Adventure Travel Tip: The Right Photo Lens

More advice for safari photographers from a travel pro
Staff Writer

Yesterday we brought you the advice of Wilderness Safaris' Craig Glatthaar on what camera best captures a beast-filled foray into the wilds of Africa. Today he talks lenses and charging your indispensible tool.

"A zoom lens can be extremely useful on safari and the minimum recommended size is 70-to-200 mm, although a 100-to-400 mm or 70-to-300 mm is ideal.

Modern image-stabilized lenses are best as they allow photographers to handhold their cameras at slower shutter speeds with sharper results. Popular lens choices include: Canon 100 mm-to-400 mm Telephoto IS f4.5 - 5.6 lens, Nikon 80 mm-to-400 VR f4.5 - 5.6 lens or the new Canon 70 mm-to-300 mm f4 - 5.6L IS USM lens.

Fast-fixed, prime lenses have an edge when it comes to sharpness and low-light performance. However, one loses some versatility being confined to a fixed focal range.

Choices here include the Canon or Nikon 300 f2.8 or f4 fixed lenses. A more cost-effective way to obtain further reach (without the bulk of a fixed 500 or 600) out of your camera is to use a teleconverter, particularly on f2.8 lenses—the 1.4X being ideal.”

Craig Glatthaar has years of experience in tour operations as well as a degree in tourism management and a certificate in nature conservation. South Africa-based Wilderness Safaris is a luxury eco-tour operator and owns or manages more than 70 lodges in eight African countries and the Seychelles. The company is dedicated to conservation and education, and employs 85-percent of its 2,800 staff members from local communities.


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