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Camera lens advice for India & Rathambore
Post: #1
Hello everyone.

I am going on the Spirit of India tour on March 13th. Can't wait ! I have a dilemma about which camera lens's to take. I currently have a Canon 7D Mark 2 camera and I have an excellent Canon 55mm - 250mm lens which I find useful for general travel photography which I will be taking with me. I also have a Canon 100mm - 400mm lens which I use for wildlife. Can anyone let me know if it is worth taking the 100mm - 400mm lens for use at Rathambore National Park ??? bearing in mind it's weight. But on the other hand I would be gutted if I missed a good photo opportunity at Rathambore !!!! I will also be taking my Lumix LX5 compact as well. Any advice would be great !! Thanks in advance.

Maggie
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Post: #2
Hi Maggie,
I know India and whilst I have not been to Rathambore I am a photographer.
Firstly, you have a good selection of equipment there. The 55-250 will cover most of your shooting needs.
Secondly, you say you have a 100-400 lens specifically for wildlife photography so I am guessing that you chose this tour because of the wildlife photo opportunities. If that was me then I would bite the bullet on the weight and take the lens rather than be, as you say, gutted because you did not have the right lens with you.
On the downside if you do take the lens then with a couple of internal flights and a lot of moving around you will be carrying a lens that you will not be using most of the time and you are duplicating the 100-250 range on the lenses so if weight is going to be a consideration and you were to want to compromise then a teleconverter might be an option to consider. This would increase the focal length of the 55-200 on the days that you need it but the downside is that you would lose a couple of stops so you would be at around f8/11 and need a shutter speed of at least 1/500 (I would much faster to avoid any possibility of camera shake) but the camera has ISO up to 16,000 so it should easily be able to cope and grain/noise these days is such that there should not be noticeable deterioration in quality at a high ISO.
Hope that helps rather than confuses.
Also I found this site re shooting there which may help http://www.ranthambhore.com/photo-tours/
Have a great trip &, whichever lens(es) you take come back with some good shots.
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Post: #3
Hi Maggie,

I have been to Ranthambhore, and like you take a lot of wildlife photographs. It is always a great dilemma on which lenses to take. I was lucky in that on all 3 game drives we saw tigers - some far away, but on one occasion right beside the jeep. I would personally go for the longest lens you have, but weight is a problem, and at Khajuraho Airport they started throwing my lenses around in security! A converter would be a good idea (not that I have ever used one). I am off to Kerala shortly, and have ended up buying a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 with a 25-400mm lens, and not taking my Nikon DSLR with an 18-300mm lens. I will also be taking a Nikon Coolpix P7800.

I was gutted that when I did the Polar Bear trip to Churchill that my lenses were not big enough, and the bears were too far away!

The decision is yours! Enjoy though - it is a fantastic tour.

Cheers,
Hils
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Post: #4
Hello Ian & Hils

Many thanks to you both for your very useful replies. Thanks Ian for the web link too which was great. I am going to take my 100 - 400mm lens - I will fit it in !! I will be going on 2 or 3 game drives at Rathambore. Hils did you go on the India tour with Just You ? If so I wondered what other wildlife you saw in Rathambore and also on the rest of the tour ? Also Hils thanks for the advice about Khajuraho airport !

Thank you !

Maggie
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Post: #5
I have been to Ranthambhore and only took my Panasonic Lumix FZ150 which has a 24X optical zoom. I found this quite adequate because of the fairly dense vegetation on both the drives we were on you will not get a decent picture if they are too far away. I was fortunate and got close ups of both tigers and leopards. I took the smaller camera because of the difference in weight between that and my Canon DSLR which has a heavy Sigma 18mm to 200mm. lens.
Hope this is of some help. I'm sure you will have a great time.
Roger
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Post: #6
Hi Maggie,
I did this trip last year and was also having worries about which lenses to take. In the end I went with the following.

A 10-20mm wide angle lens which I never had the occasion to use, so really a waste of weight.
A  f1.8 50mm prime which is negligble in weight but was good for some of the night shots I took especially in Varanasi.
A 18-200mm which covered almost every eventuality.    

As far as Ranthambhore is concerned you are unlikely to need a long distance lens. (or in fact for any of the holiday)  The Tigers and other wildlife I saw, were well within the range of the 18-200 mm.  And as Ian has said above, with the addition of a  tele-convertor would most certainly cover everything.
A tip here concerning Varanasi.  Take the lens you have that has the largest aperture f1.8 if you can.  At night in a boat on the Ganges watching the Aarti ceremony you will need the smallest stop you can get.

It is a fantastic trip. Have a wonderful time.

Willpower
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Post: #7
Hi fellow photographers. I notice that some of you have been to Burma. I am going on Monday and would really appreciate the same sort of lens advice for the Road to Mandalay trip. I have a fisheye (which I dont see much use for but maybe I am wrong) 16 - 35 mm, 24 - 105 mm (which I adore) 75 - 300 mm and a 100 mm macro.
I will certainly take the 24 - 105mm. What else would you think useful bearing in mind the weight?
I have a 600 D Cannes which is a cropped sensor.
Thanks a lot
Stella
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Post: #8
(20/02/2017, 02:13 PM)Super Star Wrote: Hi fellow photographers.  I notice that some of you have been to Burma.  I am going on Monday and would really appreciate the same sort of lens advice for the Road to Mandalay trip.  I have a fisheye (which I dont see much use for but maybe I am wrong)  16 - 35 mm, 24 - 105 mm (which I adore) 75 - 300 mm and a 100 mm macro.
I will certainly take the 24 - 105mm.  What else would you think useful bearing in mind the weight?  
I have a 600 D Cannes which is a cropped sensor.
Thanks a lot
Stella

Hi Stella,

I took my Nikon 18 - 300mm lens with me to Burma which covered everything! I also tend to take a compact/bridge camera as a back-up and to use in the evenings.

Enjoy, Burma is wonderful!

Cheers,
Hils
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Post: #9
Hi Stella,
There is no right or wrong answer to this - a certain amount depends on you as a photographer and what you like to photograph.
For myself I am going to Burma in October and intend to take only 23mm & 60mm prime lenses with 2 bodies, plus another fixed lens 23mm camera, but that suits my style & my type of photography. I would not necessarily advise this for others though!
It somewhat depends on what you like to photograph & how comfortable you are in certain situations.
The tour is, so far as I can tell from the reviews, fairly full on so you don't want to be wasting time changing lenses too often - you probably don't have too much time for this anyway! . Also every time you change lenses there is a risk of dirt getting in. The 24 - 105 will cover most shooting situations and if you are a confident people photographer this is ideal. I could probably shoot the entire trip on this one lens. However, if you like candids, & I suspect there will be plenty of opportunities for these, and you are not too confident in going up to people I would suggest you also take the 75 - 300, this would also be useful for picking out detail in temples & other buildings.
For the 16 - 35 then most of this doubles up with the 24 - 105 and unless you like working close to your subject then I might be tempted to leave that at home as well. That said I never like to be without and if you did have a problem with the 24 - 105 this could be a saviour if lurking in your bag.
Unless you are particularly into macro photography I personally would leave the 100 behind as this is covered by the 24 - 105.
Take plenty of memory & a soft cloth to keep the camera clean to minimise dust when changing lenses.
Anything more specific then please ask.
Ian
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Post: #10
Hi Maggie,

The other wildlife that we saw in Ranthambhore were various deer, lots of different birds, owls, monkeys, crocodiles and a type of hog, and of course tigers! It is a fabulous place, especially very early in the morning when the light is just right.

Enjoy!

Cheers,
Hils
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