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Old 08-31-2013, 11:53 PM   #1
kdanjou
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Is a 300mm too big for The Animal Kingdom?

I'm traveling to WDW in January with my wife and we'll be spending a day a Disney Animal Kingdom. Has anyone used a 300mm for photos or is that too big for the views you have of animals?

I'm used to taking pictures at the KC zoo, which over 200 acres. So a long telephoto isn't an issue. And for anyone wondering, I'd be using an EOS-1Ds and or a 40D.

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Old 09-01-2013, 12:15 AM   #2
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I have a 28-300 on my crop body nikon at the moment and really like the reach it gives me. For primarily outdoor shots at AK I don't think the 6.3 aperture at that focal length will be much trouble.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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Of course, it depends a bit on your style and what you want to do, but of my better AK shots, over half (100/186) were shot at 250mm of my 55-250 on a 1.6 crop (so, about 400mm full frame).

So, the focal length shouldn't be an issue. Weight and stuff, that's up to you if you feel like lugging it around. My 55-250 is basically a kit style lens, so it's pretty light.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:49 AM   #4
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I regularly go on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride with a 300mm F4 and a 1.4X tc on a 1.5x crop body, and also use that combo on the two wildlife trails - so no problem! There are times that I'm too close, even if I take off the TC, but there are many more times that it gives me a nice long reach for more distant animals, and also very nice closeups. Using 300mm on a full frame I would consider a very good focal length for a majority of animals at AK. I alternate occasionally and bring an 18-250mm lens so on different trips I have different focal lengths available for different animals - I don't think you'd want to bring a 300mm prime every time you go and never switch, but it can be a very good and useful focal length to have at AK. For the tigers when they stay distant, most of the animals on the safari ride except the giraffes which are often closer, both bird aviaries on the two safari trails, the bats, the meercats, and some of the general variety of animals along Discovery Island and the entrance trails are all good for the 300mm focal length on a full frame body.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:59 AM   #5
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I just looked at the pics I took over our last 2 trips (very short trips, and I didn't take many pics). I was using my 70-210 (longest lens I have) and only 3 pics were taken at 210. Most were much closer. In fact, there were many where 70 was not wide enough. I guess it just really depends on what you want to take a pic of, and where it happens to be.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
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A few years back I took my Canon 300mm F4 with 1.4x Teleconverter to WDW. I used it a ton at animal kingdom ad got some great shots, so I will say its fine for AK. Since then I have downsized to a regular 55-300 zoom lens, and am happy with that as well. As long as you do not mind lugging the gear around you should be fine.
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Old 09-01-2013, 02:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zackiedawg View Post
I regularly go on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride with a 300mm F4 and a 1.4X tc on a 1.5x crop body, and also use that combo on the two wildlife trails - so no problem! There are times that I'm too close, even if I take off the TC, but there are many more times that it gives me a nice long reach for more distant animals, and also very nice closeups. Using 300mm on a full frame I would consider a very good focal length for a majority of animals at AK. I alternate occasionally and bring an 18-250mm lens so on different trips I have different focal lengths available for different animals - I don't think you'd want to bring a 300mm prime every time you go and never switch, but it can be a very good and useful focal length to have at AK. For the tigers when they stay distant, most of the animals on the safari ride except the giraffes which are often closer, both bird aviaries on the two safari trails, the bats, the meercats, and some of the general variety of animals along Discovery Island and the entrance trails are all good for the 300mm focal length on a full frame body.
I agree with Zackiedawg...300mm if a nice focal length for Animal Kingdom. I have used a 300mm f/4 prime + 1.7x teleconverter on a full frame body and liked the results. As Zackiedawg mentioned, the only downside is that occasionally you need to take off the teleconverter. IMHO the other downside was that my lens lacked vibration reduction. As we all know, the safari ride can be brutally bumpy. Increasing your ISO and shooting at a higher shutter speed helps, but it's a challenge nonetheless.

For our impending trip in November I am taking my new 80mm-400mm f/4.5 - 5.6. I just returned from a trip to the zoo this morning using that lens, and I was very, very pleased. The lens is very sharp even at 400mm and it has vibration reduction. This will be the lens I bring to Animal Kingdom, and it will also be good for shots at other Animal Kingdom events such as The Lion King or Finding Nemo.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:13 PM   #8
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I have a 75-300 mm lens I have used just for the safari ride at AK. It worked great, some of the animals were far away.
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
kdanjou
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Thanks for the replies. I'm not huge on TCs, just my preference. For AK, I'd be hauling the full whack, from a 15mm fisheye to a 300 MM F4 L IS that day. I'm used to hauling my old minolta all metal 200 MM 3.5 and 300mm 4.5 around for 5 hours at the zoo, so I should be ok. I'm only planning on taking the 300 to AK and letting my 70-200 do the rest of the heavy lifting while at the other parks. Just don't want to look like a douche hauling my gear there for no good reason. My wife is getting me to WDW for probably the only time in the next 10-15 years, but I want to make the pics count if I'm going.
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:12 AM   #10
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That's exactly my method - I only bring the 300mm F4 along to AK - it's the only park it gets used at, and the only time it comes out of the room. At all other parks, I use a tele zoom for basic needs.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:11 PM   #11
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I always use my 55-300mm lens for AK. It's the only park I use it in at WDW.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch2007 View Post
I always use my 55-300mm lens for AK. It's the only park I use it in at WDW.
I have one of those as well and finally got to take it on the safari on my last trip (it had been ordered but hadn't arrived at the time of the previous trip). I was rewarded with my best-ever shots of animals using it. I also used it at the Flights of Wonder bird show and liked the results.

I also found that I like to use it in ways I hadn't really anticipated. I shoot lots of children's events for my church and really like it for capturing good candid facial expressions while staying far enough away from the kids that they usually don't realize I'm photographing them, so what I get is natural versus being self-conscious. And at the longer focal lengths, it produces pleasant-enough bokeh and helps isolate the subject.

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Old 12-07-2013, 01:14 AM   #13
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I think my Avatar is from a shot I took at 300 (70-300 VR on a D80).
I definitely found it useful at AK.
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