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Three Nikon bodies for a safari
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Apr 13, 2019 19:27:03   #
markstjohn
 
I have the option of taking three Nikon bodies on an upcoming safari. I have a D850, D 810 and D500.

Should I take all three and match each of them with a lense I dont have to remove? If so, ideally what lense would you put on each body?

Thanks....

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Apr 13, 2019 19:29:31   #
rgrenaderphoto (a regular here)
 
markstjohn wrote:
I have the option of taking three Nikon bodies on an upcoming safari. I have a D850, D 810 and D500.

Should I take all three and match each of them with a lense I dont have to remove? If so, ideally what lense would you put on each body?

Thanks....


Depending on what type of Safari, check weight limits for air flights. Most Togs I know bring 1 body and a few lenses, and never, ever change lenses while on the bus. Dust is inescapable in Africa.

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Apr 13, 2019 20:04:22   #
boberic (a regular here)
 
rgrenaderphoto wrote:
Depending on what type of Safari, check weight limits for air flights. Most Togs I know bring 1 body and a few lenses, and never, ever change lenses while on the bus. Dust is inescapable in Africa.

A good time to use a lens protector filter.

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Apr 13, 2019 20:11:56   #
AJFRED
 
Depending on who runs your safari, you might experience some “hassle” with three cameras. We were on a Toyota Land Cruiser, and space was not all that plentiful. I had a Canon 5D MK II, with the 28-300 zoomer, which took care of most needs while on the bus. On only one occasion, a rhino and calf too far away, was I wishing for something longer. I had with me also Canon’s 16-35 wide zoom for a few landscape opportunities (but never swapped lenses on those dusty roads). And, don’t wear blue colors, the favorite of mosquitos.

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Apr 13, 2019 20:42:16   #
williejoha
 
When I did the Serengeti, I wish I would have taken 2 bodies. One using the 24-105 lens and the other with the 100-400 II. That combo will cover everything. What ever you do, do not change lenses in the field. Have a great time.
WJH

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Apr 13, 2019 20:50:40   #
rgrenaderphoto (a regular here)
 
AJFRED wrote:
Depending on who runs your safari, you might experience some “hassle” with three cameras. We were on a Toyota Land Cruiser, and space was not all that plentiful. I had a Canon 5D MK II, with the 28-300 zoomer, which took care of most needs while on the bus. On only one occasion, a rhino and calf too far away, was I wishing for something longer. I had with me also Canon’s 16-35 wide zoom for a few landscape opportunities (but never swapped lenses on those dusty roads). And, don’t wear blue colors, the favorite of mosquitos.
Depending on who runs your safari, you might exper... (show quote)


And, no Camouflage gear; camo is the favorite of Lions.

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Apr 14, 2019 00:23:17   #
kskarma
 
For about 99% of the time, I carry two Nikon D-750 bodies and they are paired with a Nikon 28-300mm and a Sigma 17-35mm zoom. I never have to change lenses or remember where a knob, button or menu item is and both of these cameras use the same battery...so I carry 2 extra batteries (total of 4, counting the cameras) at all times. (Do NOT forget your charger....whoops!!) So...if I were lucky enough to go on another safari, I'd take the same gear...identical camera bodies and versatile lenses with a slight overlap.
I have been on an African safari, back in film days...so I have some experience with this. As an earlier poster said, space on a van will probably be an issue, so having to manage 3 camera bodies in a cramped vehicle will be a real challenge....and will NOT make you popular with others who have to dodge the camera(s) that you are not using....
On our safari, the routine was to load into the Toyota or Land Rover 'pop up top' vans and head out early each morning and evening for a couple of hours of 'game runs' when the animals were more active. The driver/guides were excellent at finding a lot of animals to photograph...if we requested that they turn off the engines to make for a more steady shooting platform, they always complied...after all, photos were the main purpose of our trip. Most of the time, we had 4-6 people in a van...so that gave everyone a chance for lots of pix...since film was a precious commodity...not like digital cards now...it was important to make each shot count. I took about 60 boxes of 36exp. Kodachrome ASA 200 film...and ended up with 1700+ images...today, that would be just a day or two of shooting...(Yes, I'd love to return!!) I would generally shoot 2-4 rolls of 36exp film each day, depending where we were.
Keep in mind that many of the things we take for granted here, might not be available in Africa...depending on where you might be going. I would not plan on being able to find anything critical to your photo needs...so taking extra SD cards, batteries, etc. is advised. I'm sure that many places will have SD cards, for example, but I'd not take the chance...and I have no idea about pricing...just better to rely on yourself...
Not sure where you are going, we went to Kenya, a beautiful country, had a great time...saw tons of wildlife, great plains and forests....a trip of a lifetime. I'm sure you will enjoy your time there, too!

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Apr 14, 2019 02:26:23   #
rmorrison1116 (a regular here)
 
Leave the D810 at home, you won't really need it. If you're afraid of dust while changing lenses, bring a changing bag.

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Apr 14, 2019 06:47:20   #
ELNikkor (a regular here)
 
D810 not necessary

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Apr 14, 2019 07:28:20   #
traderjohn (a regular here)
 
rgrenaderphoto wrote:
Depending on what type of Safari, check weight limits for air flights. Most Togs I know bring 1 body and a few lenses, and never, ever change lenses while on the bus. Dust is inescapable in Africa.


"togs" my God.

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Apr 14, 2019 08:11:46   #
edhjr
 
850 and 500, approx 4 lenses from longest to something for wide angle panoramas. Monopod, 2.0 and 1.4 tele-adapters. pick your times and places to change lenses away from dust. Many camps do not have power on all night so take lots of spare batteries and charge batteries starting as soon as you get in your room. I carry a small computer and two sets of external hard drives and I download EVERY picture EVERY night TWICE!! I carry one set of hard drives in my carry on and my wife carries the other set. If necessary create a written checklist of the things to do at the end of each day to care for your cameras, lenses and photos. Eventually it will become second nature. Start doing the downloading and charging EVEN BEFORE HEADING TO THE BAR OR TO DINNER. Never lost a picture in external hard drive storage or a shooting opportunity because I was out of card storage space or out of batteries! Be AHEAD OF THE GAME AND DEVELOP YOUR OWN ROUTINE. Same approach becomes second nature and works in Galapagos, Alaska, Amazon, Panama, Carib, etc. etc. Have fun, good shooting!

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Apr 14, 2019 08:18:29   #
berchman (a regular here)
 
edhjr wrote:
850 and 500, approx 4 lenses from longest to something for wide angle panoramas. Monopod, 2.0 and 1.4 tele-adapters. pick your times and places to change lenses away from dust. Many camps do not have power on all night so take lots of spare batteries and charge batteries starting as soon as you get in your room. I carry a small computer and two sets of external hard drives and I download EVERY picture EVERY night TWICE!! I carry one set of hard drives in my carry on and my wife carries the other set. If necessary create a written checklist of the things to do at the end of each day to care for your cameras, lenses and photos. Eventually it will become second nature. Start doing the downloading and charging EVEN BEFORE HEADING TO THE BAR OR TO DINNER. Never lost a picture in external hard drive storage or a shooting opportunity because I was out of card storage space or out of batteries! Be AHEAD OF THE GAME AND DEVELOP YOUR OWN ROUTINE. Same approach becomes second nature and works in Galapagos, Alaska, Amazon, Panama, Carib, etc. etc. Have fun, good shooting!
850 and 500, approx 4 lenses from longest to somet... (show quote)


If the safari involves one or more flights on a small propeller plane, this amount of equipment will put you way over the weight limit and will not be allowed to be carried onto the airplane. I know this from personal experience with a safari that went to Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

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Apr 14, 2019 08:22:21   #
cameraf4 (a regular here)
 
traderjohn wrote:
"togs" my God.


I know. First time I've heard it too. I like it.

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Apr 14, 2019 08:29:08   #
SteveR (a regular here)
 
I have a friend who has travelled the world including several safaris in Kenya and Namibia. He has his gear weighed down to the gram, being from Germany, to adhere to airline weight limits, and it's all in one backpack. He uses two Canon crop cameras. In the past his main lens has been a Sigma 50-500mm but he's recently purchased a Sigma 150-600mm. He has one or two shorter lenses as well as a small flash. I'd recommend one fullframe camera and the D500. I'd keep a short lens on the D500 and a long lens like the 150-600 on the D500. Nikon options would be the 200-500, the 80-400, or 300mm f4 w/or without a 1.4. Having viewed Benno's results, his Sigma 50-500 has given him both excellent (sharp) photos and videos. He has taken some elephant photos that would knock your socks off.

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Apr 14, 2019 08:37:07   #
billnikon (a regular here)
 
markstjohn wrote:
I have the option of taking three Nikon bodies on an upcoming safari. I have a D850, D 810 and D500.

Should I take all three and match each of them with a lense I dont have to remove? If so, ideally what lense would you put on each body?

Thanks....


1. Leave the D810 at home, the D850 is superior in every regard.
2. You did not list the lenses that you owned. So, I will go out on a limb and tell you what you should put on each camera.
3. Personally, I would put the 70-200 2.8 on D850 to cover anything close, which sometimes happens.
I would then mount the Nikon 200-500 5.6 on my D500 for those shots that will need the reach, which, is sometimes the case while on Safari.
4. I would not change lenses while on Safari, it is very dusty there and the environment is not conducive to changing lenses.
5. Personally I would load the Nikon EN-EL18c battery in the D850 to maximize frames per second. I get 9 frames per second with this battery in my D850. And, as you know, this is not a quit camera, but the auto noise should cancel that out .
6. I would set both my camera's to continuous high frames per second, continuous auto focus, GROUP AUTO FOCUS, Aperture Priority, 1/3 to 1 stop stopped down on Aperture, center weighted metering, and set the ISO to give you a minimum shutter speed of at least 1/1000 sec. to stop that action. The faster you can shoot the better.
7. Take extra memory cards, batteries, and the trusty Giottos blower to keep your front element clean.

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