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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk
Thread started 08 May 2015 (Friday) 01:12
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Safari Lens

 
seaninsa
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May 08, 2015 01:12 |  #1

I am going on the Great Migration in July. I was thinking of renting the 200-400 Canon. I started to look at the Sigma 50-500. I would love to get others thoughts on which one I should rent.




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hollis_f
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May 08, 2015 04:17 |  #2

seaninsa wrote in post #17548044external link
I am going on the Great Migration in July. I was thinking of renting the 200-400 Canon. I started to look at the Sigma 50-500. I would love to get others thoughts on which one I should rent.

I'd go for the 200-400 for two reasons - IQ and aperture.


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Aus.Morgo
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May 08, 2015 07:27 |  #3

I bought my 200-400 last year for my trip to Africa, IMO it is the best lens for the job.

I imagine there would be a substantial price difference between renting the 200-400 and a sigma 50-500. If the 200-400 ends up being too much I'd consider the 100-400 II over most other zooms.


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Gbgb
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May 10, 2015 08:10 |  #4

Because of a change in finance, I too bought the 200-400. It is a great lens for safari. Effectively it gives you 200 - 560 "on the fly", with a possible 200 - 784 with the 1.4II TC (& the time to set up of course).

Had I not had the windfall, I doubt I would have bought it, but I know in that case I would have bought to 100 - 400 MkII.

If you can rent / borrow / steal the 200 - 400, do it. It is not every day you get to go to an African country on a safari & you want to have the best you can get for the trip.

Good luck on the trip & if I may offer one more piece of advise, don't look at everything thru a camera, take time out to look at the environment & take it all in!

Good luck


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johnf3f
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May 10, 2015 17:39 |  #5

If you can afford the rental, carry the weight, then the Canon 200-400 is probably the ultimate choice for this sort of thing.

I am not this guy's biggest fan (though I don't mind him) but I love his photography! Have a look at his thoughts - they might help you decide:

http://www.andyrouse.c​o.uk/?page_id=174external link


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MalVeauX
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May 11, 2015 05:44 |  #6

seaninsa wrote in post #17548044external link
I am going on the Great Migration in July. I was thinking of renting the 200-400 Canon. I started to look at the Sigma 50-500. I would love to get others thoughts on which one I should rent.

Heya,

Depends on how much you want to spend, and how you want to shoot and what camera you're attaching to it, etc. I'd want the best lens possible too. But sometimes, I have to stop and think of compromising certain things, for the sake of usability. For me, that would be weight. For a big telephoto, I'd want a tripod really for all day shooting to get the most out of it. If that's not an option, then I'd want a lighter lens to hand hold all day. Nothing like 6 hours later, being fatigued.

I know myself, I'd want 2 cameras. One with a Canon 500 F4L II (with a 1.4x TC in the bag), and the other with a 70-200 of some flavor.

Very best,


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xpfloyd
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May 11, 2015 14:17 |  #7

Don't have any experience with the lenses you have mentioned but when I went on safari in tanzania I took a 100-400 mk1 (on a 7D mk1). Absolutely stellar lens for safari imo


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xpfloyd
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May 11, 2015 14:19 |  #8

Also if you are going to Be in open topped landrovers / land cruisers taking photos I recommend you get a bean bag. I used the red pod bag and had it permanently screwed onto the tripod collar of the lens. That way when the vehicle stopped I could rest the bean bag on the lip of the vehicle and be ready to shoot in a split


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bigcountry
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May 17, 2015 07:53 |  #9

the canon 200-400 is the best overall safari lens out there....unless your main focus is birds. then something like a 600mm is better.

but for what i think you want to shoot, the 200-400 is a gem.

here is an article i wrote about the 200-400 vs the 600mm:

http://www.travelandph​otograph.com ...mm-fr-is-w-internal-1-4x/external link


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AceCo55
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May 18, 2015 04:05 |  #10

bigcountry wrote in post #17559613external link
the canon 200-400 is the best overall safari lens out there....unless your main focus is birds. then something like a 600mm is better.

but for what i think you want to shoot, the 200-400 is a gem.

here is an article i wrote about the 200-400 vs the 600mm:

http://www.travelandph​otograph.com ...mm-fr-is-w-internal-1-4x/external link

Thank you SO much for taking the time to put that article together. Nothing like real-world experience to weigh up the pros and cons. The 200-400 seems to provide that much more flexibility that for me would outweigh the extra reach of the 600 ... not that I think I would be able to have the 600.

Your images with the 600 + 2xTC look excellent. On your monitor with the high res images, do you think the x2TC degraded the image much?


From the "Land Down Under" ... South Australia

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Canon ­ George
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May 18, 2015 15:39 |  #11

I go on safari approx once every 2 years, and have evolved what I use so I'm carrying the minimum gear for the maximum benefit, and firstly Id say take 2 bodies for 2 reasons...1) in case of equipment failure, you have a backup and 2) it means you aren't changing lenses more than necessary in a dusty environment.

I use a 1 Dx with a 100-400 mk2 for the majority of my shots, and a 400 DO f4 mk2 for the longer shots with the option of adding a 1.4 mk3 t/c for really long shots, although this is seldom necessary.

I also carry a 24-70 mk2 for evening shots around the campsite.

The 200-400 is absolutely brilliant, I borrowed one from Canon a year ago before the new 100-400 was released, but it's a) big and heavy...not a problem in a jeep but for me too heavy for normal day to day use, and the mk2 100-400, although a 5.6, is so much lighter you can miss shots with the big lens but get them with the smaller lens...a lot of Nikon shooters have sold their 200-400 f4 for their 80-400 for that reason....and B) it's a heck of a price!!

I can't stress the necessity of a second body too much, even hire one if necessary, and have a few pillow cases for putting your gear in when it isn't being used.

Forget a tripod, but a good monopod can be useful, and don't shoot from the roof, try and get at eye level with the beasts...and enjoy!!

George.




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bigcountry
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by bigcountry.
May 18, 2015 16:32 |  #12

I just went to india in april, and i haven't done the numbers yet, but i did not take the 200-400. i took the 600 ii, 100-400 ii, 24-70, 18-135 stm, 1.4x iii + 2x III, 7d2 and 1dx.

i wish i would've taken the following: 200-400, 70-200 2.8 IS II, 24-70 II, 8-15 fisheye, 1.4x iii, 2xiii 18-135mm stm, 1dx, 7d2

i seem to get really sharp images w/ the 600 +2x iii. i just got my hands on a really nice used 1d iv and have started using it w/ the 600 + 2x. if size isn't an issue, i like the 1d iv over the 7d2.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by CyberDyneSystems. 3 edits done in total.
May 18, 2015 22:26 |  #13

I will echo what others have said, that 200-400mm is without question the best and most flexible big safari lens in existence.

Due be aware of the weight, size and impact it has on the shooter, and in close quarters the people around you.

When i went to Namibia and Botswana I brought along my 500mm f/4l IS, which is about the same weight and size. I was glad to have, it helped me get photos that no one else in our group could have gotten, but I am very accustomed to hauling around a big lens. Some fo those I was with simply could not believe I was lugging it around in the heat etc. I also had the old version 1 100-400mm, and it was without question the trip favorite lens. With todays high ISO bodies (at the time I went the best body for noise was the 1D3, and that's what I was shooting, today things are much better) the f/5.6 of the new 100-400mm Version 2 is hardly a problem.

If you have no experience with a super-telephoto, I would strongly suggest that you rent the 200-400mm BEFORE you leave and reserve it for your trip, and then see if it's right for you.

My second suggestion would be the new 100-400mmL IS version II

Next question, how many camera bodies do you have?
If "one" than get a 2nd one and put a shorter zoom on it :)


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Gbgb
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May 19, 2015 06:06 as a reply to CyberDyneSystems's post |  #14

Yup, exactly what CyberDyne said, I couldn't have said it better.


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seaninsa
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May 19, 2015 10:29 as a reply to CyberDyneSystems's post |  #15

I have three bodies. I have a 1DX, 1DMIV, and a 5DM3. The guy who is leading this is Gavin Slabbert. We are going to have Moose Peterson also along with us. He recommended that I only bring the 1DX and 1DMIV. I was thinking of putting the 200-400 on the 1DX and my 70-200mm on the 1DM4. Should I bring the 5DM3 as well and put a WA lens on it?

Sean




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