Manual focus or auto focus on Safari

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When I was in Tanzania two years ago, I took my D810 with 600mm f4, D4s with 300mm f2.8, D800e with 70/200mm and took plus or minus 3000 shots a day going gun hoo at 11 frames a second or how ever fast it would go. It seemed like fun at the time but on my last two days I slowed down to maybe5 00 shots a day...........on those last two days I actually saw a wee bitty of Tanzania without looking through a viewfinder.

That was two years ago and I am still going through those thousands of pictures :( :( :( Nightmare

This time I am going to see Tanzania and photography is taking the back seat.......sure I will take pictures but most of all I want to see and smell the beautiful countryside, if I come home with 20 nice pictures after my 8 day trip fantastic

Great stuff Neil.

I mostly use manual focus lenses but my pictures tend to be of the scenery, interesting flowers and leaves etc that I come across and posed and sneaky pictures of the Mrs, friends and family and I'm quite happy with the results but from the posts of yours that I've read I think you're aiming a little higher and I do wonder if you'll be happy with manual focus shots even if shot hyperfocally or starting off at infinity and fine tuning. Having said all that I suppose an AF set up could focus on some dust or insect in the air 6ft in front of your subject... I've had that problem with snow in the UK over the winter so maybe MF does have a place in the scheme of things?
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I do know a keen wildlife photographer and he mentioned on Facebook a while back that he'd just bought a new lens (cannot for the life of me remember the brand name), but as I hadn't heard of them, I googled it and found they're only available in manual focus - so it is doable. I've seen some of his shots and they're excellent.

But it depends on the type of safari, the time of your drives, your familiarity with the kit, your budget (which doesn't seem to be an issue, if you're even considering spending that kind of cash).

I've only done one safari, but early morning and late afternoon drives meant the lions (in fact all the animals) were about and awake, but not really doing a huge amount. And we also got up close and personal enough that my wife could take shots with her iPhone. Even 300mm would have been way too long.

That said, the longest lens I had was a zoom that topped out at 250mm and it was sometimes too short. But I wouldn't have wanted to be there with just a 600 and a 300 though.

I also think that using an MF only lens is very different from trying to use an AF lens in MF mode. There's far more to make sure you're getting the right bit in focus, so if you think you're going to have a couple of seconds to compose and focus, then why not?

It's not like people have never used manual cameras on safari...
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