Avast Marine makes some really well-built, well designed aquarium products but when it comes to the new Porthole photo box, we feel like the user experience leaves something to be desired. The Porthole is a simple top down viewer for taking pictures of your reef tank through the water surface. The premise is for the thumbscrews to simply lock down on the lens of your SLR camera, and for the entire porthole to be twisted to adjust the focus on your lens. This sounds easy enough in theory but in practice, we found it cumbersome and not super practical. We’d also be worried about wear on the lenses from the extra weight of the porthole and the water pushing up on it.
Furthermore, one of the most crucial parameters for getting great images through aquarium glass is to hold the lens perpendicular to the glass, and this is increasingly important when the lens is close to the glass. Fastening a camera lens with three nylon screws makes it kind of hard to get a nice flush mount between the camera and the lens. Perhaps some other users have had better impressions of the Porthole and we’d love to hear your comments if you’ve had some better luck getting the Avast Marine top down photo box to work for you.