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best all round telephooto stabalizes lens for Rebel EOS for Tanzania Safari

best all round telephooto stabalizes lens for Rebel EOS for Tanzania Safari

Feb 23rd, 2010, 09:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 67
best all round telephooto stabalizes lens for Rebel EOS for Tanzania Safari

I bought a tTamaron 28-300 with image stabalizatiion but my wife with her poiint and shoot Panasonicc outshot me in Jan 2008,

what to buy, limited time left leaving mid March.

davgai1 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 10:00 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
It's the Indian, not the arrows, that counts.
Your wife might always out shoot you

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2010, 11:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 597
I don't know about the previous comment as there are many subtle differences in camera equipment that result in big differences under certain circumstances. I noticed this post because I'm thinking of getting a new camera/lens for our yet-to-be-planned-and-booked upcoming African trip and have recently noticed the Rebel T2i.

Having formerly been a photographer, the last thing I want to do anymore is to lug around tons of heavy equipment. I am looking at the Canon EOS Rebel T2i (500D) (kit with 18-55mm lens,) plus the Canon EF70-300mm zoom lens. together they weigh about 3lbs.


All you can do is to check the reviews. You can compare your current lens to another lens that you might be thinking of upgrading to.
tinydancer is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 05:37 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 406
Below are a few links comparing the Canon line of telephoto lens. I own the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. The IS is a big plus. It is a reasonably good lens and is perfect for walks in that is very light. But I will be renting the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM on my next trip. My reasons for upgrading to this lens are:

1) Better "L" optics and it is sharper
2) Much faster focusing than my 70-300
3) Silent and smooth when focusing
3) More reach - this may not be critical if traveling to Southern Africa particularly in areas that allow vehicles to go off road, but will surely be useful in East Africa. For myself, I like all I can get as long as I can still hand hold the lens.

The 100-400 is quite a bit heavier than the 70-300. It also uses a push pull or "trombone" style mechanism when extending the lens as opposed to a ring. Some people like that feature and others never get used to it.


GreenDrake is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 06:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 343
My favorite lens is the 100-400L when I am on safari.

mytmoss is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 346
I am also considering buying the new EOS 550d for our East Africa safari. A couple of questions on the telephoto lens. The Canon 100-400 (4.5~5.6) IS L lens appears to be attractive but its a fairly old lens, having had no real changes since it came out around 8 years ago. My question is whether lens technology has materially improved over so many years (a camera body from then would obviously be a dinosaur). I noticed Sigma has just put on an IS on their 50-500 (4.5~6.3). Could anyone compare these two lens -the Sigma is heavier so that is a disadvantage.At 400mm I assume the speed of the two lens is similar.
Also, as I will be buying a body, I am open to investing in Nikon as well. Their 200-400 mm is a great lens but prohibitively expensive. Is there a fast (say F4 constant) lens for either Nikon or Canon zoom telephoto that tops out at least at 300mm?
AKR1 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 406
I believe in the Canon line you would have to go to a prime lens with a 1.4 extender to get that speed at 300mm.

If you are leaning to the 550d I would advise definitely putting some big lenses on it before buying. I have an old Rebel, but it's dimensions are similar to the 550d and it just did not feel balanced very well with a 100-400L. I know a lot of people do use 100-400s with the Rebel series, so maybe its just a personal feel, but for me the 40d or 50d fit my hand much better especially when I put a heavier lens on them.
GreenDrake is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 08:16 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 266
Faster frames/second is something one should not forget when shooting wildlife. Animals are slow for the most part, but when they move and give action...you better capture that peak moment and only a high fps camera(with a large buffer) can do that. Capturing peak moments can mean awards...or yet another common shot.

Anyway, as for the question by the OP, another thumbs up for the 100-400. Canon does not have a 200-400 f/4, however East Africa does not have a lot of lighting challenges unless you go to the Mahale mountains and shoot in dense thicket. My observation is that light becomes good within a few minutes of sunrise and due to the open plains and unobstructed sun...you are really not fighting to keep shutter speeds up, in fact, you will end up shooting stopped down, for the most part. Hmm, this is coming from a guy who shoots a 2.8 , but I know why I need it.
TigerPhotog is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 346
Thanks for the responses. One more question- I will then only have a 18-55mm and the 100-400mm L lens for my East Africa safari. With a 1.6X crop factor effectively I will be missing 88 to 150mm. Will this be a significant gap.
Also, back to the 100-400 L lens. Any comment on my concern its a decade old with possibly "outdated" technology. Has this lens been updated in any way? In other words, if I buy this now in 2010, is what I am buying any different from the same lens when it first came out a decade ago.
AKR1 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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"missing 88 to 150mm."
You can crop the 88mm in post processing of your images - if the original is sharp. That is, make one you had to take at 88mm look like it was taken at 120mm. This also of course is most useful at the extreme long end when you run out of telephoto reach. Making a shot taken at 400mm look like it was at 600mm. And, with just one camera body you may likely find cropping to be a necissity when you don't have -time- to swap lenses.

Most all of my images I crop for better composition. If you don't have this capability/ability plus making improvements to white balance, contrast, sharpness, etc., you are missing out on half of the advantages (and fun?) of shooting digital photos. If you don't have a program to do this, IrfanView works really nice, intuitive, and is free. http://www.irfanview.com/

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 266
UW and UX datecodes of the 100-400 have come out with some sharp copies (do remember this is one lens that has had many variable copies when it comes to optimal sharpness/performance, unlike the 400 5.6 - you rarely see complaints about that lens).

Buy a newer date code - UW or UX.

2 cents: Btw, a 70-200 is a great focal length to capture those tight landscapes and also habitat shots. Anyway, I wouldn't worry too much about missing focal lengths unless you have multiple bodies to take care of that situation, else you will remain fumbling for swapping lenses on the body and an opportunity may pass by.
TigerPhotog is offline  
May 12th, 2010, 08:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 346
Update- I bought a Canon 550D with the 18-55 kit lens, a 100-400L, a Canon 50mm 1.8 prime and a Canon 10-22mm wide. So far love the camera but as I'm pretty much an DSLR beginner am still learning. The 100-400L is an exceptional lens and I really like the 10-22 as well. Have also understood you get what you pay for- the kit lens has far poorer optics and a cheap build quality- only redeeming factor is the IS (and the fact it cost me $100). The 50mm prime is bargain for what it does (more like 80mm on a 1.6 crop camera), but also feels cheap. The 100-400L is a tank and appears exceptional in every way except the 3.1 lb weight. The IS is superb. I got the UX12 (December 2009) manufacture dat. The 10-22 is also built very well and takes exceptional wide angle pictures- had to buy a hood separately for it. I would like to exchange the 18-55 with a 24-105 but am maxed out on the budget for now.
Surprisingly am having no remorse on the 550D compared to the 7D which I also carefully checked out.I think spending the money saved on the body on good lenses was the right move. Also wanted a very light, but strong enough, tripod combo for the 550d + 100-400L (4.5 lbs). Ended up with the Manfrotto 732 carbon fiber (1.9 lbs) + 494RC2 ballhead which is the lightest combo I could find without spending a fortune on a Gitzo.
East Africa here I come! (next month).
AKR1 is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 09:50 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 90
davgai1. Could you let me have an update on your trip and which camera/lens combo you eventualy went with. Any top tips on your photos? Pro and Cons on your lens choices?
DRJO is offline  
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