This is one trip that you are not likely to repeat and chances are with time, the wild life may just dwindle—we saw the great migration and we saw all big five and more in their natural habitat—totally exhilarating.
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The tips were given on day one, day two, day three and every day till we left but more important was developing a cordial relationship with your guide. It was a delight Kenya is one of the poorest countries and safaris are their main source of income. Let us share wealth across the globe. No regrets. I have been to Patagonia and Terra del Feugo; you will be amazed at the scenes you will capture but no wildlife.
It is not a comparison but an alternate. And now a discussion of baggage when you are traveling with your wife; real men never argue with their wives—ever. Minimize gear to bare bone and enjoy trekking and this way you can help carry her stuff also—this will give you a life time of respect, a rarity, while you still capture memorable shots. Thanks for the reply Sarfaraz! Still, we only live once and some of us were born more lucky than others!
Stanislaw, that will work very well; again, I am not a big fan of carrying multiple bodies but trust me, you will not have time or luxury of changing lenses. Even though mm is limiting, but it will work with Sony sensor. Great article and I love the sense of humour and realism to the tips from your experience. Thank you. Dear Simon: I am very fortunate to have lived as long as I have and found that without humor, the life can be very dark. We can always together and I can always laugh at myself.
Enjoying life often takes a careful planning. Thanks for your kindness. Wonderful nature…thank you to all people supporting the preservation of it and the local populations even as tourists! Very nice pictures and an entertaining read. Curious to know if at the end of the trip you preferred one camera set up over the other or were both about the same, or would you just take an iphone next time?
A few years ago, the response would have been different. The iPhone xs takes phenomenal pictures for most situations and if the moment is what counts, indeed it is a great tool. Most of my pictures were taken at mm; to get a resolution and handling, you will need a real glass lens. In the next trip, I will use my iPhone more frequently without feeling like a lesser man. Between Sony and Olympus, the choice is rather neutral; one thing is for sure—a micro four third sensor, as small as it may be, compared to the full-frame Sony, does just as good a job. I do not know why we keep comparing everything to full-frame?
Look at the sensor in the iPhone? I am sure we will soon stop such comparisons that date back to celluloid movies. After lugging gear for years, I have become convinced that a single camera and a single lens will be more than enough—I will take Sony with mm though not so highly rated as a great companion; I have Leica Noctilux 0. Thanks for asking. Your pictures are great, story very informative.
Less is more. Good guide and luck, seeing cheetahs, even if it seemed awful.. All meat eaters reading, we are part of chain. Walk barefoot on the red earth of Mother Africa. It might be as thrilling as the whole trip. Again great images and description. Great article. I agree with your advice to pack lite and tip your guide, as I went to Tanzania for a safari this summer.
That worked perfectly and my neck and back were grateful…. I enjoyed this story, so thank you for sharing. Some of these photos are real gems. Much of what you wrote is smart advice. Even then, you still would have to think twice. I think some people just like to show off. Your camera and lens choices are pretty much in agreement with my philosophy. The narrower the angle of view you want, the smaller the sensor should be. This is opposite to what many people still practice, which is to simply increase the focal length of the lens, which makes it bigger and heavier.
There are so many hangovers from 35mm photography that really do not belong in digital photography. Perhaps you could have done this trip with one camera the Olympus and two lenses. Thanks Karim: First, why would you not want to see and capture the beauty of a lioness playing with cubs? There is so much subtle beauty in everything around us and to me anything is a good moment if I can catch it. You comment about 35 mm I have answered above—we should stop comparing any mm measurements. Today, the sensors are so good that we should also stop talking about the beauty of film; a raw image can now be modulated in so many ways giving us so much control—the film is on its last leg—your children will laugh at you when you will talk about film soon.
I thought a great deal about taking two lenses and one body; here is the catch. Some animals were quite near, a few feet away, and some were hundreds of feet; there is no time to switch lenses if you do not want to lose the moment. One picture of leopard, not published above, literally took half hour to get close enough and then there were only a few seconds to shoot. With two cameras I had a full mm range; with lenses locked in manual mode, it was very easy to switch the cameras. But this applies only to the situation I was in—in a bumpy vehicle with small room to stick your neck out.
You made it simple and therefore correct—there are enough complexities in life that we can not control—this one we can. I am going to the safari next year, and I got the mm together with the TC1. Would like to know whether that is sufficient enough. The will work too but you are short on the lower end—many a times I needed a wider angle than 24, specially the landscapes that were beautiful. The Olympus is a great lens though the purists have not think so, I do. Carry a wide angle, a 21 mm perhaps. I also have good lenses f2. I have read your blog and have found it helpful.
Best Camera Equipment for an African Safari
I have also read other blogs that recommend the for safari. My concern is the lack of quality I have read about using the extender with the m lens. I never used an extender, but I know people who do and they are quite happy with it original Canon converters like this one x2 or this one x1,4 — not something from another brand — those seem to have bigger issues. I found mm too heavy and too big for me, so I sent mine back after testing it for a few days. I tomorrow morning leaving to Safari and just read your article.
Btw 7dmkII I bought 3 years ago specially for safari and 2 years ago for safari as well. You are absolutely right, George. When going on a once-in-a-lifetime trip you probably want to take the best camera equipment that you have. I do the same. Thank you for sharing your experience and enjoy your trip! Although i will bring my Canon , and 2x Extender.. I think mm with a 2x extender should be more than enough for nice close-ups.
Your article was excellent. Thank you so much for all the information and your insight. I am going on a safari June I have a Canon 80D and for my last vacation I bought the Tamron 3. Do you think this is good enough or do you think I really should look at something that has a greater zoom like ? Obviously it depends on time of day…. Faster shutter speed to get action?
That means that your mm lens actually gives you mm reach — more than sufficient. I tend to shoot in Aperture mode, the lowest f number my lens allows. For the action, I find that shooting at High Continuous Speed is usually your best bet if animals are moving fast. Just shoot and then afterwards keep the best picture of all that you took. ISO — depends so much on the time of the day. Jurga…thank you so much for your response. I will do some testing out here with my Tamron and see how it works simulating a safari. As for the settings….
Hi, I will be traveling to Namibia next year. I Have a Nikon D a 40mm macro and and the chipest last version. I thing I need something wider, so I was evaluating the from Tamron in order to avoid changing lens. Did you tested it? I see that the reviews for this Tamron lens are really good too. But if this fits your needs and budget, then it looks like a good choice to me. Thank you Jurga.
Trip is in June, so I have some time, maybe I will move to a full frame. If you have some experience with some of these let me know. Hi Mario, unfortunately I have no experience with these Sigma lenses. I once bought Canon mm. Good luck! I am planning a trip to Kenya, and India to take pictures of big cats. I am glad to be back. Read your blog, and took your advise about spending money on better glass.
I have gotten lots great images. I have been handholding all shots.
Now I am ready to add a second camera to my bag before I go, and have both lenses mounted on the bodies so they are ready to go. It will also eliminate the need to open the camera in the field. Reading the internet is making my head hurt. I do not print pictures or make videos, I just share them with friends and display them on my 4K TV.. The crop factor gives me extra range plus there is a better autofocus and more AF points win the 7D, vs. I am not sure which is better, being I have never been outside North America. Hi Robert, so your question is basically which camera to choose — Canon6D vs 7D?
Obviously, full frame camera will give you better pictures, but will they be that much better that it would be noticeable on your TV screen — not sure. So much will depend on the lenses that you use and from what I see you already have excellent lenses.
As you say, the crop factor of 7D will give you more reach. Thanks this did really help. Your last comment on quality and length of ownership is absolutely correct. I expect to get many years out of the camera. Sticker price is what you see first…. Plus travelling I want to bring back the best pictures possible. They are also throwing in the battery grip. My thoughts are not, as shots is approx. Also large cards means potential for loss of a lot of pictures should it go bad. Some lenses mostly the ones with image stabilisation drain the battery faster, so in that case you may need a second battery during the day, but I never had two batteries run empty in one day.
Kenya through the lens | mSafiri
Not even on safari where I easily take hundreds of shots in a day. As for cards, I mostly use 16GB now, never had a problem. Also here I usually buy good ones from SanDisk and never had one fail. Your post on best camera equipment is very helpful. Would appreciate knowing the best camera bag to purchase for an African Safari. I would like the camera bag to also double up for other miscellaneous items.
Hi Anupam, I find that a bag is such a personal choice — it depends so much on how you expect to use it. I personally gave up on camera bags when we started traveling with 3 kids and often use this lightweight day backpack from Jack Wolfskin or this a bit bigger backpack from Thule. These may not be ideal for a camera, but they are so versatile and can fit everything I need during the day.
Better than a shoulder bag in any case. Here are some good options that I found:. Hi Jurga, thanks for writing up this post which is exactly what I need at the moment. I bought a canon 70d few years ago with a EF-S mm lens. I found a place where I can rent the lens for the trip but am stuck in which one I should pick.
Camera lens zoom length for safari photo discussion - Kenya Forum
What would you advice? There is also a big difference in the cost of renting the EF-S and EF lenses, I would really appreciate if you could give me any thoughts. Thanks in advance! Hi Angie, as I tell everyone, the choice really depends on you. What kind of pictures do you expect to make? Do you want to switch the lenses or not? If you want to take really good pictures of the animals, then any of the or lenses is of course better in quality. Hi Jurga, thanks for getting back to me! I have also told that Tamron lens might be an option.
Have you try them before? I have done a bit of research online and shortlisted the below lenses. Any idea if they are good? Some people love them, some — hate them and go for the original Canon or Nikon. They all have advantages and limitations. Thanks a lot, Jurga. I really appreciate your time and am so sorry for bugging you with all these choices. I understand that the range I will have with the lens on my canon 70D would be 1. Thank you for writing the post. I currently have an older model Canon T3i. I have a Canon Lens EF mm But the reason I like this one is that I think it will be good for taking pictures of my sons hockey games.
Do you think it is worth the expense? What would be your rough guess of how good the pictures would be with what I have vs getting the new lens?
Do I have to get a new camera as well? Thank you for your help. My honest opinion is that Canon f,8 lens is much too heavy and too expensive for your camera. Which is probably not ideal with the camera that you have. You can see one of my recent images taken with this lens over 13 years old now here. If you invest in the quality lenses, they will outlast any camera that you have now. If you later decide to upgrade the camera, those lenses will still do the job perfectly. So if the choice is between a new camera or a new lens, go for the lens.
Hope this helps a bit. I currently have a D and decided to go for a Tamron mm. I am just wondering should i keep a cheaper digital camera too record some of the action or not? I guess it depends on what you use them for and on your personal preference. I know for myself that I often feel overwhelmed when I have to take pictures and also videos at the same time. Of course, everyone travels differently and for me too, photography is an essential part of travel experience.
For me a safari has always been about the experience but just got drawn into the whole Instagram mindset which is all about good and nice photographs that make you go wow! Happy to hear that, Sharjeel. I think we all sometimes forget to just be present in the moment rather than document everything to then be able to impress our friends on social media. Travel has become too much about Instagrammable places, rather than experiences… Enjoy the safari!
Jurga, I really enjoyed reading your article. Leaving for Botswana in March of Will be doing some puddle jumping so I know I have to be somewhat light with my gear. I have a multitude of different lenses but would like to narrow it down so I can use a smaller backpack to carry everything. In Tanzania I felt I needed at times the longer reach than the gave me. I have no extenders but not opposed to buying one to get the reach. Of what I have shown you as far as lenses, which would you use or maybe something different.
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