The Great Camera Lens Debate

Immerse yourself in the rich, cultural tapestry that makes this continent so vibrant and colourful. Experience the natural highlights and get face to face with the real Africa.

Moderators: sinecure, TravelFun, ballu, jimshu, JaliscoJudy

The Great Camera Lens Debate

Postby darlinggirl » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:16 pm

So I'm booked on the Kenya and Uganda Gorilla Adventure, after that I'll be doing a 2 week Nairobi to Zanzibar trip with another company (long story). I've been searching online and in this forum for an answer to the question...which lens is ideal for a safari? How close do we actually get to the wildlife?

The debate is between a Canon 55-250mm lens WITH Image Stabilization or a Canon 75-300mm lens WITHOUT Image Stabilization. If I could go longer I would, but alas it is out of my price range. I've heard pros and cons about both lenses, length vs IS...

Any camera buffs out there who could offer their 2 cents I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks!
darlinggirl
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:14 am

Re: The Great Camera Lens Debate

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:18 pm

Both are great lenses. A lot depends on how comfortable you are with maintaining a stable shooting platform for your camera. The extra reach of the 75-300 is nice but I took tons of pictures with the 55-250 when I went to Africa. Your distance to wildlife will vary depending on the safari -- I took a LOT of pictures at 50-100 mm lengths.

What's your lower lens -- or do you have one? If you're looking to have a single lens on the camera go with the 55-250 if you can't afford the Tamron 18-270 or equivalent so you can also get mid-range snapshots.
Not all those who wander are lost. -- J.R.R. Tolkien
Travelog: http://gadget-travels.net/travelog
Travel photos: http://gadget-travels.net/photos
Image
User avatar
ExplorerWannaBe
User Rank: Road Warrior
User Rank: Road Warrior
 
Posts: 1216
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 4:13 pm
Location: Colorado, USA

Re: The Great Camera Lens Debate

Postby IncaTrail50 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:09 pm

I had a 75-300 with Image Stabilisation for the Kenya And Tanzania Wildlife safari. I found it was great for birds but there were a lot of big animals almost too close for that lens! :lol: I did get some awesome closeups of lions and leopards and cheetahs with it, though. Nice shots of flies on their faces cleaning off the blood! :shock:
I don't think you want to be changing lenses with all the dust and dirt on a safari. In fact, I found I had to be cleaning the lens frequently during the day. My husband brought along a point and shoot and we got some spectacular landscape shots with that, shots we would have missed if we had only had my lens. I would agree that if you are only taking one lens you should probably go with the 55-250 or so. No matter what lens you take there will always be animals beyond your range. Don't worry about them, make sure you can adequately capture the ones that settle in the shade of your jeep!
I will never let my dreams just be dreams.
User avatar
IncaTrail50
User Rank: Explorer
User Rank: Explorer
 
Posts: 584
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:12 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Re: The Great Camera Lens Debate

Postby DanielBMe » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:30 am

Normally I would go with the lens with the longer reach but in your case go with the 250. The image stabilization will make a difference when shooting from the vehicle. The vehicle is rarely totally still. Plus holding it alone will introduce some shake. I would rather get a clean image and crop than a blurry image...
User avatar
DanielBMe
User Rank: Elite Explorer
User Rank: Elite Explorer
 
Posts: 875
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 5:22 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: The Great Camera Lens Debate

Postby Zuleika » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:42 pm

If you want quality pics you really need to invest in some half decent lenses. If you only spend 100 quid on a lens now I guarantee you'll be upgrading again next year and spending more in the long run!

If you can, I recommend spending slightly more and get the Canon 70-300mm which IS image stabilised - I have this lens and although its no 'L' series lens, its pretty jolly good!
I found I defo needed the 300mm end - which on a crop camera is around 450mm. But what are you thinking for the wide/closeup end - I had a wide angle lens too, aswell as a decent point and shoot which I used if it was too dusty or I didnt have time to change lens if the animals were close.
If you can only afford one lens as another person said, check out the Tamron 18- 270 and also Sigma do a good one also in this range.

Check out ebay too - you can get some cracking deals on second hand lenses on there.
"Live the life you love, Love the life you live"
User avatar
Zuleika
User Rank: Road Warrior
User Rank: Road Warrior
 
Posts: 1402
Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:01 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: The Great Camera Lens Debate

Postby darlinggirl » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:32 am

Thanks so much everyone, I really appreciate it.

Currently I have the kit lens that came with my Rebel T1i...18-55mm. Based on everyone's suggestions and speaking to a couple people at my local camera shop I think I'm going to go with the 55-250mm with IS. I played with both the lenses in the store and even standing still I found the IS to be super valuable.

Thanks again!
darlinggirl
User Rank: Traveller
User Rank: Traveller
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:14 am


Return to Africa and Middle East

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest