I am very new to photography. The last few months, I have been hustling to learn all I can because I am going on a safari. I am thoroughly enjoying this new hobby and know I have a lot to learn. I started with a Nikon 3200 and recently bought a 7100 because of potential future lens issues.
I feel silly asking all the experts on this forum about weigh allowances, but it is a concern. I will be taking a small aircraft between camps. This craft only allows 44lbs in total. This is hard to believe given that my equipment is close to 20 lbs. When researching what equipment people take on safari, it appears as if it is quite a bit and 20 lbs is not over the top.
Is there anything you would suggest I leave home???
I am taking: Nikon 3200 Nikon 7100 Tamron 18-270/3.5-6.3VC 200-500 mm F/5-6.3 Nikkor Macro Lens Tokina Wide Angle Lens Nikkor 50mm 1.8D AF Lens Monopod Various Filters batteries chargers etc.
#1. "RE: Weight Allowance" In response to Reply # 0
I think if you get twenty people replying, you may get twenty different viewpoints. I would leave the Tokina wide angle lens, the Nikkor 50 mm and the Nikkor macro lens. Between the Tamron 18-270 and the 200-500 mm you can cover everything between 18 mm and 500 mm.
Sure the macro lens may be nice for close-ups, but I suspect on safari most of your shots will be landscapes or animals shot long distance. As for wide angle needs on safari, the 18 mm of the Tamron should be able to cover all but the most demanding opportunities. I might also consider leaving the D3200 body home. Yes, it will be a disaster if the main body fails and there is no backup. Then again I have been on numerous such jaunts and I always had only one camera with me. Touch wood, I've never had a body fail on me yet. If you feel you must have a backup body, then take that in place of one or more of the lenses I would leave anyway.
#2. "RE: Weight Allowance" In response to Reply # 1
St Petersburg, RU
I think I would take the wide angle, 50 1.8 200-500 and leave the others at home. I would flip a coin on the d3200. How much on-the-ground time are you going to have? Many programs limit contact with animals to vehicle activities, which have rails that can act as supports. Unless you are really into macro without a tripod forget the macro for this trip. I am writing this on a hi-speed train between Russia and Finland for a photo trip and held my lens count to 2 plus only one body, D800. Weight is really an issue more and more and can't fly with my whole bag Stan St Petersburg Russia
#3. "RE: Weight Allowance" In response to Reply # 2
Thank you for your responses. Taking out a few of the lenses should help the weight.
I do have a 20X optical zoom point and shoot that could be my back up camera. But, after all my work with my DSLRs I am reluctant to go back to that.
One reason for the two bodies is the dust on a safari. Changing lenses often results in dust issues. Also, the animals often are at varying distances, so having two cameras with two different lenses is helpful and quick. For these reasons, I am considering only taking the two Tamron lenses. I think they would cover quite a distance.....close and far.....?
#4. "RE: Weight Allowance" In response to Reply # 1
I've done several safaris and have never had a problem with my Thinktank Airport Accelerator fully loaded with D7000 & D80 both with battery grips, essential when opportunities for charging is uncertain. I've also had a soft case for clothes!
I do not think a monopod is essential unless you are planning lots of walking as there are plenty of other ways of steadying the camera using the vehicles. I've usually kept a long telephoto on one body and a wide angle or my 17-55 or the other. Essential for not missing that shot by having to change lenses. It's surprising how close you can get to some of the animals. Also I try not to change lenses when on the road. The red dust of Africa permeates everywhere!
Personally I would take all the lenses. I'm way at present so unable to check but I suspect most of my shots were in the 50-200 range with a few at the extreme of my reach which is 400, if that helps.
#5. "RE: Weight Allowance" In response to Reply # 4
Los Angeles, US
About camera weight and airplanes. I worked for 2 major airlines. The best (safest) climate for flying is cold dry air. Africa is wet and hot. Bad news. The lifting capacity is seriously comprimized, and having spent nearly 20 years looking at aviation safety data, the tropics are dangerous places as far as passenger weight and lifting capacity of the planes.
I traveled at no charge around the world. Whenever vacation allowed. My camera of choice -- a little Minox 35mm with a fold out, bellows Leitz lens. I'd put in my back pocket and be off to Europe. Seriously consider the mirrorless digital. Unless you are being paid as photographer, why turn yourself into a camera porter? Go for the life experience, and remove your ego from the photo expectations. That's my advice.
One of my airlines was FedEx, and so I got shipping for a small service fee. I always FedExed my camera gear to the destination hotel ahead of me. No dragging pounds of gear through airports, dealing with customs and crazy taxi rides with thousands of dollars in camera stuff. Life is too short.
#6. "RE: Weight Allowance" In response to Reply # 5
not a pro as some have said, but going from your list,
I would take the 7100, the point and shoot, leave the 3100 at home.
unless you plan on shooting in close in dark, you can leave the 50 at home, since the18-270 covers it. ditto the tokina. without a tripod, I can't imagine any macro work will be viable, so leave that one home too.
do the filters you plan on taking do anything for you lightroom won't?
removing the 3100 from the equation also removes the batteries and chargers.
remember the crop mode for the 7100 will give that 270 another distance factor, probably out to the 310 range if not a bit further.
don't swaet the gear, even if you don't catch that distant elephant, the memory will be wilth you. enjoy the trip, and don't waste the time fussing with equipment