Apologies for the title, thought it would catch your attention
I know Andy Biggs is perhaps one of a handful of pros who uses MF for his wildlife imaging. He uses the Phase 645 DF+ and the IQ250 with a variety of lenses, the 645Z is equally good if not better (same sensor as the IQ250) but the choice of lenses is obviously different.
In just over a week I will be leaving for South Africa for a ten day wildlife photo workshop. I will of course be taking my 1DX with a few 35mm lenses and a 7D2 as backup for it. I am also planning to take the Z with me and this will be the first 'outing' of this sort with the big boy. The A7R will come along for the ride as 'mini me' for the Pentax. Ambitious, I know, but hey, what's life without some indulgence?
There is always a weight and size restriction on these trips, not so much for flying since we are driving to each location within SA, but mainly for my back and shoulders! Plus the hassle of fiddling about with various bodies and lenses and keeping it all within reach in a vehicle that is bouncing along the rugged roads. Fortunately there will be just 3 of us in each vehicle so space around me will not be a huge problem.
We will be traveling to 'Tiger Canyon', a private reserve for Bengal tigers, and Londolozzi, in Sabi Sands. Both places are quite different from the vast plains and vistas of the Mara in Kenya or Tanzania. The animals are much closer though often partially obscured by the bush.
I have now acquired six lenses for the Pentax, and couldn't be happier with all of them, they serve different needs and are surprisingly light even when compared to my Canon glass.
However, I'd rather not lug everything and the kitchen sink to Africa if you get my drift.
So my questions to folks here are:
1.Has anybody used MF for wildlife photography, and if so, what is the experience like? I know the pitfalls related to slow AF, frame rate, shallow DOF, poor low-light performance etc, but the Pentax is more like a 35mm DSLR as I am realizing so I can live with these (plus the ISO invariance of the Pentax means its DR is better than the 1DX).
2. What sort of focal lengths would work? From my past experience, most of the images in these type of locations ask for focal lengths less than 600mm - in fact I am banking on that and therefore taking my 100-400L MkII as the longest lens. Also, I am increasingly becoming a 'habitat' rather than a 'portrait' photographer when it comes to wildlife. BTW, there is very little opportunity to photograph birds in either location.
The current Pentax lenses I own are the 45-85 FA, 55 DFA, 75 FA, 120 FA macro, 150 FA and 300 FA.
I am planning to take the 55 DFA (since it seems to be the sharpest), the 120 and the 300. I may throw the 75 in the bag since it seems to weight next to nothing.
I think I know the answers to my own questions, but would love to hear from anybody else who has traveled down this particular road.