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Author Topic: Heading to Botswanna(Okavango+Chobe)-Gear Suggestions Please  (Read 527 times)

mlondon

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Headed to Okavango+Chobe in two weeks. I've read through the previous posts on this forum, but still have some question...

Iím not a professional wildlife photographer trying to sell my prints. Nor am I a pixel peeper. My goal is to bring home at least ONE exceptional image for my portfolio.

Iíll be taking two bodies: Nikon Z7II and Z9.

LENSES

This is the biggest question. I was hoping to bring the new Z 400mm/2.8 TC, but not available to rent or buy anywhere 😢
F 400mm/2.8 is too big and heavy. As is F 500/4.
I donít mind pushing ISO to get fast shutter speed, but I REALLY want to have great subject/background separation. But not willing to carry monster-size lens to achieve it.

Now deciding between renting:
Z 100-400/4.5-5.6 + Z 1.4TC & Z 2.0 TC
OR
F 500/5.6 PF + F 1.4TC (+FTZ)
OR
Some other option ??

Will also be brining:
Z 70-200/2.8 (which I can also use with 1.4/2.0TC)
Z 24-70/2.8 (which Iíll keep on the Z7II for when animals are close to vehicle
Z 14-24/2.8 (for landscape or close-encounters)
Z 105/micro (because I like making photographs of small things!)

Lens suggestions, especially regarding the long end, please?
One friend who has been to Okavango numerous times said that, unlike in other parts of Africa, much of the game tends to be closer to vehicle and therefore not as much need for longer lenses. They also said that the really liked the convenience of the 100-400mm zoom, because they were often in a situation where they had a longer fixed lens mounted, but most of the activity was in the mid-distance where the 100-400mm range was ideal.

SUPPORT

RRS MiniTripod for ground/table level longer exposures

For Monopod thinking of Manfrotto XPRO five-section with three stabilizing feet at bottom.
Open to other suggestions.

For Gimbal - Benro GH2F Folding
Open to other suggestions

Additional Support
Manfrotto Car Window Mount
Manfrotto Super-Clamp (for railing on boat, etc)
Other suggestions?

FLASH

At low power (~1/8) for touch of catchlight, separation, evening.
SB-5000 with SC-28
Do NOT want to use flash-bracket off the side of camera

Mount using Velcro to top of lens hood to keep flash-head as close to line-of-sight of lens.
OR
Use flash-bracket that allows position above the lens (Iím looking at RRS, Wimberly, ProMediaGear, but donít know which option will be least obnoxious. BUT all of these put the head very high above the lens, so at long focal lengths with zoomed in flash head, seems like flash will not be positioned correctly...

Thank you..
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mlondon

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Re: Heading to Botswanna(Okavango+Chobe)-Gear Suggestions Please
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2022, 06:18:21 pm »

OP Here:

Alas, zero responses to my thread, but may have answered my own questions:

Sticking with the Z 100-400mm
Still not sure if the 14-24 is worth carrying (but of course if I do NOT bring it, I'll need it!)

No monopod or gimbal as the lens is so light and small.

As for flash for catchlight, may not get a chance to use it, but will bring a SB-5000/SC-28 and some Velcro to mount to top of lens hood for the rare occasions when it may be helpful and allowed.
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dbolt

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Re: Heading to Botswanna(Okavango+Chobe)-Gear Suggestions Please
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2022, 09:48:26 am »

Go light - 24-27 on one camera and 100-400 on the other one. 
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David Eckels

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Re: Heading to Botswanna(Okavango+Chobe)-Gear Suggestions Please
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2022, 10:15:23 am »

Go light - 24-27 on one camera and 100-400 on the other one.
MOST important!

HarveyM43

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Re: Heading to Botswanna(Okavango+Chobe)-Gear Suggestions Please
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2022, 12:41:08 pm »

We did a similar trip a couple years back- (Okavango & Chobe). I use micro 4/3 but the full frame equivalents I used were 200-600mm and 28-90mm with two camera bodies. We rented vehicles for the Okavango and drove ourselves, while we booked guided tours in open 4x4s in Chobe. The Okavango is very dusty during the dry season, so I was glad I didn't have to change lens in the car.  The Okavango camps close their gates at night, so all your shots will be bright daylight, except for the sodium lit waterholes accessible from the camp. You'll mainly be viewing the animals at the water holes, where there's designated parking 30-40 feet away from the water. Aside from that, we did see lions & leopards at their kills, but didn't glimpse any kills themselves. I didn't need high ISO's nor very fast shutter speeds at all (I didn't do any birds in flight tho).  I didn't use fill flash, but suspect at the distances you'll be shooting at you won't discern a difference between lens hood or shoe mount flash positions. You might think about bringing a better beamer, but that might well slow you down.
I was very happy with a 'Molar bean bag' as my in car support and a light travel tripod for the rare night shots. You can bring a beanbag empty and fill it once you're there. 
« Last Edit: July 29, 2022, 12:57:40 pm by HarveyM43 »
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PeterAit

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Re: Heading to Botswanna(Okavango+Chobe)-Gear Suggestions Please
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2022, 10:01:46 am »

I am a big fan of traveling light so I can enjoy the trip while being ready for almost any photo situation. For me that means a 24-110mm f/4 (Sony) and a 100-400mm f/4 (Sigma). Also a polarizing filter and extension tubes. That's all!
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