Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
louisenott

Lenses for month long dive trip to Indonesia

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hi everyone, 

I am looking for some advice for packing lenses for a month long trip to Indonesia. My partner and I will be doing around 8-9 days in Lembeh/ Bunaken, a 6 night liveaboard in Komodo and a few days on Nusa Penida. This will be my first time travelling with my gear, and first time doing an international dive holiday!

I am shooting on a Nikon D850 in an Nauticam Housing and my parter will be using an Olympus OMD EM1 mk1 in a Nauticam housing.

For the Nikon, I am trying to decide which lenses to bring. I have the following:

- 60mm macro

-105 mm macro

- 8-15mm fish eye

- 16-35mm wide angle

EDIT: The macro lenses will fit in the same port, i will just need an extension ring for the 105 mm. Fish eye and 16-35mm will also fit in the same port (8.5 inch) with different extension rings

My partner will likely be taking an 8mm fish eye (16mm equiv) and 60mm (120mm equiv), and 12-50mm for the Olympus

Would love some suggestions!

Thanks!

Edited by louisenott
extra info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

For Lembeh / macro, the 105 mm would be better. It gives you more room to shoot subjects, which is good for skittish fish/critters.

For Komodo, you would probably go with a wide angle lens for most dives. Usually go first for fish eye, except if you don't like this fish eye effect. 

The issue in Komodo is the great diversity of dive, where you may have subjects from macro (nudibranchs) to very large pelagic in the same dive. Unfortunately, there is no full frame equivalent to Sigma 17-70mm which is extremely useful for such diverse dives. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I did Lembeh with a 60mm macro lens on Olympus (EM1 -MkII), worked great for nudis and other small critters.  When they found a giant frogfish I had to back way off beyond reasonable strobe range and still didn't get it all in the frame.  Lembeh is a bit like Sydney on a good day, vis around 10-20m with potential for particles in the water column so backing off for big stuff can be an issue, the 60mm macro sometimes wants to lock onto particles which are closer rather than focus out further on the subject.    It has more or less the same framing as your 105mm macro so same comments would apply there more or less.  This gallery is all with the 60mm macro:  http://www.aus-natural.com/Underwater/Diver Lodge Lembeh -Sulawesi/index_gallery.html  

On the wide end the fisheye should get good use in Komodo and possibly Bunaken.  The 16-35mm I'm not so sure about, it needs a big dome and subjects for it are potentially limited, unless you know you will be with sharks and other pelagics that you can't too close to. 

You have a big hole in the middle between fisheye and macro, so fish portraits may be problematic unless they are big fish.  For that sort of thing I like my Olympus 12-40mm  and it works well in a relatively small dome.  I used that on one or two dives.  If I was staying longer in Lembeh I might have taken it out looking for rhinopias and other larger subjects as well as groups of anemone fish an a dive or two.  If you're not that into fish portraits, I wouldn't take it as the dome is still more stuff you need to carry

 

Edited by ChrisRoss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds a great trip, Louise.

With your D850 I'd certainly join Algwyn in recommending a 105 for macro in Lembeh. It's ideal for the pygmy seahorses and most of the mini-critters - of which there are loads. 

There are a couple of dives where the 8-15 would be good: Nudis Falls and Angel's Window (known as the BFR - the Big Fat Rock).

I don't think the 16-35 would be useful in Lembeh.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Diving Lembeh: my daughter shoots the same Olympus - when we were in Lembeh this year she shot the 60mm exclusively and never regretted it. 90%-95% off the critters you find can be shot well with that lens (yes, giant frogfish will be a challenge, as will a few other subjects like full-sized lionfish and scorpionfish). The challenge won't actually be the focal length, but the ability to get a strong focus in low light. Most everything in Lembeh moves slow, but later in the afternoon (and at night) this camera/lens combo will potentially struggle. I had my daughter dive with a focus light on every dive after the first day, and it helped a lot. 

For the 850: I have this camera as well - the 105 is the right lens for Lembeh. You will likely never take it off while diving there. The comment above about the working distance allowing for additional particles between you and the subject is right on - you'll need to be patient, and really work your focus (90% of the time I had it on the eye of the subject [or the part of the nudi I wanted to focus on).

Diving Bunaken: you can dive the exact same lenses and shoot macro, or go wide and shoot the reef/schools of fish/etc. When the vis is good (much of the time) the blue water makes for a great background. The most common (largish) animals you will consistently find in Bunaken are turtles. I would go with your 16-35 (and shoot with a blue background  to negate any corner issues). 

Diving Komodo: we just got back (2 weeks ago) from an 8 day liveaboard in Komodo. For the D850, I would stick with the 16-35 for all the wide angle opportunities. The big challenge you're going to have is managing the dome in some strong current (like at Castle Rock, Shotgun, Manta Alley, etc.). I shot with the WACP and when we dove shotgun I didn't bother shooting when we were hooked in - the current was just too strong (both before and after you get in the channel there were good opportunities to shoot schools of fish, etc.). One tip I wish I had before diving Manta Alley - most of the dive is a long undulating channel. Much of the bottom is dead coral, tiny outcroppings, rocks, or sand... however in the "gulleys" (where the channel dips down slightly) there are some amazing medium-sized coral outcroppings covered in soft coral (and other life) with many fish around them. They make great close focus medium/wide angle subjects. Get down and get close (the gulley will create a small pocket where the current won't be quite as strong - it's manageable). In addition, you will likely get lucky and get close enough to shoot a manta coming in/out of a cleaning station - this is where handling your dome is going to be hard - if the mantas are there, there will likely be some strong current. At the end of the dive I got lucky and came across an eagle ray being cleaned - as long as I didn't get in front of it I was able to get as close as I needed to - it just stayed almost completely still (facing into the current).

My daughter shoots the 9-18 for wide angle. 
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

  I sometimes teach diving in Indonesia, and just got back a month ago from both Komodo and Penida (I can recommend a great shop in Penida, if you don't already have one).  I agree with the others that the 16-35 will provide the least use at Lembeh, but it can be great at Komodo.  You could very well have a manta come close enough to tap your head, and you may need the wide for those manta point dives at either Komodo or Penida.  Take them all, in other words.  The muck diving is fantastic at all three places, Lembeh first, then Komodo, then Penida last.  One poster commented on the cauldron/shotgun; no use taking photos there, frankly, the current can be as strong as 9 knots.  In July, it was generally slower, though, but still at least six, which is too strong for that dive site to carry any gear.  Strap a GoPro to your mask, or better yet a Paralenz, if you have one or can borrow/rent one.    Which liveaboard in Komodo?  Have you booked flights to Labuan Bajo yet?  Btw, Labuan Bajo is not much of a town to see, frankly, there is no reason to spend any time there aside from boarding your boat.  Arrange your flights so you can get right on the boat, and then leave shortly afterward.  Be careful with weight limits; flying out of Bali you'll have no problems, but at LBJ, they'll nickel and dime you to death.  Check the plane model as well; you'll want a 737 with more room in the overhead, rather than the ATR-72 prop plane which has almost no room -  thus the airline you choose makes a difference how much space you have for your gear.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for your suggestions and advice!

I will be packing this weekend, still havent made a decision!

For the olympus, we will definitely be taking the 8mm fish eye and 60mm macro. Not too sure if we should take the 12-50 as a mid range.

For the D850 will be packing the 8-15mm fisheye and 105mm macro. Undecided on the 16-35 and the 60mm. 16-35 will be useful topside, although we could pack an olympus pro lens and use that topside on the olympus.

Tough decisions!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take 'em all! :crazy:

Pay the excess baggage! Better to say "I needn't have brought lens x" rather than "wish I had brought lens x" 

But more importantly have a cracking time and post some pics when you get back.

Fun and safe travels!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, TimG said:

Take 'em all! :crazy:

<<Pay the excess baggage! >>

I just booked with Garuda and tried to pay over weight baggage in advance on their site.  25kg extra was >$400!  I'm sure that's a mistake so declined the on-line payment and will see what the actual cost is when I arrive.

Ahhh!

 

9 hours ago, TimG said:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ouch! That does seem a lot. Mind you, 25kgs extra IS a lot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Garuda gives you a free 23kg extra baggage allowance for scuba gear which is nice.

Share this post


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

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...