A lot of my diving involves swimming through small spaces in the dark and I realised early on I was going to have a problem with keeping my dome port scratch-free. I chose an 8" acrylic dome port for my Aquatica because it was big enough for my rectilinear 14mm lens, small enough to fit through holes, and light enough to carry around. Easier to buff out and cheaper to replace were also considerations.
After I got my first scratch I went and bought some acrylic polishing paste and polished it mostly out. Dive and repeat...after two years I gave up and bought a second dome port. The idea was to use the pre-scratched one for the difficult dives but since those were the ones I wanted the best photos from, it didn't really work and the second one rapidly ended up scratched. Before Xmas I tried this:
Dome port.jpg 146.66KB 28 downloads
Then I went to Truk Lagoon and scratched it again.
My 5DII is now 6.5 years old and in the next 18 months or so I am looking to replace it. I'm unlikely to stay with an Aquatica housing for the new camera as I haven't been happy with its performance below 60m. Buying a third Aquatica 8" dome port now seems silly.
1. A glass Aquatica 9.25" port. Drawbacks - bigger, heavier in and out of the water, expensive. Pros - harder to scratch?? Cons - impossible to polish.
2. A non-Aquatica port for forwards compatibility. I couldn't work out whether some of the Zen options can be swapped between different housing brands, and if so, whether adaptors are required.
3. A better dome cover system. My current neoprene cover comes with me on dives but requires two and a half hands to put it on the dome, so I usually leave it off for the whole dive. A cover system that flicked on and off with one hand would be great. Is there anything out there?
4. Polish the least-damaged port again and deal with it...does anyone know how much acrylic you can remove before the depth rating starts to suffer?
What would you do?