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Archive 2013 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?
  
 
FFalas
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p.1 #1 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Hi all, I am looking to go on a safari with the other half next month and am planning lenses for my NEX7. At the moment I use manual Contax Zeiss CY Lenses (the CZ 50mm 1.7 28mm 2.8 and the just received 28-70mm). I am thinking what to bring with me as I will need to go further than the current 70mm.

Options

*CZ 80-200mm f4 + CZ 30-70mm + maybe a 2x CZ teleconverter
*Tamron 18-200 3.5/6.3 or Sony 18-200 4.5/6.3 + 18-55mm Kit Lens
*Some other non e-mount lens, possibly stabilized (unlike CZ above) to be applied with an adapter

I am very happy with my current Contax Zeiss setup to be honest but manual focus is slow (although much much sharper) and am afraid to shoot longer (most I read seems to say 400mm *on FF methinks* is what to aim for ) without image stabilization - or is my worry not really that relevant?

Happy to get your feedback
Thanks!
Filippo



Jan 16, 2013 at 03:13 PM
ken.vs.ryu
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p.1 #2 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Try the 18-200 and crop the 24m file if you need to.


Jan 16, 2013 at 03:24 PM
alundeb
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p.1 #3 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


200 mm is a bit short, even cropped, IMO.

One option that should not be overlooked, is a Metabones version II adapter and Canon lenses, it will give you Image Stabilization in the lens. The AF will probably be unusable though.



Jan 16, 2013 at 03:53 PM
eosfun
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p.1 #4 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Take a bean bag and a good monopod or some car tripod with you and don't worry about image stabilization. It's true, IS can be helpful in low light situations when chances are greater you'll spot wild animals that get more active before or after the heat of the day. But most game drives from tourists bring you to good spots for wildlife during the day anyway. It is a problem though to have 200 as the longest FL. If possible try to get a 300 or a 400mm lens, or mount a 1.4x or 2x extender. As close as many rangers will drive you to the game, you won't often have too much focal length.


Jan 16, 2013 at 04:04 PM
FFalas
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p.1 #5 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Thanks guys, have read a few posts saying IS wouldnt really be necessary. with the contax I would probably add a 2x teleconverter but that might make it even more prone to shake (I am planning to use a rail mounted tripod (one of those gorilla things - never tried them - or a bean bag).

I could however crop the 200mm as the contax seems to produce sharp enough images and sensor is 24MP

Have looked at the metabone adapters for canon and they seem quite expensive tbh and if I cant use autofocus then Im only gaining IS which Im not 100% sure how much useful it is

I guess weighing pros and cons
Zeiss would produce the better IQ, tot expense 300usd for 80-200 + 150usd for 2x CZ tele (35-70 is more a replacement for the 28-70 so I wont count it)
Sony would allow IS, Autofocus (in case I do need a quick shot - although I guess I will prob be @infinity most of the time?) and a single lens which means less switching and less dust but shorter range at expense of IQ
Other Lenses not sure about price, I guess im looking at the Canon 100-400 which is 1k+ USD so a big price difference, plus an adapter. Have seen this one that claims to allow AF as well, anyone with any experience with it? item # 321020819135 on a well known auction site



Jan 16, 2013 at 05:46 PM
inglis
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p.1 #6 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


The CY Context 100-300 is one of the great zooms and can be found for close to the price of a Nex 18-200. I have used one hand held in bright light, and your light should be brighter still.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/926319/0
continued,
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1058320/0



Jan 16, 2013 at 06:12 PM
FFalas
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p.1 #7 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Had a quick look into it a while back when one came for sale near me but I think I was a bit scared about the lack of tripod mount on lens as this would be mounted on a NEX I fear the lens size hanging on the adapter cant do too much good


Jan 16, 2013 at 06:32 PM
naturephoto1
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p.1 #8 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


FFalas wrote:
Had a quick look into it a while back when one came for sale near me but I think I was a bit scared about the lack of tripod mount on lens as this would be mounted on a NEX I fear the lens size hanging on the adapter cant do too much good


It may be more expensive, but the Novoflex adapters (though more expensive) also offer a rotating collar to fit the Novoflex adapters to fit the NEX cameras. This would allow lenses lacking a collar or of greater length to be better balanced and to take the strain off of the camera mount and tripod thread. The Novoflex rotating collar also comes with an Arca Swiss Type QR plate attached. But, the plate does not fit a Really Right Stuff QR clamp. It does fit my Kirk and my ProMediaGear clamps. I will have to check if it fits my Markins clamp which I suspect that it does. I have the rotating collar for my FujiFilm XE-1 which just arrived yesterday and it works quite will.

Rich



Jan 16, 2013 at 06:39 PM
WeiQ
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p.1 #9 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Maybe it isn't very "alt", but I bet the keeper rate would be fairly high with the Sony 55-210.


Jan 16, 2013 at 11:28 PM
FFalas
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p.1 #10 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


That is what I was thinking too really, I have no experience with safaris but I guess that I wont ever be granted too much time preparing a shot so maybe the 55-210 is the better choice (or the 18-200 so that I never have to take the lens off really) - but then is 210mm not too short? dont think there is a longer e-mount lens so I am still in two minds.


Jan 17, 2013 at 09:16 AM
 

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alundeb
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p.1 #11 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


I have the 55-210 and have used it with the NEX 7 on mountain hikes. The lens is soft at 210 mm, but if you shoot raw files, process and sharpen them carefully, you will get images that look acceptable even after heavy cropping. I can post an example later.

Maybe it is really down to deciding for AF or MF?



Jan 17, 2013 at 09:34 AM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #12 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


I'd get an MF 300ish and take a compact monopod. I've got three right now, a Nikon ED-AI 300/4.5, Minolta MC 300/4.5, and C/Y Zeiss MMJ 300/4 that I've been shooting on an NEX-7 to try and decide between them. The Nikon's the lightest of the three (which I didn't know until I got it since the specs I read on-line must've been for the AF-S version), has the closest MFD, internal focus, and it's got a decent tripod mount, but at f/4.5 and 5.6, it's the worst performer of the three, with a sharpness killing amount of CA, and the color's are flatter that I've come to expect from Nikon. The Minolta's significantly longer and heavier than the Nikon, has about the same tripod mount, extends when focusing, has beautiful colors and contrast, and handles CA significantly better than the Nikon wide open and at 5.6, but where the Nikon's very well corrected at f/8, the Minolta still has issues, though they're easily corrected via software. It has the longest MFD of the three. The Zeiss is the best all-around performer. It's about as big and heavy as the Minolta and also extends when focusing, but it's performance wide open and at f/5.6 is head-and-shoulders above either of the other two and colors are typical of the C/Y era Zeiss lenses. It's easily the sharpest of the three and, with the right light and framing, can give the Zeiss "pop" people love so much. The biggest ding against it is it's tripod mount, which is static where the other two rotate. Not really a big deal if you use the right head on your monopod, but worth mentioning. All three have built in hoods, which is one less thing to have to deal with on safari. None of them are so huge that they'd make bad traveling companions.

You might also consider the Canon FD 300/4L, which is one I was interested in but never got around to using. From what I've seen, it's performance is about equal with the Zeiss.

Enjoy your trip and be sure to share photos so we can live vicariously through you!



Jan 18, 2013 at 01:00 AM
FFalas
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p.1 #13 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Haha thanks freaklikeme, will definitely share photos when back - although it is getting quite tight with the planning as nothing is booked and departure is in 4 weeks

I have bought a CZ 80-200 yesterday (couldnt find any 100-300 and preferred a zoom to avoid too much changing lenses) which should be with me next week and I'll buy a 2x tele aswell. hopefully I should have enough time to test effects of MF and no IS plus tele f/loss.
I will also be looking for a monopod or a mount to attach camera to the jeep rails. Now Im not sure what they will look like so do you have any suggestion on a universal/versatile solution?
Also, with such a long and heavy lens how would you mount the camera without applying too much weight/pressure on the mount?

I was just thinking that if I am dissatisfied by going with old manual zeiss contax glass i might buy an LA2 adapter and rent the 70-300 sony lens (if I can find it for rental). This should give me AF and IS and a faster lens at longer focus. Is this a decent option?



Jan 18, 2013 at 05:49 PM
naturephoto1
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p.1 #14 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


You may want to consider getting a Manfrotto Super Clamp with stud (1/4-20 or 3/8-16). This should be able to clamp to the jeep. If you get the one with the 3/18-16 stud you can mount your Ball head to this and move it back and forth to a monopod. If you can, your tripod head, lenses and cameras should have an Arca Swiss type plate, L bracket, and Arca Type QR clamp. This will allow for fast and safe mounting and un-mounting of the camera and the collared lenses.

Rich



Jan 18, 2013 at 05:58 PM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #15 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Looks like Rich has you covered on clamping to a vehicle rails (something I've never done). As for stressing the mount of the camera, some adapters have built-in tripod mounts, but, on the whole, the ones I've used aren't very good and I wouldn't trust them on a moving vehicle. For the 80-200, Leitax has a solution to change the mount (assuming it's an MM and not AE) to Alpha mount. Then you could us the tripod mount built in to the LA-EA1 or 2, which is fairly sturdy.

The 70-300 G is an excellent zoom for the range and money. I've only used it on the a900, but I'm sure it would be just as good on the NEX-7. Again, you'll get the sturdy mount on the LA-EA and won't have to worry about stressing out the camera's mount.



Jan 18, 2013 at 06:47 PM
FFalas
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p.1 #16 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Thx Guys, Rich..studying your advice into clamping, a field in which I am a total noob really.. I have also been reccommended one of those gorillapod options - any good? Also I get the concept of beanbag but how does it help me on a safari vehicle?

I have also bought an adapter (CY-NEX) with the tripod mount. Definitely not great quality for 13GBP from china but that should make sure that the only strain is placed on the mounts (camera-adapter and adapter-lens) and from my experience these mounts on nex and lens seem fairly sturdy so hopefully if there is to be a break it would be on the cheapo adapter.

Freaklikeme, the leitax solution I have found via google is an actual DIY mod for the lens is that correct? Not sure I am skilled enough to pull that off TBH. BTW, the lens I was planning to hire is the 70-400f4-5.6 with the LA_EA2 (have been quoted 265 GBP for 3weeks which I feel is reasonable).

On the manual Zeiss side, I am now waiting for receipt of the 80-200 and a mutar2. Once I get them I'll shoot a couple of shots and post them here to get your feedback on whether it will cut the mustard



Jan 21, 2013 at 11:18 AM
naturephoto1
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p.1 #17 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


I don't know much about the Gorillapods. The Manfrotto Superclamp is quite strong and will hold a good amount of weight. They are used in studios and for this sitution, you should be able to clamp it someplace to the jeep or whatever they offer to clamp to. You can position this accordingly and particularly if you it with a 3/8-16 thread if you have a good strong ball head you can attach it and position the camera and lens. You may have a bit of limited space but I would suspect you will only have limited space available in the Jeep.

Again it would be a good idea if your Ball head and equipment had Arca Swiss type clamps and QR plates and/or L brackets. This will and should make for fast, sure, strong, and positive locking of your equipment.

Try not to support heavy lenses from the NEX camera mount alone on a tripod head. It will put too much stress on the lens mount and the tripod thread. Either use a lens with a tripod collar or an adapter with preferably a rotating collar lke the Novoflex that I mentioned.

Rich

Edited on Jan 21, 2013 at 04:50 PM · View previous versions



Jan 21, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Jacob D
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p.1 #18 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Whatever you decide I hope you'll come back and post some photos from your trip! I haven't really seen any safari-like image sets taken with any of the NEX bodies. I'm very interested to see what can be accomplished.


Jan 21, 2013 at 04:36 PM
A.Y.
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p.1 #19 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Alpha 70-400mm + LA-EA2 cost about $100 to rent for 5 days. Don't know if LenRental ship to London. This video shows what this combo can do.


Jan 21, 2013 at 04:44 PM
mawz
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p.1 #20 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Jacob D wrote:
Whatever you decide I hope you'll come back and post some photos from your trip! I haven't really seen any safari-like image sets taken with any of the NEX bodies. I'm very interested to see what can be accomplished.


I haven't done any Safari stuff, but I've done some wildlife and airshow photography with the NEX-7 and a Nikkor 300/4.5 AI'd with pretty good results


Redwing Blackbird by Mawz, on Flickr


CF-188 Demo Bird by Mawz, on Flickr

Note the NEX-7 demands good support for the lenses, the sensor is simply brutal on poor long-lens technique.



Jan 22, 2013 at 12:03 AM
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