Skip Navigation

Zoom lens for Africa

Travel Forums Travel Photography Zoom lens for Africa

1. Posted by mimitmt (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

Going to Tanzania on mission trip to 6 villages, then to Ngora Ngora Crater for photo safari. Have Canon EOS Rebel with 70-300mm lens and a 2x teleconverter + 35-50mm lenses. Will this be enough? Any suggestions? Can't afford image stabilization lenses at this time, so will be taking a bean bag, only filling it with sand when we get there, as weight is a major issue for the plane. Any help is appreciated.

Thank,

2. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

What are you going to photograph ? Are you hiking or driving around ? What shooting distances are you going to encounter. Sorry, gear is quite personal. I can't really tell you what to shoot and how to shoot it.

Are you able to get new lenses easily ? Your statement about not being able to "afford image stabilization" makes me think you have some budget in mind. Buy the best long focal length lens you can. I've been drooling after the Canon 70-300mm IS for a long time. Perfect travel lens at a great price ! But I don't believe it will work with your teleconverter.

Not really as advice, but for the sake of generating an interesting discussion, here's what I would bring:

24mm wide angle prime
28-85mm zoom
70-200mm + 2x teleconverter or 80-400mm.

The long lens would be the biggest, brightest beast I can get. Animals come out near dusk, and I want the long reach and extra f-stops !!

3. Posted by mimitmt (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

We'll be in villages 6 days, which will be photographing mostly people, but on the way, should see animals. We'll be in Range Rovers. The last 2 days, we'll be on safari in the Ngorongora Crater, which hopefully will be animals, animals, animals, and birds. - Thanks for your help.

4. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 10y

Quoting Q-Tip

... I've been drooling after the Canon 70-300mm IS for a long time. Perfect travel lens at a great price ! ...

Canon lens for your Nikon?!
Or did you just get yourself a Canon?

5. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Quoting Hien

Canon lens for your Nikon?!
Or did you just get yourself a Canon?

Nikon never made a 70-300mm VR, which I think is a big mistake. The closest is the 70-200mm f2.8 VR or 80-400mm VR. But both are very expensive compared to the Canon.

6. Posted by mimitmt (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

Both lenses are Sigma lenses for my Canon Rebel. I also have a polarizer filter. - As you can tell, I'm a beginner photographer wanting to learn all I can.

7. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Given that you will be photographing people mostly, and then going to Ngorongoro, you probably actually won't need that big a zoom unless you want to photograph birds up close. Most of the animals you can get pretty close to (especially in Ngorongoro). If you look at my profile, you'll see pictures I took of wildlife in Ngorongoro with a 10X optical zoom on my point and shoot. The quality has been reduced for the uploads, but you can see how close you can get. If you are printing for personal use then I don't think you'll need a huge zoom.

Greg

8. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Quoting GregW

Ngorongoro with a 10X optical zoom on my point and shoot.

But, Greg, a 10x optical zoom is around 400mm in 35mm SLR terms! That's a big lens if you want one of the good ones. For National Geographic type bird photos you need more (500 or 600mm). But those are way out of the price range for most people.

You can't go wrong carrying your favourite all around medium zoom for vacations. But some people like to bias towards the longer zooms according to their personal style.