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Telephoto for Safari? Panasonic 70-200 w 2x vs. Leica 90-280


ropo54
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17 minutes ago, fatihayoglu said:

Well definitely we have different experiences. I was discussing with Nikon UK wildlife ambassador, discussing 400 2.8 vs 180-400 f4 and his preferences. Both he and his other friends from other manufacturers clearly said, widest aperture is always better. So with MFT camera you lose DOF for sure as even a f2.8 lens will behave like a f5.6 in terms of DOF. For portraits or where animals are around vegetation m, for subject separation, you need shallow DOF not more. I’m yet to see a wildlife photographer to use a MFT camera. IBIS is not important as the vehicles are stationary and one should rest the lens on a bean bag always. Get a FF camera, down to easily 1/180 with 2.8 400mm lens in a bean bag for minimum ISO. Don’t need to push the physics here. 

We certainly do differ. With the shallow DOF of lenses of that length you are hard put to have nose and eyes in focus. I often stop down.But then, these guys have an incentive to sell the most expensive lens possible, not to mention the Safari status of a bazooka.

Nor is safari photography the same as professional wildlife photography. We are not the BBC.

IS is pushing physics.

 

https://digital-photography-school.com/pros-using-micro-four-thirds-cameras-wildlife-photography/

https://m43photography.com/is-micro-four-thirds-a-viable-option-for-wildlife-photography/

https://www.outdoorphotographer.com/photography-gear/cameras/advantages-micro-four-thirds/

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10 minutes ago, jaapv said:

We certainly do. With the shallow DOF of lenses of that length you are hard put to have nose and eyes in focus. But then, these guys have an incentive to sell the most expensive lens possible, not to mention the Safari status of a bazooka.

Let’s say a lion is a 2m by 1m object. To fill the frame with 800mm lens, you need 50m distance. Industry standard 800mm lenses are f5.6. At 50m they will give you a DOF of 1m, so no my friend you have plenty of DOF.

Let’s say a lion is a 2m by 1m object. To fill the frame with 400’m lens, you need 23m distance. Industry standard 400mm lenses are f2.8. At 23m they will give you a DOF of 0.5m.

a 180-400 f4 with extender lens is as expensive as 400mm f2.8. they are not trying to sell me anything as I’m not a customer, I’m a friend.

a 2.8 lens can go down to 5.6 always but a 5.6 lens never go to 2.8

Sorry but defending a slower lens for wildlife is a bit pointless to me, what do we say here, all wildlife photographers are wrong and mistaken about DOF and fast lenses. At any given ISO, DR of a MFT camera is way less than a FF camera.

there is a place for MFT or Leica but that place is not wildlife if you want to best out of it, without any compromise.

 

Edited by fatihayoglu
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Well , as the lions will often be at less than 10 m, I wonder where that leaves your calculation... I have been doing this for over thirty years, and I fear that reality beats your theories.

 

From a fortnight ago Cl with 280 mm 5.6 Note that the fur on the body is already OOF No beanbag, handheld.

 

 

 

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To move laterally on this discussion, do you plan on using the telephoto zoom much at other times?  If price is an issue, it's hard to justify the price of the Leica 90-280 if it will otherwise never get used. 

I do NOT use longer lenses. My longest is a 3.4/135 APO-Telyt that gets little use.  However, I'm off to Antarctica next year and think I'll need a longer zoom and second FF L-mount body to complement my SL and 24-90 SL Zoom. I still haven't decide on the wide but probably the 16-35 SL.

I'm also looking at the Panasonic Lumix S-Pro 70-200 (and perhaps 2x adapter) probably on either a second SL (2nd hand) or Panasonic S1/S1R with IS, as the lens is of excellent quality, smaller and lighter, and much cheaper than the big Leica.  Furthermore, if I put it on an S1R I can still do a 50% crop (ie 140-400 and still have 24MP to work with).

I'd rather put my money into a lens that will be used at other times such as the 16-35.

 

 

Edited by MarkP
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9 minutes ago, MarkP said:

To move laterally on this discussion, do you plan on using the telephoto zoom much at other times?  If price is an issue, it's hard to justify the price of the Leica 90-280 if it will otherwise never get used. 

I do NOT use longer lenses. My longest is a 3.4/135 APO-Telyt that gets little use.  However, I'm off to Antarctica next year and think I'll need a longer zoom and second FF L-mount body to complement my SL and 24-90 SL Zoom. I still haven't decide on the wide but probably the 16-35 SL.

I'm also looking at the Panasonic Lumix S-Pro 70-200 (and perhaps 2x adapter) probably on either a second SL (2nd hand) or Panasonic S1/S1R with IS, as the lens is of excellent quality, smaller and lighter, and much cheaper than the big Leica.  Furthermore, if I put it on an S1R I can still do a 50% crop (ie 140-400 and still have 24MP to work with).

I'd rather put my money into a lens that will be used at other times such as the 16-35.

 

 

Thanks, MarkP. 

I suspect that I will rarely use the 400mm focal length moving forward, which is why I am leaning toward the Panasonic option. I was curious as to the amount of image degradation there might be with the 2x extender attached.  Rob

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25 minutes ago, jaapv said:

Well , as the lions will often be at less than 10 m, I wonder where that leaves your calculation... I have been doing this for over thirty years, and I fear that reality beats your theories.

 

From a fortnight ago Cl with 280 mm 5.6 Note that the fur on the body is already OOF No beanbag, handheld.

 

 

 

I never judge your skills or experience. However having a long experience does not constitute you (or anybody) are right.
 

Note that I have mentioned getting a 70-200 with you. Getting a lion to 10m is possible but not everywhere. Some parks not allowing that, certainly not in Mara. As I’ve said, a fast lens can be shown down but a slow lens will be always slow. If you want to take single lens, Canon 100-400 or Nikon 80-400 are decent lenses and covers full. But best would be 2 system with 2 dedicated lenses.

Anyway, just compare how many pro wildlife photographers out there who has FF systems vs MFT system. That should tell you something. I suspect all those with FF systems have more collective experience than you. There is your reality vs the rest of the world.

my recommendation to the OP would be to check where he is going, what rules they have, how close they can get to animals.

 

ps my calculation is to show you about DOF, not a theory or whatsoever. So your argument about DOF was wrong, with all the respect.

Edited by fatihayoglu
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47 minutes ago, fatihayoglu said:

I never judge your skills or experience. However having a long experience does not constitute you (or anybody) are right.
 

Note that I have mentioned getting a 70-200 with you. Getting a lion to 10m is possible but not everywhere. Some parks not allowing that, certainly not in Mara. As I’ve said, a fast lens can be shown down but a slow lens will be always slow. If you want to take single lens, Canon 100-400 or Nikon 80-400 are decent lenses and covers full. But best would be 2 system with 2 dedicated lenses.

Anyway, just compare how many pro wildlife photographers out there who has FF systems vs MFT system. That should tell you something. I suspect all those with FF systems have more collective experience than you. There is your reality vs the rest of the world.

my recommendation to the OP would be to check where he is going, what rules they have, how close they can get to animals.

 

ps my calculation is to show you about DOF, not a theory or whatsoever. So your argument about DOF was wrong, with all the respect.

On Safari, Lions are nearly always close. But, here you have a Lioness at dawn (5.43 AM) at approx 50 m, GX8, 800 mm equivalent, fully handheld, ISO 1600 and 1/80th @ f7.1

 

 

 

BTW I would not advise anybody to go to the Mara for a real Safari. It is a tourist circus. Unless you like sharing your view with 112 other vehicles filled with screaming punters with cellphones... Stick to the conservancies bordering it.

 

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16 minutes ago, jaapv said:

On Safari, Lions are nearly always close. But, here you have a Lion at dawn at approx 50 m, GX8, 800 mm equivalent, fully handheld, ISO 1600 and 1/80th @ f7.1

 

 

I didn’t say you can’t take a photo with what you say. However what if the OP wants to go at f5.6 at FF equivalent at 800mm (or 2.8 at 400), with MtF that is impossible. Dont tell me what the point is to do that either as you can’t dictate how or when to take a photo.

Full flexibility in terms of IQ, lens options; best to get FF, you want to compromise get other systems.
 

check photographers who are not paid companies to write articles such as David Lloyd or Margot Raggett. (Rather than online articles by photographers who are paid ie Olympus as you have sent one) Pure wildlife photographers. Ask them what they use and why. They are not paid by companies so have minimal bias towards a company or system. Ask them competitive questions and their experiences. And you’ll get an idea.

 

about the photo one could say good the other could say background is not blurred enough.
 

ISO1600 at GX8 at large print will create noise, ISO1600 at Nikon D850 at same size print won’t create noise

1/60 has a huge risk of animal movement, wouldn’t go below 1/125 or 1/180.

again you have your experience and there is a whole world out there.

Personally I find people who try to defend themselves with “I have so and so much experience” or “this is 100% wrong”, not right always.

Edited by fatihayoglu
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The proof is in the pudding. I couldn't have taken the shot with a heavy full-frame rig without a Manfrotto.

My A3+ print is clean. Fuzzy backgrounds mean that the photographer composes fuzzily. This is an environmental portrait. The environment should be recognizable. The separation comes from the composition. I don't subscribe to the one-eye-in-focus-and-the-rest-fog fad that is presently doing the rounds.

Maybe you can show a better example you took?

BTW, easy enough to blur that background in Photoshop. Nobody would know the difference. But why should I spoil the photograph?

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If I would go to a Safari, I would take my Leica equipment for sure, but, I would add a Nikon P1000. 

Yes, not a typical answer in a Leica-Forum ("He said "Jehova"!")….^^ but: It is a simple Bridge-camera with a 24 - 3000 mm lens ! Nobody will expect the IQ of a SL but with a 3000 mm zoom I could make pics which were impossible with 280 mm. 

 

 

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If you are planning to buy (easily resold, too), or have, the 90-280, my preference would certainly be the 90-280 SL on the CL. The S, I am doubtful. That is a whole bunch to carry, and basically the CL is the more versatile and practical travel camera. Th e S would see little use on a trip like this. Where are you staying at Vic falls? The Royal Livingstone in Livingstone, Zambia, would be my preference. Beautiful view of the top of the falls from the terrace at sunset!

 

 

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4 minutes ago, jaapv said:

If you are planning to buy (easily resold, too), or have, the 90-280, my preference would certainly be the 90-280 SL on the CL. The S, I am doubtful. That is a whole bunch to carry, and basically the CL is the more versatile and practical travel camera. Th e S would see little use on a trip like this. Where are you staying at Vic falls? The Royal Livingstone in Livingstone, Zambia, would be my preference. Beautiful view of the top of the falls from the terrace at sunset!

Thanks for your insights, JaapV.  

I'm going to review the itinerary and will post it later.  Rob

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2 hours ago, ropo54 said:

I appreciate everyone's feedback, so thank you.

Just a clarification: either option in #2 above  will suffice?  No preference between the SL 601 w Panasonic 70-200 and 2x, or the Leica 90-280 on the CL?  

I'm also thinking to bring a Leica S007 - optional lenses to tote: S24, S35, S70, S100, S120mm.  (They also can be used on the SL).

Also, Victoria Falls will be on the trip.

Rob

 

Rob- I know it's tempting, however I must caution you on having too much equipment with you. I've seen it all too often where one endlessly fiddles around with cameras and lenses, and ends up missing out on the actual experience of being on safari and taking it all in. IMO you won't need the S007 and lenses.

I do this for a living;  in fact I'm off to Botswana tomorrow morning on a helicopter safari, it's only my son and I for the week. In this case it's a personal mission, not a client safari. Just finished packing my kit:

2 camera bodies = SL & CL.

3 lenses=  1.  Leica VE 90-280mm L     2. Leica VE 24-90mm L    & 3. Canon 400mm f4 & 1.4x TC with Novoflex EF-SL adapter.

Binoculars = Leica 8x32 Trinovid HD

Bean Bag.

Best,

Mike

 

 

 

Edited by michali
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28 minutes ago, michali said:

Rob- I know it's tempting, however I must caution you on having too much equipment with you. I've seen it all too often where one endlessly fiddles around with cameras and lenses, and ends up missing out on the actual experience of being on safari and taking it all in. IMO you won't need the S007 and lenses.

I do this for a living;  in fact I'm off to Botswana tomorrow morning on a helicopter safari, it's only my son and I for the week. In this case it's a personal mission, not a client safari. Just finished packing my kit:

2 camera bodies = SL & CL.

3 lenses=  1.  Leica VE 90-280mm L     2. Leica VE 24-90mm L    & 3. Canon 400mm f4 & 1.4x TC with Novoflex EF-SL adapter.

Binoculars = Leica 8x32 Trinovid HD

Bean Bag.

Best,

Mike

 

 

 

Oh, Mike, I know!  Thank you.  

I tend to overpack and suffer angst about what to take all the time. 

Plenty of time to make my head spin with decisions.

Much appreciate your help and advice. I will try to pack light(er!) Rob

 

Edited by ropo54
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27 minutes ago, jaapv said:

If you are planning to buy (easily resold, too), or have, the 90-280, my preference would certainly be the 90-280 SL on the CL. The S, I am doubtful. That is a whole bunch to carry, and basically the CL is the more versatile and practical travel camera. Th e S would see little use on a trip like this. Where are you staying at Vic falls? The Royal Livingstone in Livingstone, Zambia, would be my preference. Beautiful view of the top of the falls from the terrace at sunset!

 

 

The proposed itinerary for the visit that we are considering is below.  14 couples.  This is a 'private' tour being arranged by a friend. It might be subject to change, but do not know.  

_______________________________________

Capetown for 4 days, to include: Robben Island and Table Mountain;  Cape Point and Peninsula Town (Boulders Penguin Colony, Cape of Good Hope Nature Preserve, Kristenbosch National Botanical Garden); Cape Winelands Tour;

Kruger Safari @ Kampama River Lodge (4 game drives);

Johannesburg

Victoria Falls - Kingdom @ Victoria Falls Hotel; including Zambezi River sunset cruise

__________________________________________

I welcome thoughts and suggestions.

Rob

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I spent a week in Tanzania on a private safari about 10 years ago.  I took a Nikon setup, and found the only lens I used on the actual safari was my 80-400 with vibration reduction.  It gave me the perfect focal range.  I did bring a 24-70, but only used it for scenic/landscape type shot.

I was there the fist week of December, everything was green and lush, springtime for the Serengeti.  I don’t recall it being dusty, but dust is a major factor. It will get in your camera, so be prepared.

As others stated, weight is a factor on the flights to the safari camps, I believe we were only allowed 30-33lbs total on the small plane.  

I did not bring a tripod, since we were not allowed out of the Range Rover when near wildlife.  The outfitter did have bean bags in the vehicles for us to use.

 

 

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