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Safari question . Bumpy rides

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Greetings,

 

Any suggestions or advice with respect to bumpy roads on a safari with M240. Any issues re focus adjustment or other issues I can help mitigate on bumpy African roads? Planning to take 35FLE and Nocti. Many thanks

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Greetings,

 

Any suggestions or advice with respect to bumpy roads on a safari with M240. Any issues re focus adjustment or other issues I can help mitigate on bumpy African roads? Planning to take 35FLE and Nocti. Many thanks

 

When I made photographs and video of bikers from the back of a pickup truck I used a harness. Google 'photographers harness'. Good luck!

Edited by pico

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Have done this many times with no focus or other mechanical problems.  

 

Although not re your question, I would sure not bring the Noctiflex (weight, focus speed) and be ready to deal with substantial dust unless you will be riding inside with AC! If on the back of an open vehicle I just cover the camera in my lap with a towel or similar. I assume you will also bring some long lenses on perhaps a different camera (I prefer 400mm on an SLR).

 

 

Have a great time !

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Greetings,

 

Any suggestions or advice with respect to bumpy roads on a safari with M240. Any issues re focus adjustment or other issues I can help mitigate on bumpy African roads? Planning to take 35FLE and Nocti. Many thanks

What are you gong to use that Noctilux for? I can think of very few opportunities with this particular subject matter. The 35 will be fine for recording camp life and other human activity. I miss a real wide angle for landscape in your lineup.

 

Anyway, don't worry, the gear can take the bumps better than you can. Just take care it doesn't jump off the seat and slam on the floor.

It isn't half that bad either, one adapts the speed to the condition of the (non-)road. The worst are corrugated graded surfaces, but even then driving at precisely the right speed mitigates the problem. Landrovers are more comfortable than Landcruisers when the going gets tough.

 

The rangefinder of the M240 is virtually impossible to knock out of alignment by anything but a slam that will damage other parts of the camera as well, as the design was changed with this aspect in mind.

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Well, there are bumps and BUMPS...  Got a ride in a game warden´s jeep in Kenya almost 40 years ago that I´ll never forget (If you´ve seen the opening scene in that old John Wayne film "Hatari", you get the general idea).  Although I had the feeling that the tyres were in the air almost all the time, one of my Leicaflexes (in a well padded Billingham) was knocked completely out of alignment...

Edited by elgenper

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Well, Hatari the movie used a derelict pick-up (I guess Chevrolet), Hatari the lodge (Hardy Krüger's old homestead in Arusha) runs old-type Mercedes-G vehicles, so I guess that the average safari guest is a bit better off nowadays. Driver/guides have been trained in proper off-roading

.

I think you'd find the continent a bit different after 40 years

 

Hatari is probably the most ridiculous safari movie ever made - the worst of Hollywood meets the African Bush.

:D

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Is there still a place to use one's body as a shock-absorber for the camera? The standard advice when taking pictures from anything moving / vibrating was never to rest the camera on the machine but to brace it against yourself. Likewise, cameras like any other precision item, wouldn't take kindly to being place on something vibrating / bouncing (this doesn't negate Jaap's point that the M240's rangefinder is [fairly?] robust).

 

So, travel with the camera on your lap, not forgetting it's there when you stand up (keep the strap round your neck in case), would seem to be sensible.

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I normally put the cameras on the seat cushions beside me. It is really a non-issue. Nearly everybody has elaborate and expensive camera gear with him on safari. Damage comes from dropping the stuf, not from carrying and using it.

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I normally put the cameras on the seat cushions beside me. It is really a non-issue. Nearly everybody has elaborate and expensive camera gear with him on safari. Damage comes from dropping the stuf, not from carrying and using it.

+1

 

I have been driving thousands miles around Africa with my gear into a Billingham bag. A padded bag is all you need.

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+1I´

 

I have been driving thousands miles around Africa with my gear into a Billingham bag. A padded bag is all you need.

 

Sure, if I had been driving myself, nothing would probably have happened to my gear (but, quite likely, I´d had got stuck in some mudhole rather quickly...).  The ride was seen as a special favour for me and my family, and I must admit I´m still a bit ashamed about being part of the driving (=paying) force behind such behaviour....

 

And, my mention of "Hatari" was certainly not meant as a recommendation. Although it had its bright moments (the rocket experiments...), I share Jaap´s feelings about it.

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Had my M-P240 on Safari at Sabi Sands, S.A. recently. There were no technical issues at all. The Leica worked as it should and performed perfectly. It is a very robust camera, not scared by bumpy roads. And the brassing it gained made me happy!
 

I used the Leica as a wide angle supplement as I was shooting most of the animals with my A9 and a long lens. But very often the animals suddenly appear next to the car, and then the long tele did not work well. So the M was always ready, hanging over my shoulder on the Artisan & Artist Easy Slider strap and could catch the prey. Especially elephants often were close, then the 'cron 35 or the Zeiss 28mm worked well. 

One issue nevertheless: I will never ever change lenses in the field again! There seems to be a dust-magnet built in the sensor! And for the tele-lenses: I trusted too much in the ability of IBIS and lens stabilization on the Sony. At 280mm I was not able to hold steady. For the next Safari I have thus ordered a brillant RRS Monopod, light and stable.

Take your M with you and enjoy without worries! 


 

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Sabi Sands nice, with well-maintained tracks and roads, excellent drivers-guides, good vehicles and highly habituated game - I'm not surprised you had a good time there.

 

Forget about a Monopod in a vehicle - use a  Bean Bag! - a Monopod will sway and vibrate with the vehicle; you'll have more blur than free-hand - and you will be hitting fellow passengers on the shins with the unwieldy thing.

It is useful when hiking with a long lens though.

 

The best stabilisation  around is the Panasonic  Dual Stabilisation in the GX 8 / 9 with the DG Vario-Elmar 100-400. Five stops in five axis allowed me to be sharp down to 1/60th at 800 mm equivalent. 

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Bean bag is a must for shooting standing open roof; and sitting, a gimbal head (best for long/heavy telephotos) is to be considered, rather than a monopod, but not all lodges provide vehicles that are equipped  to hold one.

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Southern Africa in general does not use open roof Safari vehicles, nor do high-end East Africa venues. Normally it is a cut-down and adapted Landrover or Landcruiser pickup.  You'll only find flip-tops in Kenya and Northern Tanzania. I always avoid places that use open roof vehicles for gameviewing if at all possible. You'll always have images from a bird's perspective and lose too much of the bush experience. A raised roof is even worse. It blocks your view of raptors.

 

However, fully open vehicles always have bars and armrests you can use for your bean-bag, and are often adapted for photographic use, complete with camera shelves and  240V charging points. TBH, I don't even bring a bean-bag any more. Many places provide them and in a pinch your camera bag or a folded blanket or poncho will do. Or I'll rest the back of my focussing hand on a part of the vehicle.

A Gimbal head fixed to the vehicle will transmit engine vibrations and spring sway to the camera. You'll have to wait for it to settle down after switching off and tell your fellow passengers to freeze if you want to use it successfully.

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