Telephoto stabilization from safari vehicles

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by -hh, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. -hh

    -hh Guest

    Looking for some guidance on the "less bad" options. We're looking at
    a fly-in to Katavi NP in Tanzania, which has a total baggage weight
    limit of only 15kg/person, so there's not much lattitude for bringing
    along 'just in case' equipment.

    I'm looking to (of course) maximize stabilization of a long lens while
    in the safari vehicle. Some companies have pop-top's where you can
    toss a sandbag onto the roof next to the hatch, but it looks like this
    type of vehicle isn't available in Katavi -- looks like they use a 4WD
    with bench seats with shade over and with open sides. As such, the
    photography position appears to be seated & shooting out the sides.
    Here's a representative illustration of the vehicle platform:

    http://www.tanzaniasafaris.info/Katavi/activities.htm

    It doesn't look to me like there's an appropriate surface to sandbag
    upon (including "windowsills"), nor probably all that friendly to have
    a tripod either. Besides using an Image Stabilization lens, what else
    would anyone recommend for consideration?

    TIA,

    -hh
     
    -hh, Feb 3, 2006
    #1
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  2. : Looking for some guidance on the "less bad" options. We're looking at
    : a fly-in to Katavi NP in Tanzania, which has a total baggage weight
    : limit of only 15kg/person, so there's not much lattitude for bringing
    : along 'just in case' equipment.
    :
    : I'm looking to (of course) maximize stabilization of a long lens while
    : in the safari vehicle. Some companies have pop-top's where you can
    : toss a sandbag onto the roof next to the hatch, but it looks like this
    : type of vehicle isn't available in Katavi -- looks like they use a 4WD
    : with bench seats with shade over and with open sides. As such, the
    : photography position appears to be seated & shooting out the sides.
    : Here's a representative illustration of the vehicle platform:
    :
    : http://www.tanzaniasafaris.info/Katavi/activities.htm
    :
    : It doesn't look to me like there's an appropriate surface to sandbag
    : upon (including "windowsills"), nor probably all that friendly to have
    : a tripod either. Besides using an Image Stabilization lens, what else
    : would anyone recommend for consideration?
    :
    : TIA,
    :
    : -hh
    :

    Monopod? You can use it for photos as well as a bow staff to keep the
    frisky lions from eating your equipment and you.
     
    Scratch and Sniff, Feb 3, 2006
    #2
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  3. I agree that it doesn't look like there's much option for sandbagging,
    if that vehicle is typical.

    So, yeah VR/IS definitely. Then maybe a monopod, or...you know the
    old string/chain thing, where you crop a string from a tripod-socket
    screw, step on it, and pull up against it to steady the camera? Well,
    maybe perhaps you could set up in the vehicle with *two* strings
    anchored to things on both sides of the opening, so when you pulled up
    you were stabilized fairly well in two dimensions. Never tried this
    variant, just thought of it looking at the vehicle photo.

    You might write them and ask what other photographers have found to
    work in the past; I can't imagine they haven't had photographers there
    before now!
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 3, 2006
    #3
  4. -hh

    Paul Furman Guest

    Rent one of these: http://www.ken-lab.com/html/tips_and_tricks.html
     
    Paul Furman, Feb 3, 2006
    #4
  5. The 326g Panasonic FZ5 with its 432mm equivalent f/3.3 image-stabilised
    lens is something you might want to consider as a backup, if you are tight
    on the weight budget.

    David
     
    David J Taylor, Feb 3, 2006
    #5
  6. -hh

    Ron Recer Guest

    Consider lens with image stabilization such as Canon. Most people can hand
    hold Canon's 100-400 IS lens with little problem even at 400. If you need a
    lighter weight lens try Canon's 75-300 IS.

    Ron
     
    Ron Recer, Feb 3, 2006
    #6
  7. -hh

    Pat Guest

    I suppose the right answer is "if you take me with you I will show
    you", but I bet that won't work. Oh, well.

    A stabilized lense assumes that you are pretty still and are making
    small movements, not driving around Africa shoots animals from a moving
    vehicle. I don't think the solution is to stabilize the image in the
    camera as much as it is to stabilize the camera itself. Take a look at
    a small light Steadycam or Glidecam. That's how they stabilize video
    and allow the videographer to walk while filming and keep a stable
    image.

    Using something like that, along with a stabilized lense to make the
    final stabilization should work pretty well.
     
    Pat, Feb 4, 2006
    #7
  8. -hh

    -hh Guest

    Already there. I was just looking to see if there was something more
    to do.
    For this trip, I'm planning on leaving the 75-300 IS at home, and will
    instead be using a 70-200 f/2.8 IS with a 1.4x teleconverter. I had
    selected this combination over the 100-400 IS because I felt that I'd
    want to have a bit more flexibility for working in low lighting
    conditions.


    -hh
     
    -hh, Feb 4, 2006
    #8
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