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Kona Manta Dive Tips

Kona Manta filter lights

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#1 JKist3



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Posted 11 May 2017 - 12:38 PM

I'll be going to Kona in a couple weeks and want to record the manta dive I'll be doing. It's a night dive but somewhat well illuminated due to many divers and snorkelers in the water shining lights on the mantas.  Because of this I'm a bit unsure on the use of filters or video lights. Do I use a red filter, and do I use video lights?  Anyone have experience on what will give the best results?

#2 okuma


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Posted 11 May 2017 - 05:56 PM

It's relatively well lit - similar to to a large bonfire.

Comes complete with hundreds of tourists divers to insure that there is an adequate amount of backscatter suspended at all times.


It is a "one trick pony"; but a good one!.

Do take  video lights and enjoy the dive.

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If it is so easy every one would be doing it!

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#3 FyshEye


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Posted 13 May 2017 - 09:25 PM

I have done this dive back in March of 1997 off the Kona Aggressor. It was an awesome dive, especially after all the cattle boats leave. I shot video of the entire dive with only one light. I was instructed to place the light hi above the lens with the beam out maybe three to five feet out in front of the lens \ point downward. 


The Mantas are plankton feeders as you know. What happens is the plankton will be attracted to the video light like moths. So you want the light to be high above the lens to keep the plankton out of the image, but still have enough light to illuminate your subject.


Also the the Mantas will come in close to feed on the plankton gathered at the light. The mantas will do the backward somersault flip over, and over, and over again, feeding on the plankton until you get bored or they get full.


I still talk about my '97. To this day it is still my most talked about dive experience. One of these days i will get all that footage off my High 8mm video tape.


Cheers, enjoy your trip... 



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#4 nath129


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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:46 PM

I just did the manta night dives in March on the Kona Aggressor. Sadly the first time we went, there were no mantas at all. But the next day we went to do the manta night dive by the Sheraton and we saw around 3 mantas.

My tips to you. use your brightest video light and point it upwards, since the mantas are filter feeders, your video lights will attract the plankton thus the mantas will swoop by you. Make sure to point the lights above your head as there are some cases where mantas smack the divers head because they hold the light too low down.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Kona, Manta, filter, lights