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Thread started 08 Jan 2014 (Wednesday) 19:03
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1st Safari Advice (what to bring)

 
hollis_f
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Jan 09, 2014 13:25 |  #16

zunimoon wrote in post #16591356external link
So it looks like the 400mm is a must. Could I get away with using my 70-200mm w/2x extender on my 7D to get further, or are you guys recommending a 400mm lens w/the 2x extender on the 7D to get even further than that?

No and no.

No, the 70-200 (old version) with an extender just isn't up to the same AF and IQ as a proper 400mm

No, I wouldn't recommend putting a 2x on the 400mm. That would make it an f11 lens, not much use when on safari (when most of your shooting will be near dawn and dusk).


Frank Hollis - Retired mass spectroscopist
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Neilyb
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Jan 09, 2014 13:36 |  #17

400mm native lens, maybe a 1.4TC if you really want to try it (IQ will be OK not stellar). 70-200 mk1 is not brilliant with a 2xTC hence the 400mm recommendations.

Personally speaking if I ever go again I would rather take the 500 and 300 primes. :|


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Scott_online
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Joined Aug 2009
Jan 09, 2014 16:55 |  #18

My £0.02...

7D: Rent a 300/2.8 and 1.4x converter.
5D2: Use with the 70-200 for environmental shots.**

**However, this leaves quite a big gap to your long lens, so you could either:
- fit a 1.4x
- rent another 7D and leave the 5D2 at home


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mag10
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CA Bay Area and Taiwan
Jan 10, 2014 01:40 |  #19

zunimoon wrote in post #16591356external link
So it looks like the 400mm is a must. Could I get away with using my 70-200mm w/2x extender on my 7D to get further, or are you guys recommending a 400mm lens w/the 2x extender on the 7D to get even further than that?


I think the point everyone is making is that you need more reach than 200mm, probably around 400mm, and don't use the 2x extender on your 70-200 v1 to get there. My suggestions:

(a) buy a used 400mm prime or 100-400mm, and sell them when you get home. You'll likely not lose any money; or
(b) rent either a 300 or 400 2.8, that you can use with 1.4x and 2x extenders. This will be a pricier option, but the increase in image quality may be worth it.

Personally, if I go back on safari, I'm bringing a 300mm 2.8 and using that with extenders. The 100-400mm wasn't bad, but i'd love a bit more reach and even better image quality.


Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Sony DSC-RX100M3 | Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM | Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ART | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT, Dedicated flash ST-E3 RT controller

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zunimoon
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Jan 11, 2014 12:56 |  #20

Ok, I think I'm sold on getting the 100-400mm. I can't afford the 300mm prime lenses, nor do I want to rent it. I'd rather buy it and sell it when it get back unless I get completely hooked on Africa like Frank did! ;)

So based on your much appreciated feedback, I will bring both bodies.
5DM2: 24-70L for landscape shots
7D: 100-400mm

Should I bring the 70-200mm for lower light conditions and as an option use the 2x extender with it on my 5D?


Canon 5D Mark II [gripped] | Canon 7D [gripped] | 24-70mm f/2.8L USM | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM | Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 | Canon 50mm f/1.8 | Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 macro | 430EX | 600EX-RT | Manfrotto 488RC2 & legs | Canon Extender EF 2x II
www.zuniphotography.co​mexternal link

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RPCrowe
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Jan 11, 2014 13:29 as a reply to post 16591356 |  #21

1. Bring at least two bodies... Both for shooting and for insurance if one goes down.

2. Find out exactly what kind of vehicle in which you are riding and bring an appropriate stabilizer (monopod, bean bag, etc.) Bring the beanbag empty and fill it with rice or beans at our destination and then give the fill to a local person was you are leaving...

3. Ensure you have sunshades for each lens. When is somewhat precarious situations, I like to tape on my sunshades with gaffers tape.

4. Bring at least one hotshoe flash. Not only for providing catch lights in the eyes of the animals but, for fill flash. The dark complected Africans really benefit from fill flash.

5. Bring an Optech Rainsleeve for each camera lens. Taped onto your camera with gaffers tape protects the camera from dust and grit.

6. Bring a cleaning kit including lens and body brushes, extra T-shirt material squares, lens cleaning solution and lens paper. I keep mine in a zip-lock plastic bag...

7. I carry a graphite monopod everywhere I go. I also have a very lightweight travel tripod which I personally would bring.

8. Protection filters, and CPL filters for each size lens. Graduated UV might also help although I hate using these...

9. Camera bag or case for traveling with your gear and a case to carry your gear while shooting.

10. Ensure you have extra batteries, 2-chargers for each type battery and a whole passel of CF cards. I like shooting with UDMA cards and have a UDMA capable reader.

BTW: Some outfitters cram as many people as possible in their vehicles, sometimes sitting three abreast. I would avoid this type of operation like the plague. O.K. for Joe Tourist and his P&S but, terrible for a serious photographer. Imagine shooting from a vehicle like this...

https://www.google.com ...spot.com%252F%3B720​%3B540external link

I'd rather save my money and shoot the animals at the San Diego Zoo...


See my images at http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com/ (external link)

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zunimoon
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Jan 11, 2014 13:49 |  #22

Thanks RPCrowe, I've checked and I'll be in Land Cruiser.


Canon 5D Mark II [gripped] | Canon 7D [gripped] | 24-70mm f/2.8L USM | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM | Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 | Canon 50mm f/1.8 | Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 macro | 430EX | 600EX-RT | Manfrotto 488RC2 & legs | Canon Extender EF 2x II
www.zuniphotography.co​mexternal link

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hollis_f
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Jan 11, 2014 13:56 |  #23

RPCrowe wrote in post #16596972external link
8. Protection filters, and CPL filters for each size lens. Graduated UV might also help although I hate using these.

Don't put a 'protective' filter on the 100-400. Although such a filter will cause image degradation on any lens, the, 100-400 is infamous for being terrible with one.


Frank Hollis - Retired mass spectroscopist
Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll complain about the withdrawal of his free fish entitlement.
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zunimoon
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Jan 11, 2014 15:05 |  #24

I'm not a fan of 'protective' filters on any of my lenses! ;)


Canon 5D Mark II [gripped] | Canon 7D [gripped] | 24-70mm f/2.8L USM | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM | Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 | Canon 50mm f/1.8 | Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 macro | 430EX | 600EX-RT | Manfrotto 488RC2 & legs | Canon Extender EF 2x II
www.zuniphotography.co​mexternal link

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FA_Productions
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Joined Jan 2005
Fayetteville, GA
Jan 12, 2014 12:51 |  #25

What a great time you will have. I spent 12 days in South Africa and loved every minute. Back then all I had was a 20D body. I had to do a lot of lens swapping as the location when we were we would drive right up to the animals. Like 15 feet or less sometimes. Two bodies would have been great.

I took my 17-40, 24-105, 70-200, 100-400 1.4 and 2.0. I used everything that I took. I had a back pack the I carried everything on the truck and a large carry on bag that I traveled with along with my laptop.

My wife, daughter(12 at the time) and myself, carried everything on the plane, we checked nothing. Only had a small problem with weight once with the camera bag but when I told them what was in it, then it was ok.

Here are a few pictures:

17-40

IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2832/11911988495_3f04bbf75e_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jwtphoto/119119​88495/] (external link)
africa_lionsands_1174 (external link) by jwtPhoto.com (external link), on Flickr

100-400 @ 100
IMAGE: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2837/11912871456_23565fd3fc_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jwtphoto/119128​71456/] (external link)
africa_lionsands_1175 (external link) by jwtPhoto.com (external link), on Flickr

100-400 @ 400
IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7373/11912431664_2b556688aa_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jwtphoto/119124​31664/] (external link)
africa_lionsands_1176 (external link) by jwtPhoto.com (external link), on Flickr

Canon 7D, 1D mkIII - 580EX Speedlite
Canon 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200L, 100-400L

jwtphoto.comexternal link | Flickrexternal link

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FA_Productions
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Joined Jan 2005
Fayetteville, GA
Jan 12, 2014 23:05 |  #26

And I forgot to mention that I did see that you did not have the 100-400, but this is a must have so rent one if you can.


Canon 7D, 1D mkIII - 580EX Speedlite
Canon 17-40L, 24-105L, 70-200L, 100-400L

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zunimoon
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toronto
Jan 13, 2014 07:18 |  #27

Thanks FA_Productions, I plan on buying one. So my set up will be

5dm2: 24-70mm
7D: 100-400mm

I'm still debating whether I need to bring the 70-200mm and my 2x extender. Any thoughts on this one?


Canon 5D Mark II [gripped] | Canon 7D [gripped] | 24-70mm f/2.8L USM | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM | Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 | Canon 50mm f/1.8 | Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 macro | 430EX | 600EX-RT | Manfrotto 488RC2 & legs | Canon Extender EF 2x II
www.zuniphotography.co​mexternal link

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hollis_f
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Jan 13, 2014 07:28 |  #28

The 70-200 is quite a bit of weight for not much advantage, I'd leave it at home.

You might want to take the 11-16 if you've any interest at all in the night sky. You should get very dark skies out there. If you take a little table-top tripod you could set the 7D up with the 11-16, f2.8, ISO1600, 11mm, 20s exposure, manually focused at infinity - and point it towards the Milky Way.

It's also OK for landscapes if you can get something of interest in the foreground and keep the sun on your back.


Frank Hollis - Retired mass spectroscopist
Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll complain about the withdrawal of his free fish entitlement.
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svizzerams
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Chelanistan: Lost & found on the Sagebrush Steppes of eastern Washington.
Jan 15, 2014 18:44 |  #29

I just got back from Tanzania - I took 2 bodies and two lenses: MKII with 24-105 and the MKIII with 100-400mm. I rented a 400mm prime to try it out last summer, but it was pretty clear quickly that although the lens was sharp and the reach great, there was no flexibility in dealing with moving targets which the animals were. So I bought the 100-400mm to take. I used that lens for about 90% of all shots. I also took two Panasonic Lumix ZS20 for both back up and for taking short videos. In the dusty conditions I am glad I was not tempted to be changing lenses ever. I also took a Gura Gear beanbag which was invaluable. I used that a lot, but I was in a Toyota Land Cruiser by myself with a very good guide so I basically had 360 degrees of options for shooting. I took 104 GB worth of memory cards and I had started on the last card before I left :-) I was shooting pictures though for 18 days. I did not take a laptop (but I think I understand now why people do - a lot of editing when I got back home). To be honest though, I was out at dawn each day and not back until dusk literally every day - then I'd eat dinner and fall asleep. Rinse and Repeat. So going through photos would not have really happened anyway. I backed my memory cards up on a UDMA Colorspace 500GB. I used a Cotton Carrier when I was on Rubondo Island on walking safari - that was brilliant. I took 4 extra batteries, but was pleased at how well the Canon batteries lasted - I never had any anxiety about running out of power for either camera.

Take a good hat, sun screen (I burned my wrist - even though I was wearing long sleeves lol). I also always wear hiking boots and long pants. Partly for bugs and other creepy crawlies and partly for sunburn. If you go anywhere that you might encounter red safari ants - tuck your long pants into your socks or you might find yourself running into the woods to rip off your trousers and shake them out while being bitten (ask me how I know - ha ha). That said, safari ants are pretty interesting to watch (but not find yourself in the midst of). I did not take my 28-70 or 70-200. I'm glad not to have the extra weight and I would not have used them. I did take a 1.4x extender but did not use it.

If you are going during "high season" weight restrictions are going to be more of an issue. If you are going at a less popular time then you might have more wiggle room. I took a backpack designed for camera gear. I might opt for a wheeled option in the future, but had shied a way from this when I went to Namibia and it was stated that wheeled luggage was not welcome on the small planes (this did not actually turn out to be the case in the end - but again I was there at a lower season and so it would not have been an issue). I used the Gura Gear 26L Bataflae - it worked great for transporting between camps or flights. On actual drive days I used a very lightweight backpack to take extra batteries etc. I set the cameras on a seat covered with a masai blanket to protect them from dust when not being used.

Botswana is next up on my list - so I hope to hear all about your experience. I loved Tanzania and Namibia and can't wait to go back.


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MCAsan
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Jan 15, 2014 19:56 |  #30

On the safaris we have done, our 100-400s have been our main lenses without doubt. Friday Tamron ships their new 150-600. Put that on a 7D and you are shoting over 900mm without a TC. We are going to get that lens to give it a try this year on domestic trips. We head to back to Africa next year for at least 3 weeks.




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1st Safari Advice (what to bring)
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