Hi, this is my first trip with Exodus although I've previously been on a wildlife watching holiday to Argentina. Anybody else here going on this trip ?

Also I was wondering about how long a focal length lens to take for this trip, I currently have a 70-200mm with a 1.4x extender on a 1.6x sensor body, but I'm thinking about renting something longer e.g. 100-400.



Most people suggest between 300 to 400mm as a good focal length for telephoto lenses for safaris. Definitely worth renting the 100-400mm. Good general purpose for wildlife photography and most people will take one of these. 

You might find it useful to have a wider angle lens for the panoramic / landscape shots and shots of the animals when the are closer to the vehicles. 

We were on this trip last year and took a 50D and rented a Canon 300mm f2.8 along with a 1.4x extender. Absolutely stunning quality pictures from this lens.  We also had a 30D with a 70-200mm - nice shots from this as well.

We are going again this year, but one week before you,  We enjoyed this adventure very much last year, and wish you enjoy it as we do. Hope the above informtion help.

Kuga, thanks for the advice. In addition to my Canon 7D I'm also going to take my 5D mark II with either a 24-105 or 16-35 lens for landscape/close-up shots. I think that I'm going to be paying some excess baggage fees :-)


Hello: very much looking forward to this trip and hoping for some stunning wildlife viewing. My query is about lenses so any feedback welcome. I've got a 7D with a 300mm lens (F4) and not sure whether to hire a 100-400mm or an extender (or both!). I like the idea of the flexibility of the 100-400mm but the 300 is such a good lens it seems crazy to double up. I also have a 400D that I can have in addition with either a wide angle or 70-300mm. I don't want to be 'all the gear but no idea'.... i'm out of practise enough without having to lug loads of kit that I won't need! Like you, Hugh, my excess baggage may be excessive. But with a laundry service available, clothes are not a priority!

I was on one of Paul's photographic trips to Spitzbergen last year, and we had awesome Polar bear viewing and I wished my gear was better, hence blowing my budget on new kit for this one.  Just need to remember to take the lens cap off ;-)

Hi Jackie,

After a lot of reading specs, reviews, forums and blogs I decided to get a 100-400mm (which should be getting delivered tomorrow, I'm off to the local zoo next week to get some practice with it), the other main option that I considered was the L series 70-300mm but in the end the longer range of the 100-400 seemed the better option, I already had a 1.4x extender so I'll be bringing it just in case although at 560mm the maximum aperture will be f8 so I'll have to manually focus.

Ideally  I would have liked to take a 300mm prime lens on one body, the 70-200mm on another and a wide angle lens on a third body, but that's probably more than I could carry and I'd prefer to keep the number of lens changes to a minimum especially in dusty conditions so this wasn't really an option with two bodies,  I'd definitely recommend bringing a second body to reduce lens changes and also in case your 7D develops any problems.

The wide angle zoom or prime lens that I'm bringing should be fast enough to still be usable around dawn or dusk even if the 100-400mm isn't, and as Kuga mentioned it's also useful for landscapes and for animals that get very close.

As an aside I'm looking into going on a trip to Spitsbergen so I'd be interested in hearing about your trip.


Tried the 100-400mm on Friday, not impressed! The images were softer and were lower contrast than with my 70-200mm, although I might just have a bad sample of the 100-400mm. I've emailed the customer service people at the supplier with a view to getting it replaced or returning it and getting the L series 70-300mm.

On the plus side, 4 weeks today and I'll be on my way to Kenya :-)


Hi Hugh

Thanks for your comments. I'll definitely be taking two camera bodies with me, as that lens changing malarky in the dust is a bad plan. I emailed Paul for advice about the extender and he said I should go for the 1.4 so I'll be hiring one so see how it suits. 

The final trip notes arrived by email just now, along with a letter from Paul with further info so I really feel that this trip is just around the corner - I can't wait!

We will bore you with stories of the joys of Spitzbergen. You'll have to book it just to shut us up, it really was a magnificent trip!


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