Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
coloradodawn

Palau Photography. Is medium zoom lense worthwhile?

Recommended Posts

I have been poring over posts in anticipation of a 2nd trip to Palau in a few weeks. I have been stressing and need some advise.

My camera setup is: Nikon D300, Sea&Sea housing (I have most all the ports, extension rings, etc.) Inon strobes.

Lenses that I use underwater: WIDE ANGLE: Tokina 10-17 (LOVE THIS LENSE!), Nikkor 12-24. I have a #2 dioptor, and used it a few times until I got the 10-17. MACRO: Nikon 105mm (no VR, older lense).

I also have the setup for a Nikon 18-70mm lense. The ONLY recent time I've used this lense is in Palau. But, I am not happy with the quality, the distortion around the edges. Had to crop many of the pictures extensively.

 

Obsessive side of me: In an attempt to not miss a shot -- I was thinking about taking the 18-70mm, or obtaining a simlar (but better) lense that is more of a mid-range zoom. In Palau, being tied off to the reef on sites such as Blue Corner, you do not get close to the sharks. Alex Mustard mentions the Nikon 17-35mm quite a bit. I've also seen posts on a Sigma 18-50mm lense.

 

Practical side of me: I have almost convinced myself that I should not even attempt medium zoom pictures, because of the distance to subject, clutter in water, quality,etc. Most of the "zoom" shots, I end up trashing anyway. Should I just let the other photographers, videographers get the blue corner shots? Focus on shots of things I CAN get close to and bypass those I cannot?

 

Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Practical side of me: I have almost convinced myself that I should not even attempt medium zoom pictures, because of the distance to subject, clutter in water, quality,etc. Most of the "zoom" shots, I end up trashing anyway. Should I just let the other photographers, videographers get the blue corner shots? Focus on shots of things I CAN get close to and bypass those I cannot?

 

I don't think you need to let the other photographers and videograqphers get the blue corner shots. It's a lot more fun if you can take those shots yourself :)

 

Have you considered the Sigma 17-70 zoom lens? I bought that lens based on Alex's recommendation before my trip to the Cayman Islands for his UW Photography Workshop and was very pleased with it. He had recommended using the +2 diopter with it, I did purchase this diopter but, due to the length of the port extension I was using, did not get a chance to use it. Even without the diopter the shots came out quite decent. I found it to be a very versatile lens that was not too expensive.

 

If you want to see some images taken with this lens, some of them can be found in the link in my signature.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Ellen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would recommend the 17-70 SIGMA also. it focuses closer than many lenses of similar focal length.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would recommend the 17-70 SIGMA also. it focuses closer than many lenses of similar focal length.

Ditto on the Sigma 17 - 70 HSM - close focus and good general zoom - versatile enough for variable conditions and purposes

Andy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto on the 17-70. I use this lens a lot, although it works best if you can still get close to things. Even without a dioptre it will focus to about a cm in front of my 8" port.

 

Ryan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone! I do appreciate your responses. Great pics - Ellen! I'll bet the workshop was fantastic! I haven't participated in an underwater one yet. I will look into that Sigma lense!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a great time to be here, the sharks will be mating soon, the Moorish Idols are ready to pop and the Mantas are coming in for close inspections if you let them. Hope you have a great, productive time here.

 

Cheers

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How very exciting!! Cannot wait. We are heading to Truk first. This is THE BIGGEST trip for us. We'll be in Palau the last week of April. I'll make notes about the things you mentioned. Fingers crossed for the mantas. Last trip, they did not come in close. You never know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sad fact with the Mantas is that people chase them hoping to get a picture, the dive guides (at least where I work and when I'm on the boat) tell our guests not to chase them but many times you see a Manta coming into the cleaning station and before it even gets there some over zealous idiot has come steaming in with their "I'm the only diver in the water" attitude and scared it away.

Best to go to German Channel when the crowds have left, it is possible to go there and see them being cleaned when the tides outgoing as long as you don't mind the possible compromise with viz, best to go just after a high tide full or new moon as it's not bringing too much dirty water with it.

Alternatively, as we suggested to one guest who complained about the other divers at Blue Corner: Pay the Palauan Govnt $1,000,000 a day and you CAN have the place to yourself.......

 

Cheers

 

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's what happened on our trip. A friend of ours who is a photo fanatic took off after it. He's fast and he caught it and got lots of great pics (of which, I would not look at). The rest of us missed the opportunity. OMG $1M a day. Wow!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

$1M/day hypothetically speaking......

I wonder just how many people would pay that? There are enough millionaire divers out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just spent 30 days diving in Palau with my D300 and my 60mm didn't leave the camera until the final week when I stuck my Tokina 10-17 on.

60mm is a great shark/dog tooth/barracuda type lens and when you come across a leaf scorpionfish/octopus/Nudi you are well armed to shoot them aswell.

I have the 17-70 also but frankly I would much prefer the 60mm for everything as its so much sharper.

Obviously if the dive shop can let you know when a trip to German channel and the mantas is scheduled you can set up for that but 17mm on the sigma lens is not wide enough in my experience for mantas and the 10-17 is much better suited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You da man PIG004!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just spent 30 days diving in Palau with my D300 and my 60mm didn't leave the camera until the final week when I stuck my Tokina 10-17 on.

60mm is a great shark/dog tooth/barracuda type lens and when you come across a leaf scorpionfish/octopus/Nudi you are well armed to shoot them aswell.

I have the 17-70 also but frankly I would much prefer the 60mm for everything as its so much sharper.

Obviously if the dive shop can let you know when a trip to German channel and the mantas is scheduled you can set up for that but 17mm on the sigma lens is not wide enough in my experience for mantas and the 10-17 is much better suited.

 

I hope you don't mind my barrage of questions. I need to make a decision over the weekend, if I'm going to buy something new.

A 60mm huh? Nikon lense? What housing do you have? Do you use a flat port or dome port with it? Is a diopter needed? (I get easily confused by diopter usage, just haven't studied up on it yet.) I love SHARP and critique my pics intensively, so, this is something else to consider. Definitely, wide-angle, will use my 10-17.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What focus gear? Anyone know for a Sea & Sea Housing (MDX-D300) for the Sigman 17-70 HSM lense? I'll call around, but, if anyone knows that would be great.

Also, looking at the 60mm, however, I believe I would need a different macro port than the one I have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flat port for my 60mm on my Aquatica housing.

8" Dome for my 10 to 17.

 

 

You da man PIG004!

 

I know mate. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flat port for my 60mm on my Aquatica housing.

8" Dome for my 10 to 17.

 

 

I know mate. :)

 

 

The 10 - 17 also works fine with Aquatica's 6" dome and the 18456 extension ring - and the new Aquatica 4" dome will be perfect with the Tokina 10 - 17 for wide angle macro - once it is out in general production. The Sigma 17 - 70 will work with the 6" and 8" Aquatica domes and the 18457 extension ring.

Andy

www.oceandoctorshots.com

Edited by DrFiscus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What focus gear? Anyone know for a Sea & Sea Housing (MDX-D300) for the Sigman 17-70 HSM lense? I'll call around, but, if anyone knows that would be great.

Also, looking at the 60mm, however, I believe I would need a different macro port than the one I have.

 

 

Hi Larissa,

did you consider the Nikon 17-55 for the trip. I went there about a year ago (to the shark week) and the sharks were a bit too far anyway to realy use the 12-24.

 

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hanging on a reef hook at Blue Corner, I thought that the sharks were too far away for the great shot but certainly close enough for a good shot. I was using an Olympus 5050 at the time.

 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...