Pictures on an African Safari – Which Lens to Take With?

We’ve got had many photographers asking which lens is greatest for an African safari. “Ought to I take a zoom or fastened focal size, telephoto or wide-angle lens, is a small aperture lens OK or do I want a big aperture”?, and so forth.

Our visits to African nationwide parks span practically twenty years, throughout which era we now have been on over 100 safaris, owned lenses from 4 totally different producers and have used lenses from a 10mm fish-eye to a 800mm super-telephoto. The suggestions that observe are primarily based on this expertise.

In case you are desirous to take pictures that will get printed otherwise you wish to enter your pictures into competitions and even promote your photographs, then it’s good to have a look at a minimal standards, which we now have primarily based on two teams of photographers:

For the Newbie / Funds-Acutely aware Photographer

Our suggestion is both the Nikon 80-400 f/four.5-5.6 AF VR zoom lens or the 300mm AFS f4 lens. Each these lenses are very sharp! With the 300mm lens you could have an possibility of including 1.4X tele-converter. The 80-400 lens doesn’t settle for tele-converters and doesn’t have a built-in motor so focusing is typically sluggish, particularly in low mild, nevertheless it has a 5X zoom – very handy on safari Rent Anamorphic lenses!

When you do not thoughts generic third-party lenses than you would think about the Sigma 150-500mm lens. It’s a sharp lens that prices lower than the Nikon or Canon equal. One phrase of warning with these third-party lenses – there is no such thing as a assure that the lens shall be appropriate with future Nikon or Canon cameras.

The above three lenses would supply high quality footage and satisfactory attain for much topics, with out breaking the financial institution!

A phrase of recommendation – please neglect the 80-200 f2.eight AF-S with 2X tele-converter because it does NOT produce sharp pictures just like the 80-400 VR does!

For Canon customers the Canon 100 – 400 L f4.5 – 5.6 IS Zoom lens can be a good selection. With 1.6 crop sensor this lens turns into 160 to 540mm lens and you may as well use the Canon 1.4X tele-extender with it.

For the Intermediate / Funds-Would not-Matter / Skilled Photographer

Right here my advice is the Nikon 200-400 AFS f4 VR zoom lens or the 500mm AFS f4 VR lens. Each lenses are sharp and may take the 1.4X or 1.7X tele-converters and can nonetheless autofocus.

The Canon 500mm f4 L IS lens or 300mm f2.eight L IS lens plus tele-converter can be an awesome alternative for Canon customers.

In case your ardour is photographing birds and you’ve got a 400mm f2.eight (this lens works fantastically with the 2X tele-converter to offer an 800mm f5.6 lens) or a 600mm f4 lens then these are the lenses it’s best to carry.

These lenses are, nonetheless, heavy and ponderous so you need to to keep in mind how you’ll be travelling.

Self drive versus guided tour – measurement does matter!

In case you are doing a self drive safari and you should have your individual automobile then measurement and weight will not be that vital. However in case you are a part of a guided tour group chances are you’ll be squashed right into a sport viewing automobile with restricted area – right here you’d be higher off with the smaller lighter lenses such because the Nikon 80-400mm / 300mm f4 or the Canon 100-400mm – until you’re going on an expert picture safari like those accomplished by Todd Gustafson and Daryl Balfour the place they restrict the variety of photographers to a most of 4 per automobile, by which case you should have a lot area to retailer your picture gear!

Remember that for sharp pictures the lens tends to be extra vital than the digicam physique so it’s best to attempt get the longest-reaching lens you’ll be able to afford. When you carry a 300mm lens you’ll want you had introduced a 400mm and so forth – a wildlife photographer tends to by no means have sufficient attain!

Backup lens and digicam

On safari the animals might stroll proper subsequent to your automobile or they might be 200 meters away. When you carry only one physique and a telephoto lens chances are you’ll not be capable of the very shut topics so in the event you can afford a second digicam and lens we might counsel you carry them with.

You may additionally be tempted to carry one physique and two lenses – this may imply you’d waste time altering the lenses and chances are you’ll let mud into the digicam. The perfect can be two our bodies every with their very own devoted lens.

Our advice can be the Nikon 18-200mm VR lens or the Canon 24-105 f4 IS L lens. (Nikon’s ‘VR’ stands for Vibration Discount and Canon’s equal is ‘IS’, which stands for Picture Stabilization).

Each these lenses double as wide-angle lenses and on a regular basis walk-about lenses. As well as they’ve a brief Minimal Focus Distance offering you with macro capabilities as effectively.

Another excuse to have a second physique and lens is in case one thing occurs to your main physique and lens.

Are you able to think about approaching a once-in-a-lifetime African Safari and your gear malfunctions! African nationwide parks such because the Kruger Park, Etosha, Pilanesberg and Kgalagadi have excessive climates so the circumstances might be very harsh with warmth, sand and vibrations taking their toll on photographic gear and a backup could save your day!

 

Updated: January 8, 2018 — 3:34 pm

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