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XT30ii - Beginner lens for safari photography?


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I am a beginner in photography, starting with the XT30ii with the 18-55mm kit.

I have been learning basic photography and enjoying it very much. I photograph mostly dogs and other animals as a hobby.

I am going on a safari trip soon and I have been searching a lot on what camera lens makes sense. I am looking for a lens good enough for wildlife photography but not so heavy weighted. The 100-400mm seems heavy and not for a beginner like me. I am not sure about the 50-140mm, it seems lighter but I am afraid it might still be too “pro”. I am willing to learn but I don’t want to start with something inadequate when I am still learning all the technical concepts.

If anyone has any advice, I d appreciate it.

Thank you

Edited by auxaurores
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Do not let the “pro” idea stop you from getting the tool you need for the job. Each lens has it’s own learning curve, a 23mm is not less professional than the 50-140mm because it is lighter or has a shorter focal length.

You did not mention what type of photos you want to get; landscapes with the notable starring critters being proportionally small, or close up portraits of the critters.

The folks leading the safari probably will try to keep you safe, but those critters are not house pets, nor are they zoo pets. Stay safe and keep your distance by using the “reach” longer lenses give you. 600mm with 1.4x or 2x teleconverters will get you those portraits without disturbing the critters. As will 300mm or 400mm or … or any of the longer end of the zoom ranges. Even a 55-200mm lens will work toward that idea.

These are not so much “pro” as they are tools that you use to get the photos, some you will like better than others. As far as heaviness goes, put them on a tripod, turn off OIS or IBIS and get the shot.

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  • 3 months later...

I have a pair of X-T30-II's as they are light and dependable. I mainly use fixed focal length lenses, the more compact Fujifilm ones. However, for longer reach I have been using the 100-400 Fujifilm zoom. Yes, it is not the lightest but it is quite well made and works well for me, even though I don't like zooms very much. I picked mine up from a reputable e-bay seller,, and it works fine. The lens stabilization works well even though the body doesn't have IBIS. I'm not entirely sure what the "Pro" designation on some of the lenses Fujifilm makes as plenty of my compact fixed focal lengths don't have it on them and they are superb pieces of glass. Frankly, if it works for you I'd just ignore the "marketing" labels.

Now 400 mm doesn't seem like it has that much reach, but remember this will be the equivalent of 600 mm for a full frame digital or 35 mm film camera. 10 years ago, unless you were a professional photographer hiring obscenely expensive lenses, 600 mm was a very long lens for anyone to own. That is a lot of reach. Anything more than that is going to be substantially larger, probably heavier and with less light transmission, oh and very much more expensive.

I like the 100-400 mm a lot, especially for the money, and it gives me very reasonable results. I'd take mine with me on a safari any day. I think you will be able to keep far enough away from the big kitties to stay safe. I use mine with a mono-pod quite often, and with the lens stabilization is turned off.

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