September 01, 2014, 08:25:10 PM

Author Topic: Which lenses for Tanzania? Please advise.  (Read 1697 times)

Vivid Color

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 282
    • View Profile
Which lenses for Tanzania? Please advise.
« on: July 04, 2013, 11:44:59 AM »
Hello!

Just over a month from now, I will be going on an 8-day photo safari to northern Tanzania and a 4-day post-safari trip to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Thanks to the help I've received from a number of you Forum members, many of my questions have been answered. I'm hoping you will help me with one more question about which of my lenses to take.

For bodies, I'm taking my 6D and T1i. (I'm also taking my s100 P&S.)

For lenses, I'm definitely taking my Canon 24-105L and 70-300L (along with hoods and B+W clear and CPL filters).

My question has to do with additional or backup lenses. I also have the following lenses:

Canon 40
Canon 28-105
Canon 18-55 IS (version 1)
Canon 55-250 IS (version 1)
Tamron 60 macro
Tamron 18-270 VC PZD

Which of these lenses do you think I should take in addition to my L lenses? (Either as something extra--such as the f2.8 of the 40mm--or as backup should disaster befall one of my L lenses.)

I'm allowed to take a 50 pound checked bag plus carry on to Tanzania, but for the safari itself, I'm limited to only 33 pounds--clothing plus camera gear. (I can store some stuff at the hotel while on safari that I can pick up before going onto Dar es Salaam/Zanzibar. And, I have a camera vest so I can add a bit of weight there, but maybe not that much.) I have a couple of working theories, but I can't quite make up my mind and I would love to hear your input and reasoning.

Thank you in advance for your assistance!

Vivid

canon rumors FORUM

Which lenses for Tanzania? Please advise.
« on: July 04, 2013, 11:44:59 AM »

Canon Rumors

  • Administrator
  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *****
  • Posts: 2577
    • View Profile
    • Canon Rumors
Re: Which lenses for Tanzania? Please advise.
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2013, 11:54:39 AM »
Hey

I think all you need to add to your kit is redundancy. The 70-300L is one of my favourites on safari, and should work fine regardless of moisture or dust. I've had humidity issues with the 24-105 f/4L, but I saved it with silica packs. However, if either does have an issue, you'll kick yourself for not having a replacement. Therefore, I'd take the Tamron 18-270 to give you a backup for both lenses.

Throw the 40 in too, it takes no space.


Cheers
canonrumors.com

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14028
    • View Profile
Re: Which lenses for Tanzania? Please advise.
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 12:01:10 PM »
I'd take the 40/2.8 and the Tamron superzoom.

A few years ago, my wife and I spent close to a month in that region.  A week on Zanzibar (Stone Town and up in Nungwi, great diving up there), close to two weeks in mainland Tanzania (lodge safari with just us and a driver - Serengeti, Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge, and cultural activities around Arusha), then a week in Rwanda (mountain gorillas).  It was an amazing trip, and I'm sure yours will be as well. Have fun!
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

eml58

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1434
  • 1Dx
    • View Profile
Re: Which lenses for Tanzania? Please advise.
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2013, 02:10:58 PM »
Just left Tanzania, 3 weeks on the The Migration, once your on the Serengeti of the Lenses you note the one thing you may find yourself short on will be Length, the 24-105 + the 70-300 will do the major part of your needs, but you will often find times where you need 500-600, maybe your T1i ?? will do that for you with the 70-300 (I'm not familiar with this Camera but I think it's a 1.6 Crop). What I can tell you is the Serengeti is BIG, huge open spaces, long is needed.

Be very VERY careful of South African Airways if you have flights with this Airline, I had one of my Carry On Bags taken from me at the Door under protest (Flying Business Class) and that's the last I've seen of the Bag, around 10k in Lenses stolen, clearly by the Cabin Staff/Ground Handlers, Dar Es Salam is apparently famous for stolen Camera equipment (As is JoBurg), especially if you are carrying gear in a Hard Case system, do not give up your gear at the door under any circumstances (until now while in South Africa still on Safari SAA are playing dumb, this is an Airline to be avoided if possible).

Dar Es Salam is about as Crappy a place as you could imagine, if your spending 4 days here reconsider, get out into the Serengeti and you will have much more opportunity for producing amazing Images.

Tanzania can be an amazing destination, The Serengeti is a wonderful Photographic opportunity, Dar Es Salam is a place to be avoided other than the requisite entry point, Oh Yes, enjoy the Visa on Arrival system, stand in line with 200 other "Foreigners" waiting to fill in 3 different pieces of Paper, Pay 100 bucks, then look intently for someone holding up your passport as the indicator that it's your turn, speak with an Immigration Person that's partly in the Land of the Dead, then join the line for Immigration Stamping, then attempt to locate your Bags. The Positive to the system is that it prepares you for avoiding Predators with even bigger teeth in the Mara River, they're called Crocodiles with four legs rather than two.

Next year I'm going to see the Migration again, but I'm going to the Masai Mara on the Kenyan side, I hear they're about equivalent to 1960 in terms of Port of Entry to a Major Tourist Attraction, Tanzania is yet to get into the 20th Century, although on reflection I may be overstating, more like 19th.

Other than all that, You will come away with some amazing Images, and unlike myself, hopefully all your Camera Gear Good Luck.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 02:15:50 PM by eml58 »
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

Vivid Color

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 282
    • View Profile
Re: Which lenses for Tanzania? Please advise.
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2013, 08:36:04 PM »
Thank you CR Administrator and Neuro for taking the time to respond to my inquiry and for your recommendation that I take the Superzoom and 40 pancake. Your advice has made that decision easy--I'll take those two lenses along with my 2 L's.

And, thank you, em158, for taking the time to pass on what you've learned about visas and traveling in the region. And, yes, the T1i is a 1.6x crop body and I'll put the 70-300L on it. As for a visa, I work in DC so I had been planning to go to the embassy to get my visa before I leave. Your experiences confirmed that thought and I'll do that next week. And, your point about not being bullied into giving up my camera gear is noted and will be taken to heart. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and I hope I don't encounter a situation as you described. As for staying in Dar, that part of the trip can't be changed, and I wouldn't want to as I'm staying with my Tanzanian friends who live there and who have already told me that they have made plans for us to go on a couple of day trips out of the city, including one to Zanzibar.

I feel very fortunate to be going on what I'm sure will be an amazing adventure. I can't say that this will be the last question I ask before my trip, but if it is, I just want to say that I greatly appreciate the advice I've received from everyone who has responded to my various inquiries over the last few months. I feel like I will be in really good shape, gear wise, when I head out.

Best regards,

Vivid  :)


kaihp

  • Canon 70D
  • ****
  • Posts: 275
    • View Profile
Re: Which lenses for Tanzania? Please advise.
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 10:56:34 PM »
Be very VERY careful of South African Airways if you have flights with this Airline, I had one of my Carry On Bags taken from me at the Door under protest (Flying Business Class) and that's the last I've seen of the Bag, around 10k in Lenses stolen, clearly by the Cabin Staff/Ground Handlers

Fsck, sorry to hear that eml58. I presume you had it all insured?

eml58

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1434
  • 1Dx
    • View Profile
Re: Which lenses for Tanzania? Please advise.
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 06:25:57 AM »
Be very VERY careful of South African Airways if you have flights with this Airline, I had one of my Carry On Bags taken from me at the Door under protest (Flying Business Class) and that's the last I've seen of the Bag, around 10k in Lenses stolen, clearly by the Cabin Staff/Ground Handlers

Fsck, sorry to hear that eml58. I presume you had it all insured?

Hi Kaihip, Yes, all Insured Thanks for the concern, so just a PIA all round, I've been travelling to Africa for quite a while and had so few issues I'de perhaps become complacent, so this was a PIA for sure, but compared to what can happen, relatively painless, the incident at least made me get my mind out of Neutral and into survival mode, the value of gear we as Photographers carry in our carry on Bags could keep the average African Family for a year, maybe two, it's easy to forget that so this was a timely reminder.

But the Visa on Arrival stuff is a definite super nova PIA, so get your Visa Ex Tanzania if you cam, I wont make that mistake again.
The Beauty though of the Tanzanian Serengeti makes a lot of the PIA stuff something you just Grit your teeth & deal with
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Which lenses for Tanzania? Please advise.
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 06:25:57 AM »