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janzin

Lens dilemma for Kenya-Masai Mara

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@@AmyT is that the Mk2 latest one?

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@@Dave Williams @@AmyT I think that it is - the first edition was the f4.5-5.6 D. The latest version is excellent in my opinion

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So I have heard!!! Great zoom range too, better than my Canon 100-400.

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Looking forward to read and see your comments and results, @@AmyT !

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Wowza, is it heavy compared to the one I usually use! I will have to bring my monopod to keep it steady. That or start working out!!

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@@AmyT

 

Just keep using it. Practice a lot. That will be the ideal workout, too! I thought it was kind of heavy as well, until I got the 200-500. Now I think it's pretty light. It's all relative....

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@@AmyT , same words as above. Keep using the lens, forget about the monopod, after a few weeks you will adapt to the weight. My wife has had the same comment at first for 200-500, now she likes the it; only thing is she dislike to carry it around :rolleyes: .

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@@AmyT if you do use a monopod make sure you attach it to the lens collar and not the camera . Also when you carry it. Reasons 1) balance 2) no crash! bang! due to absence of 1)

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I know I was called to comment and didn't but better you hear from Nikon uisers and you did. Anyway, you bought the lens I would have bought were I a Nikon user and in your shoes.

 

Definitely work out - it is good for you. However, I don't know your physical size so if you are super-petite or have a bad neck you may want to use a monopod. Most of the time you will be happy with a beanbag but there are times when that doesn't work. However, a beanbag is generally better unless - like me for a couple of years - you can't bend over to beanbag height without serious pain (and in that case, even more reason to work out!!) so if you do use a monopod you should get some kind of set up whereby you can switch to a beanbag super quickly, without dropping the lens or allowing the monpod to crash to the floor, scaring off the wildlife.. :o That will take some practice and trial and error.

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My first lens was the 80-400 with a D200. I thought it was gigantic and bought a tripod and a pistol grip type tripod head which I used nearly all the time. I graduated on the the 300f2.8 which had my jaw dropping when I opened the packaging and saw the beast inside. Definitely needed a new tripod head for that so I bought a Wimberley. Next up was a 500mm f4 and the 300mm was no longer that big. It became my walkabout lens and was never tripod mounted. Eventually I swopped over to Nikon as I was made an offer I couldn't refuse by a friend who had a 600mm f4 Mk1.

That is a beast. He couldn't cope anymore as he had back problems. I couldn't hand hold that for more than a few seconds and eventually traded if for a much lighter 500mm f4 Mk2. The young guy that bought it was a stonemason who was built like Rocky so no problems there.

Meanwhile I have discovered that it isn't the size of the lens that my other half doesn't get on with, it's the size of the camera because she only has small hands as most ladies do.Reaching the buttons on a Canon 1D or Nikon D5 isn't an easy task.

However going back to weight and support I still like to use a tripod when it's practical because the less likely hood of movement the sharper the image and the lower the shutter speed you might be able to use which in turn reduces the ISO and gives a better dynamic range. I also find you can compose the picture better too. The benefit of a tripod is it's free standing. The downside is it's heavier and more cumbersome,

I have never owned a monopod as although it offers support it's not free standing and you have to keep hold it all the time so if you are in a position waiting for something to happen I imagine that is hard work.

For both monopod and tripod your movement is more limited which means your reaction to events is likely to be slower too so perhaps the answer is to get something like a Black Rapid camera /lens strap. That enables the weight of your outfit to be spread more evenly than the single downforce on one shoulder. I don't have one but I was recommended by a friend who says he wanders around happily with his 500mm f4 and it's ready for action instantly. The only problem I foresee is that ladies might find that it's not quite so free moving depending on bust size. Worth investigating though.

Enjoy the lens, a good decision in my opinion!

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Any recommendations for a backpack to carry my new 80-400 lens, D7100, D5200 backup with Sigma 18-250 lens?

 

I've been using a Tenba Classic 415 but the lens is much bigger than the rest of my kit. Looking for something more appropriate.

 

Thanks

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We use the Lowepro Flipside line and really like them. They are lightweight, really durable, have lots of pockets, and are well-designed to protect your equipment.

 

The inside has multiple dividers attached with Velcro, so the compartments can be custom-arranged to suit your particular needs. The opening is at the back (the part that rests against your back), so no one can unzip it when you are wearing it, which is great for security in airports and other crowded areas.

 

The model I have has been discontinued, but is closest to the 400 AW (All Weather), but they offer a number of different sizes and styles.

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@AmyT A couple more points in support of @@Alexander33's Flipside recommendation in addition to the security aspect.

 

The AW protection is a cover a bit like a shower cap which goes over the top and front of the pack. When you put the pack front down the AW cover protects it from any mud or dust on the ground and is easier to clean than the pack. You have full access to the camera and lenses and your straps are not on the ground getting dirty either. I have one of the early LowePro flipsides and a couple of similar packs from fstop gear. All my other packs have fallen out of use.

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@@AmyT For that kit you can use either a backpack or a shoulder bag, so buy what you are comfortable with. I actually prefer a shoulder bag for up to 5kg - easier to access things and I don't need to take it on and off as much in general.. Also, it is worth thinking about whether you want one with a separate compartment for "other stuff" you might want while traveling - electronics/ toiletries/ books etc. or are happy to carry a second bag. Remember you will want space for the new lens with body attached in one compartment, but with the movable dividers they all have it shouldn;t be a provblem to create this.

 

I just buy based on what space I need and what it is foir so I don't have any specific recommendations. My bags are at least 6 years old anyway, so they would no longer be sold I imagine.

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