Safari Lens

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by seer_claw, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. seer_claw

    seer_claw TalkEmount Rookie

    Feb 18, 2015
    Calgary, AB
    I'm struggling with choosing a lens for going on a safari in Africa in May. I'd like some thoughts or opinions on what I should do.

    Current equip: A7 - 28-70 kit lens (70 at the telephoto end is not long enough)

    Current budget ~$1600

    1. Get the FE 70-200, only 200mm but is consistent aperture and a great lens.
    2. Wait for the 24-240, longer lens but all in one might not have as good quality. Also, with would make the kit lens redundant with overlapping FL's.
    3. Other....?

    I'd like to stick to FE lenses but I'm open to other suggestions.

  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    Well, if you aren't going until May, I'd hold off and see how that 24-240 shakes out. I doubt that it will have IQ to match the 70-200, but not having to switch lenses in the dust of the African savanna will be a big plus.

    And hey, welcome to the forum!
  3. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Welcome seer_claw!

    I can't imagine that the 24-240 can match the IQ of the FE 70-200...but I am very willing to be pleasantly surprised.
    If you could swing it, maybe an a6000 with the FE70-200 and the A7 with the 28-70 (if you thought it was going to be a long FL day, and vice versa if it looked like a 'short' day). That way you wouldn't have to do too much lens swapping in the dust.
  4. seer_claw

    seer_claw TalkEmount Rookie

    Feb 18, 2015
    Calgary, AB
    Thanks for the replies, I am still waiting on the 24-240 to see how some real world shots come out with it. As much as I would like to take 2 cameras, I don't think it in the budget the 70-200 is $1500 plus tax. So trying to get a A6000 in there too just isn't in the budget. Choices, I tell you....can't make up my mind.
  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    On second thought, both the 70-200 and 24-240 may be a bit short for a safari lens. Sure, you can crop. But you may be better off with something that has more reach. I had a Canon FD 100-300 f/5.6L lens that was stellar, worked well with my A7 (there were some sample shots here, but they seem to have disappeared), and was fairly cheap in comparison to the available FE options. It will take some skill if you're trying to hand-hold it, but if you're going on a driving safari, you can use a small bean bag propped on a window or roof rack. And once you get back, if you decide that it's more lens than you need, you can just put it back on eBay and recoup the cost of the lens. Just a thought.
  6. dannat

    dannat TalkEmount Regular

    Jun 22, 2014
    i agree 200 is a bit short, look for 300 or more
  7. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    It doesn't seem like you have that much choice really? Unless you are willing to go for an A mount lens, with an LEA4.

    A telephoto zoom lens is one of the few applications where that makes a certain amount of sense to me. It's going to be big anyway. And it opens up a few Tamron, Sigma and even Minolta options
  8. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    Here is one option that you can get for A mount with an LEA4 and be in the budget:

  9. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    I use 28-300mm equiv zooms, they don't have a long reach unless you are next to an animal. I would go for a long lens like Sigma 50-500 or Sigma 150-600mm lenses since Sigma has OSS (optical stabilization) with lenses. Tamron Sony versions does not have stabilization.

    You can also use a second camera with a short zoom for landscape shots... You don't want to change lenses too much, dust and also missing the moment... Also apsc camera like A6000 will give 1.5x with your lenses which might be better with long zooms and you can use A7 with 28-70. Other option might be buying a Sony A77 II (with sensor stabilization) with the long zoom instead of investing on the adapter and you can most probably sell it after your trip. When I travel I prefer to use 2 cameras with short zoom/prime & long zoom/prime if I want to cover different things.

    You can also check A7 II + Tamron 150-600 Antarctica review at LL:
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    Pick up a Canon FDn 300/4.0 or 400/4.5...a CIECIO7 tripod adapter...for relatively very little money.
    Get a second camera off the used market.
  11. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 13, 2013
    I would not go on safari with a manual focus only lens. My choice was and remains MFT for telephoto needs for a good size/reach ratio. If I was set on using the A7r for the animal shots, I would get a sigma or Tamron (or Sony) telephoto zoom with at least 400mm of reach.

    Sent from my iPhone using TalkEmount
  12. seer_claw

    seer_claw TalkEmount Rookie

    Feb 18, 2015
    Calgary, AB
    Thanks for all the replies, I'll take everything into consideration and keep thinking about what I want to do.
  13. nathanh

    nathanh TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 23, 2015
    I found that shooting at 500-600mm was critical for getting what I wanted when on safari. Sure, some people got nice shots with 300mm but they missed some nice shots, too. Anythig shorter than 300mm was mostly a waste.

    I would be looking at something like the Tamron 600mm zoom and a-mount adapter!with the A7 -- or get a crop sensor body and matched zoom, like a MFT body and a 300mm zoom, which would be in your price range and give you 600mm of reach.
  14. VLReviews

    VLReviews TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 16, 2015
    There are some good ideas in a very similar thread at DPReview:

    Although the original poster on DPReview shoots an A6000, a lot of the solutions apply here, too. For your set with the A7, a long telephoto zoom would certainly be nice. But if you don't mind the doughnut bokeh, you could also consider the AF Reflex 500 f/8 + LA-EA4 (~400$ for the lens, 300$ for the adapter). It's a very light and compact solution, but does have the drawbacks of no OSS and no zoom.