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Member Since 29 Dec 2001
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 08:23 PM

#350805 Socorro lens options

Posted by JackConnick on 25 July 2014 - 07:07 AM



Proscriptive? Heck, in my old age, I've been going back to primes. Fast, cheap and sharp. Zoom with your fins!


Not to get off the OP's questions, but I'm dying to try the Nikon 28 f/1.8 on a D800 there...


Echo Tim's comments about murkiness at times in Socorros... viz can be up and down, as wind blows volcanic ash off the islands into the water, or surge stirs up the bottom. Of course, that's when you see the largest schools of hammerheads...


Whatever lens you take, you'll have a great time!





San Benedicto (1st time)-1 by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

#350714 Socorro lens options

Posted by JackConnick on 23 July 2014 - 10:09 AM

You can use the 10-17 + the TC and get a little more reach. I've found this to be a sharper solution than the Sigma 17-70 which is about the only other lens I like underwater. The 17-70 is fairly useful and has a good range including sort of a close-up mode. But I don't think it's got stellar sharpness.


I've shot all three of these solutions down there. Mid-range zooms tend to be slower lenses and don't shoot very well uw (poor corners, etc.). Socorros can be murky at times.


I think a larger dome does give other options, and you can shoot at more wide open apertures than in the mini-dome, so I would recommend looking into that. The 17-70 requires a large dome and a 50mm extension, so it tends to be a bit bulky for shooting in blue water. Shooting a 60 behind a dome is a decent sort of shark setup for more reach, fairly sharp and fast, no extension.


Here's a couple of examples shot there.


Sigma 17-70 D300:



Manta 3/4 Overhead by Optical Ocean, on Flickr



Manta Head shot by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

This was at 29mm, and could of been shot wider, but the Manta was moving quickly.


Tokina 10-17, 7" Dome, with D300 (same trip):


Manta Eye level by Optical Ocean, on Flickr



Friendly Dolphin by Optical Ocean, on Flickr


Hope that helps!




#344718 Sigma 15mm fisheye focus problem

Posted by JackConnick on 19 March 2014 - 08:36 PM

I think you need the extension if you're not getting focus. Even with it you'll have corner issues with that small a port. But for video it should be ok, especially if you stop down.



#329846 PT-EP06 UnderWater Housing for the E-PM1 for $199.99 !!!

Posted by JackConnick on 16 April 2013 - 03:47 PM

Or you can get the same deal from one of the shops that sponsor WetPixel.

#325561 A few from the Socorros

Posted by JackConnick on 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

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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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Manta by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

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Jacks on Roca Partida by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

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Manta by Optical Ocean, on Flickr

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

#323572 Favourite Image Of 2012

Posted by JackConnick on 31 December 2012 - 09:07 PM

It's been a year for less local diving and a couple of trips; to the Phillipines and to Fiji. I mostly shot macro in the PI and w/a in Fiji, so my more memorable images are the reverse of that flow.

School of Jacks, Phillipines (Nauticam D7000 Tokina 10-17, Zen 100 dome):
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School of Jacks by Jack Connick, on Flickr

Rush Hour, Fiji (Nauticam D800, 105VR+Fit +5 diopter):
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Rush Hour by Jack Connick, on Flickr

Happy New Year!

#323310 free images in reverse

Posted by JackConnick on 26 December 2012 - 10:32 AM

I think this is an editorial use that promotes the photographer - not so much the shot. If done with permission, it's a nice bit of free advertising. It's up to the individuals whether it's of value.


#322619 Dome ports for D800+Sigma 15+Nikon 16-35

Posted by JackConnick on 13 December 2012 - 02:03 PM

I'm saying the glass is better optically, it's sharper and can be ground to different thicknesses.
Look I'm no expert - it just shoots better...


#322539 EM-5 and 9-18mm soft images

Posted by JackConnick on 12 December 2012 - 09:10 AM

These look quite underexposed to me and pretty far away. A higher ISO may help. You may want to consider shooting with a red filter inside the port and doing manual white balance.


#320407 Just got back from Komodo

Posted by JackConnick on 12 November 2012 - 01:58 PM

I like the little blue crab, haven't seen one quite like that before.

#320229 warning points????

Posted by JackConnick on 09 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

I think we should go for the highest score...kinda like ScubaBoard. We could have handicaps too. I see a whole new sport...

#318480 Sigma 15FE + Kenko 1.4 on a D800?

Posted by JackConnick on 16 October 2012 - 03:30 AM

8.5" Nauticam acrylic + a 20mm ext.

Just an easy bit of gear to carry that most people already have as well...

Here's another, might of been better w/o the teleconverter, but it renders it without distortion...

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Soft Coral on The Great White Wall by Pixel Letch, on Flickr


#317763 How Long Is Too Long?

Posted by JackConnick on 03 October 2012 - 08:34 PM

Ha, glad to read this. I was contacted while I was in the Phillipines on a dive trip by an Asian Diver editorial assistant to write a story.

We have a section entitled How It Works, which basically covers a different kind of dive gear/accessory every issue. As it happens, we're dealing with underwater strobes in our upcoming issue, and we would really love to have you, an expert in strobes, to contribute an article.

The story will just be a brief 500 words or so, and focuses on the technical aspects of different strobes, their design perhaps, what to look out for in using particular strobes, and also the newest technology employed to create the most advanced products. I understand that you write for a blog as well, and thus have the confidence that you are definitely suitable to come in. For your contribution as well as a 30 word (max) bio of yourself, we can offer a token sum of SGD160.

The only thing is, we only managed to get your contact this morning, but would need the story by the end of today (US time).

I told her no, an article like that a) can't be written in 500 word or in 2 hours, b) I'm not really an engineer and c) I'm diving from 6am-4pm. She wrote again asking for an outline, that they would "write it for me". I wasn't wild about that, but maybe if I, or my staff could review the article for facts. She declined.

What a joke.


#315977 A Few from The Philippines

Posted by JackConnick on 07 September 2012 - 11:30 AM

I just went on a 12 day trip to visit Atlantis resorts in Puerto Galera and Dumaguete as well as their Azores liveaboard, spending 3 days diving at each for a total of 30 dives. Most of it was macro, but I got bored and managed a few wide angle shots as well.

All were shot with a Nikon D7000 in a Nauticam NA-D7000 housing and 60mm AF or 105VR AFS macro lens and a +5 diopter -- or a Tokina 10-17 behind a Zen 100mm dome. I thought I'd shoot with the Tokina + Kenko 1.4TC more, but just found it wasn't wide enough, or well-suited for the subjects. I also found the 60mm + diopter was the sharpest and best solution, as it allowed me to get very close to the small critters. I really liked the new Nauticam flip-out diopter lens holder, as it made switching to a more moderate length lens very fast and easy.

The diving and hospitality from Atlantis was great and I highly recommend their operations to all.

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Blue Ringed Octopus #1 by Pixel Letch, on Flickr
The first dive at Dumaguete yielded not one, but two Blue-Ringed Octos!

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White-faced Anemone Shrimp by Pixel Letch, on Flickr
I like the head-on view. This gal was carrying eggs as well.

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Crinnod Shrimp by Pixel Letch, on Flickr
I think this is my favorite of the macro I took. Kind of unusual colors.

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Tomato Anemonefish w/a by Pixel Letch, on Flickr
One attempt with the Tokina 10-17+ Kenko 1.4

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Whale Shark by Pixel Letch, on Flickr
Slurp! We snorkeled with these guys for an hour or so one morning. They were the "tame" ones being fed krill.

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School of Jacks by Pixel Letch, on Flickr
Wall of Jacks. Just thousands of fish...

More on Flickr. Enjoy!