Kenya safari zoom lenses

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jinks, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. Jinks

    Jinks Guest

    Next July I will travel in Kenya. I want to buy a good zoom and I hesitate
    between both:

    Sigma 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS
    Sigma APO 50-500mm F4-6.3 EX DG/HSM AF


    Any comments and suggestions are welcome.

    Thank you!

    Jules
     
    Jinks, Mar 21, 2006
    #1
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  2. Jinks

    Jinks Guest

    I forgot to tell you I have a Nikon D70.

    Thank you!

    Jules

    "Jinks" <> wrote in message
    news:57ITf.4952$nQ6.2122@clgrps13...
    > Next July I will travel in Kenya. I want to buy a good zoom and I
    > hesitate between both:
    >
    > Sigma 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS
    > Sigma APO 50-500mm F4-6.3 EX DG/HSM AF
    >
    >
    > Any comments and suggestions are welcome.
    >
    > Thank you!
    >
    > Jules
    >
     
    Jinks, Mar 21, 2006
    #2
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  3. Jinks

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Jinks writes ...
    >
    >Next July I will travel in Kenya. I want to buy a good zoom and I
    >hesitate between both:
    >Sigma 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS
    >Sigma APO 50-500mm F4-6.3 EX DG/HSM AF
    >I have a Nikon D70
    >Any comments and suggestions are welcome.


    I was in Tanzania in January and wrote up some info on which lenses and
    other gear we took and what I'd recommend for others ... for casual
    Nikon shooters I recommended the Nikon 80-400 VR so from your list I'd
    probably pick the 80-400 with OS since the OS (I think this is the
    Sigma version of image stabilization, right?) comes in handy shooting
    from a safari vehicle. Also it's a LOT harder to make a quality 10:1
    zoom like the 50-500 than a 5:1 zoom.

    Here's a link to the info page I wrote, with some other tips about
    vehicle supports etc ...
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/tanzania_2006/digital_safari.htm

    You may catch some flack on this NG about using Sigma lenses but on a
    couple of my trips guys had the Sigma 300-800 (including one on this
    Tanzania trip) and were capturing pretty good images with it,
    especially with a 1.5x sensor since you're cropping out the vignetting
    and image quality fall-off at the far edges. See the MTF chart for the
    Canon 100-400 on my web page to see what I mean.

    Have a good trip.

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Mar 21, 2006
    #3
  4. Jinks

    Jinks Guest

    Hi Bill,

    It»'s my lunch time and I just look at the pictures. Wonderfull...

    I will read the text tonight, but tell me if you used a filter, UV or
    polarized with your lenses?

    Thank you

    Jules

    "Bill Hilton" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >> Jinks writes ...
    >>
    >>Next July I will travel in Kenya. I want to buy a good zoom and I
    >>hesitate between both:
    >>Sigma 80-400mm F4.5-5.6 EX OS
    >>Sigma APO 50-500mm F4-6.3 EX DG/HSM AF
    >>I have a Nikon D70
    >>Any comments and suggestions are welcome.

    >
    > I was in Tanzania in January and wrote up some info on which lenses and
    > other gear we took and what I'd recommend for others ... for casual
    > Nikon shooters I recommended the Nikon 80-400 VR so from your list I'd
    > probably pick the 80-400 with OS since the OS (I think this is the
    > Sigma version of image stabilization, right?) comes in handy shooting
    > from a safari vehicle. Also it's a LOT harder to make a quality 10:1
    > zoom like the 50-500 than a 5:1 zoom.
    >
    > Here's a link to the info page I wrote, with some other tips about
    > vehicle supports etc ...
    > http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/tanzania_2006/digital_safari.htm
    >
    > You may catch some flack on this NG about using Sigma lenses but on a
    > couple of my trips guys had the Sigma 300-800 (including one on this
    > Tanzania trip) and were capturing pretty good images with it,
    > especially with a 1.5x sensor since you're cropping out the vignetting
    > and image quality fall-off at the far edges. See the MTF chart for the
    > Canon 100-400 on my web page to see what I mean.
    >
    > Have a good trip.
    >
    > Bill
    >
     
    Jinks, Mar 21, 2006
    #4
  5. Jinks

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Jinks wrote ...
    >
    >Hi Bill,
    >It's my lunch time and I just look at the pictures. Wonderfull...
    >I will read the text tonight, but tell me if you used a filter, UV or
    >polarized with your lenses?


    The only filters we took were two polarizers for the 70-200's and
    wide-angles but we never used them. We don't have filters for the
    500's and most of the shots on the web page were with 500's. If it had
    rained I would likely have used one of the polarizers to knock off
    reflections but that didn't happen. A really high quality UV filter to
    protect the front of the lens would have been a good idea because of
    all the dust but we keep shower caps over the lens hoods to minimize
    dust problems.

    One person told me they never got light like we did while in Africa so
    I asked if they ate breakfast at the lodge each morning and they said
    "yes" ... we *never* ate breakfast at a lodge, leaving before 6 AM with
    a cardboard box of stale bread and cold sausages and a boiled egg, but
    we were then always in position for the good light when the sun rose
    .... so instead of a filter I'd recommend getting an early start each
    day and getting the best light (your driver may not want to do this ...
    that would be the time to discuss the tip situation with him :). Often
    we had done our best work for the day for up to two hours before we
    would see other safari vehicles, so get an early start if you can.

    Good luck, I'd like to try Kenya next year myself.

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Mar 21, 2006
    #5
  6. Jinks

    Jinks Guest

    Bill,

    Sorry for my english, I'm a french canadian.

    Instead of a shower caps, can I use a platic bag?

    I will be 3 weeks in Kenya and Tanzany, not in lodge but in camping. We are
    supposed to look for animals at the sunrise and the sunset.

    Did you use a backup system, like PD70x or hyperdrive?

    Thank you very much for your time Bill,

    Jules

    "Bill Hilton" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >> Jinks wrote ...
    >>
    >>Hi Bill,
    >>It's my lunch time and I just look at the pictures. Wonderfull...
    >>I will read the text tonight, but tell me if you used a filter, UV or
    >>polarized with your lenses?

    >
    > The only filters we took were two polarizers for the 70-200's and
    > wide-angles but we never used them. We don't have filters for the
    > 500's and most of the shots on the web page were with 500's. If it had
    > rained I would likely have used one of the polarizers to knock off
    > reflections but that didn't happen. A really high quality UV filter to
    > protect the front of the lens would have been a good idea because of
    > all the dust but we keep shower caps over the lens hoods to minimize
    > dust problems.
    >
    > One person told me they never got light like we did while in Africa so
    > I asked if they ate breakfast at the lodge each morning and they said
    > "yes" ... we *never* ate breakfast at a lodge, leaving before 6 AM with
    > a cardboard box of stale bread and cold sausages and a boiled egg, but
    > we were then always in position for the good light when the sun rose
    > ... so instead of a filter I'd recommend getting an early start each
    > day and getting the best light (your driver may not want to do this ...
    > that would be the time to discuss the tip situation with him :). Often
    > we had done our best work for the day for up to two hours before we
    > would see other safari vehicles, so get an early start if you can.
    >
    > Good luck, I'd like to try Kenya next year myself.
    >
    > Bill
    >
     
    Jinks, Mar 21, 2006
    #6
  7. Jinks

    Bill Hilton Guest

    >Jinks wrote ...
    >
    >Instead of a shower caps, can I use a platic bag? (to cover the lens)


    Yes, but we rode around with the cameras on top of the vehicle so the
    wind would blow this off unless you have a way of attaching it ... the
    shower caps had an elastic band that fit snugly around the hoods of the
    500 mm lenses. You want something you can whip off quickly because
    often you had to shoot quickly when you first approached an animal.

    >I will be 3 weeks in Kenya and Tanzany, not in lodge but in camping.


    Sounds wonderful, I'm thinking of doing a camping trip there next year
    with a friend (my wife isn't too keen on camping anymore :) ... check
    that the safari vehicle has a cigarette lighter and that the operator
    is providing a power inverter that plugs into the lighter so you can
    charge your camera battery and disk/card reader or computer, some of
    the cigarette lighters have been removed or batteries have different
    (higher) voltages so the inverters in the US might not work properly.
    Make sure you have this straight with the operator ahead of time, at
    least before you leave Nairobi (or wherever). Also make sure you have
    the right plugs, if they are providing them they are likely the UK 240
    volt plugs. I would probably take my own inverter with two outlet
    plugs if camping, making sure the input voltage range off the car
    battery is correct ... the one I have with two outlet plugs cost about
    $30 US.

    >Did you use a backup system, like PD70x or hyperdrive?


    We took a laptop for reviewing files and doing a first pass quickie
    edit, then did backups on a 100 GB Wolverine and an 80 GB Epson P-4000
    ....
    http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/tanzania_2006/digital_safari.htm#computers
    .... this worked well. If camping I'd be tempted to not take the laptop
    (I don't take one when I go camping in Alaska) since it's probably
    harder to protect it from dust, moisture and getting banged around ...

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Mar 21, 2006
    #7
  8. Jinks

    Jinks Guest

    Hi Bill,

    I know it will be a Mercedes 4x4 with cigarette lighter for charging our
    batteries. You seem to tell me it's possible that the batteries could not
    be 12 volts, is it that?

    My AA bateries charger and my Nikon baterries charger are both 12 volts. So
    I dont 't think to bring with me my one outlet inverter from 12v to 120v. I
    also have a 12v cigarette lighter splitter to use two chargers in the same
    time.

    Good evening!

    Jules

    "Bill Hilton" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > >Jinks wrote ...
    >>
    >>Instead of a shower caps, can I use a platic bag? (to cover the lens)

    >
    > Yes, but we rode around with the cameras on top of the vehicle so the
    > wind would blow this off unless you have a way of attaching it ... the
    > shower caps had an elastic band that fit snugly around the hoods of the
    > 500 mm lenses. You want something you can whip off quickly because
    > often you had to shoot quickly when you first approached an animal.
    >
    >>I will be 3 weeks in Kenya and Tanzany, not in lodge but in camping.

    >
    > Sounds wonderful, I'm thinking of doing a camping trip there next year
    > with a friend (my wife isn't too keen on camping anymore :) ... check
    > that the safari vehicle has a cigarette lighter and that the operator
    > is providing a power inverter that plugs into the lighter so you can
    > charge your camera battery and disk/card reader or computer, some of
    > the cigarette lighters have been removed or batteries have different
    > (higher) voltages so the inverters in the US might not work properly.
    > Make sure you have this straight with the operator ahead of time, at
    > least before you leave Nairobi (or wherever). Also make sure you have
    > the right plugs, if they are providing them they are likely the UK 240
    > volt plugs. I would probably take my own inverter with two outlet
    > plugs if camping, making sure the input voltage range off the car
    > battery is correct ... the one I have with two outlet plugs cost about
    > $30 US.
    >
    >>Did you use a backup system, like PD70x or hyperdrive?

    >
    > We took a laptop for reviewing files and doing a first pass quickie
    > edit, then did backups on a 100 GB Wolverine and an 80 GB Epson P-4000
    > ...
    > http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/tanzania_2006/digital_safari.htm#computers
    > ... this worked well. If camping I'd be tempted to not take the laptop
    > (I don't take one when I go camping in Alaska) since it's probably
    > harder to protect it from dust, moisture and getting banged around ...
    >
    > Bill
    >
     
    Jinks, Mar 22, 2006
    #8
  9. Jinks

    Bill Hilton Guest

    > Jinks writes ...
    >
    >I know it will be a Mercedes 4x4 with cigarette lighter for charging our
    >batteries. You seem to tell me it's possible that the batteries could not
    >be 12 volts, is it that?


    Yes ... the 12V inverter we have is rated from 10-14 Volts (turns off
    automatically at 10V to keep from discharging the battery too much) ...
    I was told that some of the Kenya safari cars have 16 V batteries and
    not to use the 12V inverters with them. You should be able to clear
    this up with the safari outfitter ahead of time.

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Mar 22, 2006
    #9
  10. Jinks

    Jinks Guest

    Thanks a lot Bill,

    I will contact the agency to be sure about the voltage.

    Jules


    "Bill Hilton" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >> Jinks writes ...
    >>
    >>I know it will be a Mercedes 4x4 with cigarette lighter for charging our
    >>batteries. You seem to tell me it's possible that the batteries could not
    >>be 12 volts, is it that?

    >
    > Yes ... the 12V inverter we have is rated from 10-14 Volts (turns off
    > automatically at 10V to keep from discharging the battery too much) ...
    > I was told that some of the Kenya safari cars have 16 V batteries and
    > not to use the 12V inverters with them. You should be able to clear
    > this up with the safari outfitter ahead of time.
    >
    > Bill
    >
     
    Jinks, Mar 23, 2006
    #10
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