Aquamar Nanoscope D-D, Review
The Aquamar Nanoscope D-D it’s an optical tool with a 48x magnification. It’s a mesoscope produced by The Aquarium Solution and distribuited in Italy by Aquaristica.
It ‘an object that could satisfy both the playful aspect (allowing you to comfortably observe the spectacle offered by a polyps of SPS as they expand and prey) and the need to inspect the state of health of an animal or verify the presence of micro-organisms and undesirable pests.
The Aquamar Nanoscope D-D is sold in a plastic hard case with snap closure at which internal components are well protected by rubber-molded foam. The package includes: mesoscope, macro lens, protective lens caps, suction cup with articulated stand and the acrylic adapter.
The mesoscope may be used freehand or attached by the suction cup for a more meticulous and detailed observation.
By turning the eyepiece the length of the instrument changes and consequently you can focus. The minimum focusing distance is 25.5 cm with a magnification of 8x. Screwing the macro lens on the housing front, you can observe objects between 5 up to 0 cm reaching the maximum magnification of 48x.
This is certainly not a professional tool but considering the price (average of € 87.00 on-line stores in Italy) has a very good value for money. The materials used are well finished, is comfortable to use and it get good quality images with good lighting and the details are remarkable.
Photo and Video
The user-manual says that Aquamar Nanoscope D-D can also be used to take photos and movies using a digital camera or a cell phone. Personally I tried to shoot with different compact cameras, but I’ve never been able to obtain satisfyng pictures. The only significant results I have achieved are those obtained using the phone’s camera. Unfortunately, since there is no adapter or dedicated support, alignment between the objective and eyepiece is very difficult and requires a very firm hand and use the automatic shutter release to prevent blur.
Here below you can see some examples of pictures using a Nokia 6700s with a 5MP camera with Carl Zeiss optics Tessar 2.8/4.7 (click to enlarge).
Comparing these with those shots that can be obtained using DSLR with macro lenses, the result may seem disappointing, but if we consider that are obtained using an ordinary phone and an affordable instrument with less than € 90.00, I don’t think you can complain about …
Making video recordings, using the phone, it’s definitely easier because once you find the proper alignment, you can relax and record your movie without worrying about the blur problems.
Here below you can see some examples of videos obtained using a smart-phone Samsung Galaxy Note.
In view of the relatively low price, the utility and the fun, I consider it a recommended purchase: the small size of the Aquamar Nanoscope D-D makes it comfortable and easy to use, allow you to keep it always at hand and is extremely comfortable to have the opportunity to observe and quickly capture the micro-details of our aquarium, without having to pull off tripods, reflex camera and macro lens from a camera bag.
I consider plausible to take pictures with, but it is not the right tool to make macro-photography (especially since it is not a macro lens) and considering the difficulties and the results are not really exciting, I would not recommend buying this mesoscope to whom has purely photographic needs.