Photography - Knowledge

Photography Basics: Wildlife Photography Gear to Capture Wildlife Moments

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Do you easily feel charmed by the beauty of nature and wildlife and feel the urge to bring back all the memories of your safari? If your answer is a ‘yes’ to all these questions, then you must be thinking of getting a good camera to shoot the natural habitat in a perfect way. This is why; experts always suggest the beginners carry a relevant wildlife photography gear with them. If you are truly interested about the whole and passionate about photography especially, then buying the suggested photography equipment would be worth for you. After all, your passion deserves your attention.

When it comes to photography, especially in the jungle areas, it’s not just a costly camera or some lens that you must carry. There are multiple other important pieces of equipment that professional photographers carry to make their photographs do the talking. 

Wildlife Photography Equipment for Beginners

Clicking photos during an expedition is always different than clicking photos at festivals or social events. You may have the best digital camera for wildlife photography, but you definitely need some solid equipment to do justice to your passion for wildlife photography. Here is some essential set of equipment that you can carry on your next safari.

Binocular or Monocular

Binoculars
Wildlife Photographers Need a Pair of Good Binoculars

Binocular is the most primary equipment that you must keep handy while exploring the wildlife. Jungles always surprise us. It feels interesting how the natural habitats stay hidden being mixed with the greenery.

Once you reach to your spot of an expedition, you can use your binocular or monocular to scan the whole place. The binocular or monocular can get you the close views of the dense areas. You can easily have a close look at your chosen spot to determine whether it is worth for your camera or not.

You can add both 8X and 10X magnification enabled binoculars of good quality to your wildlife photography gear. With larger magnification, you can get a larger view. While buying the very equipment, you can get a variety of size and price.

The 10X magnification enabled binoculars are generally large in size and their price is reasonable. But if you go for the small size of the same equipment, then it will be a little costlier. Make sure, you get the binocular waterproofed to ensure its safety.

Headlamp

A headlamp is an essential equipment of your wildlife photography gear. You must have seen how much the professional photographers like to click the magnificent beauty of nature either early in the morning or in the evenings.

During early morning and evening, the natural light looks pretty eye soothing. But to catch the dawn, a photographer has to start when it’s dark. And after shooting in the evening the photographer has to spend some time in the dark. So, in both the cases, a photographer faces dark atmosphere.

To maintain the safety of the photography accessories and himself, he has to take help of a torch. But intelligence is in using a headlamp that has strong LED attached. You can use the same to take care of your own safety while walking in the jungle areas. Being attached to your head, the headlamp will let you use your hands in holding the equipment and not a mere torch.

Telephoto Lens

Telephoton lens
Telephoto Lens

A binocular or monocular can let you get a view f a spot but it is a lens that will let you catch the same. A standard lens that you use for casual photography cannot offer you the desired results of wildlife photography. Hence you can count on telephoto lens ranging from 200 mm to 400 mm.

You can also be specific with the lenses such as Nikon 80-400 and canon 100 – 400. The telephoto lenses are obviously expensive to many, especially to the beginners but they will always help you get the best and sharp shots of the subjects that are far from you.

Teleconverter

When it is all about shooting wildlife in a dense forest area, a Teleconverter is a must have for your wildlife photography gear. It is nothing but a magnifying lens basically. It gets placed between the main body of the camera and the lens.

A Teleconverter gets mainly used to enhance the focal length while clicking a subject. It enhances the quality of any telephoto as it enhances the overall quality of the zoom of a lens. The Teleconverter doesn’t weigh that much and most importantly they are truly affordable, even to the beginners.

Bean Bag

Bean bag for cameras
Bean Bag for Cameras

For all the wildlife photographers no matter if they are professional or amateurs, a bean bag is always important as an equipment of photography. The bean bag works as a tripod and offers the photographers a suitable platform to keep their camera and lens positioned to shoot their subject ideally.

Especially when the subjects are positioned in low angles, a bean bag can work in an outstanding way. The very equipment is highly suitable to be carried in a safari vehicle. You can also use the same from your regular car. A bean bag gets designed in such a way so that a photographer can easily position it on his car window.

Tripod

When you talk about high-quality wildlife photography and the vital photography equipment, you cannot skip discussing Tripod. A tripod works as a brilliant support while shooting wildlife subjects using a large lens.

A tripod offers strong and steady support to both long lenses and cameras that are heavier in weight. A tripod can give you sharper and clearer photographs without any trace of shake. When it comes to taking photos in low light using very slow shutter speed, the tripod helps in keeping a camera primed.

As a beginner, you may think of buying a cheap tripod to understand the whole process. But it is always suggested to start with a good or at least moderate tripod. Cheap quality tripods do not serve the purpose properly and they do not last long. A good tripod can last up to ten long years and you will find it affordable after comparing the price with its durability.

Gimbal

Gimbal
Gimbal

Gimbal is considered as one of the essential equipment of a wildlife photography gear. It is an essential photographic device that gets set on the top of a tripod. It actually holds the camera and the lens in a strong and balanced way.

When it comes to panning or tilting the camera, a Gimbal helps a photographer practically. Moving the heavy equipment according to requirements becomes pretty easy and effortless for all. These days there are many companies that manufacture gimbals. You can choose any good Gimbal to have a nice and smooth wildlife photography experience.

Camera Bag for Holding Large Lenses

When you plan to carry all your photography accessories with you during your safari, always make sure you are buying a good bag to carry them. The bags that are available in the market especially for carrying equipment of photography, offer great features.

First of all, the bags are pretty strong. Hence you will be tension free about the safety of your gears inside. Padded spaces make sure the equipment stays in good condition even if there is any major congestion. Secondly, these bags offer great space because of which you can keep the camera body and lenses in an organized way.

And last but not the least; the bags get designed with large and comfortable straps so that you don’t feel like carrying a burden while carrying your equipment.

Long Lens Rain Cover

Rain covers for lens
Rain Covers for Long Lens

When you are shooting the wildlife, you have to stay conscious about the weather and its uncertain behaviours. Rain can act as the villain anytime in the jungle areas. So, to keep your expensive lens safe from rainwater, you are suggested to handpick a long lens rain cover.

Always go for a high-quality rain cover that can prevent rainwater from attacking your camera body, lens, and LCD display. Despite securing the whole set up, the cover will let you keep a check on the back panel so that you can take amazing photographs during rainy weather in the forest.

Some rain covers come with arm holes that can let you operate the gimb, ls set on your tripod. There are many shapes and sizes of these rain covers. These covers are generally expensive. But you can get some cheaper rain covers available too.

Wide Angle Lens

wide angle lens
Wide Angle Lens

When you arrange your wildlife photography gear, you cannot miss out the wide angle lens. An expedition can get you pretty close to the wildlife. But when you aim to take the most candid shots from closer range, the wide angle lens can let you take them effortlessly.

Sometimes, after scouting your preferred wildlife area, if you feel willing to let the camera do the talking, you can leave it there and rely on a remote shutter. Your camera will take wonderful snaps on its own that you may find more attractive than your expectation.  

Keep Guide Book Handy

A guidebook may not sound directly related to photography. But you can certainly keep one related to the location that you are visiting for expedition and photography. It will make you aware of the area in details.

You can also keep a notebook with you. Once you come up with any learning experience or get to know something new about the place you are exploring, you can pen it down instantly for further important purposes.

Memory Cards and Batteries

Memory card pack
A Bag to Hold All the Memory Cards & Batteries

Memory cards and batteries are true essentials for wildlife photography. Especially the beginners remain in a spree to click whatever they find good at the place they are in. Hence they click a lot of photographs. To feel satisfied in this regard, you have to be very conscious about the storage part. You have to keep memory cards that can offer you storage for a large number of photographs.

All your preparations can be messed up if you don’t manage to carry batteries and backups. Forest areas are remote and most of the time; the photographers don’t get adequate arrangements to charge the batteries for their cameras. This is why; you must carry some new sets of batteries so that if the batteries you are using lose charge, your photography wouldn’t face a pause.

Carry Plenty of Chocolates and Snacks

Photography is always interesting, especially when you are on a spree to frame the wildlife. But waiting for the perfect shot can be tedious for you. You may feel agitated sitting at the same place for hours. At this kind of moments, an energy bar or a prominent bite of chocolate can fuel you for sure. So, make sure you are adding the chocolates and snack bars to the list of your wildlife photography gear.

Clothing

Clothing for photographers
While Wildlife Photographing, Choose Your Attire Appropriately

Once you start packing for your expedition, don’t forget to pack comfortable clothes. You can choose colours that can blend well with the lush green appearance of the forest area. Comfortable and waterproof Clothes can let you enjoy your session of photography in a hassle-free manner.  

Get Your Wildlife Photography Gear on a Budget

We all keep a budget in mind when we determine to start something new. The same concept gets applied when it comes to starting wildlife photography. No matter if you are a beginner or you are aware of various aspects of the very type of photography, you have to be particular while buying gear that can do justice to your budget. Let us discuss some budget based gears in brief.

Entry Level Budget Photography Kit

When you aim to get an entry-level primary photography setup, you have to but a low budget DSLR camera, a moderate lens and a good quality tripod. You can consider Canon's EOS Rebel T5i or EOS 60D or EOS 60D or Nikon’s D3300 and D5300to be the best affordable camera for wildlife photography of your choice. These best budget DSLR are capable of shooting bursts at 5 to 6 fps, with AF in each of the frames.

Lens such as Canon's EF 70-300mm ƒ/4-5.6 IS USM, Pentax's HD DA 55-300mm ƒ/4-5.8 ED WR and Nikon's AF-S VR 70-300mm ƒ/4.5-5.6G IF-ED are considered to the most popular among the photographers who are in their primary stage. You can also think of buying Sony's 70-300mm ƒ/4.5-5.6G SSM and Tamron's SP 150-600mm ƒ/5-6.3 Di VC USD to get desired results. All these lenses are capable of delivering high-quality photographs

Tripods are usually costly. But good quality tripods last longer. Though you can still buy a cheaper one, even if you invest on a costlier one, you would surely get something really good that will last long and deliver you great service.

Intermediate Budget  Photography Kit

Photography kit
Carbon-fibre based tripods

When you have a mid-level budget set for wildlife photography gear, you can easily include Canon cameras as they are one of the best wildlife photography equipment. You can pretty easily settle for the Canon's EOS 7D Mark II and EOS 7D. Pentax's K-3 can also offer you high-quality images and leave you thrilled by your photography. If you are looking for other best budget DSLR, then you can also pick Sony's 24.3-megapixel SLT-A77 Mark II and Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4.

With a budget of medium range, you can afford some good quality lenses. Both Canon and Nikon along with Pentax deliver lenses that people medium budget can easily afford to get great quality wildlife photos. You can select lenses like Canon's EF 100-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Nikon VR (stabilized) 300mm ƒ/4 or Pentax 300mm ƒ/4s.

Carbon-fibre based tripods are totally in as the professional photographers also speak of them highly. You can buy this type of tripod from any reputed brand to avail high-quality photography.

High Budget Photography Kit

High budget photography kit
A Range of Expensive Cameras

When you no longer need the best budget camera and have a budget to avail a high-end wildlife photography gear, you get a vast range of cameras and lenses to choose from. You can then easily check out the wildlife photography equipment Nikon. Nikon's 16.2-megapixel D4S, Nikon's D810 and Canon's EOS 5D Mark III can be your first choices of a camera.

You can grab a great deal availing lenses from the brands like Sony and Pentax. You can choose both Sony 300mm ƒ/2.8 and Pentax, a 560mm ƒ/5.6 to be your chosen lens. You can also check out Sigma 500mm ƒ/4.5.

With a high budget, you can buy high-quality tripods from brands like Manfrotto, Slik, Acratech, Really Right Stuff and Kirk.

And that's how you can select your wildlife photography gear.

Summing Up

Wildlife photography

No matter if you buy the best budget camera or the best camera for wildlife photography 2016, it is your passion and your endurance that can let you get the best wildlife photographs. You just have to focus and invest your zeal and time, and the rest will be taken care of by your camera and lens. If you are planning to shoot the wildlife or have an experience of wildlife photography, do share it with us. We are more than interested to know from you.

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