I am looking at buying a new lens for a safari trip to Kenya, not sure of what length of lens I will need, If others out there who have done safari trips know what i will need I would appreciate some feed back
You'll want something like 70-200mm or 70-300mm..... anything longer and you'll be wanting a tripod - and that's not a good idea....... bearing in mind you may be photographing from a truck (which will rock around even when stopped) land it's tricky to run with a tripod when you're being chased by a lion, you won't want that. Monopod, though, that would be good. With a camera that gives decent performance at higher ISO, and the amount of light you will have, you should be able to hand-hold most of the time.
Otherwise, something in the 15-55 range for wider shots of the great plains and people shots.
And a sun hat.
Look at the Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 OS at £849, You will need good light to get the best from it but shouldn't be a problem in Kenya. I've seen great results from this lens and it's not too heavy at under 2kg. :D
I've been a few times on Safari in Kenya. If you're going to the Tsarvo then a long lens is advisable. The last time I was there I used the Sigma 50-500, an excellent all round lens. This lens will do the bulk of your work, but it's a little heavy and takes some getting used to.
For the Mara I use Canon lenses, mainly the 100-400mm and the 70-200mm, plus a walkabout lens the Canon 17-55mm. The 17-55 stays usually stays in my bag and has very little use.
On the Mara you get very close to the wildlife. If you wanted to risk losing an hand it is often possible to touch them as they come right up to the vehicals as they stalk their prey.. Often I was switching to the 70-200mm as the 100-400mm was to long.
The Tsarvo is a different kettle of fish, here the lions keep their distance, often too far away for a 500mm lens. However you should get pretty close to the other animals.
If you have such as the standard lens with your camera, I would suggest such as the 100-400mm or the Sigma that Olboy suggested.
As for tripods I would forget all about them when out on safari, as it's very rare that you will be out of the vehical. The vehicals are rock steady when stationary, also there is no room for one. At base camp a tripod could come in handy though.
All being well I will be on the Masai this winter, I will take two cameras 70-200mm on one camera and the 100--400mm on the other. I'll have the 17-55 f/2.8 in my bag. My tripod will stay at home.
OldBoy and hssutton are spot-on. You might also consider investing in a teleconverter to extend the reach of existing lenses, or the lens(es) you purchase. A 1.4x converter will give you 1.4x the focal length, while a 2x will give you 2x.
The only thing you need to be aware of is that you will lose a stop with the 1.4x (so if your lens has a max aperture of f/4, it will only be f/5.6 with the extender attached) and two stops with the 2x (so only f/8 in the previous example). This will make it harder to blur out backgrounds, unless the background is very far away.
You also need to make sure that any extender is compatible with the lens, and will still enable, say, autofocusing.
Hope this helps!
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