Kenya for a Year

Old Jan 7th 2007, 2:45 pm
  #1  
Annospree
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Default Kenya for a Year

Hello All!
This is my first post. I am departing this month to spend a year in
the Kakamega forest (last remaining jungle) of Kenya studying African
Blue monkeys. I was wondering about whether to get a digital camera or
telephoto lens for the existing 35 mm camera that I have. I know this
depends on what type of pics I want to take. I would like to be able
to take really nice pics while I'm there, and I wonder how much need I
will have for a really good zoom to get wildlife shots? does anyone
have an opinion of the Sony DSC-W50 digital with the Carl Zeiss lens?
My parents got that for me and they said it's supposed to take good
pics, but Canon had some with a slightly better zoom, but none of the
digitals had really good zooms. I'm just really lost when it comes to
digital cameras! I've only used them for easy close shots of friends
and familly, never anything outdoors.
I can't spend a ton of money on it, but want to come back with some
good shots.


--
annospree
 
Old Jan 8th 2007, 1:27 am
  #2  
Sandy58
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Default Re: Kenya for a Year

annospree wrote:

> Hello All!
> This is my first post. I am departing this month to spend a year in
> the Kakamega forest (last remaining jungle) of Kenya studying African
> Blue monkeys. I was wondering about whether to get a digital camera or
> telephoto lens for the existing 35 mm camera that I have. I know this
> depends on what type of pics I want to take. I would like to be able
> to take really nice pics while I'm there, and I wonder how much need I
> will have for a really good zoom to get wildlife shots? does anyone
> have an opinion of the Sony DSC-W50 digital with the Carl Zeiss lens?
> My parents got that for me and they said it's supposed to take good
> pics, but Canon had some with a slightly better zoom, but none of the
> digitals had really good zooms. I'm just really lost when it comes to
> digital cameras! I've only used them for easy close shots of friends
> and familly, never anything outdoors.
> I can't spend a ton of money on it, but want to come back with some
> good shots.
>
>
> --
> annospree

I have a little Sony Cyber-shot with Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens. I
upraded the card for more room. But I should imagine you would like to
have some very close shots of the monkeys etc so I would think a good
zoom facility would be lots better. Remember, annospree...you will only
get ONE chance per position. :-) Them-thar monkey-critters sure move
around!!! Have a great time.
 
Old Jan 8th 2007, 1:27 am
  #3  
Sandy58
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Kenya for a Year

annospree wrote:

> Hello All!
> This is my first post. I am departing this month to spend a year in
> the Kakamega forest (last remaining jungle) of Kenya studying African
> Blue monkeys. I was wondering about whether to get a digital camera or
> telephoto lens for the existing 35 mm camera that I have. I know this
> depends on what type of pics I want to take. I would like to be able
> to take really nice pics while I'm there, and I wonder how much need I
> will have for a really good zoom to get wildlife shots? does anyone
> have an opinion of the Sony DSC-W50 digital with the Carl Zeiss lens?
> My parents got that for me and they said it's supposed to take good
> pics, but Canon had some with a slightly better zoom, but none of the
> digitals had really good zooms. I'm just really lost when it comes to
> digital cameras! I've only used them for easy close shots of friends
> and familly, never anything outdoors.
> I can't spend a ton of money on it, but want to come back with some
> good shots.
>
>
> --
> annospree

I have a little Sony Cyber-shot with Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens. I
upgraded the card for more room. But I should imagine you would like to
have some very close shots of the monkeys etc so I would think a good
zoom facility would be lots better. Remember, annospree...you will only
get ONE chance per position. :-) Them-thar monkey-critters sure move
around!!! Have a great time.
 
Old Jan 8th 2007, 4:57 am
  #4  
Hans-Georg Michna
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Kenya for a Year

On Sun, 7 Jan 2007 21:45:02 -0600, annospree wrote:

>This is my first post.

Well done. (:-)

>I am departing this month to spend a year in
>the Kakamega forest (last remaining jungle) of Kenya studying African
>Blue monkeys. I was wondering about whether to get a digital camera or
>telephoto lens for the existing 35 mm camera that I have. I know this
>depends on what type of pics I want to take. I would like to be able
>to take really nice pics while I'm there, and I wonder how much need I
>will have for a really good zoom to get wildlife shots? does anyone
>have an opinion of the Sony DSC-W50 digital with the Carl Zeiss lens?
>My parents got that for me and they said it's supposed to take good
>pics, but Canon had some with a slightly better zoom, but none of the
>digitals had really good zooms. I'm just really lost when it comes to
>digital cameras! I've only used them for easy close shots of friends
>and familly, never anything outdoors.
>I can't spend a ton of money on it, but want to come back with some
>good shots.

The 35 mm equivalent focal lengths, in my experience are:

300 mm: Often too short for many types of wildlife photos

400 mm: Reasonable compromise, but still a lot too short for
birds or other small, shy animals.

These figures are for tripod use or for cameras with optical
stabilizer, which I highly recommend. However, in most practical
situations you cannot take a 400 mm shot from your free hand.
You have to lean the camera against something, like a car window
frame, a tree, or the shoulder of a still-standing person.

The trouble is that, if you aren't an experienced photographer,
anything beyond 400 mm requires training and experience. You
have to make your own decision. Don't buy something special like
a 500 mm reflex lens and expect to come back with good photos.

A recommendation for a relatively cheap and small compromise is
the range of compact digital cameras with a 12x zoom up to 420
mm equivalent and optical stabilizer, like those from the
Panasonic Lumix or the Canon PowerShot lines.

Watch out also for photos in poor light. The flashes in those
small cameras will hardly ever reach up to the monkeys, so
forget about that or educate yourself thoroughly about flashes.
Don't end up like those clueless people who take photos of the
Niagara Falls with their flashes.

Hans-Georg

--
No mail, please.
 
Old Jan 8th 2007, 6:20 am
  #5  
Liz Leyden
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Kenya for a Year

In message <[email protected]>
annospree <[email protected]> wrote:

>
> Hello All!
> This is my first post. I am departing this month to spend a year in
> the Kakamega forest (last remaining jungle) of Kenya studying African
> Blue monkeys. I was wondering about whether to get a digital camera or
> telephoto lens for the existing 35 mm camera that I have. I know this
> depends on what type of pics I want to take. I would like to be able
> to take really nice pics while I'm there, and I wonder how much need I
> will have for a really good zoom to get wildlife shots? does anyone
> have an opinion of the Sony DSC-W50 digital with the Carl Zeiss lens?
> My parents got that for me and they said it's supposed to take good
> pics, but Canon had some with a slightly better zoom, but none of the
> digitals had really good zooms. I'm just really lost when it comes to
> digital cameras! I've only used them for easy close shots of friends
> and familly, never anything outdoors.
> I can't spend a ton of money on it, but want to come back with some
> good shots.
>
Hans Georg has covered most of the bases. It just depends on whether
you're going to be mostly photographing the monkeys in your study, or
the other wildlife, which includes fantastic birds not found elsewhere
in Kenya and a huge range of butterflies.
For birds, you've got the twin problems in Kakamega that they are not
well habituated, therefore they don't come close and the light levels
in most parts of the forest are low. Of course, if you're there for a
while, you might be able to habituate them by feeding them. They get
some of the bigger birds down to the bird tables at Rondo, e.g. Great
Blue Turaco, though when I was there (ages ago) they still weren't
approachable.
You might want a fairly long macro lens if you're interested in
butterflies and other insects.
Anyway, have a great time!

Slainte

Liz



--
http://www.v-liz.com - Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Galapagos
Photo Gallery:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/gallery.asp?memberID5111
 
Old Jan 8th 2007, 5:24 pm
  #6  
Scott Elliot
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Kenya for a Year

The blue monkeys I saw at Kibale National Forest in Uganda were in fairly
dense jungle, high in the trees in rather dim light. Doing research you
might be able to get them more accustomed to you, but the ones I saw were in
difficult photography conditions.

I recommend a digital SLR such as a Canon Rebel XTi (400D) or a Nikon D80, a
long telephoto lens such as a Sigma 50-500 or Tamron 200-500 and a good
solid tripod with a ball head. You should also have a shorter zoom lens
from "environmental" photos and general photography. A wider aperture lens
such as a 70-200 f/2.8 would be better, but those faster lenses are usually
more expensive. You could use your existing 35 mm camera if you got a
telephoto lens, but the small digital cameras have a cropping factor that
make your telephoto lenses seem to be about 1.5 times longer than they are
on a film camera. You could obtain the same results with film by having
them crop when they are doing the printing.

There are a couple of blue monkey shots in this gallery, but I did not have
much time to spend there, the lighting was poor and I am not very happy with
the results. http://www.pbase.com/selliotca/kibale

Have a good time in Kenya. It should be quite an experience.

Scott

"annospree" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
>
> Hello All!
> This is my first post. I am departing this month to spend a year in
> the Kakamega forest (last remaining jungle) of Kenya studying African
> Blue monkeys. I was wondering about whether to get a digital camera or
> telephoto lens for the existing 35 mm camera that I have. I know this
> depends on what type of pics I want to take. I would like to be able
> to take really nice pics while I'm there, and I wonder how much need I
> will have for a really good zoom to get wildlife shots? does anyone
> have an opinion of the Sony DSC-W50 digital with the Carl Zeiss lens?
> My parents got that for me and they said it's supposed to take good
> pics, but Canon had some with a slightly better zoom, but none of the
> digitals had really good zooms. I'm just really lost when it comes to
> digital cameras! I've only used them for easy close shots of friends
> and familly, never anything outdoors.
> I can't spend a ton of money on it, but want to come back with some
> good shots.
>
>
> --
> annospree
 

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