Jump to content

Travel Photog. -- Nature Kit


SteveYork
 Share

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I've been an M user for about 15 years, that has mostly shot people, big people, small people, friends, family, strangers, all sorts of people, but it looks like I'm going to be doing some nature traveling in the upcoming year, and shoot birds, bees, flowers, leaves, mountains, ect. Seriously, it will be polar bears in Canada and Patagonia, and probably a few other places in the years to come.

 

So my question is will my trusty little M with its' 35-50-90 do the job, or will I probably need something else? And if I need something else, what's the smallest kit I can get away with, as a practical matter (I don't like lugging a lot of stuff)?

 

I did a Safari 16 years ago and had up to a 180 mm and that was just adequate. The M tops out at 135 mm, and that doesn't seem a big difference, true?

 

I don't suppose speed will be an issue.

 

Any ideas will very much be appreciated. I've got some time before the bags need to be packed. Thanks in advance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One trip for polar bears in Canada on something called the Tundra Buggy (you're not on the ground) and different, separate trip to Patagonia where, as you so adroitly point out, there aren't any bears, neither Winnie or Polar.

 

So is a 90 mm (or 135 mm) long enough?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nor in Antarctica. Nor penguins in the Arctic. Boris Yefimov, Stalin's cartoonist, who died last year aged 109, made that mistake -- but he was under orders.

 

I believe polar bears won't actually attack unless you come within two miles of them.

 

You will need an SLR and an ultra tele. Leicaflex or Leica R plus 500 plus tripod.

 

See http://www.wildlightphoto.com for great wildlife pics.

 

Or perhaps, as a way out alternative, try the celebrated Visoflex for the M, plus a 500mm. It won't be light either.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

If you want to fill the frame with wildlife, you'll need something longer than a 135. As others have noted, for polar bears something really long.

 

Of course, if you're some place where the animals are used to (or have no fear of) humans, you can get by with what you have. In Oz, the kangaroos in some parts will bound right up to you. And I can remember a 2-meter monitor lizard breaking up a picnic in Lichfield NP, though he wasn't particularly agressive and sat still for a head-and neck portrait I shot with a 90mm.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve -

 

I assume you'll be going to Churchill, and the 135 should be largely adequate for that -- The bears come quite close to the vehicles. But for most other wildlife you will need much longer lenses. David suggests the Leica V-Lux 1, which if you're willing to go digital, is a bargain (and there is a USD250 rebate through the end of the month) and performs quite well. In Patagonia there is not that much wildlife, but there is some worth shooting. I encourage you to go into our site and read Barbara's trip notes about patagonia (Listed under Argentine, Brazil & Chile), as well as look at the pictures to get an idea or two of what to see, where to stay and what to do. Bleow are some shots I took in 2005 with a forerunner of the V-Lux 1

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's worth pointing out that polar bears are left-handed. Whether or not they are left eyed is not known. It is safe to assume that because they have big paws they would be unlikely to be interested in an M without a substantial grip.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

For polar bears in the wild you need one of these Gadgets: Leica Gun Camera Appeals to Trigger-happy Photographers, a decent 100 yard dash and a portable bomb shelter.

 

If you get an M8 then a 135mm becomes about 180mm equivalent. A second hand 135mm M lens is not too expensive, the M8(x) is still quite an investment. Question is whether you would even consider "digital'.

 

Alternative is to use a visoflex with all the required trappings, again not too expensive (if you can find one). Would also make sense for flowers, insects etc.

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...