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Using 1.4x Teleconverter and Subal Flat Port

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I am trying to get ready for the trip to Indonesia this fall especially as regards the many macro photo opportunities I've heard about in Lembeh. Right now I have the 105mm (non VR) lens. I'm looking at getting the 1.4 or 2.0 teleconverter, either the Kenko Teleplus Pro300 DG or the Tamron to enable me to photograph the really small stuff. I currently use the Subal Flat Port and the extension when I'm shooting with the 105mm lens.

 

I have two questions:

 

1) Will the 1.4 (or 2.0) teleconverter fit into the port + extension I currently have or do I need to get another extension, or even a completely different port?

 

2) Which teleconverter would be best to take with me to Lembeh in order to get the best results.

 

I've considered getting the 105VR (plus the Subal port for this lens), but am not completely convinced, based on the reviews I've read, that the extra $$$ expenditure would be worth it.

 

I'd appreciate hearing comments from those who have used teleconverters, and, of course, anyone else who wants to chime in with advice to give. :P

 

Thanks!

 

Ellen

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Hi Ellen,

 

First up, Lembeh isn't actually about the tiny tiny. I have always found that the 60mm is a much more useful lens there. Which I see from your signature, you have.

 

It is certainly worth taking a super macro setup too. Personally I prefer not to use a TC on the lenses and instead prefer to attach a dioptre to the front. This system may not allow super-super macro but it is perfect for pygmy seahorse size critters.

 

Depending on the port you have already and the physical thickness of the dioptre that you buy then your existing port may fit.

 

Alex

 

p.s. I know that others here like TCs so I'll leave it to them to give you advice on them.

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I was going to say the same thing about using a 60mm. I have only been once to Lembeh but I ended up prefering to use a 60mm than the 105mm. Water is not exactly clean so backing up with the 105 in order to fit a subject was not a good idea...

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Hi Ellen, to answer your question :P

 

Subal has more than one flat port. From your message im assuming you have the 60mm flatport, (FP-60), and are using an extension ring to fit your 105mm lens. If that's the case, you can not fit a teleconverter in there. The 105 all the way racked out will almost touch the glass.

 

You need another extension ring to fit the TC. From memory you need the EXT-20 for the 1.4x, and the EXT-33 for the 2x, but your subal dealer can advice you.

 

Since you don't own a 60mm, i would generally just use the 105mm without a TC in Lembeh, but if you'd like to get a little closer you have two options..

 

1) buy an extension ring, buy a 1.4TC. This combination may be too much for Lembeh, especially for novice photographers. The water is murky, and you'll have a LOT of it between your lens and your subject.

 

2) buy a diopter, which will do basically the same as a TC, just slightly different. For one, a diopter will make it possible to decrease the focus distance to your subject, perfect for a 105mm lens. Unfortunately, it does come with a negative side effect. A diopter will not allow you to focus into the distance anymore (im trying to explain this the easy way). So where without the diopter you could focus from say 10 inches to infinity, now you can only focus from 5 inches (closer to the subject) to for instance 20 inches (depends on the diopter you use). This of course limits what you can do with it.

 

For Lembeh, I would seriously consider either just using the 105mm by itself, or spend a bit extra and use a diopter.

 

Cor

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First up, Lembeh isn't actually about the tiny tiny. I have always found that the 60mm is a much more useful lens there. Which I see from your signature, you have.

 

It is certainly worth taking a super macro setup too. Personally I prefer not to use a TC on the lenses and instead prefer to attach a dioptre to the front.

 

Alex,

 

Thanks for your reply. Actually, I've very glad to hear what you've said, especially as I really like the 60mm lens and find it easier to use than the 105. For some reason, I'd thought that the real action for uw photogs was the tiny tiny stuff but guess I was wrong on that :P I am also going to Wakatobi and to Bali on this trip, but not sure if that makes any difference in your lens recommendations.

 

Which diopter(s) do you recommend using for the locations I'm going to?

 

I was going to say the same thing about using a 60mm

 

davichin, thanks for your comment on the 60mm.

 

Since you don't own a 60mm, i would generally just use the 105mm without a TC in Lembeh

 

Cor, I think I'll buy you some reading glasses for Christmas this year. :)

Guess what I'm trying to say is "read the fine print at the bottom of my post!" Now that I'm posting more regularly and getting to know everyone who posts here, guess I can poke a little fun. :P

I DO own the 60mm and looks like I'll be using it a lot according to Alex and davichin's posts.

 

All kidding aside (no offense was meant, BTW), thanks for the advice on clearly describing my options if I want to get closer. Do you have an opinion on which diopter (or diopters) to get? I think I would very much like to have the option to get closer.

 

Thanks so much everyone for the wonderful advice. It is definitely appreciated. :o

 

Ellen

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Oops Ellen, i was confused by your 'Right now I have the 105 lens'. :P

 

The 60mm is probably the better choice. I would personally be very hesitant using a 60mm with a diopter, because the minimum focus distance is _really_ small then. 60mm by itself would be perfect.

 

I really like the 60mm + 1.4TC combination, but several roads lead to Rome.

 

It'll be awesome no matter what you take :)

 

Cor

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It is certainly worth taking a super macro setup too. Personally I prefer not to use a TC on the lenses and instead prefer to attach a dioptre to the front. This system may not allow super-super macro but it is perfect for pygmy seahorse size critters.

 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!<cough cough cough>

 

That was my crazed "it sounds so easy when he says it" laugh, reserved for the casually expert. I just went to Lembeh for the first time last fall, with both the 60 and 105 plus a diopter, but without much u/w experience with either. I found it was all I could do to take sharp, decent pics of pygmy seahorse size critters with just the 105 itself, no diopter. You can't see the little bastards, for one thing, even with a patient dive guide pointing to them; when you finally locate them in the viewfinder, it's tough to hold the focal plane and get a sharp eye. Sorry, little frustration coming through there.

 

Anyway, as a first-timer, I can tell you that the 60mm was by far my workhorse lens in Lembeh, because you never know what you'll see, and most of it's not too terribly small. The stuff that is, isn't particularly fast or shy, so you can get to 1:1 and crop if need be. The 105 did a better job with the tiny/shy stuff, but I quit trying with the diopter - I kept wishing I could take pics of non-small stuff. The thing about Lembeh the first time is that every dive, there was stuff I'd never seen, so finding subjects for my 60 or 105 alone was easy, and conversely, the instant I put the diopter on, I'd see a hairy octopus, or mating blue rings or something insane. If/when I go back, I might be more focused on getting a certain shot, but I was like a kid in a candy store for most of it.

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