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07-11-2013, 09:50 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by WA-surfer Quote
I'm packing a powerboard (4 socket) as well so that I can charge up multiple batteries + phone + laptop etc at the same time. Might be worth considering.
Good one, thanks!

07-12-2013, 12:30 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by TenZ.NL Quote
Okay, this is what I got:

K-5 and K20d (both w grips and spare batteries)
Sigma 100-300 F4 (sigma 1.4 TC perhaps?)
Sigma 150-500
DA* 16-50
DA15 ltd
77mm ND500 and 49mm ND110
77mm and 49mm polarisers
Tripod, monopod and cable release
4x 16GB cards (2 UHS-1 for the K5, maybe get 1 or 2 more?)
Laptop, cleaning stuff, powerconverter and chargers
Dakine Sequence daypack

And this is what I need:
CPL`s for both sigma`s

Well, that`s not too bad, allthough there is a hole between 50mm and 150mm. That can be solved by borrowing a DA18-135 from a friend, should I or not?

I'd still leave the 150-500 at home and rather take the 100-300+TC. If you borrow the 18-135 then maybe bring the 15 and you can leave the 16-50 at home (or zoom with legs to cover the gap and leave the 15 at home). Remember that you will be lugging everything except the laptop around all day every day! If you need to get any kit here when you arrive, just drive in to Rosebank (in Johannesburg and about 30 minutes from the airport) and go to Kameraz. They have a wide range and their prices are decent.
07-13-2013, 03:12 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chuckie Quote
I'd still leave the 150-500 at home and rather take the 100-300+TC. If you borrow the 18-135 then maybe bring the 15 and you can leave the 16-50 at home (or zoom with legs to cover the gap and leave the 15 at home). Remember that you will be lugging everything except the laptop around all day every day! If you need to get any kit here when you arrive, just drive in to Rosebank (in Johannesburg and about 30 minutes from the airport) and go to Kameraz. They have a wide range and their prices are decent.
Choices, choices...My biggest fear is that I miss out on something because I didn`t bring the right tools. Maybe I should paint a more precise picture of how I intend to travel and shoot:
We have a rental car at our disposal for the whole period and we drive from lodge to lodge.
The padded inside of my backpack can be taken out if I want to convert it into a regular daypack, the insert is a bag of it`s own. Offcourse, I don`t wanna carry the whole lot with me everyday, so everything not in use can be stored in either the lodge/car/suitcase.
The 100-300 F4 with TC on the K-5 and DA* 16-50 on the K20d will (probably) be the daily workhorses, at least for the safari`s. The DA15ltd is intented for long exposures (nighttime, sunset and -rise, etc) and is so small and light that I will probably not feel it.

Offcourse, the 150-500 is the biggest and heaviest but also has the longest reach and it has OS. Some say 300mm`s is enough, others say bring as much mm`s as possible.
Shooting wildlife and birds in my area usually means as much mm`s as possible. Because I have no expirience shooting from and what vehicles will be used on the safari`s I`m prepared to take the extra weight with me to have the best possible choice. If my reasoning is faultly please let me know
07-14-2013, 02:13 AM - 1 Like   #19
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Jacco,
we're back from a glorious 3 days in Hermanus and I discovered from a friend that yes, De Kelders is the place to see whales. The first day in Hermanus we walked the cliff path (9km in total) but no sign of a whale. The 2nd day we went to De Kelders and saw many whales but no action (the locals said the weather was too good - the whales are lazy) and I only managed this 1 photo but it gives you a good idea that even when they're close to the rocks that 300mm may be a bit short. Of course I can crop and the IQ is still good. And if they're frolicking they fill more of the screen. The many whales however were far out to sea and you really only see them blowing in the distance. They seem to be more active towards sunset and although we waited it out it was not a good day but it was still thrilling to know they are alive and well. I'll send more detail of accommodation etc via a pm.

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07-14-2013, 02:20 AM   #20
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Hermanus can be real good for land based whale watching. Specially from the high vantage points near the old harbour. Of course, this being Africa - keep an eye on your gear at all times!
07-14-2013, 03:13 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Hermanus can be real good for land based whale watching. Specially from the high vantage points near the old harbour. Of course, this being Africa - keep an eye on your gear at all times!
Thanks Mark, I will.

QuoteOriginally posted by georgecape Quote
Jacco,
we're back from a glorious 3 days in Hermanus and I discovered from a friend that yes, De Kelders is the place to see whales. The first day in Hermanus we walked the cliff path (9km in total) but no sign of a whale. The 2nd day we went to De Kelders and saw many whales but no action (the locals said the weather was too good - the whales are lazy) and I only managed this 1 photo but it gives you a good idea that even when they're close to the rocks that 300mm may be a bit short. Of course I can crop and the IQ is still good. And if they're frolicking they fill more of the screen. The many whales however were far out to sea and you really only see them blowing in the distance. They seem to be more active towards sunset and although we waited it out it was not a good day but it was still thrilling to know they are alive and well. I'll send more detail of accommodation etc via a pm.
Thanks again, George. Looks like you had a wonderful trip, nice shot!
I`ve sent you an email so you should have my adress by now, if not let me know.
Too bad they were so lazy but this gives a good indication of the distance. I think I put the 150-500 in my bag anyway, just in case. The 100-300 F4 with TC does not perform well on long distances.

BTW: Found this on Youtube, a very nice movie of De Kelders/Gansbaai:
07-14-2013, 07:52 AM   #22
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The area around Hermanus to Gansbaai can be very good, but with wild animals there are no guarentees. Most of the areas around Cape Town also get infrequent whale spotting in the winter months as they move both along the southern and western coastlines. We see them from time to time at the beach 1km from home.

I was near Hermanus on Friday at Betty's Bay on the coast road from Cape Town to Hermanus with the family, and spotted a pod of whales with one active jumper. We didn't get very close (road access was limited), but I managed 1 reasonable shot with the 55-300.

If you have come all the way, it would make sense to increase your chances of a few good shots with a boat tour. But also remember the weather could be foul and you might not see much if you only have a day.

Best of luck with your tour
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07-14-2013, 12:34 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
...Recommend making the hike up Table Mountain while you're in Capetown. Spectacular views.
QuoteOriginally posted by TenZ.NL Quote
...Thanks, I will!
That is if the clouds don`t spoil the view
QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
...Definitely hike Table Mountain up, take the tram down. Lots to see and do in that spectacular country.
...
Definitely a highlight in Cape Town to hike the mountains, but it can be time consuming, and is not a walk in the park. Shout if you need some tips or info on the hiking option. I try to do a few hikes up the mountain each month. There are many routes and options including Lions Head which debatably has some of the best views of all.

Regards

07-14-2013, 04:28 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by TenZ.NL Quote
A collegue of the wife told us to avoid Hermanus because it is too touristic, Walker Bay and Die Kelder are next to Hermanus and much more quiet. We`ll do some further research but I guess we will gonna take the boat trip too, just because we are there anyway
This time of year Hermanus is quite quiet. Christmas holidays is chaos with heaps of traffic and every restaurant packed to the rafters. Nearby, you'll find the Hemel and Aarde Valley where there's some good wine tasting. (Try Hamilton Russell Vineyards - I helped design the maturation cellar)

De Kelders is good too, especially if you go all the way to the right of the 'town' where the rocks jut out into the sea. If you go down to the docks area in Gansbaai there's a fish-selling business. The owner, Bertie Ramsauer owns a pretty good size boat and you may be able to get him to take you out. We once went out fishing and caught nothing but sharks! (Enough to put you off swimming in the sea for a while!)

Driving on the left is no problem, just take care when turning into roads with a centre-island. At first, it will feel as if you're turning 'wrong' when turning right.
Enjoy your trip!

Last edited by MarkJerling; 07-14-2013 at 04:31 PM. Reason: Corrected town name.
07-15-2013, 01:40 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by KevinR Quote
The area around Hermanus to Gansbaai can be very good, but with wild animals there are no guarentees. Most of the areas around Cape Town also get infrequent whale spotting in the winter months as they move both along the southern and western coastlines. We see them from time to time at the beach 1km from home.

I was near Hermanus on Friday at Betty's Bay on the coast road from Cape Town to Hermanus with the family, and spotted a pod of whales with one active jumper. We didn't get very close (road access was limited), but I managed 1 reasonable shot with the 55-300.

If you have come all the way, it would make sense to increase your chances of a few good shots with a boat tour. But also remember the weather could be foul and you might not see much if you only have a day.

Best of luck with your tour
Nice one Kevin!
07-16-2013, 09:59 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by KevinR Quote
The area around Hermanus to Gansbaai can be very good, but with wild animals there are no guarentees. Most of the areas around Cape Town also get infrequent whale spotting in the winter months as they move both along the southern and western coastlines. We see them from time to time at the beach 1km from home.

I was near Hermanus on Friday at Betty's Bay on the coast road from Cape Town to Hermanus with the family, and spotted a pod of whales with one active jumper. We didn't get very close (road access was limited), but I managed 1 reasonable shot with the 55-300.

If you have come all the way, it would make sense to increase your chances of a few good shots with a boat tour. But also remember the weather could be foul and you might not see much if you only have a day.

Best of luck with your tour
Yes, you are absolutely correct. And from what I`ve read, all trips last about 2 hours so there will be plenty of time left for the walkingtrail.

QuoteOriginally posted by KevinR Quote
Definitely a highlight in Cape Town to hike the mountains, but it can be time consuming, and is not a walk in the park. Shout if you need some tips or info on the hiking option. I try to do a few hikes up the mountain each month. There are many routes and options including Lions Head which debatably has some of the best views of all.

Regards
Thanks, that sounds interesting. It`s allways good to have some local information. Can I send you my emailadress for details?

QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
This time of year Hermanus is quite quiet. Christmas holidays is chaos with heaps of traffic and every restaurant packed to the rafters. Nearby, you'll find the Hemel and Aarde Valley where there's some good wine tasting. (Try Hamilton Russell Vineyards - I helped design the maturation cellar)

De Kelders is good too, especially if you go all the way to the right of the 'town' where the rocks jut out into the sea. If you go down to the docks area in Gansbaai there's a fish-selling business. The owner, Bertie Ramsauer owns a pretty good size boat and you may be able to get him to take you out. We once went out fishing and caught nothing but sharks! (Enough to put you off swimming in the sea for a while!)

Driving on the left is no problem, just take care when turning into roads with a centre-island. At first, it will feel as if you're turning 'wrong' when turning right.
Enjoy your trip!
Thanks and I`ll try to keep that in mind
Hopefully we are used to it by the time we get to Capetown. Not so sure about shifting too, this will be with left hand instead of right. Is the shifting pattern the same or mirrored?
It`s relatively easy to learn something compared to loosing old habits. The wife allready has bet that my first mistake will be getting in on the wrong side
07-16-2013, 01:02 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by TenZ.NL Quote
..Can I send you my emailadress for details?
.. Is the shifting pattern the same or mirrored?.....
Not problem on the email side. You should also look that the aerial cableway at Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Quick way to the top at R205 return. You can then walk around on the top plateau.

A tip for cars is that generally all the controls for various models will be identical except the drivers seat is now on the right. So if you want to simplify things, try to get a rental model with the same control layout as you normally drive. (Obviously the stick shift will be in the middle, but I find it less difficult if the indicator stalk and other such controls are on the same side as I normally use. It is bad enough swapping between my car and the wife's which have the turn indicator on opposite sides.)

Regards
07-16-2013, 05:55 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by TenZ.NL Quote
Not so sure about shifting too, this will be with left hand instead of right. Is the shifting pattern the same or mirrored?
It`s relatively easy to learn something compared to loosing old habits. The wife allready has bet that my first mistake will be getting in on the wrong side
Shifting pattern is the same, but then shifting pattern is different for different models anyway. Most European cars have their indicator stalk on the left and wipers on the right. Japanese / Korean cars usually have indicator on the right and wipers on the left.

In my experience, driving on the other side of what one is used to is a bit of a challenge in the following circumstances:
  1. When turning onto a road with a centre island.
  2. When parallel parking.
  3. The "Keep Right except when passing" rule obviously becomes the reverse.

Take care generally on South African roads. The accident rate is high when compared to most European countries.
07-18-2013, 11:32 AM   #29
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Thanks for the heads up, I`ll keep that in mind.
From all places I have been, Egypt was the worst in terms of traffic. Alexandria and Cairo are total chaos allthough I`ve seen more fatal accidents in Nepal on a single trip (the arabs don`t drink, which makes them better drivers I guess). The most used part of any car in Egypt is the horn, the bigger, the better. Flat tyres get exchanged in the middle of the road and 3-lane roads are being used as 6 lanes. Thursday evening is the worst...half the country goes back to Cairo for the weekend and they travel in an abundance of vehicles, from sportscars to busses, minivans, donkeykarts and even on foot. The tarmac of the main roads/highways is quite good so high speeds can be obtained. Imagine passing a small donkeykart with 16people and their luggage with 100 mph on a bearly lit and packed racetrack...Hopefully SA isn`t anything like that?

Oh and I just ordered a pair of midsized binoculairs (Nikon monarch 8x36, Pentax was out of my league, lol), seems like a good idea for spotting game and whales?

Last edited by TenZ.NL; 07-18-2013 at 12:13 PM.
07-18-2013, 03:46 PM   #30
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At most of the game parks you'll probably not need binoculars, but will be useful for whales. A nice 500mm lens would do the trick nicely. A case of LBA! LOL.

South African traffic seems civilised compared to Egypt. The worst I've seen was a fully laden (15-people or more) minibus taxi on the highway in the black of night with absolutely no lights. Haven't seen a donkey cart on the road since I was a child and if you changed a tyre in the middle of the road you'd die!
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