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Thread started 25 Mar 2010 (Thursday) 17:47
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African Essentials

 
scsurfdad
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Mar 26, 2010 11:22 as a reply to  @ post 9875360 |  #16

If this is a major trip for you (meaning, you don't go to Africa all the time), I would not trust the Bigma under safari conditions. I owned that lens for a couple years and it worked flawlessly under good lighting at local soccer games, etc... I took it on 3 major trips and it locked up and had major problems on each trip. Never again! lensrentals.com review says it has a higher failure rate than most other lenses. If it were me, I would not want to be on a once or twice in a lifetime trip and not be able to take any pictures. Consider the $500 to rent a 400 2.8L IS as just a small part of your $10,000+ trip and a chance to use a really cool lens :cool: .


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wanyc
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Mar 26, 2010 11:22 |  #17

Eclyps19 wrote in post #9875185 (external link)
Would you suggest ziplock bagging everything before placing it in my backpack? Should I have any sort of protection on my camera while using it?

Yes, I've gone to Africa 3 times and have found the best protection against dust is also the simplest. I have everything in ziplocs in my backpack and also have a 2 gallon ziploc handy to throw over my camera with 100-400 as we're moving so that it is always relatively ready.

I've used the 100-400 as my primary lens but also have a landscape lens (most recently my 16-35) that is either on my second camera body or I might switch it around for visiting the cities or villages.

As Ed said, you definitely need a back-up device with you. On my most recent trip I had a 160 gb netbook and an 80gb Wolverine and an extra 32 gb flash drive. Everything was backed up 2x before I reformated a card. I shot a little over 100 gb shooting RAW + JPEG in 10 days of safari.




  
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palmor
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Mar 26, 2010 11:30 as a reply to  @ post 9875360 |  #18

If you can swing it bring/rent a second body. Stick your long lens on your better camera and stick a good wide-mid zoom on the other. A lot less lens switching and you won't miss anything while switching lenses.

One more really important thing.. don't forget to take your eyes away from the view finder and enjoy your trip! You don't want all your memories to be from behind the camera .. have fun!

John


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wanyc
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Mar 26, 2010 11:30 |  #19

scsurfdad wrote in post #9875551 (external link)
If this is a major trip for you (meaning, you don't go to Africa all the time), I would not trust the Bigma under safari conditions. I owned that lens for a couple years and it worked flawlessly under good lighting at local soccer games, etc... I took it on 3 major trips and it locked up and had major problems on each trip. Never again! lensrentals.com review says it has a higher failure rate than most other lenses. If it were me, I would not want to be on a once or twice in a lifetime trip and not be able to take any pictures. Consider the $500 to rent a 400 2.8L IS as just a small part of your $10,000+ trip and a chance to use a really cool lens :cool: .

Personally, I prefer the versatility of the 100-400 rather than a prime if I had one lens with me for safari. Sometimes the animals are within 10 feet of the vehicle and sometimes they are 50 feet or further away. When I was in Botswana we were able to offroad in certain areas and only for the "Big 5" and cheetah. I'm not sure which areas the OP is going to and whether they offroad in those areas. However, 2.8 is nice for the early morning and dusk shots when the animals are most active.




  
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hollis_f
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Mar 26, 2010 11:41 |  #20

ed rader wrote in post #9875205 (external link)
make sure to have a universal plug adapter.

The universal adapters may not work in some places. Most of these adapters don't have the South African plug (also found in some places in Botswana and Namibia). SA plugs are three round pins.


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lannes
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Mar 26, 2010 12:06 as a reply to  @ wanyc's post |  #21

+ 1 on the Netbook , We use a Toshiba NB300 with a 250gb HD and 8hr battery life as the primary image storage and then back up the raw images on a Transcend StoreJet 25M usb HD which has a protective rubber casing and is drop protected.

Make sure you take reliable memory cards, you don't want a data corruption, some recovery software is also a good precaution.

A monopod will be useful in the low light shots and some sort of sensor cleaner (arctic butterfly) and sensor loupe is recommended given the conditions you'll be experiencing.


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scsurfdad
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Mar 26, 2010 13:31 as a reply to  @ lannes's post |  #22

A couple other things I have learned from travel to hot/humid/windy/dusty (take your pick) places is that even though ziploc freezer bags work fine, they come apart easily so you'll need several extras. For about $10 you can get a very sturdy clear plastic weather-resistant bag. Always have a few trash or ziploc bags in your bag just in case. And the biggie...never store your stuff in a cold air conditioned room only to take it out in the heat or humidity. These are things that you probably already know but I'm a little dense and forget the basic stuff all the time.

Have a great trip!


Mike
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Eclyps19
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Mar 26, 2010 13:47 |  #23

Thanks everyone for the continued advice. I will definitely look into more durable plastic bags for my gear. Something water-tight in case we go near the water.

I may very well end up spending about $600 on rented gear, which I'm fine with. I agree with palmor, a second body would be incredibly handy, especially since there will be another person going with me. One camera with the zoom, one with something wider. I should be completely content with two really good lenses.

Where have you guys rented from in the states? borrowlenses seems to have good prices and a good body selection, but i've heard very good things about LensRentals.


Canon 30D | Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro | Canon 50mm 1.8 | Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 | 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS | 380 EX Flash

  
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Eclyps19
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Mar 27, 2010 10:03 as a reply to  @ Eclyps19's post |  #24

Anyone else have advice?


Canon 30D | Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro | Canon 50mm 1.8 | Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 | 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS | 380 EX Flash

  
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DragonSpeed
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Mar 28, 2010 03:31 |  #25

Eclyps19 wrote in post #9881226 (external link)
Anyone else have advice?

Practice -A LOT- before you go. No sense in learning how well you can shoot moving things (shaded/dappled etc) when you get there. Learn before and be good when you get there.




  
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