This is the equipment I am currently using:
In the past I've also used all the following photographic equipment, all sold now:
On my first trip to Africa, in 1997, I used the following equipment:
I usually kept the Sigma 400mm lens mounted on one body and the 70-300mm lens mounted on the other, and mounted a shorter lens as needed. I used the 400mm lens the most, followed by the 70-300mm zoom and the 24-50mm zoom. The wather was bright and sunny (even harsh), with puffy clouds. Most pictures were taken from the van using a Kirk beanbag for support. I also used a Kirk gunstock on the 70-300mm zoom, which was very handy with this lightweight lens for pictures where the 400mm was too powerful, or when quick tracking was necessary.
On my second and third trips to East Africa (2002 and 2003), I used the equipment listed at the top of this page, although I had two Maxxum 9 cameras with data back and no digital bodies. In addition, I took along a Minolta 28-70 lens instead of the 24-50. I kept my 600mm f/4 lens mounted on one Maxxum 9 body, usually with a 2x or 1.4x teleconverter. I also kept my 400mm f/4.5 lens mounted on another Maxxum 9 body (sold after buying the Maxxum 7D), and an 80-200 zoom lens mounted on my old 600si body.
This kept me ready for almost anything, and I also had two shorter zooms and the Hasselblad Xpan in my bag for the occasional landscape photo. As it turned out, most subjects were quite far away, and I used the 600mm lens with a teleconverter most of the time; I had few opportunites to use my Hasselblad medium-format equipment on my second trip, and didn't bring it on my third trip. I generally shot from the roof hatch of a Land Rover with beanbag support. There isn't much chance to use a tripod on a trip like this because park regulations usually do not allow you to get out of the vehicle.
I used Kodak E100VS, Fuji Velvia, and Fuji Provia film.
In 2006, I made a fourth trip, to remote sections of Tarangire National Park and the Northern Serengeti by the Mara River in Tanzania. This was an all-digital photography trip, and I used two Maxxum 7D bodies. Because of weight restrictions, I didn't bring the Xpan or any other film camera bodies, and my longest lens was the Minolta 400mm f/4.5 APO G. Because of the 7D's 1.5x magnification or crop factor, the 400mm has the same "reach" as my 600mm lens on the Maxxum 9 camera. I used Jobo Evolution and FlashTrax photo storage devices, and shot about 4000 frames. Elephants in Tarangire and baby cheetahs in the northern Serengeti were the trip highlights, along with the wildebeest migration and two river crossings.
I kept the 400mm lens mounted on one camera body, usually with the 1.4x teleconverter, which gave an effective focal length of 840mm. I usually kept my 80-200mm lens on the other body, sometimes switching to a 28-70mm lens for landscapes or larger subjects like elephants or giraffes when they were close by. Sometimes I used a 2x teleconverter on the 80-200mm lens.
Site Map Back to Main Safari Page Africa Trip Info Thomson Safaris Home