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  1. My wildlife kit
    Since living in India, wildlife photography has developed into one of my main focus areas (pun unintended), and as such, I have spent the last couple of years developing my kit to fit the job.

    The camera: 5D MK III
    Any camera can be used for wildlife photography, and any camera is infinitely better than none! :) Saying that I use a 5D MKIII, a profession full-frame DSLR. Although not being specifically designed for wildlife, the 5D MKIII is a bit of jack-of-all trades in terms of its features, and is pretty darn good at most things. You can find many reviews of this camera, but I recommend this one at The Digital Picture. In addition to this, I like to take a back-up camera, just in case. For this I use my wifes 100D when I can, which despite having basic features, has great image quality at low ISO and the fact it is small means it is not cumbersome. A backup body is not essential, but can be useful especially when you have a lot of lenses. :)

    Wide angle: 24mm f/1.4L II
    A wide-angle lens for wildlife? Yes, this may sound like an odd choice, but it is in fact a very useful wildlife lens. This lens allows me to encompass the subject into the environmental landscape. Wildlife photography is not just a close up of the subject, but also it’s position in context to the environment. Don’t be afraid to go wide, get the bigger picture. It is also very useful for a different perspective when you can actually get close to your subject. I also use it for general landscapes, which adds context to a wildlife story. In short, this is my close-up-and-personal contextual environmental lens! :)

    Telephoto: 70-200 f/2.8L IS II
    Ok, now this one makes more sense… longer with a faster aperture. Although not being a super-telephoto, and is in fact quite short on a full-frame camera, this is a fantastic wildlife lens. The 70-200mm focal length can provide some great environmental shots and medium close-ups. The fast 2.8 aperture also means it is a low light monster, which is great for those dusk/dawn opportunities where every photon of light is essential! This lens also performs fantastically when coupled with the canon 1.4x III and 2x III teleconverters. The 70-200 f/2.8 can become a 98-280 f/4 and even a 140-400mm f/5.6, all of which have excellent image quality. If I could only take one lens I would take this one, with the teleconverters of course! :)

    Super-telephoto: 500mm f/4L IS II
    There is a standard, and not unfounded, association between wildlife photography and big ass lenses. It is true that having a longer focal length lens allows you get optically closer to your subject when it is not physically possible or advisable. However, starting out, this caliber of lenses can be out of financial reach, but it opens up a realm of photo-tunities, close-ups! This lens is a new addition to my kit and is phenomenal. At 500mm it is tac sharp, and in combination with the teleconverts I get an amazingly sharp 700mm f/5.6 (akin to the monstrous 800mm f/5.6) and a very good 1000mm f/8.

    For example images of mine taken with all of the above combinations, you can check out one of my blog entries :
    Replied 5 years ago, modified 5 years ago
  2. Thank you for sharing your kit, John! Looks like you have a solution for every situation, perhaps heavy to carry, but really functional.

    I totally agree with you that wide angle closeups are very underrepresented, in wildlife photography it is great to see both the species as close as possible yet still showing its habitat.
    Replied 5 years ago
  3. I'm trying make a remote set-up with my ultra-wide-angle lens... I'll post my results but I hope they will turn out nicely! :) Replied 5 years ago
  4. Cool, looking forward to it. What do you mean with remote? With a remote control? Replied 5 years ago
  5. Yeah, with a remote control.... I have friends who set up a lot of camera traps in the national parks here, and despite the fact I am tempted, their is a high risk of elephants recking your gear when you leave. I prefer to set it up and tripper myself! :) Replied 5 years ago

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