600 F4 II or 300 F2.8 II and extenders for a Safari kenya

Hector1970

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 22, 2012
969
63
Thanks for all the great replies.
The best lens is always the one you left at home.

Yes I'll have two bodies 5D IV and 5DSR or 7DII.
The Vehicle will be a Toyota Hi Ace with a roof that goes up and it will be 5 people in that.
Probably not very squashed but they might need to duck if I swing the 600mm around (with hood attached) :D
I've been on Safari in Tanzania so I know what its like.
It can be a bit of an endurance test.
Once the sun is up the 100-400 II can easily do most of the work on mundane things.
The 600 F4 is special (of course its not realistically worth the money but its a great piece of precision engineering).
In Tanzania I wouldn't have needed a 600F4 except maybe for a Rhino in Ngorogoro (which is most amazingly beautiful place (like the Garden of Eden)
You were almost running over animals.
I belive in Kenya its more open and animals at times can be further away.
The 300 F2.8 II is a beautiful lens and feels really light compared to the 600 F4 (but is still a hefty weight).
I've about 6 weeks to go, maybe if I hit the gym I'd be ready for the 600 :D

Whichever one I take I'll have to live with it but it will be a great experience nonetheless.
I can't wait to see the sky at night.
 

AlanF

5DSR
Aug 16, 2012
4,654
1,163
Hector
You are the one to give me some advice. It’s Ngorongoro that my wife and I are off to, and we’ll be taking a 5DSR and 5DIV. Do we take a pair of 100-400s or one and the 400mm DO II? What are those vehicles like?
Thanks, Alan.
 

scottkinfw

Wildlife photography is my passion
AlanF said:
Hector
You are the one to give me some advice. It’s Ngorongoro that my wife and I are off to, and we’ll be taking a 5DSR and 5DIV. Do we take a pair of 100-400s or one and the 400mm DO II? What are those vehicles like?
Thanks, Alan.
Hi Alan

I've been to the crater twice. Most animal encounters are up close and personal. Regarding prime vs. zoom, it would depend on what your other lens is. If you are happy with the zoom image vs. the prime, the zoom is more versatile, lighter, smaller, so it is your preference.
 

AlanF

5DSR
Aug 16, 2012
4,654
1,163
scottkinfw said:
AlanF said:
Hector
You are the one to give me some advice. It’s Ngorongoro that my wife and I are off to, and we’ll be taking a 5DSR and 5DIV. Do we take a pair of 100-400s or one and the 400mm DO II? What are those vehicles like?
Thanks, Alan.
Hi Alan

I've been to the crater twice. Most animal encounters are up close and personal. Regarding prime vs. zoom, it would depend on what your other lens is. If you are happy with the zoom image vs. the prime, the zoom is more versatile, lighter, smaller, so it is your preference.
Thanks Scott. What about birds?
 

Hector1970

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 22, 2012
969
63
AlanF said:
Hector
You are the one to give me some advice. It’s Ngorongoro that my wife and I are off to, and we’ll be taking a 5DSR and 5DIV. Do we take a pair of 100-400s or one and the 400mm DO II? What are those vehicles like?
Thanks, Alan.
At the time the vehicle was a landrover jeep. A fine platform for taking photographs.
The animals are very close in Ngorogoro.
To be honest I'd say like my self the 100-400 would fine for most cases but the primes will take special photographs a bit different to super zooms. Its hard to beat their sharpness.
For Ngorogoro a 70-200mm would work really well
 

AlanF

5DSR
Aug 16, 2012
4,654
1,163
Hector1970 said:
AlanF said:
Hector
You are the one to give me some advice. It’s Ngorongoro that my wife and I are off to, and we’ll be taking a 5DSR and 5DIV. Do we take a pair of 100-400s or one and the 400mm DO II? What are those vehicles like?
Thanks, Alan.
At the time the vehicle was a landrover jeep. A fine platform for taking photographs.
The animals are very close in Ngorogoro.
To be honest I'd say like my self the 100-400 would fine for most cases but the primes will take special photographs a bit different to super zooms. Its hard to beat their sharpness.
For Ngorogoro a 70-200mm would work really well
Thanks. I am leaning towards the 100-400 II, 400m DO II plus a small camera for close ups, maybe the M5.
 

AlanF

5DSR
Aug 16, 2012
4,654
1,163
Probably a good idea. M5 would be handy for that.
Just bought today an EF-M 18-150mm from a guy on eBay who was splitting an M50 kit at a knockdown price. The lens on testing proved to be excellent, very sharp at 18mm, and as sharp as a 55-250 STM at 150mm. That should give me a good range.
 

Woutje4

EOS 7D
Sep 6, 2018
3
2
Blaricum, Netherlands
Hi Hector,

Nice trip for you ahead.

A couple of years ago i was in South Africa i've used my 7D with EF 300mm 2.8, my wife was using my old 30D with 24-105mm it was a good combination, see took the overview shots and I took the close up shots. On several safaris the animals were so close I was able to take only head shots and my wife had the total shots.
I don't know the situations in Kenya but in my case 300mm was more than enough. I didn't use any of my converters (1.4x & 2x).

My experience with the 300mm 2.8 and converters is fine but most of the time I want the 2.8 instead of 2 stops less with the 2x converter, so i don't use them often, only with something special and I need more mm's and there is enough light.

When you are planning to go birding often in kenya then you'll need all the mm's you've got, but in my opinion overall you will have fare enough with 300mm.

During the flights I took my Lowepro backpack with all my important photogear (bodies, lenses,binoculars etc) with me as hand luggage (we had 20kg hand and normal luggage with British airways)
 

Hector1970

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 22, 2012
969
63
Just for posterity. I had a great trip to Kenya. In the end I did take the 600 F4II.
It performed great. It is big and heavy and a pain to carry around.
Lifting it up and down was tricky at times due to its length with the hood.
But performance wise it was great. Very sharp. Ideal focal length for birds and smaller animals.
I switch to a second camera with a 100-400 II when they were closer.
A most beautiful country. Some abject poverty but also signs of some progress and a growing middle class.
The variety of birds was great not to mind all the different animals.
It was the experience of a lifetime.
 

JohnGerlach

I'm New Here
Aug 28, 2018
11
5
I have led forty photo tours to Kenya and will be going again in Sept of 2019. Animals are used to safari vehicles, so you will often get quite close. I have had young elephants hit the vehicle with their trunks. My main lens is the Canon 200-400mm with built-in 1.4x. It is terrific on safari. You could rent one. I like birds, and many are small, so I also take the Canon 800mm, but likely will switch to the new 600mm III and the new 1.4x converter for my next trip. Also take a 70-200 and 24-70mm. Use bean bags, more than one, and fasten them to the window when on safari as you don't know ahead of time what side you will be shooting out. Hopefully, you have your own row. I only put 3 shooters in a safari vehicle so each has their own row and can easily shoot out either side of the vehicle. Good luck! Clients tell me a Kenya safari is the best trip they have ever gone on!