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Dome Port

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Dairyland diver
Apr 7, 2001
Since I had a little money left over from selling my drysuit I decided to take Cliff's advice and spend the big bucks on a dome port for my INON wide angle lens. This gives it 130 degrees of view underwater and makes split level, over/ under, shots possible.

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I haven't had a chance to try it in the lake just yet, but we did get to take it to the pool today to play around with the over/ under capabilities.

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LOL - I like the image of the camera housing with the baby cereal boxes...

Along with the over/under shot, I can see what's really important...

Cute kid, Jon...
I can see what's really important...

Now you know why my wife so readily agreed for me to sell all of my trimix gear and invest everything into a new camera set-up.;) :D

You're going to have a lot of fun with that camera! I was looking at second hand Nikonos V 15mm lenses: 2000 euros! Too much :waterwork

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Over and under shots

Speaking of over and under shots, here's a question. I gather I have nearly identical gear to Jon -- Oly C5050 in a PT-015 housing and an Inon UWL-100 wide-angle lens (except that I don't have the dome port). I notice often when I try to get over and under shots, the above-water part looks fuzzy. A few weeks ago I had my UWL-100 attached when I shot a few brief video clips of diving with sea lions:


Now this is highly compressed to get the filesize as small as possible, so the image quality is extremely wonky. But you can see in a couple of places (around 1:10 and 2:15) I lifted the camera out of the water; at first the above-water image isn't bad, but then it's as though a curtain of murk descends on it.

I'm assuming that this is because the water between the UWL-100 and the housing is draining off, which degrades the image. Is there a trick for working around this to get a better above and below shot?
what you are experiencing is the result of not having the dome port attached to the front of your lens - The lens works great underwater, but degrades drastically above water. It is corrected for underwater use only and needs water between the rear element and the front of the housings flat port - it is a part of the optical formula for this set up
I got to play in Devil's lake today. The vis was pretty bad, but I got to play with the lens, and my new mono.:D

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One last, lame, shot.

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Hello Jon,
I have no experience on freedive photography,I wonder how much did you pay for the total of this equipment??

I spent a little bit of money on my new digital camera set-up.:waterwork My buddy, Ted, has a similar set-up but not the wide angle lenses. He saved a chunk of change by waiting 6 months to buy his.:head My set up is still less expensive than the film camera set up that many of my friends have. I also save a LOT of money on my film developing costs compared to my old 35mm set up.

The costs break down like this:

Item Retail I spent Ted spent

Camera $800 $650 <$600

Housing $300 $300 $150!!!

Inon lens $350 $350 -----

Dome Port $360 $360 ------

512 mb cf card $150 -----

1 GIG cf card ------ $150

I have close to $2,000 in camera gear. I paid for it all by selling off my tec diving toys, since I no longer have much of an interest in that. The longer you wait to buy a digital camera the more the prices come down.

My original freedivng set-up was a Sea&sea MMII with a 16mm lens. It was a great set-up that was very small and easy to use. Things get more complicated when you add on dual strobes, mulitiple lenses, and a couple of stage bottles to go with your doubles.;)

So far I think that I will have made up the cost for half of my set-up by the end of the year in just film developing, and purchasing, costs.

It still amazes me how cheap freediving is, on a whole, compared to scuba and tec-diving. I used to blow a couple hundred bucks on a days worth of deep, wreck diving by the time I added in charter boat fees, helium, O2, film, and travel expenses. Now I just have to buy Ted lunch if he drives, and vice-versa. I even get to come home at the end of the day with a fresh caught dinner and a few pictures.:cool:

Here's a shot I took during the warm up of this week's hockey game.

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These over-under shots are neat. They have a lot of potential, and with digital you can shoot hundreds! Some places where I freedive are almost lunar in terms of surface rock formations, and it'ld be great to do these type of shots here. So come on over!!

On a technical note, if you stop down to f16 or f22 - don't know if the Oly can do this, how sharp and thin can you get the water line that divides the picture? I'd like to see.

Below is a shot from one of my sites:

Jon, thanks for the information.I think Ted was a little luckier by waiting 6 months ,but these are really higher prices for my budget. In fact,no pain no gain,I must start ,but I just can pay app.600$ for this hobby.Do you have any advice for this little budget?
And Jon, your photos are really impressive,keep on going.....
You could start with a smaller digital camera and a ready made housing. I think that Cliff might do an article on such cameras after he comes back from DEMA- hint, hint.;)

Or, you could start with a used film camera, check out E--bay. My first, good, camera was a Sea&sea MMII. I started out with just the camera and used it like that for a year before I could afford another thing for it.

A year later I bought a 16mm lens and viewfinder for it. I still use that set up sometimes and think that it works really well for freediving. A year after that I bought my first strobe, another year later had to buy a new camera since I flooded the first. The following year I bought a second strobe, and so on. I kept adding on bits and pieces here and there until I had a pretty well-rounded set-up.

Looking back on it I would have been better off just getting the camera and wide-angle lens and forgetting all of the other stuff- strobes are expensive and they can flood too!:waterwork

I have also seen some nice, shallow, pictures come out of those diposable waterproof cameras. If you are shallow, and have a bright day, I think you could get some nice shots.

When it came to the new digital camera I had a bunch of other toys to sell off, all at once, to pay for it. So, I wasn't too worried about the price- for a change!

I do have another friend who bought a Cannon digital camera and housing for less than $300 and he takes some nice shots with it. I think that it is a 3 megapixel camera. You could check out the Digital Diver forums to see what's on special right now.

A while back I posted plans for a relatively inexpensive underwater digital camera. It cost $170 at the time, but I think that the individual pieces are even cheaper now (like under $150)

Here's the link:

Here's a link to a photo that was taken using the cheaper camera:

If you sort the pictures in my gallery by date, the oldest 14 were taken with the inexpensive camera. The most recent 7 were taken using a C-5050.

The camera did flood once, and it seems like it has never been quite the same since ...
Adrian, that shot is great -- inspiring location. I like the over-under stuff myself but have been unsucessfull so far. Here's one that's strictly under.


  • under©mendoza.jpg
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I just picked one of these up at the local camera shop.

I think it cost me $12 US. I now feel a little more comfortable taking the thing out diving with me, I was worried about scratchinghte lens before.

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I bundle my Sony trv-900 & Oly 5050 in towels, then stuff them in the hatch of my kayak... works great, except that they smell like fish at the end of the day...
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