Which lens for a safari?

Started Jul 9, 2015 | Discussions thread
Tord S Eriksson
Tord S Eriksson Forum Pro • Posts: 15,087
Re: Which lens for a safari?

Ando72 wrote:

scarlet knight wrote:

Nikon 70-200f4? Nikon 28-300? Other? I will be using a Nikon D750 (full frame).

On a D750 (FX) I think you need to have at least 400mm capability, as an absolute minimum. There is rarely such a thing as too much focal length.

The cheaper, lighter lenses like the 80-400 are good, but you will pay the price with slow max apertures at the edges of the day, which is also when animals are most active.

You will need a way to get wider when the animals get too close. Consider a second body to minimise lens changes.

Last year I spent two weeks on safari in Botswana. I had a D7100 with 80-400 and another with 16-85. If I go again I would do something like this:

- D7100 with 300 f/2.8 and TC14. This gets me 630mm equivalent at f/4. Also the better AF point coverage across the frame can be highly useful.

- D750 with 80-400. This gives me a wide, flexible option.

For early morning and late afternoon when I'm battling for all the low light capability I can get, I'd swap the 300mm onto the D750, when I'd gladly trade some pixels on the target for shutter speed.

Monopod is a must; this can be used in most vehicles. Beanbags are also useful.

I owned the 80-400 VR, but found it a bit weak, over 250-300mm, both on my FX and my CX camera.

I have an old 400/5.6, from the 80's, and that is definitely sharper at 400 than the 80-400 VR II was.

I switched to a 70-200/4.0G, for my FX, and got a 70-300CX for my CX cameras, and that works like a dream!

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Tord_2 (at) photographer (dot) net
Mostly Nikon V1, V2, & D600, user

 Tord S Eriksson's gear list:Tord S Eriksson's gear list
Olympus C-8080 Wide Zoom Ricoh GR Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D600 Nikon D3300 +23 more
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