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Understanding Dome Lenses for Underwater Photography. Advantages and benefits of Outex Dome Glass Ports.

Advantage, benefits, and differences between Outex Flat and Dome Front Glass Ports

Dome lenses offer superior results for underwater and split-level photography for a number of reasons. 

Dome glass lenses optimize refraction and focal point distancing.  They manage virtual image attributes in the water, improving clarity, and facilitating focus for split level photography (above & below water level). For additional insights into what those mean visit our NEWS Blog entry.  Unlike our competitors, Outex Domes use high quality, American-made glass - not plastic or acrylic. Domes work just as well as flat port lenses above water, but its advantages are especially pronounced in underwater and split-level (half-and-half) video or stills use. 

Like the rest of the Outex system, our Dome ports are modular and work with both fisheye, hooded, or regular threaded lenses.  We do it thru adaptors and clamps, and the same Outex Dome works for all your lenses.  Add the Dome to your shopping cart in our automated store and specify your desired lens. We’ll do the rest. Get additional clamps and adaptors if needed for multiple lenses, by Shopping by Parts (bottom menu).  More details below.  Contact us if you need help. 

In short, bigger is better, but the larger domes are heavier, bulkier, and more expensive compared to smaller domes, or flat ports.  Both the 180mm and 120mm domes are large enough to accommodate ALL lenses, threaded, or not, making the 180mm ideal for professional shoots, and the 120mm ideal for travel and users on the go.  The dome 100mm, due to its smaller size, can accommodate many many lenses, but not all.  It works in the same way thru adaptors and clamps so it's equally modular, but we're discontinuing it for cameras, and will begin focusing it for our phone products.  

The video below shows the Domes 120mm and 180mm side by side.  And the images below show all 3 models for comparison.  More details in the text below...


Outex underwater housing glass dome options

Outex waterproof housing glass dome options

Outex waterproof housing comparison between flat and dome glass ports

Outex waterproof housing glass dome 180

Shopping for the Domes

Our domes work with any/all lenses and Outex systems/covers etc., 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 thru 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 and 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 Dome Kits in the menu.

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