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#6465043 - 05/02/12 Africa safari photography
DonFischer Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 09/08/06
Posts: 1172
I have never been and I never will probably but I do have a brother that is plaanning one for next year. He and his son. They are getting a German spotting scope, Swar something or other, with a Cannon mount for their long lense. I think that it's over kill but they are pretty sure it's not.

If you've been on one, would you get a scope like that for what might be a one time trip?

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#6472699 - 05/04/12 Re: Africa safari photography [Re: DonFischer]
mudhen Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 05/30/05
Posts: 9984
Loc: Boot Heel of New Mexico
I have been twice and got some pretty darned good photos with a Nikon D70 and an AF VR-Nikkor 80-400mm 1:4.5-5.6D ED telephoto (that I bought from CameralandNY). In the car, I used a Swarovski window mount. I shot a few frames while hiking or hunting and just rested the lens on the shooting sticks.

I used the same lens on a D200 a couple of years ago on a float trip on Kodiak Island and got some decent bear and eagle pictures. I think that they will be happier with something similar from Canon and the picture quality will be noticeably better. It will darned sure cost less than a Swarovski spotter.
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#6472709 - 05/04/12 Re: Africa safari photography [Re: mudhen]
Oregon45 Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/19/06
Posts: 10360
Loc: Oregon
I agree with Mudhen. A true telephoto lens will give much better pictures, and much more flexibility and control, than a digiscoping setup using a spotting scope. For instance, it is virtually impossible to do digiscoping without a tripod or other kind of steady mount whereas a camera lens with VR technology can give surprisingly good results (if maximum sharpness or very large enlargements aren't required) when used handheld.

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#6472738 - 05/04/12 Re: Africa safari photography [Re: Oregon45]
harv3589 Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 2058
Loc: Alberta - Wild Rose Country
I agree, they would be better off buying a good telephoto lens and if they dont want to keep it sell it when they get back...recoup some of the cost and they will get some very good pics.
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#6473721 - 05/05/12 Re: Africa safari photography [Re: harv3589]
DonFischer Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 09/08/06
Posts: 1172
Thanks guy's. That's about what I though. Gonna see if I can talk him into maybe a 100-400, I think Canon makes that.

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#6474734 - 05/05/12 Re: Africa safari photography [Re: DonFischer]
RedRabbit Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 06/25/04
Posts: 2317
Loc: Flagstaff, AZ
Don, another option for your brother may be to rent a lens for his photo safari.
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#6475673 - 05/05/12 Re: Africa safari photography [Re: RedRabbit]
greentimber Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 08/04/08
Posts: 1901
Loc: TN
Yes, just rent lenses. They can rent a boatload of stuff for half the cost of that spotter.
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#6539988 - 05/26/12 Re: Africa safari photography [Re: greentimber]
slingshot Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 12/17/05
Posts: 369
Loc: Tennessee
They will need to be concerned about theft. I bought insurance on my camera equipment prior to going to South America years ago and that reduced my heartache a great deal after you see people rummaging through your stuff a few times. For me, the insurance is an automatic thing now if I intend to go outside the USA but especially in 3rd World areas.

I also agree with the big telephoto recommendation over trying to use a spotting scope and adapters.

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#6544542 - 05/28/12 Re: Africa safari photography [Re: DonFischer]
1minute Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 16804
Loc: Burns/Hines, Oregon, USA
Yes. If fine pictures are the goal then spend the money on lenses. Most spotting scope images are marginal.
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1Minute

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#6549065 - 05/29/12 Re: Africa safari photography [Re: 1minute]
DB Bill Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/12/01
Posts: 2591
Loc: California
How to get hundreds of out-of-focus photos in Africa?

Take equipment you aren't familar with and click away,

If you are going just to shoot photos - DON'T! The results you will get with even the greatest, most expensive telephoto lenses in the world won't get you photos that are in focus and even just interesting. Photography, with long telephoto lens, is a speciality that requires understanding the capabilty of the lenses & the techniques needed to achieve at least "good" focus results.

Any responses that actually talk about equipment choices are like making suggestions to someone who hunts rabbits with a single shot JC HIggins shotgun and asks "will 3" 20ga slugs be OK for elephant or should I borrow a friend's 12ga slugs?"

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#6549170 - 05/29/12 Re: Africa safari photography [Re: DB Bill]
mudhen Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 05/30/05
Posts: 9984
Loc: Boot Heel of New Mexico
If they are familiar with the operation of their camera body and purchase or lease an AF telephoto (especially one with vibration reduction technology), they will probably get more than enough good shots to justify the expense. They won't be selling their images to National Geographic, but will have some pictures to cherish over the years.
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Young at heart, slightly older in most other places...

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#6564734 - 06/04/12 Re: Africa safari photography [Re: DonFischer]
ankaka Offline
Member

Registered: 02/10/12
Posts: 26
Good review.
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M2, M3, Rolleiflex 3.5 B, Yashica Mat 124G, Nikon D90, Nikon F100, Nikon FM, Pentax K1000, digital hd video camera..... Advice and constructive criticism always welcome..

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