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Posts posted by scubarews

  1. As part of a 5 week expedition to Indoensia, I spent 5 days in Lembeh at NAD-Lembeh and had a blast in Macro Heaven. You can read my entire trip report with photos about Lembeh and the NAD-Lembeh Resort on my website at




    Here is a brief summary of that report:


    After the pre-dive jitters that accompany the first dive of the big trip after a few months out of the water, I splashed down into murky warm 81 degree water and was handed my camera which was outfitted for macro. While nervously looking for any leaks in the rig, my attention was drawn to a tubular shaped jellyfish with a narrow tip at one end that I thought might be a new species. On second glance I concluded it must be an empty squid egg sack. As my eyes focused on this newly discovered drifting creature it became apparent it wasn’t a jellyfish or any other rare sea creature, but an old condom in the current of discarded waste. WELCOME to the most famous muck diving in the world, Lembeh Strait!


    Don’t let the rubbish, sometimes low visibility and remoteness of this diving destination scare you away. If you are an underwater photographer or just a diver that likes seeing the strangest and rarest creatures in the underwater world, then Lembeh is a must dive location. You will see more new types of marine life on your first dive than many will see in years of diving. It is referred to as muck diving because of the often poor visibility and garbage in the water that primarily comes from the major port city of Bitung. But the many species of frog fish, seahorses, scorpionfish, leaf fish, crustaceans, cephalopods, nudibrachs and pipefish have adapted in very unique ways to this environment and use it as an advantage. The most important key to a successful Lembeh diving trip is to have an experienced dive guide with a very keen eye because camouflage is the method of choice for most of the marine life.


    All of the resorts on the Lembeh Strait are within 10-20 minute boat rides of the good dive sites, so when I chose my home base for diving my main criteria was reasonable price, photo facilities, and good dive guides. The budget friendly eco-resort NAD-Lembeh satisfied my top criteria and exceeded expectations in many other areas including the food. Seasoned underwater photography and video veterans Mike Veitch and Simon Buxton recently took over co-management of the resort. If you frequent wetpixel.com forums you probably know these two characters or have at least read their informative and sometimes entertaining posts. Their combined experience and personalities make them great hosts for any diver, but especially serious photographers.


    In 4 short days of diving I logged 12 dives and over 13 hours in this immaculate muck. While here I left my camera set up for macro the entire time with my 105mm lens on my Nikon D300 in a Sea&Sea housing with dual YS120 strobes and fisheye focus light. A 60mm lens would have been great on some of the dives because the octopus and some of the fish are a little too large for the 105mm. But I was able to get nearly everything on my macro muck list including several types of pygmy seahorses, Pegasus sea moths, Ambon scorpionfish, flamboyant cuttlefish, Banggai cardinalfish, mandarinfish, snake eels, dragonets, lionfish, octopus, giant frogfish, pipefish, mantis shrimp, waspfish, lionfish, and a plethora of colorful nudibranchs. This was my second trip to Lembeh and the muck diving was even better than I remembered and my stay at NAD-Lembeh a pleasant surprise.

  2. I just saw your post, but we had a great time at Wakatobi and found the diving relaxed. They do have rules, but that is because they unfortunately have had some divers that have damaged the reef and they are very protective of it. Sort of like a mother would be of her kid. I wrote a detailed trip report you can find on my website at www.scubarews.com. Just scroll down on the home page for the link. You will love Ubud, but those monkeys are a little aggressive. You must have the crispy Duck!


    Don't worry about it, you will have a great time.



  3. Rick,


    I have a C5050 and have been VERY happy with my INON 2000. You can check out my shots taken with that camera at www.scubarews.com. Most of the shots posted and ones that I sell are taken with that combo. I just recently went DSLR with the Nikon D200, but still use my 5050/2000. It is a very reliable and powerful strobe and easily conects to the 5060. I am not familiar with the strobes you were asking about, but I HIGHLY recommend the INON 2000 strobe with fiber optic sync cord and guarentee you can get award winning shots with that combo. I got mine from Marine Camera Distributors and they had a good deal at the time (3-4 years ago), but I am sure Backscatter and others also carry this strobe.


    Best Fishes,



  4. I REALLY want to have get some great Dolphin Photos in the wild, not a preserve or tourist dolphin experience in a confined environment. I have read about a place in New Zealand and one in Hawaii, but I thought I would ask the forum what they recommend. I was thinking there should be some good ones in the bahama's or somewhere in Central America possibly which would be close for me. Let me know your thoughts.



    Dolphin Dream'n


  5. I faced your same decision and ended up buying the 105. I have had good results (www.scubarews.com) so far, but agree with the other postings. It is great for macro and little fish because you don't have to get so close you scare them. But very hard for decent size fish portraits. I also have the 12-24 for wide angle and I am planning to get the new 60mm for fish protraits Without it, it is hard to get the in between shots.


    I live in the desert and have used the 105 to take some wonderful desert wildflower shots this summer. I like the lens and think it is a great macro option.

  6. Thanks Everyone. I think the 110s are best suited for macro and will end up getting the 120s for now. I am getting 2 120s and a 90 for less than 2 110s would cost me. I think this setup will serve me well and when I decide to upgrade, I will look at the 250.


    BW: I am an Alumni of UofA and a cats fan as well. Bear down!



  7. I am looking to buy a pair of strobes. I can get a pair of YS120 strobes used for about the same price as a pair of YS110. I have used the 120's before with my D200 in S&S DX200 housing and had good results, but wished it had more manual adjustments. I was attracted to the YS110's benefits (12 step manual mode, spotter light, smaller, only 4 batteries, etc), but I am concerned that the 110's won't have enough power and for wide angle and after I buy them will eventually have to go with something larger like a 120 or if I save up enough money, the 250PRO.


    My buddy said that the 110's 110’s simply don’t have the penetration power behind them to do true wide angle photography without creating a lot of shadows and color drop offs. Please let me know your opinion on the 110's and which pair of strobes you would buy if cost is essentially equal.



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