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I am heading to Cocos soon (for the first time) and shooting a DX format DSLR.  I expect my main lens in use to be the Tokina 10-17.  The question is, should I add the 1.4x extender to it?  That is typical for 'shark distance' dives in most places.  But for some places the wildlife comes very close so the 1.4x is not an helpful.

I often find guides do not know enough about camera equipment to answer such a question and I do not really expect them to be photography experts.

Thanks for your help in advance.

 

 

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Regardless of the answer never have gear regrets get is with the extension and you have it

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Interceptor,

I am not quite certain what you are telling me.

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I think he's telling you to buy the TC1.4 and take it. Better to have it and not use it, than not have it and regret that.

;)

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Yes adding the TC gives extra flexibility this is more effective than introducing a rectilinear lens and a large dome


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I own a 1.4x and use it often with the Tokina.  Just wondering if the fish at Cocos get close enough to skip using it.

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The question is less about if the creatures get close enough for your lens and more about if you can light them with your strobes.  Lens choice it not going to change that outcome.   You can crop the subject closer but you can't put more light on it.   That said, you should use a 1.4 TC with the Tokina 10-17 or Sigma 15mm.  Both are good choices for Cocos, I used those at that location when I had a D300.

I recently returned from Galapagos and shot my D850FX almost exclusively with the Nikon 16-35.  Long arms, near full power flash, ISO 400-800 at F10 worked well for me.  I used a Sigma 15mm for Iguanas and things I knew I could get much closer too.  

1222005628_WolfIslandFebruary102020023-Edit-Edit.thumb.jpg.cdcbae11eadec94dd1ab5dce62721597.jpg

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I used a sigma 15 with a 1.4TC on full frame in Cocos. The real trick is positioning yourself so that the animals come to you. Though usually just as a shark /ray was about to swim into the perfect position some muppet with a GoPro on a stick, chasing a small fish, would come charging into shot and scare everything off.

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Posted (edited)

Been to Cocos multiple times and I would agree with everything written above.

Bring the TC - there are definitely places @Cocos you will have a chance to use it.

Couple of other comments...
- lighting is really the key - first time I took 2 small(er) strobes and was disappointed with the amount of light I was able to cast on the cleaning stations (similar shot to what Dave Hicks included above, but without the even lighting). 2nd trip brought bigger (Ike) strobes and got much better results (but slower recycle times). 3rd time brought 2 more modern strobes, shot at full power (or almost full power) and got good results as well.

- At the cleaning stations: get low, sit still, and let the action come to you (and when the sharks get close, "briefly" hold your breath). Just watch out for the sea urchins... (which everyone warns you about, but you'll still have several close calls - or like me, you'll bring home some urchin bits in various parts of your skin - yes, they do penetrate your wetsuit).

- Personal advice: some of the Tiger sharks are pretty laid back but a couple of them seem a little ornery, so likely not worth trying to get a full front-on shot (you'll notice most of the images of Tigers shot at Cocos are from the side or from above).

 

Edited by oneyellowtang

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