Safari Photography Tips

After taking this tour, I have a few photography tips to pass on. This is primarily aimed at DSLR shooters with some experience.

On the game drives I primarily used a 100-400mm Tamron lens on my Nikon D7200 (APS sensor). This is equivalent to a 150-600mm range on a camera with a full frame sensor. This worked very well for me. The long end of the range was helpful on those occaisions where we couldn't get close to the animals. However, most of the time I was using shorter focal lengths. An argument could be made to bring a 70-200mm f2.8 instead. The game drives take place in the early morning and late afternoon when lighting is often low, so the faster lens could be an advantage. However, I was happy with my choice and was glad to have the longer focal lengths for some shots. I also carried with me a good point and shoot camera for when the shot was too wide for my DSLR. I only used it a few times on the drives. Some people might be tempted to buy an all-in-one lens like the Tamron 18-400mm. These lenses have the advantage that you get the full range without having to change lenses, but the image quality, especially at long focal lengths is not as good. It depends on how picky you are. I have an 18-250mm all-in-one that I use for traveling light, but I think that pushing the length to 300mm or 400mm on an all-in-one seems to be a step too far. Changing lenses in the vehicles is probably not a good idea.

As I said previously, the light is often low and since you are using a long lens you will want to push the shutter speed up to avoid blur from camera shake. As a result, I found myself frequently pushing my ISO up to 800 or higher. Before you go, I would do some practice shots at twilight time to get a feel for your camera at the longest focal length in these conditions. Also do some depth of field tests.

There is some good photography advices on the Sabi Sabi website here:

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