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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk
Thread started 22 Dec 2016 (Thursday) 14:06
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Tickets booked for African Safari. Wondering about lens options and extender vs longer lense

 
dfinn
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Dec 22, 2016 14:06 |  #1

Hello there,

Just booked airfare to South Africa and have a couple months to start planning. We are doing a self driven safari and will be spending the bulk of our time in Kruger National Park. I'm wondering what to pack for lenses. I shoot on Canon and own:

15mm 2.8 fish
50mm 1.4
17-40 L
24 - 105 L
70 - 200 2.8 L

Obviously I'd like to pack as minimal as possible but still feel like I'm covered for all situations. I think I'm mostly concerned on the long end of things. Does it make more sense to pickup an extender like the EF 2X III or instead look at trying to purchase a used 100 - 400? Price wise it seems like it would make more sense to go with the extender since I already have (and love) my 70 - 200 but I've never used an extender before and am not totally sure about them.

Any suggestions on that plus what other lenses to bring along would be much appreciated.




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Wilt
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Post has been last edited 11 months ago by Wilt. 2 edits done in total.
Dec 22, 2016 14:26 |  #2

a 2x teleconvertor makes your 70-200 f/2.8 into a 150-400 f/5.6 lens, which compares pretty directly with the max aperture of the 100-400mm Canon.

past testing by photozone.de of the various models of Canon 70-200 lens with a Canon 1.4x teleconvertor have shown about -10% IQ hit resulting from the 1.4x teleconvertor; no 2x teleconvertor tests were ever performed by photozone.de
Pretty reasonable to guess -20% IQ with Canon 2X teleconvertor with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8
So the 70-200mm f/2.8 (I) would net an MTF about 2760 on the long end, while the 100-400 (I) has MTF of 3100, and the 100-400 (II) has MFT of 3300...clearly both of the 100-400 versions would outpeform the 70-200 f/2.8 with 2x teleconvertor.

The 100-400 IS is $1900, the 100-400 is $1300, both new from B&H; and the 100-400 as refurb from Canon is $1100. An alternative is to rent...borrowlenses.co​m has 100-400 for $61 for 7 day rental.


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dfinn
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Dec 22, 2016 14:34 as a reply to Wilt's post |  #3

I should look into lens renting I suppose. For some reason I thought it would be much more expensive than that.

Would it make sense to carry both my 70-200 and a rented 100-400? Or just leave the 70-200 at home if I rented the 100-400?




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Wilt
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Dec 22, 2016 15:13 |  #4

You know your itinerary...what is the probability of needing a lens with max aperture 1-2EV faster than a 100-400?
Then you also have to ask yourself what are your airline(s) carryon baggage weight limitations, as that can have a very strong bearing on determining what you leave behind!


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dfinn
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Dec 22, 2016 15:39 |  #5

Wilt wrote in post #18220864 (external link)
You know your itinerary...what is the probability of needing a lens with max aperture 1-2EV faster than a 100-400?

Being that this is my first safari type trip and first time to Africa I'm not really sure. I was hoping to get some responses from others who have been and have first hand experience. My guess is that I'll be able to live with the f/5.6. I'll be shooting on a 5d3 which handles high iso pretty well.

I found a local shop that rents extenders for fairly cheap. I've got a trip coming up over new years and I'm going to rent one for that and see how it goes.

I'm leaning towards purchasing an extender over renting a 100-400 but I think I'll know more after I try it out.




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Snydremark
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Dec 22, 2016 15:51 |  #6

Generally speaking, longer lens > adding a TC. The more glass you enter into the equation, the higher the likelihood of negative impacts to the image. For a trip that's only likely to happen once, or once in a great while, I'd want to reduce the chances of the gear being problematic to a bare minimum. There is a very good reason that the 100-400 is a standard tool in the wildlife photographers' arsenal in MUCH greater numbers than a 70-200 + TC. I would pick up a used V1, or rent a V2 for that trip.


- Eric S.: My Birds/Wildlife (external link) (7D MkII, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, Canon 24-105L f/4 IS, Canon 70-200L f/2.8 IS MkII, Canon 100-400L f/4.5-5.6 IS)
"The easiest way to improve your photos is to adjust the loose nut between the shutter release and the ground."

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bpalermini
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Dec 22, 2016 16:04 |  #7

What body are you using?

When I went to Africa I used a 1DIV (1.3 crop) with a rented a 100-400 and had a 1.4tc that I used with it a lot. It spent a lot of the time zoomed to 400mm x 1.4 x1.3 = 728mm. I also used a monopod and asked for the motor of the car to be turned off when we stopped. If I were you I would rent a 100-400. More reach is better.

If you rent, give yourself enough time before you leave to test and micro-adjust for both the bare lens and the lens + TC if necessary.

You won't want to be changing lenses much, if at all, while you are out driving the park if it is the dry season. It will be very dusty.

For me, a 24-105, 100-400 and a 1.4tc would be enough. If I still had room left I would add the 17-35 to my bag.


Bob Palermini
1DX, 14 Rokinon, 16-35L, 24-70L II, 100L, 70-200 IS 2.8L, 300 IS 2.8L, 400mm 2.8 IS II, 1.4xIII, 2xIII, 580EXII, YN560IV, RRS TVC23 + BH55, LRCC, Fuji X-E2, Fuji X30
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dfinn
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Dec 22, 2016 16:31 as a reply to bpalermini's post |  #8

great feedback, thanks bpalermini. I guess I've got some thinking and probably shopping to do.




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Larry ­ Johnson
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Post has been edited 11 months ago by Larry Johnson.
Dec 22, 2016 21:49 as a reply to dfinn's post |  #9

Have a look at the sigma 150-600 as well. The contemporary model is lighter than the sport model and can be handheld, so I read.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 23, 2016 01:33 |  #10

.

dfinn wrote in post #18220833 (external link)
I should look into lens renting I suppose. For some reason I thought it would be much more expensive than that.

If I were in your shoes, I would buy a nice used 100-400 version 2, which can be had for around $1700 or $1800. Then when I got back from the safari I would sell the lens for the same $1700 or $1800. . So you'd basically be renting the lens for your trip for the grand total of PayPal fees and shipping, which would probably come to around a hundred bucks total, even if you pay for shipping insurance.

.


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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Dec 23, 2016 07:18 |  #11

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18221345 (external link)
.

If I were in your shoes, I would buy a nice used 100-400 version 2, which can be had for around $1700 or $1800. Then when I got back from the safari I would sell the lens for the same $1700 or $1800. . So you'd basically be renting the lens for your trip for the grand total of PayPal fees and shipping, which would probably come to around a hundred bucks total, even if you pay for shipping insurance.

.

This. If your finances allow it, it's almost always better to buy and then resell a lens than to rent it. Of course, you run the risk of realizing how awesome the 100-400 is and never selling it but I suppose there's worse things... :lol:




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dfinn
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Dec 23, 2016 09:48 as a reply to ShadowHillsPhoto's post |  #12

There's a good chance I will end up doing this. And probably keeping it. :)

Is there enough difference between the v1 and v2 that it's worth paying an extra $1000? I've been doing some reading up and it sounds like v1 was a great lens.




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Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 23, 2016 10:51 |  #13

.

dfinn wrote in post #18221573 (external link)
Is there enough difference between the v1 and v2 that it's worth paying an extra $1000?

Yes, yes, YES! Absolutely!

dfinn wrote in post #18221573 (external link)
I've been doing some reading up and it sounds like v1 was a great lens.

Not really......I'm not sure what you've been reading, but many of the guys I know, pros and amateurs alike, didn't even own the v1 because of the disappointments it caused them.

The version 2 is sharp wide open, even when zoomed all the way in to 400mm. No more having to stop down to f7.1 just to get a reasonably sharp image - it is razor sharp all the time, at any focal length, at any aperture.

The version 2 has the latest generation of Image Stabilization, which means 4 stops' worth. Four stops! The old 100-400 only had 1 1/2 stops' worth of stabilization.

The new version works pretty well with the 1.4 tele-extender, and the combo can yield some very nice images, from an I.Q. standpoint. This was not the case with the old 100-400.

Lots and lots of dust would work its way into the old 100-400. So much dust that it would affect one's images when shooting strongly backlit subjects. I've used the new 100-400 in some unbelievably dusty conditions, and only trace levels of dust have worked their way inside the lens.......certainly not enough to worry about.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "peace of mind", NOT "piece of mind".

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Aus.Morgo
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Newcastle, Australia
Dec 26, 2016 05:41 |  #14

Skip the 2x tc on the 70-200 its not great compared to a longer lens.

The 100-400 II is a great option but also check out the 150-600 offerings.

Renting is another option, its reasonably cheap to do so but its an added hassle and your at their mercy, if something goes wrong your out of luck. I prefer to take my own gear.

What camera bodies do you have?
You would ideally want atleast two, in case one fails and changing glass in the dust sucks plus you can miss the shot if you have swap out a lens all the time. Have a 24-105 on one and the 100-400 or 150-600 on the other.


Gear List

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saea501
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Dec 26, 2016 06:32 |  #15

The 2X and the 20-200 2.8 is just a horrible combination.....unless you don't mind waiting for the thing to find focus.

Then I got the 100-400 II.....what a piece of work. Great hardware for wildlife.

How many times are you going to Africa on a safari? Not something you do every month or so........

Get the 100-400 II, take your 24-105 and the camera and that will be all you'll need.


Remember what the DorMouse said.....feed your head.
Bob

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Tickets booked for African Safari. Wondering about lens options and extender vs longer lense
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