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What lens to bring for various Indo/Phili destinations

Discussion in 'General Asia' started by jjmochi, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. jjmochi

    jjmochi Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hong Kong
    118
    75
    28
    Hello!

    I have several trips coming up this year and want to see what lens I should bring for each and what % of dives will be macro vs wide angle. I have a Nikon D7500 and the Tokina 10-17 for wide, and Nikon 60mm and 85mm dx lens for macro. Is there any lens I am missing that would be good to have?

    Upcoming trips
    1. Tubbataha - tokina only?
    2. Raja Ampat - tokina+60mm? Do I need the 85mm?
    3. Komodo and Bali (Tulamben, Padang Bai) - all 3?
    4. Lembeh, Bangka, and Bunaken - all 3?
    5. Moalboal (short weekend trip only) - tokina only?
    6. Dauin/Dumaguete‐ all 3?
    7. Anilao- 60mm and 85mm- do I need to buy a diopter?

    I also have a TG5, was wondering if any of the destinations (esp Komodo) are too current heavy to carry the DSLR and would be much easier with the smaller TG5?

    I am going solo on some of the trips and would like to keep weight to as low as possible given I won't have my husband to lug all the gear around :)

    Thanks!
     
  2. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,128
    1,675
    113
    1. Tubbataha - tokina only? --> yep
    2. Raja Ampat - tokina+60mm? Do I need the 85mm? --> tok + 60 is fine IF you pass on pygmies otherwise it's 85-100
    3. Komodo and Bali (Tulamben, Padang Bai) - all 3? Komodo tok+60 is okay, Bali needs all 3 + addon macro lens like SMC1, you won't find smaller critters than in Tulamben. Komodo is a wide angle destination 80% of the time, so it's dSLR not TG6.
    4. Lembeh, Bangka, and Bunaken - all 3? --> yep, + SMC1.
    5. Moalboal (short weekend trip only) - tokina only? --> Tok + 60 is good for a night dive.
    6. Dauin/Dumaguete‐ all 3? --> Mainly 60 but some occasion on 100+SMC1 and tok for Apo
    7. Anilao- 60mm and 85mm- do I need to buy a diopter? All 3, Anilao has some fine wide angle (see my flickr album). SMC1 necessary.
     
    jjmochi and paolobl65 like this.
  3. jjmochi

    jjmochi Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hong Kong
    118
    75
    28
    Thanks Luko! Exactly what I was looking for. Yup I have seen your photos many times and actually some of it did influence my decision on where to go in Indo. I only knew of Raja Ampat and Komodo before and added quite a few to my list after seeing your photos and reading the forums.

    A few follow up questions,
    -my Raja Ampat trip this year will be for central/north areas, doing south in a separate trip next year, are the pygmys in the north or the south? 60mm on DX is equivalent to 90mm on FX right, still not enough for pygmys?
    -can I use the 60 in my tokina 4" mini dome (it fits) or will it severely affect the quality?
    -SMC1 will work well with both the 85 and 60, or just the 85? Do you think a flip adapter is necessary? What are your thoughts on SMC1 vs a weaker +5 diopter (like subsee) - I only plan to buy one?
    -do I ask the dive guide before each dive whether it's wide or macro for places like Raja? For places like Lembeh, do you ask them what you'll see to determine which macro lens to use?
    -my first land based trip this year will be Bali and I was thinking of doing a 2 day photo course while in Tulemban (with Liberty Dive Resort). I was wondering when you first got started what you found most useful to improve, and whether the underwater photography specialty course is a good use of time? So far I've bought Alex Mustard's book and read only the basic sections.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Luko

    Luko Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Paris, France
    2,128
    1,675
    113
    Pygmies are everywhere in R4.problem is that there are much better WA scenes to shoot than pygmies.I forgot to add pygmies are 85/100+SMC
    I dont recommend 60+dome you can't go as macro as with a port, better purchase a port for 85 and use the 60 inside.
    SMC works with 85/100 not much with 60. It has NOTHING to do with a +5 wetlens.
    Always ask you guide what he has in mind.
    PADI specialties are useless, better go with a photog like Jeff Mullins or Underwater tribe. .
     
  5. paolobl65

    paolobl65 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: italy
    83
    140
    33
    just a consideration about diopter :
    60 mm + INON UCL67 give a magnification 2x ( 11 mm fill the long side frame on a cropped sensor 22,5 mm )

    100 mm + Nauticam SMC1 give a magnification just a little bit more than 2x ( 10,5 mm fill the long side frame on a cropped sensor 22,5 mm )

    these were my test on Canon 7D . Quality comparable and same working distance .

    I personally prefer the first solution because give me , with the 60 mm , more flexibility also for bigger subject , anyway with the 100 you have for sure more working distance and less angle of view so less distracting background .

    all my best
    Paolo
     
    jjmochi likes this.
  6. jjmochi

    jjmochi Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Hong Kong
    118
    75
    28
    Thanks! Is the size/weight of the two comparable? UCL-67 is $200 cheaper and I think looks smaller but I can't find the weight of the SMC-1 online. Does 60mm+UCL-67 combo replace need to bring the 85mm lens?
     
  7. D_Fresh

    D_Fresh Manta Ray

    532
    283
    63
    I cannot suggest for UW photography, but for general above surface landscape and sights, I would suggest 35mm (equiv) and possibly to 18mm (equiv) as you'll find the landscape/sights very stunning but also very "tight and closed in" by all of the foliage and/or buildings.
     

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