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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:48 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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3.2.1 Car pairings

Hmmm, more thought and questioning has gone into this than anything else. Well, here goes:
    - 1D4 + 500 + 1.4x,
    - 60D + 70-200,
    - 6D + 24-105.

I have a deep love for the 1D4 + 500 + 1.4x combination. If there is anything out there, this combo can get high quality images thereof. No flying birds or running mammals, regardless of speed or changes in direction or angle of movement, this combo will track and capture the action. Also, the sheer volume of high quality shots in a sequence allows me to be very picky as to which frozen split second best portrays the emotion and beauty of the moment as I experienced it. This will also obviously be my snap the bird, ID the bird, put the bird on the life list tool.

The 60D + 70-200 will be the agile whatever is close combo. This lens is so sharp and so sharp to AF, I will get detail of anything that is only 320 equivalent mm away.

The 24-105 is one of my favourite lenses and my most used non-wildlife lens (use it as my main studio lens). The animalscapes and landscapes possible with the combo have not been tested (still need to buy the 6D) but am looking forward to working a style that I rarely do but was my initial inspiration to take photography seriously as an art form and not only a memory capture for family moments.

I am still concerned about the gap between 910 and 320 equivalent mm (1D4 and 60D) – anybody got some advice on the need to have something in between? Otherwise I will wing it – hence the inclusion of the highly underrated bigma (50-500): it is light once you have used a 1D4 + 500 and although the maximum aperture at 500 is only 6.3, the all-in-one lens feel it gives by moving through such a large range is special. The image quality is decent (although it does have significant chromatic aberrations in high contrast situations, like a bird in a bright sky) and sharpness decent.

But now, that is only for the car. What about the other opportunities. Well, I have thought of them too…

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:50 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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3.2.2 Morning walks

I am not certain here. I think I will take 2 (lighter one in a sling bag):
    - 1D4 + 500 (1.4x in bag, just in case),
    - 6D + 70-200.

70 mm should be wide enough for animalscapes and the range of 70-200 should allow for decent scene shots of large mammals nearby. Also, the high ISO ability and 2.8 lens allow me to shoot handheld (when not lying on the ground for that sweet low angle) and still get sharp images.

The long set is again for bird ID as well as smaller mammals et al. or larger excitement that is far away. This I will be carrying with a monopod though. The 1.4x will most likely get put on as the light comes through, would like the f4 while it is dark to prevent going much above ISO400 on the 1D4 (I am allergic to noise).

3.2.3 Night drives

This is probably the only simple one for me: 6D with 70-200. It is small enough to manoeuvre in a packed vehicle, high shutter speed opportunity, lower focal lengths allow for handholding being less dicey and I doubt I will need or be able to utilise a 500 focal length on a drive. The main thing is that the combo is relatively small and light allowing me the opportunity to enjoy being on the drive (which is what it is all about, right?).

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:52 pm 
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3.2.4 Hides

Okay, so this is the really simple one:
      - 1D4 + 500 + 1.4 on gimbal,
      - 70-200 (body depends on light – low light = 6D, wanting some more length, 60D).

3.2.5 Speciality shots

Anything with an ultra wide feel will be with the 60D and 10-20 (highly underrated combination, colour and IQ are really good, and here the combo is even relatively cheap).

Low light animalscapes and general landscape will be with the 6D + 24-105. I realise it is not that wide, but wider is the above setup.

Night shots with frozen stars will be both the 6D + 24-105 and 60D + 10-20, not sure what will work best. Startrails will be with the 6D and 24-105 or 70-200, depending what I want to do.

Animal shots from the wilderness camps may become the 6D with 500 for best light gathering. But the amount I use this will depend on how I feel and whether I really want to take anything off my 1D4 and how far I am from the action which in turn depends on which hut/tent I get.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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If anybody has any advice or comment or insight on the pairings, please feel free to reply or pm. I am willing to change my plans but would prefer to have a solid plan going in.

Advice/suggestion on focal lengths for Grootkolk, Urikaruus as well as morning walks and night drives will be dearly appreciated.

John

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:56 pm 
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Hmmmmmmmmmm..are you actually going to eat and sleep or just take photos....:)
Just kidding ...just had a quick read through all of this and need to go back and have a slower more digestive read.....:) :)

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17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:14 pm 
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Hehe, nope, the food is really not very important to me on this trip. I will eat basic stuff (to be discussed later in a separate chapter), but so long as I have enough and can get some roosterkoek at Nossob and venison biltong while in the park (I like to support the parks, they go to effort to keep things in the shops, and I like my game biltong) I will be fine.

I plan on being up as light starts (before sun is up) and will keep going as long as my body allows.

I understand, there is quite a lot typed there, but I like doing things in sections and with lists (as if nobody has noticed). Hope that somewhere somebody gets some value out of my lists.

John

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:32 pm 
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I use a 400mm 5.6 on my Canon 1D ..that is as good as it gets for me I am afraid. But it is an awesome lens and I can handhold quite comfortably with it and it has given me some awesome shots as well. I do have a 1.4 mkii converter but tend not to use it too much. I have a 70-200 2.8 but not mk ii on a 50D body as well. That gets used less than the 400mm though. But as you say the perfect lens for a night drive. I have also used it quite successfully on a tripod in the evenings at Urikaruus. My general purpose lens is the 24-105 mm lens..awesome lens as well When we are driving I have that attached to the 40 D . But if I want to do landscapes etc in camp I will then attach to the 1D.......
You have many awesome toys to play with..looking forward to seeing your photos

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:33 pm 
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Hmmm..not sure that Roosterkoek is available at Nossob anymore...:(

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:58 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Caracal, the fact you use a 520 equivalent and then drop to 200 (50D is full frame, right?) without choosing to use the 1.4 for extra reach, makes me more comfortable with my ranges.

Have heard great things of the 400 5.6. Handholding for steady shots I don't really trust regardless of the weight, I can pan with the 500 handheld, but stationary shots are a challenge.

Thanks for your interest. Hope to see some images and comments from you from your upcoming trip before I leave?

Have a great evening

John

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:08 pm 
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Nope 50 D is not a full frame .....:)
But yes we all learn to use what we have to the best of our ability.....:)
Looking forward to our upcoming trip...and hoping for some awesome sightings ...but just being in the park is enjoyable enough. :)
Not sure if I will have much time to post anything after our trip though..I will be off to New Zealand a week later...:)
And that is challenging..what camera equipment to take to NZ....when one is only allowed 7kg's for hand luggage. I opt for 1D plus 400mm lens (birding is important to me ) and 24-105mm plus flash and that is my 7kg's sorted...:) Oh and I have the silly little nifty fifty 50mm 1.8 lens that will get shoved in as well..awesome little piece of plastic...:) But apologies I am getting a bit off topic here....

Do you use flash...I don't think I saw mention of that in your kit ???

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:33 pm 
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John, this is such an interesting read, thank you.

You will probably still get there but I am interested to see what you use in the car, Gimbal on Badger car mount, just bean bag or what.

To get back to you lens selection, very nice. I would not take the Bigma 50-500mm as I think you will never use it. In my Canon days I had the 1DIV paired with 500mm f4 (sometimes with 1.4lll) and 7D with 70-200mm f2.8 ll. I did not have third body but my trusty 24-105mm was never too far. I later had the 300mm F2.8 which was a fantastic lens.

I personally would not be able to take 500mm on morning walk as I could not hand hold for long and to also carry a monopod was insane. So for me 70-200mm plus 1.4 (and 2.0 in backpack) was all I could handle (with all the water, pace maker batteries, energy drinks and bars)

With the black stuff it is now D4 and 600mm plus 1.4 and D800 with 70-200 f2.8 and for walks probably swop the pairing. My 24-70mm f2.8 then within reach.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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3.3. Other photographic kit selection

There are always some other things that need to go along, and this just for the pictures (not even at the food or medikit or spare tyre yet):

3.3.1. Support:

    - Tripod (have a carbon fibre Giottos – can only handle 8 kg and thus will be used for the smaller camera combinations, but really nice to use for landscapes and other setups where you are not in the mood to lug heavy equipment around),
    - Monopod (still to buy, must be able to support the 1D4+500 combination),
    - Gimbal head (have the Benro version),
    - Badger groundpod (can mount the Gimbal on this little genius),
    - Badger beanbag for a door,
    - Old engineering textbooks to use as spacers at hides,

3.3.2. Light alteration:

    - Canon 430 flash (fine, not the strongest, but pretty decent),
    - Flash extender (under purchase consideration)
    - LED Lenser P7 torch,
    - Camping LED light array (can be set to give really nice big area of constant white light),
    - CPL filter (will stick on my 24-105 most of time I imagine),
    - UV filter (only on my macro lens, never know when something will jump),

3.3.3. Cleaning kit:

    - Air blower (got the booger remover from a chemist – way cheaper than the official camera version, same function, equally effective, just cheaper),
    - Specsavers lens cleaning fluid (again, cheaper than the camera version but equally effective – and it squirts nicely),
    - Dirty cloth (not really dirty, but used while liquid is on lens),
    - Clean cloth (only used one lens is dry and already mostly clean – this is thus a polishing step in my cleaning process),

3.3.4. Other:

    - Spare batteries (1 spare for 1D4, 1 common spare for 60D and 6D, flash set of 4 AA),
    - Chargers for all batteries,
    - HDD space (I copy all images from my SD cards to my laptop’s D drive, then I copy that folder to my working folder on my C drive and then also back it up on an external Western Digital 1 TB HDD; I will also be carrying a spare laptop – just in case something goes wrong with the main one, how else do you download 20 GB per day?). I will have 2x 16 GB and 2x 32 GB Extreme Pro SD cards.
    - Walkabout over the shoulder bag (always nice to carry some other camera/lens option as well as goodies you may need while walking around),
    - Main kit bag (more for transport than anything else),
    - Camera strap (still to buy, but allows the weight of the big boy to lie on my hip and the weight carried there and on my shoulders rather than by my arms and back),
    - Pillows (for the cameras to lie on in the car),
    - Towel (to throw over the big canon, pun intended, to protect from dust and sun),
    - Shoe boxes (to put the smaller setups while driving around to protect from dust),
    - Plug sharer and 2 prong adapters,
    - Remote release (for night time shots and landscape work), and
    - Pentax 16x50 binoculars (tested them again this weekend, had not used them in years, really nice optics and large field of view – why under the photo section? It is much quicker and less strenuous to check what that thing way over there or little bird in this tree is with this guy than it is to get the long glass out – this way I am less tired at the end of the day keeping me eager for the 0430 alarm the following morning). Also, I found that they can rest between my steering wheel and instrument panel making it really quick to access (would not want to use too much time and end up missing some spectacular moment).

I plan on shooting with the groundpod + Gimbal under the heavy glass while in a hide.

On the road I usually use the beanbag as is – I will likely use the grounpod + Gimbal setup on top of the beanbag from the car, especially once set up and sitting at a waterhole. It is somewhat cumbersome to move the whole shebang in the car so getting that fleeting moment may be missed, will have to see.

While sitting at Grootkolk and Urikaruus I plan on steeing up the table with the Gimbal + grounpod with the longest setup. The tripod will be used for the medium setup until evening where the tripod will get the wide setup for some scenic panoramas (hope).

Hehe, so that is all my picture making kit. Seems quite a lot now looking at it. But hey, this is a moments in photography capturing trip...

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Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:36 pm 
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There is definitely no time for eating or sleeping on your upcoming trip..... :wink:
I do hope you have many "moments" to capture and to make use of all your "toys"....:)

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13-15th Oct Kgalagadi Lodge
16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
:) :) :) :) :)


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:55 pm 
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John,

Have you got your running shoes pack for the trip. Lions / leopards walk quite fast and you need to be quick to get to the hide. :twisted: We missed a leopard by 1 minutes even after my LO called us on the Walkie-Talkie. :wall: :wall:

Luckily you won't have that problem at Uri.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:06 pm 
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Son godin, you think you are joking, but I am planning on packing my running shoes. :naughty: Not to be confused with my general running shoes, my real running shoes are only for running (not playing cricket, walking on rocks when at the sea or garden work, ONLY running), and I am packing them. So I indeed plan on running in camp. I remember doing so when I was 12 on my only previous visit to KTP, I ran laps around Nossob. :dance:

In that vein, having worked 72 h weeks for the past 5 weeks (with the last one being mostly report writing) I have not had much time for exercise. But Friday past I started my gym routine again (usually 4-5 times per week, 20 min serious cardio and 30 min weights) and have been 3 times now.

The thing is, handholding a 500 f4 is not for marshmallows. I, out of frustration of not taking any shots for the 5 weeks, went to a local dam for 30 min. Wow, how sore was my shoulder for the next 2 days, so I had no choice but to revisit the gym.

Also, I have restarted going to the steam room, preparation for 45 oC afternoons...

53 days to go now...

John

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Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

Photograph all moments of beauty not to forget, but treasure them in your heart to remember


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