Glass usually require special polishing and the problem is that grinding the damage away effectively can lead to heat build up which can shatter the glass - I know! But it is as you say, worth a try - find a glass repair specialist if you can.
Why not ask the Aquatica about it? It may still be cheaper to have a new glass dome fitted than repace the whole port.
I guess the question is whether movie magic should be reserved for fiction, and natural history documentaries should endeavor to retain a certain sense of truth.
As I see it, the problem IS defining truth. There is often an emphasis on filming 'rare' or previously unseen/unrecorded events in documentary film making. This in itself skews the viewer's perception of the natural world, as do many stills photographs. We seem to live in an increasingly 'virtual' world (laser pistols were used at the Olympics instead of air pistols as an example - do they really form part of a physical sport I wonder?) and the lines between fact, representation and fiction are IMHO blurring more than ever. I suppose my take is that if it does some good and it raises profiles and safeguards and allows animals to get on with living in the wild, then so be it. Claiming any natural history documentary is 'true to life' is actually quite difficult as any editing will form an impression in the viewer's mind which is potentially distorted by the condensation of time if nothing else. I suppose that claiming 'true to life' is where the dishonesty can appear - films and documentaries are all representational at the end of the day and it is important to appreciate this when viewing them and enjoy them for what they are.
I imagine that this will be challenged in the EU as it will affect many non-UK photographer's too and will undoubtedly enrich lawyers with the potential violations and infringements that it will potentially lead to. I would say that this is a case of the insane running the asylum but I'm not sure that the word running is at all applicable. Why are we governed by such morons?
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)!