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safari question

sjk123 10 286 England
18 Apr 2012 6:54PM
Hi All,
Well i'm going on safari in a few months for 3 weeks .
just looking for a bit of advice on a lens , i own a 100-400 but was wondering if i would be better off with a 120-300os sigma with some converters
"due to the rage and f4over 5.6 at the 400 /420 end

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LenShepherd 8 3.1k United Kingdom
18 Apr 2012 7:59PM
How many in the vehicle - and where?
If you are 12 in a mini bus changing converters is near impossible.
If you pay extra for 2 in a vehicle you can take what equipment you like.
In Tanzania if you cannot fill the frame with a lion using 28mm you are not trying.
In Zimbabwe it is legal to shoot lions for about $10,000 a kill - so getting within half a mile of a lion is a challenge.
John_Frid 10 514 56 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2012 8:09PM
In Botswana I usually found 200mm +1.4X converter on an crop sensor to be enough for most things, including many birds. Early morning (and evening) are the times when most wildlife is active and light can be a bit low so a wider aperture can be helpful - although with good noise handling you can always up the iso.

Better not to have too many in a vehicle to ensure everyone has room to move without getting in each others way.
stevie 12 1.2k 2 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2012 8:10PM
If you want to take 1 lens 100-400 will cover it for safari.
As Len says, not everything is at extreme range!
I've done a few safaris, the lenses I take nowadays are a 300 prime, 400 prime, a 70-200 zoom and a 24-105 zoom plus 1.4 converter.
There is a lot to be said for having 2 camera bodies if possible so you can have one set-up for long range and the other with a shorter zoom (just in case a lion jumps into your safari vehicle and wants his portrait doing)
sjk123 10 286 England
18 Apr 2012 8:18PM
Hi thanks for the info .
i am taking a 1dmk4 with the long lens and a 5d2 with a 16-35 or 24-105 .
i was hopping to use the 1d for a bit of action and long shots .
the reason for me asking about the lens is i don't really want to spend 5500 on a canon 300mm 2.8
but are more then happy to spend on the sigma .
was just wanting to know would i be better off with a 120-300 2.8 or the canon 100-400 5.6
and i need to watch the weight factor .
rogerfry 11 543 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2012 10:01PM
I would think that the 100-400 is a better bet....you've got the extra reach at each end, and you're not really going to want to mess around with convertors when the air is full of dust ! Also, you've already got it, and you can put the 2000 you save towards your next safari.

I've done three safaris with the 100-400 on a 7D, along with a 5D ll and 24-105, and I would think that over 90% of shots are with the 100-400.

Whatever you decide, have fun !
stevie 12 1.2k 2 United Kingdom
18 Apr 2012 10:32PM

Quote:was just wanting to know would i be better off with a 120-300 2.8 or the canon 100-400 5.6

Of those, I'd choose the Sigma basically because of the F2.8 aperture (much action at dawn & dusk)
I used the Sigma (old version, no IS) in Kenya a few years ago see here and it performed very well.
sjk123 10 286 England
18 Apr 2012 10:33PM
Ok thanks for the advice and taking the time to give it to me .i think I am going to go with what I have .
And wait for a while for the 300 canon to come down in price a bit Wink
LenShepherd 8 3.1k United Kingdom
19 Apr 2012 9:10AM

Quote:Hi thanks for the info .
the reason for me asking about the lens is i don't really want to spend 5500 on a canon 300mm 2.8

You can hire a Canon 300 f2.8, with insurance, from places like Caumet.
Whether you get "fast action" is part good luck, but more when and where you plan to go; often combined with being out in the vehicle before daybreak.
sjk123 10 286 England
19 Apr 2012 6:23PM
the only problem with hire is at some point you have to give it back ....lol
did look at the hire road . i'd rather wait and buy my own .
Dazbo 12 114 United Kingdom
24 Apr 2012 10:16PM

One thing to bear in mind is it will be very dusty. You don't really want to be changing lenses very often when you're on the plains. I took my Sigma 50-500 which proved it's worth in terms of versitility. Your 100-400 will be perfect for you needs though.

LensYews 7 1.3k 1 United Kingdom
24 Apr 2012 10:57PM
Of course in a few months might also mean rainy season, when dust isn't an issue but finding the animals in all the new greenary can be. I'd also go with the Sigma, I took a f4-5.6 lens and it stuggled in the low light on a crop camera. I also have the Id4 and have known it to stuggle with AF in low light in some action shot situations even with a f2.8 lens attached. You never know you might get a chance of some action, but more likely 99% of your shots will be of grazing animals or sleeping lions.

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