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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk
Thread started 08 Apr 2011 (Friday) 13:41
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Kruger Safari - Body/Lens Advice

 
Scott_online
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Joined Aug 2009
Apr 08, 2011 13:41 |  #1

I'm sure I'll figure it out when I eventually get there but I'm already wondering what's the best combination of body, lens and TC.

I'll be taking a 5D2, 7D, 70-200/2.8, 300/2.8 and 1.4x & 2x TCs.

What would be the best combination of reach, IQ and focussing speed bearing in mind the likely proximity and size of the wildlife?


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MCAsan
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Apr 08, 2011 18:31 |  #2

We did Kruger last May. Fantastic.

We had 7Ds and 40Ds. We have our own 100-400 and 1.4 converters. We rented 500s on site and hooked them up to the 1.4s and 40Ds. We keep the 100-400 on the 7Ds. That gave use the huge range of ~150mm to 1100mm given the crop bodies and the 1.4 converter boost.

Many time the targets can be very close to the car, I would put the 70-200 on the 5D (for relative close work) and the 300 with 1.4 converter on the 7D to get the max range from the crop. The combos should give you the range of 70 to 670. And of course you can swap the 1.4x for the 2.0x for a litte more boost.

When we were at a nearby lodge we were out in the thick brush at sunset. We had a large female elephant pushing back a small amourous male elephant. He almost sat on the hood of the truck! The point being....you are not shooting animals in the next county...they can be much closer than you would have imagined.


We are planning to go back next summer for 2.5 weeks!!!




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Scott_online
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Joined Aug 2009
Apr 08, 2011 21:19 |  #3

MCAsan, thanks for the reply. I'm using the same tour company as you did. This forum was a great help in choosing. (I'm going for 2 weeks in August).

Which of the 2 combinations you had did you find you used the most?

As well as the combinations you suggested, I was also wondering about putting the 300 on the 5D2 and the 70-200+1.4 on the 7D. That would limit me to 150-450mm but I would have an fast, high IQ option at 300mm. This would only make sense though if 300mm was likely to be the optimal focal length.


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MCAsan
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Apr 09, 2011 06:58 as a reply to Scott_online's post |  #4

If you are going with the Wild 4 crew, you will have a blast. Stu, Justyna, Ann, and John are great folks.

Stu has a couple of Canon 500s, Wimbley gimbles, and tripods to rent. We rented a set each. We used the 500s throughout the trip. We used the tripods and gimbles at a private lodge to shoot crocs abd birds around their ponds. If a set is a available, you might consider renting them during the trip.

Without doubt I used the 100-400 with the 7Ds the most because so many times the Kruger animals are within 15-40 meters from the vehicle. The few times I remember using the 500 in the truck in Kruger was to shoot a leopard in a distant tree or wading birds in the a far bend of the Sweni river. So if you have your 70-200 on the 5D and your 300 and converter on a crop body, you should be ready for almost anything. Since Stu shoots Canon, he can provide extra advice on what to bring. But have a good walkaround lens like 24-105 for the 5D for those times when you are shooting people, and VERY close animal shoots...not to mention the great people.

Take lots of large fast memory cards. We were shooting at least 4 16GB cards each per day ( 64GB each per day to download). So you want a fast way to download the cards at night. Use a card reader hooked up via FW800 or eSATA or USB3...definitely not via USB2 or FW 400. We had not had our 7Ds but a few days before going on the trip. We were not used to shooting video and did not shoot any. Big mistake. So next year we will be additionaly shoot video. So that means needing even larger/faster cards. The good news there is that fast 32GB cards are becoming relatively inexpensive. Compared to the cost of the safari...a stack of large fast cards and a fast reader is insignificant.




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hollis_f
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Apr 09, 2011 07:19 |  #5

That's my favourite safari combo you've got there - 300 f2.8 with 1.4x and 2x TCs matched with a 70-200 for the closer stuff. I had the 1.4x on the 300 by default, sometimes removing it or swapping over to the 2x.

For storing images I use a Nexto ND2700 and a Hyperdrive Colorspace UDMA (yes, I am slightly paranoid about losing images). The two of those together are much lighter than any laptop/netbook and provide redundancy that a laptop with external drive does not (if the laptop dies you have no backup at all; if one of my devices dies then I still have the other). They also have much longer battery life.

Have fun.


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Scott_online
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Apr 11, 2011 04:04 |  #6

Thank you all for the suggestions.

I've since picked up a few more memory cards and I've ordered a Nexto. I'm planning on taking my MacBook plus two external drives as storage but, as you say, if the laptop or card reader goes South I'd be stuck. (Unfortunately my laptop doesn't support FW or USB3 so I'll just have to make do with USB2 and UDMA.)


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Scott_online
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Apr 17, 2011 13:11 as a reply to Scott_online's post |  #7

Some more questions...

1. General advice is to take along a wide angle for landscapes and environmental shots. I don't really have anything suitable at the moment so I was planning on using a decent P+S for this sort of thing. Will this suffice?

2. Binoculars. How important are these? They've been included on every safari packing list I've seen but they're not something I would use normally. Should I make space for a pair, or can you do without?

Thanks again.


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hollis_f
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Apr 17, 2011 16:34 |  #8

Scott_online wrote in post #12239796external link
Some more questions...

1. General advice is to take along a wide angle for landscapes and environmental shots. I don't really have anything suitable at the moment so I was planning on using a decent P+S for this sort of thing. Will this suffice?

2. Binoculars. How important are these? They've been included on every safari packing list I've seen but they're not something I would use normally. Should I make space for a pair, or can you do without?

Thanks again.

1. The 18-55 kit lens would be OK for this. It's fairly cheap and light.

2. You definitely want a pair of binoculars for each person. Don't be tempted by high magnifications. 7x is plenty.


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MCAsan
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Apr 18, 2011 07:10 as a reply to hollis_f's post |  #9

We recently changed from Comcast to ATT Uverse as our TV company. One of channels we get is the Wealth Channel. They do lots of travel shows. On Sunday mornings there is a show called On Safari. http://www.wealthtv.co​m ...mming/OnSafari/inde​x.htmlexternal link
They have been showing two 1 hour episodes back to back. Sunday morning was Kings Camp in Timbavati. http://www.e-gnu.com/kings_camp_sou​th_africa.htmlexternal link The second show was at Madikwe Hills. http://www.e-gnu.com ...e_hills_south_afric​a.htmlexternal link.

The point of bringing this up is for you to either record/watch the shows or get someone nearby on Uverse to do that for you. You can see what a game drive in the bush is like and how you are many times..within a very few meters of the animals. This is not about shooting in a big open flat savanna such as in East Africa. This is like shooting animals in the scrub brush and hills of west Texas.

Have a great time!!! We will be doing the Lions and Leopards trip next June. ;)




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Kruger Safari - Body/Lens Advice
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