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-   -   DIY Kruger Safari - the kit (https://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=49880)

Melaka 19th February 2019 07:20 PM

DIY Kruger Safari - the kit
Africa is dusty and the dust penetrates everything. It can also be very wet. Both these issues point towards a pro body with a pro lens. Consumer grade kit will do but you will need to be very careful with dust control.

I took an EM1i with 100-400, another EM1i with 12-100 and an EM5ii with 40-150/2.8, all fitted with the battery grip. I also took the MC14 and the 14-42EZ but used neither. From the performance angle there is no better MFT wildlife safari lens than the 100-400 but I do not love it. Its zoom is stiff and operates in the opposite way to Olympus zooms and it can be slow to focus. It will get the chop if the new Olympus lens is reasonably priced. The 40-150 is an excellent lens in every respect except it is not long enough for the more distant or smaller animals. It came second in terms of usage to the 100-400. The 12-100 is not really a wildlife lens but came in handy on several occasions. You will miss a lot of good photos if your lens is anything under 300mm at the long end.

Prime lenses are of limited use as the distance between you and the subject is very variable as is the size of the subject. You do see a few people with stonking great Canikon primes, but they are using them mostly for birds from hides. I used to take a macro lens and flash but now donít bother.

It can be surprisingly difficult to take photos from a car window. The window sill is usually higher than you want (except in a crash!) and the mirror is often in the way. A bean bag can be helpful but youíre unlikely to want to go as far as this gentleman. I saw one safari vehicle with a similar fitting on either side.


Leave the tripod behind. There are hides scattered over the park, of which the one at Lake Panic usually produces the best results, but for the most part the car will be your hide. Picnic sites and the camps are good for birds.

I have a 32Gb card in each camera plus a spare for each. The photos are downloaded to the laptop each evening and copied to an external drive, so in total I have three copies by the end of the day. I use an ExPro battery charger in the car and have three spare batteries.

drmarkf 20th February 2019 10:59 PM

Re: DIY Kruger Safari - the kit
Thanks so much for this series - all good stuff.

Iíd just add that I find the f2.8 aperture of the Pro 40-150 is really useful early and late in the day.

We canít shoot for as long as recent full-frame cameras (3200ASA is my limit for top quality images, I find), by around 30-40í at each time, but to be honest the light is often pretty rubbish then.

Melaka 21st February 2019 08:48 AM

Re: DIY Kruger Safari - the kit
I agree. The northern part of the Kruger lies in the tropics (Capricorn is just north of Mopani rest camp) so one doesn't get the long mornings and evenings to which we are accustomed in our own latitude. That's one reason why we tend to leave camp about 30' after gate opening and to return about an hour before the gate shuts.

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