Our Favourites – and why!
Although we've run through wide angle options for compact before, here are our recommendations updated for 2023! Wet lenses can be particularly great for compact cameras – because your camera's lens isn't changeable, a dome, whether wet or dry, can give you some much needed versatility.
Note: If you're interested in similar options for DSLR and mirrorless, we're working on a guide we hope will follow this – please stand by, it's very complicated! Both this guide and the next will be published on our website as well, for future referral.
Dry domes vs Wet Lenses
What factors should you take into consideration when comparing dry domes and wet lenses? The most important things are:
Half ’n’ halfs – a large dry dome port gives you greater control to get a clean, smooth water line when shooting split shots. This type of shot can be extremely difficult with a wet lens where you're fighting double water lines.
Lack of convenience – dry domes are fixed in place and lack the convenience of a wet lenses that can be easily switched out underwater.
Special lenses – a dry dome may accommodate special wide-angle lenses (see below).
Ikelite DC-series Domes
For Ikelite compact housings only, DC1, DC2, DC3 and DC4 replace the regular flat port. Requires strap wrench to mount, or can be mounted on new housing at purchase. Make sure you choose the correct dome for your housing by checking the port chart.
Note: For TG-6 with FCON-T02 Fisheye Lens, use the #64361 instead.
Nauticam N50 Ports
Some Nauticam compact housings use the N50 port system. This allows the user to switch between short bayonet ports and domes. Not sure about your housing? Check the N50 port chart.
Wet Lenses for ALL housings: Our favorites
Any compact housing with a threaded port mount can fit these wet lenses with the correct adapter. Information can be found on our website regarding the correct adapters (follow the links) – but give us a shout if it's unclear.
Nauticam Wet Wide Lens Compact – WWL-C #83203
- WWL-C is a premium-grade optical glass dome.
- Bayonet fitting makes it easier to switch lenses underwater.
- Wide range of bayonet converters available – M67, PT-059, NA-TG-6 etc – fits many housings!
- 130º for 24mm equivalent lens (underwater).
- 100m depth rating.
Inon UWL-95S M52, M67 Wide Conversion Lens
& Dome Lens Unit III – Glass or Acrylic
- UWL-95S can be used in air or underwater.
- Can be used with or without the Dome Unit.
- M67 version and M52 version.
- 60m depth rating.
- Choose between glass or acrylic!
- 95° field of view underwater; approx. 141° with Dome Lens Unit III.
- Easily replace the dome lens unit if it gets scratched.
Weighing up your options: Acrylic vs Glass
Points to consider:
Weight – Glass can be heavy compared to acrylic.
Damage – If you scratch a glass dome port, the glass lens will require replacement; if you scratch an acrylic dome, you can often buff it out using Novus Polish.
Price – Acrylic is about half the price of glass.
Quality – Glass gives the best results.