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Thread: Just wondering....

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    Default Just wondering....

    Is this forum still active? only 2 posts in 2015 with no comments....

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    Lifetime Member Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    Karen - Welcome to BPN! If you have a question about Africa or photography in Africa I'm sure either our members who live there or those of us who have traveled there can offer some advice.

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    Thanks!

    I will be going to SA for the first time in September. A day at Victoria Falls. One week in Botswana staying on boats on the Chobe and Zambezi rivers. One week at Sabi Sabi. One week on our own in Cape Town with a rental car.

    Current Gear List: Nikon D3s and D810
    14-24, 24-120, 70-200 2.8 VRII
    500 f4 VR
    1.4 tele
    My big quandary is whether to take my 300/2.8 VRI which I really like....or take my 80-400 AF-S. The 300 has better IQ and is better in low light...but the zoom is more flexible and smaller.

    For support, I plan to use a Wimberley gimbal and/or RRS MH-02 on a monopod. The safari vehicles have gimbals mounted on the side. As backup, I have a double Manfrotto clamp to secure the monopod to the rail along the back of the seat if needed.

    I'd truly appreciate advice and guidance! Thanks in advance!

    Karen

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    Lifetime Member Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    Hi Karen - A tough question and I have asked a few of the Nikon shooters from South Africa to give you their thoughts. Hopefully, they'll chime in but it may not be until tomorrow as it is late in South Africa right now. I've been to all the places you are going to and I'm sure you'll have a great time. My trip to Botswana and Vic Falls predated my shooting digital. I have been to Sabi Sands multiple times and more recently. In Sabi Sands you will get very close to many of the animals, closer than you could imagine. Often the 70-200 will be enough. Do you have a 2x tele? Then you can use it with the 70-200 and cover the same focal length as the 80-400. My inclination would probably be to bring the 300. I have the Canon version and used it a lot with and without tcs on my most recent trip. The Canon verison is just a super sharp lens and great in low light so if the Nikon is similar you'll probably use it a lot. You have the 500 if you need a bit more reach.

    It's a tough call but I'm sure whichever you decide will be fine.

    Rachel

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Hollander View Post
    Hi Karen - A tough question and I have asked a few of the Nikon shooters from South Africa to give you their thoughts. Hopefully, they'll chime in but it may not be until tomorrow as it is late in South Africa right now. I've been to all the places you are going to and I'm sure you'll have a great time. My trip to Botswana and Vic Falls predated my shooting digital. I have been to Sabi Sands multiple times and more recently. In Sabi Sands you will get very close to many of the animals, closer than you could imagine. Often the 70-200 will be enough. Do you have a 2x tele? Then you can use it with the 70-200 and cover the same focal length as the 80-400. My inclination would probably be to bring the 300. I have the Canon version and used it a lot with and without tcs on my most recent trip. The Canon verison is just a super sharp lens and great in low light so if the Nikon is similar you'll probably use it a lot. You have the 500 if you need a bit more reach.

    It's a tough call but I'm sure whichever you decide will be fine.

    Rachel
    Thanks for the information! If truth be told, I just haven't bonded as well with the 80-400 AF-S as with the 300/2.8 VR! No fault of the lens.....guess I'm just spoiled with fast glass!

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    Hi Karen

    we spend 6 to 8 weeks each year in the Western Cape, mid Jan to mid March - ZA is a fabulous place, the nature and countryside is marvellous and the people are most welcoming. The food and wine is spectacular and the cost of living low.

    Lots of opportunities for bird shots just in the normal countryside and the wildlife parks are fully of photo opportunities.

    If you are travelling around by small plane on internal flights weight can be a problem so it limits what gear you can take. I would love to take a 500 or a 600 but because of the weight limits the best I get away with is the Nikon 300mm f2.8VR, the 300mm f4, a couple of TC's the x 1.4 and x 2, a 105mm f2.8VR, a 50mm, a 16 35mm and then a couple of bodies, D750 and D7100, plus a Sigma DP3M and a Nikon V1 plus FT-1 ………. I take a lightweight tripod and head and make do with that …… I try to get all my photo stuff in my hand luggage and about my person.

    You will really enjoy the country …… but always take care

    Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Nuttall View Post
    Hi Karen

    we spend 6 to 8 weeks each year in the Western Cape, mid Jan to mid March - ZA is a fabulous place, the nature and countryside is marvellous and the people are most welcoming. The food and wine is spectacular and the cost of living low.

    Lots of opportunities for bird shots just in the normal countryside and the wildlife parks are fully of photo opportunities.

    If you are travelling around by small plane on internal flights weight can be a problem so it limits what gear you can take. I would love to take a 500 or a 600 but because of the weight limits the best I get away with is the Nikon 300mm f2.8VR, the 300mm f4, a couple of TC's the x 1.4 and x 2, a 105mm f2.8VR, a 50mm, a 16 35mm and then a couple of bodies, D750 and D7100, plus a Sigma DP3M and a Nikon V1 plus FT-1 ………. I take a lightweight tripod and head and make do with that …… I try to get all my photo stuff in my hand luggage and about my person.

    You will really enjoy the country …… but always take care

    Good luck
    Thank you!

    I have a Pelican case so the 500mm, gimbal, and other lenses will be checked luggage. I will take the 300/2.8 (assuming I don't take the 80-400 AF-S instead!!!!!) in my backpack so if the Pelican case "disappeared" I would still have that. For in country flights with very small weight limits for carry on baggage, I have devised a plan to stay within limit...but that is because I have the Pelican case to haul both the 500 and 300 and gimbal as checked luggage.

    The gear in Post #3 is what I'll be taking....... Just haven't made a final decision between the 80-400 AF-S and the 300/2.8.

    This will be my first trip without a tripod!!!!!

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    BPN Member Morkel Erasmus's Avatar
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    Hi Karen
    It sounds like you're up for a great trip!
    Given your itinerary I would say go for the 80-400mm...yes f2.8 is great but the new 80-400 really is versatile and sharp and lightweight compared to the 300.
    You will need the 500 on the Chobe for birds and general use.
    You will need the versatility of the 80-400 in Sabi Sabi as sometimes the big cats can be too close for a 300!
    Besides, that way you can get the 500 in the bag with your hand luggage
    Morkel Erasmus

    WEBSITE | JOIN ME ON SAFARI


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    Quote Originally Posted by Morkel Erasmus View Post
    Hi Karen
    It sounds like you're up for a great trip!
    Given your itinerary I would say go for the 80-400mm...yes f2.8 is great but the new 80-400 really is versatile and sharp and lightweight compared to the 300.
    You will need the 500 on the Chobe for birds and general use.
    You will need the versatility of the 80-400 in Sabi Sabi as sometimes the big cats can be too close for a 300!
    Besides, that way you can get the 500 in the bag with your hand luggage
    Thank you so much for responding. I need guidance based on experience and common sense! Otherwise I just want to take it all! LOL! I was going to put the 500mm in the checked Pelican and carry the 300mm.....but your advice to carry the 500 (and bodies with either the 70-200 or the 80-400) makes more sense. And will save me a few pounds. Such a shame, though, to leave the 300mm home alone!

    For me, gear will be the least of my challenges. I realize that all the stunning work posted here from SA is the result of years of work and dedication. Blowing in for a few weeks may give me some nice photo ops, but my skills will hold me back far more than my gear. Still..... I am excited and inspired by all of you.

    Thanks, again!

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