Photographic Equipment and Style

by Peter Betts
(Port Elizabeth)

Lion at Eendrag Windmill 60mm on FX

Lion at Eendrag Windmill 60mm on FX

I Prefer to use my tracking skills and knowledge and approach game slowly and efficiently. As a result the prime lens I use on my FX camera D700 is the 70-200 VR II f2.8 with a 1.4x convertor...Recently I have found that the 24-70 at about 60mm gives fantastic results if lion are approached correctly in your saloon car next to lions walking. I would be in a fix with a crop factor DX camera as they multiply the focal length and you start cutting off legs,horns etc so I sold my D200 for the superior image quality of an FX camera like the D700 and the D3. For far away animals the 200-400 is plenty on an FX camera. Spot lights and flashes should be banned especially for felines and nocturnal birds (Owls coursers , nightjars etc.) I am a Professional Wildlife photographer, a FGASA Big 5 Nature Guide and I have 104 trips to Kruger under the belt and 46 to Kalagadi over the last 48 Years..I am 59 now


Peter Betts
Port Elizabeth

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Aug 31, 2011
No problemo
by: Maro

Hi Jeff

We have no issues with you posting your links here. I have checked out your KrugerTales site and the book you intend publishing looks most interesting!

Aug 30, 2011
by: Jeff Gordon

Peter, with so many Kruger trips under your belt you are a man I would love to get in touch with for a book I am writing about true Kruger stories from visitors to the park. I am not sure if I am allowed to post links here, but if you go to www krugertales coza, you can find my address on there.

Jan 20, 2010
Approach technique
by: Bradley

I think what Peter is getting at is that photographers need to adapt their style to their equipment. If we have a short focal length lens, such as a 200mm or 300mm, then we need to work on our approach technique that will enable us to get closer to the animal without spooking it.

If we see something in the road up ahead we normally slow down or stop, get out the binoculars to check what it is. If it's elephant dung we carry on as normal but if it's an animal we take a few photographs from where we are in case it moves and then we apprach it at a slow pace.

Jan 20, 2010
DX or FX
by: Robbie

We use a Nikon D90 DX body and love the crop as we have had some animals so far away and the crop give that little extra to get a decent photo. However, I also agree with Peter - there are times when we end up too close to the subject and cannot zoom out.

I suppose the ideal lens would be a 10mm - 600mm f4 zoom, we'll just need a trailer to transport it!

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