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Camera and equipment rental and general info

Safari Camera Rental Service

These are our most popular items, for something not listed please contact us
Rental prices cover the full term of the safari. All cameras come with 2 batteries, ac charger and one memory card.

Nikon

D4 body only $1,800 (new $6,000)
D800 body only $1,200 (new $3,000)

Nikon AF-s 200-400/4G VR II ED lens $1,100 (new $6,300)
Nikon AF-s 200-400/4G VR IF-ED lens $800
Nikon AF-s 300/2.8 4G VR II ED lens $700 (new $5,500)
Nikon AF80-400/4.5-5.6 VR ED lens $400

3 lens kit 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 $900

Canon

1D MKIV $1800 (new $1,700)
EOS 1D only $2,500 (new $6,800)
7D camera with 70-200 2.8 L IS $1,200

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM lens $450 (new $1,800)
Canon EF400/2.8 L II IS USM Lens $2,000 (new $10,500)

Please ensure compatibility of your current equipment with rental items if you intend to mix and match

Availability
Product availability is not guaranteed. To help ensure availability, please book your order as far in advance as possible.
Items are provided prior to your 1st game drive and have to be returned prior to your arrival back in the city.

Payments
Full payment is required 45 days prior to departure. Cancellation is possible up to 30 days before departure with a 100% refund. Less than 30 days and the full rental amount will be charged

Liability
Any damage or loss is the responsibility of the renter, excluding mechanical failure from normal wear and tear. We are not responsible for any damage or loss resulting from equipment use, misuse or failure. The renter is responsible to obtain their own insurance, proof of which will be required.

Kenya is wild and rustic and a Photographers paradise and a safari in Kenya is one of the most wonderful experiences anyone can have. You will want to capture every moment and keep those memories to share with family and friends, perhaps you want to enter a few competitions and dream of winning the next wildlife or landscape award! The opportunities are endless and unlike the days of film cameras equipment is now cheaper to run and often easier to use.
Let’s take a look at some essentials.

Photographing animals in the wild is challenging yet exiting. Animals are constantly moving and at times keep their distance from humans. Despite the large size of many animals, you will need a magnification. I'm going to start with lenses. It's no point having an expensive camera with lots of megapixels if the lens is low quality. So if you’re on a budget go for the upgraded lens every time, you'll be amazed at what a difference 'good glass' can make!

The last time I was in the mara we had a cheetah that came close enough to us that it could be touched! However, you will often find you quite a distance especially from elephants and buffalo. For this reason it’s important to have a variety of lenses to allow for various compositions and conditions or a couple of zoom lens that will give you some flexibility. Use well known brands like Nikon, Canon and Sony as these will provide the best quality, variety of accessories and versatility. Sigma and Tamron would be the next best choice and make putting together a whole kit very affordable. Here are the recommended requirements based on price:

Economy:

  • 18 -55mm Landscapes, etc
  • 70 – 300mm Wildlife, people and close ups
  • 28-300mm Wide range zooms suitable for all purposes, great for light travel but bad performance in low light. Low quality optics especially if you plan on enlarging images.

Expensive:

  • 17-35mm f2.8
  • 80-200 f2.8
  • 200-400 f4
  • 600mm f4

Remember that some of your game drives will be at sunrise and sunset. This is where fast (smaller "f" numbers lenses, such as f2.8) have the edge and allow for a slower iso setting leading to finer grain and better images at any given shutter speed. The more expensive lenses also have a better build and anti dust seals. Don’t forget to add the best UV filters you can afford. All our guests receive a high quality lens cleaning cloth and access to a professional sensor cleaning kit and blower brush if you require them.

Prime lenses are of superior quality to zoom lenses. So if you have a trusted assistant, plus lots of cash and don’t mind a workout, you might consider adding a 400mm or 600mm lens ($6000-$8000) if you don’t normally shoot with one of these powerful lenses consider taking advantage of our rental service. On arrival your equipment will be ready and cost a fraction of what you would pay to purchase.
Tele-converters
Avoid using tele-converters with economical lenses; the drop in quality to your images will be amplified. Be prepared to lose some speed and have to go to a higher iso. Also make sure you carefully check all the compatibility issues with the manufacturer autofocus might be lost!

Camera formats


Micro
If you don’t want to lug a bag full of gear around you can get a compact camera with a wide optical zoom NOT a digital zoom. x10 or above is essential, a bigger diameter lens will allow better light collection so don’t be mislead by small cameras with tiny lenses and big megapixel numbers. A point and shoot will often give you great wide angle options and better ease of use when your doing candid shots or want to keep a low profile.

DSLR's
Come in a variety of sizes and corresponding prices. Full frame models are the highest quality and most robust. However, smaller chip sizes found in models by Canon and Nikon (APS-C and APS-H) in the under $1,000 mark are great for their features and lightness. Your gear will get dusty though, so try and give things a clean every night and avoid changing lenses or memory cards when you don't have to. Having a second body or renting one from us will avoid this problem and mean you are ready for wide and close up shots in an instant.

Medium Format
I have used Hasselblad equipment for several client projects while on safari. The quality is of course exceptional; consider a variety of focal lengths, you want to be able to capture the subtle tones of landscape scenes as well as tight animal portraits.

Camera support
Needless to say holding a large lens can be tricky. Common methods of support include bean bags - which we provide for you. monopods and various vehicle door/window clamps. Try a number of arrangements for what suits you best. The monopod is the most popular but I sometimes find it cumbersome. I also prefer a lower seat rather than standing so im more on eye level with many of the animals. Always try and get a dedicated vehicle, sharing transport means you are at the whim of the group who might not be so willing to spend the extra time waiting for the perfect picture.

Don’t get too hung up on gear though one of my first published safari images over 20 years ago was taken using a slow Vivitar 75-300mm lens on a Minolta film camera.

Camera Modes
If you only use the automatic modes on your camera, the sports mode is probably your best bet to capture the wildlife while avoiding any motion blur. Although, a little blur using a panning can be beneficial to the image. Action can happen very quickly in the wild so continuous shooting and fast continuous autofocus are crucial. Along with these settings you will need a fairly robust and fast memory card especially if your also shooting HD video.
Memory cards
Many people like to take the biggest memory card they can get, I like to use smaller cards that I back up every evening. My last trip to East Africa yielded over 5000 images so maintaining a stringent back up and post production flow is important.
We provide complementary back up of your files at every location should you require it. SD, micro and CF cards are all supported

The most important tip is to have some patience and be prepared for when something exciting does happen.

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