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JayceeB

180mm vs 230mm dome port with 16-35 f4 lens on FF Camera

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To summarize, this is what I'm picking up from this discussion:

  • Full frame cameras are more susceptible to soft corners with rectilinear wide angle lenses than crop sensor cameras.
  • In general, the larger the dome, the sharper the corners for full frame.
  • Higher f stops sharpen corners, with the tradeoff of having to use higher ISOs.
  • Corner sharpness is not an important factor when shooting big animals offshore, because softness in blue water corners is not noticeable.
  • Corner sharpness in CFWA with reef backgrounds is noticeable.
  • Larger domes are better for splits.
  • Zooming in improves corner sharpness.  A 16-35 at 35mm will have sharper corners than at 16mm.
  • Not all wide angle lenses perform well underwater in dome ports.

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I would also suggest that if you plan to add a 8-15mm fisheye zoom to your system at some point that you will need a port that allows you to remove the dome shade when using the 8mm end of the lens. Some ports don't allow this at all and some make this task more difficult than others. 

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Good call.  Thanks, Phil.  Is it fair to say then that the same large dome for 16-35 rectilinear can also be used for a fisheye zoom?  I know if you were going to be strictly using the fisheye zoom, you could go with a smaller dome, just wondering if the larger domes also support fisheye.

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 I can’t speak for all fisheye lenses in 230 mm ports but I use the canon 8 to 15 mm fisheye in my 230 Zen port more often than in my 140mn port. For the same reasons as a rectilinear W/A, better splits and corners. 

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I'll throw in my 2 cents worth.   I shoot a Nikon 16-35F4 lens behind a 230mm dome port on a 90mm extension.   It was sold to me with a +2 diopter that was supposed to make things sharper.  (Perhaps it did with 70mm extensions previously recommended.)

When I first shot the big dome in 2015 on a Nikon D810, I was totally disappointed.  A 230mm dome is a royal pain to travel with and pack, not to mention expensive.  All that and my corners were still soft, at any aperture I really cared to use.  (F8!)

I shot that way for 4 years, cropping pretty much every shot to get rid of the poor corners and edges.

Then I got the Sea & Sea Internal Correction Lens, which was specifically designed for my lens and dome (and similar lenses).   It made a HUGE difference.  I'm ok with shooting at F5.6 now in many cases, and F8 is fine (for me).   Certainly a huge improvement over what I had previously.  Now I won't shoot the 16-35 without it.

I don't have good back-to-back comparisons, but all my Roatan shots since 2019 with the 16-35 used the lens, and none before them.  You can look here if you like:  www.cjcphoto.net.

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1 hour ago, phxazcraig said:

I'll throw in my 2 cents worth.   I shoot a Nikon 16-35F4 lens behind a 230mm dome port on a 90mm extension.   It was sold to me with a +2 diopter that was supposed to make things sharper.  (Perhaps it did with 70mm extensions previously recommended.)

When I first shot the big dome in 2015 on a Nikon D810, I was totally disappointed.  A 230mm dome is a royal pain to travel with and pack, not to mention expensive.  All that and my corners were still soft, at any aperture I really cared to use.  (F8!)

I shot that way for 4 years, cropping pretty much every shot to get rid of the poor corners and edges.

Then I got the Sea & Sea Internal Correction Lens, which was specifically designed for my lens and dome (and similar lenses).   It made a HUGE difference.  I'm ok with shooting at F5.6 now in many cases, and F8 is fine (for me).   Certainly a huge improvement over what I had previously.  Now I won't shoot the 16-35 without it.

I don't have good back-to-back comparisons, but all my Roatan shots since 2019 with the 16-35 used the lens, and none before them.  You can look here if you like:  www.cjcphoto.net.

Thanks, @phxazcraig.  I do see a big difference before and after.  PS> enjoyed browsing your photos!

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