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Back from Zambia, what worked, what didn't and photos...
Posted By: tcom, 10-04-2008, 02:52 AM

Hello

I returned on Wednesday from a 10 days safari trip in the South Luangwa NP in Zambia. The trip was great with a lot of animal encounters.

On "normal safaris", I mostly used the K20Ds with Tokina 80-400 and DA*200 and sometimes the DA*16-50 and the DP1 for landscapes.

On "night safaris", I used the K20D with the DA*200. It was way too dark to handhold the 80-400. I also used a few times the Zeiss 100/2, but for wildlife 100mm was too short.

On "walking safaris", I used the K20Ds with the 80-400 and the 16-50. I did not used primes during the walking safaris, it was too dusty to change the lenses in the fields. I expected to use the Zeiss 100/2 macro for the bugs and all small things, but I did not see so many things.

What worked:
  • weathersealing: it was terribly dusty. The cameras were covered for with dust, but the equipment survived very well.
  • DA*200/2 combined with high iso on night shots. The only light source during the night safaris was a single spotlight, while others in the group struggled to get focus (with Canon 400D, Nikon D60 and Olympus 510) and a sharp photo, the K20D had no problem to focus the DA*200 and at 1600iso, I could make some pretty sharp photos by handholding the DA*200.

What did not work:
  • Zeiss 100 on night safaris. The animals were too far away for 100mm
  • polarizer filter. The dust in the air turned the polarizer useless.
  • the dust in the air reduced the sharpness of photos, especially on distant shots over 300mm.

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10-04-2008, 02:52 AM   #2
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1
K20D, DA*16-50, 1/160s f/6.3 at 19.0mm iso100


2 Leopard with cub
K20D, DA*200, 1/30s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso1600


3 Thornycrofts Giraffe
K20D, DA*200, 1/400s f/4.0 at 200.0mm iso200
10-04-2008, 02:53 AM   #3
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4 Impala
K20D, DA*200, 1/500s f/5.0 at 200.0mm iso200


5 Waterbuck
K20D, DA*200, 1/800s f/7.1 at 200.0mm iso200


6 Puku
K20D, DA*200, 1/500s f/5.0 at 200.0mm iso100
10-04-2008, 02:53 AM   #4
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7 Luangwa River
K20D, DA*16-50, 1/250s f/7.1 at 16.0mm iso320


8 Bushbock
K20D, DA*200, 1/320s f/3.5 at 200.0mm iso100


9 Pontoon to enter parc
K20D, Tokina 80-400, 1/250s f/7.1 at 80.0mm iso250


10-04-2008, 02:54 AM   #5
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A leopard couple during a night drive. SR does not compensate the motion blur when the animals are moving, but I like the result...

10
K20D, DA*200, 1/10s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso1600


11
K20D, DA*200, 1/15s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso3200


12
K20D, DA*200, 1/40s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso100
10-04-2008, 02:54 AM   #6
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Nice work Dominique and good report.
10-04-2008, 04:13 AM   #7
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This is fabulous and wonderful. Amazing series of photographs
10-04-2008, 05:01 AM   #8
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Thanks for the comments, the series continues...

13 Pukus
K20D, DA*200, 1/320s f/4.0 at 200.0mm iso100


14 Elephants
K20D, DA*16-50, 1/160s f/6.3 at 29.0mm iso125


15 Baby elephant
K20D, DA*200, 1/250s f/3.5 at 200.0mm iso100


10-04-2008, 05:03 AM   #9
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16 Elephants
K20D, Tokina 80-400, 1/250s f/8.0 at 80.0mm iso125


17 Elephants
K20D, DA*200, 1/500s f/5.0 at 200.0mm iso100


18 Locals
K20D, DA*200, 1/400s f/4.5 at 200.0mm iso100
10-04-2008, 05:05 AM   #10
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19 Elephant portrait
K20D, DA*200, 1/125s f/2.8 at 200.0mm iso100


20 Hippos
K20D, DA*200, 1/320s f/3.5 at 200.0mm iso100


21 Hippos
K20D, DA*200, 1/320s f/3.5 at 200.0mm iso100
10-04-2008, 05:08 AM   #11
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22 Walking safaris
K20D, DA*16-50, 1/250s f/7.1 at 31.0mm iso100


23 Walking safaris
K20D, DA*16-50, 1/250s f/7.1 at 19.0mm iso100


24 Walking safaris
K20D, DA*16-50, 1/100s f/6.3 at 18.0mm iso100


More to follow...
10-04-2008, 05:46 AM   #12
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I love NO 1,4 and 19 thanks for sharing


cheers
10-04-2008, 07:46 AM   #13
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Great series, really nice shots. How's the jet lag?

Looks like the DA*200 got a real workout and performed very very well. I'm thinking from the look of these shots that it just got officially bumped to 1st position on my 2009 glass budget.

Thanks for sharing.
10-04-2008, 07:49 AM   #14
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Jet lag is not a problem, Europe and Zambia are on the same timezone...

The DA*200 performed very well. I could probably have done without it during the day, but the photos would not be as detailed and sharp, but for night shots, this lens makes the difference between a good sharp shot and no shot at all.
10-04-2008, 08:10 AM   #15
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Very nice shots. I like the leopard and cubs. They must have been difficult to spot at night.
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