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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-29-2018
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Noob going on Safari

Hello,

      My wife bought me a T7I kit for Christmas to use on our Safari next summer. It came with some very nice close range lenses, the telephoto lens however is an older EF 75-300MM. After a lot of testing with the 75-300 I fear it just does not have the reach for pictures of wildlife at distance. I just can't bring myself to pay over $1K for a lens. Here is what I am thinking about (input welcome/needed):

 

- I don't think the the Cannon 1.4 extender works with the EF 75-300MM....?

- Seriously considering buying either the Tamron 100 - 400 or the 150 - 600....

- Does the Tamron 1.4 extender work with the Tamron 100-400 on a Canon T7I? If it does, would it be smarter to buy the extender with 100-400 vice the 150-600?

 

Apologize for what are probably some ignorant questions,

Tom

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 4,809
Registered: ‎06-25-2014

Re: Noob going on Safari

[ Edited ]

One way to justify an expensive lens in such a situation is to plan to sell it when you get home. If you choose wisely, you may even find that the net cost of the lens is, in the context of what you're probably spending on the safari, in the nature of roundoff error. (Of course the risk is that you'll like the lens so much that you won't want to sell it.)

Bob
Boston, Massachusetts USA
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,608
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Noob going on Safari

Tamron and Sigma make compact 100-400mm telephoto zooms.  Both companies also make big 150-600 super telephoto zoom lenses that sell for less than your $1000 cap.  For wildlife photography, you can almost never have to much focal length when it comes to zoom lens.

 

Avoid using a telephoto extender with any of those lenses.  Your camera body will lose the ability to autofocus if you use one.  If you want the reach, then you want a 150-600mm zoom.  When you use an extender, the price you pay for extra focal length is a reduction in the maximum aperture size of the lens you are using.  Your f/6.3 lens will become an f/8 lens, and your camera is not able to focus well with such a small aperture, so the camera’s firmware disables AF altogether. 

 

A lens with the focal length you want is a better choice than using an extender for extra reach.  But, the 150-600mm lenses are big, heavy beasts.  You need to consider how you will safely and securely transport this gear to and from your destination.  Professionals use hard cases.  When using one you will want to use some means of support, like a monopod or tripod, especially for extended periods of use.

 

Wildlife photography reminds me a LOT of fishing.  You will have the best success by knowing your prey.  Knowing when, where, and how to catch the fish, or capture the wildlife in a photograph.  Most of the time it takes patience, just like fishing.  Sometimes you hit the jackpot, and sometimes you don’t.  

If you have ever done much fishing, then you know that the closer that you can get to where the fish are, all the better.  This is why people use boats, after all.  The same holds true with wildlife photography.  Getting closer to the fish is better than trying to cast your line a mile, or using a super jumbo, telephoto lens to get closer to the wildlife.

I will conclude by saying that you will need to practice using a super telephoto lens.  It reminds me a lot of looking at the world through a straw.  Sometimes it is hard to get your bearings, and figuring out where the subject is relative your viewfinder.  Zoom lenses allow you the luxury of zooming out to get your bearings, and then zooming in on the subject.  But doing so can mean losing a great shot.  

 

Practice is the key to putting your subject in the viewfinder.  This does not even scratch the surface of how would you set up the camera’s auto focus to capture wildlife in action.  It wil take hours of practice and experimenting to figure it out.

 

 

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,077
Registered: ‎02-17-2016

Re: Noob going on Safari

You can also see if Lens Rentals will rent it to you for an international trip. I rented one and liked it so much I bought it!

VIP
Posts: 10,651
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Noob going on Safari

The lens you want is the Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 for Canon.  It is the best of the super zoom offerings as of today.  You do not want nor do you need any tel-con. In most cases with most lenses they do not work well. I wonder if you realize the extreme FL you are talking with a 600mm lens (nearly 1000mm on your T7i).  While the big Tammy, at 4 1/2 lbs., is totally hand holdable it does have a learning curve.  You need to get it way ahead of time and practice.

 

In photography there is no free lunch. You give to get. Asking for the magnification that a 600mm lens brings, it brings the same amount of camera shake for instance. Your SS will need to increase plus your ISO number.

 

Is this a once in a lifetime event for you?  If it is how much is that worth to you?  You need a lens that will make it happen.  With a FL from 150-600mm the big Tammy is the deal. I would also think you will find other usese for it after you return. There will be places where a much shorter FL lens is required, too.  What do you have for that?  My thoughts would be the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.  Another thougt, sell the lenses you have to help fund the new lenses. Don't let folks talk you into more lenses then these two, as these two will make for a really nice combo and serve you well.

 

I would get several Canon batteries (probably 4) and several 16GB SD cards (around12). You might also like the Black Rapid Sport strap.

Good luck on your trip.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with less and less other stuff.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,490
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Noob going on Safari

"

Apologize for what are probably some ignorant questions,

Tom"

 

Welcome to the forum Tom. There are no ignorant questions.

 

In addition to a longer lens - good recommendations posted here - you want to get a bean bag type camera support so you can rest your lens on the window sill/roof sill of your vehicle.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LRCC Classic
VIP
Posts: 10,651
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Noob going on Safari

"...get a bean bag type camera support..."

 

This is an excellent point.  Some restrictions on things like monopods and tripods exist. Some ban them altogether some have no restrictions. Check first.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with less and less other stuff.
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-29-2018

Re: Noob going on Safari

Perfect!!! Thank you. I already have the 17-55 you mentioned but will plan on buying the Tamron 150-600 because I travel regularly. Also appreciate the reminder to get the lens way before departure so I don’t waste time on safari learning how to use the lens.
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-29-2018

Re: Noob going on Safari

Thank You!
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,608
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Noob going on Safari


@JAGWIRE wrote:
Perfect!!! Thank you. I already have the 17-55 you mentioned but will plan on buying the Tamron 150-600 because I travel regularly. Also appreciate the reminder to get the lens way before departure so I don’t waste time on safari learning how to use the lens.

Great news.  There is a learning curve on how to use a super telephoto lens, and another one with any given lens.  You stated that you had a goal of a $1000 budget.  Tamron and Sigma each make two 150-600mm lenses.  There are differences between the lenses.    

 

Tamron has one model lists for under $1000, and newer G2 model that goes for a bit over $1000.  There are differences in build, features, and image quality.  The G2 is enough of an improvement over the original to make it worth the extra expense.

 

Sigma has “C” model that lists for under $1000, and an “S” model that goes for nearly double the price.  The Sigma 150-600mm Sport is a big beast of a lens.  I do not regard this as an entry level super telephoto.  It has the best dust and moisture sealing of the four lenses offered by Tamron and Sigma.

 

The Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary was a better lens than the original Tamron, IMHO.  The Tamron 150-600 G2 seems to have included all of the features in the  Sigma “C”, and it has a more recent lens design.  I think these two lenses are your best choices in the 150-600mm market.  

 

I would suggest that you invest in a lens cover, because you may not always have bright sunny days.  Covers can also protect against dust and mist, too.  I like the bean bag suggestion, too.  Buy an extra camera battery, or two.  Ditto for memory cards.

 

While an experienced photographer may be able to handhold the lenses, doing so is not something I would recommend for someone just starting out.  I spent many hours at the beach photographing gulls with the lens on a tripod, while sitting in a portable chair.  This arrangment made it easy to access the menus and change camera AF settings.

One last factor to consider is post processing.  Most super telephoto zoom lenses need some form of lens correction applie to their images.  Vignetting is the most common correction.  Canon’s DPP software can correct Canon lenses, but not any third party lenses.  Adobe Photoshop Elements used to be a good alternative, but the most recent releases no longer perform any lens correction.  Adobe really wants users to purchase software subscriptions, which do offer lens correction.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
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