No reason for a 500mm PF on African safari?

Butlerkid

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I'm curious when you shoot your 500 in Africa are you still needing to crop? If you use a 600 are you cropping as well or do you find it to be to much lens?
During my last 2 trips to Africa, there were times when I needed to crop images taken with the 500mm lens on FX body. However, I'm a bit lazy at putting the 1.4 TC on! LOL! I expect that using the 600mm means I will have fewer times to use the 1.4 TC or crop.....but fully still expect some situations where a bit of cropping will be needed.

I always have a second FX body with a wider lens....either a 300 f4 PF or my trusty 80-400 AF-S.......... so I've never had a case of "too much" lens.
 
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Simply put, if you're ok with hauling around and swinging big glass, by all means use it.You get f/4 and extra reach with the 600 and ultra fast focus. With the 500pf you have f/5.6, still stellar optics, and af slows a bit. But portability goes through the roof.
 

Butlerkid

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Moderator
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Apr 8, 2008
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Rutledge, Tennessee
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Karen
Simply put, if you're ok with hauling around and swinging big glass, by all means use it.You get f/4 and extra reach with the 600 and ultra fast focus. With the 500pf you have f/5.6, still stellar optics, and af slows a bit. But portability goes through the roof.
Not really. Portability is not the issue in Africa. In Africa, you are in a vehicle for hours, either shooting off a bean bag or a secured monopod with gimbal. No "hauling around and swinging big glass" is needed. With a prime, you also have an extra stop, helpful in subject separation in dense brush, or low light situations. Portability is not an issue in Africa, other than getting there and back. And I, a 5'3" "mature" lady carry my own gear on board each plane. I'm sure younger individuals would find it much easier.

I've always stated that if you are walking around shooting birds, planes, etc. that the 200-500 is a better option. But not necessarily for Africa.

Having said that, I still found my 500/f4+ tripod indispensable for shooting in Costa Rica. But again, we generally walked a bit and then set up our tripod, gimbal and lens. And I always had a second FX body with something like the 80-400 AF-S to cover the closer range.

Each person needs to evaluate each shooting environment and their abilities and then take advantage of the various camera bodies and lenses available to us consumers. My expectations of myself are very high, and so I optimize, as best I can, my gear to help me achieve my goals - given the situations I am in. In Africa, you may be blessed with a wonderful photo op - one that will not likely come your way again. I try very hard to be ready for such opportunities by carefully considering my gear and my abilities.
 

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