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Recommendations for first Filter set - Serengeti Safari
Hi all,.

I'm still fairly new to dSLR photography (bought my Olympus E-510 about 5 months ago) and I've just signed up for a safari in Tanzania. I want to use this as an opportunity to learn and experiment with filters - I've been looking at the Cokin P series but there are 120 of them and I don't know how many or which ones I should buy, or whether this brand/range are any good. I'm mainly interested in using filters for landscape photography, but that may be because I don't really understand the range of situations where filters could be useful. I'd be very grateful for any advice on what to buy as a starter set..

-William..

Comments (30)

IMO, you should learn BEFORE you get to Africa else you'll miss great shots and generally be fussing around..

You dont really need much for filters besides some graduated neutral density and standard neutral density and a good glass circular polarizer...

Comment #1

The primary use of grad. ND filters is to lower the overall contrast of a scene (like you'd get on a sunny day in Africa) so you could get some detail in the sky and also the lion ripping apart a gazelle under a tree .

Normal NDs would allow you to achieve a speed/aperture combination that you might not be able to get given the scene brightness. Also good for semi time-lapse like running water..

Read this. You can do a lot of reading of ND and GND in nature photography..

Http://singhray.blogspot.com/.../10/from-archive-using-graduated-neutral.html.

Make sure to be sitting when you look at the prices of the Singh-Ray filters .

Cokin and Hitech are the least expensive; many people do not like the Cokin ND/GND's because they are not truly neutral grey...

Comment #2

Filters mostly fall into one of two camps - correction filters to fix problems (obviously) and effects filters to - well, that's obvious too. Or three camps if you count filters for B&W as a separate category..

In this digital age, special effects are almost always best created by recorded the best possible image without filters then producing the special effects on the computer when you get home. If you actually like tobacco grads (ugh) it's just two minutes work to replicate this in Photoshop - and that gives you the ability to tune the effect, try alternatives, or just appreciate the original. Same goes for soft focus, starbursts, and all that stuff..

Correction filters have similarly become unnecessary - but with certain exceptions, which I will mention below. There is no longer any need for the various colour-balancing filters such as skylight, warm-up and cool-down filters, and blue filters for tungsten light. All that is dealt with by white balance adjustment. Photoshop gives you further control but it shouldn't be necessary in most cases..

For B&W photography, not only have coloured filters become unnecessary, their use is positively detrimental. B&W conversion is best (by far) done on the computer - don't use the camera's B&W option even if it has one - and to do this you need, once again, a best-possible unfiltered image..

But a small number of filters do still have an important role to play. The first of these is the polarising filter, for which there is no digital substitute. A polariser, as I'm sure you know, can reduce (sometimes almost eliminate) reflected glare and can also deepen the blue of a blue sky. Since you need to be able to rotate this to adjust the effect, a conventional screw-in filter is ideal..

Second is the neutral density (ND) filter. This is used to force a long exposure - it's best-known application is the flowing water effect which I'm sure you will have seen..

Third, and last on my list, is the graduated neutral density filter (ND grad). This allows you to balance the exposure between sky and ground, avoiding burned-out skies. There are several digital alternatives but some people still prefer to use a filter. In this short summary I'll refrain from getting into that debate!.

So in conclusion, the filter 'systems' of old have a much smaller place in the grand scheme of things these days. My advice to you would be to spend your money on a copy of Photoshop instead!..

Comment #3

Steve and others,.

Thank you very much for the wealth of advice and information. I'm glad I asked, because I would definitely not have arrived at the same conclusions on my own. I do have Photoshop and a fair knowledge of how to use it so I will focus my spending on the filters that you have advised cannot be created on the computer..

I think I am decided on what I need for circular filters. Unless anyone has any strong recommendations otherwise, I'll go with the Marumi DHG Light Control ND 8 Filter for forcing long exposures of flowing water and the DHG Circular PL(D) Filter for reducing reflections. Can you leave a polarising filter on all the time or are there situations when it has a detrimental effect? Just wondering if they can be used as an alternative to normal lens protect filters..

I think it would be worth buying two or three ND grad filters also for landscapes and sunsets, but there's a hell of a lot of choice out there. What do the ND1/2/4/8 numbers mean? Do you have any specific recommendations for a starter set of ND grads? I'd like to keep to the fairly low budget range - spending perhaps $150 USD (75) on a set of three and the holder..

Also, point noted about learning to use the filters before the trip. I leave in about six weeks so I'll make sure I go out and experiment three or four times beforehand. Thanks for the tip!.

-William..

Comment #4

Serengeti is absolutely stunning....as is Ngorongoro Crater...was ther years ago:-)..

Comment #5

The 1/2/4/8 is a measure of light reduction.

ND2 = 1 stop (also called 0.3)ND4 = 2 stop (0.6)ND8 = 3 stop (0.9).

Get yourself:.

Graduated ND: 3 stop soft & hard, 2 stop hardnormal ND: 3 stopcircular polarizer (this also functions as a 2 stop ND filter).

Get the Cokin P holder and if you're in the UK, you can get the Hitech (formatt.co.uk 'still' filters) and whatever adaptor rings you need..

Comment #6

Howard,.

Thank you very much for the specific recommendation and even including a website to get them from. I have followed your advice to the letter on NG Grads and ordered a polarising circular and an an ND 8 circular as well..

Mujana,.

I'll be camping on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater so hopefully I'll get some decent shots of it .

Thanks again to all for your help .

-William..

Comment #7

William Warby wrote:.

Howard,.

Thank you very much for the specific recommendation and evenincluding a website to get them from. I have followed your advice tothe letter on NG Grads and ordered a polarising circular and an an ND8 circular as well..

I wonder whether there might be a slight misunderstanding here. "Circular" as in circular polariser doesn't refer to the shape, it refers to the way the light is polarised. It's difficult to explain why it is called that without getting very technical (people's attempts at non-technical explanations have a tendency to be incorrect!), but most get by just knowing the correct name. Circular polarisers are needed for most SLRs so you are buying the correct item..

The ND8 and ND grads are not "circular"; the issue mentioned above is specific to polarisers. If you want a name to distinguish these filters from those in the Cokin systems, they are normally referred to as "screw-in"...

Comment #8

True. the ND and GND are square-ish in physical shape..

The circular polarizer is a screw-in round filter and you'll want to get the largestsize that fits your lens(es) and use step rings to fit smaller lenses..

They are pretty expensiev which is why most people buy only one..

You *may* find you want to round out your GND assortment w/ a 2 stop soft..

You really want to practice, practice, practice before your bouncing in a van in the crater fumbling w/ filters. Many people just resort to holding the filter in front of the lens and don't bother w/ the holder. One idea is to put the holder adaptor ring on the lens and install 2 of those very small green felt 'dots' you see for furniture applications on thering. This prevents the ring from scratching the $$$ filters...

Comment #9

...

Although this sounds a very simple task, once any one has seen ND filters etc physically in front of him/her, but I fail to understand why no on-line stores are recommending what all one needs? For example is 4X4 or 3X3 or 4X12 suitable for 62mm or 77 mm lenses, filters that will require filter holder, is step up ring must for screw in type filters etc etc. Even in accessories, they dont mention these items. It is a bit confusing initially to order..

I am a wildlife and nature photographer - I have gone through a long process in buying from online stores (B&H) to final get what could work. In the process - Wasted some money too..

Comment #10

If you call 2filter.com, ask for John and he'll set you straight...

Comment #11

I called up B&H, they directed me to read on filter, available on website.No one can understand even after reading it - what and how to order..

What I understood as far as Lee filter sets are concerned is -step one - decide in filter holderstep two - decide on filter ring size (as per dia or the lens)Step three- decide on filters.

I hope I am correct, can order now...

Comment #12

I remember I stayed in the Rhino lodge (also edge of Ngorongoro crater)...not the most expensive option, but also not the cheapest..

You have to get IN the crater to see the wildlife....and you 'll be stunned by the sheer numbers of wildebeest/giraffe in Serengetti (and see lions/hyena's/ cheetah/etcetc...

Comment #13

The Lee setup is very expensive (only Singh-Ray is more $$$)..

The $150 filter holders really are not necessary; the cheaper Cokin are usually fine..

Decide on size: P size or the larger 100mm size.Decide on which holder.

Decide on adaptor ring(s), you need one for every unique size or get one and get stepup rings. Some people hold the raw filter in front of the lens and dont bother w/ a holder at all..

Decide which filter(s) to get. The 'usual' starting set is 2S and 3H but there will be plenty of different opinion on this...

Comment #14

Steve,.

I assumed that the two types of filters were the round screw-in type that attach to the lens, and the square type that slide into a filter holder, and I assumed that in the case of polarisers and non-graduated ND filters, the only difference was the method of attachment to the lens. Are you saying there is a difference in function? You say that ND8 filters are not "circular" but Marumi themselves describe this filter as "ND8" and it is cicrular in shape, which is what I meant when I used the term. By the sound of things, "circular" has a meaning with filters that doesn't relate to it's physical shape in which case I have used the term wrongly, and I meant "screw-in"..

The polarising and ND8 (non-graduated) filters I have ordered are these: http://www.fotosense.co.uk/...58mm_DHG_Circular_PLD_Filter.asp?productID=4552.

Http://www.fotosense.co.uk/...58mm_DHG_Circular_PLD_Filter.asp?productID=4561.

The square shaped equivalents (I thought) that I looked at were these:http://www.formatt.co.uk/...lls-filters/filters/polariser/stills-filters.aspxhttp://www.formatt.co.uk/...-filters/filters/standard-n-d/stills-filters.aspx.

In addition to the circular screw-in polariser and ND8, I have ordered the Cokin P holder and adapter ring, and three Hitech square shaped ND Grad filters as recommended by a previous poster..

Thanks for the info - I'd be grateful if you could correct me if I have misunderstood you..

-William.

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

I wonder whether there might be a slight misunderstanding here."Circular" as in circular polariser doesn't refer to the shape, itrefers to the way the light is polarised. It's difficult to explainwhy it is called that without getting very technical (people'sattempts at non-technical explanations have a tendency to beincorrect!), but most get by just knowing the correct name. Circularpolarisers are needed for most SLRs so you are buying the correctitem..

The ND8 and ND grads are not "circular"; the issue mentioned above isspecific to polarisers. If you want a name to distinguish thesefilters from those in the Cokin systems, they are normally referredto as "screw-in"...

Comment #15

Howard,.

Thanks for the tips. I will try to practice several times before I head out to Africa - the filters should be arriving today with any luck. All my lenses are the same diameter so the choice was fairly straight forward there..

I'll do some experimenting to see how cumbersome changing filters turns out to be and maybe go for the green dot solution if it's a pain to keep changing them .

-William.

Howard Moftich wrote:.

True. the ND and GND are square-ish in physical shape..

The circular polarizer is a screw-in round filter and you'll want toget the largestsize that fits your lens(es) and use step rings to fit smaller lenses..

They are pretty expensiev which is why most people buy only one..

You *may* find you want to round out your GND assortment w/ a 2 stopsoft..

You really want to practice, practice, practice before your bouncingin a van in the crater fumbling w/ filters. Many people just resortto holding the filter in front of the lens and don't bother w/ theholder. One idea is to put the holder adaptor ring on the lens andinstall 2 of those very small green felt 'dots' you see for furnitureapplications on thering. This prevents the ring from scratching the $$$ filters...

Comment #16

Hi William,.

Not sure why you want to use filters in the first place? As someone has mentioned previously, you can do any post processing with photoshop..

You don't say when you are going to be in the Serengetti but mostly, in sunlight, the whole scene is going to be, well, pretty bright and rather use a fast shutter speed to capture animals (you're going to need it) rather than try and 'slow' everything down..

If you want to spend money then get telephoto lenses because you will need them (OK, you can get 'up close' to Topi and Lion but not the other animals). You need 200 mm minimum focal length and I would suggest more than this, say 400..

Sunsets are stunning because of the dust so plan for this - you don't need filters!.

Be ready to take your pics because animals tend to turn away from you (they assume you are a carnivore and ready to run off) so unless you're quick you'll get a lot of backsides!.

Haven't been to the Serengetti but have been to Masi Mara (its' Kenyan 'twin') and live (almost) in Africa (Cape Town)...

Comment #17

William Warby wrote:.

Steve,.

I assumed that the two types of filters were the round screw-in typethat attach to the lens, and the square type that slide into a filterholder,.

That's correct..

And I assumed that in the case of polarisers andnon-graduated ND filters, the only difference was the method ofattachment to the lens..

Polarisers, neutral density filters and ND grads are all available both as screw-in filters and as slide-in filters..

Are you saying there is a difference infunction? You say that ND8 filters are not "circular" but Marumithemselves describe this filter as "ND8" and it is cicrular in shape,which is what I meant when I used the term. By the sound of things,"circular" has a meaning with filters that doesn't relate to it'sphysical shape in which case I have used the term wrongly, and Imeant "screw-in"..

Yes, "circular" has a meaning in relation to polarisers (only polarisers) which doesn't relate to it's shape. In as few words as possible (!):.

Light waves have the property of 'vibrating' in a certain direction, perpendicular to the direction of travel. This can be any direction, up/down, side to side, or anything in between. Ordinary light, such as diffuse daylight, is a random mixture of these..

Under certain circumstances, light can be made to 'line up' so that all of it vibrates in the same direction. We say the light is 'polarised'..

The most common situation which causes light to become polarised is when it is reflected off certain types of surfaces. Light which is obliquely reflected off a water surface is the classic example - if the water surface is horizontal, then the light becomes vertically polarised. The amount of polarisation depends on the angle of incidence; if the elevation is about 30 degrees then the light is almost 100% polarised..

Another way to polarise light is to pass it through a polarising filter (polariser). A polarising filter has the effect of letting through light which is polarised in one direction, while blocking light which is polarised at right angles to that. So the light passing through has become polarised - but darker, because only some of it has passed through..

If the light arriving at the filter is already polarised, then it will either be blocked or will pass through, depending on the orientation of the polariser. This is what is happening when you use a polariser to control reflected glare off water. The polariser oriented one way will have no effect; rotate it until you find the correct spot and the glare will be blocked. At this point the polariser and the glare are 'crossed'..

The type of polarisation we have been considering so far is sometimes referred to as 'linear' polarisation. All those vibrating light waves are 'lined up', so to speak. Linear polarised light is fine from a creative point of view, but one serious technical problem arises with SLR cameras....

Inside the camera is a part-silvered mirror; light reflected upward goes to the viewfinder and that is where the light metering system is located. Some light passes through the mirror, hits a secondary mirror which is hidden behind the main mirror and is further reflected downwards to the autofocus sensor which is in the base of the mirror box..

But you will recall that reflecting light can have the effect of polarising it. What happens, them, if the incoming light has been polarised? The percentage which passes through the part-silvered mirror will vary depending on whether the incoming light happens to be 'crossed' with the mirror system. So either the metering system, or the AF system, or both, could fail to work..

This technical problem has a technical solution. There is another type of polarising filter called a 'circular' polariser. This consists of two layers; the first is a completely normal linear polariser which does the job of filtering; the second layer, called a quarter wave plate, changes the way the light is polarised so that it behaves very much like unpolarised light. It is all but impossible to give a non-technical explanation of this so I won't even try. Suffice to say that it make the polariser compatible with SLR cameras and that's really all we need to know..

Phew..

The polarising and ND8 (non-graduated) filters I have ordered arethese:.

Http://www.fotosense.co.uk/...58mm_DHG_Circular_PLD_Filter.asp?productID=4552.

Http://www.fotosense.co.uk/...58mm_DHG_Circular_PLD_Filter.asp?productID=4561.

I don't know anything about 'Marumi' filters but they are not one I have ever seen recommended. Hoya (also marketed as Kenko) Pro1 Digital are very good; B+W MRC are even better; B+W Kaesemann (polarisers only) are better still; Heliopan's best filters are also recommended but I forget the all-important letters which indicate the best type of coating..

The square shaped equivalents (I thought) that I looked at were these:http://www.formatt.co.uk/...lls-filters/filters/polariser/stills-filters.aspxhttp://www.formatt.co.uk/...-filters/filters/standard-n-d/stills-filters.aspx.

In addition to the circular screw-in polariser and ND8, I haveordered the Cokin P holder and adapter ring, and three Hitech squareshaped ND Grad filters as recommended by a previous poster..

Again, I don't know this brand. People who use this style of filter system will be better placed to advise you...

Comment #18

For 'action' shots where time is limited, then yes, you'd probably want to bracket up a few shots and then blend them in Photoshop after the trip if they are extreme contrast..

The GND's are simply tools to have in your bag and your job is to see when they would be most useful, not to just blindly use them all the time...

Comment #19

Antony,.

I suppose I wanted to get a basic set of filters because I wanted to learn about their place in photography and it seemed I might as well do it before I go on this holiday just in case I have any good opportunities to use them. I have also ordered a 70-300mm zoom lens which I've read should be a good length for safari given the 2x magnification factor of my camera..

I've gone for fairly budget range filters because I'm not sure how much I will use them. I've bought two spare batteries because I'll only get one opportunity to charge them, and I've bought a 16GB CF card to go with the 8GB I already have. I hope that will be enough. I was thinking about getting a sensor cleaning brush as I've heard the dust is really bad. I have a small beanbag (The Pod: http://www.thepod.ca/). Have I missed anything important? I don't have an external flash unit, do I need one for safari?.

The safari I'm going on is a 7 day participation camping trip around Tanzania. It stops at the NgoroNgoro crater and it was supposed to stop at lake Victoria but apparently that part of the trip has been axed because the tour has been re-routed to get out of Kenya quicker (because of the violence over there)..

Antony John wrote:.

Hi William,.

Not sure why you want to use filters in the first place? As someonehas mentioned previously, you can do any post processing withphotoshop.You don't say when you are going to be in the Serengetti but mostly,in sunlight, the whole scene is going to be, well, pretty bright andrather use a fast shutter speed to capture animals (you're going toneed it) rather than try and 'slow' everything down.If you want to spend money then get telephoto lenses because you willneed them (OK, you can get 'up close' to Topi and Lion but not theother animals). You need 200 mm minimum focal length and I wouldsuggest more than this, say 400.Sunsets are stunning because of the dust so plan for this - you don'tneed filters!Be ready to take your pics because animals tend to turn away from you(they assume you are a carnivore and ready to run off) so unlessyou're quick you'll get a lot of backsides!Haven't been to the Serengetti but have been to Masi Mara (its'Kenyan 'twin') and live (almost) in Africa (Cape Town)...

Comment #20

Steve,.

Thanks for explaining this in so much detail, the concept of polarisation makes much more sense now that I understand the workings behind it (and now I know why the polarising filter can be rotated when attached to the lens!).

The brands I picked are budget ones so are probably not great but I'd rather buy a few cheap filters to start with whilst I don't really know what I'm doing with them..

Best Regards,.

-William..

Comment #21

Hi William,.

I'm envious of your trip! Love Africa, especially the bush..

In reality because of the bright light there will be little contrast except under trees, bushes etc - and their aren't many of these where you are going as it's grassland (i.e. Serengetti). Hence I was a little 'mystified' as to why you would want filters, especially graduated..

I think it's a good choice to try out filters well before you go but beware that the lighting is very different to many parts of the world so whilst you try your filters at home, remeber this..

When you are there I would shoot raw as well as try out the filters but don't rely on filters alone. African sunsets, particularly those in the bush, are spectacular and don't require filters really but what the hey, enjoy your experimentation Should have some good opportunities taking pics of your camp with the sun setting..

BTW, best time for taking pics is early morning and late afternoon when the light isn't too harsh - the animals are scarce at other times anyway!.

Looks like you've got everything covered in your equipment but maybe you can find a battery charger that works off a 12V battery or possibly an inverter than converts 12V to your mains voltage/frequency - 110V/60 or 230 V/50 - whichever it may be. Not good if you run out of battery power - you can always erase any unwanted pics to make room for new but you cannot relace a flat battery..

Lastly, a 1.5 converter isn't going to break the bank so I'd slip one in even though you have a max 300mm lens. As mentioned, light will be good during daylight so you won't miss the f stops a converter adds. Rather get the picture than miss it for a few bucks having spent so much on your trip. Most animals you can get up close to like Lion, Cheetah, Gnu (Wildebeest), Topi, Zebra etc but if you manage to spot a Leopard it's going to be at a distance and Buffaloes you want to keep well clear of! Also Elephant are scarce and fairly skittish in that area because of poaching as are the even more rare Rhino. Crocs are always at the extreme of your range and Hippo, like Buffaloes, should be photographed at more than arm's length. Hippos account for more deaths in Africa than any other animal and can do the 100m faster than any human..

Enjoy you lucky devil!..

Comment #22

Antony,.

I'm trying to build up a foundation equipment set without going overboard in any one area so that I can learn what kind of photography I really like and then invest more heavily in specific areas. It's already turning out to be a very expensive hobby for me..

I had considered a teleconverter but my bank balance is starting to feel the pain and 300 for the 1.4x converter will hurt. I might do it though if I think I will really get the benefit out of it (the holiday has cost five times that amount after all!). Olympus do a 2x converter (EC20) for the same price. It's very tempting to go for that longer reach even though I've heard the 2x converters tend to compromise too much on image quality and exposure stops. Do you have any thoughts on this?.

Thanks for all the tips about the animals, time of day etc. I'll be sure to post a link to my best shots after I get back in a few weeks time .

-William..

Comment #23

Rationally I have no hope, irrationally I believe in miracles.Joni Mitchell..

Comment #24

Hi William,.

2X always sounds nice but you get nothing for nothing. In other words there will be a greater deterioration in picture quality than the 1.4 converter - which in itself will add deterioration to your images over the lens on it's own but the 1.4 will be less noticable.And of course you will lose at least 1 stop more than the 1.4 converter..

Converters are not a panacea but can just be the thing you need in some instances and having a 1.4 plus say a 200 mm lens is less weight than a 300 mm lens..

After I graduated I took a trip to Wankie Park in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia). Best I had was a 135 mm lens plus a 1.5 converter with an Olympus OM1. Pictures were taken on slide and it's very difficult to see any major distortions.However, focal length still wasn't enough - and I've always remembered this!.

On the other hand was at 'Little Governors' in the Masai Mara and watched a Japanese gentleman photographing a Hippo about 25 meters away with what looked like a 1000 mm lens. Must have been interested in Ticks! As it turns out it was a Japenese wildlife film crew..

Most to the herd animals and Lions plus Cheetahs will be fairly 'tame' (but they're not!) and allow close approach, but some of the rarer species are not. OK watch them prove me wrong!.

Have also witnessed a frantic interception of the local park rangers heading off across the bush in a 4X4 to intercept and american visitor and his wife who had left their car on the road to photograph a pride of lions under a tree - I kid you not..

Understand your cost scenario but maybe you can find a converter from Sigma/Tamron that will work and cost far less than Nikon? Sorry, maybe a little pushy on this but wouldn't like you to be dissapointed. Also I would hate you to spend bucks on a piece of equipment that you don't end up using because you don't get an opportunity with the rarer species. So go with your own feelings..

From what I read you're about ready to go. Remember it's still summer there so don't forget a broad brimmed hat (with chin strap), sunglasses, long sleeved light shirts, light cotton trousers and sunscreen - especially if you are in open 4X4s!.

Enjoy!..

Comment #25

Antony,.

2X always sounds nice but you get nothing for nothing. In other wordsthere will be a greater deterioration in picture quality than the 1.4converter.

Yeah, I hear you. It's just so temping. Everything you read says that the 2x converter is too much of a compromise..

Understand your cost scenario but maybe you can find a converter fromSigma/Tamron that will work and cost far less than Nikon?.

Maybe I'm in luck here because you've assumed I have a Nikon (with it's 1.6x magnification factor). I have an Olympus E510 and a 70-300mm lens on order. With the magnification/crop factor of 2x, it'll reach like a 600mm lens. Maybe that'll be enough on it's own? If not though, the options are the Olympus EC14 or EC20 teleconverters, both 300 ($600 US) to buy in the UK which is more than I paid for the 70-300mm lens!.

I'm also very worried about changing lenses too much in the field after all I've read about the dust on safari, and since I would want to limit the use of a teleconverter to those occasions when I really needed it, I fear I might end up leaving it in the bag..

From what I read you're about ready to go. Remember it's still summerthere so don't forget a broad brimmed hat (with chin strap),sunglasses, long sleeved light shirts, light cotton trousers andsunscreen - especially if you are in open 4X4s!.

I burn like nobody I know. I've been known to burn through a shirts and with sunscreen on. My head burns through my hair if I don't apply sunscreen to it like it were styling gel. Trust me, I'll be taking every precaution possible ..

Comment #26

William Warby wrote:.

Maybe I'm in luck here because you've assumed I have a Nikon (withit's 1.6x magnification factor). I have an Olympus E510 and a70-300mm lens on order. With the magnification/crop factor of 2x,it'll reach like a 600mm lens. Maybe that'll be enough on it's own?If not though, the options are the Olympus EC14 or EC20teleconverters, both 300 ($600 US) to buy in the UK which is morethan I paid for the 70-300mm lens!.

2x converters are pushing the limits, quality-wise, even on the very best lenses. On a consumer-grade zoom lens, which is what you must presumably be buying at that price, a 300 TC would be a waste of money..

I'm not sure I would describe your situation as lucky. I have a Kenko Pro 300 DG 1.4x TC which cost me around 70 including delivery from a reputable Hong Kong supplier on eBay. Quality is widely regarded as being amongst the best and my own experience seems to confirm that. But I have a Canon - the Kenko TCs are not available to fit your camera...

Comment #27

Hi William,.

DOn't know where I got the idea you had a Nikon. Must be because I've been posting on the Nikon forum as well. Appologies!.

I'm sure you'll be very happy with your Olympus. If they hadn't dropped everyone with the OM series cameras I'd have bought another Olympus myself..

It's not going to be that dusty on Safari unless something 'spooks' the animals so don't worry overly about changing lenses. What I do is keep the camera opening down when I change lenses to minimise dust ingress anyway. Also think the Olympus has an ultrasonic cleaner doesn't it which should help?.

600 mm is quite enough and probably too long without a tripod. Hope you've packed one (along with all the sunscreen you can carry!)..

Cheers..

Comment #28

Did you order the filters from Fotosense? I have just ordered a Cokin holder and adapter from them and they have sent me some cheap generic rubbish. I'm not happy. Did you get Cokin equipment?.

Colin.

William Warby wrote:.

Steve,.

I assumed that the two types of filters were the round screw-in typethat attach to the lens, and the square type that slide into a filterholder, and I assumed that in the case of polarisers andnon-graduated ND filters, the only difference was the method ofattachment to the lens. Are you saying there is a difference infunction? You say that ND8 filters are not "circular" but Marumithemselves describe this filter as "ND8" and it is cicrular in shape,which is what I meant when I used the term. By the sound of things,"circular" has a meaning with filters that doesn't relate to it'sphysical shape in which case I have used the term wrongly, and Imeant "screw-in"..

The polarising and ND8 (non-graduated) filters I have ordered arethese:.

Http://www.fotosense.co.uk/...58mm_DHG_Circular_PLD_Filter.asp?productID=4552.

Http://www.fotosense.co.uk/...58mm_DHG_Circular_PLD_Filter.asp?productID=4561.

The square shaped equivalents (I thought) that I looked at were these:http://www.formatt.co.uk/...lls-filters/filters/polariser/stills-filters.aspxhttp://www.formatt.co.uk/...-filters/filters/standard-n-d/stills-filters.aspx.

In addition to the circular screw-in polariser and ND8, I haveordered the Cokin P holder and adapter ring, and three Hitech squareshaped ND Grad filters as recommended by a previous poster..

Thanks for the info - I'd be grateful if you could correct me if Ihave misunderstood you..

-William.

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

I wonder whether there might be a slight misunderstanding here."Circular" as in circular polariser doesn't refer to the shape, itrefers to the way the light is polarised. It's difficult to explainwhy it is called that without getting very technical (people'sattempts at non-technical explanations have a tendency to beincorrect!), but most get by just knowing the correct name. Circularpolarisers are needed for most SLRs so you are buying the correctitem..

The ND8 and ND grads are not "circular"; the issue mentioned above isspecific to polarisers. If you want a name to distinguish thesefilters from those in the Cokin systems, they are normally referredto as "screw-in"...

Comment #29

Hi, I am going on a 10 day safari with my wife to Nairobi and Tanzania from 5 to 15 June 08. This will be our 1st safari trip. We will be going to Aberdare National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Masai Mara Game Reserve, Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater including a hot air balloon safari in the Masai Mara. Could someone advice me on the photographic equipment that I should bring along. I am using the Nikon D100 system and have a Nikkor Lens AF-S VR Zoom 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IF ED and a Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 APO DG lens. Which lens should I bring along for this trip, please advice.



BalaSingapore..

Comment #30

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