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Author Topic: Recommendation For Long Lenses  (Read 11435 times)

Stu_bert

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2012, 10:38:34 AM »
I also was recently in Botswana in late Oct early Nov...best time between dry and rainy season there and would say as other longer the better. The stars were find with a 17 - 40. and would recommend that you find out what kind of vehicle you are going to be in so you can figure out how to shoot with that long lens. Some trucks don't have enough room for a tripod. I say forget the Ipad or any computer too much weight and trouble...buy a Nexto extreme(or something similar...B&H) maybe 750gig and transfer your cards to that.  I never had any trouble with that and faster than a computer. Do all your processing at home. See if your guides have inverters for their truck so you can use your AC outlet(many people come from Europe besides North America)and charge everything through your ac adapter.

The hyperdrive ipad is a storage device, but it also can transfer images at the end of the day or during, to an ipad for review. I always go for storage devices where I can buy the HDD separate and avoid unnecessary cost. I also personally prefer a bigger screen, so I just use the ipad for critique / review but appreciate everyone is different. All the permanent camps I have been to have power, would not worry about charging in the field, but would take a spare battery. 1Ds works all day without issue even on safari (so 10 hrs use).

Website links OP provided also seem to have modified land-rover vehicles so one assumes that as it is a (rather expensive) photographic trip that they have support sorted out, but I would check to understand the type in use. I've seen pro clamps being used with wimberley heads (or similar gimbals), but a lot of the time I still prefer a beanbag. In other vehicles I have had to resort to monopod and wimberley which is still better for me than hand-holding, but again everyone has their preference.

Given also it is a photo trip - what do the organizers suggest in terms of equipment? Having done the trip before, I would expect some good advice as to lenses in the vehicle & opportunities back at camp.

Finally, if you know what sort of support will be in place in the vehicles, and you have not tried that combination before it is worthwhile if you can trialling it before the trip. I'm sure they will advise you there, but extra prep on "trips of a lifetime" are always rewarding  :)
If life is all about what you do in the time that you have, then photography is about the pictures you take not the kit that took it. Still it's fun to talk about the kit, present or future :)

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2012, 10:38:34 AM »

Jim K

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2012, 08:48:07 PM »
Curt,

My friend, Harryb, just posted his thoughts on the Nikon equipment he took to Africa this year and what he would take next time. It's on Dgrin in the Wildlife forum as "Africa - Closing Thoughts" http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=213179

Post 3 by Andy is about his Canon gear and what he would take next time.

Jim
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wickidwombat

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2012, 09:25:36 PM »
I also was recently in Botswana in late Oct early Nov...best time between dry and rainy season there and would say as other longer the better. The stars were find with a 17 - 40. and would recommend that you find out what kind of vehicle you are going to be in so you can figure out how to shoot with that long lens. Some trucks don't have enough room for a tripod. I say forget the Ipad or any computer too much weight and trouble...buy a Nexto extreme(or something similar...B&H) maybe 750gig and transfer your cards to that.  I never had any trouble with that and faster than a computer. Do all your processing at home. See if your guides have inverters for their truck so you can use your AC outlet(many people come from Europe besides North America)and charge everything through your ac adapter.

The hyperdrive ipad is a storage device, but it also can transfer images at the end of the day or during, to an ipad for review. I always go for storage devices where I can buy the HDD separate and avoid unnecessary cost. I also personally prefer a bigger screen, so I just use the ipad for critique / review but appreciate everyone is different. All the permanent camps I have been to have power, would not worry about charging in the field, but would take a spare battery. 1Ds works all day without issue even on safari (so 10 hrs use).

Website links OP provided also seem to have modified land-rover vehicles so one assumes that as it is a (rather expensive) photographic trip that they have support sorted out, but I would check to understand the type in use. I've seen pro clamps being used with wimberley heads (or similar gimbals), but a lot of the time I still prefer a beanbag. In other vehicles I have had to resort to monopod and wimberley which is still better for me than hand-holding, but again everyone has their preference.

Given also it is a photo trip - what do the organizers suggest in terms of equipment? Having done the trip before, I would expect some good advice as to lenses in the vehicle & opportunities back at camp.

Finally, if you know what sort of support will be in place in the vehicles, and you have not tried that combination before it is worthwhile if you can trialling it before the trip. I'm sure they will advise you there, but extra prep on "trips of a lifetime" are always rewarding  :)

that hyper drive looks awesome i've been looking for something like that for ages thanks for the tip :D
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revup67

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2012, 04:04:58 PM »
I'd skip the teleconverters, grab the 7D and you instantly have a 1.6 multiplier without any reduction in lightas the TC's are known for plus other features such as Af that can be affected.  Also, your 500mm just became an 800mm.  You'd also have the faster FPS for BIFS vs. the sluggish FPS on the 5D.  if time permits, I might research the The Blue Crane videos which talk about the best ways to tweak that 7D and keep the noise to a bare minimum.  At ISO 100 and RAW the images are stellar.  I'd also concentrate on eliminating anything without IS on the long end.
Thanks
Rev
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briansquibb

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2012, 06:33:29 PM »
I'd skip the teleconverters, grab the 7D and you instantly have a 1.6 multiplier without any reduction in lightas the TC's are known for plus other features such as Af that can be affected.  Also, your 500mm just became an 800mm.  You'd also have the faster FPS for BIFS vs. the sluggish FPS on the 5D.  if time permits, I might research the The Blue Crane videos which talk about the best ways to tweak that 7D and keep the noise to a bare minimum.  At ISO 100 and RAW the images are stellar.  I'd also concentrate on eliminating anything without IS on the long end.

OP has stated his main camera will be the 1D IV - however good the 7D is then the 1D4 will always be a couple of steps better.

revup67

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2012, 03:35:38 AM »
OP has stated his main camera will be the 1D IV - however good the 7D is then the 1D4 will always be a couple of steps better.

Correct however I had made reference to the 5D as the 1DIV is better than the 5D as well as the 7D
Thanks
Rev
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briansquibb

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2012, 04:16:15 AM »
I was making the point that there was no point in taking the 7D as at every point the 1D IV was better. The OP was going to use the 5D II for landscapes - where again it would outstrip the 7D and the 1D IV  - so his 1D IV and 5D II was the best combination. I am sure the OP had thought this through carefully.

BTW - The 1D IV with lens + 1.4 gives more reach than the 7D + lens - and the 1D IV has AF at f8 if needed
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 04:20:15 AM by briansquibb »

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2012, 04:16:15 AM »

smirkypants

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2012, 05:50:30 AM »
I'm kind of with REVUP on this. The 1D4 can handle anything the 5D can, but on the jeep I'd have the 7D+500=800 equivalent and still be at f4. On the 1d4 I'd have mounted the 70-200+1.4 and be at about 364mm max zoom @ f4. Maybe keep the 5D + wide angle zoom or a couple of small primes. Bodies are generally smaller than lenses and TCs and the 7D & 5D share batteries. Three bodies and three lenses and you've got super long, long, medium and short covered. Plus, you're backed up twice.

Don't poo-poo the 7D+500. I rented a 500 for a month shooting a major tournament and made a lot of money from what it produced. I also got a write-up in an important equine trade magazine on the strength of a lot of the photos I took. To my eye, IQ is a wash between 7D vs. 1D4 +TC to get roughly the same reach, plus you don't lose a stop with the 7D.

briansquibb

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2012, 06:22:13 AM »
So you are saying take the 7D as well then? That makes more sense than dumping the converters as REVUP was suggesting  ;D

I would expect on safari in Africa in their summer that losing a stop would not be much of an issue shooting at that reach.

I have compared the IQ of the 1D4 and the 7D (on the 400 f/2.8) - which is why both 7Ds have been sold on.

Dont underestimate the 5DII on slower moving large animals either especially with the 500 at F/4 - the background blur will be far far better than the 7D will achieve

smirkypants

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2012, 07:02:23 AM »
So you are saying take the 7D as well then? That makes more sense than dumping the converters as REVUP was suggesting  ;D I would expect on safari in Africa in their summer that losing a stop would not be much of an issue shooting at that reach.

I have compared the IQ of the 1D4 and the 7D (on the 400 f/2.8) - which is why both 7Ds have been sold on.

Dont underestimate the 5DII on slower moving large animals either especially with the 500 at F/4 - the background blur will be far far better than the 7D will achieve
But it's an unfair comparison, Squibby! Of course the 1D4 will look better than the 7D at f2.8. The point is that you need a TC or a longer lens on the 1D4 to get where the 7D takes you, and the TC hits your image quality and it hits your aperture. The longer lens is bigger and more expensive.

And at the golden hour, when you're taking your prettiest shots, you're going to be wanting f4. Sure the midday sun will make aperture irrelevant. Indeed, I would suggest taking a few ND filters in order to maintain a low aperture. At mid-day in Africa at f4 you're probably shooting about, what, 1/2000th to 1/8000th at 100-200 ISO? Being able to cut 3 stops to make sure you don't exceed your shutter speed might be nice.

As for the 5D2/500 at f4... That's just an enormous chunk of hardware for something that a 7D + 70-300 (480 equivalent) can get you and you can hang around your neck to boot. You'll get very good photos, plus you can be extremely mobile with the latter and you will nail shots you will otherwise have missed. Try hopping out of a jeep and running to an angle with a 500 and you're lion fodder.


briansquibb

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2012, 07:31:24 AM »
So you are saying take the 7D as well then? That makes more sense than dumping the converters as REVUP was suggesting  ;D I would expect on safari in Africa in their summer that losing a stop would not be much of an issue shooting at that reach.

I have compared the IQ of the 1D4 and the 7D (on the 400 f/2.8) - which is why both 7Ds have been sold on.

Dont underestimate the 5DII on slower moving large animals either especially with the 500 at F/4 - the background blur will be far far better than the 7D will achieve
But it's an unfair comparison, Squibby! Of course the 1D4 will look better than the 7D at f2.8. The point is that you need a TC or a longer lens on the 1D4 to get where the 7D takes you, and the TC hits your image quality and it hits your aperture. The longer lens is bigger and more expensive.

And at the golden hour, when you're taking your prettiest shots, you're going to be wanting f4. Sure the midday sun will make aperture irrelevant. Indeed, I would suggest taking a few ND filters in order to maintain a low aperture. At mid-day in Africa at f4 you're probably shooting about, what, 1/2000th to 1/8000th at 100-200 ISO? Being able to cut 3 stops to make sure you don't exceed your shutter speed might be nice.

As for the 5D2/500 at f4... That's just an enormous chunk of hardware for something that a 7D + 70-300 (480 equivalent) can get you and you can hang around your neck to boot. You'll get very good photos, plus you can be extremely mobile with the latter and you will nail shots you will otherwise have missed. Try hopping out of a jeep and running to an angle with a 500 and you're lion fodder.

Are we comparing quality or mobility?

I have said that taking all 3 bodies is a good idea - I would definitely take all converters too - especially the x2 for maximum reach.

However there will times when a 500 is all you need - and for IQ a 5D + 500 will look a lot better than a 7D with the 70-300L. However the 5DII will be wanted for lightweight lens too so then you get mobility and IQ.

Of course the 70-300L is only f/5.6 which is the same as the 500 +1.4 - which you seemed to indicate was an issue whereas the 5DII would be able still to shoot at F/4. On the 1D4 and the 5DII of course you have the higher iso to play with anyway so f/4 to f/5.6 would not be an issue providing DOF was OK. F/5.6 still gives significant background blur which is when the background start to get messy on the 7D

Shooting at iso 50 is a good option in the bright light. I would think that iso50, f/5.6 would not push the shutter to be faster than 1/8000.

So I think we are in agreement - use the 1D4 and 5DII when IQ is the priority, 7D when mobility with reach is the priority.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 07:36:11 AM by briansquibb »

jhpeterson

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2012, 09:27:24 AM »
I still would love to hear more thoughts on this.

500mm f/4L
70-200mm f/2.8L II
24-105mm f/4.0 L
17-40mm f/4.0 L
24mm f/1.4 L (for stars)
14mm f/2.8 L (if I have room)
8-15mm f/4.0 L
My thought would be to go with the 300. Even though the 400 is a most amazing piece of glass, there's likely just not enough difference between it and the 500 to justify taking it along. Besides, the 300 focuses closer, thus it's more useful for relatively short range. You also should be able hand-hold it for longer and in a lot more situations, as I've found it is still small and light enough to capture so many of those spontaneous moments. (Yes, I'd take along the 300 for "grab" shots!)
While I have yet to be on safari in Africa, I have friends who've led groups in the bush. If you want specific recommendations for the places mentioned, perhaps I could ask them.
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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2012, 03:52:59 PM »
I would expect on safari in Africa in their summer that losing a stop would not be much of an issue shooting at that reach.

In general, the best chance to take photos of wildlife in Africa is around a watering hole, in either early morning (one will often have to get up and/or leave before dawn for these opportunities) or early evening, before the sun gets too hot & all the animals go & hide in the shade. Luckily, early morning or early evening is a good time of day to take photos as far as quality of light goes, however the amount of available light is not as great as during the middle of the day, so, depending on the situation, max aperture may well come into play.

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2012, 03:52:59 PM »

cfargo

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2012, 12:10:27 AM »
Thanks for all the great advice. I went to PMA/CES and played with the lenses. The 300mm f/2.8L II gives me so many more options than the 400 f/4.0L DO and the 300 is current technology where the 400 is 12 years old. While still on the show floor I got on my phone and ordered the 300mm f/2.8L II. I have also come to the conclusion that I'm going to bring my 7D Also.

My Body & Lens List:

1D MK IV, 5D MK II, 7D, G10 (IR Converted)

500mm f/4L
300mm f/2.8L
70-200mm f/2.8L II
24-105mm f/4.0 L
17-40mm f/4.0 L
24mm f/1.4 L
14mm f/2.8 L (if I have room)
8-15mm f/4.0 L
1.4X III
2.0X III


wickidwombat

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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2012, 02:16:45 AM »
Thanks for all the great advice. I went to PMA/CES and played with the lenses. The 300mm f/2.8L II gives me so many more options than the 400 f/4.0L DO and the 300 is current technology where the 400 is 12 years old. While still on the show floor I got on my phone and ordered the 300mm f/2.8L II. I have also come to the conclusion that I'm going to bring my 7D Also.

My Body & Lens List:

1D MK IV, 5D MK II, 7D, G10 (IR Converted)

500mm f/4L
300mm f/2.8L
70-200mm f/2.8L II
24-105mm f/4.0 L
17-40mm f/4.0 L
24mm f/1.4 L
14mm f/2.8 L (if I have room)
8-15mm f/4.0 L
1.4X III
2.0X III

dont forget to add a sherper to the list to carry all that :P
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Re: Recommendation For Long Lenses
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2012, 02:16:45 AM »