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Thread: Which lens?

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    Member DCR62's Avatar
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    Which lens?

    In late February I am travlling to India on a holiday. One of the things I will be doing is visiting the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan. This is one of the worlds best Tiger habitats. I am very new to photography and was wondering what lens would be best to take along. I intend to hire one before I leave if needed rather than buy at this point. My camera is a Canon 60D and I have a Sigma 18-200mm lens already.

    Cheers
    Dave

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    Why would you need any other lens for daytime shooting? You have the entire focal range covered with what you currently have so I'd just save your money and spend it on other things like your holiday!

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    Member Dittography's Avatar
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    When I bought my first DSLR I was already on holiday in Malaysia, the first and last time I've been there. In hindsight I'd wished I'd bought the camera and learnt how to use it before going on the trip. Even with the basic set up I had I could have gotten so much better pictures than I came home with. I agree with Avalanche, considering that you have indicated your skill level is beginner I'd suggest you try to simulate taking some shots that you suspect mimic what you will be going to do in India, ie similar lighting and distance to the tigers etc rather than worrying about equipment just now. Once you have a go at the practice shots you can ask for some CC here. If you then find with the improved techniques that the lens you have can't produce what you want, then with a better idea of what you are looking for people can give some advice on recommended lenses to hire..
    Get the camera out, have a play, see what does and doesn't work, ask questions about what you think isn't specifically working for you and most of all have fun doing it..

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    Dave,
    I certainly agree with some of the comments above, if this might be the "trip of a lifetime" you don't want to spend it reading your camera manual and working out what the buttons do while a Tiger walks past in front of your jeep! Try and get to the point where you know all the main features/setting by heart and can do most adjustments by feel, without looking at the camera. I haven't been to India, but on quick google, Ranthambore looks fairly similar (environment wise) to South Africa where I have been on Safari. Assuming, as with most African parks, you have to stick to designated roads, a lot depends on how busy the park is on the day and how "habitualised" the wildlife is. You might be very lucky and have a Tiger right beside/crossing the road, where the 18-200 would be fine. More likely the sightings will be much further away and/or in heavy scrub or even up a tree. At these times the longest & fastest telephoto you can get (say 300-500mm) is your best option. Depending on your budget/luggage capacity options would be the 100-400f4.5-5.6L, 300f4L, 300f2.8L + TC, 500f4L. I would also strongly advise taking a second camera body (preferably another 60D so you're familiar with it, common batteries, charger etc.) just in case one fails and you don't waste time swapping lenses plus less chance of letting dust in. I used 2 bodies in Africa 70-200f2.8 & 500f4 for 95% of shots. Also make sure you take spare batteries and memory cards. Another essential is a decent pair of 8-10x40 compact binoculars, these are a lot better for spoting/observing wildlife than through camera viewfinder. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the experience!

    Cheers
    John


    EOS 1D MKIII x2, EOS 6D; Samyang 14 2.8 IF ED UMC, EF 17-40 4 L, EF 24-70 2.8 L, EF 50 1.4, EF 85 1.8, EF 70-200 2.8 L IS, EF 100 2.8 macro, EF 400 5.6 L, 1.4x II TC, EF25 ET; Speelite 580EX, 430EX; Nissin Di866II; Yongnuo YN560i/ii & YN460ii, YN622C's, RF602's; Gitzo GT3541XLS + Markins Q20i; Manfrotto 055XProB + Giottos MH1301; Manfrotto 680B c/w Kirk MPA-1; Tamrac Pro5, ThinkTank Airport Accelerator, Airport Antidote V2, Pro Speed Belt + Racing Harness + Modular Skin Set; Lightroom 5.3, Photoshop CS5.
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    Thanks everyone. I have had the 60D for over 18 months now (only been using it for thelast 3 months) so I think I have got the basics down pat. I am now using manual settings and and shootining in RAW as opposed to when I first got it and left set in Auto. I have been somewhat happy with my rsults to date and pretty much use it on a daily basis and think I am getting better as I go along. Thanks for the input everyone, I'll stick to the current lens and see how I go.

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    Site Rules Breach - Permanent Ban El Pedro's Avatar
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    How close are you able to get to the tigers? You might want a little more reach if you aren't able to get up close.

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