Photogrpahy at the zoo

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by thatguy, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. thatguy

    thatguy TPF Noob!

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    Just out of interest, i was wondering what you need to take photos at the zoo, and if anyone has any tips. I've heard that a rubber lens hood is good as you can put it right up against the glass, but are there any other tips, like what speed film you'll need, and what focal length lens is needed?
     
  2. smcaskil

    smcaskil TPF Noob!

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    When I visited the zoo I took a Nikon D40x with my 55-200mm zoom lens. I was able to get most of the shots I wanted with that one lens. I would recommend, based on my experience, that you take a shorter lens, especially if you are going with a group so you can get good shots of them.

    You can check out my gallery at the bottom and when you go into the Animals pictures, you can see the Exif data for the pictures. That might give you some idea of what the shot looked like at those settings, so you can guage what to do.

    A lens hood can be a good idea for some of the attractions, since you might not be able to adjust your angle to account for the sun.

    Also you might want to bring either UV Filters (for sun) or Polarizing filters to clear up water. You might also be able to use the Polarizer filter to clear up the glass reflections from the displays as well.
     
  3. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    a lens hood, a polarizer, a regular zoom, and whatever is your longest lens...probably covers what you'd need/want.
     
  4. Antarctican

    Antarctican TPF Noob!

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    And wear dark colours, in the event there are a lot of glass-enclosed exhibits (so your clothing doesn't reflect as much in it). Assuming it's mainly the animals that you want to take pictures of (as opposed to the people you may be going there with), your biggest zoom will come in handy.
     
  5. crownlaurel

    crownlaurel TPF Noob!

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    My 18-55 kit lens worked fine for close ups and animals in small habitats, but the deer and the peacocks and the animals in bigger habitats require a better zoom.

    A pack of windex wipes might come in handy for glass enclosed exhibits...to wipe away little fingerprints and smudges.

    If you can get your lens up to the fence, use the holes in the chain link to get obstacle free photos. I don't recommend that with more dangerous animals of course, LOL, but they are usually behind better barriers than a single chain link.

    Here's some zoo pictures I took in July http://s24.photobucket.com/albums/c17/4ets/ChattanoogaJuly07/Chattanooga%20final%20edits/?start=all . They aren't perfect, but I was still learning my camera's settings.

    I'd also suggest going on a day the zoo isn't crowded and plan you route by getting animal's feeding/play schedules ahead of time. Also plan by light, especially if you are using film (unless you meant ISO speed on a digital camera which can be adjusted with each picture if you want). You may not get the same results in a sunny section as you will in enclosed reptile houses, etc, so plan to take outdoor pics on one set of rolls and indoor pics on another set.
     
  6. LeSueur24

    LeSueur24 TPF Noob!

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    I used a rented 70-200 2.8 Canon lens when I went to the zoo and it worked almost perfectly. I wasn't taking pictures of the people I was with, only animals. I could've used even longer zoom for a few different animals (elk, buffalo, rhino) that were in the back corner of fields staying away from all the people. I got plenty of pictures though, so I'm not going to complain.
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ~300mm for the animals and under 70mm for everything else.
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sabbath????? Sabbath??????

    If he does not reply you might want to PM the member Sabbath999 http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/member.php?u=15579 he is the local zoo shooter. I think zoo pictures are the main thing he does you can go by his sig "I take pictures of critters, mostly. I like them."
     
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That depends entirely on what you are taking a photo of. My last trip in the zoo I used everything from a macro lens, to wide angle, and ISO100 to ISO2400, depending if I was in the nocturnal critter cage or outside with the kangaroos or photographing birds through cages.

    All I can say is take your entire kit
     
  10. thatguy

    thatguy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone, I think I'll just be taking pictures of animals, on film
     
  11. thatguy

    thatguy TPF Noob!

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    One more thing. I have a 75 - 200 mm lens and also a 2 times teleconverter. How much would using this teleconverter degrade image quality, and would it affect my maximum aperture too?
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It will the 2x teleconverter I believe drops 3 stops of light? Someone correct me if I am wrong.

    As for the image quality that depends on the lens. Teleconverters are usually reasonably high quality single lens elements which magnify the centre of the lens. So if you have a sharp lens like the Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 on some entry level SLRs you may not even notice a difference, but if you're trying to get 600mm from the Nikkor 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 well it was bearly usable at 300mm before, you will probably just get a blur out if it now.
     

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