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Bare dome vs. compact dome vs. zen dome for S & S MDX


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#1 Larry C

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:32 PM

I've been using the Sea & Sea fisheye dome with my MDX D300 and Tokina 10-17. It's huge, a pain to carry and I have backscatter problems when trying to light close subjects. It's also about 2lb positive, so I have to re weight myself or weight the dome. Lately, I've been borrowing my friends compact dome, which is way smaller, neutral, easier to light and seems to take OK shots, though I'm not sure the edge sharpness is quite as good. I've been considering whether to buy one of those or a Bare dome with a Nexus to Sea & Sea adapter (M5 is cheaper, any advantage to M6?) Either of these options is available in the $500 range, or I can spring for $900 for a Zen 100mm, which is an inch smaller. Has anyone tried all three of these? How do they compare and what would be the pluses/minuses?

D300 MDX-D300, 2xYS-110, 1 YS-D1, Tokina 10-17, Nikon 60AF D, Nikon 35mm f2.0, L & M Sola 600

Nikon F100 w/Sea & Sea NX100 Pro

 


#2 JimSwims

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:43 PM

Hi Larry,

I can't offer any comparisons but I love my Baré dome. My only complaint with it is Barry bought out the M6 size
after I bought an M5 one and got the Nexus adapter ring to be able to use on my M6 rig. Great for CFWA/Wacro
imaging and works perfectly with the 10-17 with or without a 1.4x TC. I also use it with my Nikkor 18-55. I live
in a Temperate region and getting close is very important consideration.

Baré with 10-17

Baré with 10-17 + Kenko 1.4X TC

Baré with 18-55


Cheers,
Jim.

My photostream on Flickr My gallery on Redbubble

D90 in Nexus; 60mm, Woody's Diopter, 105mm, SubSee +5 & +10 magnifiers, 10-17mm, Kenko 1.4 TC, 10-24mm, 18-55mm & Inon Z240 strobes.


#3 Larry C

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 06:49 AM

Beautiful shots, Jim. Any advantage to using the M5 or M6 mounting system? Since I'm on Sea & Sea, I can choose. The M6 adapter is a bit pricier, but not so much as to matter.

D300 MDX-D300, 2xYS-110, 1 YS-D1, Tokina 10-17, Nikon 60AF D, Nikon 35mm f2.0, L & M Sola 600

Nikon F100 w/Sea & Sea NX100 Pro

 


#4 os65

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 07:40 AM

Hi,

I have used Zen minidome couple of times with MDX D300 and Tokina 10-17 and been satisfied with the results as compared to my S&S fisheye port. Here's some pictures from my last dive.

http://www.flickr.co...57629358131259/

#5 Larry C

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:00 PM

Nice. I don't see any fall-off in the corners, which I expected with a 4" dome. Overall, they're sharper than I get with the fisheye port. $900, though. Gaaaa!

D300 MDX-D300, 2xYS-110, 1 YS-D1, Tokina 10-17, Nikon 60AF D, Nikon 35mm f2.0, L & M Sola 600

Nikon F100 w/Sea & Sea NX100 Pro

 


#6 JimSwims

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 11:46 PM

Beautiful shots, Jim. Any advantage to using the M5 or M6 mounting system? Since I'm on Sea & Sea, I can choose. The M6 adapter is a bit pricier, but not so much as to matter.


Going by the Nexus Japan website if I have it correct the M5 port has an internal diameter of 100mm and M6 108mm. I believe the M6 was brought in to accommodate some of the
fatter
lens being brought out for DSLR. As you want it for the 10-17 its not really relevant. Best to check with Barry Guimbellot (aka Dupsbear) for any tech specs.

Also I'm sorry I forgot to mention that as I use the Baré dome with the M5 to M6 adapter there is a tiny bit of vignetting at 10mm which is easily fixed with a touch of zoom. You may
want to have a look at how much the S & S adapter will push the port forward, could be a deal breaker if it's very thick.

Cheers,
Jim.

My photostream on Flickr My gallery on Redbubble

D90 in Nexus; 60mm, Woody's Diopter, 105mm, SubSee +5 & +10 magnifiers, 10-17mm, Kenko 1.4 TC, 10-24mm, 18-55mm & Inon Z240 strobes.


#7 Ryan

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 06:29 AM

Obviously I'm biased, but Zen DP-100-ST doesn't require any extension rings or port adapters for use with Tokina 10-17, and has no vignetting. This leaves only one o-ring seal to screw up.

Optically coated glass is expensive, but i also hard to scratch and much more resistant to flare than plastic. I've never seen an example of reflected lens lettering or internal housing components with this dome.

It is true that plastic domes can be polished in the field, but I'm not interested in spending my dive trips polishing out inevitable scratches.

If you shoot any small dome wide open you'll have more corner softness than you see with a large diameter dome, but most underwater photography with flashes is shot at relatively small apertures, so that doesn't prove to be an issue for most.

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#8 Larry C

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 07:15 AM

Thanks Jim & Ryan. I'll have to discuss options with my banker/permanent dive buddy. Birthday coming in 2 months and Alaska dive trip in July.

D300 MDX-D300, 2xYS-110, 1 YS-D1, Tokina 10-17, Nikon 60AF D, Nikon 35mm f2.0, L & M Sola 600

Nikon F100 w/Sea & Sea NX100 Pro

 


#9 Dupsbear

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 09:15 AM

Going by the Nexus Japan website if I have it correct the M5 port has an internal diameter of 100mm and M6 108mm. I believe the M6 was brought in to accommodate some of the
fatter
lens being brought out for DSLR. As you want it for the 10-17 its not really relevant. Best to check with Barry Guimbellot (aka Dupsbear) for any tech specs.

Also I'm sorry I forgot to mention that as I use the Baré dome with the M5 to M6 adapter there is a tiny bit of vignetting at 10mm which is easily fixed with a touch of zoom. You may
want to have a look at how much the S & S adapter will push the port forward, could be a deal breaker if it's very thick.

Cheers,
Jim.

Hi Jim,
Glad you are enjoying the Bare port! I am sorry to hear you have some vignette @ 10mm, I bet it is because of the Nexus port adapter; this is the first I have heard of anyone having this problem. You might try taking off the port shade to see if that is what is showing up; if so, it would be easy to trim down the shade.
The M5 size is 100mm and the M6 size is 110mm, so you were very close.

I have over 200 personal dives with my Bare dome and have not seen the internal reflections Ryan mentions that can occur. Reflections can occur with glass or acrylic. I believe the internal shape of my dome as well as what could be described as the port's backing plate keeps internal reflections from happening. Light is reflected at the same angle of incidence; with the internal angles of my dome those angles are calculated to keep reflections away from the lens internal optics.

Acrylic does scratch easier than glass, but when glass scratches, you have a greater problem. Both acrylic and glass will scratch when in contact with hard corals or metals. I don't know the price to replace a glass dome, but I do know that I charge less than $100 to replace our acrylic domes.

I just came back from Maui and tried my dome with a Nikon 60mm F2.8 and was very pleased with the results. Of course, just like with the 10-17, there was no need for a port extension. You should try the combination with your 60mm; you will get a larger field of view without having to be so far back.

Posted Image

I hope my explaination helped and look forward to hearing if your port shade is the culprit.

All the best,
Barry
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#10 Larry C

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:09 AM

Thanks Barry. I never thought to try my 60AF-D in a dome. Looks nice. I've tried my 35mm f2 with mixed results. I liked it better in the flat port.
I don't know about the Nexus M5/M6 adapter, but according to Ryan the Athena S & S to M5 fits flush. The 60 is about the same length as the 10-17, so I don't imagine it required a spacer.

D300 MDX-D300, 2xYS-110, 1 YS-D1, Tokina 10-17, Nikon 60AF D, Nikon 35mm f2.0, L & M Sola 600

Nikon F100 w/Sea & Sea NX100 Pro

 


#11 Dupsbear

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 12:02 PM

Thanks Barry. I never thought to try my 60AF-D in a dome. Looks nice. I've tried my 35mm f2 with mixed results. I liked it better in the flat port.
I don't know about the Nexus M5/M6 adapter, but according to Ryan the Athena S & S to M5 fits flush. The 60 is about the same length as the 10-17, so I don't imagine it required a spacer.

Hi Larry,

Actually, the 60mm is much longer. When you determine the length of the lens, you have to measure then lens at its fully extended length. If I remember correctly, with the 60mm the longest length is when the lens is focused at its closest distance. I took the UV filter off my lens when using the 60mm, but it is not required to do so. Any additional glass can degrade the image, which is a good reason to get the best fiters you can afford.

Ryan told me the same thing about the Athena adapter.

Barry

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