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Thread: Kruger National Park

  1. #1
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    Kruger National Park

    Hi,

    Probably been asked about 100x earlier, but going on a trip to Kruger this summer and wondering about adding to my kit or not. I guess some of you have been there and can give me a tip.

    Current setup is the 5D III with the 24-70 II along with a 7DII with the 70-200 II. Would it be enough reach with the 70-200 on crop? I know people are saying you cant get enough reach. I also have the extender 2xIII I can use with the 7D but I don't know about image quality and AF speed? I heavn't been able to try it since the 7D II is currently incomming

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Hi Benredikk,

    I have not been to Kruger, but have researched it as I was almost sent to S. Africa for work last year. I actually hear the opposite for much of Africa. It is more about low light than about reach. Always, if you are trying to photograph a little bird 300 yards away, it is about reach. But usually, as the animals are more active at dusk and dawn, it is about having f/2.8 or faster, which you have covered.

    Some links that may interest you:
    https://www.kruger-2-kalahari.com/na...hoto-gear.html
    https://www.kruger-2-kalahari.com/best-safari-lens.html
    https://www.kruger-2-kalahari.com/be...ri-camera.html

    http://www.krugerpark.co.za/Kruger_P...onal-park.html
    http://africanphototour.com/gear.php

    I've recently been evaluating the "Ultimate Travel Supertelephoto lens"....which amounted to lots of reading all to determine as each lens has its place (yeah, I often conclude obvious things after lots of research). But, interesting to me, I probably saw the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 S referenced more than any lens for Africa. One of the links:

    https://www.slrlounge.com/sigma-120-...2-8-dg-os-hsm/

    All that said, I would say that kit you have would be great. The 24-70 II on the 5DIII and the 70-200 II + 1.4xTC on the 7DII and you have 24-448 mm covered. That really is good, IMO. Thus, I would recommend prioritizing money spent on guides and tours first. If you have extra budget and do not mind taking more gear (size/weight), you might consider renting a 300 f/2.8 II or 400 f/4 DO II.

    Good luck and enjoy the trip. It is on my photographic bucket list.

    Brant

  3. #3
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    Hi Brant,

    Thank you for your reply and very interesting links. Did you end up with replacing your 150-600S for the big white?

    We have a fully booked trip staying on a private camp with guides all week so the expectations are high. Probably the biggest challenge for a great shot is the guy behind the camera. Normally I shoot indoor sports so this is a new challenge.

    Thanks again for your input!

    BR
    Kenneth

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Hi Kenneth,

    I haven't yet. I had a vacation in March that could have involved a long lens. But we opted to go to Portugal instead, so the urgency has subsided a bit. Next up is Yellowstone in early September, loons from a kayak in July, and maybe getting more into backyard birding. So, in my spare time ( ), I am considering how best to set up my kit in the supertele range.

    BTW, regarding your original question, I have used the 2x TC III with the 70-200 II on my 5DIII. It was good enough to capture some images that made it into an album. But AF/contrast do suffer a bit. Thus, I'd consider it on an "as needed" basis.

    Thanks,
    Brant

  5. #5
    Junior Member amgbda's Avatar
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    Hi Benredikk,

    I spent 5 days at Kruger in September 2017. Here are some things to consider

    1. Are you staying at a Private Reserve and going out on game drives with a guide and tracker? There are public parts of the park (open to the private concessionaires) but you have to keep to the public main roads if you self drive. This means you can’t control how close you get to the wildlife. The private concessions are closed to the public.

    2. The answer to 1. will influence the choice of equipment. We stayed at a private concession run by Singita (Sweni Lodge). This meant that we were able to go “off track” in a purpose built Land Rover.

    3. Equipment taken by me was as follows:
    1DX MkII body
    1 DX body
    L Series 100-400 f4 - f 5.6 IS II
    L Series 70-200 f2.8 IS II
    Leica D-Lux
    1.4x Canon extender

    4. The 1 DX was a back up but my daughter used it full time (rather than keeping it in the bag). I used the 1 DX Mark II with the 100-400 and she used the 1 DX with the 70-200 and the 1.4 extender.

    5. We hand held for all shots. I took a Gitzo monopod and gimbal head along for the ride - waste of time. Didn’t worry about bean bags etc. The compact Leica worked brilliantly. Used it for the wider angle shots - way quicker and less fiddling around than using a wide angle lens/zoom on an SLR - could stuff it in a pocket.

    6. I never felt that I needed more reach - even for birds in flight (way the most difficult and fun to shoot). The key though is an experienced guide / tracker as they will know where to position you for the best opportunities. If you see a kill there’s also an order in which the predator animals and birds arrive at the scene which will influence the opportunity to get the shots you want.

    Hope this has been helpful - photos to follow.






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  6. #6
    Junior Member amgbda's Avatar
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  7. #7
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    Great set! Thanks for sharing.

  8. #8
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    Hi!

    Thanks for your input! We will be staying at the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (Shindzela Camp) so I guess it will be quite similar to your stay in Kruger. Looking at the pictures below it seem like it went well with the equipment you brought - great shots!

    I actually ended up with a 80D instead of the 7D II. Not yet convinced if that was correct but a great sale on the 80D was to good for me not to try it. Except for the AF and build it seems like the 80D actually isn´t a bad choice compered to the 7D. I have also traded the 2x TC for a 1.4 III which I am planning to use with the 80D and 70-200 II. I´ll be keeping the 5D with the 24-70 for landscape and close ups.

    I thougt about bringing on a monopod, bean bag etc but I take your word for it and leave it at home. Less to carry around:-)

    Still not sure if this is the right setup or if I should go and buy another FF instead, the 100-400, difficult....

    BR
    Kenneth

  9. #9
    Junior Member amgbda's Avatar
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    Kruger National Park

    Hi Kenneth,
    It sounds like you’re fine with the set up you have. The 80D with teleconverter gives you over 450mm (35mm full frame equivalent) with a constant aperture of f4 at the long end of the 70-200mm zoom. This is longer and faster than the 100-400mm that I used on my 1DX MkII. My shots were taken as the opportunities arose. The elephants (first shot) were at 2:00pm, the lion on his back at 6:00pm under Land Rover headlights and the buffalo around 4:00m - all on different days. The ability to shot wide open with a relatively fast lens is helpful. Basically I had one body and lens the entire time and the compact in my pocket when the need arose.
    Enjoy your safari!
    Andy.


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