When I go on safari, what’s in my camera bag?

docsmith

EOS Rebel T7i
Sep 17, 2010
727
54
#62
I was fortunate on both of my previous trips in not having a luggage restriction for the first trip(charter group) and bought an extra seat for a group of 4 on the second trip. I have the advantage my wife is not a photographer and will share her baggage allowance. Here is something I am toying with for future trips to reduce weight:
  • 1dx II & M5 + EF adaptor (really want a 7d II upgrade)
  • 400mm f4 DO IS II, 100-400 II, EF-M 18-150
  • 1.4cxTC III & 2x TC III
  • Wireless WD passport SSD for backup and iPad Pro instead of a MacBook pro
  • 10X30 compact binoculars
  • Lightest bag that fits this gear
I already own the M5 but would need to sell my 200-400/buy or rent the 400 DO. I could substitute 70-200 f4 II or 70-300 for the 100-400 II. There are always trade offs. The M5 would give me a lightweight EF compatible backup And wide angle solution. My focus is wildlife.
I know the 400 f/4 DO II is much revered. I have rented it and used it for ~1,000 shots. It is a great lens. But, as long as you have a body that can AF with f/8, such as your 1DX II, I would carefully compared the 100-400 II that you already own to the 400 DO II. In terms of aperture, it is 1 stop. However, if you believe DXO's measurement of T-Stop, the actual amount of light let in is different, 2/3 of a stop.

https://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Comp...I-USM-on-Canon-EOS-5DS-R__1425_1009_1469_1009

DXO measured the t-stop of the 100-400 II to be T/6.3 @ 400 mm and a T/5 for the 400 DO II.

I own the 100-400 II and often shoot it with a 1.4xTC. The AF on my 5DIV is very great.

I am not trying to disparage the 400 DO II, it is a great lens. But if I was pressed for size/weight, and if I were to factor in the cost, I would likely take the 100-400 II. The 400 DO II is giving you 1 stop better bokeh, but only 2/3 stop more light.
 
Aug 8, 2018
17
6
#63
Thanks for the comment, you bring up some good points. I borrowed the 400 DO II from CPS for an air show and felt the 400 DO II + 1.4x TC III produced sharper images than the 100-400 II bare. Both lenses were calibrated to my 1dx II with / without TC’s. I am going to go back through the air show photos and compare shutter speeds, aperture, etc to make sure settings are comparable since it was not a structured test.

I will definitely rent or borrow the lens again before I make any decisions. My preference is the flexibility of zooms if I can get the reach, weight and image quality I want.
 
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AlanF

EOS 5DS R
Aug 16, 2012
3,930
181
#65
Thanks for the comment, you bring up some good points. I borrowed the 400 DO II from CPS for an air show and felt the 400 DO II + 1.4x TC III produced sharper images than the 100-400 II bare. Both lenses were calibrated to my 1dx II with / without TC’s. I am going to go back through the air show photos and compare shutter speeds, aperture, etc to make sure settings are comparable since it was not a structured test.

I will definitely rent or borrow the lens again before I make any decisions. My preference is the flexibility of zooms if I can get the reach, weight and image quality I want.
As regulars to the Bird Portraits and BIF threads know, I am very enthusiastic about both the 400mm DO II and 100-400mm II. Yesterday, I posted some sharp images from the 5DSR + 100-400mm II + 1.4xTC in both threads. The 400mm DO II + 1.4xTCIII is even sharper, and is as sharp as the 100-400mm II at 400mm as found by my experience and the MTFs posted for both on Lenstip. The 400mm DO is tack sharp from edge to edge on FF. My latest copy of the 100-400mm II is very good as well, but an earlier copy was definitely softer. The 400mm DO II really comes into its own with a 2xTC when it is still very sharp at 800mm. If you are going up only to 560mm, then my preference is definitely for the 100-400mm II because the minor sacrifice in IQ is more than compensated for by its flexibility and light weight. But, if you need to squeeze out a useable image from very small birds at medium distances or larger ones far off, then the 400mm DO II + 2xTC is the choice.
 
Sep 29, 2013
185
2
#66
Of course, I've always got an iPhone at hand as well. Nothing like as good as a Leica Q as an extra camera, but it makes spontaneous panoramas fun and easy.

View attachment 179647
Yep, the new iPhone X proved useful. Only got it a few days before the trip but this was a panorama from high up viewpoint not far from Lower Sabie. Who viewed large, it gives an idea of the vastness of the Kruger.

 
Likes: Daner
Aug 8, 2018
17
6
#67
As regulars to the Bird Portraits and BIF threads know, I am very enthusiastic about both the 400mm DO II and 100-400mm II. Yesterday, I posted some sharp images from the 5DSR + 100-400mm II + 1.4xTC in both threads. The 400mm DO II + 1.4xTCIII is even sharper, and is as sharp as the 100-400mm II at 400mm as found by my experience and the MTFs posted for both on Lenstip. The 400mm DO is tack sharp from edge to edge on FF. My latest copy of the 100-400mm II is very good as well, but an earlier copy was definitely softer. The 400mm DO II really comes into its own with a 2xTC when it is still very sharp at 800mm. If you are going up only to 560mm, then my preference is definitely for the 100-400mm II because the minor sacrifice in IQ is more than compensated for by its flexibility and light weight. But, if you need to squeeze out a useable image from very small birds at medium distances or larger ones far off, then the 400mm DO II + 2xTC is the choice.
Thanks for the comment, very helpful. I notice in your signature you have the Sigma 150-600. I was tempted by this lens (C version, lighter) but the reviews have always made me walk away. Since you have lenses I would consider alternatives, how do you feel about the 150-600?
 

AlanF

EOS 5DS R
Aug 16, 2012
3,930
181
#68
Thanks for the comment, very helpful. I notice in your signature you have the Sigma 150-600. I was tempted by this lens (C version, lighter) but the reviews have always made me walk away. Since you have lenses I would consider alternatives, how do you feel about the 150-600?
My copy of the Sigma 150-600mm C is very good. In the centre at 400mm it is even better than my 100-400mm II's. At 600mm it is also good - much better than you see on review sites - very similar to the 100-400mm II + 1.4xTC. The AF and IS are not quite as good as the Canon. You must test a copy before buying because of copy variation. I like having 100mm at the wide end.
 
Aug 15, 2018
1
0
#69
After 2 years in Kenya, and some time spent on game drives, I can give you my feed back.
I was using
2 camera bodies :1DX and 1DXII,
1 big lens 500mm IS II replaced by a 200-400mm (*1.4), perfect for game drive to adapt the zoom
1 zoom 70-200mm 2.8 IS II

In the bag
300mm 2.8 L IS
24mm 1.4

For some occasion (50 1.2, 85 1.2)