine life.

Its internal focusing system means that the lens does not extend, a real advantage when using dome ports in underwater housings.

Durability is a non-negotiable in underwater equipment and this lens ensures resilience:

  • Weather-sealed construction to handle the pressure changes underwater,
  • The construction material is resistant to temperature changes encountered while diving.

From schooling fish to wide reef landscapes, the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH lens broadens our horizons.

It allows us to document the underwater realm with a field of view that’s hard to match in other lenses of its class.

Sale
PANASONIC LUMIX G VARIO LENS, 7-14MM, F4.0 ASPH., MIRRORLESS MICRO FOUR THIRDS, H-F007014 (USA BLACK)
  • 7-14mm focal length
  • 14-28mm equivalent focal length on Micro Four Thirds cameras
  • F4.0 constant maximum aperture; F22 minimum
  • Image stabilization, via camera body where available
  • 0.25m/9.84" minimum focus

5. Olympus M.zuiko Digital ED 8mm F/1.8 Fisheye PRO Lens

When exploring the depths of the ocean, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO lens emerges as an exceptional tool for underwater photographers and videographers.

It boasts a unique fisheye design that captures wide, panoramic shots and dramatic perspectives that introduce a new level of immersion to underwater imagery.

The large f/1.8 aperture allows for excellent low light performance – a crucial feature in the underwater environment where light diminishes quickly with depth.

Users appreciate the ability to shoot without artificial lighting or the need to push ISO settings, preserving image quality.

Durability is a must when confronting the harsh conditions underwater.

The M.Zuiko Fisheye PRO lens is constructed with a robust, weather-sealed body ensuring it can withstand the challenges posed by both marine and on-land adventures.

It’s designed to operate reliably through a range of environmental conditions.

Here are some highlights of the Olympus M.Zuiko lens:

  • Ultra-fast f/1.8 aperture for superior low light capability,
  • Weather-sealed construction to handle adverse conditions,
  • Advanced optical design for edge-to-edge sharpness.

The advanced optical system of the lens includes numerous special elements to reduce chromatic aberrations and ensure crisp, clear images.

It’s constructed with multiple lens coatings which combat ghosting and flare, maintaining image contrast and clarity even in challenging lighting conditions.

With its compact size, the M.Zuiko 8mm lens offers practicality without the bulk, making it easier to handle underwater.

Its physical size does not intrude upon marine life, providing an opportunity to capture natural behavior without disturbance.

Photographers favor the Olympus M.Zuiko lens for its creative potential as well.

The distinctive fisheye effect can give photos and videos a dynamic edge that stands out.

Whether it’s creating surreal seascapes or capturing the curiosity of aquatic animals up close, this lens adds a compelling twist to underwater visual storytelling.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f1.8 Fisheye PRO Lens (Renewed)
  • 17 elements in 15 groups reduces aberrations, 3 Super ED lenses, 2 ED lenses diminish peripheral...
  • 180 degree angle of view
  • ZERO lens coating effectively minimizes ghosting and flaring
  • Silent auto focus for Movie-Still compatibility
  • Minimum working distance of 2.5cm from the end of the lens

6. Sigma 15mm F/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye Lens

When seeking a lens that offers an expansive field of view with a unique perspective for underwater photography, the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye is an excellent contender.

Its diagonal fisheye design results in a 180-degree angle of view, providing a distinctive look for creative underwater images.

The lens’s fast f/2.8 aperture performs well in the dimly lit conditions often found beneath the water’s surface.

This allows for faster shutter speeds, which is crucial for capturing movement such as swimming fish or swaying coral without blur.

Built with durability in mind, the Sigma 15mm lens is a solid choice for the harsh underwater environment.

It’s constructed to withstand the pressures of diving, though it should be paired with an appropriate underwater housing for optimal protection.

Key features of this lens include:

   
  • A close minimum focusing distance, allowing photographers to get near to their subjects for impactful compositions,
  • The use of special lens elements and coatings that minimize flare and ghosting – essential for dealing with refractive light underwater.

We find that utilizing the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 lens can inject an element of drama and surrealism to underwater shots.

Its unusual distortion effects can be leveraged to create compelling, eye-catching photographs that stand out in any portfolio.

Pairing this lens with capable cameras opens up opportunities for both still photographers and videographers.

The quality of the imagery it can produce along with high-resolution sensors is impressive, making it a top choice for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Sigma 15mm f/2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye Lens for Nikon SLR Cameras
  • Digitally optimized diagonal fisheye auto-focus lens
  • Minimum shooting distance of 5.9 inches
  • Offers a 180-degree field of view
  • Supplied with a gelatin filter holder

7. Tokina AT-X 11-16mm F/2.8 Pro DX II Lens (for Crop-sensor Cameras)

Diving into the realm of crop-sensor cameras, we’ve found the Tokina AT-X 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro DX II to be a remarkable lens for underwater photography and videography.

Its ultra-wide-angle capabilities are perfect for capturing large scenes beneath the waves.

This lens stands out for its constant f/2.8 aperture – a feature that ensures consistent exposure settings throughout the zoom range.

It provides the flexibility to shoot in varying lighting conditions underwater without sacrificing image quality.

With its robust build and excellent optical performance, this Tokina lens is more than equipped to handle the challenges of the aquatic environment.

The focus clutch mechanism allows for quick switching between auto and manual focus, a crucial feature for underwater work.

The Tokina 11-16mm also boasts:

  • A refined optical design that reduces chromatic aberrations,
  • Multi-layer coatings to combat flare and ghosting,
  • A nine-blade diaphragm ensuring pleasant bokeh.

Its compact size makes it a convenient choice for divers and underwater videographers who need to minimize their gear.

Also, when paired with a reliable underwater housing, it becomes a formidable tool for exploring and capturing the underwater world.

From shipwrecks to coral reefs, the Tokina AT-X 11-16mm lens brings a sense of vastness and clarity that’s essential in underwater imaging.

The immersive scenes it can produce are a testament to its capabilities as a top-tier lens for crop-sensor camera users.

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 Pro DX Digital Lens - EOS
  • maximum aperture: F/2.8
  • Minimum aperture: F/22

8. Tamron 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD Lens

Moving on to Tamron’s offering, we find the 17-35mm f/2.8-4 Di OSD Lens – a versatile and affordable option for underwater photography and videography enthusiasts.

It’s renowned for its lightweight and compact build, making it an excellent travel companion for any adventure beneath the waves.

With this lens, shooters gain the flexibility of a variable focal range while maintaining high-quality optics throughout.

The f/2.8-4 aperture range allows for sharp images in a variety of lighting conditions, essential for the dynamic underwater environment.

Key features of the Tamron 17-35mm lens include:

  • Weather-Sealed Construction – ensures durability against the elements when in a proper underwater housing.,
  • Optimized Silent Drive (OSD) – provides fast and quiet autofocus, which is crucial for not disturbing marine life while shooting..

This lens also boasts an impressive minimum focusing distance, enabling photographers and videographers to get up close with their subjects without compromising the image quality.

Also, its low dispersion (LD) glass elements work tirelessly to correct chromatic aberrations for clean, vibrant underwater shots.

Tamron’s anti-reflection coatings are applied to the lens elements, greatly reducing ghosting and flare.

These coatings aid in capturing the true colors and contrasts of the underwater world, even when shooting towards the sun.

When mounted on a full-frame camera, the Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 lens gives users a breathtaking wide-angle perspective.

This is ideal for capturing expansive coral reefs or the intricate details of a shipwreck, ensuring that the vastness of the ocean is conveyed in every frame.

On crop-sensor cameras, the lens provides a more standard zoom range, perfect for a variety of subjects.

The flexibility and affordability of the Tamron 17-35mm make it a strong contender in the sea of lenses suitable for underwater imaging.

TAMRON 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD/Model A037N for Nikon Japan Import
  • High F/2.8 – 4 for attractive background blur luminosity
  • Newly designed OSD module for quiet and accurate focus
  • Splash-proof case construction and or CFL light coating on front facing lens
  • Very compact and comfortable weight (460g)

9. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 8-15mm F/3.5-4.5e ED Fisheye Lens

Diving deeper into the world of underwater photography, we come across the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED Fisheye Lens – a tool that captures the essence of the ocean’s vastness.

This lens offers a unique circular fisheye effect at the 8mm end, enveloping us in the scene like never before.

The NIKKOR 8-15mm lens adapts effortlessly between circular and full-frame fisheye, giving us creative control over our compositions.

We aren’t confined to one style or perspective, which is invaluable under the waves.

Notable features of the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 8-15mm Lens include:

  • Advanced optics delivering stunning sharpness and brilliant image quality.,
  • Electromagnetic diaphragm providing consistent exposures during high-speed shots..

With this lens, chromatic aberrations and distortions are remarkably minimized thanks to its Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass elements.

Our underwater photos and videos are crisp, clear, and true to life.

Handling is a breeze with the lens’s lightweight design and protective fluorine coat which repels water, dirt, and grime.

The durability of the NIKKOR 8-15mm ensures it withstands the rigors of underwater adventures.

The autofocus performance does not disappoint – it’s fast, accurate, and silent.

We can stay focused on capturing the fleeting moments that make underwater photography so thrilling.

Pairing the NIKKOR fisheye lens with Nikon’s underwater housings and strobe systems unlocks a new realm of possibilities.

Our creative visions come to life with the colors and textures of aquatic life, rendered in exquisite detail.

Nikon AF-S FISHEYE NIKKOR 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED F/4.5-29 Fixed Zoom Camera Lens, Black
  • Widest NIKKOR fisheye Lens yet and the first with zoom capability
  • Capture EPIC 180 Degree circular images and traditional frame-filling fisheye images
  • Close focusing up to 0.5 inches from your subject for macro-style fisheye images
  • Weather-sealed design and Nikon protective fluorine Coat for use in harsh conditions
  • Equally suited for still photography and video work

10. Sony FE 12-24mm F/4 G Lens With Underwater Housing

When diving into the depths of underwater photography, the Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G lens emerges as a top contender.

Its ultra-wide angle of view opens up a world of stunning seascape vistas.

This lens boasts a consistent f/4 aperture which provides excellent light transmission.

We can expect clear and vibrant images even in the low-light conditions of the deep blue.

Paired with a compatible underwater housing, the Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G lens becomes a formidable tool.

The housings are designed to withstand the pressure of the underwater environment, ensuring our equipment stays safe and dry.

The lens’s build features dust and moisture resistance – essential for the challenging conditions underwater.

We’ll find the autofocus to be fast and precise, critical when capturing moving subjects like marine life.

Some notable aspects we’ve observed with this lens include:

  • Advanced optics for sharp, detailed images,
  • A minimum focusing distance of 0.28 meters, allowing for close-up shots.

Our experiences with the Sony FE 12-24mm lens in various underwater scenarios highlight its versatile nature.

From coral reefs to wrecks, it renders every scene with clarity and depth.

Sony FE 12-24mm f/4 G: Lens (SEL1224G) + Pro Starter Bundle Kit - International Version (1 Year Wty)
  • Ultra-Wide for Dynamic Spatial Expression - High resolution at ultra-wide angles
  • Compact, lightweight and mobile - Fast, quiet AF for stills and movies
  • Fingertip control and high reliability - G Lens ultra-wide-angle zoom lens
  • Linear motor for agile, highly precise focus lens control - Dust + moisture-resistant design
  • Direct Drive SSM for quiet, highly precise focus lens control - Sony Nano AR Coating

Capturing The Beauty Of The Deep

Discovering the vibrant underwater landscape requires not only skill but also the right equipment.

Our exploration of the best lenses for underwater photography leads us to lenses that not only perform well under the unique challenges of the aquatic environment but also bring out the stunning details of marine life.

One such gem is the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM which offers:

  • A wide 180-degree diagonal angle of view,
  • USM for silent autofocus,
  • A built-in lens hood and watertight seals.

This lens provides versatility whether you’re aiming for a dramatic spherical view or a more traditional wide-angle shot.

It’s robust enough to handle the extremes of pressure and temperature changes underwater.

Pairing the Canon EF with a high-grade underwater housing ensures our captures remain clear and unaffected by the water’s magnifying effects.

The housing also shields the lens from the corrosive nature of saltwater which is crucial for the longevity of our gear.

Another novel option for documenting the underwater realm is through split-level photography.

With a lens like the Ikelite DL 8″ Dome Port, the visual storytelling potential is immense as it allows us to capture both above and below the surface simultaneously.

The seamless blend of two worlds makes for an awe-inspiring picture.

We’ve found that the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM excels in this split-level technique with its sharpness and focal range:

  • A constant f/2.8 maximum aperture for better light capture,
  • A Direct Drive SSM for quiet and precise focusing.

Our ability to capture the ephemeral and mysterious beauty of coral reefs, intricate patterns of fish schools and the play of light on underwater formations continues to grow.

With each lens we discuss, we find that the potential to reveal aspects of the deep unknown becomes a little more within our reach.

Every dive presents a bounty of photographic opportunities, and it’s up to us to harness them.

Top Underwater Photography Lenses – Wrap Up

We’ve explored some of the best lenses that bring the underwater world to life through stunning photography and videography.

With the right equipment, we’re equipped to jump into the depths and capture every breathtaking scene.

Whether it’s the Canon EF 8-15mm’s wide-angle versatility or the precision of the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM, we’re ready to create mesmerizing aquatic visuals.

Remember, pairing these lenses with the appropriate housing and ports like the Ikelite DL 8″ Dome is crucial for the ultimate underwater experience.

Let’s take our creativity beneath the waves and share the wonders that lie below the surface.