I will be going to Palau/Peleliu next February for roughly 2 week (shore based) and I'm trying to decide what lenses/ports would be worth bringing along. I have an Olympus E-M5mkII (0.5x equivalent full frame lens size) and was planning on bringing my 60mm Macro and my Panasonic 7-14mm rectilinear for wide angle. My biggest question was whether or not it would be worth bringing a fisheye lens with me? I don't currently own one, but was going to be buying one within the next year or so. If it's not worth bringing to Palau, then I can spread out purchases a bit more.
Lenses for Palau
Posted 29 April 2017 - 10:46 PM
Just got back from a 7 day trip on the Palau Siren with my daughter. She is just starting to shoot underwater, and shooting with the same camera you have.
She brought 3 lenses, but ended up shooting only with the 60mm and the 7-14mm - you have the right two...
Unless you are in front of your group, or slightly lower than your group (when hooked in) the grey reef sharks will either be below you or even with you, and away from the reef - so tough to get a great shot anyway. It is possible, but you need patience, a strong current (at places like Blue Corner), and some luck.
The 60 was great for the night dives, but she set up with the 7-14 every day for the early morning, mid morning, and early afternoon dives.
Palau has held up well under the large number of divers that visit every year (this was my 3rd trip to Palau; first was 20 years ago). Sharks are still there, still lots of fish, and the reefs are healthy.
We were there right before the grouper spawning (full moon) , so Ulong Channel had a ton of groupers swimming around, which was interesting... this also brought out 3 very large Bull Sharks down at Peleliu... they were curious, but clearly with as much food in the water not that interested in us. However they did make the white tips, black tips, and Grey Reefies look like toy sharks.
Posted 01 May 2017 - 06:22 AM
I went to palau 2 decembers ago on the Solitude One (great boat, great experience). Big 2 week trip so I brought almost my entire kit: 60mm macro, 7-14 oly in 180mm dome, 12-50 w zoom gear, 12mm and 8mm FE in 4.33 mini dome. I never used the 60mm macro, I did the night dives the first two days then skipped the rest. Guess I'm just getting old, but for me, it wasn't worth a 4th dive of the day and there was no need for macro during the day. For blue corner, we used reef hooks, was a great show but the sharks never got very close. I ended up just using the 12mm in the 4.33" or the 12-50, and dropped the strobes. Nothing was getting close enough for the strobes, and the smaller rig was much easier to handle in the current. We did a number of caverns and walls, a few wrecks, all of which were beautiful and I would bring the 7-14mm. I never used the fisheye. Personal preference, I like to use the FE it for close up of big fish, but never got that opportunity during our trip. Seemed like all the big things were where the current was strong and never got close enough.
Posted 08 May 2017 - 08:56 AM
Thanks for the replies. I'll hold off on the Fisheye for now then.
Posted 16 July 2017 - 01:41 PM
Palau is amazing, but photographically the most challenging place I've been. Good shots are few and far between because most dives are drifts and it is difficult to go slow enough for macro, or get close enough for larger subjects (like sharks). I recommend trying video as well (whatever lens you find works best for that). I found it easier to get good results on video than photographically.