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Photographing Leopards In the Sabi Sands

There's no other place on earth where you will get closer to and have more encounters with leopards than at the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. The region has the highest density of leopards in Africa, mainly because of the tree-filled terrain which is the ideal habitat for leopards. They have [...]

By |3rd August 2015|General, Photography|Comments Off on Photographing Leopards In the Sabi Sands
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7 Photos From 7 Safaris

Since 2009 Pepe and I have put on 7 photographic safaris. The only year we missed was 2011, which for some reason we couldn't find any takers for the 4 different trips we had planned that year. Probably had something to do with the hangover from the 2010 Soccer World Cup [...]

By |27th July 2015|Photography, Trip Reports|Comments Off on 7 Photos From 7 Safaris
  • Equipment used by Dallas on the 2013 safari to Namibia.

ThinkTank Airport Security V2.0

A few weeks after our Ultimate Big 5 Safari in August, I found myself packing to fly to Cape Town where we had a 32 day adventure lined up, namely the Namaqualand to Namibia Safari. This time there was a lot more to pack, so I decided to put the ThinkTank Airport Security V2.0 to the task, seeing as I already knew it would fit on a smaller plane (one of our guests used it without drama on the flight from Kruger Airport to Jo’burg) and the plane to CT would certainly be a lot larger than that other one. I had planned to do a lot of landscape work on this trip so while I was going to bring along my Nikons and the Sigma 120-300/2.8, I also needed to find space for my entire mirrorless kit. Configuring the roller with the low divider set was challenging for the m43 stuff, mainly because the lenses are so much smaller and the dividers are designed for much bigger partitions. But I managed and here’s a shot from my iPhone of everything that fit inside the Security V2.0 roller. […]

By |15th October 2013|Equipment, Reviews|Comments Off on ThinkTank Airport Security V2.0
  • A less than 24 hour old baby rhino looks quizzically in our direction.

A Mexican standoff at Sabi Sabi

Early on one of our morning drives at the recent Ultimate Big 5 Safari at Sabi Sabi our ranger Ross and tracker Solly got lucky. There was a female leopard strolling down the road we were driving along. She was moving with intent, every so often ducking into the bushes. [...]

By |15th August 2013|Ranger Stories, Trip Reports|Comments Off on A Mexican standoff at Sabi Sabi

Lens options for the Big 5 Safari

What telephoto lens should I bring to use on your Big 5 Safari? This is one of the most common questions I get from people interested in joining this amazing wildlife safari. There are a few options open to you and I suppose it depends on just how big your budget is and also what camera system you use. Fast Primes  [singlepic id=290 w=320 h=240 float=right]Most of the time the best wildlife photos are obtained with the use of a fast prime lens, something like a 300mm f/2.8 or a 400mm f/2.8. These lenses offer the best possible image quality, mainly because the light they capture passes through fewer glass elements than a zoom lens, so what you get at the business end of the sensor is light that is “purer” in a sense. You also get superb subject isolation at the widest apertures and the bokeh (out of focus background highlights) is as good as it gets with a telephoto prime lens. If you’re going to bring a prime lens I would recommend a 300/2.8 with a couple of teleconverters. This will give you some good options for range. The 400/2.8 would be good too, but I think it will be more difficult to travel with than the 300mm. Fast Telephoto Zooms A drawback to using fast primes at a place like Sabi Sabi though is that sometimes you might find yourself too close to the action for your chosen focal length to provide effective framing options. For this reason exotic fast zoom lenses like the Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR or the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS are ideal. They both offer a very useful zoom range as well as very acceptable bokeh. Most of our Big 5 safari guests who shoot Nikon have brought out this lens and none have been disappointed with it. On our last trip in 2012 I used the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 OS almost exclusively and was very happy with the results. You can read my full review of the lens (kindly supplied by Tudortech) here. The one good thing about the Sigma is that it is available in all the major manufacturer mounts, including Canon, Sony and Sigma’s own proprietary mount. […]

By |13th May 2013|Safari Planning|Comments Off on Lens options for the Big 5 Safari

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Review

A real life, in the field, non-scientific review by a working photographer Back in 2010 Sigma kindly loaned me the original, unstabilised version of this lens to take on our Nikongear.com Ultimate Big 5 Safari. I never got to grips with the lens on that trip and found it pretty [...]

By |21st November 2012|Equipment|Comments Off on Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM Review
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