FAQ's

Dome Lens for Underwater Photography: Overview and Advantages

Why use Dome ports for Underwater Photography

Domes make it better - Domes help correct aberrations that occur when light travels thru water as opposed to air. Domes can deliver better results compared to flat ports, and also make it easier or possible some results that flat ports would not capture. 

Size matters - Bigger domes are better than smaller domes, for a number of reasons. The tradeoffs are; heavier, bulkier, pricier than smaller domes. 

Glass is optically superior - Glass domes are optically superior to plastic or acrylic, and they do not scratch as easily. All of the Outex ports, including its domes, are American-made glass ports. 

Universal fit protects your investment - Both Outex glass domes are designed to fit any/all lenses thru adaptors and clamps. This design protects your investment and optimizes your usability and upgradeability over time. Our Waterproof Camera Housing Dome Kit supports both threaded, unthreaded, hooded, curved, and fisheye lenses. 


Domes are ideal for split-level and underwater use - While dome ports will not take anything away from your work above water, their impact or difference above the surface is irrelevant. Domes are ideal for split-level and underwater work. 

For additional information, explore our underwater camera housings and photography FAQ's to learn more about domes and this subject. 

Overview 

Like much of photography and cinematography, most things are subjective or dependent on a number of factors including the camera, the lens, the environmental conditions, light conditions, and the shooter's desired objectives. Thus, different users can deliver very different results with all other factors being the same. An experienced shooter can deliver spectacular results with "basic" gear compared to someone incapable of optimizing the right variables of much "fancier" equipment. We tackle several technical aspects of underwater conditions in a separate entry in the Questions/FAQ page of the site. Here we are focusing on summarized, visual examples. 

Glass dome comparison illustrates the advantage of domes for underwater photography

Dome Front Glass Comparison for Outex Underwater Camera Housing System 

The images above were taken on Manual settings attempting to eliminate as much variability as possible, and they have not be edited. 


Dome 180mm 

Outex's largest dome makes it better/easier for you to capture your desired outcome both underwater and for split-level shots. It improves sharpness, aberration, focal distance, and makes it easier for your camera & lens to operate in water conditions/environments. It corrects or eliminates most of the underwater aberrations described in this post and others within the site, and makes it easier for most cameras and lenses to find focus, deliver sharpness, and operate in water use. But it's not our most travel friendly. Split-level photo using Outex underwater glass dome 180mm.

Outex dome 180mm glass front glass split level picture for comparison

Outex dome 180mm glass front glass split level picture for comparison 1

Dome 120mm
Outex's 2nd largest dome is a great compromise between performance and transportability. It's large enough to fit any/all lenses, and deliver most of the imaging and aberration-correction benefits mentioned above, and in a travel-friendly, affordable package that goes anywhere. The above and below effects are amazing, and you may need to plan certain split-level photographs to maximize your desired intent. Below are some examples of pictures taken with the Dome 120mm. Split level wedding photography using Outex underwater front glass dome 120mm .

Split level wedding photography using Outex underwater front glass dome 120mm

Split level wedding photography using Outex underwater front glass dome 120mm 2

Dome 100 mm 

Outex's smallest dome is ideal for certain lenses, but its small size does not fit all lenses. It's awesome for certain lenses, and an amazing value. Below are some examples. Split-level photo was taken using Outex underwater housing system and front glass dome 100mm Canon 8-15mm f/4 fisheye lens.

Dome 100 mm Outex's smallest dome is ideal for certain lenses, but its small size does not fit all lenses. It's awesome for certain lenses, and an amazing value. Below are some examples. Split level photo taken using Outex underwater housing system and front glass dome 100mm Canon 8-15mm f/4 fisheye lens

Dome 100 mm  Outex's smallest dome is ideal for certain lenses, but its small size does not fit all lenses. It's awesome for certain lenses, and an amazing value. Below are some examples. Split level photo taken using Outex underwater housing system and front glass dome 100mm Canon 8-15mm f/4 fisheye lens 2

Shopping for the Domes
Our domes work with any/all lenses and Outex systems/covers, so you can always add a dome at any time or upgrade the rest of the system around it. The domes work with threaded lenses as well as fisheye and hooded lenses with no threads through Outex clamps that mount onto the adaptors. This way your investment is protected and you can simply purchase the adaptors you need for additional lenses (a la carte or "shop by parts") from our online store to use with the dome you already have.  If you have questions or need help contact us.

Dome system demystified:

  • Dome 100mm works with Adaptor Type 5 - xx mm adaptors for threaded lenses, and/or clamps for unthreaded lenses
  • Dome 120mm works with Adaptor Type 6 - xx mm adaptors for threaded lenses, and/or clamps for unthreaded lenses
  • Dome 180mm works with Adaptor Type 8 - xx mm adaptors for threaded lenses, and/or clamps for unthreaded lenses

For example, when you own an 82mm threaded lens, such as the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 lens, and a Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, you'd need the following: Dome 120 + Adaptor type 6 - 82 mm + Adaptor type 3 + Clamp 3N1

In other words:
Dome 120 mm works for all/both lenses
Adaptor Type 6-82mm works for the Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 lens (or any other threaded lens with 82mm threads) and the Dome 120mm.
Clamp Type 3N1 + Adaptor Type 3 works for the Nikon 14-24mm with the same Dome 120mm

But you don't have to worry about it.  Just specify the lens(es) you have when purchasing the Domes, and we'll include the required gear or contact you to let you know.  You can add domes from the Kit drop-down menus, and/or from the add-on menus, as well as from the shop by parts section of our online store - click on "Domes" on the menu.

Outex front glass dome ports side by side

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