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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses
Thread started 04 Mar 2013 (Monday) 00:01
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Lens Choice for Safari

 
zzmorris
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Joined Jan 2009
Mar 07, 2013 11:02 |  #46

Taking the 150-500 for length


Gear List Canon 7D, Canon 40D, Canon 450D, Tamron 17 - 50, Canon 70 - 200 2.8 IS, Sigma 150 Macro, Canon 50 1.8, Canon 400 5.6

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kram
obvious its pointless
2,607 posts
Joined Feb 2005
Mar 07, 2013 13:00 |  #47

In the last 3 years, I have been fortunate to visit the Masai Mara twice and Botswana once. Off to another Botswana trip end of this month.

I have only used my gear and never really rented or borrowed other lenses. That's two crop bodies and primarily 2 lenses.

The 100-400 on a crop is my most used lens - 69% of shots. The 24-105 is when you land in the middle of a pride of lions, gazelle and the odd landscape shot. For birds, I have always felt the 400 to be a tad short. Wish there was a bit of extra reach....Think you will be well served in that regard with the 600.

Here is a link to the pics:
http://kram.smugmug.co​m/Africa (external link)

And some pics :


IMAGE: http://kram.smugmug.com/Africa/Masai-Mara-Feb-2012/i-p9SkFTM/0/M/IMG_1388-M.jpg


IMAGE: http://kram.smugmug.com/Africa/2010-Trip/Africa-2010-Birds/i-mhKtpzB/0/L/IMG_0207-L.jpg


IMAGE: http://kram.smugmug.com/Africa/Masai-Mara-Feb-2012/i-kgf37md/0/M/IMG_1635-M.jpg

IMAGE: http://kram.smugmug.com/Africa/2010-Trip/Animals/i-xLLWdSF/0/L/IMG_0180c-L.jpg

Canon 7D , Canon 6D, 100-400 L, 24-105 F4 L, 50 F1.4, Tokina 12-24 F4, Kenko Teleplus Pro DG 1.4X Extender
My Galleryexternal link

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CyberDyneSystems
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Rhode Island USA
Mar 07, 2013 21:12 |  #48

zzmorris wrote in post #15687609external link
Taking the 150-500 for length

If you have the long and slow (aperture wise) already, I'd say get the f/2.8 for when you need more light.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Mar 07, 2013 21:15 |  #49

kram wrote in post #15688078external link
.. For birds, I have always felt the 400 to be a tad short. Wish there was a bit of extra reach....]

Everything is short for birds!
One thing to keep in mind, my 500mm on a 1D 1.3x sensor is essentially a focal length wash with a 400mm on a 1.6x sensor.

But then the T-Cons work great with a 1D and a Prime, so then we get to go to 1000mm when needed (and yes, I shot birds at 1000mm when I was in Namibia and Botswana.)

Great shots!


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zzmorris
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Mar 08, 2013 01:36 |  #50

Thanks Jake


Gear List Canon 7D, Canon 40D, Canon 450D, Tamron 17 - 50, Canon 70 - 200 2.8 IS, Sigma 150 Macro, Canon 50 1.8, Canon 400 5.6

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Neilyb
Cream of the Crop
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Joined Sep 2005
Munich
Mar 08, 2013 02:29 |  #51

Let us not confuse matters, the Mara and Kruger are 2 very different places. The mara is a open plain, Kruger mostly has thick bush and very few plains (in the far north things are a bit more sparse). The few times I took shots at 500mm or more during the day, of lions, I got mush... just too hot!
Most often in Kruger we find predators by the road early morning and later afternoon, on a morning the tar roads are warm and also a great way to get from a to b without wading through bush. 400-500mm plus TCs are a Kruger staple, but at those times, especially late (often you will spot stuff minutes before the gates close) you will be needing f2.8 or f4 with ISO1600 or more... so a sigma 150-500 may struggle (a 300 f4 is a good lightweight option for those times IMO).
There are times you will want more of course, birds and hippos... shooting over water you are not as restricted with heat shimmer. Places like sunset dam,biyamiti weir (see attached) and panic hide, spend hours just watching. Just make sure you have a crop and a FF body and your options are increased.

Shooting over water you can get away with increased focal lengths when needed, even during the day.
500+1.4TC+7D = 1100mm

IMAGE: http://neilburton.smugmug.com/Nature/Birds/i-skZDVf8/0/L/crake2-L.jpg

IMAGE: http://neilburton.smugmug.com/Nature/Birds/i-4SzPhQd/0/L/cormorant_white_breasted-L.jpg

http://natureimmortal.​blogspot.comexternal link

http://www.natureimmor​tal.comexternal link

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zzmorris
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Mar 08, 2013 10:20 |  #52

Thanks Neil


Gear List Canon 7D, Canon 40D, Canon 450D, Tamron 17 - 50, Canon 70 - 200 2.8 IS, Sigma 150 Macro, Canon 50 1.8, Canon 400 5.6

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kram
obvious its pointless
2,607 posts
Joined Feb 2005
Mar 08, 2013 15:36 |  #53

I plan to use the 1.6 tc on my 100-400 a lot more this trip for birds. The Kruger is more like Chobe in Botswana I guess. Not very long open spaces.

Planning to go to Madikwe this trip and a camping trip into the Kalahari. I'm going to try and rent a 500mm from jo'burg if possible. Any shop recommendations?

ZzMorris, you have a good lens set. You will have a good time.


Canon 7D , Canon 6D, 100-400 L, 24-105 F4 L, 50 F1.4, Tokina 12-24 F4, Kenko Teleplus Pro DG 1.4X Extender
My Galleryexternal link

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Scott_online
Senior Member
Joined Aug 2009
Mar 08, 2013 15:37 |  #54

Neilyb wrote in post #15680223 (external link)
Right, me confused :)

I think it might have been me you were thinking of, and this leopard?

IMAGE: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6189/6077868002_b2c060ca5b_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com .../16866094@N06/60778​68002/] (external link)
2011-08-04 16-19-47 (external link) by Scott Grubb (external link), on Flickr

My vote also goes to the 300/2.8 (and 1.4x). It's easier to transport, easier to move about in the vehicle, faster focusing than the 500/4 (even with the 1.4x), more flexible in terms of usable focal lengths and you can hand-hold for BIFs etc. You'll gain far more shots than you'll lose because of the 80mm difference in focal length.

flickr (external link)

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advaitin
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Joined Jun 2003
The Fun Coast of Florida
Mar 08, 2013 17:33 |  #55

I tested my 5D2 with 400mm DO and 1.4 TC III today. Of course these are close shots. The squirrel is full frame. the flower stamen is 10 percent of the full frame to show the little hairs. So, a 400 DO with an extender is not too bad a performer at 560mm.

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Canons to the left, Canons to the right,
We hold our L glass toward the light,
Digitizing in a snap reflective glory
That will forever tell our imaged story.

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CyberDyneSystems
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Mar 08, 2013 21:53 |  #56

Looks good. I'd love to spend some time with the 400mm DO. Save my back a lot of pain!


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advaitin
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The Fun Coast of Florida
Mar 08, 2013 22:22 |  #57

Tomorrow I will try the 2X on it, but I'll be down to the center focus box, maybe manual. But I'm wondering if the IQ will hold up.
At this point I'm thinking 7D and 70-200mm IS II, 5D2 and Zeiss 35 f2 and 5D3 with the 400mm DO, plus the two TCs. Just one battery type to deal with and, except for the extra SD card in the 5D3, one type of card interchangeable for all cameras. Besides my very small laptop, two pocket drives and its power cord, I'll only need to add a CF card reader. It should go in a carryon easily with room to spare. I've hauled a 45 pound backpack across Europe for four months in 07 and a month in 09. That was enough for me.


Canons to the left, Canons to the right,
We hold our L glass toward the light,
Digitizing in a snap reflective glory
That will forever tell our imaged story.

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Vincent ­ Gesser
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31 posts
Joined Feb 2013
Warlingham, Surrey
Mar 09, 2013 19:23 |  #58

Just my two cents from having observed many people on safaris:
- Be very well trained and familiar with your equipment as scenes can unravel very quickly and there can be limited time to sort out setting issues. This means that command of the various AF modes and captors is critical and a safari is not the place to try a lens for the first time.
- Think about the support system as holding a long lens became a painful after a few minutes.
- Think about the other passengers in the car if you have not privatised a vehicle. They paid the same price as you and have exactly the same rights as you, and vice versa.
- Ensure your driver has some experience with photographers as it is him who will place you more or less well.

Enjoy our safari! :-)


Vincent Gesser
http://www.gesser-images.com/external link
EOS 1-DX x 2, EOS 5-D MkIII
EF 16-35 f/2.8L II, EF 24-70 f/2.8L II, EF 70-200 f/2.8L II , EF 85 f/1.2L II, EF 180 f/3.5L, EF 200-400 1.4x f/4.0L, EF 800 f/5.6L

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xhosa12
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
Joined Dec 2008
Mar 10, 2013 00:17 |  #59

Vincent Gesser wrote in post #15696373external link
Just my two cents from having observed many people on safaris:
- Be very well trained and familiar with your equipment as scenes can unravel very quickly and there can be limited time to sort out setting issues. This means that command of the various AF modes and captors is critical and a safari is not the place to try a lens for the first time.
- Think about the support system as holding a long lens became a painful after a few minutes.
- Think about the other passengers in the car if you have not privatised a vehicle. They paid the same price as you and have exactly the same rights as you, and vice versa.
- Ensure your driver has some experience with photographers as it is him who will place you more or less well.

Enjoy our safari! :-)

Thanks for your advice.
I will take all you say on board.

Thank you to all the others too for their input.
Looking forward to the safari (Sept 2013)............the 400 DO sounds like it will finally be in service




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Thumpa
Member
40 posts
Joined Aug 2010
Boston area
Aug 10, 2013 01:03 as a reply to post 15674527 |  #60

+1 for bringing a vest with large and many pockets. one guy on our trip brought the 600f4(Nikon) and they checked the weight... WAY over with the other gear. he had his vest on and basically emptied the bag into his vest(there is no restriction on how much the clothing you have on weighs) they checked again and he was under by 6 lbs. MAGIC!!!:)




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