What Size Camera Lens?

Nov 20th, 2005, 08:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 5
What Size Camera Lens?

I have a Cannon EOS Digital - How close can we get to the wildlife? What size lens do I need? and does anyone really wear "Safari Clothes" tan pants with matching shirts etc.
alwaysonthemove is offline  
Nov 20th, 2005, 09:29 PM
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I would recommend that you get a lens that has a maximum zoom of not less than 400mm. I use a Sigma 80-400mm lens that goes for about $950 online.


This would be your long lens, but then a shorter lens would also be recommended. A Canon 17-85mm Image Stabilizing lens would cover your bases and sells for about $550.

If the above are out of your budget, you could always go with a moderately priced point and shoot digital camera such as the Panasonic FZ30 for about $550. It is 8 Megapixels and has a 12x zoom, meaning that it would have a range from 35mm-420mm:


Exactly what kind of Canon EOS camera do you have? There are many different models. I have a couple Canon 20d's and although I have very little photo experience, here is what I was able to capture on my last safari:


Regarding the clothes, very few people actually go out and get what I refer to as "smart safari clothes." Just pick earth tones for your colors and you will be fine likely with whatever you already have or that you can pick up at your normal shopping venues.

Roccco is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 03:33 AM
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With the digital SLR cameras effectively multiplying the focal length by 1.6 I don't think you need to go to 400mm. I recently returned from Kenya with a good Canon 70-200L lens (effectively 112-320mm) which I think costs arounbd $500 in the US and got outstanding results. For longer range I had a much cheaper 75-300mm (effectively 120-480 mm) but only had to use it on a few rare occasions.
philw is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 09:16 AM
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400 may be even better, but 300 has been fine for me.

Yes, tan clothing is indeed the norm. If you are walking it is a must. If you are in tsetse fly areas it is much preferred over dark blue or similar colors which attract the tsetse flies.

I've seen people wear bright colors on game drives and the animals don't go fleeing those vehicles, but these folks are in the minority. The idea is to blend in rather than stand out.

As for the matching shirts, those are usually tan, brown, or olive too, but rarely do I see actual matching ensembles.
atravelynn is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 10:03 AM
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Hi Lynn ~ Have you ever posted photos? I should know this, but it all runs together after a while!

cooncat is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Why thanks for asking, Cooncat. Who can keep past trips, future trips, wish list trips and photos straight?

I posted about 15 gorilla shots from various trips here:


At San and Chitabe I took meerkat and wild dog photos and posted 46:


Back to the camera lenses. I must admit when I see some of those giant lenses and hoods on huge tripods I sometime experience "Pentax Envy."
atravelynn is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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How could I have forgotten!!??? Those pups, and meerkats, and the baby gorillas.... ah yes,I remember these well. Just couldn't remember who the photographer was! Thanks for reposting! (Would you mind sharing once again what kind of camera set-up you used?)
cooncat is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 03:29 PM
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Share it! I'll sell it for a very reasonable price! Most pictures were with a Minolta 350si, SLR type of camera. I mainly used a 100-300 Tamaron Lens and for most gorilla shots a 35-200 Tamaron lens. Not top of the line but plenty good for my needs. Most of that setup is over a decade old so I am moving up to digital
soon--the Panasonic Z-something. It has gotten rave reviews from many Fodorites and I've seen their great photographic results.

Some of the San Camp shots were with a Nikon CoolPix 3x optical zoom point and shoot digital camera. I was getting used to digital technology with it and now am ready for the big camera to be digital. At last.

atravelynn is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 07:42 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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First - thx everyone for all the good info.

My specs - Digital EOS Rebel w/70-300mm TELE-MACRO 1:2 Is that effectively 112-480 and will that be enough to get some real good pics? Short lens 18-55mm.

alwaysonthemove is offline  

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