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Author Topic: Primes for wildlife ...  (Read 9651 times)

candc

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2013, 06:11:12 PM »
i am looking at what you have listed as your gear and if i were you i would get the 200-400. you could keep the 5diii, 24-70ii, 70-200ii and sell the rest to help cover the cost of the 200-400.  if you absolutely need the best iq and shoot small birds or longer distances then get the 600ii
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 06:13:13 PM by candc »

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2013, 06:11:12 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2013, 06:15:09 PM »
As I explained above, Neuro, I'll use my first big white lens on two safari trips in Kenya and South Africa+For birds, animals in the forest and things like that.

Might want to inquire with the safari outfitters.  When I was in the Serengeti, 600mm would have come in handy.  In the Ngorongoro Crater, the lions came close enough for a 16-35mm to work fine.

I think the 200-400 + 1.4x would be an excellent safari lens, you may want to rent one for that, regardless of what you decide to buy.
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DaveMiko

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2013, 06:24:51 PM »
As I explained above, Neuro, I'll use my first big white lens on two safari trips in Kenya and South Africa+For birds, animals in the forest and things like that.

Might want to inquire with the safari outfitters.  When I was in the Serengeti, 600mm would have come in handy.  In the Ngorongoro Crater, the lions came close enough for a 16-35mm to work fine.

I think the 200-400 + 1.4x would be an excellent safari lens, you may want to rent one for that, regardless of what you decide to buy.

I was thinking about renting that new 200-400. Maybe, using a zoom lens might make more sense, since one can always zoom out to frame the subject into the FOV, if it's moving outside of it, and then zoom in to isolate it.
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dslrdummy

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2013, 06:30:11 PM »
Agree with neuro that the 200-400 would be an excellent safari lense. I don't have it but having just come back from Zambia and Botswana, I can tell you that changing extenders on a game drive is not to be recommended from a dust point of view. I had a 70-200 and 400 f/5.6 and often didn't have the right focal length which meant going with what I had or risking swapping in the extender. The convenience of the built-in extender cannot be over stated in my view.
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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2013, 06:31:33 PM »
i am looking at what you have listed as your gear and if i were you i would get the 200-400. you could keep the 5diii, 24-70ii, 70-200ii and sell the rest to help cover the cost of the 200-400.  if you absolutely need the best iq and shoot small birds or longer distances then get the 600ii

+1  8)
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eml58

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2013, 06:53:29 PM »
I do around 4 Safari trips a year to different parts of Africa, each trip anywhere between 2 weeks and as long as 6 weeks, 2013 I've spent 3 months on Safari in Africa.

If you intend/need to do a reasonable amount of Travel to get to where you intend to use the gear, consider your carry on baggage and what restrictions are going to apply, as Photographers we tend to think like Gun People, what gear always at the top of the list, the rest we feel we can take care of.

In Africa most Airlines strictly apply 8Kgs as a bench mark for carry on, I Fly Business Class where ever I can & that allows 11Kgs, on Main Airlines you won't be able to book an empty seat, but I do that on the small Charter flights between airports & the Camps, that allows me to carry more than the 20Kgs the smaller flights will restrict you to. Never ever ever ever etc, Check in Camera gear within Africa, it's a huge Business in stolen Camera gear in this Continent, won't make any difference who you Fly with, all the African airlines have the same issue, they simply cannot control theft from checked in Baggage, it's  a total lottery.

Which brings me to Insurance, complete must if Travelling in Africa, don't leave home without it. Now Lenses.

The 300f/2.8 L II goes where ever I go, always. This is the absolute fastest focussing & sharpest Lens Canon make in my experience, works absolutely well with the III Series 1.4x Converter, pretty good with the 2x. But, you need to be able to get close, in most South African situations it's the perfect Lens, generally a lot of bush, Animals are generally closer due to the amount of bush. Completely hand holdable and I almost never use it on a Tripod or Monopod.

The 400f/2.8 L II is another superb Lens, I recently sold mine, but I've been extremely Happy with this Lens both in it's series 1 form and later when i upgraded to the series 2 version. But, it's still heavy, so expect to be using it for your best shots on a tripod or a monopod. I used to always carry as standard kit the 300 + 400 and 1.4x converter. 1.4x works amazingly well on this Lens, the 2x a little soft.

600f/4 L II, superb, just a brilliant lens, lovely weight, best shots again from a Tripod or monopod, crisp & sharp. 1.4x works just amazingly well on this Lens, the 2x a little soft. I use this Lens only when I'm scheduling to Safari in the Serengeti (Tanzania) or the Masai Mara (Kenya), the Lens needs large open spaces to be worth carrying, but if you have the open areas with Wildlife further away, this is the lens to have.

As soon as the 200-400f/4 was released I was about the first in Asia (Singapore) to get one, haven't for a moment regretted getting it, just a brilliant lens. Being able to to zoom to fill the frame 200-560 f/4 to f/5.6, my Imaging has taken a leap forward, way less cropping to get the right shot, close enough at 560 f/5.6 to be just about perfect. Light enough to hand hold for short periods, but gets heavy quick, used mostly again on Tripod/Monopod or bean bag. But, you give up light, it doesn't sound like a lot, but going from the 300/400 f/2.8 Lenses to a f/4 has required an adjustment, mostly now I shoot at minimum ISO400 as a Base where I may have shot a lot with the 300/400 at ISO200 as a base, but I feel the adjustment has been worthwhile. Major added advantage with this Lens is you don't need to change out converters, it's a flip of the switch in/out, that simple, huge benefit in lost shots, dust on the sensor etc, when I use the 600 + 1.4x I generally set the Lens like that onto a 1Dx Body and that's how it stays, I'de love to see a 600 with the Converter assembly of the 200-400f/4.

My standard rig now is 300f/2.8 + 200-400f/4 for places like Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Namibia. If the Serengeti or Masai Mara it's those + the 600 and generally a hassle with Airline Carry On rules, which I either circumvent with bringing my son/s, extra seats where possible, pay off the check in person for a tag to allow the extra carry on.

All of these Lenses work exceptionally well with the 5DMK III or the 1 Dx, but, you will miss the 12 fps of the 1 Dx on Safari, nothing quite like it, the 5DMK III at 6 fps is Ok, but (there's always a but) it can't compete with the 1Dx, for Safari, the 1Dx is the Safari tool with spades.

I hope this helps, what ever you decide you can't go wrong with any of these Lenses, enjoy your Imaging.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 07:12:55 PM by eml58 »
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Don Haines

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2013, 07:25:30 PM »
In the Ngorongoro Crater, the lions came close enough for a 16-35mm to work fine.

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2013, 07:25:30 PM »

stein

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2013, 07:42:40 PM »
I got the 300/2.8L IS for birds etc and is very pleased!
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DaveMiko

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2013, 03:29:24 AM »
I do around 4 Safari trips a year to different parts of Africa, each trip anywhere between 2 weeks and as long as 6 weeks, 2013 I've spent 3 months on Safari in Africa.

If you intend/need to do a reasonable amount of Travel to get to where you intend to use the gear, consider your carry on baggage and what restrictions are going to apply, as Photographers we tend to think like Gun People, what gear always at the top of the list, the rest we feel we can take care of.

In Africa most Airlines strictly apply 8Kgs as a bench mark for carry on, I Fly Business Class where ever I can & that allows 11Kgs, on Main Airlines you won't be able to book an empty seat, but I do that on the small Charter flights between airports & the Camps, that allows me to carry more than the 20Kgs the smaller flights will restrict you to. Never ever ever ever etc, Check in Camera gear within Africa, it's a huge Business in stolen Camera gear in this Continent, won't make any difference who you Fly with, all the African airlines have the same issue, they simply cannot control theft from checked in Baggage, it's  a total lottery.

Which brings me to Insurance, complete must if Travelling in Africa, don't leave home without it. Now Lenses.

The 300f/2.8 L II goes where ever I go, always. This is the absolute fastest focussing & sharpest Lens Canon make in my experience, works absolutely well with the III Series 1.4x Converter, pretty good with the 2x. But, you need to be able to get close, in most South African situations it's the perfect Lens, generally a lot of bush, Animals are generally closer due to the amount of bush. Completely hand holdable and I almost never use it on a Tripod or Monopod.

The 400f/2.8 L II is another superb Lens, I recently sold mine, but I've been extremely Happy with this Lens both in it's series 1 form and later when i upgraded to the series 2 version. But, it's still heavy, so expect to be using it for your best shots on a tripod or a monopod. I used to always carry as standard kit the 300 + 400 and 1.4x converter. 1.4x works amazingly well on this Lens, the 2x a little soft.

600f/4 L II, superb, just a brilliant lens, lovely weight, best shots again from a Tripod or monopod, crisp & sharp. 1.4x works just amazingly well on this Lens, the 2x a little soft. I use this Lens only when I'm scheduling to Safari in the Serengeti (Tanzania) or the Masai Mara (Kenya), the Lens needs large open spaces to be worth carrying, but if you have the open areas with Wildlife further away, this is the lens to have.

As soon as the 200-400f/4 was released I was about the first in Asia (Singapore) to get one, haven't for a moment regretted getting it, just a brilliant lens. Being able to to zoom to fill the frame 200-560 f/4 to f/5.6, my Imaging has taken a leap forward, way less cropping to get the right shot, close enough at 560 f/5.6 to be just about perfect. Light enough to hand hold for short periods, but gets heavy quick, used mostly again on Tripod/Monopod or bean bag. But, you give up light, it doesn't sound like a lot, but going from the 300/400 f/2.8 Lenses to a f/4 has required an adjustment, mostly now I shoot at minimum ISO400 as a Base where I may have shot a lot with the 300/400 at ISO200 as a base, but I feel the adjustment has been worthwhile. Major added advantage with this Lens is you don't need to change out converters, it's a flip of the switch in/out, that simple, huge benefit in lost shots, dust on the sensor etc, when I use the 600 + 1.4x I generally set the Lens like that onto a 1Dx Body and that's how it stays, I'de love to see a 600 with the Converter assembly of the 200-400f/4.

My standard rig now is 300f/2.8 + 200-400f/4 for places like Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Namibia. If the Serengeti or Masai Mara it's those + the 600 and generally a hassle with Airline Carry On rules, which I either circumvent with bringing my son/s, extra seats where possible, pay off the check in person for a tag to allow the extra carry on.

All of these Lenses work exceptionally well with the 5DMK III or the 1 Dx, but, you will miss the 12 fps of the 1 Dx on Safari, nothing quite like it, the 5DMK III at 6 fps is Ok, but (there's always a but) it can't compete with the 1Dx, for Safari, the 1Dx is the Safari tool with spades.

I hope this helps, what ever you decide you can't go wrong with any of these Lenses, enjoy your Imaging.

Wow!!!! Many thanks for the very detailed info!!!! :)
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alexanderferdinand

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2013, 05:40:17 AM »
@ eml58:
Thanks for the very detailled information.
And I am a bit envious about the resources you must have....
  ;)

9VIII

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2013, 10:23:17 PM »
I'm not really sure if this is helpfull, but something to consider is AF speed. To me this is the main difference between primes, primes + extenders or (big)zooms. Primes are just faster at it. Once you put an extender on, it will be slower. But, with small or shy subjects like birds, the longer reach you have the better.

If this AF speed really matters depends on the subject and what 'pose' you want to photograph. If your subject is stationary or does not move a lot (or moves slow), a smaller prime + extender can be excellent. For fast moving subjects you of course want fast AF. So a longer prime would be the better choice.

If that subject tends to move from/towards you often (and fast), a zoom like the new 200-400 would be a good choice as well. Since you can zoom in/out to get the subject in your FOV, it's easier to get a full body shot. With a prime you're stuck at that focal length, this can sometimes mean parts or your subject are cut off.

A nice trick I like about zooms is that it makes finding a subject easier: zoom to 200mm to get the subject in your sight, then quickly zoom to 400mm (or 560 or whatever with extender) to get the wanted framing. Finding a subject wich moves quick can be pretty difficult at the longer focal lengths, wich will often result in cut off parts like missing wing tips or worse. I have a whole collection of an eagle catching a fish who got too close :(

So it really depends on what you want to shoot, where you're taking the pics, and of course your personal skills and preferences. Good luck anyway :)

I really wish Canon would have made a 400-600 zoom instead of 200-400. I have yet to encounter something that fills the frame on my 400f5.6, and given the amount of cropping I was doing with my 800mm mirror lens it seems like 800-1600mm would be the ideal focal length for birds. That said, I'm sure the 200-400 is absolutely brilliant for pretty much everything but birds.
Anyway, here's hoping the 800f5.6Mk2 has a built in 2xTC.
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candc

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2013, 10:35:35 PM »
If you are not already shooting a crop body then get a 7d,70d for now and then the 7dii when it comes out

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2013, 12:29:15 PM »
Wow, I guess I am in the minority here using the 500 f4.  I use it and 300 2.8, but I also shoot sports, so the 500 f4 and 300 2.8 combo is more versatile for me. 

Man, it must be nice to have access to all that equipment.  I may take out a loaner from CPS for the 400 2.8 II and 600 II.

To the OP.  Are you a CPS member?  If so, do a loaner to see which is best for you.

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2013, 12:29:15 PM »

Methodical

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2013, 12:31:35 PM »
In the Ngorongoro Crater, the lions came close enough for a 16-35mm to work fine.


Thanks for the laugh.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2013, 02:20:10 PM »
In the Ngorongoro Crater, the lions came close enough for a 16-35mm to work fine.
Thanks for the laugh.

The Farside clip was cute, but they really did come quite close to the Land Rovers...
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Re: Primes for wildlife ...
« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2013, 02:20:10 PM »