Jump to content

Leica S on Safari


Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Well I'm heading back to Tanzania in Feb for another 9 day safari. Last time I went in January this year I took WAY to much gear. Below is what I took;

  • Nikon D810 with 600mm f4 lens attached
  • Nikon D4s with 300mm f2.8 attached
  • Nikon D800 with 70/200mm f2.8 attached
  • Nikon 14/24 f2.8 loose
  • Wimberly head

That was about it.

 

Getting all that to Tanzania from Malaysia was ugly, especially when I took the local flight from Dar Salam to Kilimanjaro ........bribes were involved then air stewardess's getting pissed off.

 

While on Safari I used the;

600mm 90% of the time

300mm 3% of the time

70/200mm 10% of the time

14/24mm siltch

 

 

 

This time I am taking;

  • Nikon D5 with 600mm attached
  • Leica S 120mm attached
  • Leica Q
  • Wimberly head

I still expect to use the 600mm 90% of the time and the rest with the Leica 120mm......my favourite lens ever

 

I am really hoping to get some nice animal scapes with my Leica S and maybe even some big animal close ups..............exciting

My Q will get any camp pictures and maybe an odd landscape as well.

 

Has anyone else taken Leica S on Safari??

Neil

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree... if your D5 dies on you, you are up the creek...

Alternative would be D5 back up and no Q..

Albert 

  

PS. What was the going rate for "gratuities" to airline staff, customs etc??? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

I agree... if your D5 dies on you, you are up the creek...

Alternative would be D5 back up and no Q..

Albert 

  

PS. What was the going rate for "gratuities" to airline staff, customs etc??? 

Nikons don't break...............you've been with Leica too long, I will be more concerned about my S than the D5

20 bucks

Link to post
Share on other sites

LensRentals did an assessment of their gear (not including the S), and showed Nikon ranked higher than predicted in repair rate... http://pdnpulse.pdnonline.com/2015/12/photo-gear-repair-rates.html  (higher number is better... "1" is predicted rate).

 

Again, what's your prediction?  

 

A few years ago, the D800 was their most repaired camera (not including little things like cover coming loose), mostly due to AF issues...  https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/08/lensrentals-repair-data-2012-2013/

 

Jeff

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Well I'm heading back to Tanzania in Feb for another 9 day safari. Last time I went in January this year I took WAY to much gear. Below is what I took;

  • Nikon D810 with 600mm f4 lens attached
  • Nikon D4s with 300mm f2.8 attached
  • Nikon D800 with 70/200mm f2.8 attached
  • Nikon 14/24 f2.8 loose
  • Wimberly head

That was about it.

 

Getting all that to Tanzania from Malaysia was ugly, especially when I took the local flight from Dar Salam to Kilimanjaro ........bribes were involved then air stewardess's getting pissed off.

 

While on Safari I used the;

600mm 90% of the time

300mm 3% of the time

70/200mm 10% of the time

14/24mm siltch

 

 

 

This time I am taking;

  • Nikon D5 with 600mm attached
  • Leica S 120mm attached
  • Leica Q
  • Wimberly head

I still expect to use the 600mm 90% of the time and the rest with the Leica 120mm......my favourite lens ever

 

I am really hoping to get some nice animal scapes with my Leica S and maybe even some big animal close ups..............exciting

My Q will get any camp pictures and maybe an odd landscape as well.

 

Has anyone else taken Leica S on Safari??

Neil

I'm missing:

a; Portability

b. Flexibility

c. Redundancy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm missing:

a; Portability

b. Flexibility

c. Redundancy.

He's in a Jeep so it's all portable, the Wimberley head let's you move things aground so that's flexible, and he said he won't use the Q much so that's pretty much redundant [emoji3]

 

Personally I would also suggest sticking with one camera system. The limited times I have been on safari a FF Nikon with the 600 and a backup with the 70-200 plus teleconverters have been perfect. Wouldn't take the tripod head - just use a bean bag filled locally with dried beans from the market.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites

He's in a Jeep so it's all portable, the Wimberley head let's you move things aground so that's flexible, and he said he won't use the Q much so that's pretty much redundant [emoji3]

 

Personally I would also suggest sticking with one camera system. The limited times I have been on safari a FF Nikon with the 600 and a backup with the 70-200 plus teleconverters have been perfect. Wouldn't take the tripod head - just use a bean bag filled locally with dried beans from the market.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

Btw all that kit fits into a Think Tank Airport International, which is carry on size, so no problems with the airlines either

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

Btw all that kit fits into a Think Tank Airport International, which is carry on size, so no problems with the airlines either

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

 

Simon

I have a Gura Gear Backpack that will easily take my gear, my wife is taking 2 x D810 so worst case scenario, if the D5 craps itself I have backup. I'm cool shooting the Leica S with just the 120mm as I like that set up.

This will be my second Safari, like I already said I used my 600mm 90% of the time last time and the 120mm S will take care of the rest, Leica Q in the safari jacket pocket for any close encounters.

 

 

It may fit but what about the weight restrictions?

 

john

 

John

I will be flying BC so no issue from KL to Dar Salam, and if the domestic airline has a issue I will just pay the 20 bucks if they cry about it...........

Link to post
Share on other sites

He's in a Jeep so it's all portable, the Wimberley head let's you move things aground so that's flexible, and he said he won't use the Q much so that's pretty much redundant [emoji3]

 

Personally I would also suggest sticking with one camera system. The limited times I have been on safari a FF Nikon with the 600 and a backup with the 70-200 plus teleconverters have been perfect. Wouldn't take the tripod head - just use a bean bag filled locally with dried beans from the market.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

I wouldn't go on a Safari where my feet were not in the dust, but each to his own... As you say, stick to one system, have backup in case something breaks (and it will) and don't burden yourself to the extent that nature comes second to gear... Your best images are inside your head. Tripods are useless in a safari vehicle, those things are on springs, they only get in the way. A bean bag is the way to go. Thirty years of safari speaking - Lord, doesn't time fly

BTW, 600 is on the long side for general wildlife, but good for birds. A 300 or 400, preferably a telezoom, is essential.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just back from my first safari in Maasai Mara, Kenya. Mostly in a Toyota Landcruiser with guide, some walking safari, some sitting outside in camp with good overview. Lions, elephants, leopards, cheetas, hippos, impalas etc.

 

Brought Leica SL with 90-280, and Leica S with 24, 30-90, 70 and 180, plus S to SL adapter.

 

Rather heavy for the local flight from Nairobi into the Mara (15 kg max including hand baggage!), luckily my wife travelled light, had to leave some stuff, but no lenses ;-)

 

The 280 does not give extreme reach, but enough for lion portraits due to a very good guide getting us close to the action. I am not into birds. The stabilizer for the SL made it a workhorse in the bumpy jeep. More  than 60% of my shots were taken with this setup.

 

S180 used for more overview shots when jeep stood still, but good closeups in many situations. 30-90 as walkaround. 70 in low light (2,5), 24 is my favorite landscape lens. Used the 70 with adapter on the CS for some starry night and fireplace shots.

 

All in all happy with the set-up. Impressed by the SL and the 90-280 with stabilizer. Now a few thousand pictures to go through,,,,

Edited by erlingmm
Link to post
Share on other sites

It may fit but what about the weight restrictions?

 

john

Weight restriction is based upon what is inside the case. As long as it doesn't look heavy when you lift, then you should be OK as they usually don't weigh it (at least in my experience), but if they make a comment remove the camera and put it round your neck of in a jacket pocket - officially now the camera is part of your clothing and you are wearing it, rather than it being part of the hand luggage weight

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm confused??

You are mixing systems. The way to go is to have at least two bodies and overlapping focal lengths (even if only with extenders), in case something breaks, with everything within  the same system. In your case I would forget about the S and use a Nikon 70-300 plus extender for backup plus a second Nikon body.  The 600 is very long for general wildlife anyway, it is more for birds. Don't forget that in hot climates, the further you are from your subject, the more trouble you have from hot air distortion.

Bush craft is far better than extremely long lenses.

I prefer to walk up to the animals rather than try and get the shot from a hundred yards away.  When on foot I use a monopod and shoulder stock.

Or have an accomplished driver/guide who can get me in a good position without bothering the game.

 

As for weight, the luggage maximum on light aircraft can be as low as 12 kg, and that includes your change of underwear and toothbrush. Plus you have to carry the stuff in the heat.

Tripods, well, they are more of an encumbrance than a help in my experience. Bean Bag all the way and monopod etc. as above..

 

And I can assure you that I have seen Nikons and Canons break... I have lent my backup body to a desperate fellow photographer during a good sighting on more than one occasion.

 

BTW, have you seen that Nomad Safaris offer a 58% reduction between November and March for the Tanzanian Southern circuit? If you like I can forward you their promo mail.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Guest NEIL-D-WILLIAMS

I wouldn't go on a Safari where my feet were not in the dust, but each to his own... As you say, stick to one system, have backup in case something breaks (and it will) and don't burden yourself to the extent that nature comes second to gear... Your best images are inside your head. Tripods are useless in a safari vehicle, those things are on springs, they only get in the way. A bean bag is the way to go. Thirty years of safari speaking - Lord, doesn't time fly

BTW, 600 is on the long side for general wildlife, but good for birds. A 300 or 400, preferably a telezoom, is essential.

 

Jaapv

I didn't take a tripod last time and I won't take one this time. The 10 seater Toyota Land Cruser that I had last time I was in Tanzania was all for me, this time I will be sharing it with my wife. There is a hand rail all the way around the open hatch and I used a Manfroto clamp that attached to that rail and had my Wimberly head attached to that and it was a perfect setup.

When we saw any action the guide would position the jeep in a way where I would have 180 deg of view of the scene and switch off his engine, if the action moved out of that 180 deg I would just take the camera off the Wimberly head and use one of the bean bags or even just shoot small bursts hand held for example birds in flight..........even the guide said that he had never seen a setup like that before.............it was perfect.

And guess what......... nothing broke

 
Link to post
Share on other sites

Less is more, Neil. Redundancy is a positive, which you already have with your wife's Nikon. Relying on baksheesh to carry more than the allowance is not reliable (or particularly ethical).

I'm seeing more airlines doing weight checks of handcarry, so it may be worth coming prepared to move some items to check-in that you would rather handcarry. I've done this recently with camera bodies and laptops on non-connecting flights (where it's much simpler to track anything that goes missing.

 

On a tangent...

Many years ago, working in Papua New Guinea, I was doing a Rig move where what could not be transferred full distance by chopper longline, was loaded out in a Twin Otter with all of the seats removed. We were operating from a dirt strip, with the end of the strip being a river at 90º, followed by jungle, and a river valley leading up to a mountain pass at ~10k'.

I loaded the first flight up to the max (or beyond...), including a base layer of 200l. drums of fuel. When the plane "took off", it went past us middway down the strip at about jogging speed, and disappeared off the end of the runway. The only sign that it hadn't crashed was that I could still hear the struggling engines, and there was no big bang. A few seconds later, I could see the plane flying up the river, below the height of the trees on the banks. Once he cleared the trees, the pilot had to go into a slow height-building circuit, to manage to get the altitude to be able to skim through the pass.

When he came back for a reload a few hours later, he made me fly with him in the co-pilot's seat, so I got to experience what he had just been through. It was...interesting, and could have required a nappy change.

Edited by EoinC
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...