Kenya Wildlife - Lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ketan, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. ketan

    ketan TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    Planning to go to Kenya for a safari this year. I am thinking of taking 70-200 f/4 IS for zoom and 10-20 Sigma for landscapes.
    Read on the net that 200 range is just not enough for wildlife.
    By profession, I am an accountant and not a pro photographer, therefore, not very sure to spend so much money on this lens. It is almost 50% more that what I am prepared to spend right now (thinking that will buy 50-500 Sigma). Otherwise also not sure that what to do with the lens once back from safari. Can not get lens on rent in this part of the world.
    Is this lens tooo heavy handheld? As in safari rarely you get chance to spread tripod in the van.
    Need help in making up mind.
    Ketan
     
  2. rusty9

    rusty9 TPF Noob!

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    if the lens is too heavy, get a monopod
     
  3. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    Personally I'd look into the Canon version of the 200-400 f/4 that nikon's got. (Don't know what's available from Canon, but somebody must have a similar lens.)

    With a crop body that gives you a range of 300-600 @ f/4 and up to 600-1200 f/8 with a TC.
     
  4. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    Whatever L series lens you buy should be able to sell quite easily when you get back. The Canon 100-400mm Lens is cheaper than the Sigma, but 100mm shorter. Adding a 1.4x TC gives you 560mm on the long end and that's even before consider the crop factor of your camera. You could sell both when you got back or you might find that you like them. I would also look for both items used. As long as the owner has maintained the equipment, they hold their value quite well.
     
  5. Idahophoto

    Idahophoto TPF Noob!

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    I would go with the Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 OS This is a fantastic lens that I would put right next to the Nikon and Canon equivalents but at a much cheaper price. The also have the 150-500 but I favor the 120-400, though both have excellent image quality to them. I have rented this lens and the Canon version several times and found no real difference. So in the next couple months its the lens I plan on buying. Hope this helps

    Ah forgot to add for the tripod problem bring a small beanbag. A tip many pros use to support there longer lenses when unable or unpractical to use a real tripod. You can just set it on the door with the window rolled down and it will mold to whatever lens you are using. I think a beanbag should be in pretty much every photo kit =)
     
  6. tsblo

    tsblo TPF Noob!

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    Id be careful going to the zooms with massive ranges. I owned one at one point and it was horrid at the long end.

    I would recommend renting the sigma 120-300 f2.8 and a 1.4x and 2x teleconverter if you need more reach. At 2x there is some degradation but still enough to get a usable shot. Its heavy and big so bring a monopod, but the IQ is really worth the weight and its not terribly hard to hand hold. You can also have some really amazing blown out backgrounds shooting at 300mm f2.8.
     
  7. ketan

    ketan TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone, thanks for the responses.
    Considering the limited use that I will have of the lens post trip, I am thinking of settling for TC which is 30% of the cost of lens.
    Here 1.4 and 2.0 are at the same price.
    Can you advise that which one will go better with my 70-200 f4 IS?

    In this part of the world (Dubai) renting or reselling does not work.

    Ketan
     
  8. ketan

    ketan TPF Noob!

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    Further to my earlier reply the Sigma 150-500 is available at 45% of Canon 10-400 price. This again has the image stabilizer. Any happy user of this lens?
    Thanks
     
  9. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get the sigma 150-500 - reach is everything in this game, and IS (or OS) will be absolutely invaluable for you. You probably won't need the extra hassle of a TC on that lens, and being able to get that whole range in one lens will be very handy (you probably don't want to be doing fast lens changes in a moving vehicle in a dusty environment).
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Have you considered renting? Trips to Africa for photography are popular and whilst I don't know any myself (I've not yet been!) I am sure there are reliable rental services you can use who will either be based there or who will be willing to ship direct to your hotel (this is safer than you transporting yourself as highgrade glass does not go in the luggage hold on a plane!! ;)).

    For Safari I would say a combo of:
    1) 10-20mm for landscapes
    2) something decent for people and snappy shots about the place (kit lens that came with your camera will fit here)
    3) 70-200mm - any will do and you have the f4 which will do very well as there is often a lot of light in Africa to work with.
    4) 1.4TC - a good addition that will work on your 70-200mm without too much trouble, its a decent range but for wildlife you can still find youself coming up short.
    5) The Rental - here you have some choice and I would consider the following lenses:

    100-400mm f4-5.6 IS L - a good strong zoom lens that gives you range and zoom.
    300mm f4 IS L
    400mm f5.6 L
    Either of those prime lenses is a very good and sharp choice giving you long range and high quality. They are also in a similar price line to the 100-400mm so might be lenses you choose to purchase if you have the funds and also if you feel that you will continue with longer range photography in the future.

    300mm f2.8 IS L - this is the expensive luxuary lens (and the one I would take!). Heavier and far more expensive than the others (this really is in the rental only basket). However what you get is a fantasticly sharp and fast lens - it will also take both a 1.4TC (that I recomend you purchase above) and also a 2*TC (rent this with this lens) for a good quality 600mm lens for some real reach! This with a monopod or beanbag (resting on the rails of the jeep/car you are in) to help with the weight (it is heavy - not unmanagable but you will want the monopod if you are using it long hours).


    Note that your 70-200mm f4 will take a 2*TC for a 140-400mm lens f8 - however you will lose auto focus with this lens (f4 + 2 stops of light lost to the teleconverter gives you a max aperture of f8 and AF on all but the 1D series canon bodies stops after f5.6 max lens aperture). Also its image quality will suffer considerably - the only 70-200mm lens that can take the 2*TC really is the new 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2 which gets to around the same level of quality as the 100-400mm and keeps its AF.
     
  11. Idahophoto

    Idahophoto TPF Noob!

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    I favor 1.4 the 2.0 will really slow down your lens and you may lose AF. Not sure though so you might want to check first on that, but believe you do with speeds slower than 5.6 of course if your fine in MF and want the extra reach by all means. Just depends on what your after
     
  12. Shaneuk

    Shaneuk TPF Noob!

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    Canon 600mm F/4

    EDIT: Just realised you said you don't want to spend much money on the lens.
     

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