Home · Register · Software · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Nikon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
  

D850 or new lens for safari
  
 
xGumbyx
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · D850 or new lens for safari


Hello all,

I'm heading to South Africa in December and had decided to purchase a D850 (or at least pre-order) but now I am started to wonder if it would be a better idea to put that money into some glass however I haven't really thought about which lens might be best. I'll be in Kruger park for 3 weeks and most of pictures taken will be from within a rented car. We will probably go on a few paid game drives which means shooting from a game drive vehicle. 95% of the time the animals are pretty stationary (or close to it) so super fast AF isn't a deal breaker (however it would be nice).

With the gear below taken into consideration, which would you buy for a trip like this and why?

Nikon D500
Nikon D7100
Nikon 200-500mm f5.6
Nikon 600mm f5.6 AI-S MF
Sigma 150-600mm C (probably wont take this one due to redundancies w 200-500 and 600mm AIS)
Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 G2
Nikon 50mm 1.8

Thanks for any input.



Sep 24, 2017 at 04:28 PM
DGC1
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · D850 or new lens for safari


Something wide...14-24, 24-70.


Sep 24, 2017 at 04:36 PM
Photozack81
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · D850 or new lens for safari


I'd want something that can benefit from the D500's autofocus on the long end. The 200-500 should handle most anything you come across but I suspect you'll find situations where it still isn't long enough, or you can't get close enough.

I wouldn't really have any interest in a manual only lens, especially with a D500 on hand. The AF is just too awesome. I'd not feel underequipped with what you have listed here but if I wanted the absolute best chances for a once in a lifetime trip sort of deal...

If you've got the coin (or can move stuff around to get it) why not a 600 f/4. Keep the 200-500 and 70-200 in the bag, maybe bring something a bit wider for the D7100. Bring a 1.4 and 2x as well, never know if they might come in handy.

The issue is that lens is huge and heavy and not the easiest thing to travel with. My 400 f/2.8 isn't much better.

At a minimum, I'd rent one for the trip and practice with it (and AF tune it) before you go.




Sep 24, 2017 at 04:41 PM
Chris Dees
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · D850 or new lens for safari


I just returned form a roundtrip to Uganda (with lots of game drives).
My D500 + 200-500 was my most used combination, an excellent safari combination.
My other combo was a D810 + 70-200E, an even better combo but just too short.

I would think a lens on the shorter side would be of more benefit.

Edited on Sep 24, 2017 at 08:45 PM · View previous versions



Sep 24, 2017 at 04:49 PM
OwlsEyes
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · D850 or new lens for safari


I've not been to Kruger, but I have been on two photo-specific safaris to East Africa. In my opinion, you have a lot of redundant gear. If your spouse is a shooter, well then it makes a lot of sense, but if it is just you... then, I'd want to tighten my kit a bit.

While the D850 has gotten a lot of great press, and is probably a super camera, I just can't bring myself to plunk down the dollars when I know I'd be cropping it to my D500's resolution. If I was in your position, I'd think about selling the D7100, the Sigma 150-600 and even the 600mm f/5.6. I'd buy a low mileage D810, a nice wide-angle zoom and the 300mm f/4 pf. If you added these things to your kit, you'd reduce weight, increase options and increase gain from the increased resolution of the D810.

Regardless of your decision,... have fun in South Africa!
bruce



Sep 24, 2017 at 05:23 PM
xGumbyx
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · D850 or new lens for safari


Good thoughts.

I agree with something on the wider end. I have a 10-20 Sigma but it is 4-5.6 and also a DC (APS-C only). I'd love a 600 f4 but its cost puts it out of reach for me. The cost of the D850 is pretty much at the top of my budget. Renting may be an option but since the total trip is 30+ days I'm looking at a $600USD rental cost. I'm also in Canada, I'm not sure if lensrentals even rents outside of the country.



Sep 24, 2017 at 05:24 PM
xGumbyx
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · D850 or new lens for safari


Thanks OwlsEyes,

I agree about the redundancy. I'll be selling the 150-600 for sure (I also have a D5300, 70-300, Tamron 70-200 G1, Sigma 18-200, and 1 or two others to sell). I had to wait to sell the 150-600 a bit as it was sent back to Sigma due to focus issues. It is good now however the 200-500 is still a fair bit better. I'm keen to try full frame which as you mentioned will make the D7100 expendable. D810 was my original thought but then the D850 was announced and while the cost is double I always have an internal struggle with what I want vs what is practical. If I but the D810 I will still want/crave the D850 and will eventually end up buying one. In 3 years I've went from D3100, D5300, D7100, and D500...... I have a problem!



Sep 24, 2017 at 05:38 PM
Imagemaster
Offline
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · D850 or new lens for safari


D500 & 200-500mm. You certainly don't need a FF camera and you would regret taking a 600mm - too heavy & awkward to use for how you will be shooting.


Sep 24, 2017 at 07:50 PM
xGumbyx
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · D850 or new lens for safari


Also something to keep in mind. Quite often a large amount of pictures are taken on safari is in low light and/or shadows. This was one of my reasons for considering full frame. In Kruger there are also a lot of opportunities to shoot animals just off the road where a long lens isn't necessary. On prior trips I've come within (or rather the animals have come within) arms length of lion, leopard, elephant, hyena, wild dog, and more. At the time I was using a Sigma 55-200 and I was getting tight shots (sometimes too tight) throughout that range.

Yes, reach is needed a lot of the time, but for these close encounters I was thinking full frame would produce a better image. Am I wrong?



Sep 24, 2017 at 08:58 PM
AnnJS
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · D850 or new lens for safari


I found photographing in the Kruger itself rather frustrating because N.P. rules do not allow you to be outside the camps between sunset and sunrise (when the animals are most active) nor can you drive off-road.

Try to spend some time in one of the private Reserves instead if you possibly can where such restrictions do not apply and where the experienced Rangers can get you really close to the creatures and into a great position while also keeping their eyes on lighting and backgrounds.

I take two FF cameras, at the moment a D5 and a D3S (although I would much prefer that to be a second D5!), often with the 200-400 mm on one and the 70-200mm on the other one. I almost always have a TC -20 iii and a 16mm Fisheye in my pockets as well. Fast and accurate focusing in poor light becomes quite important and so does the ability to use fast ISO speeds for the same reason.

I would definitely take a 600mm (IF I had the physical strength to handle it!) and friends who do own that lens have returned home with some wonderful images. But while these big lenses are fine in the open jeeps which are used by the private Reserves, you will find them difficult to handle in the restrictive spaces of a regular car or the transport used by the N.P. camps and lodges and a 300mm PF (plus TCs when needed) might be the most practical and useful choice in those circumstances. And do take a macro for some walk-around close-ups of small things too.



Edited on Sep 25, 2017 at 12:59 AM · View previous versions



Sep 24, 2017 at 11:39 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 

        


joefoo
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · D850 or new lens for safari


It's a matter of personal taste, of course. If I can fill the frame, I much prefer the output of an FX camera, especially in low light. Whether you want to spend the money on a D850 (and can get hold of one) is another question. I'd take a big prime, but the flexibility of the 200-500 is probably the more sensible option. If you had the 200-500 on the D500 and the 70-200 on a D850, I think that would work.

Edited to add: you can get a used D4s for about the same price as a D850 and it would probably be better in low light than a D850. I wouldn't hesitate to use a D750 for the same reason.



Sep 24, 2017 at 11:40 PM
bbourizk
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · D850 or new lens for safari


I just go back from SA.
I wasn't in Kruger but on the border.
We visited timbavati and Sabi sands. Talking to guides you can't go off the track in Kruger so longer lenses are ideal.

Where we went we were able to go off road to get real close to the animals. If a leopard was in a tree we parked right under it.

I had a d810 with the 200-500 on it most of the time, alternating with the 24-70 for anything wide. Also had a d500 with the 70-200 on it most of the time.

I left my sigma 120-300 at home as I was concerned about weight. The lenses I took were ideal for where we went.



Sep 25, 2017 at 12:25 AM
xGumbyx
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · D850 or new lens for safari


Thanks for the great responses all.

@AnneJS
This will be my third trip to Kruger and I've been on both the self guided (paved roads and a few dirt ones) so I understand the limitations here. We do plan on doing some paid game drives either within Kruger or just outside in some of the private camps but these can get expensive.

@bbourizk
Thanks for the recommendations . We had looked into Timbavati already but hadn't pulled the trigger yet. Sabi was another (we named oue Rhodesian Ridgeback pup Sabie after the Sabie river). We had a similar leopard experience my first time in South Africa stayed a night at Tangala Game Reserve. Parked right under a tree with a leopard right above us with its kill. Unfortunately I was very new to photography and couldn't get my D3100 focused on the leopard, I was probably still shooting in Auto!

@joefoo
My thoughts exactly on filling the frame. While the majority of my images are between 200-500 I've had multiple opportunities to fill the frame with a 50mm on the D7100 and would love to have something with not only a larger field of view but also with better dynamic range.



Sep 25, 2017 at 02:18 AM
morrismike
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · D850 or new lens for safari


xGumbyx wrote:
Also something to keep in mind. Quite often a large amount of pictures are taken on safari is in low light and/or shadows. This was one of my reasons for considering full frame. In Kruger there are also a lot of opportunities to shoot animals just off the road where a long lens isn't necessary. On prior trips I've come within (or rather the animals have come within) arms length of lion, leopard, elephant, hyena, wild dog, and more. At the time I was using a Sigma 55-200 and I was getting tight shots (sometimes too tight) throughout that range.

...Show more

D500 will do just fine under those light conditions.



Sep 25, 2017 at 02:42 AM
mholdef
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · D850 or new lens for safari


On the contrary to other parts of Africa, South Africa is one of the places where you don't necessarily need really long lenses - given there is a lot of bush and you are in private reserves for the most part, you get fairly close to animals - in many situations a 300mm would be enough.

This said, something like the the 70-200/4 and 200-500, along with a wider zoom (24-120 for instance) would be a great combination if can also add a 14-24 then you would really cover all of the bases.

The D500 is from what I take an excellent body, but I've only shot full frame since going digital with the Canon 5D, so personally I would go with the D850 if you can



Sep 25, 2017 at 05:52 AM
Vinnie_VdB
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · D850 or new lens for safari


From the gear you have I would take:
* the 2 bodies
* AF-S 200-500mm
* Tamron 70-200mm

After you sold the lenses you proposed I would buy:
* Wide angle 16-35mm/f4
* Maybe buy a decent D810 (yes the D850 is out but that doesn't mean the D810 is now taking bad pictures). Use the 70-200 or the 16-35mm to that body

I go 2-3 times a year on safari in SA and always in the private concessions (mainly Klaserie and Timbavati). My backpack now holds:
* D500 / D4s / D810
* AF-S 500mm/f4 E
* AF-S 70-200mm/f2.8 E
* AF-S 16-35mm/f4
* AF-S 105mm/f2.8 macro

Yes, the safari drives are on a game vehicle and for that reason do I take only 2 bodies at the time.
The macro I use around camp and the 16-35mm goes occasionally on the vehicle.
I do own the 200-500mm as well and will most probably go with me on my next safari trip (his maiden trip that will be).

If you go in the private concessions do remember that the vehicles most of the times do not have a roof. Take some plastic rain covers with you as you are there during rain season.



Sep 25, 2017 at 09:14 AM
Jan Brittenson
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · D850 or new lens for safari


Definitely go to the private reserves. We went to three different ones, and they all had a slightly different vibe to them. Some feel more like resorts and attract families with chatty teenagers (who will be bored after half an hour, and very loudly so) while others are more naturalist. It also depends on who your guide is. Of the ones we visited I liked Motswari the best. Next time I'd probably try to make arrangements to have a private vehicle, driver, and guide. (It's not that expensive, and compared to what you spend to get there in the first place it's IMO well spent money not to sit in the center of a packed car with teenagers chatting about their latest social drama behind you - continuously, without a moment of silence.) There are photo specific vehicles with gimbal mounts, but for something like a 200-500 they're not needed and outside of Kruger you rarely need to go all the way to 500. I'd go to a smaller place with a quieter vibe and make advance arrangements for a private vehicle with a naturalist-focused guide. "Seeing animals" is different from "photographing animals" and sometimes mundane subjects make for interesting photographs. It's also often better so stay put for photography than continuously chase around, something that will make non-photographers bored and antsy. They will also have a hard time accepting an outing where you don't see anything, and won't be happy to quietly just sit in the bush - which is an experience in itself if you have a remotely naturalist bend.


Sep 25, 2017 at 09:40 PM
Two23
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · D850 or new lens for safari


Imagemaster wrote:
D500 & 200-500mm. You certainly don't need a FF camera and you would regret taking a 600mm - too heavy & awkward to use for how you will be shooting.



And, not really that much difference between 500mm and 600mm. The 200-500mm will be more versatile, considering you probably won't be able to change your shooting distance. I would upgrade D7100 to D7500 and maybve buy a TC-14 III for the 70-200mm f2.8(?), and a small wider zoom. Zooms will be useful since it means less lens changes in dusty conditions.


Kent in SD




Sep 25, 2017 at 11:54 PM
Vinnie_VdB
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · D850 or new lens for safari


I follow Jan Brittenson on the private reserves. Avoid camps having loads of guests, go for the intimate camps and no, it is not that expensive as you might think.
Here a few budget camps:
https://www.nthambo.com/ --> Klaserie
http://www.shindzela.co.za/ --> Timbavati, one of the cheapest camps out there but with a lot of nice sightings
http://www.umlani.com/ --> Timbavati, not so expensive if you take the deal "stay 3 pay 2"

Most of the camps in Sabi Sands are 1/ pretty expensive and 2/ too clean, too polished
A beautiful reserve is and still a bit of a hidden gem is this: http://honeyguidecamp.com/mantobeni-camp/ Seen my first lion kill at literally less than 10m away (buffalo)

Pretty expensive but if the budget is there can you try one of the camps in Thornybush

Word of warning: http://www.afribird.com/hoedspruit-malaria-update-deadly-ever-action-required/



Sep 25, 2017 at 11:56 PM
AnnJS
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · D850 or new lens for safari


Malarone is not cheap but it doesn't produce the bad side effects of some of the cheaper anti-malarials and I would never risk going to the Kruger region without taking a supply of Malarone with me.



Sep 26, 2017 at 03:05 AM
1
       2       end






FM Forums | Nikon Forum | Join Upload & Sell

1
       2       end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username     Reset password