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Thread: P&S with a long zoom

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    Ausphotography Regular crafty1tutu's Avatar
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    P&S with a long zoom

    I am about to head off to South Africa in just over 6 weeks time and I now have a dilemna. I was planning to take my Canon 50D, Canon 100-400 IS L series lens, and my 2 x extender and my faithful Canon EF-S 18-200 lens with me. I have been suffering with dreadful pain in my left wrist and hand now for about 8 weeks and although Carpel Tunnel has been ruled out, the pain is very debilitating and I am not sure whether I will be able to carry the heavy gear around with me.

    I was wondering if anyone knows of a good P&S camera that has a long zoom which takes really, really good photos. I have an Olympus SP-800 UZ with a 30x zoom, but I am never happy with the photos. I know that they will never be as good as a DSLR, but I am becoming desparate now with the time closing in if treatment can't relieve the pain. I bought the 100-400 with the intention of travelling back to SA one day, so to say I am disappointed is an understatement.

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    Having been to SA recently and going back in October I have to say that if you do not take the 50D and 100-400 you will come home disappointed in your pictures. Not that there are not great P&S cameras out there but they will not give you what I think you want.

    I found that although the 100-400 was good for long range shots I used the 70-200 more as the animals were usually not that far away. I know the 70-200 is just as heavy but it may give you some ideas as to other lenses to consider taking.

    The best solution IMO would be to take a monopod. I found it fairly easy to use in the safari vehicles and it handles the weight for 95% of the time so should protect your wrist. Depending on the vehicle you will be in, maybe a bean bag would be an option?

    Either way, my advice is take the 50D and find a way to support it, you know it is going to get you the shots you want.

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    Although some years ago, my experience was that a really long zoom is not necessary - I think I only had a 35 - 135 mm Nikon zoom and came away with many shots I prize and quite close enough. So a good quality 200mm max should be fine.

    Ian
    Sony DSCR1 bridge camera; Sony Alpha SLT A57; Sony Zeiss 16-80mm f3.5-4.5 lens; Sigma 10-20mm UWA lens; converted Nikon 50mm f2.0 lens; Filters: ND4,ND8,ND1000, CP; Photoshop CS6. 82.7% of statistics are made up!




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    Thank you for your replies. I was planning to take a beanbag with me - a friend of my husband is a professional photographer who often goes to South Africa and he made one that he was selling on line. It is a great design with many different ways of use.


    Bean bag tripod by crafty1tutu (Ann) (going to South Africa in July), on Flickr


    Bean bag tripod by crafty1tutu (Ann) (going to South Africa in July), on Flickr

    I also own the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS lens - you think this is a better option. I am determined to take my Canon gear as I know that I will be disappointed otherwise.
    Last edited by crafty1tutu; 31-05-2012 at 2:36pm.

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    Yep I think the 70-200 2.8 is a very good choice. I had 2 bodies and found myself favouring the one with the 70-200 about 90% of the time.

    I bought a 50-500 Sigma for my next trip to see if it really can give me the best of both worlds with good zoom and better width close up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crafty1tutu View Post

    I also own the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS lens - you think this is a better option. I am determined to take my Canon gear as I know that I will be disappointed otherwise.
    A pretty simple search shows that this lens is even heavier than the 100-400. I would look at a monopod as well as most of the weight will be down through it then and not your wrist.

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    Thank you both. I have a monopod as well, so will probably take it (I hate lugging them around though LOL). I really like the idea of the 400 mm zoom as I know last time some of the animals were too far away. I suppose I could take the 70-200 and the 2 X extender to get the extra zoom. I have the 18-200 lens which is a great all rounder for everyday photos.

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    G'day CT

    May I answer you as one who has [after 40+ yrs of SLR usage] essentially given SLRs the flick for being too heavy & unwieldy ...
    As others above have mentioned - and you know all too well, everything is a series of compromises and for travelling size & weight is paramount.

    There is no arguement that for example, a 70-200 f2,8 "L" series lens is a damn fine lens and it damn-well ought to be for the price. Yes- if you are being paid for your travels & the results you bring home, then by all means take it - go and use it and put up with its +'s & -'s. However if you are going as a tourist and your aim is to bring home some very good memories and print the occasional 16" x 20" print after you have put together an on-line photobook, then leave the SLR at home and take a superzoom of some sort

    My suggestion would be either a Panny FZ150 or a Fuji X-s1 > each has a lens that stretches out to 600mm in film-camera equiv terms. Each has the full range of P-A-S-M operations you are used to

    If you are concerned about overall IQ - look up some of my recent postings to see what 600mm images come out like
    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography
    images.: flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/

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    Thank you Phil. I am going as a tourist, but having been there twice before I was hoping to take the 100-400 lens. I bought it after our last trip with the next in mind. I do see your point though and I suppose it is the problem that every photography lover has to solve. I have heard good reports about the Panasonic and the Fuji though, so I will check up on some reviews. I am hoping that in the six weeks before our trip that I will have some relief from the pain as I am wearing guards and taking it easy (much to hubby's disgust LOL). I would rather not have to have the expense of buying another camera when I have two P&S cameras here albeit ones that I am not really happy with.

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    you going to Kruger Park? I spent a week there in 1999 it's one of my best memories it was awesome!! I shot a full roll of film per day!!

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day CT

    as a follow-on to my earlier comment... my missus is booked for a 21-day african tour in Oct this year and has decided that her FZ100 will be all she goes with. If it were me, I'd stick with my Fuji and accept what comes my way ...

    @Patrick > yes mate, it's amazing how things have changed ... I remember my 1st aussie tour of the late 1960s where I thought I was a big-shooter by buying 2x Kodak 10 packs of 36 exp Hi-Speed Ecktachrome for the 6 weeks I was on the road

    Regards, Phil

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    Thank you Patrick and Phil. This is my third trip to South Africa and on my last trip in 2007 I took over 9,000 photos in four weeks (the beauty of digital). We have booked a house in Marloth Park which backs on to Kruger. The animals roam freely through the park which is exciting. I was using a Canon 350D and 75-300 zoom then and this time I was hoping for closer shots with the 100-400 lens. You can see my photos on Flickr.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8364607...7601849785568/

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    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Hi, just throwing in another option but possibly a little pricey.
    How bout an Olympus EM5 and Panasonic 100-300mm. We're talking 200-600 equivalent focal length here with a sensor arguably on par with most APS-C sensors, in a package under 1kg.
    For a cheaper option, substitute EM5 with a GX1.
    Nikon FX

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    Thank you swifty for your reply. I checked out the Olympus - looks impressive, but as you say a bit pricey. It would take all my spending money sadly - I have been saving for ages LOL. I can only hope that I will see some improvement with my hand before we leave.

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