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pakman

Cocos Trip: Photo/Video Equipment Advise

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I'm starting to count down the days until my mid Aug liveboard trip to the Cocos and need some advice on what camera setups I should bring along... I want to minimize on luggage as I will also be doing some non-dive traveling for an additional week after the Cocos trip. Any other general shooting tips would be appreciated. Will be on the Okeanos Aggressor.

 

Still Photos - Canon 400D + S&S housing... wide angle setup - dome + ext's for a 18-50mm and 10-17mm Tokina fisheye . Macro lenses and ports will stay home... Strobes for the occasional clos-up WA encounter? Any luck with magic filters or are the dives too deep for its benefits? Any opportunities for topside pics on the island (70-200mm w/ 1.4x or 2x TC)?

 

Video - Sony HC7 + Gates housing + WP25 port + light(s) - for the nite time whitetip reef shark frenzy...

 

With the exception of video lights, I think I can juggle this compact still/video setup into a small check-in Pelican case and lowepro backback (carryon).

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I'm starting to count down the days until my mid Aug liveboard trip to the Cocos and need some advice on what camera setups I should bring along... I want to minimize on luggage as I will also be doing some non-dive traveling for an additional week after the Cocos trip. Any other general shooting tips would be appreciated. Will be on the Okeanos Aggressor.

 

Still Photos - Canon 400D + S&S housing... wide angle setup - dome + ext's for a 18-50mm and 10-17mm Tokina fisheye . Macro lenses and ports will stay home... Strobes for the occasional clos-up WA encounter? Any luck with magic filters or are the dives too deep for its benefits? Any opportunities for topside pics on the island (70-200mm w/ 1.4x or 2x TC)?

 

Video - Sony HC7 + Gates housing + WP25 port + light(s) - for the nite time whitetip reef shark frenzy...

 

With the exception of video lights, I think I can juggle this compact still/video setup into a small check-in Pelican case and lowepro backback (carryon).

 

Definitely strobes, there are enough dives you'll want them (Manuelita Inside), and a nice strong focusing light for the Manuelita shallows night dive :)

 

See Rand McMeins site www.greenwaterimages.com for some nice macro work he did there, although the opportunities are limited

 

Never used hte magic filter, but with the exception of Alcyone (pic below) dives are all different levels.

 

Limited opps for topside photos, 2 land trips, but the long lens will come in handy on the mainland.

 

Alcyone, July 2006

Alcyone_Hammers2.jpg

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Thanks Chris, nice shot there...

 

With the exception of the red lip batfish, I think I'll leave my macro ports at home. Plus I think I'll be focusing more on video, though I really want to get a number of WA still like yours!

 

Manuelita has the feeding white tips reef sharks at night, right?

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Strobes for sure, there are a lot of wide angle ops, wish I had the 10-17 when we went. Video lights for the white tip night dive and a good focus light for shooting stills. We only went ashore once but if you will tour other parts of Costa Rica plenty of wildlife from monkeys to 27 species of hummingbirds.

 

Sample of white tip night video in our slide show. Shot with little Cannon Elura in a Ike housing W/A lens and mainly used other peoples lights, but had a Fisheye focus light on.

 

Have a great time!

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Strobes for sure, you'll want those wide angle shots as mentioned in the previous post. Just a quick note on the dome port - just be extra careful as you may hit some pretty bad currents. I dive with an Aquatica housing and my dome port is HUGE. Not sure how it compares to yours but I had to be careful to not let it bang against the reef with one hand as I held onto dear life with the other. The current was so strong it plastered our bodies flat against the reef, but I expect you may already be aware of that.

 

Topside on Cocos, they don't really let you spend too much time on the island although we snuck away from the group and went exploring. Nice river near the main camp you can swim in but can't remember too many other photo ops.

 

If you are doing in rafting on Costa Rica - you can get some beautiful river/waterfall shots if you're willing to risk your camera getting wet. You can keeping it in the housing but someone in our party had problems with it fogging.

 

Have a great time!

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Thanks everyone for the advice... Karenp, my dome is pretty small.

 

Can't wait for the trip to start.

 

edit: quick question, where exactly in Puntarenas do the live aboards leave from... didn't realize Puntarenas is the long province that covers all the Costa Rica's pacific coast!. Got an old friend who lives down in Dominical I'm tempted to visit if its not too out of the way.

Edited by pakman

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Unless you are very lucky in getting close to the sharks, you'll probably be using the longer end of the zoom -- I've had my best luck with a Nikon 16mm FE on my D70. The wider end may be good for marble rays and the schools of jacks at dirty rock, or maybe large schools at Alcyone. And the terrifying and wonderful white tips at night. Strobes, aye. Diapers, aye.

 

Chris

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Puntarenas town, not Puntarenas state mr Pak! Its pretty much opposite the tip of the larger more northern peninsula.

 

Oh, and it's on the Pacific side if you're really lost!

 

The boats will normally have a coach to pick you up in San Jose...

 

 

Don't spend too much time in the 'Casino' complexes in SJ :)

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Take 2 pairs of leather faced or kevlar gloves. The lava is very abrasive to hold on to.

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Don't spend too much time in the 'Casino' complexes in SJ :)

 

hmm...

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