Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Photography gear suggestions for a Tanzania photo safari

The African safari dream vacation is booked.

Now comes the tiem to make sone decisions -- what camera equipment do you take with you to get the photos you sooooo want to show off?

Camera bodies:
Take a main body and a spare if you have one. One will suffice... but two is optimal.

On my next Safari I will be taking the Canon 5D MkII and the Olympus E30.

I suggest full coverage from wide angle to telephoto.  On my next photo safari to Tanzania I will be taking the 11-22mm f2.8-3.5 wide angle, a 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 and a 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 with a 2.0x teleconverter for my Olympus body.
For my canon body I will have a Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 and a 17-40mm f/4.0L

An external flash is also a suggestion. Filling in shadows and creating proper lighting indoors and when shooting local tribes people is something a flash will help you with.

Camera Bag:
A backpack camera bag is ideal. You'll want to be able to carry your equipment on to airplanes to avoid theft, so a backpack works best.

I will have my gear in a LowePRO protrekker 400 as it will fit both my bodies and lenses in the bag while I am travelling.

I am not going to tell you that this is a deal breaker… you can choose to shoot in any light situation you want… but why chance it.

I will take a monopod , a beanbag and a light carbon fibre tripod. Chances are you will be using the bean bag most while on safari and when not using it the ISO adjustment will compensate for any low light situations. But for golden hour or blue hour shooting you will be kicking yourself in the butt when you see a scene at low light and you have no way to steady your camera for a couple seconds.

Storage Media
I shoot all my photos in RAW and will take a minimum of 5 media cards for the 7 day trip. Each card will be a 16gig Sandisk Extreme CF cards and will hold between 800 and 1100 images on each card.

Other accessories:
Take a rain cover for yourself and your camera body if you are going to be there in the rainy season like we will. While rain last for very short periods of time in Tanzania, the down pours are hard.

Batteries and chargers:
 I have four batteries for each camera body and I will take them all. I will also be taking chargers with the appropriate wall plug to charge my batteries as they drain. You can also buy a solar panel charger from a company called voltaic systems for a couple hundred dollars if you want to go that route.

I will be taking my entire cokin P series polarizers and ND filters with me when I travel. I also have an assortment of Tiffen filters I use.

At some point on your safari you will wish you had the right filter. Harsh light or bright skies and darker foregrounds will definitely have you scurrying to borrow someone’s filter if you do not take your own.

Lens cleaners and cloths:
Take cleaners and cloths for both your lenses and sensor (if you know how to clean your sensor) If you are not careful when changing lenses you can easily get dust on your sensor.

If an African Safari is something you have always wanted to do, check out our trips in the next couple years on the Photographers Lounge.

We also have just a fun African holiday with a group of us coming up in April 2013. The photo safari price is under $4000 and includes all your land based costs and food... Shoot me an email if you are interested... kevin @ . Its just going to be a great holiday with friends in Tanzania.... taking photos, sharing stories by the fire under the full moon in April of 2013, making new friends and enjoying the beautiful country of Tanzania.