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Member Since 29 Dec 2001
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Sony a7 / Sea of Cortez - Pics

06 September 2014 - 12:24 PM

A few pics and video from our recent Sea of Cortez trip on the Solmar V. Originally we were going to go to the Socorros, so I didn't have a macro lens along.


The Sony a7 is ground-breaking is a full-frame mirrorless camera, lots smaller and lighter than my D800 for sure. Better low-light and a host of programability. BUT lens offerings are pretty scarce. Hopefully by the end of the year this should be improved.


With some of the viz "challenging", I ended up shooting a fair amount of shallower available light. With the a7's low-light abilities it was easy to shoot up into the 2-3,000 ISOs without much degradation at all.


Using the manual focus Nikonos lens was a bit different, but it has such a long depth of field that I just stopped it down and only changed focus from CF/WA to WA as necessary. Using focus peaking it was easy to shoot when you saw the "reds" of their eyes! I also used the 28-70 and for a "kit" lens it isn't bad, with a close up diopter, I think it would work out well. I did shoot some moderate close ups and with the huge files, a little cropping came up with some pleasing images.


My Full Review is Here
Trip Report is Here





Socorros on the New Nautilus Belle Amie Liveaboard, March 10-18, 2015

21 August 2014 - 07:31 AM



Socorros on the New Nautilus Belle Amie Liveaboard, March 10-18, 2015
Join Us for an 8 Day Liveaboard Photo Expedition Starting at only $3355!

The Revillagigedos Islands, also known as the Socorro Islands, are located 250 miles offshore southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. They form an oasis for pelagic life amongst their volcanic shores. Many hammerhead and silky sharks, giant manta rays, dolphins, sailfish, schools of jacks and tuna come to feed, mate and get cleaned by small endemic Clarion Angelfish. These animals tend to be quite friendly towards divers at times, allowing for fantastic interactions and blue water photo opportunities.

Giant Mantas: The giant Pacific mantas which you will meet at Socorro are the largest of the rays and we believe they are the most majestic creatures in the ocean. They swim by moving their wing-like pectoral fins, which can grow up to 7 meters wide, but usually average about 5 – 6 meters. What is even more extraordinary is that the local population of bottlenose dolphins have learned to mimic the behaviour of the giant mantas. It is very likely that these wild dolphins will also move in close and intimate to divers during your trip.

Shark sightings are also very good at Socorro Island with common sightings of silky, galapagos, hammerhead, white tip and silver tip sharks.

Humpback Whales: Optical Ocean Sales has organized this trip to go at a perfect time of year to see migrating Humpback Whales.

A population of 1200 humpbacks moves into the island’s waters in early spring and chances are excellent that you will have encounters with these mighty giants. You may even hear them singing through the hull of the ship at night as you lie in your bunk.

New Nautilus Belle Amie Liveaboard: At 140' in length and 300 tons, the Nautilus Belle Amie redefines luxurious diving. Staterooms are located on three decks and are very spacious with ensuite heads and twin beds and no bunk beds! Three high-speed rigid inflatable 28' dive skiffs are loaded on/off the stern, you just step on and off, your gear is ready! A hot tub and bar complete the upper deck, with a comfortable saloon and dinning room and another bar on the wheelhouse deck.

The ship is stabilized, fast and comfortable in a seaway. In fact, it's the only boat to offer 6 full days of diving on a week's trip! Departs beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.


Optical Ocean Sales: owner Jack Connick (making his 4th trip to the islands), will help you get the most of your underwater photo opportunities.

Included are:

  • 8 nights/9 days aboard the Nautilus Belle Amie, with 6 days of 4 tank dives
  • Twinshare cabins; either Premium, Superior or standard Staterooms.
  • Fantastic meals, snacks and more!
  • Tanks & weights (special pricing on other rentals)
  • Park Fees & taxes

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Airport Transfers
  • Hotel the night prior to departure
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Nitrox
  • $65 Port fee

*Deposits are non-refundable, but transferable to another person.

Download our flyer!

Sign up at: Socorros 2015 with Optical Ocean Sales or Email Us!
Or call: 800-359-1295, or +1 206-284-1142

Photo Expedition to Raja Ampat on the Damai II, Jan 11-22nd

08 August 2014 - 10:13 AM

Only Two Spots Left! “Simply the Best” Underwater Photo Expedition on the Damai II Liveaboard
to Raja Ampat, Indonesia - January 11-22, 2015


Raja Ampat lies in the center of the Coral Triangle and simply has the finest diving in the world. Over 700 vibrant coral species are the backdrop for every image you will want to capture. This is more than ten times what you would find in the Caribbean. It also has the highest level of diversity of fish life in the world with over 1300 species. From Pygmy seahorses to giant mantas!  We will visit muck diving sites, mangroves, piers teaming with schools of fish, manta cleaning stations, and of course every form of reef structure you can dream of. Raja Ampat is a diver’s dream realized. Join us for 11 days as we dive and sail these beautiful waters on board the Damai II liveaboard.


The Damai II is one of the most luxurious liveaboardscatering to diving photographers. The boat is limited to just 12 divers and caters to this smaller group with just 4 divers per guide. The boat also understands photographers; if the group wants to repeat a site, they will try to accommodate! The camera room puts to shame many you will find at dry land resorts.

The word everyone uses to describe the Damai II is luxurious and for good reason. The two Master Suites are 400 sq ft and all suites are beautifully appointed. There are 3 outside lounging areas, one section dedicated to the Spa where you can get a massage. The food is simply some of the best you will find on a dive holiday.  You don’t just “eat”, you “dine”.  But beyond luxurious, the Damai II is functional, with generous storage for your dive gear, excellent pangas and crews.

Your trip leader Jack Connick from Optical Ocean Sales will be available to help you with daily lectures on subjects ranging from strobe positioning to Photoshop Lightroom. Take part in as much, or as little, as you like.

Included in your Package:

•  11 Days/10 Nights on board the Damai II Liveaboard
•  UW Photo Presentations & Help
•  Beer & Pop onboard
•  Airport Transfers to/from boat

Limited Space: 2 spots available in twin share cabin $6600/pp

Not Included: Airfare RT Sarong Sarong, $100 for Nitrox, $100 Park Fee. We can help book air travel.

$3300 non-refundable (transferable) deposit holds your spot! Call or write us today!

Download our flyer here!
*Final price may change due to fuel charges, taxes and surcharges not under our control. Optical Ocean Sales is a registered Seller of Travel in the State of Washington

Nauticam Sony a7 Demo Package

25 July 2014 - 07:21 AM

Demo Nauticam a7 System available.


Sony a7 full-frame mirrorless camera, 28-70mm Sony lens, Nauticam NA-A7 housing, 28-70 port, zoom gear, vacuum check valve. Used on one trip, as new, full warranty. $5195, save $515!


Free ground shipping in US! CC/Paypal accepted, fees included.


Email, or call 800-359-1295.