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Archive 2013 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?
  
 
FFalas
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Thx for the samples mawz, what do you mean by "poor-long lens technique"? What did you use to stabilize the camera for those shots and with what settings did you shoot?
Hopefully I should get the 80-200 with 2x tele today so I'll give them a couple of shots. Did you shoot the Nikkor 300 in full manual mode I presume, any IS on the lens?



Jan 22, 2013 at 08:58 AM
mawz
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


FFalas wrote:
Thx for the samples mawz, what do you mean by "poor-long lens technique"? What did you use to stabilize the camera for those shots and with what settings did you shoot?
Hopefully I should get the 80-200 with 2x tele today so I'll give them a couple of shots. Did you shoot the Nikkor 300 in full manual mode I presume, any IS on the lens?


The Bird shot was done with a tripod and a standard 3-way head. The Hornet was a monopod shot. The monopod setup actually works a bit better, but that's more due to my tripod head not being ideal for long-lens work.

Long-lens technique is a combination of things, good support, making sure the lens is not bouncing after an adjustment, keeping the shutter speed high, trying not to add any bounce on shutter release (I normally use the 10 second delay when working on the tripod, I'd kill for a wired remote release on the NEX-7). It's mostly practice and seeing what works for you. Long lens shooting is different from working with shorter lenses, and you need to adapt how you work with the lenses to get the best results.

Settings should be in the EXIF aside from aperture, which would have been f8 or f5.6. That's a mid-70's lens so no IS or AF. Manual exposure for the bird, I don't recall if it was manual or aperture priority for the plane. Note this lens is simply not up to the performance of the sensor in terms of optics, it's acceptable for a $150 lens but there certainly are better options at 300mm (including its elder brother, the 300/4.5 ED). I don't shoot all that much long-lens stuff so it suffices for my needs for now.



Jan 22, 2013 at 02:01 PM
FFalas
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Thx for the info mawz, good results for manual with no IS, encouraging for the manual option.
Unfortunately i didnt do my homework properly and bought a mutar 2 instad of a mutar 1 (both 2x magnification) so this is useless with my current set of zeiss glass (it is useless with most according to this just googled doc: http://lenses.zeiss.com/content/dam/Photography/new/pdf/en/downloadcenter/contax_yashica/mutari-ii_2x_e.pdf
So im now in the market for a mutar 1 whilst i also wait for the 80-200 to land. In the doc it mentiones an image quality compromise with that lens..can anyone educate me as to what that might be? I presume its not just about f-stop loss?

On the mounting front i am thinking beanbag and a gorillapod, exploring a lightweight tripod option aswell but thinking i might do without as the vehicles seem to be standard jeeps with a hole on the roof..what are your thoughts?



Jan 22, 2013 at 11:13 PM
FFalas
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Quick update, just received the 80-200, quick unboxing and quick test shot before going to bed:
shot at 200m f4 (fully open) 5sec 100ISO. rested on balcony but sustained manually to prevent it falling 20floors into the street

Daylight shots at the weekend I guess





Jan 25, 2013 at 01:51 AM
FFalas
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


HI all, last days of preparation before finally flying out this saturday.
Finally managed to get hold of the right mutar converter so this below is what I'll be using on my safari (think I will probably only bring with me manual contax glass and see what happens - will test this in the daylight if I can get home from work in time to see how much light robbing the tele does)

One thing I noticed however is that the tele does not click into place "correctly" i.e. there is no click and there is still quite a bit of rotation left before the dot lines up on the converter. this also means that the lens is not clicking in place and is slightly off-centre.

does this mean that there could be some adverse effect on IQ from the 80-200?




Feb 04, 2013 at 03:15 PM
ken.vs.ryu
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Good luck with the trip.


Feb 04, 2013 at 06:48 PM
Caposhooter
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Hi Filippo,

What lens you will want can vary greatly with where you are going on safari. I was at the Sabi Sands area in December and was very happy with a 70-200mm on my D4 plus a second smaller camera with a 35mm. The ideal would have been a 120-300mm plus a wider zoom. I think this is typical of private game reserves where they will get very close - I could have leaned over and grabbed a lion or leopard going by (probably just the once...). If you are going there your 80-200mm is a 120-300 equivalent and probably about perfect. On the other hand the national parks will probably require a longer lens meaning your 2x adapter. It would be nice to have a second camera with shorter lens handy (I picked up a NEX-6 recently, would have been great there).

Many of your best shots will be early or late and therefore you will need to boost ISO quite a bit, especially when you want more DOF. I used auto ISO and frequently found I was at at high ISO. A couple of samples:

200mm/f5.6/ISO2000






80mm/f5.6/ISO500






lousy quality, but you can see how close the lions were on occasion (35mm)






have a great trip.
Rob



Feb 04, 2013 at 10:36 PM
ken.vs.ryu
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Any updates ffalas? Would love to hear how your trip worked out.


Mar 21, 2013 at 12:28 PM
FFalas
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Hi all, apologies for taking so long to post these here but had to pay for the holiday time with some intensive work time..

Have posted a selection of shots - these are the ones where I have applied a slight aftertouch (only minor cropping of the color curves and in some cases cropping of the image - I think only two images, the leopard cubs and the hovering bird, however were cropped). I think a combination of a very bright viewfinder and shades resulted in picking WB to a slightly tight histogram, cropping 5% eitherside made the image truer to the real colors. I will try to post straight out-of –camera examples soon aswell – these were just easier to pick as they were in a folder of their own!
Because a manual lens was used EXIF data will lack aperture and focal length, however all of these were shot with the lens combination as labelled.

Equipment:

Sony NEX-7 with Contax Zeiss 80-200 f4 + Contax Zeiss 35-70 f3.4 & Contax Zeiss Mutar I (2x) tele

Notes:
Quick rundown of pros and cons on the equipment and experiences to share, will add as it comes back to mind:
+ Beanbag - the most useful tool of all, still quite hard to get a proper focus with it (remember, 100%manual! So setting it down at times caused the slightest ever movements of the focus ring) but unmatchable for stabilising the lens
+ IR Remote - heard lots of people complain theirs didnt work with the NEX7, my cheap ebay remote worked perfectly fine and in addition to preventing my clumsiness from adding shake, also allowed me to frame, actually watch and enjoy what was going on, and fire when needed
+/- Gorilla Pod, strong and sturdy but long heavy lens compared to camera meant it would oscillate with the wind, much more than it would if handheld.. prob ok to use as support to shoot video but not used much for that purpose (except a great video of a charging cheetah which did unfortunately come out slightly off axis)
- Filters. Not sure what happened here but a moment of panic set about on the very first day: Pick the camera up, jam a UV or a polarizing filter on it, press the Focus assist button (I use the AF/EV toggle that sits on your thumb to get the 5.9x zoom to check proper focus when taking any pic on a manual lens – simply relying on peeking is NOT enough) and everything is blurry. I could not get a focused clear image..I thought it might have been the adapter, stripped the camera..lens only was a bit better..then took the filters off and everything was fine. Not sure what the exact reason was..filters of poor quality (polaroid filter for the 55mm as I couldn’t get a hoya pro in time) was the blame, haven’t tried since.

Shooting:
Except for the elephant pool image, all images are shot with the Contax Zeiss 80-200 + CZ Mutar I 2x Teleconverter. EXIF data not available but assume all will be in the range of F5.6/8 iso 200 at 1/150 as an indication

More to come.. in the meantime feel free to comment and/or ask anything and Ill add more stuff as I remember it


Edited on May 17, 2013 at 10:54 AM · View previous versions



May 17, 2013 at 10:47 AM
 

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FFalas
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?



This one the only one shot with the CZ 35-70mm

All the pics after this are shot with CZ 80-200 + CZ Mutar I 2x Tele.



May 17, 2013 at 10:48 AM
FFalas
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?















May 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM
FFalas
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?















May 17, 2013 at 10:56 AM
FFalas
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?

















May 17, 2013 at 10:58 AM
FFalas
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?




not sure but I think this image above -this is a crop from a larger image, shot at full tele- is unedited







This above is a crop off the original image, (frame exactly same as the one above), shot at full tele f8



May 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM
FFalas
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?













May 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Jacob D
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Looks like you made it work, congrats.

The first shot of the leopard cubs is very nice.



May 17, 2013 at 01:54 PM
alwang
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Preparing For Safari. NEX7 Lens advice ?


Hi FFalas,

Nice shots, thanks for sharing. Do you have a sense for what focal length you were mostly shooting at? Would you have picked a lens with a different zoom range in hindsight? I've always wanted to go to Africa, but I don't have a good sense for how close one can practically expect to get to the animals.



May 17, 2013 at 04:29 PM
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