Experience using a non-L lens in Africa

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
LXI_Martin Regular Member • Posts: 105
Re: Experience using a non-L lens in Africa

David M. Anglin wrote:

I am considering renting/buying a 800mm f11 to add to my gear for Africa. I have the 100-500 f4.5- f7.1 and 1.4x adaptor, but don't like swapping or leaving the lens extended in dusty conditions. The 100mm additional reach of the 800mm is nice, but my motivation is more to not use the 1.4x extender and have the 800mm on a second body when I need more than 500mm.

The real question is does a non sealed lens mounted to my R5 run the risk of dust infiltration through the mount. Theoretically the answer is yes, but I was wondering if anyone has real life experience shooting the RF 800 (or another non L lens) in dusty environments. Trip is in SA (Sabi Sands area) & Botswana.

The good news is I am not weight constrained, the bad news it opens up too many options.


I shot a lot in Botswana back in film days before I had L lenses and never had a problem.

In most places that you will go - like Chobe or Okavango - there is no issue.  If you get into the Kalahari desert then in most places and on most days, there is generally no issue either.  In the sandy part in the west, around Ghanzi, I encountered a terrible dust storm.  Photography would have been impossible in any case - I had to keep my eyes closed - so no issue there either.

I don't know the Sabi Sands area.  But my experience suggests you can take the 800 and I wouldn't worry about it on at least 90% of the days that you are shooting.

Assuming they are still more or less as I saw them, you will love Chobe and Okavango.

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