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Old Mar 3, 2005, 5:57 AM   #11
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hey there u safari go'ers.

next time u guys are in Sout Africa, please feel free to give me a shout.
i live in Johannesburg now known as Gauteng, which is a bit far from the safari areas, but u have to land at the airport here and would be nice to meet some of u so we can put faces to the Names.

dont be shy to drop a mail or a private message and ill be sure to reply.

until we meet, enjoy the safaris.

cheers for now.
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Old Mar 6, 2005, 9:55 PM   #12
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Morris wrote:
For VR or equivalent you will have only Nikon lens. If you consider a non-VR lens, Sigma recently introduced a 120-300 f2.8*that has lots of praise.
That's not true anymore. Sigma has an 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 EX OS APO (OS meaning Optical Stabilization) that goes for $1000, about $330 less than Nikon's offering:


I have yet to see/read a review of that lens, but seems promising.

Another lens in the VR camp that has plenty of reach would be the Nikkor 200-400 f/4, but it's about $5100 :?
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 10:44 AM   #13
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Based on my experience in Tanzania, I'd recommend a long lens if you want to isolate individual animals. If you will be able to use a tripod or some other camera support, the 300mm f:4 with a 1.4x and 2X Tamron or Kenko pro TC is a great combo. It's also nice to have a short telephoto zoom for shots closer to the vehicle. Alternatively, the 80-400 VR will give you reach if you can only hand hold or use a beanbag for support and fits the bill as a short tele as well.

There are some shots taken with an F100andthe 300/2x converter combo in the wildlife gallery on my website.

I hope this helps. Send a personal message if I you'd like more info on my Safari experience.

Good luck!


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Old Mar 22, 2005, 9:00 AM   #14
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If you use a TC14 or a TC20, is theVR function operable? I thought I read somewhere that the VR was inoperable andAF only. I have a 70-200 2.8 EDIF VR and would like to get one of theseTC's in the future.
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 1:22 AM   #15
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I'm going on a safari on june 2005. I've got a nikon D70 and have the same question. I came to the point that I should buy the nikon 70/200 VR with a TC - 1.4 - 1.7 or 2.0.

What did you buy?

thank you
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 1:50 AM   #16
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VR will work with the TC14, 17 and 20E - it is specifically staed in the accompanying literature in the box. However, for some reason the 17E has a slight problem with some lenses and I quote:-

"When the AFS teleconverter TC17E II attached with the AF-S300mm F2.8D IF-ED or AF-S 400mm F2.8D-IF-ED is used with the F5, F100, D2H, D1-series, D100 or D70 camera body, focal length of the shooting data is not displayed correctly (it is displayed correctly with the AF-S 300mm F2.8 II IF-ED and AF-S 400mm F2.8 II IF-ED)

So it seems that there is a slight problem with some of the older prime lenses as far as the TC17E II is concerned but only this teleconverter.

I mentioned above that I went to South Africa and would strongly recommend the combination of the 70/200 with the TC20-E II, but if funds are limited then the 300mm F4 would be an admirable choice with the TC14E and perhaps the 20E (loss of two stops here as opposed to one) and can be had from B&H for under $900. Just a thought.
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 8:05 AM   #17
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Here's what you should expect from a Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 (or f/4) EX:
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Old Apr 30, 2005, 3:19 PM   #18
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In response to several of the questions:

The excellent Kenko Pro 300 1.4x and 2x converters (newer grey ones) will support both VR and AFS on Nikon lenses. They will also work (full AF) on all the Nikon mt AF lenses, unlike the Nikon TCs. They are very sharp.

As I understand it, where you go has much to do the the lenses needed. In Kenya I am told animals come right up the safari vehicles, so 200-400 is a good length. In Tanzania where I went the animals tend to be more distant. When I was there something like 25% of my shots were with my 500mm and 1000mm lenses. I also used my 80-200/2.8 and 200-400 Tamron (not a real good lens but unique at the time).

It appears from one of the posts that S. African animals might be more than Tanzania in that they are frequently not close.

I think the 70-200 with both 1.4x and 2x TCs is a good way to go. The 2.8 max from 70-200 gives good low light handling for early morning and early evening (must be out of some of the parks by dusk). Alternatively, I think the Sigma 50-500 lens is great. It does not have VR but it is AFS. It is a very sharp lens throughout its range. Going from 50-500 it is unlikely you would ever have to change lenses. Lens changing out on sarfari is an adventure because of the dust, dust dust everywhere. Dust in a film camera is not good, dust in a digital on the sensor is a killer.

You need to take equipment to remove dust from sensor, and check for dust regularly. Some alternatives like the Nikon 80-400 VR (which I really disliked) is very slow focusing and not good for active wildlife.

Incidently, with the Sigma 50-500 you can, in bright sunlight use a 1.4x TC (at least the Kenko one). Focusing has slowed down a bit, but results are still decent. Because the combo exceeds the 5.6 limit for good AF it needs bright sun.

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Old May 27, 2005, 7:39 PM   #19
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What did you finally decide to buy? I am looking at the Nikon 70/200 F2.8 and the 1.4 TC. I shoot a lot of marine photos and some that may be 100 - 300 yards away.

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Old Jun 29, 2005, 10:07 PM   #20
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Hi there

Went on safari late last year in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve(adj to Kruger) in Sth Africa and took with me my 17-55f/2.8 and the Vr 70-200 with the TC17 E converter. You only lose 1 1/2 f stop with the 1.7x and is clearly the ideal combo for the LEGENDARY VR!:-)
The wildlife at times came right past the vehicle, sniffing the feet of the tracker out on
the bonnet seat! So a lot of my photos were with the 17-55 believe it or not.
But I captured some fantastic shots with the VR & 1.7 :|

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