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A few from the Socorros

Soccoro D800 Nauticam

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#1 JackConnick

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:00 AM

Went down to Cabo for a few days and then out on the Solmar V to the Soccoros for a week in mid-January. It can always be a crap shoot, and the last trip I made (this is my third) was in January and was spectacular. This time we had wind a cool weather in Cabo for most of the 5 days.

The islands really got beat up with hard rain and wind the week before we went. Fortunately it had improved as we left. Unfortunately the seas were choppy and the wind was still bad for the first couple of days. The viz was pretty bad, worst I've seen. Normally it's 80-100', but we had more like 20' horizontal and 40' vertical. We couldn't see our fins at Cabo Pearce. Frustratingly, there was pretty decent animal interactions, with lots of hammerheads and even a small (10-12') Tiger at Canyons, but pretty much impossible to shoot!

Roca Partida had better viz, still not what I've seen there, but lumpy seas and strong currents. There was a small school of Galapagos sharks, but the group scared them away. Whales were in and a couple of lucky guys dropped in and go a few shots, of course they were gone went I went in...

Finally, we got back to San Benedicto and El Boiler was ok, although very hazy, and pretty bad by the afternoon. But the mantas were playing, and over the course of 8 dives I managed to get some images I liked, by getting within a few feet. Several dives we had 2-3 even 4 circling us and enjoying our bubbles. Over the years, I've learned to just stay motionless and verical with my hand raised as if asking a question. They'll zoom by, stop, and circle right over me. They love the attention. Amazing for an animal thats 18-22' in width!

Oh well, that's blue water diving for you. The next couple of week's trip reports had the viz back and conditions excellent. The crew on the Solmar V is fantastic, the old boat still works out quite well, great food, huge camera table and everyone had fun.

We do have a charter in 2014 at the end of May concentrating on shooting bait balls and the huge schools of silky sharks that seem to congregate around Roca Partida that time of year. I'll have an announcement up soon.

Here's a few shots. They were taken with a Nikon D800, Sigma 15mmFE, in a Nauticam NA-D800 housing and Zen 230mm dome port with 2x Sea & Sea YS-D1 strobes. This system is very easy to use underwater as it is neutral and fairly compact for it's capabilities.

Enjoy, Jack

Posted Image
Manta by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

Posted Image
Manta by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

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Manta by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

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Manta by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

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Jacks on Roca Partida by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

Posted Image
Manta by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

Posted Image
Jack+Manta by Optical Ocean, on Flickr
This was shot by guide Erick Higuera on a 5DMKIII

Edited by JackConnick, 04 February 2013 - 08:35 AM.

Jack Connick
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#2 BDSC

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:40 AM

Thanks for sharing! We have a group going in November of 2014. I wish it were this year but I had to make it 2014 to be able to charter the entire boat. We will be on the Rocio Del Mar.

#3 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:25 PM

Nice one Jack!
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#4 loftus

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:45 PM

Nice Jack,
You have to be pleased with the sharpness and resolution of the D800. I certainly am.
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#5 JackConnick

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:07 AM

Loftus;

Yeah, no comparison to my D300s or D7000. Just looking at the dynamic range of the water- every subtile gradation, then the same in the 3/4 tones - sold me. Sharpness and resolution are amazing.

I have to say I'm struggling with mid-range lenses at this point. I bought and tried to shoot the Nikon f/4 16-35 this week and it was hopeless, just couldn't lock focus, and in poor viz, it just stacked the crud. My dive buddy Greg was shooting a D3 and the 17-35 f2.8 and he had the same problems. I did shoot the Sigma with the Kenko 1.4TC at times to some effect. I think the people using the mid-range zooms are shooting in bright conditions in clear water, we don't always have that on the West Coast!

I'm really re-thinking fast prime lenses, probably not over 28mm. There's a legendary Nikon 28mm f/1.4 AFD lens that would be perfect, but it's out of production and goes for like $3500 or so!

On another note, I found shooting the S&S YS-D1s with the 100 vs 120mm diffuser gave plenty of wide coverage, was more powerful and I had much less problems with backscatter.

Jack

Edited by JackConnick, 04 February 2013 - 10:08 AM.

Jack Connick
Optical Ocean Sales.com Sea & Sea, Olympus, Ikelite, Athena, Zen, Fix, Nauticam, Aquatica, Seacam, Gates, 10Bar, Light & Motion, iTorch/I-DAS & Fantasea Line - Cameras, Housings, Strobes, Arms, Trays & Accessories
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#6 pdemaagt

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 04:10 AM

Hi Jack,
Still it isn't too bad :-). I went to the Galapagos some time ago and basically didn't see anything worth showing...what a bummer..

#7 Steve Williams

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 05:12 AM

Roca Partida had better viz, still not what I've seen there, but lumpy seas and strong currents. There was a small school of Galapagos sharks, but the group scared them away. Whales were in and a couple of lucky guys dropped in and go a few shots, of course they were gone went I went in...


So Jack, you post these great images and then we're supposed to feel sorry for you? Posted Image Sorry partner, you'll get no sympathy from me.

Cheers,
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#8 JackConnick

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 04:30 PM

Thanks guys.

Really, I just worked the problem, getting very close, shooting up and trying to work the animals up closer to the surface. The Sigma is a great lens for all of this.

Jack

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#9 rtrski

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 07:44 PM

Spectacular. Thanks for sharing. Soccoros are still on my 'must do' list....

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#10 Bushy

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:00 AM

Brilliant shots