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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 02 Nov 2014 (Sunday) 17:00
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January Safari-Lens/Camera/Backpack Recommendations and Upgrades

 
fidji
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Nov 04, 2014 06:12 as a reply to  @ post 17248856 |  #31

I agree with hollis_f, binoculars are a must. You go to see the animals, not just to take photos.
You do not say if you have a car to yourself or have to share with strangers. this is important, because if you are with other people you cannot use a tripod in the vehicle and you may not be on the right side for a shot. In this case, a large lens will not gain you any friends in the car. Also, your driver will have to take into account the non photographers who may not want to wait for THAT shot.
I went to Kenya earlier this year, and was fortunate to have just my family and one Australian in the truck most days, but was still glad I was travelling light. I took a lightweight T3i Rebel [600D] with Canon 70-200 f4 + 1.4 converter which gave me 156-448mm reach, which was enough for 95% of shots. This was light and easy to use for 'grab' shots, of which you need plenty. [Shoot as soon as you stop, or you will end up with plenty of rear views of the skittish animals like antelope] . I also had a Fujifilm X20 around my neck at all times for when we got too close for the other camera, which sat on my lap. I took no camera bag, just wrapped them with the clothes in my hand luggage, which also brings up the point of weight. If you are using internal flights with small airstrips, the weight limit is usually 20 kilos, so bins, 2 cameras and long lens can soon add up, leaving little for clothes etc. Enjoy!




  
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Neilyb
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Nov 04, 2014 07:05 |  #32

simonbee wrote in post #17251172 (external link)
I sometimes wonder if some people actually read the original post before hammering the 'reply' button. Where did the OP ask about binoculars?

MonkeyGurl wrote in post #17248267 (external link)
Any and all advice is appreciated!!!

Thanks!!!

Nuff said.


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pilsburypie
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Nov 04, 2014 08:55 as a reply to  @ Neilyb's post |  #33

I think you've got good advice with the 7D and 100-400. A good zoom with decent reach.

One option that was explored was renting - the idea being you could get even better gear to use for your safari that you couldn't afford/justify spending. Plus, depending on your normal home life shooting style, how much use is an expensive long telephoto going to be? My advice, depending on your financial situation is not to rent, but to splash out and buy a decent second hand "whatever" in plenty of time before your safari, use it, practice with it, use it on your holiday then sell it for what you bought it for..... free longer term rental.

Not that I have done this, but I would if I were in your situation. I too would hate the thought of spending $400 and end up with nothing (apart from the great shots) physically in my hand. By spending some time tracking prices of a desired lens, you can get a bargain and then when you sell it, make sure you promote it right and may end up with more.

Just another option to good advice offered already.;)


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MonkeyGurl
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Nov 04, 2014 11:52 |  #34

Couple of things:

1- I was thinking about a 2x converter (to keep things light)... BUT that would also effect the light that passes to the lens... so I decided against it..

2- I appreciate the advice on binoculars!! Myself I have two sets (I hope it's enough)

- Nikon 10x50 Action EX Extreme, Water Proof Porro Prism Binocular with 6.5 Degree Angle of View, U.S.A.

- Bushnell PowerView Super High-Powered Surveillance Binoculars 10x50

They both weigh about 4 lb a piece... I know our guide will have binoculars for all of us - unsure if they're any good or not - but I defintely plan on bring at least one of them (and put my brother to work carrying them!!!). Just looking into the woods they work fine...

3- I guess for equipment I won't carry them all most of the time... though I do have two hikes. I can make my brother work but I worry I may miss a great shot (he's useless at photography... or anything that isn't studying from a textbook)

I'll pass on a tripod then!

Thanks for ALL the advice!!




  
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jkokbaker
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Nov 04, 2014 16:37 |  #35

I am going to Tanzania in Feb. I think I have my camera gear decided on, 5d II and 7D II, Tamron 150-600, Canon 24-105, Rokinon 14mm and Zeiss 18. I have a tripod I am taking and probably get some kind of beanbag for while I am in the vehicle. The part I am really struggling with is how to transport everything while not having to check any of my camera gear. I am trying to find a backpack that I can use as a carryon and also as my daypack while I climb Kilimanjaro. Any suggestions on a backpack and any other gear?


5D IV, Rokinon 14mm, Zeiss 21mm, Rokinon 24mm 1.4, Canon 24-105L, Speedlight 430EX II

  
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pssc
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Nov 04, 2014 21:09 as a reply to  @ jkokbaker's post |  #36

You have been given good advice. I have been to Africa a few times, but don't do the traditional photo safari. However, my advice that I generally give is as follows:
1. Take half as much stuff as you think you need. By this, I mean travel as light as possible.
2. Take more money. You are not going all the way to Africa to save money. This may be a once in a lifetime trip or the beginning of an obsessive disorder, so enjoy and be prepared to spend some money. The last thing you want is to return home and regret not buying something or spending for something.
3. Get away from the traditional tourist areas and enjoy the utter beauty and spirit that Africa has to offer.
4. Enjoy yourself and remember that the trip is not always enjoyed best via the viewfinder 24/7.

Cheers, Steve


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hollis_f
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Nov 05, 2014 01:21 |  #37

pssc wrote in post #17252835 (external link)
You have been given good advice. I have been to Africa a few times, but don't do the traditional photo safari. However, my advice that I generally give is as follows:
1. Take half as much stuff as you think you need. By this, I mean travel as light as possible.
2. Take more money. You are not going all the way to Africa to save money. This may be a once in a lifetime trip or the beginning of an obsessive disorder, so enjoy and be prepared to spend some money. The last thing you want is to return home and regret not buying something or spending for something.
3. Get away from the traditional tourist areas and enjoy the utter beauty and spirit that Africa has to offer.
4. Enjoy yourself and remember that the trip is not always enjoyed best via the viewfinder 24/7.

Cheers, Steve


That's some good advice there from Steve. Here's some additional stuff...

1. Most lodges will offer a laundry service, so you don't need to bring loads of clothing.
2. Take lots of small-value dollar bills. You'll want to do a lot of tipping.
3. Talk to the locals. It's a great way to dispel some of the misconceptions us westerners pick up.
4. I like to wander off on my own and just soak it all in, stand and stare and think to myself "Wow!".


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03062k3
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Nov 05, 2014 09:11 |  #38

i was at a game reserve in south africa in march and it was a blast! you are going to have a great trip!

for the camera gear, i would not recommend you focus too much attention on just this trip but to also consider what you will do with the gear afterwards. camera body is not a problem, but getting a super long lens that you might not need as often afterwards might not be the best way to go.

for the camera bag, you might want to consider bags that are not obviously camera bags, especially if they are big. it might not necessarily be unsafe in the areas that you are going to but carrying a potentially big camera bag just screams "i am carrying lots of valuable camera gear that might be worth stealing." probably not a big deal since you will be on safari, but maybe something to keep in mind when in the cities.

+1 on not really needing a tripod or monopod, especially because op said the safari will mostly be in a vehicle so tripod/monopod would be difficult to set up.

additional stuff:
1. bring a towel or extra shirt with you to cover your gear in case it rains or dust
2. remember to drink lots and lots of water, you do not want to get heat exhaustion and be knocked out for a day or two while on your trip. i drank what i thought was lots of water but apparently what counts as "a lot" is different in africa, so i ended up getting heat exhaustion...
3. +1 on small value bills for tipping, but also for putting in different pockets so you can just pull out what you need to pay for things instead of pulling out a large amount of cash (for safety reasons)


primary: 6D || 17-40/4L || 24-105/4L || 40/2.8 pancake || 70-200/2.8L is
secondary and travel: eos m || ef-m 18-55/3.5-5.6 || ef-m 22/2 pancake || ef-m to ef/ef-s adapter
flashes: speedlite 430ex ii || speedlite 90ex

  
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MonkeyGurl
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Nov 05, 2014 21:06 |  #39

Heya,

Again thanks for all the advice - still looking for the perfect bag LOL... but since we are on the topic of Safari (with some experienced people here) - I have question (yeah I'm going off-topic sorry).

Lens Hoods + Filters? I know some people don't like... others love. I haven't really used any except for a UV Filter (Circular-Multicoated). Thoughts?

PS. Used the UV Filter during my last vacation (first time ever)... can't find the memory card to see the results - but through the small 3" screen the blues of the water/sky looked amazing... and lost it on vacation too (wasn't cheap too... ouch)... I'm a genius!!!




  
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bigcountry
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Nov 06, 2014 00:09 |  #40

you won't need 10x50s. if you are set on 10x's then look at the monarch 5 10x42, monarch 7 10x42, zeiss terra ed 10x42, bushnell ultra hd 10x42, Vanguard 10x42 Binocular with ED Glass, Vortex 10x42 Diamondback or...call ben at Eagle optics and talk to him about the ranger series.

PM me if you have any questions. i tried about every pair of binoculars out there for my trips this year and just ended up getting ziess vitory ht 10x42, zeiss conquest hd 8x32 and zeiss terra ed 8x42's.


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hollis_f
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Nov 06, 2014 00:54 |  #41

MonkeyGurl wrote in post #17254922 (external link)
PS. Used the UV Filter during my last vacation (first time ever)... can't find the memory card to see the results - but through the small 3" screen the blues of the water/sky looked amazing... and lost it on vacation too (wasn't cheap too... ouch)... I'm a genius!!!

A UV filter cannot possibly have any beneficial effects on a digital image. There's already a UV filter in front of your sensor, so virtually no UV gets through. Such a filter can only have negative effects on an image.

The effect you describe sounds much more like that one would expect from a circular polarising filter. These can produce good results, but they do reduce the amount of light your lens can grab by about 2 stops.


Frank Hollis - Retired mass spectroscopist
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03062k3
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Nov 06, 2014 09:20 |  #42

i would recommend clear lens filters on all your lenses to minimize or protect from dust and rain (depending on whether lens is sealed or not).

circular polarizing filter might be nice for landscape photos, but not sure they help with wildlife shots.


primary: 6D || 17-40/4L || 24-105/4L || 40/2.8 pancake || 70-200/2.8L is
secondary and travel: eos m || ef-m 18-55/3.5-5.6 || ef-m 22/2 pancake || ef-m to ef/ef-s adapter
flashes: speedlite 430ex ii || speedlite 90ex

  
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MonkeyGurl
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Nov 06, 2014 11:00 |  #43

Super sorry!!!! I meant circular polarizing lens - but the place I went to had LOADS of sunlight. I'm not sure how a game drive is... going in January - but I also am aware that we'll probably drive starting sunrise - so clear filters?




  
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hollis_f
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Nov 06, 2014 11:04 |  #44

MonkeyGurl wrote in post #17255814 (external link)
Super sorry!!!! I meant circular polarizing lens - but the place I went to had LOADS of sunlight. I'm not sure how a game drive is... going in January - but I also am aware that we'll probably drive starting sunrise - so clear filters?

No filters, just hoods.

All a 'protective' filter will do is add flare and lower contrast, especially with the 100-400 lens (do a Google on '100-400 protective filter' and you'll find lots of other people saying the same thing).

Dust on the front element can be annoying. But it is easily blown of with a rocket blower (and you'd have to remove it from your filter anyhow). Dust is much more of a problem if it gets into the mechanical workings of your lens. On my first safari my 70-300 DO stopped working the week after I got back. It turned out that dust had got into the focus mechanism and caused it to jam completely.

Hence my keeping camera/lens covered by a t-shirt while travelling. I'm much more wary of the dust getting inside the camera than I am of it getting on the lens front element.


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pssc
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Nov 06, 2014 13:28 as a reply to  @ hollis_f's post |  #45

I agree 100% with Hollis. Also concur on the bino's. I have a set of 10x50's. Had them a long time. I think they are zeiss. They are a bit heavy so my go to now is the zeiss conquest 10x32. If I am traveling light, I will grab my compact 10x25's. I have a couple pairs and can't remember if they are leica's, or leupold that are my travel ones as I keep a set on my boat as well. They fit right in my safari shirt pocket. For hiking in the bush, light is right.

Cheers, Steve


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