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On Safari in Dec -looking for lens advice.

sparky5

Standard Member
In a very similar situation to another poster on here, I'm an amateur looking for a lens that will give me some good shots during my safari in December. I too have the 450D with a stock lens, I have a monopod to minimise shake and am currently agonising over renting a Canon 100-400mm or purchasing a non IS 75-300mm for the same price.

I 'think' it's a no-brainer as the 100-400mm should be the better lens by far, unless someone can tell me different, but I just can't decide what's the right move and if renting, who comes recommended on the web in the UK.

Any advice, is greatly received.
 

weetsie

Well-known Member
tough one, would you use the 75-300 much once you get back from safari?

i personally would rent the 100-400 because i have a tele and i hardly use it.
 

sparky5

Standard Member
Good question. I would probably use it 2 or 3 times a year, which is not a great deal. From a value for money perspective, hiring may be the better option as I get the right lens for the job 'at hand'. I have this niggling feeling the 75-300mm while good, won't be the right choice while out in the wilds.
 

Holowlegs

Well-known Member
Hello there


In your position I would rent the 100-400, also I haven't read great things about the 75-300.

The 100-300 is a far superior lens.

Cheers Holo:smashin::smashin:
 

johnaalex

Distinguished Member
I cannot comment on Canon lenses, but having been on a trip to Kruger National Park this year I can say that you really should take the best and longest lens you can get your hands on - other wise you'll regret it later. I used a Sigma 120-300 with a 1.4TC for extra reach and was happy with the results.
 

ShaunGibbs

Active Member
Having grown up in Africa and been to many game reserves, you will need the longest lense you can get your hands on...Oh and take a decent pair of binoculars.
 

shotokan101

Banned
Folks - are Mirror lenses any use for this sort of stuff ?

Jim
 

Siamese Cat

Active Member
Folks - are Mirror lenses any use for this sort of stuff ?

Jim
In theory a qualified yes, in practice not really.

Less cryptic answer...The idea of a mirror - catadioptric lens - is pretty good, they are much smaller than conventional lenses with one reservation, they are fixed aperture. That means that you have to change the shutter speed or ISO to alter exposure. They also usually have a slot at the back to take filters, including neutral density ones which is another way to alter exposure. But these are, obviously, more restrictive than a conventional aperture.

The second point is that many of the mirror lenses you see on sale are, how shall I put this?..not of the highest quality. There are some real cheapos around that are really only to be avoided. I'm thinking libel laws here but they really are bad. So whilst the price and portability might be attractive the product isn't. As always you get what you pay for and there have been super quality catadioptric lenses, I seem to remember Pentax made some about 40 years ago and Sigma made a 600mm that was cheap and not bad for its price about 30 years ago but before you succumb to temptation and buy one on e Bay I'd think again.

Do you have your eye on a particular lens? If so why don't you post what it is?
 

shotokan101

Banned
Too late - LOL - only Kidding - well kind of ;) - I picked up a dirt cheap second hand M42 one a little while back but haven't tried it yet.

I was just really asking out of curiosity as I know that they (at least the cheap ones I've seen/got) are quite compact in length and very light.

Jim
 

sparky5

Standard Member
Thanks for all the comments chaps, you've been very helpful. I have also had some useful discussion with Lenses For Hire over the last 48 hours too and they seem polite, knowledgeable and professional. So unless anyone can tell me otherwise, I'll be hiring a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM from them shortly.

Anyone know whether it's worth getting hold of the 1.4X extender for this? Will I still get full autofocus function out of it on a 450D body?

One final question, should I be looking at a hood and filter/s for my trip also?

Thanks.
 

rodney_nz

Active Member
Sparky
I dont know too much about lenses but know that the lens you are hiring would be so much better than the one you were going to buy.
When I did a safari I bought a Sigma 70-300 APO and was pretty happy with the results but I wish I had learnt how to use my 350D properly before I went (had never used an SLR before my trip). I havent really used the zoom lens much since I did my safari so hiring sounds the business.

Using the 100-400 should give some pretty close up shots especially with the crop factor and the IS will help with the close up shots at dusk, my zoom shots suffered when there was low light and I had wished I had IS.

Remember to take your stock lens too as you will also take some wide angle shots. Also I would take lens cleaner as it may get pretty dusty on your safari. Take extra memory too as you will take heaps of shots and RAW will eat up those memory cards.

here are some of my shots

have a great trip
 

sparky5

Standard Member
Great advice, thanks Rodney. I have secured the lens for the time I need it from 'lenses for hire', who have been extremely helpful. I have my monopod ready to go, have decided to take a couple of beanbags to attach to the 4x4 to help if needed and some lens cleaner is also in my kit. Just need to brush up on my 'safari photography' knowledge and I'm set.
 

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