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01-20-2010, 05:05 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raptorman Quote
My main point is you don't need a bunch of fancy lenses just because your going on a "safari" .
You seem to assume that great nature photos are no question of equipment.

This is not true when it comes to wild animals. Wild animals have a given flight zone which you cannot penetrate (or you have to camouflage like hell ). Flight zones are particularly large in Europe due to thousands of years of severe hunting.

Ever wondered about the spectacular wildlife footage in the BBC Planet Earth Bluray disk (2 Mpixels aka HD)? Well, shot with 100x zoom lenses, like 20-2000mm equivalent ...

01-20-2010, 09:13 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raptorman Quote
Why take a guide? Their just going to take you to all the crappy tourist spots and take your money from you. I'm pretty sure Nat-Geo doesn't take $10 "nature rides" . BTW I see why you may need a zoom though now.. ...
Did you look at my thread i cited or link thru to the gallery on Fotki where they are all hosted? You really think I was going to get all those places, alone, self-guided, never having done it before? As I know this site to be highly informative to readers, I can't allow something like that to be said and remain unchallenged. If someone were to take your advise as a 1st time Safari trekker they're likely to find themselves renting an old 80's era broken-down Outback, and stranded with a mechanical problem or a tire flat in the middle of the Savannah with lions circling! Do not think I am b.s.'ing here. I saw that exact thing multiple times in the Tarangire, Ngorongoro, and Serengeti!!! (the lions were circling only one of the times)

Have you ever went on Safari? Then you should already know and convey that the professional tour companies, the camps and personnel they employ, and guides that lead them, do nothing but cater to your needs and protect your life as you sleep in a tent right in the middle of where every form of animal travels, and they protect your every interest (their sizable tips at the end of it are dependent on that), which includes shielding you from experiences as you cite above... Heck, they wouldn't permit us to even ever give anyone begging a single cent, or even buy beads from people on the side of the road. We did however very much enjoy our visit to the official visitors shop in Arusha where we purchased a few small and large hand carved and painted Giraffes that we had shipped to our homes from there. You can see numerous pictures of that center in the 'travelling from Arusha to Tarangire' albumn on Fotki. ....not what you describe! You really think we would have received our goods shipped from Tanzania if that place was as you describe?

The best tour companies use new Land Rovers, and sell them to the smaller companies at about 100Km on the odo. They travel in at least pairs or in our case, three land rovers, so that no vehicle ever stands a chance at being stranded without aid out in the middle of the park. They operate large partially fixed or completely temporary camps, with fantastic beds and meals; what you want from your expensive epic vacation. So all this above it so say to any reader who comes upon this thread, I hope you take the post I am quoting above with a grain of salt if you are a 1st time Safari visitor as only a statement of saying away from the tourist traps, and don't confuse that with just how much better of a trip you will have if you use a large, honest, seasoned, professional tour/Safari company for your trip. If you go often, that's a different story. (I am not affiliated in any way with a Safari tour company)

To conclude back on topic... This is a safari with a 28-75mm lens:

(lens at 75mm)

And this is a safari with a 600mm lens:

(this is how Giraffe fight)

Again, Safari with a normal range zoom:

(realize with this, we were in the middle of a huge heard with our trail crossing their track)

Safari with a super telephoto with animals about the same distance away as the closest in the previous photo:


Now the wider angle shots are great to have too. ...but that's why I said have at least two bodies with you. One with wide to normal range zoom, and one with super-telephoto lens attached. I mean, if at times you get this below with a 600mm, what do you think you'll be getting with a 50mm? [!] ...dots, that's what!

Last edited by m8o; 01-20-2010 at 09:46 AM. Reason: removed recommendation about the lens, as I don't disagree with that
01-20-2010, 09:14 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote

This is not true when it comes to wild animals. Wild animals have a given flight zone which you cannot penetrate (or you have to camouflage like hell ). Flight zones are particularly large in Europe due to thousands of years of severe hunting.

Ever wondered about the spectacular wildlife footage in the BBC Planet Earth Bluray disk (2 Mpixels aka HD)? Well, shot with 100x zoom lenses, like 20-2000mm equivalent ...
There is another way beside camouflage; having the wildlife getting used to having you around.

We've spend some time with a South African film crew working for the National Geographic channel in Zambia last September, so we had a chance to see how they work.
They were filming the Busanga Plains lion pack, which is famous for resting on large branches of fig trees in the hot season.
The two guys were spending 4 months of time, every day, all day, with the pack.
Sitting in their 4x4 waiting, camera ready. Sleeping in a tent nearby, getting up before light searching for the lions again.

The camera by the way was Sony movie equipment with a 1000mm lens, 35mm equivalent.

Most of the time they stayed very close to the animals. They said they need long lenses for filming the hunting.
01-20-2010, 11:31 AM   #19
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Nice. 4 months honeymoon for a few photos. Can't wait for the first anniversary so I can take a few more.

Just joking, it's indeed a way. The other one is hiking in the bush, get around a corner and stand eye in eye with a rhino (as happened to our group during a hike 2 years ago).

And 50mm will indeed not cut it if you want to 'shoot' wild dogs at 30 meter distance at the other side of the river.

PS nobody got hurt.

01-20-2010, 01:06 PM   #20
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I just recently sold my DA 55-300mm and put it towards a DA* 300mm to use along some of the local spring fed rivers here in Florida. The zoom is a very good lens optically. However, its maximum aperture was problematic in low lighting not to mention. The other issue was that it wasn't internal focus nor was it WR. On the positive side, it was easy to get into football stadiums with size restrictions.
01-20-2010, 05:08 PM   #21
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Conglatulations on your wedding! I went to Hawaii for my honeymoon and can only recommend to bing the glass you enjoy using, no more and no less. Also discuss with your wife the time allowances for photography.

I would definitely bring the 16-50 wr and the fast fifty (always bring the fast fifty). You could bringthe 50-135 if you enjoy using it and couple it with a 300 mm prime, that would be a nice setup. Or use the 55-300 which will perform well during the day. At night it's going to be the 50 anyway.

Depending on your style I believe you should consider a few primes. They take no space and can solve many problems.

Lastly, consider a setup that will not force you to change lenses too often. WR is nice but people do manage without it.
01-20-2010, 07:07 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
The other one is hiking in the bush, get around a corner and stand eye in eye with a rhino (as happened to our group during a hike 2 years ago).
I would have 1st, sh*t my pants, then 2nd, been fumbling for the camera; I bet my shot would have been blurry! But I would have loved to have been there regardless.

What is happening in Tanzania by poachers to Rhinos is a complete tragedy, travesty, calamity, catastrophy, you pick. Join with me in wishing every person who has ever bought Rhino Horn powder, ointment or elixir [however it comes or is used] with cancer of the ass.

Last edited by m8o; 01-21-2010 at 07:29 AM.
01-21-2010, 04:43 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by m8o Quote
I would have 1st, sh*t my pants, then 2nd, been fumbling for the camera; I bet my shot would have been blurry! But I would have loved to have been there regardless.

What is happening in Tanzania by poachers to Rhinos is a complete tragedy, travesty, calamity, catastrophy, you pick. Join with me in wishing every person who has ever bought Rhino Horn powder, ointment or elixir [however it comes or is used] with cancer or the ass.
Yes, it is a big problem. However, if you earn $150 per month and somebody offers you $5000 for a rhino horn, what would you do?

Rhino's are almost extinct in eastern Africa, Tanzania only has 3 left living in the Ngorongoro crater with a lot of people there from the Frankfurter Zoologische Geschellschaft to protect them. It is a shame as you said.

The South African and Zimbabwean breading programs are getting effective at the point that some of the smaller parks are getting overpopulated. At last.
In Zambia they are reintroducing rhino's in a sanctuary in the North Luangwa NP. Using ex poachers as game keepers... they seem to be the best.

Still, other wildlife is getting to the same point of extinction. Wild cats are disappearing fast. Mostly because of legal hunting and farmers protecting their live stock.
The parcs are not fenced and hunting is allowed in the surrounding areas. This causes bleeding of the parcs wildlife numbers. It is not an easy problem to solve.

09-11-2010, 06:35 AM - 1 Like   #24
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I went with the 55-300

In the end I went with a 55-300 and 16-50 combo...

55-300 I found to be excellent, is a focal range I do not use frequenty in normal shooting but I think is a must for a safari.... only time I felt a limitation at the long end was on viewing leopards in distant trees... need quite a heavy crop in PP to have a nice composition... but for 95% I think it is sufficient.

Also cannot recommend Tanzania enough, wonderful country.

attached some of the 55-300 shots...
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