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Thread: Using m4/3 on safari

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    Using m4/3 on safari

    I'm in the process of making the long trek from Kenya back to San Francisco. With a 5 hour layover in Zurich it seemed like a good time to give my thoughts on using m4/3 gear on safari (where photography was the primary purpose of the trip).

    I took about 10,000 exposures. Before you gasp, there are reasons....first it was a 15 day trip and we did game drives every day morning and afternoon. Second as I will go into more detail shooting with very long focal lengths and slowish lenses I took multiple shots for everything to make sure I had choices and to increase the probability of really sharp images.

    What I took with me:
    GH2
    G3 x 2
    14, 20, 9-18, 14-140, 100-300, Oly 4/3 14-54 f28-3.5
    Oly XZ1

    What I used:
    I NEVER changed lenses the entire trip!
    The GH2 had the 100-300 and the G3 had the 14-54
    That was it, two bodies, two lenses and the XZ1 for some random snaps.

    Of the 10,000 exposures over 9,000 were made with the GH2 and the 100-300
    99% of the shots were handheld. With the extending zoom of the 100-300 using it on a beanbag was problematic. I had an Apex beanbag with the ability to put on a ball head but again there was no comfortable shooting position. I thought I would use touch focus and touch shoot a lot. I didn't use it at all. MUCH better stability bracing my elbows on the roof hatch and using the viewfinder.

    I shot a decent number of shots using ETC and getting a small jpeg. This worked out better for distant subjects as I found that I could get good crisp well exposed jpegs that were better than severely cropped raw files.

    What I really could have used is about 2 more stops either ISO or lens speed and I could have cut down my shot count and it would have made shooting much easier. As m4/3 develops I would like to see them make a faster 200mm or 300mm prime and a teleconverter. The long lens should have a tripod foot for use on a Wimberly. While this might not strike people as part of a compact system, I do think for wildlife shooters it would be a great setup and isn't a setup made for everyone.

    I have a ton more to process and will be making many more blog entries on my site over the coming days and weeks here are a few shots quickly edited on my laptop. More are posted here:
    http://www.terrybanet.com/?page_id=12

    For the birders - we had an amazing guide who is phenomenal with birds. We spotted and shot over 100 varieties, so look for a special bird gallery (from a complete non birder!)










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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Welcome back home Terry......a long way to go, but worth it. Looking forward to more posts.

    R

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Thanks for a really interesting post and evaluation of the GH-2/G3 in the field.

    The results posted above are very impressive. I am a great supporter of the 100-300 but I've never owned such a focal length zoom before so I have no way of evaluation its performance against other brands such as Nikon, Canon and Sigma.

    I guess the big question is whether you would recommend this combination and use it again?

    LouisB

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    I would use this combo again because it was easy to travel with and for my shooting I'm not going to invest in a Canon or Nikon 600mm lens. But, at the same time it isn't an ideal setup. The member of the group using a Nikon D3s and 600mm had a stop more lens speed and a lot more ISO range to work with. Trust me. We needed it. I will post a metadata compilation when I get home late tonight....well tomorrow morning for the Europeans up and reading this.

    OTHER THOUGHTS

    Also,
    Things I didn't like about the GH2...
    Everyone always say "OH the GH2 has all of the external controls. I've said for a while I am not the biggest fan of the lever control or the top left dial. I would say at least once a day inadvertently the lever got nudged from burst to bracket or self timer. You can't imagine how freaking annoying this is when you have very little time to get the shot.

    I find changing focus method (tracking etc) faster on the G3 than turning the dial on the GH2 where I really need to look at the dial to see what I'm doing.

    I hit the WB button by accident a lot.

    I wish the buffer would clear faster.

    I need to find a faster way of using ETC. I had it as C1 but switching to ETC should be faster. I will have a look at the function buttons. I didn't want to muck around with too much midstream.


    What I liked about the GH2....
    EVF is superb.
    Switching between shots when zoomed in is a breeze.


    Other problems:
    I did have some times where it seemed like the contact between camera and lens with the Oly 14-54 got lost and the camera wouldn't AF aperture was showing 0.0. I turned on and off camera and it was solved.

    I used the GH2 100-300 and not the G3 because for the long focal length if that is a primary lens the GH2 is more stable. For day to day shooting with smaller lenses, I prefer the G3.

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Terry

    some very nice images there ... I'm sure you're pleased with them too

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    With the extending zoom of the 100-300 using it on a beanbag was problematic. I had an Apex beanbag with the ability to put on a ball head but again there was no comfortable shooting position. I thought I would use touch focus and touch shoot a lot. I didn't use it at all. MUCH better stability bracing my elbows on the roof hatch and using the viewfinder.
    ...
    What I really could have used is about 2 more stops either ISO or lens speed and I could have cut down my shot count and it would have made shooting much easier.
    which is an interesting point and something I've found too. For instance I've been very pleased with my FD 300 f4 and found that f4 on that is actually at least 2 stops faster than any of the zooms. I put this down to transmission.

    I found when testing my 45-200 zoom that f5.6 was that it was about 2 stops darker on the image than my FD200 was at f5.6. I put this down to the differences in transmission of light through the lens elements (which is what T-Stops which are all about)

    Sure the FD300f4 is a bit of a brick, but I reckon if you're going to do that sort of thing again that it would give you excellent results (as long as you can cope with MF).

    thanks for your interesting post

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Sounds like a "trip of a lifetime." Nice shots and I would probably be slightly freaked out by being that close to a lion that's not in a zoo...
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Hi Terry,
    great images!!!

    However to be honest I personally thought I would probably bring at least a dx-sized camera and some faster lenses if I was going on such a trip.
    Personally I like shooting with shallow DOF and even on the S2 I shoot often at f2.5-f4.0, so I feel limited in this regard with m4/3.
    In my case I like a smaller camera if I ride the bycicle or if had to walk up a high mountain or if I was walking through town at night, but in most other situations I dont mind to carry some bulk and if the bag is a little bigger or smaller.

    My opinion regarding GH2 vs G3 user interface are going in the same direction as your experience. The only thing I kind of miss with the G3 is the eye sensor.

    I am looking forward to more images from your trip,
    Tom

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Welcome back Terry, lots of great experience there... I'll look forward to seeing more as you get processing, Did you take anything to review your shots while away?

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    What a GREAT trip Terry! I look forward to seeing more from it!

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Mahvelous photos, Terry! Can't wait to see more.

    Sounds like you had a fantastic time. Get home, get rested, let's get together once you have some stuff together. :-)

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Well I considered my kit choices extensively before chosing it. For larger prints, I wanted a lot of landscape type shots. Animal portraits will probably only end up in a slideshow or book so large files was not my primary consideration and therefore for me DOF was not that critical for my "most important" shots and for wider shots ormportraits I was using an f.2.8-3.5 lens.

    I did not own a big glass kit and nor did I want to rent/buy and went for experience. If I were to go back again, I would not switch the gear. 90% of my shots were with 100-300 and many of those at 600mm or with ETc considerably longer.

    But everyone wants something different and we had a lot of big glass on the trip (canon 800 with 1.4x tele) Nikon 600mm with 1.4 and 2x tele., etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Hi Terry,
    great images!!!

    However to be honest I personally thought I would probably bring at least a dx-sized camera and some faster lenses if I was going on such a trip.
    Personally I like shooting with shallow DOF and even on the S2 I shoot often at f2.5-f4.0, so I feel limited in this regard with m4/3.
    In my case I like a smaller camera if I ride the bycicle or if had to walk up a high mountain or if I was walking through town at night, but in most other situations I dont mind to carry some bulk and if the bag is a little bigger or smaller.

    My opinion regarding GH2 vs G3 user interface are going in the same direction as your experience. The only thing I kind of miss with the G3 is the eye sensor.

    I am looking forward to more images from your trip,
    Tom

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I did not own a big glass kit and nor did I want to rent/buy and went for experience. If I were to go back again, I would not switch the gear. 90% of my shots were with 100-300 and many of those at 600mm or with ETc considerably longer.
    US$200 buys you a good condition FD300f4 and a FD to m4/3 adaptor. Not a big investment and has a great tripod adaptor too

    PS its not about any different DoF its about getting you 2 or 3 stops faster shutter on the same ISO setting as the 100-300 does (cos it'll be f5.6 and pass through less light)
    FD300 = 6 elements in 6 groups; excellent tripod collar; smooth manual focus; built in extendable lens hood
    Lumix G Vario 100-300mm = 17 elementsin 12 groups, no collar but AF and OIS


    PPS: btw any thoughts feelings or otherwise comments about how well the 100-300 focuses? The OIS would be nifty for video thats for sure
    Last edited by pellicle; 1st September 2011 at 13:38.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    On DOF I was only talking about the one comment. The T-value comment is very interesting. The 100-300 focuses very fast. On some complicated tree branches with small birds you may have to try a couple of times to get the bird. Hen it struggled, I generally would focus a little future down the branch to get the camera to focus in the general vicinity and then once more to get very precise. Manual focus would not have worked for me especially with birds but a lot of things were moving around pretty quickly.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    Welcome back Terry, lots of great experience there... I'll look forward to seeing more as you get processing, Did you take anything to review your shots while away?

    Cheers

    Brian
    I had the latest version MacBook Air with me. So I had full processing power but not a lot of time. I also have a NEXTO - it has SD/CF card slots and is a portable hard drive with a good interface that you can back up to independently from any computer.

    This was our schedule.
    6AM we were at the vehicles.
    Arrived back at the camp around 1PM
    Lunch/download backup cards/clean gear until 3:30PM when we were back on trucks.
    6:30- 7PM arrival back at camp and 7:30 dinner.

    For me looking at my work each day was critical to understand and learn from. My work got much better as the time progressed as you really get away from getting the "shot" to making the whole frame with background etc. work for the picture.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Mahvelous photos, Terry! Can't wait to see more.

    Sounds like you had a fantastic time. Get home, get rested, let's get together once you have some stuff together. :-)
    Thanks Godfrey. I have a very cool installation going up in my apartment soon. It is going to be like a gigantic (about 140" x 60") of steel that will allow me to put my prints up with magnets and change around the displays without having to get everything framed. With the long weekend, I'm going to try and get some stuff printed up. So more to come.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Sounds like a "trip of a lifetime." Nice shots and I would probably be slightly freaked out by being that close to a lion that's not in a zoo...
    The lions have come to realize that the vehicles are not a threat to them so they don't get skittish around the cars. Now what is a no no would be standing on the vehicle (thereby changing it shape) or getting out of the vehicle.

    Actually, I would be more inclined to be scared of an elephant doing something unpredictable.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Thanks Godfrey. I have a very cool installation going up in my apartment soon. It is going to be like a gigantic (about 140" x 60") of steel that will allow me to put my prints up with magnets and change around the displays without having to get everything framed. With the long weekend, I'm going to try and get some stuff printed up. So more to come.
    Cool - when's the photo gallery party? ;-)

    Welcome back Terry - some great shots you posted - looking forward to seeing the rest!

    Cheers,
    -- Joe

    http://mountainjoe.zenfolio.com/ - excuse the mess

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by mountainjoe View Post
    Cool - when's the photo gallery party? ;-)

    Welcome back Terry - some great shots you posted - looking forward to seeing the rest!

    Cheers,
    Second copy of the 100-300 is still wrapped up and pristine!

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Well I considered my kit choices extensively before chosing it. For larger prints, I wanted a lot of landscape type shots. Animal portraits will probably only end up in a slideshow or book so large files was not my primary consideration and therefore for me DOF was not that critical for my "most important" shots and for wider shots ormportraits I was using an f.2.8-3.5 lens.

    I did not own a big glass kit and nor did I want to rent/buy and went for experience. If I were to go back again, I would not switch the gear. 90% of my shots were with 100-300 and many of those at 600mm or with ETc considerably longer.

    But everyone wants something different and we had a lot of big glass on the trip (canon 800 with 1.4x tele) Nikon 600mm with 1.4 and 2x tele., etc.
    Hi Terry,
    I didnt want to suggest that I found it a bad decision and your impressive images speak for themselves.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Hi Terry,
    I didnt want to suggest that I found it a bad decision and your impressive images speak for themselves.
    Didn't mean it to sound that way, Just more info to give more detail on how
    i made the m4/3 choice.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Didn't mean it to sound that way, Just more info to give more detail on how
    i made the m4/3 choice.
    Terry....after my trip to SA, I just figured that if I needed a 600mm lens, then the subject was just too far away. I saw LOTS of encumbered photographers.

    You made a wise choice.

    R

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post
    Terry....after my trip to SA, I just figured that if I needed a 600mm lens, then the subject was just too far away. I saw LOTS of encumbered photographers.

    You made a wise choice.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    some weeks ago there was also an intersting read on LL from a photographer bringing a GH2 and a S2 to a safari.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post
    Terry....after my trip to SA, I just figured that if I needed a 600mm lens, then the subject was just too far away. I saw LOTS of encumbered photographers.

    You made a wise choice.

    R
    I found 300mm (600mm) didn't go very far and there are many of my highest rated shots at that distance. It helped me a lot to focus in on what I really wanted in the shot. I also got a number of interesting bird shots using ETC so I was shooting at 1200mm. Now, if I didn't have a guide that was amazing with birds or a traveling companion that wasn't into birds, I probably wouldn't have taken the shots, but now that I have them, I'm glad I do.

    By the way, the way we did this trip, we had the same guide and truck for the entire 15 days.
    Last edited by Terry; 2nd September 2011 at 06:05.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    some weeks ago there was also an intersting read on LL from a photographer bringing a GH2 and a S2 to a safari.
    Yes, I read that and posted on the ensuing thread.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Now, if I didn't have a guide that was amazing with birds or a traveling companion that wasn't into birds, I probably wouldn't have taken the shots, but now that I have them, I'm glad I do.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    I'm new here but I'd love to see some of those bird shots when you get a moment Terry

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Over the weekend I'm going to move all of the files to my mac pro and will post more on the forum and also get the galleries up on my website. Stay tuned!

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Thanks for sharing, Terry. Really great set of images, and it sounds like a wonderful experience!

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Terry,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your African safari. I am off soon to Africa (3rd time) myself... l am taking a Nikon (D3s) kit plus some new Samsung NX goodies with me. I will share my experience with both systems when I get back.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your images!

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    I'm working on the galleries but in the meantime there are a number of non gallery worthy shots that were part of the experience. I've decided to write about the experiences and use those pictures in the blog to illustrate.

    The first is about the three different cheetah kills that we saw....yes I'm told seeing one is extraordinary. Seeing three was unbelievable.

    http://www.terrybanet.com/?p=305

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Wow, really exciting stuff Terry... you were really lucky with the cheetahs!

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Great shots Terry! really lovely! Plus you made a lot out of m43!!!!

    Having said that - for sure everyone has his/her own preferences - after shooting m43 myself and after reading all your feedback and findings, end of the day I would go for a FF DSLR when going on Safari.

    Reasons are simple - because I would want shallower DOF and the advantages of higher ISO in combination with those larger sensors.

    PLUS - and I come more and more to this conclusion again, I simply prefer OVF versus EVF. But as m43 considers to be so great because of offering either LCD composition or EVF composition, this is actually the biggest restriction for me if I want to do serious photography, I have done lot of game drives in Africa most times with APSC sized sensors from D1, D200, Eos 60D etc. with great results in combination with 70-200/2.8 and 100-400, but I would really go for FF if I have the possibility to go on Safari again.

    Many thanks for all your feedback here and all your open mind - really enjoyed that!

    Best

    Peter

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    I'm working on the galleries but in the meantime there are a number of non gallery worthy shots that were part of the experience. I've decided to write about the experiences and use those pictures in the blog to illustrate.

    The first is about the three different cheetah kills that we saw....yes I'm told seeing one is extraordinary. Seeing three was unbelievable.

    http://www.terrybanet.com/?p=305
    That was an interesting read. Part of the reason I ask "which ones specifically?" when people say "there are many lessons to learn from animals" :-)

    - Raist

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    >end of the day I would go for a FF DSLR when going on Safari

    Besides the cost there is the size and weight to consider.
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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by raist3d View Post
    That was an interesting read. Part of the reason I ask "which ones specifically?" when people say "there are many lessons to learn from animals" :-)

    - Raist
    I'm not sure I learned a lot of lessons from the animals. What I found fascinating was seeing the interdependencies in the ecosystem and how different species behave.

    Simple little things like the oxpeckers that eat the bugs on the animals and the egrets that tag along beside the buffalo that eat the insects dislodged from the bushes and grasses as the buffalo eat.

    Fascinating to watch the decision making process in a wildebeest crossing and how once the first one decides to go that there is mayhem as hundreds or thousands go along. They know there are crocs waiting to eat them and the ensuing mayhem seems to always drown a few.... or sadly to watch three small wildebeests risk everything swim back to the other side because they were separated from their mother and they are looking for her.

    The impalas have their own thing going with the females separating from the males except for one dominant male that stays with the group. All of the bachelors vie to be the dominant bachelor in the group to then challenge the male in the female group.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    Great shots Terry! really lovely! Plus you made a lot out of m43!!!!

    Having said that - for sure everyone has his/her own preferences - after shooting m43 myself and after reading all your feedback and findings, end of the day I would go for a FF DSLR when going on Safari.

    Reasons are simple - because I would want shallower DOF and the advantages of higher ISO in combination with those larger sensors.

    PLUS - and I come more and more to this conclusion again, I simply prefer OVF versus EVF. But as m43 considers to be so great because of offering either LCD composition or EVF composition, this is actually the biggest restriction for me if I want to do serious photography, I have done lot of game drives in Africa most times with APSC sized sensors from D1, D200, Eos 60D etc. with great results in combination with 70-200/2.8 and 100-400, but I would really go for FF if I have the possibility to go on Safari again.

    Many thanks for all your feedback here and all your open mind - really enjoyed that!

    Best

    Peter
    Everyone has valid points and are looking to get something different from the experience. As I stated I knew that a 17x22 animal portrait had an extremely low probability of hanging on the wall and that environmental landscape + animals were more important to me and that was a big factor in my decision making process.

    Where I do kick myself is having too shallow a DOF on some critical shots. In trying to keep the ISO low and the shutter speed high I was shooting more wide open and at 600mm I could have actually used some more DOF. So, from that perspective I will disagree a bit and say that full frame actually makes getting good enough DOF even harder and puts even more pressure on lens choices. I really thing 600mm is a must. You can get away with a 100-400 lens on a crop sensor but on on full frame you will feel like there isn't enough reach. 600mm lenses don't come cheap to either buy or rent.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    Wow, really exciting stuff Terry... you were really lucky with the cheetahs!

    Cheers

    Brian
    Thanks we were. Another member of our group got the nickname of Leopard magnet because every time he went out it seemed like he saw a leopard.

    Other rare finds that we had were caracals and a serval. Our guides have only seen a caracal a few times in their career. Our particular guide was a bird genius and we found so many. I had a wildlife book with me and we checked things as we saw them....more than 175 species and about 100 were different birds....now birding is a whole different story in needing a long lens! Needless to say....I gave up on a bunch of them we nicknamed bird dots....they looked way better in my binoculars than on my sensor.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Terry,

    Looking at the wild life pix that win the competitions I seem to feel that most of them are shot against the light, i.e. with the light behind the animal rather than behind the photographer.

    This is alien to the run-of-the-mill tracker/guide who always prefers to be in a position where the animal is facing the light.

    The shots you post in starting this thread are all with the light behind the camera. Now you have had time to work through your 10,000 images do have you found any keepers shot into the light/sun.

    This is not a suggestion that your shots are not good - just a wonder, since you have so many to choose from, as to whether where the light is does make a difference.

    Lovely pix for all that.

    Tony

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    I tried where I could to get some cross lighting. We didn't do much backlighting by choice. I was traveling with a birder who really wanted to get good detail and catchlight in the birds eyes which really needs them facing the light.


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    Wink Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    after shooting m43 myself and after reading all your feedback and findings, end of the day I would go for a FF DSLR when going on Safari.

    Reasons are simple - because I would want shallower DOF and the advantages of higher ISO in combination with those larger sensors.
    not sure I agree with you. I'd probably go for an APS or 4/3 DSLR because 1) they have better high speed AF, and 2) the crop factors go in your favour with telephoto. Aside from shooting mid distance with a normal or closed range with a wide, the DoF between a FF and an APS (using something like a 200mm or greater length) will not be "chalk and cheese". One would probably end up shooting FF at 1 or 2 stops below max to get rid of vignetting, and APS would not pick that up because of the crop.

    Of course if one is using the lens wide open then the higher ISO does indeed equate to better shutter, but if you add a stop to the aperture then the system ISO advantage vanishes.

    Weight would not be such a major consideration IMHO as when you've got a few lenses (like a 300f4) the 200g extra mass of the body starts being less of a significant issue.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    >(like a 300f4) the 200g extra mass of the body starts being less of a significant issue.

    You forget that the angle of view is like 450mm FF equivalent on the APS-C sensor and with m43 it is like 600mm FF equivalent. Also this is a zoom with way more flexibility.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by jrob View Post
    I'm new here but I'd love to see some of those bird shots when you get a moment Terry
    OK....I've added bird gallery. There is a theme here...I did much better with big birds vs. what I dub as "bird dots".

    http://www.terrybanet.com/?page_id=324

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    OK....I've added bird gallery. There is a theme here...I did much better with big birds vs. what I dub as "bird dots".

    http://www.terrybanet.com/?page_id=324
    Wow Terry - I'm not sure I could have done much better with my D700. These are awesome!

    Cheers,
    -- Joe

    http://mountainjoe.zenfolio.com/ - excuse the mess

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    >(like a 300f4) the 200g extra mass of the body starts being less of a significant issue.

    You forget that the angle of view is like 450mm FF equivalent on the APS-C sensor and with m43 it is like 600mm FF equivalent. Also this is a zoom with way more flexibility.
    well no I didn't. If you compare a 200mm with a 300mm on a camera you may find that the difference is not as shockingly big as you may imagine, and not what the 200/300 ratio would imply.

    Also since she is using 4/3 format and the question I was responding to was suggesting FF over 4/3 I stuck with the 4/3 or APS options and didn't go into much detail about what you would need (and that would be 600mm = 300 + 2x extender or BG 600mm lens) on FF to match the 300mm end for reach.

    I understood Terri was using a 100-300 zoom, but I was suggesting that if one was using such a lens then the differences would be less ... as the mix of full frame AND DSLR was put into the discussion I thought it might be beneficial to discuss wider. If one was using a full frame camera one would not be using the cheapie 100-300 lens and as far as I know the mass of any decent 100-300 zooms are still within cooee of the 300f4 that I mentioned.

    some quick figures from Canon for Ball park:

    http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/c...~56is_usm.html
    630g

    http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/c...56lis_usm.html
    1050g

    and 200g for a 1.4 extender

    put a similar EOS Nikon or Olympus body against these and (as I mentioned) the 200g one may save on body will be absorbed by lens.

    Clearly you don't think so, which is of course fine

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari


    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    OK....I've added bird gallery. There is a theme here...I did much better with big birds vs. what I dub as "bird dots".

    http://www.terrybanet.com/?page_id=324

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    well no I didn't. If you compare a 200mm with a 300mm on a camera you may find that the difference is not as shockingly big as you may imagine, and not what the 200/300 ratio would imply.

    Also since she is using 4/3 format and the question I was responding to was suggesting FF over 4/3 I stuck with the 4/3 or APS options and didn't go into much detail about what you would need (and that would be 600mm = 300 + 2x extender or BG 600mm lens) on FF to match the 300mm end for reach.

    I understood Terri was using a 100-300 zoom, but I was suggesting that if one was using such a lens then the differences would be less ... as the mix of full frame AND DSLR was put into the discussion I thought it might be beneficial to discuss wider. If one was using a full frame camera one would not be using the cheapie 100-300 lens and as far as I know the mass of any decent 100-300 zooms are still within cooee of the 300f4 that I mentioned.

    some quick figures from Canon for Ball park:

    http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/c...~56is_usm.html
    630g

    http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/c...56lis_usm.html
    1050g

    and 200g for a 1.4 extender

    put a similar EOS Nikon or Olympus body against these and (as I mentioned) the 200g one may save on body will be absorbed by lens.

    Clearly you don't think so, which is of course fine
    I'm not sure what you are trying to explain here. With the two lenses you mention, a 1.4x TC will only get you to 450mm on an FF body and you will lose or at least get very slow AF. You would get more reach with a 1.6 crop body of course, but I doubt that a camera like the 7D will give better image quality if you use a 70-300 zoom with a TC than a GH2 without. The Canon alternative that would work well on a 7D is the 100-400mm, but that is considerably heavier, not to speak about much more expensive than the Pana 100-300. Better image quality? Maybe, maybe not.

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Ok

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    well no I didn't. If you compare a 200mm with a 300mm on a camera you may find that the difference is not as shockingly big as you may imagine, and not what the 200/300 ratio would imply.

    I am dead wrong. I just went and compared 2 images I took with my FD200 and my FD300 and scaled the 300mm image back by 66.66% and overlaid them and voila they are exactly a match

    so knowing I've done experiments checking 100mm on 35mm does come close to equal with 50mm I have no idea why I made that statement ...

    unreserved recognition of the flaw there ... will now go searching for other flaws in my argument

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I'm not sure what you are trying to explain here.
    right now, me neither.

    gimme a minute

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    Re: Using m4/3 on safari

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Everyone has valid points and are looking to get something different from the experience. As I stated I knew that a 17x22 animal portrait had an extremely low probability of hanging on the wall and that environmental landscape + animals were more important to me and that was a big factor in my decision making process.

    Where I do kick myself is having too shallow a DOF on some critical shots. In trying to keep the ISO low and the shutter speed high I was shooting more wide open and at 600mm I could have actually used some more DOF. So, from that perspective I will disagree a bit and say that full frame actually makes getting good enough DOF even harder and puts even more pressure on lens choices. I really thing 600mm is a must. You can get away with a 100-400 lens on a crop sensor but on on full frame you will feel like there isn't enough reach. 600mm lenses don't come cheap to either buy or rent.
    Interesting observation WRT too shallow DOF ..... but you might be right at 300 (600 equivalent) DOF is pretty shallow already per se.

    Anyway I would also like to see a faster 300 (600) for m43, at least something like 3.4, better 2.8 or even 2.5, which would really help for wildlife. But also some faster primes, I do not care about fast zooms. A 1.4/12, 1.4/35 and 1.4/50 would be lovely - from Olympus or Panasonic, not from Sigma. And great Teleconverters like the one's available for 43 (these are really excellent).

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