Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Mini Dome vs Larger (8") dome

Mini Dome Large dome Dome Port

  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Overexposed Seahorse

Overexposed Seahorse

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 38 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 March 2014 - 09:50 AM

Hi there,

 

I was wondering what are the positives and negatives of using a mini dome (4") with a fisheye lens compared to a larger dome, and which you would recommend. I have read a good post by Alex Mustard on the subject, who says good things and bad things about them, and doesn't really come to a definitive answer.

 

I like the fact that a mini dome would enable CFWA shots, which aren't possible with a larger dome, but Alex also says that the optical quality is not as good? How much worse is it??

 

What are everyones thoughts on this?



#2 JackConnick

JackConnick

    Orca

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1220 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle, WA
  • Interests:Sailing, diving, women, cats

Posted 16 March 2014 - 10:40 AM

Generally a small dome can work quite well, particularly for CF/WA as you stated. You do have to stop down to f/8 or higher. While it's never going to have the image quality in the corners of the shots that the large domes have, results can be quite good.

 

Larger domes are better overall, but work particularly better at more wide open apertures, and excel at over & unders, something that small domes don't do well at all.

 

There is also medium-sized domes such as the Zen 170mm, which offer a very good compromise, as they are a section of the larger 8.5" curvature of the larger domes. They still work better stopped down, and aren't quite as good as a larger doem for over & unders though. But they offer the ability to do quite good CF/WA, particularly with FE lenses.

 

Here's a few examples:

 

9" glass dome (D800 w/Sigma 15FE):

8425328119_13cdf6bcc3_z.jpg
Manta by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

 

8.5" Acrylic dome (D7000 Tokina 10-17):

8089170067_3b0f463f95_z.jpg
DSC_3616.jpg by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

 

Zen DP170 170mm dome, (D7000 Tokina 10-17):

11166603973_0e2286da81_z.jpg
Soft Coral at Surface.2 by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

 

Zen DP100 100mm dome, (D7000 Tokina 10-17+Kenko 1.4TC):

7844521518_2bc19ccc49_z.jpg
Tomato Anemonefish w/a by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

 

Hope that helps!

Jack


Jack Connick
Optical Ocean Sales.com Sea & Sea, Olympus, Ikelite, Athena, Zen, Fix, Nauticam, Aquatica, Seacam, Gates, 10Bar, Light & Motion, iTorch/I-DAS & Fantasea Line - Cameras, Housings, Strobes, Arms, Trays & Accessories
Blog & Gallery: Optical Ocean Sales Blog
Flickr Gallerys: Optical Ocean on Flickr


#3 Overexposed Seahorse

Overexposed Seahorse

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 38 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 March 2014 - 11:26 AM

Thanks very much Jack, and great photos too! How obvious is the lack of sharpness in the corners on a mini dome - i.e. what size do photos need to be viewed at in order for it to be noticed if you weren't looking for it? Thanks!



#4 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 806 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 16 March 2014 - 02:06 PM

I think the article from Alex Mustard is actually conclusive if you read it in full

 

In essence what he says is that if you are interested in CFWA and WAM with a tokina the mini dome is a great option

 

If you want to do split over under or shoot in ambient light than you need a larger dome

 

Other than being cheaper and smaller and allowing you to get closer and position your strobes closer there are very view situations where you get advantage from using a mini dome

 

So small subjects or very very close ->mini dome

General wide angle that does not exclude the above but just more cumbersome - large dome

 

Take into account that for the mentioned minimum focus distance issue if you ever go for a rectilinear lens or a different lens you still need the 8.5" dome....


Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#5 Overexposed Seahorse

Overexposed Seahorse

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 38 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:34 AM

Thanks very much to both of you, however with Alex Tattersall's advice I have gone for the mini dome regardless



#6 JackConnick

JackConnick

    Orca

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1220 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle, WA
  • Interests:Sailing, diving, women, cats

Posted 17 March 2014 - 11:21 AM

I would also take into consideration that I showed you shots taken with a full-frame camera vs. a crop sensor on the mini-dome. Not sure what you are shooting.


Jack Connick
Optical Ocean Sales.com Sea & Sea, Olympus, Ikelite, Athena, Zen, Fix, Nauticam, Aquatica, Seacam, Gates, 10Bar, Light & Motion, iTorch/I-DAS & Fantasea Line - Cameras, Housings, Strobes, Arms, Trays & Accessories
Blog & Gallery: Optical Ocean Sales Blog
Flickr Gallerys: Optical Ocean on Flickr


#7 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 806 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 17 March 2014 - 11:28 AM

The 8.5 dome costs a bit less but requires an extension gear that costs 50% like the port so I guess it was a cost suggestion?


Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#8 adamhanlon

adamhanlon

    Harbor Seal

  • Admin
  • 1749 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancaster, UK

Posted 17 March 2014 - 07:01 PM

Given that you have received advice and made the choice, perhaps this reply is unnecessary!

 

I think Jack has hit the key difference on the head-it depends on whether you are shooting full frame or cropped sensor. 

 

To summarise:

 

Cropped sensor with fisheye lenses, pretty much any dome! 4" works fine and gives CFWA etc. creative options.

Cropped sensor with most rectilinear wide-angle lenses, aim for a minimum of a 6" dome. Some wide-angles will need bigger domes to get sharp corners, or a diopter to allow them to focus closely.

Full frame with a fisheye: Variable, with some you can get away with a 4" dome, but most need 6" or greater.

Full frame with rectilinear wide-angle needs big domes, at least 8" often 9" or greater.

 

I should say that this is general advice and nothing beats asking specific questions about camera/dome/lens compatibility on Wetpixel. There is bound to be someone on here who has tried the combination you are interested in.

 

Adam


Adam Hanlon-underwater photographer and videographer
Editor-wetpixel
web | Flickr | twitter | Linkedin | Facebook


#9 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 806 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:57 AM

If I will ever house my d7100 am definitely getting a large dome so that I could do split shots and shoot in ambient light. Would like to see a comparison of the two on a wreck ambient light shot and not just a strobe assisted shot

Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#10 adamhanlon

adamhanlon

    Harbor Seal

  • Admin
  • 1749 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancaster, UK

Posted 18 March 2014 - 03:59 PM

Split are certainly easier with big domes (the bigger the better!), but shooting ambient light images does not need a large dome.

Pushing a big dome through the water can be hard work! On a d7100, shooting fish eye, a small dome makes sense for fast moving action shots!

Adam Hanlon-underwater photographer and videographer
Editor-wetpixel
web | Flickr | twitter | Linkedin | Facebook


#11 JimSwims

JimSwims

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 660 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mornington Peninsula, Australia.

Posted 18 March 2014 - 10:06 PM

I love my compact Baré dome. Small and versatile. Would I be right to add that another con of the large domes is positive buoyancy/trim issues.

 

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.


#12 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 806 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 19 March 2014 - 12:19 AM

Split are certainly easier with big domes (the bigger the better!), but shooting ambient light images does not need a large dome.

Pushing a big dome through the water can be hard work! On a d7100, shooting fish eye, a small dome makes sense for fast moving action shots!

I thought that large domes performed better at wider apertures?

I always had this idea that if you were going into SLR you were going big as the lens I have on my compacts have actually a 115 dome which is a tad bigger than the 4.33". I can also zoom all the way with no significant degradation of image quality not only that but at full zoom I have around 40mm so I can do portraits. The things that I don't like is the impossibility of doing split shots with this small lens and the fact that being a wet lens I get water in the back.
Am now looking forward to my nauticam try out trip to see the real gap in image quality and if I make the step or not

Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#13 adamhanlon

adamhanlon

    Harbor Seal

  • Admin
  • 1749 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancaster, UK

Posted 20 March 2014 - 06:47 AM

Cropped sensor fisheye lenses are not typically fussy with regard to aperture and corner sharpness. Some rectilinear wide-angles are. 

 

Full fame lenses all are to a greater or lesser extent.

 

Once again, it is crucial to check the actual lens/camera/dome combination to find out how it will work.

 

Wet lenses are "conversion" lenses rather than dome ports (which are housings for lenses). This is not to say that you can't get excellent results with them!

 

Adam


Adam Hanlon-underwater photographer and videographer
Editor-wetpixel
web | Flickr | twitter | Linkedin | Facebook


#14 Interceptor121

Interceptor121

    Great Hammerhead

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 806 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Weybridge, UK

Posted 20 March 2014 - 06:56 AM

I know I am quite happy with that anyway I will see you at the next bsoup for more questions!


Check my video, pictures and blog

YouTube Channel

Flickr Sets

Blog


#15 ChrigelKarrer

ChrigelKarrer

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 632 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Playa Herradura-Costa Rica and Sardinia-Italy

Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:24 PM

I use sucessful the Hugyfot 124mm Minidome with my Sigma 15mm EX DG on my fullframe D800.
Any aperture above f/9 will give sharp corners!

 

I prefer a minidome over a large one as it stay in my photo backpack while traveling and don't create significant drag while swimming/diving.
Also the much smaller surface is less prone to be scratched ...

 

I may would consider big dome for natural light wreck or ambient photography or over/unders,
but i don't know if i like the idea to use F/2,8 for that reason.

 

Chris


Nikon D800 - Sigma 15mm - Nikon 105mm Micro VR - Hugyfot Housing - 3 Inon Z-240 strobes - 2x2 8'' ULCS arms

Canon G12 with Patima aluminium housing - Fuji E900 with Ikelite housing
Visit My Costa Rica Website - Visit My Italy Website


#16 tdpriest

tdpriest

    Sperm Whale

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2123 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Solihull, UK
  • Interests:Diving medicine, warm water, scenery...

Posted 31 March 2014 - 04:19 AM

As I've posted before, the price paid for a small dome on a full-frame sensor is a soft edge. Alex Mustard has gone through this in some detail over the years.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Mini Dome, Large dome, Dome, Port