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Ok here is the camera gear that I will be taking to Africa. What do you think? Am I missing anything. Mind you I have a 20kg limit and can only take 2 bags.
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Nikon D800

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MBP 13inch
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80-400mm VR
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50mm 1.4D
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85mm 1.4D
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16-35mm VR
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2 x EN-EL18 batteries
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4 x EN-EL15 Batteries
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6 x 32gb sd cards
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Lacie 1tb hdd
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Battery charger
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2 x portable charger
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Updated 02-20-2013 at 11:00 PM by Scott Murray (Added WHAT TO BRING? statement.)

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  1. stmv's Avatar
    ok,,, I would have swapped a 105 macro for the 85,, because I bet there will be some small critters out there, or or other interesting macro. I always bring 1 macro when travel.

    while not africa,, I am doing a trip out west soon,,

    80-400 lens,
    35-70 2.8
    20-35 2.8
    105 macro
    15 mm wide
    50 mm 1.8 (sharper than my 1.4)
    28 mm 1.8 (I like this better than my 20)

    (only need two batteries - since I have easy access to charger).

    Don't forget your
    wipes/cleaning fluid
    extra tripod plate (yup,, you can loose those, and then you will be pissed)
    where is your remote cable release (I hate them, but needed)
    a power flashlight for those moon light picture (in africa,, a must!)
    Tripod?????
    spare body ?
    Plastic bags?/water proof bags
    gaffer tape!

    antibiotics (that is for you...)
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  2. nikonpup's Avatar
    IS THE 20 KG LIMIT FOR FLIGHTS TO AND FROM OR DURING THE TRIP.
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  3. Scott Murray's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by stmv
    ok,,, I would have swapped a 105 macro for the 85,, because I bet there will be some small critters out there, or or other interesting macro. I always bring 1 macro when travel.

    while not africa,, I am doing a trip out west soon,,

    80-400 lens,
    35-70 2.8
    20-35 2.8
    105 macro
    15 mm wide
    50 mm 1.8 (sharper than my 1.4)
    28 mm 1.8 (I like this better than my 20)

    (only need two batteries - since I have easy access to charger).

    Don't forget your
    wipes/cleaning fluid
    extra tripod plate (yup,, you can loose those, and then you will be pissed)
    where is your remote cable release (I hate them, but needed)
    a power flashlight for those moon light picture (in africa,, a must!)
    Tripod?????
    spare body ?
    Plastic bags?/water proof bags
    gaffer tape!

    antibiotics (that is for you...)
    Ok I may swap my 85 for my 90mm macro...
    I have a fully kitted first aid kit that I will be taking (My job is a medic).
    Not taking a tripod, may regret this but it will be cumbersome, will look at beanbag options.
    Cable release will be with me, forgot to include it.
    I have camera cleaning kit in glad seal lock bags.
    Looking at new camera bag for waterproofness.
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  4. Scott Murray's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by nikonpup
    IS THE 20 KG LIMIT FOR FLIGHTS TO AND FROM OR DURING THE TRIP.
    20kg limit is for flights that flight from Joburg to Kigali is light plane I think, so carry on luggage is available. But I need to be able to "carry" not "roll' my luggage so it will be backpacks. And there will be hiking which involves only taking a day pack for a few nights etc.
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  5. stmv's Avatar
    ok,, this may sound silly, but even an el cheapo light weight slik tripopd might be better than nothing, I go hiking a lot, and hate tripods, tried the more expensive light weight, but I still find them bulky and big, I ended up finding this really small, opens up to maybe 3.5 feet, but folds down so small,, no,, it won't hold your giant zoom, but I use it with my D800 and primes,, good for night photos, with the incredible stars. and that is exactly when you will be kicking yourself, for wish you had a tripod.

    Also, sometimes when hike, I also strap on a manfrotto lightweight on a loop strap, do I like no, but ....can be so critical.
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  6. nikonpup's Avatar
    MAKE UP A MONO POD/WALKING STICK AS NEEDED. TAKE SOME 1/4 X 20 STUDS WITH U AND MAKE A TEMP MONO POD. OR - TAKE A 1/4 X 20
    EYE BOLT AND A STRAP OR ROPE LONG ENOUGH TO REACH THE GROUND FROM EYE LEVEL TO MAKE A REVERSE MONO POD. AS STMV SAYS IT CAN BE CRITICAL WHEN U NEED IT.
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    Thanks/Like fotojack Thanks/liked this post
  7. fotojack's Avatar
    Don't forget your Giotto Rocket blaster and a LensPen.
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  8. Scott Murray's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by fotojack
    Don't forget your Giotto Rocket blaster and a LensPen.
    Yep they are always in my camera bag, I am going to get everything sorted and work out the weight. If I can I will take my carbon fibre tripod. If not I will manage with out one and will be still able to take long exposures
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  9. Eye-level's Avatar
    To much stuff imho... :)
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  10. Scott Murray's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Eye-level
    To much stuff imho...
    How do you figure its too much stuff? Please elaborate!
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  11. stmv's Avatar
    I don't see it as too much stuff.

    No matter what, these trips need
    1 wide angle zoom (or multiple primes0
    1 Mid range zoom
    1 tele zoom
    1 macro

    tripod
    release
    spare battery
    charger
    computer

    If I was on a safari truck,, I would have two bodies with mid range on one, and telezoom on the other for quick swap.

    I guess if I was going for absolute min
    24
    50
    105 (covers macro)
    200 (F4) small (or the old 180 2.8 ED - super sharp, small, tough).
    ultralight tripod
    2 batteries/charger
    computer

    and each of these lens would have metal screw caps to keep the dust off the glass until needed.
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  12. Scott Murray's Avatar
    Thinking it over I may just settle with this.

    16-35mmVR
    50mm 1.4
    90mm 2.8 Macro
    80-400mmVR
    Filters
    SD Cards
    Portable HDD
    Laptop
    Batteries
    Batt Chargers
    Camera cleaning gear
    Tripod (only if main bag weight is below 20kg)
    Cable release/remote
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  13. STM's Avatar
    There is one thing you also need to make sure you carry with you at all times and it is far more important than any camera or lens. It is an EFFECTIVE insect repellant. One with DEET is the best. Malaria, which kills more people worldwide than any other disease, is rampant in many parts of Africa. It only takes a single bite from an infected Anopheles mosquito to contract the disease. There are 4 common strains (species) of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium, some of which cause acute (you get sick and then get over it) disease and some which cause chronic (you get sick, get over it and then suffer relapses the rest of your life) disease and you can't tell which one you have until you get sick and blood tests identify the species. If your doctor will do it, get him to write you a prescription for sulfamethoxazole to be taken prophylactically starting a week before you go, the duration you will be there and at least a week after you get home. That will provide the best protection. When I was in college in the 70's I worked in the micro labs of a drug company and we worked with several Plasmodium species. We took the company's sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim drug (Septra) for the entirety of the work we did.
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    Updated 02-24-2013 at 02:01 AM by STM
  14. Scott Murray's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by STM
    There is one thing you also need to make sure you carry with you at all times and it is far more important than any camera or lens. It is an EFFECTIVE insect repellant. One with DEET is the best. Malaria, which kills more people worldwide than any other disease, is rampant in many parts of Africa. It only takes a single bite from an infected Anopheles mosquito to contract the disease. There are 4 common strains (species) of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium, some of which cause acute (you get sick and then get over it) disease and some which cause chronic (you get sick, get over it and then suffer relapses the rest of your life) disease and you can't tell which one you have until you get sick and blood tests identify the species. If your doctor will do it, get him to write you a prescription for sulfamethoxazole to be taken prophylactically starting a week before you go, the duration you will be there and at least a week after you get home. That will provide the best protection. When I was in college in the 70's I worked in the micro labs of a drug company and we worked with several Plasmodium species. We took the company's sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim drug (Septra) for the entirety of the work we did.
    Thanks for the reply, I have my Malaria tablets ready to take. They are the daily ones and I will start taking them a week before I leave and a week after (Approx 80 tablets) I also have ordered some wrist bands that are mosquito repellent and contain DEET.
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  15. Bazinga's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by muzza22au
    Thanks for the reply, I have my Malaria tablets ready to take. They are the daily ones and I will start taking them a week before I leave and a week after (Approx 80 tablets) I also have ordered some wrist bands that are mosquito repellent and contain DEET.
    Make sure those tablets actually work. And I agree - get a spray with as much deet % as possible!

    - I would highly recommend taking 2 portable hard drives. I haven't been to Africa yet, but did some traveling in South America and Asia. Unless you bring very many memory cards (that you won't reuse a single one), I'd suggest having 2 backups on your images. Also, that LaCie might be a big drive (I'm not sure, but everything LaCie I saw was big). I have new 2TB USB3 WD Passport drives (about $130 at Costco) and those are the choice for me - WD drives are very reliable.

    - Memory cards. Are those 300x speed? If so, they could be too slow. I've got 600x Lexar 32GB and on my recent travel I did run into buffer overflow issue - shooting at high speed while on a move I would get about 7-9 images before my camera would refuse to take anymore and I'd have to wait for good 5-10 seconds for it to flush it's buffer.

    - Tripod could do wonders. I'd recommend anything carbon fiber for it's weight, but you've got to balance your weight I guess. Get less pants! )) I'd take that over any personal items, but I use it a lot.

    - Waterproof bags or containers (mentioned here already)

    - Lens cleaning solution + few clean lens cloths as they get dirty.

    - Small flashlight.

    - Powerful flash for night shots (?)

    - Since you are flying a local small airline, make sure the size of your backpacks is within their limits. My camera backpack is within standards for carry on but when getting on small planes I cannot fit it into an overhead compartment. So if planes there will be even smaller you might get into trouble.

    Have fun there!
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  16. STM's Avatar
    Some sources have hinted that DEET might be a suspect carcinogen, but for the period of time you will be using it, I doubt it will be an issue. The risk of using it far outweighs becoming infected with a malaria parasite which causes a chronic infection, which will be with you for the rest of your life.

    DEET is also very effective at repelling sand flies, which can carry another parasite which causes Leishmaniasis, a very nasty and potentially fatal if untreated, infection. They are found mostly in western Africa. We used it every day in Iraq because those little buggers (and they are little, only about 3 or 4 mm long) were everywhere and loved to bite you in your sleep. You never knew you were infected until you developed a pretty nasty looking lesion on your skin.
    0 Thanks/Like
    Updated 02-25-2013 at 06:19 AM by STM
  17. Bazinga's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by STM
    Some sources have hinted that DEET might be a suspect carcinogen, but for the period of time you will be using it, I doubt it will be an issue. The risk of using it far outweighs becoming infected with a malaria parasite which causes a chronic infection, which will be with you for the rest of your life.

    DEET is also very effective at repelling sand flies, which can carry another parasite which causes Leishmaniasis, a very nasty and potentially fatal if untreated, infection. They are found mostly in western Africa. We used it every day in Iraq because those little buggers (and they are little, only about 3 or 4 mm long) were everywhere and loved to bite you in your sleep. You never knew you were infected until you developed a pretty nasty looking lesion on your skin.
    Why do people even bother going to Africa then? Not sure I like all those scary diseases!
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  18. stmv's Avatar
    get a headlamp... lightweight, allows your hands to be free.
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  19. STM's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bazinga
    Why do people even bother going to Africa then? Not sure I like all those scary diseases!
    Well, I am a Clinical Microbiologist who works in a hospital and you won't ever see me going there. I did not even mention Trypanosomes (which cause elephantiasis or 'African Sleeping Sickness'). And of course there is that pesky little virus which causes a little known disease called Acquired Immunodeficiancey Syndrome. Africa has the highest per capita incidence of AIDS in the world. And as far as epidemiologists can tell, the virus first showed its polyhedral ugly head in Africa.
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    Updated 02-26-2013 at 12:09 AM by STM
  20. Scott Murray's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bazinga
    Why do people even bother going to Africa then? Not sure I like all those scary diseases!
    I will show you with the photos I bring back
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