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04-18-2013, 03:47 AM   #16
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Some additional advice: (do as I say, not like I did)
If the weather is sunny, there will be plenty of light. No need for a fast lens.
Remember the hood! It will protect your lens anyway.
Keep the lens cap in your pocket.
The space in the vechicle might be limited. So no room for your FA*250-600, Sigma EX500/2.8, A*1200mm AND the Bigma.
Have many cards, 8GB cards are cheap.
Shoot RAW (or raw and jpg if your card is big enough)

Seb

04-18-2013, 03:58 AM   #17
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Just adding to what KevinR says. Remember that Kruger is bush, so if the animals are far away to need a 500mm, they will be hidden in the bush. If you are a birder, that is another matter. Anything over 300mm will need a tripod. I used a 55-300 for another park and as there is plenty of light, f8 will still give you plenty of light for a high enough shutter speed.

I remember being at one of the watering holes at Etosha, seeing someone with a 600mm f2.8 (not sure, but it was huge), staring in disbelief and unable to take a photo as the elephant was about 2m away behind the fence. Most people could get an excellent shot using their cell phones. I have taken shots of elephant using about 100mm of my zoom and getting a close up of the head only.

Another issue at zooming into animals a distance away is the heat haze which will distort your photos. You need your subject to be close enough to see and photograph hand held so the 55-300 is ideal. Focus more on the composition of the animals as well as their expressions rather than on the absolute sharpness of the photo.
04-18-2013, 06:30 AM   #18
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Thankyou for all of the great suggestions and words of wisdon, greatly appreciated. When I first read the feedback I started getting excited about the thought of a Bigma 50-500 or the 150-500. But, I'm not really a birdie or animal photographer so it would probably be wasted on me after the trip and I think the weight would be very off putting to carry around for the rest of my trip. I also note the comments regarding the confines of the open top tour car and think that I might be better off sticking with my trusted 55--300mm. The more I think about it I think that I am more inclined to spend the money on a decent carbon travel tripod instead as I don't have a tripod. Will give it some more thought but that's what I am thinking at the moment after reading all of the replies.
04-18-2013, 06:55 AM   #19
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As with most places nowadays, be careful and watch your back. That said, I'm sure you'll enjoy it immensely, remember to post some shots when you're done

04-18-2013, 10:51 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by WA-surfer Quote
The more I think about it I think that I am more inclined to spend the money on a decent carbon travel tripod instead as I don't have a tripod.
A monopod would definitely be more practical.

Seb
04-18-2013, 11:23 AM   #21
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While I have never been to Kruger Park or South Africa I was on Safari in Tanzania back in 2010 where the kit 18-55 and 55-300 served me very well together with my K20D... only had a couple of occasions where I wished for something longer, that said the 55-300 is very good and you can get a sharp shot with quite some cropping if required.
04-18-2013, 03:20 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by bassek Quote
A monopod would definitely be more practical.

Seb
I'm thinking more for general all round use not specifically for Kruger Nat Park.
04-18-2013, 04:30 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by WA-surfer Quote
I'm thinking more for general all round use not specifically for Kruger Nat Park.
Benro sell a carbon travel tripod that converts into a monopod.. seems ideal?

Search on "benro travel tripod monopod". Lots are sold on ebay. I own one and it's great, although the monopod is not full height.

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