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Telezoom for Safari next year.

Dave_D78 16 41 Ireland
21 Sep 2006 8:01PM
Hello all,

I'm off on Safari on honeymoon in early dec 2007 or Jan 2008. I wish to purchase a good telephoto lens for the trip. As I have over twelve months on my side I thought I'd seek the wisdom of others especially those who have experience in this field.

I have a Canon 30D and a 24-105L as my standard zoom. A friend of mine has a 70-200 f4 L which is great and is an obvious consideration, what are your views?

Many thanks
da_nige 19 1.2k United Kingdom
21 Sep 2006 8:19PM
I woulda guessed the 100-400 would be ideal. It has IS, L lens, flexibility of zoom therefore reducing need to change lenses in potentially dusty conditions. Having never done a safari though I'm sure someone elso will give more sound advice

LAF 20 1.7k
21 Sep 2006 11:35PM
I would also agree that the 100-400 5.6 L IS would compliment your setup ideally.

Alternatively, for a little more sharpness options, hows about the 300 f4 L IS and a 1.4x Extender. Or even the uber sharp 400 F4 L.

Any of the above should leave you chirpy as a Budgie on crack.

culturedcanvas 17 4.7k 59 United Kingdom
21 Sep 2006 11:53PM
Hi, no doubt about it ... if its image quality then a F4 300mm prime, and a 400mm F5.6 ... the 100-400 is ok, esp with APS-C sized sensors .. but is a little soft on full frame .. plus (not in my experience) ive been told it can pull in dust ... which is not going to happen with the primes ... ive also got a 70-200 mm F4 which is great, very light, and very sharp ... but no IS and without tripod not a great low light lens (unless u have a 5D that can handle high ISO's)

Id get the extenders either way ... plus id go second hand on the ebay market ... that way when you return, if you dont want the lens or think you wont get regular use you can resell without hassle and no cost ....

Hope these comments help - feel free to mail me if you want any further advice on any of these lens's as i use/own most ... Cheers
da_nige 19 1.2k United Kingdom
22 Sep 2006 9:29AM
For what its worth I use the 70-200f4 and 300f4 with 1.4TC and the results are superb. I just thought the 100-400 would be better for safari.
peterjones 21 5.2k 1 United Kingdom
22 Sep 2006 9:44AM
I got rid of my 100/400 as I didn't like the handling and the images were much too soft expecially as nature needs mostly to be sharp.

I get much better results with my 70/200 F2.8 plus 1.4 converter. I would imagine that the 300F4 plus 1.4 would be better; somewhere else on here is a thread re the 400 F5.6 saying how good this lens is.

Rgds, Peter.
Coleslaw 17 13.4k 28 Wales
22 Sep 2006 9:57AM
sigma 50-500.
culturedcanvas 17 4.7k 59 United Kingdom
22 Sep 2006 10:11AM
Hi, the 400 F5.6 is great .. check out the reviews on luminous landscape .. the reason i was pitching primes is that its probably a one in a lifetime trip .. and id want the best images possible ... i did think about the 50-500 .. .and have thought about buying one myself .. however the thing that puts me off is the weight of it ... plus i dont know enough about it to make a good informed decision .. does anyone on here use one of these on the canon kit and if so what sort of results are you getting? D
22 Sep 2006 10:14AM
I would say go with 300mm F4 IS and 1.4x. You are unlikely to miss the 100-300 range on safari (stand to be corrected) and personally I feel it is a better setup and easier to handle than the 100-400.

Dave_D78 16 41 Ireland
23 Sep 2006 8:36AM
Thanks all,

I had thought about the 100-400 F5.6 L as it would be complimentary, and would reduce the likelihood of changing lenses. But I have read mixed reviews, and have swayed towards 70-200 and TC. Whether it's F2.8 OR F4 I'm undecided.

I hadn't quite considered primes because I felt I'd be limited by the fixed focal, but it sounds like they're worth investigating.

Thanks for all advice.
Boyd 19 11.2k 11 Wales
23 Sep 2006 8:40AM
How about a sigmonster ?
culturedcanvas 17 4.7k 59 United Kingdom
23 Sep 2006 8:44AM
Dave .. on the 100-400 front .. i would like to point out that this is a regular lens used by David Noton for instance ... and thats on a full frame 1D's .. the 100-400 out performs the 70-200 with x2 extender (read reviews at luminous landscape) but the 400mm f.56 prime outdoes the 100-400mm ...

the 70-200 is clearly sharper across its range than the 100-400 is in that range ... but lets be honest .. your not going to be using 70-200 a whole lot.

There are other things to think about too ..although id personally go for the primes, the 100-400 would you give you instant reaction to almost any distance, no changing of lens, less equipment to carry, etc etc ...


PS - I hear king kong gave up on photography as he couldnt carry the sigmonster !!
Dave_D78 16 41 Ireland
23 Sep 2006 9:33AM
Dan, thanks you do make a lot of sense. I will read the reviews.

But if I can acquire an armoured tank I'll cearly be swapping it's canon for a sigmonster!!!

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