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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:56 am 
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Location: Fourways, Johannesburg
Nice setup.... but I would suggest that you focus on improving your glass quality rather than extending your range (clearly depending on your photographic bias...) The Sigma will gain you a little more reach at the cost of clarity and speed and you would probably be better off getting 70-200 f2.8 or a decent prime (which can take a converter without af loss).... quite a bit more cash outlay, but no logical reason to replace your 100 - 400 canon for a mere extra 100mm. If you are into birding or fast photography in any way, focusing speed and clarity of the canon range of lenses is seldom surpassed by equivalent 3rd party lenses.

As a D7000 user (from the dark side :twisted: ) I am happy with my upgrade from the iconic D70, but the quality of the Nikon body is only now showing the shortcomings of my substantial (but rather slow) lens collection, which includes an older model Sigma 170 - 500. Given that you have a reasonable range in your current setup, my suggestion to you would be to improve the quality of the lenses over time.....

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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:29 pm 
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Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
yatiya wrote:
When I was buying, I was torn between Nikon D7000 and Canon 7D. I eventually chose Canon because I'm more familiar with the brand, and lenses are (supposedly) cheaper. Any thoughts on image quality between these two, or anything that sets them apart beside price? Most sites I've reviewed (incl this one!) have heavy bias, with proponents of each brand touting their brand as being the best.

Also, should I get a teleconverter? Considering the largest aperture on the 400mm is 4.5, that makes it an effective f6.3 with a 1.4x - bit slow? I'd love to get a 300mm f2.8, but the price makes my knees go weak!

I must say, so far I am LOVING this camera.


To answer your questions:

1. I used a 7D for over a year, and now have a D7000 as a 2nd body to my primary D3s.
I enjoyed the 7D - great tool. Files were always quite noisy but manageable. The files of the D7000 look much cleaner in Lightroom to my eye and detail seems sharper (I used pro lenses in each case). I won't put my head on a block, but in terms of image quality I think the D7000 has an edge. Where it lags behind the 7D is megapixels (16 vs 18), fps (6.3 vs 8) and buffer size for capturing a sequence of images in burst-fire and saving to the memory card. The 7D could get more images into its buffer due to the duel processors it employs. The AF on the D7000 is IMHO better than the 7D.

2. I would NOT use a Teleconverter with the 100-400mm. Great lens for the price, but it doesn't take converters well. The f4.5 is only applicable on 100mm, and with 1.4xTC would leave you at f6.3, but as soon as you zoom in to 400mm f5.6 it becomes f8 and unable to autofocus.

3. If you can get your hands on a 300mm f2.8 L IS USM (version 1) second hand...borrow money and buy! I used mine very successfully with both 1.4x and 2.0x teleconverters on a 7D.

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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:40 pm
Posts: 12
Thanks for all the advice.

@mikef - You're right - I don't know why I even thought about getting the Sigma!:)

Any thoughts on an optimal tripod for this setup? I plan to use it primarily for social events, photography courses etc. The carbon-fibres are too expensive, so I'll get aluminium, but what weight-bearing, height etc? I already have a portable one for the Park:D, with a Manfrotto ball head (RC4) - I'll probably just use that head interchangeably, since I don't really use a full-size tripod in the Park.

Secondly - flashes. Does anyone here use off-camera flashes? What about flash-extenders?

My feeling is that I'm getting too carried away with equipment - I'm an amateur, but reading magazines, books, tempts me to go for equipment I don't really need. I just really want to take great pics for myself, and maybe submit every now and then to magazines etc. As it is I splurged on the camera and lens!


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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:06 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
I've used a flash extender in the past with reasonable results. It can be quite a pain and unwieldly in the park though.

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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:30 pm
Posts: 97
Location: A grey UK ! Longing to be in SA !
yatiya wrote:
What about flash-extenders?


I have the 'Better Beamer' flash-extender. As Josh says; it is unwieldy - but boy does it throw out the light...

If you plan on doing much low-light (say sunset drive - or even around the camp in the evening) photography, the flash-extender IMO will do a better overall job for you than using a very high ISO to get enough speed up on a long lens...

In daylight - it's also useful for fill-flash when shooting into the sun...

Best used on focal lengths in excess of of 300mm. Set the flash manually to 50mm for optimum results...

FWIW - it's one of those tools that you might use only once in a while - but it's not too expensive, so once bought - it can just sit there... It packs flat and is easy to pack & carry... They are built for specific flashes - make sure you get the right one... The 580EXII is a superb piece of kit!

Cheers...


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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:23 am 
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Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:15 pm
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Location: Johannesburg - too far from the closest Sanpark
I use the better beamer too, mostly for fill-in flash when shooting birds. Fill-in flash makes a big difference, and the extender gives you a lot of reach. I haven't really used it in low light

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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:03 am
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Location: Edenvale, Gauteng
Wow, what a ride I've had since I posted my kit a few pages back and it now looks like this:

Nikon D3s
Nikon D7000
Nikon 24-120 f4
Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR
Nikon 200-400 f4 VRII
Nikon SB900 & BetterBeamer

2 weeks to go before I hit Mfolozi for a week and the Kruger for 2 weeks - can't wait!!


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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 4:18 am 
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What a kit, Racman! Might see some of it protruding from the window when we're there too. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:52 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:54 pm
Posts: 1868
Location: Milano (Italy) - IT ALL STARTED WITH A FOOTSTEP!
Time I updated my list.


Nikon D50 + 2 batteries
Nikon 18-55 mm (non VR)
Nikon 70-300 mm (non VR)
This is my initial kit and I've passed it on to my wife and little boy.

My kit:
Nikon D90 +MB-D80 battery grip
Nikon D90 + MB-D80 battery grip
Yes, I have two identical sets!

Nikon 18-55 mm VR
Nikon 18-135 mm VR
Nikon 80-400 mm VR
Nikon 105 mm Micro
Sigma 300 mm f2.8 (non VR)
Sigma 150-500 mm VR

Flash: Speedlight SB600

Teleconverters:
Nikon 1.7X
Kenko 2x

Filters for all lenses.
Monopod + Tripod

Total of 400 Gb SD's
60 Gb Smartdisk
40 Gb X drive II

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LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
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Last edited by RUMURUTI on Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:25 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 619
Location: Behind a Nikon camera...
racman wrote:
Wow, what a ride I've had since I posted my kit a few pages back and it now looks like this:

Nikon D3s
Nikon D7000
Nikon 24-120 f4
Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR
Nikon 200-400 f4 VRII
Nikon SB900 & BetterBeamer

2 weeks to go before I hit Mfolozi for a week and the Kruger for 2 weeks - can't wait!!


Cracking kit, Racman! I have the same cameras as you do but made a few different choices wrt lenses. I still need a BetterBeamer though! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:11 am
Posts: 663
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA
FAC Member (2012)
I am still in possession of D90 Nikon and D40 as back up
with: sigma 50-500 tele
Nikon 85mm Macro
Nikon 35mm f1.8
Nikon 18-55 wide angle
Nikon SB600 speedlight
Carbon Fiber Tripod
Two Window mounts that are wonderful for use in Kruger - Manfrotto and Gitzo
Novoflex Mount that works well on open safari vehicles

Hoping, praying and saving for Nikon 400mm f2.8, but it is about 25% of my yearly wage. :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:38 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:54 pm
Posts: 1868
Location: Milano (Italy) - IT ALL STARTED WITH A FOOTSTEP!
normana, craved over the 400 mm f/2.8 but then got a fantastic price for a 300 mm f/2.8 and went for it.
At this stage next will be either a 500 mm or give up photography all together.

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LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
Andy Benaglia


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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 10:12 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:44 pm
Posts: 3076
Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
Hmmm..my kit has also changed over the past few months.

Cameras : Canon 300d( can't part with it :roll:) Canon 40D and Canon 50D
Lenses: 400 mm F5.6, 70-200 F2.8 IS, 24-105 mm IS F4, 10-22 mm F3.5 -4.5, 60mm F2.8 macro...all Canon lenses.
Flash : 580 EX and macro ring flash....
I am very happy with my setup.....now I just need to get to KTP again !!!!! :dance: :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:52 am 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:54 pm
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Location: Milano (Italy) - IT ALL STARTED WITH A FOOTSTEP!
Hi Caracal, what do you think of the macro ring flash???? been thinking about getting something of the sorts but still not sure on results.

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"You can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you"
LIFE IS MADE OF GOOD AND BAD THINGS, I TAKE THE GOOD AND YOU CAN KEEP THE BAD!!!
Andy Benaglia


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 Post subject: Re: Photography Kit Parade
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
RUMURUTI wrote:
Hi Caracal, what do you think of the macro ring flash???? been thinking about getting something of the sorts but still not sure on results.



Hi Rumuruti
My ring flash is my latest acquisition and as yet I have not had much time to play with it..I will keep you posted though !!! :)

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16th Oct - Twee Rivieren
17-19 Oct - Urikaruus. :)
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