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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Thanks Songodin for confirming. I just did not want the general public (including myself), think it is a free for all to visit. I once stayed at Gharagab and a vehicle came driving into camp made a quick turn and left. Eric radioed the detail to Nossob but I never heard if any action was taken. Same has happened at Grootkolk and Urikaruus, very annoying if you have specifically booked (and paid a premium) to enjoy the silence. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:05 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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:D MxM, can't wait for this "solo photographic and birding tour" and to see it "through your eyes". :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:54 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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In reading some other TRs, I have the following questions:

A - what are the general items of etiquette (other than keeping quiet) at a wilderness camp?

B - what are the best sites at both Grootkolk and Urikaruus (and how would I go about making sure I get to prebook one)? Please take into account that I will be taking shots of the waterhole and beyond as well as of little birdies nearby.

Thank you for your time

(PS - my next section will be on camera gear selection)

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Follow my solo KTP photographic and birding TRAVEL TALE

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:39 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
MxM, I have been told that you can NOT prebook specific chalets or tent ( by Dupel Erasmus, Tourist Manager, KTP) but it is popular belief that you can phone Twee Rivieren about a month before the time and kindly request. I have done anything and everything including phoning, faxing and asking when checking in week before arrival at specific Wilderness camp. It remains the luck of the draw.

Having said all that my view is at Grootkolk definitely nr 1, closest to waterhole and the open grass plain to the left. At Urikaruus all good although nr 4 has tree in front (not obscuring view of waterhole)

In summary a night in any of them is an exceptional experience and so special. My motto now is just enjoy the moment, you will miss it as soon as you are back home

I can't wait for 26 Oct :D

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:21 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Thanks for the firsthand feedback, Tobieo. Usually play it by ear anyway, just thought I might squeeze and advantage this time. Almost hoping for the tree at Urikaruus, extra birdies perch :D

26/10 is coming, don't fret, soon you will be serene :mrgreen:

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Photographer, nature lover, birder

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: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:25 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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3. Camera gear planning

Now here is a lot of thought. I have many photography items, but which to take. Simple, ALL! I would rather end up lugging some extra kit around than wishing I had bothered to bring something.

If there are any questions or personal reviews (as in more personal opinion as opposed to normal online technical reviews) for something I have in my kit bag, please ask in this thread, I would love to share. If there are any suggestions as to extra stuff or different combinations, please let me know.

As the thread title says, this is a solo trip. So 3 bodies with dedicated lenses will take up my passenger seat instead of a second spotter and conversation specialist.

3.1 Camera body selection

So what am I taking:
3 bodies:
- Canon 1D mkIV (medium format)
- Canon 6D (full frame)
- Canon 60D (crop sensor)

Why so many you ask? Well, each has a purpose and as a team they allow for me to have different options (based on light available and focal length required) without switching lenses.

Each camera will be paired with a specific lens (to be discussed later). I will, however, have other lens options in mind were the conditions different to what I planned/expect.

So, what does each do best:
- Canon 1D mkIV
    o Can shoot at 10 frames per second,
    o Has a brilliant AF system,
    o Can shoot ISO400 even in dim light without too much noise,
    o 1.3 crop extends reach of lens,
    o Has an extreme battery life of around 1500 shots (thus enough for a full day),
    o Is my dream body and I use it preferentially (even though it is super heavy).
- Canon 6D (full frame) – still need to buy this guy, planned for purchase on 1 November at expo
    o Can shoot ISO1600 without noise,
    o Can lock focus even in extremely low light,
    o Full frame allows for wider shots.

- Canon 60D (1.6 crop factor)
    o 1.6 crop extends reach of lens significantly (better than using a 1.4x converter too as there is more “zoom” added but without increasing the maximum effective aperture which in turn means more shutter speed for moving subjects),
    o Light body making it ideal to walk with,
    o Shares battery with 6D (will have 3 batteries between the 2 bodies),
    o Simple to operate.

How do I plan to use each?

1D mkIV for most of my shots as it will be paired with my longest lens. The idea is that it has the best compromise between noise and crop factor. All high speed work (think cheetah chases and martial eagle dives) will be done with this ferocious moment finder – the AF and fps will ensure that I get the moment I see on my memory card. The length will also aid in record shots of birds for ID in the evenings.

6D will be my animalscape and landscape body. At low light, especially, it has a ginormous dynamic range and amazing colour depth allowing for visually appealing images. I may prefer to use this on some of the morning walks as I can push the ISO. For the ISO I will certainly select this body for any night drives.

60D will be my in between body. Capable of much but less of an allrounder than the 1D mkIV. This may well be my daytime walkabout body (weight saving).

John

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Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

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: Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:51 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pinetown the Finetown in KZN
Some great variations/choices you have there with those bodies.

Really looking forward to some magnificent captured moments.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:06 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
Canon 1d mk iv...awesome camera. :thumbs_up: Although I also use a second and third body with different lenses it is the 1D that gets used the most. :D


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
John, I like your selection and variety available and arguments behind using what. I am a Nikon shooter (now) but can second your comments on the 1DIV. I can not wait to see your lens selection! Have you considered the 70D? I don't really know it.

My problem with my current Nikon setup is all FF although D800 with zillion pixels can be cropped to give same effect as cropped sensor.

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:01 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm
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John welcome to forums ..... you will have a blast with new birds species and lots of photographic opportunities. This year will be the 3rd year in a row we visit KTP in December and off all my visits to KTP December stand out by far. Surely it is warm( 48 degrees one day) but you will soon forget about the heat with all the wonderful sightings and magnificent thunder storms at night.

Just a suggestion...the past two years we took the road via Rustenburg, Mafiking to Vryburg from Witbank. The roads are in very good condition and about 60km longer but time wise you safe a lot. You miss the Joburg trafic but pay toll fees.

Hope you will bring back stunning foto's and do a TR to share your experience.

Jan


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:10 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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My reason for using the 60D over the 70D is that I already own it. Were I to choose now, it would be difficult - the 60D (as it is now an outgoing model) is a real bargain for a good camera, while the 70D, by all accounts, is a monster of a new body. So if money were no object, yes, I would go for the 70D. But as the 60D was my first DSLR, it will always be special to me. Plus I rather like its simplicity and no nonsense work ethic.

I too fear that I will end up using the 1D4 above all other bodies. Simply because it is a canon in a fist fight when it comes to wildlife. However, I am excited about the 6D at Grootkolk at sunset/sunrise...

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Moments by Mullineux Photography
Photographer, nature lover, birder

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: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:17 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
That is the way I felt about my first 7D :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:34 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Location: Cape Town-but dreaming of KTP
Hmmmm..interested to know if you have any secret recipes that work well with your 1D..also interested to know which lens you will be using on it...:)


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:43 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Pretoria but on my way to KTP
Why are we waiting? :whistle:

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March 2015 KTP
April 2015 CKGR


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 Post subject: Re: KTP - a solo photographic and birding tour
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:46 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Sorry, there is lots I have to say here so I will upload this chapter in sections.

3.2 Camera lens selection

So what am I taking (fine, I am taking ALL my lenses):
6 lenses and 1 converter:
    - Canon 500 f4 L IS mki,
    - Canon 70-200 f2.8 L IS mkii,
    - Canon 24-105 f4 L IS,
    - Canon 100 f2.8 L IS,
    - Canon 1.4x mkiii,
    - Sigma 50-500 OS EX APC,
    - Sigma 10-20 EF-S.

Why so many you ask? Well, each has a purpose and as a team they allow for me to have different options (based on light available and focal length required) – much the same as per the bodies. Also, I really don’t want to be stranded wishing I had a macro or what if, touch kameeldoring that it wont, one breaks?

Lenses, more that anywhere else in photography make you choose your compromise. You need to balance image quality (sharpness, colour, vignette), weight, focal length, aperture range, cost and AF speed. Sadly, even with unlimited budget, you still need to choose your compromise (having debated with many pro’s I have found there is no perfect combo, just generally preferred ones).

Were I a gazillionaire, I would swap my 500 f4 mki for a 600 mkii and include the new 200-400 with built in converter (which would replace the 70-200 in the car). But I am really happy with what I have. I anyway find that I am pretty decent with a new piece of kit as I first had to learn to use something less good – technique and knowing your equipment are significantly more important that just having the bag of metal and glass of everybody’s envy. But let’s face it, good kit does help your odds to take some special shots to show off later and stare at on your desktop while at work wishing you were where the wind blows and lions roar.

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Photographer, nature lover, birder

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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