Advice for Galapagos and Ecuador Amazon

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,109
We are off soon for a week on a small boat around the Galapagos and then a few days at a lodge in the Amazon and then some day tours. The 100-400mm II on the 5DSR is a must, but will be used by my wife. I'll take the RX10IV for general use and a TG5 for any wet outings. But, will I find the 400mm II on the 5DIV important or should I take my other 100-400mm II? The bare prime can do longer shots slightly better, and more so with the TC. It also has an extra stop if it is dim light. But, it is heavier and bulkier, and zoom is sometime essential. Any advice would be welcome.
 

Aussie shooter

@brett.guy.photography
Dec 6, 2016
464
459
I would personally go with the zoom as it is often the case that one minute you will be shooting birds at 20m and the next iguanas at 2m. I don't know how you are getting around but most tours and shore landings(if on a boat trip) are done outside of low light periods so the extra stop of the prime won't make much difference. And zodiac landings are always easier with smaller kit. Whatever you take just enjoy the trip. You will see some cool stuff. My profile pic of the two sealions was on my final shore landing of my trip last November.
 
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AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
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Thanks for that. If most birds are going to be far away, then I would go with the prime. However, the 100-400mm zoom will always get me a shot that the 400mm can, though not quite as good, but the 100-400mm will get me shots that the zoom can't. So, if there are going to be many like the superb Galapagos Hawk close-up you have just posted, it will be the second zoom, though the RX10IV is really very good for close ups.
 
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Aussie shooter

@brett.guy.photography
Dec 6, 2016
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459
It's one of those things. No matter which one you take you will have times when you which you had the other one(there were a few occasions i wanted my 150-600), but i think if you have the prime you will be left wanting more often. Can I ask who you are going with and which Islands you are doing?
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,109
We are organising our own trip, using a "budget boat" for the Galapagos part, and staying at an eco lodge on the Amazon and a few days in Quito, where we will use local guides. Hotels are booked through Expedia. The Galapagos islands are:
Sunday: Baltra - North Seymour
Monday: Chinese Hat – Bartolomé
Tuesday: Genovesa: Darwin Bay - Prince Phillips Steps
Wednesday: Puerto Egas – Rabida
Thursday: Darwin Station - Highlands of Santa Cruz
Friday: Española: Playa Gardner - Pta. Suarez
Saturday: Santa Fe - South Plaza
Sunday: Black Turtle Cove – Baltra
 

Aussie shooter

@brett.guy.photography
Dec 6, 2016
464
459
We are organising our own trip, using a "budget boat" for the Galapagos part, and staying at an eco lodge on the Amazon and a few days in Quito, where we will use local guides. Hotels are booked through Expedia. The Galapagos islands are:
Sunday: Baltra - North Seymour
Monday: Chinese Hat – Bartolomé
Tuesday: Genovesa: Darwin Bay - Prince Phillips Steps
Wednesday: Puerto Egas – Rabida
Thursday: Darwin Station - Highlands of Santa Cruz
Friday: Española: Playa Gardner - Pta. Suarez
Saturday: Santa Fe - South Plaza
Sunday: Black Turtle Cove – Baltra
Sounds good. I did some of those islands but missed others. Hope you enjoy it. The Amazon should be amazing.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,109
A photographic guide at the Amazon has advised the zooms. And, after trying out all my lenses again, that's what we will do.
 
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@brett.guy.photography
Dec 6, 2016
464
459
No doubt the Amazon will be a very different situation than the Galapagos. Light will be much lower. But if the guide recommends a zoom then I would trust theor experience. Looking forward to seeing the images.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,109
Recommendations for an iPad App for Field Guide for Birds of Ecuador? There are a couple of apps available from the App Store but it’s difficult to work out their relative merits. Any advice welcome.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
Mar 25, 2011
15,524
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The near macro ability of the 100-400 makes it nice to capture close up shots without changing lenses, if you end up in the jungle where its dark, then a faster lens is nice, but also heavy.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,109
The near macro ability of the 100-400 makes it nice to capture close up shots without changing lenses, if you end up in the jungle where its dark, then a faster lens is nice, but also heavy.
The 100-400s have been packed along with the 5DSR and 5DIV. My beloved 400mm DO II is staying behind. We 8 flights to fit in!

I'd now like someone who has used a Bird App for Ecuador to give advice.
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,252
189
52
Isle of Wight
Hi Alan.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just take the pictures and enjoy the trip and then ID the birds when you get home? :unsure: :)
Either way I hope you have a great time.
Do you have a flash? Better Beamer? Take these to throw a bit more light on things?
If you don’t yet have a better Beamer, I can highly recommend the MagMod equivalent, way more expensive but so much easier to use, leave the mount on the flash then you literally just plonk the MagMod lens holder on the front, pull it to half or full extension dependant on distance and fire, no 5 minute faff with separate arms and Velcro! I have both and the MagMod does the job way easier.

Cheers, Graham.

Recommendations for an iPad App for Field Guide for Birds of Ecuador? There are a couple of apps available from the App Store but it’s difficult to work out their relative merits. Any advice welcome.
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,109
Hi Alan.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just take the pictures and enjoy the trip and then ID the birds when you get home? :unsure: :)
Either way I hope you have a great time.
Do you have a flash? Better Beamer? Take these to throw a bit more light on things?
If you don’t yet have a better Beamer, I can highly recommend the MagMod equivalent, way more expensive but so much easier to use, leave the mount on the flash then you literally just plonk the MagMod lens holder on the front, pull it to half or full extension dependant on distance and fire, no 5 minute faff with separate arms and Velcro! I have both and the MagMod does the job way easier.

Cheers, Graham.
I'll need a bird app or book whether or not I use it in Ecuador or at home afterwards. The way I approach birds and photography, I find It more difficult and less enjoyable for me to leave identification until I get back home. I enjoy a preliminary sorting out of my images in the evening after a days shooting while they are fresh in mind and I learn about the birds, identification and habitat, and what to look for next. There will also be a local expert who can answer questions. Then, when I get back, I can go through them again and relive without too much effort. If I leave everything until I return, then I get faced with ploughing (plowing to you Yanks) through 1000s of images. Though, I know many others prefer to shoot first and then enjoy sorting out images at leisure after their vacation. One real expert, who was retired, I met in Tanzania used the opportunity to get enough photos to give him 6 months of pleasure, luxuriating in the work. But, he had also studied for months before for identification and what to look for. I am always in a hurry for both preparation and analysis.

By the way, the iPad/iPhone/Android Apps have the bird calls and songs on them, which can be invaluable for identification (and for calling them).
 
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Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,252
189
52
Isle of Wight
Hi Alan.
I get what you mean, we each work differently, I’m one who would probably not be “allowed” to spend the time sorting and researching whilst on holiday, we would have something else to do!

Cheers, Graham.

I'll need a bird app or book whether or not I use it in Ecuador or at home afterwards. The way I approach birds and photography, I find It more difficult and less enjoyable for me to leave identification until I get back home. I enjoy a preliminary sorting out of my images in the evening after a days shooting while they are fresh in mind and I learn about the birds, identification and habitat, and what to look for next. There will also be a local expert who can answer questions. Then, when I get back, I can go through them again and relive without too much effort. If I leave everything until I return, then I get faced with ploughing (plowing to you Yanks) through 1000s of images. Though, I know many others prefer to shoot first and then enjoy sorting out images at leisure after their vacation. One real expert, who was retired, I met in Tanzania used the opportunity to get enough photos to give him 6 months of pleasure, luxuriating in the work. But, he had also studied for months before for identification and what to look for. I am always in a hurry for both preparation and analysis.

By the way, the iPad/iPhone/Android Apps have the bird calls and songs on them, which can be invaluable for identification (and for calling them).
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,758
3,109
My wife also takes photos and we work together identifying them. I have downloaded a rather expensive App from All Birds, and it looks really good. Apps are much better than Kindle editions, and much lighter than paperbacks.