I use the Canon 24/1.4 - it gives a very bright viewfinder image but cannot be used at fast apertures due to being behind a dome port. As a 24mm lens with fast AF and a bright viewfinder it should be great though.
Am curious about the Yarell's blenny shot- do you get many sightings of these little guys?
Yes, mostly in Scotland, but I have seen them in north Wales too (I think the largest caught by an angler was in north Wales). I don't think I've actually seen one in Ireland though but I haven't dived much north of Mayo.
B&W = Schneider and if they make an 82mm it should be available here in the UK as there is a B&W importer (you could try SpeedGraphic. FWIW I've tried using achromat diopters and none achromats and have found little difference in actual performance. 11" is pretty good as a close focus distance especially behind a large dome (its measured from the focal plane don't forget) and the reduced angle of view, increased aberrations and lack of infinity focus make me wonder if its worth bothering.....
At what point does an animal reacting to our presence shade into unacceptable disturbance?
I have to say that I have worried about this for a few years, particularly when seeing the efforts that terrestrial wildlife potographers go to, to avoid disturbing their subjects. Our subjects almost always know that we are there...
Its a good question because you are quite right, our subjects genrally do know we are around (at least those able to do so). So is our unavoidable presence the limit of acceptability? Should we offer incentives to subject matter ('baiting' as used by our terrestrial counterparts), use remote cameras (I suspect some creatures can tell that electrical or even metallic systems are presnt too) or simply touch nothing and disturb as little as is possible? Of course our presence pales into absolute insignificance compared to the 'adjustments' carried out by commercial fisheries so perhaps we shouldn't be too pedantic?
I'm not familiar with Lightroom (I use Photoshop) but what exactly is this lens correction trying to achieve - a rectilinear image from a fisheye shot? Domes create distortion (because they are just a simple spherical lens placed in front of the sophisticated camera lens) as well as the lens, so an above water correction may well not work with the lens when its used behind a dome underwater because of the additional distortions added by the dome. These distortions will almost certainly vary depending on the subject distance and consequent focus setting, and additional distortions and aberations will occus as you focus closer. [Even with flat ports the amount of correction of chroma needs varied adjustment for different focussed distances so I'm sure the same (but worse) applies to domes too.]
A large test chart is not needed! Smaller test charts are quite adequate - placed centrally and on the diagonal in the corners and at intervals along the diagonal if needed. The aim is to see the drop in image quality into the corners, not the overall variance in the whole image area. If the lens is correctly centered and aligned the images from the diagonals should show similar results. Laminating an A4 print is fairly cheap - few laminates will stand up to submersion eventually as few use truly waterproof adhesives, but test charts can always be reprinted.
The real question we need to know the answer to from the scurilous hack, is whether the images with mushy corners are actually used by the magazine - if they are then lens testing might just be an academic exercise .
I really like my Force Fins. They are lightish, VERY, VERY easy to get on and off, you can walk in the (really) and they do work well as fins too.
BUT, you need to try some as not everyone gets on with them (one friend found that they caused knee joint irritation after one dive) and they seem to respond best to a 'frog' kick - downside is they don't carry easily (in a hand) and the sizes are weird; like I said, you need to try them.
Even though they are pricey, I'd buy another pair (even though I still have my (24 year old) jet fins too)!
If you like sea food it is probably far better to eat sustainably produced seafood (ie diver harvested scallops, RSPCA approved, organic farmed salmon, mussels from sustainable 'ranched' (seeded) areas, etc.) than not to do so at all as creating viable, acceptable jobs ensures better marine management than simply reducing demand (and hence prices) which has often resulted in waste historically.
I read somewhere that trawlable areas around Britain are trawled on average once every three years! If you've ever dived after a trawl has been over the seabed you will know what that means! Diver damage is a problem if the area dived is vulnerable to diver damage but not other pressures. I'm not a coral reef dive (well, the odd holiday) but I hear stories from those who dived many popular reefs many years ago bemoaning the destruction they see today (for which they may well have been partly responsible). You have to keep things in perspective though. As I said before diver damage is insignificant globally, but should be unacceptable personally.
For those who argue about fishing destroying or removing fish that we see, but who'd still like to eat fish, I'd suggest looking out for a copy of the Marine Conservation Society's "Good Fish Guide" which details the 'acceptable' and 'to be avoided' fish to eat! Sadly the vast majority of the world's fisheries are subject to overpressure at the moment so enjoy seeing fish while you can!
Whilst diver damage is utterly insignificant given many modern fishing 'techniques', damaging the marine environment is about ethics. You either believe in maintaining and conserving, and not damaging, the environment you dive in, photograph and appreciate, or you don't.