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Which bodies to take on Safari
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Nov 7, 2019 23:00:30   #
Robertl594 Loc: Michigan
 
Seeking opinions please. I am trying to decide which bodies to take on safari in Kenya and Tanzania. D5, D850, Z7

I am pretty sure I am taking my D5. Debating whether to take the D850 or Z7. I am very comfortable with the first two and less on the latter. Primarily due to amount of use and familiarity. Weight is not a huge consideration due to the size and weight of the lenses I will take.
170-400, 70-200, 24-70, 14-24.

I did read Thom Hogan’s review of his experience taking only Z6 and Z7. I only have one Z7 so I will take another body.

Many thanks for your constructive comments.
RL

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Nov 7, 2019 23:38:46   #
PixelStan77 Loc: Vermont/Chicago
 
Robertl594 wrote:
Seeking opinions please. I am trying to decide which bodies to take on safari in Kenya and Tanzania. D5, D850, Z7

I am pretty sure I am taking my D5. Debating whether to take the D850 or Z7. I am very comfortable with the first two and less on the latter. Primarily due to amount of use and familiarity. Weight is not a huge consideration due to the size and weight of the lenses I will take.
170-400, 70-200, 24-70, 14-24.

I did read Thom Hogan’s review of his experience taking only Z6 and Z7. I only have one Z7 so I will take another body.

Many thanks for your constructive comments.
RL
Seeking opinions please. I am trying to decide whi... (show quote)


RL, You can't change lenses while out in the field on the safari. I would take the D850 with the 170-400 and the D5 24-70. Make sure you have a cleaning supplies when you come in from the field.

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Nov 7, 2019 23:51:25   #
Robertl594 Loc: Michigan
 
PixelStan77 wrote:
RL, You can't change lenses while out in the field on the safari. I would take the D850 with the 170-400 and the D5 24-70. Make sure you have a cleaning supplies when you come in from the field.

That is exactly what I was thinking. Thank you.

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Nov 8, 2019 00:14:38   #
Silverrails
 
Robertl594 wrote:
Seeking opinions please. I am trying to decide which bodies to take on safari in Kenya and Tanzania. D5, D850, Z7

I am pretty sure I am taking my D5. Debating whether to take the D850 or Z7. I am very comfortable with the first two and less on the latter. Primarily due to amount of use and familiarity. Weight is not a huge consideration due to the size and weight of the lenses I will take.
170-400, 70-200, 24-70, 14-24.

I did read Thom Hogan’s review of his experience taking only Z6 and Z7. I only have one Z7 so I will take another body.

Many thanks for your constructive comments.
RL
Seeking opinions please. I am trying to decide whi... (show quote)


I have No experience with any of these Cameras, and have never been on an Africa Safari. Although I will guess the Safari will be Dusty, Dirty, possibly Hot, possibly humid. the Safari environment will most likely be classified as "Rugged", so those things should be considered in your Photography Decisions.

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Nov 8, 2019 02:22:38   #
Mu Dan
 
Unless you are trying to run faster then everyone else to escape from a lion, I don’t think weight would be a problem unless you are confronted with weight or size limitations imposed by the operators of small planes. While I had a simple camera I saw a number of tourists with lenses longer than my arm. I never experienced problems with temperature, dust, humidity or other unduly environmental issues. Of course we had phoned ahead to avoid the the worst days. Haha. I know it seems strange but while there was a constant strong wind in Tanzania, it did not seem to carry the dust one would expect.
There were times that a long range lens would be great: flamingos a thousand yards away but extending more than a thousand yards from left to right, hundreds of African buffalos 800 yards away. I am sure folks with big scopes could get great shots at the long distant nonmoving objects.
But, for me, were the shots that were unanticipated: wildebeests or gazelles fighting, a cheetah eating a recent kill while fending off vultures, elephants challenging the right away, lions in the nearby trees. I am still giving presentations at outdoor srores and nature reserve's. Be quick, be nimble and be ready.
I don’t know much about cameras, but a photo of flamingos a thousand yards away will never be as good as a photo a hundred yards away.
I don’t think you should let a camera intrude on what your own eyes see.

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Nov 8, 2019 06:12:45   #
cvoleti
 
I just returned from a three week safari in Kruger National forest and Tanzania. I would strongly agree with PixelStan77. There is dust every where, don’t even think of changing lenses, with the combination of D850 with the 170-400 and D5 with 24-70 you will cover all your needs. I was prepared for a once in a life time experience and wasn’t disappointed at all. Have a great adventure...

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Nov 8, 2019 06:50:19   #
mborn Loc: Massachusetts
 
I have an upcoming safari in Kenya and SA. I plan on taking my Z7 with Tamron 15-30 for landscapes and my D500 with various lens for wildlife

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Nov 8, 2019 08:44:06   #
MT Shooter Loc: Montana
 
Robertl594 wrote:
Seeking opinions please. I am trying to decide which bodies to take on safari in Kenya and Tanzania. D5, D850, Z7

I am pretty sure I am taking my D5. Debating whether to take the D850 or Z7. I am very comfortable with the first two and less on the latter. Primarily due to amount of use and familiarity. Weight is not a huge consideration due to the size and weight of the lenses I will take.
170-400, 70-200, 24-70, 14-24.

I did read Thom Hogan’s review of his experience taking only Z6 and Z7. I only have one Z7 so I will take another body.

Many thanks for your constructive comments.
RL
Seeking opinions please. I am trying to decide whi... (show quote)


My question is, what the heck is a 170-400???
Nikon makes a 180-400mm F4 lens. I find it is absolutely amazing on the D5 AND D850, never tried it on the Z7 though. On the D5 it would be a no brainers for wildlife. I would use a wide angle, maybe 24-70 on the D850 for landscape and closer shots for it's amazing resolution.

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Nov 8, 2019 08:58:26   #
Robertl594 Loc: Michigan
 
MT Shooter wrote:
My question is, what the heck is a 170-400???
Nikon makes a 180-400mm F4 lens. I find it is absolutely amazing on the D5 AND D850, never tried it on the Z7 though. On the D5 it would be a no brainers for wildlife. I would use a wide angle, maybe 24-70 on the D850 for landscape and closer shots for it's amazing resolution.

You are absolutely correct. Typo. 180-400. Those numbers are so close on my iPhone. Thanks!

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Nov 8, 2019 09:56:15   #
lsimpkins Loc: SE Pennsylvania
 
Mu Dan wrote:
...I don’t think weight would be a problem unless you are confronted with weight or size limitations imposed by the operators of small planes...

On our upcoming Tanzania safari, we are not taking any small plane trips - strictly moving around in a vehicle. However, our tour group has a published limit for all luggage, including camera gear, of 33 pounds per person. I would check what limitations your tour imposes before making a final choice of gear (and clothing, etc.).

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Nov 8, 2019 10:51:45   #
photoman43
 
I have been to Africa on photo safaris two times. One trip was to Tanzania. I had two D300s on that trip with a 500mm f4 and a 70-200. And a 1.4x tc. And a 16-85mm. About 50% of the pics were with the 500 and the tc; and about 49% with the 70-200mm.

I would take the d5 and the d850 and add a tc to your lenses. The d850 can be used in FX or DX. I do not know if the z7 has this capability. And it might come down to which body has better capabilities at FPS and adequate buffer—d850 or z7.

Joe

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Nov 8, 2019 10:57:45   #
1grumpybear
 
Been to Africa 4 times in the last 6 years. In June I was in South Africa for 3 weeks visiting different reserves. May 2013 I was shooting with a Nikon D4 now I am shooting with the Nikon D5 and D850. The D5 had the 70-200 lens on, the D850 24-70. The reason for this combination is the pixel count, the D850 has twice the pixels. When out we never were out of the vehicle so the camera gear weight was never a problem. I also have a 200-400 but on trip to Tanzania after the first few days of shooting with 200-400 I found it was not working the way I envision. There was no space for the tripod and the bean bag was ok when the vehicle was stopped. Dirt roads there are not smooth. I don't know if you have profiled your cameras I have and the D5 I can shoot 2 stops down which then I can have faster shutter or a lower ISO. The D850 is about one and half stops. I found the guides very accommodating but safety was always first priority. The lion at night is the D850 24-70 lens at 56mm. The leopard is with the D4 200-400, at 400mm, vehicle is stopped, camera on a bean bag. The rinos, D4 200-400 at 200mm the camera is hand held. You don't know where an when the picture is going to pop up, sometimes left, sometimes right, sometimes front, sometimes back of you. As far as the Z7 goes the D850 and D5 are better cameras. A friend of mine has the D5 and D810 ordered the Z7 thinking it would replace the 810 used it for a couple weeks and sent it back.


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Nov 8, 2019 11:30:32   #
SteveR Loc: Dallas
 
My world traveling friend, Benno Ibold, from Germany, does not shoot with as exotic gear as the OP. He uses two Canon crop cameras and for years used a Sigma 50-500 as his primary lens with a couple of shorter lens in his bag as well. Recently he moved to the Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary lens, esp. for his safari photos. On a crop camera that gives him field of view equivalency of up to 900mm. Ofc., you can crop in p/p and the 850 should allow you more leeway for cropping than the D5 if I am correct. My friend goes primarily to Kenya, Namibia, and Tanzania when he goes to Africa. Some of his elephant photos and photos of the great migration are awesome. Check him out on facebook.

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Nov 8, 2019 11:40:53   #
philo Loc: philo, ca
 
I just got back from a trip to Costa Rica and one of the ladies was using a Nikon P1000. It's looks like a perfect camera for Africa. You can't change lens, but it goes to 3000mm. The quality from what i saw was pretty good. If i go again next year i may buy one or rent one. the cost is under $1000

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Nov 8, 2019 11:43:17   #
Bill P
 
PixelStan77 wrote:
RL, You can't change lenses while out in the field on the safari. I would take the D850 with the 170-400 and the D5 24-70. Make sure you have a cleaning supplies when you come in from the field.


You can change lenses on a safari, you just have to be careful doing it. There will be times when you are jsut riding in the jeep going from animal to animal. Those times dust was not a problem. Other times, it can be, but I think dust problems might be seasonal. The wind doesn't blow hard all the time.

That's not to say a blower brush and wipes aren't good to have around.

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