Safari Gear Needed for Kenya

Hello all,

I’m going on a safari in Kenya Sunday (yes, I know I’m last minute!) and need some rental lens recommendations please.

I’m bringing a Canon EOS 6D (EF mount) with a 24-70mm lens. I want to rent something longer than my 70-200mm.

My first stop was talking with LensProToGo. They recommend a few things.

  1. Canon 100-400: Rent a Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II at LensProToGo.com
  2. Above with an extender: Rent a Canon EF Extender 1.4x III at LensProToGo.com
  3. Sigma 150-600mm: Rent a Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary for Canon at LensProToGo.com
  4. Tamron 150-600: Rent a Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 SP Di VC USD G2 for Canon at LensProToGo.com

Questions:

  1. Will I be happy with a 400mm? or 400mm with an extender?
  2. Thoughts about brands?
  3. Thoughts about where to rent from?

Taking all suggestions! Thanks so much :o)
Lisa

Hey Lisa,

My vote is getting the Canon 100-400mm with the 1.4 Extender from Lens Pro To Go. That’s a fantastic lens. It will be a bit slow with the extender (f/6.3-8.0) but the AF on your 6D should be able to handle it.

If you’re nervous about the AF not working as well (because of the slow lens speed), the Sigma 150-500mm would be an excellent choice as well.

Don’t forget you save 10% with code “RMSP10”

Have a wonderful trip!

Thanks, as always, Forest - and for being so speedy on your reply. Love the RMSP10 code!
Lisa

Hi Lisa,

You may also want to rent a second body, so you can keep the long lens on one and and the 24-70 on the other. I found that when I returned from Kenya, I told a much better story when I showed the close ups of the animals with lots of context and group shots. The critters and the light move quickly there and it can be dusty, so lens changing is not always easy to achieve.

Cheers,
Amy

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When I went on safari I used a 24-70f/2.8 and a 70-200mm f/4. l I was our driver was able to get surprisingly close to the animals and was still able to get some really satisfying close up portrait shots without (cropping). I would have liked a 400mm but I was on a longer trip in Africa and went for the lighter weight lenses. Unless you’re on assignment for someone, I think I a 400 would serve you well photographically and without the weight or travel issues.

BTW don’t forget a handheld tripod for stability from your car or night shots.

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Hi Robin - thanks for the advice! Good point about the tripod :o)

Hi Amy - thanks for the advice. I’ll bring my Fuji mirrorless with a lens to have a second body. Now I just will have 2 outfits as the photo equipment is more important!

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Photographing in the Serengeti, our Guide position us very close to most animals On two trips I was shooting anywhere from 70 to 400 with a majority of the shots around 200 mm. You will find the guides are awesome know what you’re doing where to go and will put you in the best position for shots.
Two cameras are a must and be assessable at all times.

Don’t forget to have cash at the end of the trip to tip your guide.

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OK all - next question… do I need a flash for any reason. At this point I may not be able to bring any clothes with my 33 pound TOTAL baggage allowance for flying within Kenya. The bag weighs in at nearly 17 pounds now!

I say leave the flash at home. In the nearly two weeks I was there, I never used or saw anyone else use a flash. (You can use the flash on your cell in an emergency, but it might also startle and frenzy the critters.:woman_shrugging:t2:) The main things you’ll want IMHO are: two bodies with a normal zoom and a super tele, lots of cards and batteries, and a laptop or iPad. If you have a small, fast prime for your Fuji (e.g., the 35 f1.4 might be nice), I’d bring that over a flash for shots around camp. I did use a tripod on occasion, but it was infrequent enough to skip if you’ll be using IBIS and are concerned about weight. This was my experience and YMMV.

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Thanks Amy. All very good info. The flash will stay home! I do have the 35 f1.4 for my Fuji. Let me put it on the food scale to see how much that weighs :o) If I was only on an official photo trip, the gear weight wouldn’t be an issue…but you take a safari where you can!

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