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February 7th, 2012, 08:16 PM
Aloha, Hawaii Ohana! I'm seeking a little advice/recommendation.

The wife and I are hopping over to Kona during her Spring Break and are planning to do the Manta ray Night Dive. I've done the dive 3 times previously but without a camera. I currently shoot with a Canon G11 and Wide Angle Lens but with a small Nano Strobe. Before the trip I am getting new stobe(s) but am not quite sure what to get, yet. Does anyone have any experience shooting the Manta dive with a single strobe, like a S&S YS-01/02? I want to get dual strobes but my budget may not allow it, so I'm thinking that the YS-01/02 may have enough coverage (100 degrees) to fill the frame but I'm not sure. Does anyone know? Or should I really try for 2 strobes?

Thanks in advance!

February 8th, 2012, 03:17 AM
Do you ever really have enough light? I also shoot a G11, with a single S&S YS-110 strobe. Night shots are an issue for anything over 20 feet away. The advantage you get during the manta dive is all of the other lights in the water with you, as in dozens upon dozens on a busy night. Shooting video is a good option during this dive. Another nice feature of the manta dive is that you have time to experiment while you are sitting on the bottom with the mantas overhead.

Learn to love the live histogram on the G11 display, if you have not already. Practice in your back yard with the gear before you get wet. Even if the neighbors think you are nuts blasting away with the strobe in the dark.

For stills or video, you will have to turn up the ISO a bit to get decent shots, at least 800. I have decent, but not great manta video shot with a G11. (Manta on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/11956920)) There were only a handful of lights, a single dive party, for this encounter. This was shot with my dive light and the finder light built into the YS-110. The couple still shots I took were OK but not great, I quickly switched to video for the encounter and was glad I did.

February 8th, 2012, 04:10 PM
Thanks, Andrew! I have never used the Live Histogram on the G11 (I do on my T1i, though) but I will give a try now. And after watching your Manta video, I think I may just buy 2 strobes. Maybe 2 YS-01s for the spotting lights. I didn't realize thay could be used for video lights and I have heard not to use them as "focus" lights since you don't want to point your strobes directly at a subject.

Great videos on your blog. I've actually been reading your blog for quite a while and really enjoy it. Always makes me wish I lived on Hawaii instead of Oahu.


February 8th, 2012, 04:17 PM
You'd be surprised at how well the G series does video on the manta dive without any lights. I'm not familiar with your strobe and how much light it puts out, but I've had decent luck with a Canon G9 and just available light on the manta dive in video in the past. A nice LED primary light does a pretted decent job, it won't get full coverage like a dedicated video light, but it'll highlight things, once you figure out which direction to point it, and the other ambient light from divers around should fill in the rest fairly nicely.

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