What would you choose for Safari: 2x III extender or 650D/T4i ????

Started Jan 11, 2013 | Questions thread
Ryan Ly Contributing Member • Posts: 597
Re: What would you choose for Safari: 2x III extender or 650D/T4i ????

I went to Tanzania in 2007 with a 350D and the following lenses:

  • Canon 17-85 IS
  • Canon 70-300 IS
  • Sigma 10-20

Only had one body due to money restrictions and didn't want to spend the dosh for a 100-400 L (also couldn't carry that weight with all the other Kilimanjaro gear I had).

For Safari, I used the 70-300 IS exclusively for everything... landscapes, wildlife, you name it. I didn't want to change lenses out of fear of getting dust on my sensor. These days, with sensor cleaning technology built into the camera bodies, I wouldn't worry as much but would still limit my lens changing. Going back a step, the point I'm trying to make is that I got my best photo collection ever on that safari despite shooting within the limitations of using one lens.

Did I wish I had 400mm reach? Sometimes. But there's always something to shoot - 300mm on a APS-C body was sufficient.

Was dust an issue? Not really... I took care of my equipment and had a rocket air blower and sufficient sacks/plastic bags with me to keep everything clean.

Had I been doing the trip now... yeah, I'd get two bodies (preferably that they both use the same battery model to make charging more convenient but hat's not going to be useful to you). I probably wouldn't have gotten the Sigma 10-20... hardly used it. 24mm on full frame would be enough (I found 17mm on crop enough most of the time). And if weight/carrying capacity wasn't an issue, I'd look into 400mm reach.

In your case, and being conscious of a budget, I'd have the Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC on the 5D MIII and get that 2x extender and 650D (or even 600D if that can be had for cheaper) for use with the 70-200. A 140-400mm f/4 on an APS-C body and the 24-70 on the 5D would be more than sufficient.

If budget wasn't an issue, I'd get a 24-105 for the 5D. My fav shot on my trip was of an Elephant's face as it was coming out of some bushes next to our landcruiser. I shot this at 70mm while leaning back on the vehicle... didn't have time to change lenses or anything and was so glad I had the 70-300 IS rather than 100-400 L at that point. I suppose, if I had taken this shot using a 24-70 on a 5D, I could crop (or I could move towards the elephant rather than away)... but it's just not the same (esp when I ended up blowing up the shot to 36x24 for framing).

The 17-40 L is your call. It would be an UWA on the 5D and a walkaround on the 650D so, if the 5D broke down, you'd still have a walk around lens for the 650D... and you'd get the benefit of it being an UWA if the 5D didn't break down (hears hoping it doesn't).

Either way, you're gonna have a fabulous time!

 Ryan Ly's gear list:Ryan Ly's gear list
Canon EOS 600D Nikon 1 V1 Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Nikon 1 Nikkor VR 10-100mm f/4.5-5.6 Canon EOS 350D +7 more
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