Macro framer for Ikelite/Coolpix5000/Inon UCL-165If you have used this combination no doubt you will be aware of the amazing results. Quite possibly you will also aware of the frustrations of slow auto focus in low light and very shallow depth of focus, especially in dark dirty temperate water.
Nikonos cameras with macro tubes and framers have been around for years and I figured the same ideas could be applied to my digital rig. This would allow me to set the Coolpix on manual focus eliminating slow or no autofocus and difficulties viewing via the LCD.
After a few tests in a tub in my back yard I found that on full zoom with the Inon UCL-165 macro lens and manual focus setting of 0.07m (or less, makes no difference) the camera focussed at about 38mm measured from the front rim of the Inon UCL-165 and had a horizontal coverage of about 30mm.
Using my usual method of heat shaping PVC cut from down pipe material for the lens clip, and bending some SS wire scavenged from a yacht rigger's scrap bin for the framers, this was the result.
Heat shrink tube was used to cover the lens clip and framers just to finish it all off.
And here are some of the first images. Using framers allows you to photograph anything that stays between the framers in any light conditions. No more burying your chin in the sand to line up critters on the seafloor or straining to keep everything dead still until the auto focus locks.