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View Full Version : What to rent for gorillas?


simonknee
12th October 2011, 02:59 PM
Hi,

I found this site whilst looking for lens rental. I am off to Rwanda in November particularly to visit the mountain gorillas. The lenses I have for my E-520 are on the wide and macro side of things. So rather than try an nab an ebay bargain for something that I may not use that often I suddenly thought "hire".

So would I be better with the extra speed of the 50-200 or the additional reach of the 70-300? I am thinking the former especially since I don't have a tripod which begs the question should I get a monopod regardless (A tripod is to cumbersome for me)? Will the extra IQ of the 50-500 be lost on the E-520? Should I save a few quid rent the MKI version (no-SWD).

Simon

E520, E420, 11-22mm, 14-42mm, 25mm, 40-150mm, 50mm

David Morison
12th October 2011, 03:29 PM
I had the privilege of visiting the Rwandan Gorillas six years ago and I would say that the 50-200 is a must. You actually get within ten metres of most of them and they are very large so I reckon that 200 is enough. I got some excellent shots with a 90mm (35mm EFL) so you should get some stunners with 200mm. Beside that we were literally up in the mist and rain and all the vegetation is dripping wet and very slippery, so the weatherproof capability of the 50-200mm is essential. Wear good grippy boots (the trackers wear green wellies!), warm gear and keep your kit in a poly bag as long as you can. You will be told to dump all bags before you go the last 100 metres or so to the Gorilla group so only take what gear you can carry in your pockets.

Have a really good time and enjoy, I am very envious! And remember - don't drink the water, especially in Rwengheri!

David

simonknee
12th October 2011, 03:38 PM
Great quick reply thanks. So from what you say perhaps the 50mm macro should go on the other halves 420 for a second perspective and the weather proofing. Do you think the E-xxx cameras will cope with the climate?

Simon

peak4
12th October 2011, 04:21 PM
And remember - don't drink the water, especially in Rwengheri!

David

Personally I use one of these
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Web-tex-Surviva-Pure-Canteen-Waterbottle-Filter/dp/B002JTQ5JA


Have a wonderful trip.
I've never been, so I can't advise on photographing gorrillas, but don't forget that there will be other interesting wildlife there too.
Obviously I don't know your finances, but the 50-200mm with 1.4 & 2x converters seems sensible.
Also there a quite a few 2nd hand E3s around for a sensible sum at the moment. You could always pick one up and then re-sell it on your return suffering little financial loss; certainly it would probably be cheaper than hiring one. Same goes for the 2x converter.
Just beware that you might like it so much you may not want to part company with it when you get back. :)

Wreckdiver
12th October 2011, 04:59 PM
I would second Bill's advice above on looking for an E-3. I was using my E-30 recently in wet and rainy conditions and wished I picked up my E-3. The E-30 got well and truly splashed and it doesn't have the weather proofing of the E-3.

Hope you have a fantastic trip and look forward to seeing your photos on return.

Steve

simonknee
12th October 2011, 05:26 PM
I wouldn't be able to sell an E3 once bought and have already maxed out on a dome and macro port for my underwater rig - second half of the holiday is scuba diving in Zanibar. If it's too wet on the trek I'll put it all in the UW case ;-)

Great to find I can rent the long lens. Maybe I should rent the EC1.4 too - more affordable if I have the standard 50-200 rather than the SWD. Any thoughts on whether the SWD is worth it on an E-520. I only use the centre spot to focus.

Simon

simonknee
12th October 2011, 05:48 PM
Actually found some threads that state the extra focus speed of SWD is only on E-3/5/30 so there is no point renting this for the 520.

David Morison
12th October 2011, 09:22 PM
Great quick reply thanks. So from what you say perhaps the 50mm macro should go on the other halves 420 for a second perspective and the weather proofing. Do you think the E-xxx cameras will cope with the climate?

Simon

I took the Leica Digilix 2 which as far as I know is not specifically weatherproof. I kept it in a waterproof case for the long steep climb through through rainforest
and only exposed it to the elements when the Gorillas were in sight. I had no problems during the trip but the sensor packed up a year or so later, although this was apparently common to Leica and Panasonic at the time. However I spent two years in Papua New Guinea in 1976/77, much of it in the rainforest or at high humidity, with a Pentax S1a with no trouble so I am sure modern Olympus cameras are more weather resistant than that.

David

David Morison
13th October 2011, 04:39 AM
Simon,

Just dug this out to give you an idea of how close you get with a 45mm focal length, 50% crop and very dull conditions plus no IS:

http://www.lincsbirds.co.uk/album/albums/userpics/10099/Unknown.jpg

This was the silverback furthest from the camera.

David