Which size dome port is right for you?
One of the most common questions we are asked is: what size dome should I use?
Well, the answer mostly depends on what style of shooting you do, what lens you are looking to use in the dome, and sometimes your budget.
When we talk about the size of the dome port we are referring to the overall diameter of the acrylic element.
Other variables with domes are the height of the acrylic element, and the length of the port itself. We have done the hard work and optimised the height of the acrylic for all diameters of dome so you do not need to worry about this. However, you will need to consider the length of the port based on what lens you are looking to use in the dome. We will discuss this towards the end of this article.
First, let’s look at the dome ports we offer, and what the pros and cons of each.
4-Inch Dome – The best for shooting above water, in-barrel shots with a fisheye lens.
- Compact size
- Small surface area, minimising potential for water drops and reflections
- Can result in un-sharp image corners when shooting underwater
- Difficult to shoot over/under shots.
6-inch Dome – The most popular and versatile option
- Relatively compact size, particularly on larger mirrorless or DSLR housings
- Sharp image corners when shooting underwater and when correctly matched to the length of your lens.
- Over/under shots are possible with this size dome.
- Larger surface area, compared with the 4-inch, increasing the potential for water drops and reflections when shooting above water.
8-inch Dome – Ideal for underwater and over/under shots
- Over/under shots are easy with this size dome.
- Sharp image corners when shooting underwater
- Larger and bulkier, difficult to store/carry.
- Larger surface area, compared with the 4-inch and 6-inch, increasing the potential for water drops and reflections when shooting above water.
We also offer custom order 10-inch and 12-inch domes. These larger domes are best used for over/under style shots, as they are very buoyant and difficult to sink underwater.
For best optical results, the front of the lens should align (or close to) the base of the acrylic of the dome.
We stock domes of varying lengths to suit the most popular lens options, alternatively you can match one of our stock domes and a port extender to match your desired lens setup.
Product naming convention
We use letters and numbers to identify our ports.
The first letter determines the port system. M= MINI, S= STANDARD, C= CINE
The second letter identifies the port as a dome. D= DOME
The third letter/number is the port diameter.
The number after this corresponds to relative length of the dome, with a larger number corresponding to a longer dome.
It is easiest explained in the table below:
|Product Name||Port System||Dome Diameter||Relative Length||Ideal lenses|
|M-D4||MINI||4-inch/100mm||Short||Rokinon/Samyang 8mm 2.8ii|
|M-D6.1||MINI||6-inch/150mm||Short||Rokinon/Samyang 8mm 2.8ii|
|M-D6.3||MINI||6-inch/150mm||Long||Sony 16-35mm f4|
|M-D8.1||MINI||8-inch/200mm||Short||Rokinon/Samyang 8mm 2.8ii|
|M-D8.3||MINI||8-inch/200mm||Long||Sony 16-35mm f4|
|S-D6.1||STANDARD||6-inch/150mm||Short||Canon 15mm fisheye|
|M-D6.3||STANDARD||6-inch/150mm||Long||Sony 12-24mm or Canon 8-15mm on a RED housing|
|M-D8.1||STANDARD||8-inch/200mm||Short||Canon 15mm fisheye|
|M-D8.3||STANDARD||8-inch/200mm||Long||Sony 12-24mm or Canon 8-15mm on a RED housing|
*Product coming soon. For now use M-D6.1 + 25mm Port Extender
Hopefully that helps you choose what dome port is right for you.
Feel free to contact us if you need further assistance, and don’t forget our Lens Port Reference Charts found here: