Summary: The Frog Ports USA 6″ dome port is the best option if you have the 7artisans or Meike fisheye lenses, or if you want to shoot split shots or over/under shots with a small fisheye.
The Frog Ports USA 6″ port is a dome port designed for use with the Sea Frogs Salted Line a6xxx water housing. I’ve never used a lens port for a housing that wasn’t made by the company who makes the housing, but this one works great, and offers something different to the Sea Frogs dome port line up.
Frog Ports USA 6″ dome port video review
Where can I get a Frog Ports USA 6″ dome port?
You can buy the port directly from Frog Ports USA through their website: handcraftedvideowate.wixsite.com/frogportsusa
See some sample photos taken with the port on their Instagram account: @frogportsusa
The ports are made in the USA by the people behind HCW (Hand Crafted Waterhousings), a water housing manufacturer in California.
How much does the Frog Ports USA 6″ dome port cost?
The price is $220 US, and payment is accepted via PayPal. Shipping within the US is included in the price, but it costs extra if you’re outside the US.
Which lenses work with the Frog ports USA 6″ dome port?
This is the official list of supported lenses from the Frog Ports USA website:
- Sony 16mm f2.8
- Sony 16mm f2.8 + Fisheye Converter VCL-ECF2
- Sony 16mm f2.8 + Ultrawide Converter VLC-ECU2
- Sony 20mm f2.8
- Sony 20mm f2.8 + Fisheye Converter VCL-ECF2
- Sony 20mm f2.8 + Ultrawide Converter VLC-ECU2
- Sony 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 PZ OSS
- Sony FE 28mm F2
- Sigma 19mm f2.8 DN Art E mount
- Samyang/Rokinon 8mm f2.8 fisheye
- Samang/Rokinon 12mm f2
I have personally used it with these two lenses:
You can see examples from both lenses below, and in the video above.
The photo above was taken with the Meike 6.5mm circular fisheye and edited in Photoshop to make a rectangular image.
This photo was taken with the 7artisans 7.5mm f2.8 fisheye and the Frog ports USA 6″ dome port.
As you can see, there is some very slight vignetting in the corners using the 7 artisans, but it’s better than you’ll find with the 4″ Sea Frogs port. The Meike 6.5mm circular fisheye also has some vignetting, but it’s hard to tell as it’s a circular fisheye, and if you’re processing the photos, you probably won’t notice it.
I wouldn’t recommend using the 16-50mm lens in this dome, I’d stick to the standard flat port thats supplied with the housing. You only needa dome if you’reusing a realy wide angle lens, like a fisheye.
How is the Frog Ports USA 6″ dome port different to Sea Frogs ports?
There are a few main differences between the Frog Ports USA 6″ dome and the alternatives you can get directly from Sea Frogs.
Frog Ports USA use aluminium as the base of the port. The rear part of the port is made from one piece of metal that feels very solid when you’re handling it. There’s a ring that goes around the front of the port to hold the acrylic dome in place and create a water tight seal. The ring is held in place with 8 small hex bolts. It does make the port a little heavier than the 4″ Sea Frogs dome, but it’s still lighter than the Sea Frogs 6″ dome with lens hood.
Sea Frogs use the same type of plastic for their ports as for their housings. Otherwise, the design is very similar, with a back piece that slots into the housing and a ring of plastic around the edge to hold the acrylic port in place.
This design make it relatively easy to remove and replace the acrylic dome if necessary, without having to replace the rest of the port.
The Frog Ports USA dome uses a shallower dome compared to the Sea Frogs ports. Basically, it sticks out less than other domes.
This should help water stream off the port more quickly, although I’ve never had an issue with water streaming off slowly with any dome I’ve used, so I don’t know if that’s a big selling point.
The optical properties of a shallower dome are different too. I’m not an expert in this area, but from what I understand, I think it’ll make it easier to focus underwater for lenses that can’t focus really close. Here’s a link to a page which goes into a lot of detail about how domes work underwater: Understanding flat port and dome port theory
The 6″ diameter is a standard size for dome ports for surf water housings. Sea Frogs do make a 6″ dome port, but it’s got a much longer ‘stem’, so you need to use physically longer lenses inside it.
I prefer to use small, relatively inexpensive fisheye lenses, like the Samyang/Rokinon 8mm f2.8 fisheye, the 7artisans 7.5mm fisheye, or the Meike 6.5mm circular fisheye. Many people also use the Sony 16mm pancake lens, with the Sony fisheye adapter, this is a similar size.
The 6″ dome ports that Sea Frogs produce are not suitable for these smaller fisheye lenses, because the ‘stem’ or tube part of the dome is too long, so the lens doesn’t extend into the clear dome section.
Sea Frogs produce a smaller, 4″ diameter dome port which is suitable for these lenses. The smaller size makes it perfect for use above water, but makes it harder to take split or over/under style photos.
Are there any issues with the Frog Ports USA 6″ dome port?
The only minor issue I experienced was some reflections from the inside of the dome in some shots. I only noticed it when I was shooting straight down towards dark rocks with a bright sky above me. You can see an example in the video above.
One way to prevent this type of reflection in your photos, is to use the zoom ring that’s provided with the housing for use with the 16-50mm lens. This helps block the light from getting through the back of the housing and hitting the inside of the dome.
Should I buy the Frog Ports USA 6″ dome port?
If you use any of the other small fisheye lenses I’ve mentioned, and you want to take over/under or split shot, then the Frog Ports USA 6 inch port will be the best option.
I’ve written a few blog posts, and made a few videos about the Sea Frogs Salted Line a6xxx housing, here’s a list: