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Thread started 18 Apr 2014 (Friday) 05:01
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F4, is it enough for a safari in Botswana?

 
Aus.Morgo
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Apr 18, 2014 05:01 |  #1

Hi everyone,

I will be visiting Botswana in June/July and currently assessing my camera gear.
Latest Idea was to sell everything I have bar the 70-200 2.8 IS II (I can't part with this) and along with the $$$ I had put aside to buy a Canon 500 F4 IS and Sigma 120-300 sport buy;

1. Canon 200-400
2. Canon 70-200 f4 IS (or use 2.8 not sure yet)
3. 1Dx
4. 5D mkIII

My biggest concern I guess is the loss of the 2.8 from not buying the Sigma 120-300 along with the loss of reach from not buying the 500 and selling the 1d4 and 7d.

Would really like to hear from those who have been to Botswana, did you find yourself needing F2.8? The loss of DOF from 2.8 is another thing I'm worried about loosing.
Also did you find yourself needing more than 560mm? Not having the crop sensor bodies which I could mix and match around lenses is a worry as well.


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digital ­ paradise
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Apr 18, 2014 08:57 |  #2

Sure f4 is enough. People shoot with it all the time and get a nice background. For a trip like that @ 400 you are just getting into decent focal length. You already have the 70-200. Maybe consider an 300 2.8 and a few teleconverters - 1.4X and a 2X. That lens is very sharp and I have seen excellent images with an older 2X converter on it. Now the 2X III is out. You still have AF @ f.6 and you get 600mm.


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Aus.Morgo
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Apr 18, 2014 09:08 |  #3

The 300 with TC's is something I have been seriously considering. I did have a bad TC in the past which has put me off them plus I'd rather not be changing them on and off all the time which is why I've started considering the 200-400

I might change the 70-200 for the Sigma 120-300 2.8 sport
It also seems the 1D MK4 will be fine with the 200-400, I had heard of issues with older cameras requiring a procedure when engaging the extender on and off, so I'll keep the Mark 4 which gives me 1.3x more reach on the 200-400 than the 1dx would and saves some $$$ to get the 120-300 instead of the 70-200.


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Apr 18, 2014 09:18 as a reply to  @ digital paradise's post |  #4

I certainly hope it's enough, since all I'll have with me on my trip to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe is my 60D and 70-200 f4 IS with 1.4 II tc. My 3 week trip specifies an absolute max of 44 pounds for checked and carry on bags combined, so I'm only taking the 70-200 and 17-55 lenses. I have an Induro monopod which will have to suffice when I have to shoot in less light.

Fortunately, the 70-200 is sharp enough to stand a lot of cropping, and we should often get fairly close to some of the critters, so I'm hopeful of some decent shots despite the length limitations of my kit.


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digital ­ paradise
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Apr 18, 2014 09:26 |  #5

If they can get you close to the critters then you should be OK. You have no choice anyway.


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Apr 18, 2014 09:29 |  #6

44 pounds? That's my camera gear & 2 pair of undies.:)


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Aus.Morgo
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Apr 18, 2014 09:43 |  #7

Preeb wrote in post #16843402 (external link)
I certainly hope it's enough, since all I'll have with me on my trip to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe is my 60D and 70-200 f4 IS with 1.4 II tc. My 3 week trip specifies an absolute max of 44 pounds for checked and carry on bags combined, so I'm only taking the 70-200 and 17-55 lenses. I have an Induro monopod which will have to suffice when I have to shoot in less light.

Fortunately, the 70-200 is sharp enough to stand a lot of cropping, and we should often get fairly close to some of the critters, so I'm hopeful of some decent shots despite the length limitations of my kit.

Geez that is a restrictive weight limit, I take it your catching some flights on small planes while there?


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Aus.Morgo
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Apr 18, 2014 09:44 |  #8

digital paradise wrote in post #16843421 (external link)
If they can get you close to the critters then you should be OK. You have no choice anyway.

Doing a 21 day self drive, with a 4 day guided safari in the middle, so it will mostly be up to us, another reason I'm still considering the 500mm :)


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Preeb
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Apr 18, 2014 09:57 |  #9

Aus.Morgo wrote in post #16843461 (external link)
Geez that is a restrictive weight limit, I take it your catching some flights on small planes while there?

Yep. Several hops to different safari camps in small planes. Checked bag is required to be a soft duffel bag or it won't even fit into some of the planes. I almost had that problem in Costa Rica when my dive bag wouldn't fit through the hatch in the plane we took from San Jose to Palmar Sur. I'm not taking any chances on this trip. OAT supplies an accepted duffel as part of the trip fee, so I'll be using that, plus my usual backpack for carry on.

I should be able to make the weight limitation - the safari camps all offer laundry services, so my outerwear will be rotated through the wash regularly (they don't do underwear due to some sort of cultural taboo, so I'll be hand washing that myself).


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jbrackjr
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Apr 18, 2014 10:10 |  #10

I did a self drive in Kruger back some years ago. I could have lived nicely with a 1DX & 200-400 for the duration adding just a landscape lens to keep things simple. :lol:

But of course, it's better to have two bodies and a 70-200 just in the event you encounter something close.

Enjoy!


Jim
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Apr 18, 2014 10:15 |  #11

A fellow in our local camera club went to Africa and took his 600.


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Apr 18, 2014 10:23 |  #12

Tapeman wrote in post #16843428 (external link)
44 pounds? That's my camera gear & 2 pair of undies.:)

Yeah. Camera gear vs change of cloths? I'd be pretty stinky after 3 weeks.


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Apr 18, 2014 11:22 |  #13

I've been to Botswana twice, using f4 was never a problem.


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gnome ­ chompski
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Apr 18, 2014 11:42 |  #14

Im sure it was mentioned, but both bodies you are bringing have excellent ISO capabilities. f4 should be sufficient.


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Jerobean
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Apr 18, 2014 12:56 |  #15

You should bring a 85 1.2 for some nice up close wildlife portraits.

bring a few steaks and tell them kittys to sit.


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F4, is it enough for a safari in Botswana?
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