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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!