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lens for safari

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NEWDIGIT
NEWDIGIT  3401 forum posts United Kingdom
22 Aug 2011 - 8:22 AM

In the new year I plan to go to Kenya on safari.
Question 1 is which lens to take with my D3100.
Currently I have the kit lens plus18-200.
I am thinking of the Nikon 200-400 or possibly the Sigma "big one".
Either way I shall be renting as I would have little use for them other than this trip.
So second question where to rent and what to expect to pay for say 4 weeks (1 week to play plus 3 holiday)

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Andy_Cundell
22 Aug 2011 - 9:46 AM

Hiya Ikky

I think this question has come up before! If I were you, I would go for the 200-400 to compliment your 18-200. Hopefully someone who has experience of this will either correct me or agree with me!

Have a great time!

Andy

User_Removed
22 Aug 2011 - 10:18 AM

Just checked on lensesforhire.co.uk - the Nikon AF-S 200-400mm f/4 G IF-ED VR will cost 198 per 7 days to hire.

So call it 800 for 4 weeks. (You could actually buy a Sigma 150-500mm for less than that).

Carrera_c
Carrera_c  4254 forum posts United Kingdom3 Constructive Critique Points
22 Aug 2011 - 12:15 PM

No-matter which lens you go for, think you'd be cheaper to buy the lens instead of renting it, if you get back and decide you don't want to keep it you can always throw it on eBay and recoup most of your cost.

mikehit
mikehit  46154 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
22 Aug 2011 - 12:41 PM

Have you looked second hand? You could buy and sell with virtually no loss. I would try London Camera Exchange, mifsuds and MBP Photographic.

NEWDIGIT
NEWDIGIT  3401 forum posts United Kingdom
22 Aug 2011 - 2:12 PM

Thanks for the advice I will start looking at a few of the second hand sites and may rent for a wekkend or two before making any decisions

LensYews
LensYews  51300 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
22 Aug 2011 - 8:31 PM

Left field choice, leave the camera at home and take a pair of the new Sony digital Dec-5 binoculars and watch the action and record it in 3d HD video. http://www.sony.co.uk/product/dph-binocular/dev-5

NEWDIGIT
NEWDIGIT  3401 forum posts United Kingdom
23 Aug 2011 - 8:53 AM

Morning LensYews,
I was actually considering a pair off these after having seen them at a Field sports show in Germany in June.
The sales staff could not give a release date or price at the time but indicated that the DEC 5 would be 1000 ish and the lower spec DEC-3 about 875.
It will be interesting to see a field test on them

stonflo
stonflo  10 United Kingdom
23 Aug 2011 - 9:27 AM

We went to Kenya last year and it depends on your guide if they are good then you'll be ok.
I used a Sigma 70-300 and got the shots I wanted as our guide got us quite close.

discreetphoton
discreetphoton Site Moderator 93443 forum postsdiscreetphoton vcard United Kingdom20 Constructive Critique Points
23 Aug 2011 - 9:36 AM

If you're used to kit lenses and superzooms, I'd go with the Sigma. It's too big a challenge to learn how to handle a lens the size and quality of the 200-400 in a week. And you would want the tripod to go with it. Just my opinion.

NEWDIGIT
NEWDIGIT  3401 forum posts United Kingdom
23 Aug 2011 - 10:54 AM

Stonflo what time of year did you go, which lodge/game reserve, what animals?
This will be my first time in Kenya
Although I am tagging the safari onto the end of a business trip to Nairobi (firm pays for flights etc), I am flexible as to when I need to go so want to go at best time to see the wild life

LensYews
LensYews  51300 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
23 Aug 2011 - 11:54 AM


Quote: Morning LensYews,
I was actually considering a pair off these after having seen them at a Field sports show in Germany in June.
The sales staff could not give a release date or price at the time but indicated that the DEC 5 would be 1000 ish and the lower spec DEC-3 about 875.
It will be interesting to see a field test on them

I understand they will be on sale in the Uk in Oct/Nov this year.

As for when to go to Kenya, you might want to avoid the heart of the rainy season as getting around gets very difficult. A good time would be co-ordinating the trip with the migration being near your choosen lodge if you are planning on going to the mara (of course everyone else does that as well).

Most guides get very close to most animals, they might stay a little further away from elephants ad they can get a little touchy. So something like a 70-300 has enough range for most situations. The exception being birds, if you are a birder you would need a long lens as typically they will be a long away away and will fly before a guide gets close - except for vultures, partridges etc.

LensYews
LensYews  51300 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
23 Aug 2011 - 12:05 PM

There's a lot of information on the Kenya safari options on this page. http://safari.go2africa.com/kenya/kenya-safari.asp

NEWDIGIT
NEWDIGIT  3401 forum posts United Kingdom
24 Aug 2011 - 8:24 AM

Lensyews thanks for all the info it looks like I will be going first in January for three weeks with a follow up inspection in late July which will hopefully be for one possibly two weeks so once I get there I will seek out info on safaries and decide what to see perehaps one each time.
A relative has offered me the loan of his 200-400 looks like everything sorted

IOWAndy
IOWAndy  5 United Kingdom
26 Aug 2011 - 5:39 PM

I did this a few years back and all I took was a standard 18 - 80mm lens plus a 70 - 300 telephoto. The telephoto is good for some shots but as the ranger got very VERY close to most of the animals(like I could have touched a lion from an open top landy) I could use the standard lens with no real problem and anyway the telephoto was just too big to get all the animal in when we were close. 20 mtrs from an elephant and only the standard lens will fit it all in. Unless you want to focus on individual whiskers on lions then I would say that most of the time you would have the 18 - 200mm on anyway.

The only other bit of advice is take a spare SD card or two unless you have the means to download to disk every day. I completely filled 2 x 2Gb SD cards in 5 days and I was being a bit frugal and culling shots every day to preserve space -once you're out in the bush there are no shops to get a new one.

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