-11: Almost there, Africa Live 2014 Big Cats

Africa live blog from the Masai Mara, Kenya, Africa

Greetings all!

As many of you know, I will be heading back out into the Mara in a few weeks. I have some great people joining me out there on the workshops and I know they are itching to get out there as much as I am!

Rob over at Nikon has graciously arranged a loan of the new AF-S 80-400 Nikkor lens for me to put through its paces out on the plains and I must say I am very much looking forward to this. I have high hopes for the lens. If it does come up with the goods then this may be one of those rare times I use the overused phrase game-changer.

Nikon AF-S 80-400, wildlife photographer richard costin

The new Nikon 80-400 AF-S


The classic! 200-400 f4

My most used lens. The 200-400 f4. Superb in every way.

I dearly love my 200-400 and you will have to pry it from my cold dead fingers, but when running workshops I cramp myself up in the tiny passenger seat up front to give my guests the most room in the back for them and their equipment. This makes any use of the 200-400 less than easy and combine that with the second body holding the 70-200 and it is a bit of a juggling match. If the quality and speed are there (and a few trusted friends have said it is), then I will be snapping one up for myself asap. I will be looking at the lens directly in competition to the 70-200/200-400 combo so it will have to perform amazingly well to find it’s way into my bag full time.

The Toyota Land Cruisers we use on the photography workshops

The 4×4 I prefer out in the Mara. A modified Toyota pickup.

As always I will be blogging live from the trip, sharing our adventures and posting images the same day they are taken. You can get a taste for the diary on the Africa Live page where all past posts are archived. Be sure to bookmark it as well as checking me out on Facebook and Twitter for all the updates, kicking off on the 14th Feb.

I will also be trying out the D800 as the primary camera vs the D3(s) bodies this year. I am now confident in it to such a degree that I feel for all but the fastest action it is the best camera Nikon offer. I have the grip and can get 6fps in DX mode to help out.

I have also been testing the NEF raw options to help clear the buffer and have decided that 12 bit, compressed raw NEF files are totally acceptable for my work. The difference, even with extreme processing is next to nothing, literally and this means more images shunted to my Sandisk cards quicker. This is my primary consideration rather than hard drive space which is cheap as chips these days. I will be writing this up for you later as I know it will cause a lot of that classic internet interest and I dare say anger in some people’s cases who seem to take all opinions personally.

Well, see you soon! Thanks as always, here is a taster from my African photography to get you in the mood! We have 1 last tent available for our September Migration workshop if you find yourself with the itch to join us. Details here!

Rich.


 
TOUR DESCRIPTION
DATE
AVAILABILITY
DETAILS
BIG CATS OF THE MARA
Feb 2020
LAST SHARING PLACE LEFT
DETAILS
BIG CATS OF THE MARA
Feb 2018
FINISHED
DETAILS
BIG CATS OF THE MARA
July 2017
FINISHED
DETAILS
BIG CATS OF THE MARA
Feb 19th 2016
FINISHED
FINISHED
THE GREAT MIGRATION
Sept 26th 2015
FINISHED
FINISHED
BIG CATS OF THE MARA 1
Feb 11th 2015
FINISHED
FINISHED
BIG CATS OF THE MARA 2
Feb 16th 2015
FINISHED
FINISHED

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