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londonsean69

Member Since 09 Apr 2007
Offline Last Active May 25 2012 06:57 AM
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#281645 UWCamerastuff mini dome for Ikelite - mini review

Posted by londonsean69 on 08 May 2011 - 06:08 AM

10-24mm with 8” dome
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10-24mm @ 10mm, 1/125 @ f/9.5

100% corner crop (bottom right)
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Comparing the lens above, shot behind 2 different ports, we can see that the corners on the 6” dome are not so good, looking very ‘dragged out’. Maybe it is the dome, maybe it needs a dioptre, and maybe it just needs a better photographer. However, the corner on the 8" dome is not exactly fantastically sharp either.

Now, let's have a look at some sample images shot using the Tokina

10-17mm with 8” dome – image 1
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10-17mm @ 10mm, 1/125 @ f/13

100% corner crop (bottom left)
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10-17mm with 8” dome – image 2
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10-17mm @ 10mm, 1/125 @ f/11

100% corner crop (bottom left)
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10-17mm with mini dome – image 1
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10-17mm @ 10mm, 1/125 @ f/16

100% corner crop (bottom right)
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10-17mm with mini dome – image 2
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10-17mm @ 10mm, 1/125 @ f/13

100% corner crop (bottom right – check the nudi!)
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As can clearly be seen, the mini dome is very sharp in the corners, on a par with the 8” dome, if not exceeding it.

Conclusions
This is the first mini dome I have tried, and can only compare it to the other Ikelite domes.

This mini dome is fun to use, it makes for a nice compact rig, and travelling with it is a dream, weighing less than a third of what the 8” dome weighs

As it is quite a bit smaller than the 8”, it makes it viable to bring a dome port to a destination such as Lembeh. Everybody shoots macro in Lembeh, so why bring 2kg of dome? A mini dome might just allow you to make a unique image.

The smaller size does allow for a different image, allowing the dome to sit right on top of your subject. In the starfish image above there is only around 1” from the dome to the leg of the starfish. Over/Under isn’t going to happen though.

If I were heading to a destination such as the Red Sea, or the Maldives, where wide angle is the main type of shot, I would bring the 8” dome first, and the mini dome if I had room.
For a destination such as Lembeh, where the usual decision is 60mm, 105mm, or 105mm + dioptre/TC, then this would be in the bag, just in case I fancied mixing it up a bit.

The construction/engineering of the mini dome is very good. As I mentioned earlier, Bill is a one man band, and the only other mini dome for the Ikelite I have found is the Zen port. This is glass, and runs to around £799 in the UK. £400 is a big enough price difference for me to see past the very minor shortcomings of a slightly rough port plug, and when my photography is good enough to show up the difference between a glass port and an acrylic port, then my photos will be worth enough to pay for the difference.

It’s a winner of a dome port for me, the images are sharp, and I may well take it to places you don’t normally see a dome port, possibly allowing me to snag an image nobody else has (Yeah, right!)