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Everything posted by Luko

  1. Hi all, Everything is in the title, I'm looking for a SMC1 Nauticam lens with its M67 thread adaptor. Of course good optical condition, seller should ship to France, hence preferably based in EU. thanks for your proposals (pls no other lens than SMC1)
  2. Well Chris, I like to have the rhinophores perfectly detailed and "expressive" in my nudibranch images, it's a bit like the eyes for a human portrait, in this case your nudi is more like eying down, there is no "rhinophore expression" as they've been reduced to circles, feels somehow like you've taken the image from above your subject while you should be most of the time at the same level or even lower. I am sure the perspective would have been better if you had taken the shot 10 secs before when it was still climbing up on that coral part. cheers
  3. Balicasag is quite good for fish schools and it's only 1hr morning flight from Manila to Tagbilaran, then 20min ride to Panglao where you would stay. A month ago they even had a whale shark roaming around the jackfish school for more than a week. Moalboal is good for the sardines school and Pescador but IMO for a couple of days, otherwise the diving is tame, same goes for Malapascua where threshers anyway tend more to be and attraction than a real dive. In a week stay in the Phils I would definitely couple a week in Anilao, which is for me the number one Macro destination then 3-4 days somewhere in the Visayas and taht would be Alona/Panglao for going to Balicasag (South Leyte is anotre option but requires too much ferry). Here's what Balicasag can look like
  4. I see you have appropriately covered your backsides... ... so have I ! will be in T'ben diving with him early september, but this year ( trying Kalimaya on Sumbawa beforehand).
  5. Hi Paolo Very nice images, thanks for inspiring me with the RRM technique. I pushed the vice to adding a 21mm extension ring to a reversed 15-85mm and that is what you get with a hairy shrimp. However let's keep our favorite dive guide Ajiex for ourselves and avoid spreading the word too much at the risk we won't be able to book him anymore. Out of joke, Ajiex is also carrying snooting / multicolor light workshops with multi prize winners Lilian Koh and Mike Bartick.
  6. I think you're confusing PNG with West Papua. PNG is really a PITA to go from Europe, it's the epitome of far flung destination, believe me! That is why it is not so developped and you won't read much in european boards. OTOH It takes two hours from Oz with a low cost carrier while you can't fly from anywhere else (except Manila) with another carrier than AirNiugini, which is considered like the most expensive carrier in the world. Just to give you a hint from Europe, last year I flew Paris-HongKong, then HongKong Manila, overnighted in Manila, flew Manila Port Moresby, overnighted in POM, then flew domestic to Alotau. Compared to, flying to other places in SoPac is a breeze since it's almost direct or easily connecting like Fiji, NC, FP, etc. I strongly urge you to go to PNG while you're based in Oz. Well, if you read between the lines of some reports you will also find that FP is not very high on biodiversity. It's a bit like Maldives even more accentuated, and I 'm not a fan of Maldives either. Add on top ├╝berexpensive life style, french inexperience for tourism and big resorts for american tourists. Sharks are heavy in Beqa Lagoon since killing/hunting sharks is taboo in Fijian culture (it's one of their sea gods with octopii), so all kinds have been prosperous around. Any local operation in Fiji will setup a shark attracting operation, nothing for the show just a way to meet them on specific places but where they have been around naturally for decades, it's not like creating an artificial feeding spot. THose shark ops will allow you get up close an personals with bulls and sometimes with big mama tigers. You should check pics from Deepbubble (Giancarlo) on Flickr and ask him what was his recent diving experience with them like. Unlike Bali, you can't go diving yourself on the Coolidge, it's a shore dive but the land where you start the diving from belongs to a dive op, be it Allan Power or another one. Since it's deep deco dives, you will be tied with the ops schedule. that said, you'll be with your own guide who's going to show you how to dive and penetrate the wreck at different depths (from 25 to 60 and below...), I don't think you can call it crowded anyway (it's difficult to imagine Vanuatu as crowded).
  7. We could also have that discussion in french language, relocated on the other board you know. My experience in South Pacific (Disclaimer : Vanuatu is where I grew up btw, kantri blong mifala) : Fiji , absolutely lovely islands and people. You are a social freak if you don't shed a tear when they usually sing the "Isa Lei" on your departure. Diving wise, it's color paradise I don't remember a dive in the wild nearby Vatu I Ra or Bligh Waters where I didn't spot a reef sharks and large pelagics such as tunas or spanish mackerels. Even people who say they are opposed to shark baiting/feeding are impressed with B.A.D. (Beqa Adventure diving) operation where tigers and bull sharks are regulars. Ovalau and Wakaya are supposed to host hammerheads too. PNG : Only went to Milne bay (Tawali) but I support the idea that it's probably the place where corals are the liveliest. Sometimes hammerheads are seen bit not frequently. New Caledonia : lots of manta rays even on day trips from Noumea, some sharks and sometimes silvertips (Dumbea pass). Expensive and not very tourist friendly, but easier for french speaking tourists, i wonder how exclusive english speakers can cope with NC (although it was once a prime destination for Japanese marriages). Vanuatu : Forget the diving for a while and enjoy Vanuatu on land, best country in the South Pacific for topside attractions (tribes, culture, volcanoes) or... food (perhaps some of the best beef in the Pacific and also best snack in the world called Tuluk). only the Pres.Coolidge is worth the diving (Impressive even for the non wreck divers as I am). French Polynesia... yeah, lots of sharkeys and rays, less biodiversity... uber expensive. Not that attractive to me since I was once stranded a month in Papeete maybe.
  8. Hello Tim, Wide angle and fisheye lens certainly will be your best photo friends in Komodo, while there are a few macro ops in Wainilu, Pink Beach or Siaba Besar in teh north part some more like Cannibal in the south. Personally I like those spots for wide angle : - Batu Bolong that you wil certainly dive it more than once, I think it's worthwhile staying one full dive in the shallows around 10AM or 4PM while the light is soft and nice. It's full of anthias and you get a wonderful surface effect in your image. - Tatawa Besar some of the best coral colors in Komodo, incredible flashy orange! - Tengah Kecil, also named Pengah, it's an emerged pinnacle that shows lots of coral diversity and beautiful gorgoninans, the mountlike topography of the site makes it great for backgrounds. - There is an incredible bommie covered with glassfish at the end of Shotgun. - Crystal Rock and Castle Rock may have lots of fish but the current is sometimes so violent you cannot get out your shelter to shoot them. Afternoon light in Batu Bolong Wrasse mayhem in shallow Batu Bolong Shallows on Batu Bolong (look close and you'll find something interesting ) Deeper Batu Bolong : Colors on Tatawa Besar Gorgonians on Pengah Final bommie at Shotgun Surgeonfish on Crystal Rock You may have a look at my Komodo gallery clicking here : https://www.flickr.com/photos/luko/albums/72157625084671506
  9. I would say most rhinos I have seen were from 15cm up to 25cm. The smallest juvenile was probably 4cm but in this case you have to be really lucky : it's so difficult to spot, the guide saw it while we were looking for seahorses, he almost put his hand on it.
  10. Everybody writes about the lens magnifying characteristics, but keep in mind that the eniironment where the rhinopias often lives is quite murky so your only chance to get a good photo is to get very close though still wide enough to put 20cm into a frame. This is why I support the Tok 10-17 option or for a FF the Sigma 15mm+1,4 Kenko muliiplier..
  11. On a FF camera, I would say the 15mm SIgma would be pretty good. On the other I also tried a 60mm into a dome that helps you keep a wider angle I have shot rhinos with many lenses but only DX format see how they go : With a 100 mm, this is the most useless lens I hate to see a rhinopias when I have my 100mm on. I had three in different ones in Ambon while I was stuck with a 100mm. Now this is shot with a 60mm and flatport, Better for geting close in Alor [ This one with a60mm flatport was more comfortable to shoot but the juvenile rhino from Padang Bai was much smaller, thus the lens totally appropriate . This one with a 60mm and Zen minidome For the wider angles, this is a classic combo with a Tok 10-17 behind a Zen Minidome. I was lucky with 4 rhinos on this dive in Padang Bai. Same dive using the Tok 10-17: I sometimes used a Tok 10-17 with a Kenko 1,4 CFWA adaptor behind a Zen minidome, it does a great job for this size of fish, but the AF can be painful. .Here in Ambon. And a very special combo using the Inon "insect eye" lens, In Tulamben Bali.
  12. I am the photographer of the image mentioned on #3 . I also searched for the name of this guy, Someone in a "critter Id" Facebook Group came out with this name, I certainly can't guarantee this is exact but just looking at the critter "Mole shrimp" seems quite adequately descriptive.
  13. Like yourself, I first thought that using a DIY snoot using plumbing apparatus would do the work fine, then I dived a couple of years ago with Ajiex Dharma in Bali (he's probably the best guide for Tulamben) who's eagerly using this stuff. He lent me his Retra LSD ... At the end of the holiday I sent a mail to Retra to purchase my own. There are lots of supermacro/creative images that I wouldn't be able to create without it : very easy to use, makes it easier to focus, no loss of light, you can add plastic filters in it (you know those thin floppy &square enlarger filters nobody uses anymore since film died) . Maybe the only drawback is that it lacks a "wider angle" limiter that would help lighting up a coral head without spreading the light everywhere, I found sometimes the widest hole without any shape was sometimes too narrow. For the record, I am NOT selling (and do not consider it in the future) my Retra LSD.
  14. I only know Tawali so far (last trip in March) and would go back anytime. Lawadi is fantastic or macro, I have never seen such a beautifully lit divesite such as Deacon's reef and the reefs around are simply splendid with a cornucopia of pristine hard corals. I'd probably book a short liveaboard on the Spirit of NewGuinea, ( Tawali's own liveaboard) in order to explore the outer reefs and Samarai area, additionally to dving the local reefs from Tawali resort. Here are some UW photos I posted on this board (and more in my Flickr account, -click below- ) : http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=60247&hl=tawali
  15. I may be wrong, but to me it looks more like a regular Giant Frogfish, Antennarius commersoni, with the think and bulby second spine. It has a distinct tail base which leaves aside any Coccineus id. I cannot either find the distinct lure and first spine of the mummifer.
  16. Definitely not berthelina which is like this : Berthellina nudibranch by Ludovic, on Flickr To me it's a sea snail, not a nudibranch nor headshield slug.
  17. you still could have a standalone license before last October release. I think the monthly CC license for LR started in 2015 from LR6 on but until last month you could select either a license purchase or a monthly use.
  18. Malapascua, I would go either with Exotic which are the pioneer diving the threshers (had the pleasure to share the same boat with the great Doug Perrine 15 years ago) or Sea Explorers because they are consistent all over the Visayas and from divers feedback better than others at spotting critters. One information about Evolution : they don't allow you carrying and using a muck stick, and that's a definite no go for me, 20 years experience diving in the SEA area it's probably the only operation I've seen bannning sticks. They probably can't understand that it's device that allows not touching nor unexpectedly lying on the ground, anyway that says for me a lot about the operation sanctimonious approach. Won't see me... Dumaguete, I really enjoyed Mike's Dauin beach resort, small operation located very close to the best macro spots, nice guides and less expensive than the pompous Atlantis. Pura Vida wich is also run by Sea Explorers would be my second choice.
  19. Everyone i know who used the old Canon 100 USM macro would have testified it delivered the quality of a L version lens packed into a non L version.(and that's including me : I had two of them and still have one) Its autofocus has a fast grip and the quality of glass is faultless, I never had a single trace of chromatic aberration. If you can have one second hand, buy it. No brainer.
  20. Of course I'm jealous with the Melibe Colemani !
  21. yeah... just received the mail too. A pity I won't be able to use them for my next trip in august, I was hoping so much. I'll now have to wait 9 more months before I can start playing with them.
  22. Then the wide angle shots, 10-17 tok+zen 4" dome. If you enjoyed it, you can check out the rest of it (80 photos) my PNG Tawali Flickr gallery here . Pls comment if you feel. Don't hesitate to PM me if you want any feedback on the trip, how to get to, etc. In any case i will HIGHLY recommend Tawali resort. Deacon's reef to start with. And some other coral wide angle sites :
  23. First time in PNG end of march 2017. Tawali resort, Milne bay. Very interesting for macro (Lawadi dive spot is precisely where it all began with muck) but also amazingly rich hard coral reefs and a very special spot called Deacon's reef, with sunlight filtering from the tree canopy dancing down on a shallow bottom. First let's start with the macro, lots of nudis (incl. their "special" Cyerce Nigra at least 3 specimen spotted each dive on Lawadi). 100mm+ addon almost mandatory.
  24. Craig, Jetty in PB : Gekodive usually provides 2 morning dives trip on the Jetty, PB facing south the open sea can be a bit rough in the afternoon with surge coming in, hence it's better to dive the jetty (a bit away) in the morning, sometimes you can't ride out of PB in the afternoon., Pygmies : 60mm usually don't support wetlens such as Aquako as they work by decreasing the focusing distance, 60mm is already close to the subject, so the longer lens you take the better it gets with a diopter. 1,4 multiplier is a pain in the neck for focusing, I'd rather suggest 105 and wetlens +10 or +15 (Subsee, CMC, Aquako, etc.) for pygmies.
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