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Olympus PEN EPL2 Safari?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by gareth.edgell, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. gareth.edgell

    gareth.edgell New to Mu-43

    Jul 23, 2012

    I am going on Safari soon and currently own an Olympus Pen EPL2 with a 15-50mm lens and 50-150mm lens (I think). It came as a twin lens kit. Will this be suitable for a safari that I am going on soon to South Africa? Would I be advised to purchase a larger zoom lens or will the 150mm be OK. The 120-300mm lens is approx. £550 and I don't know a, whether I need it and b, if I do would I be better spending the money on a traditional DSLR. As I say, I am happy with the camera but don't know if it will be suitable for my safari as I would like to take some stunning pics!

    Look forward to hearing your views.

  2. GRID

    GRID Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2011
    You can take a look at my site to see my images taken with 300mm F2.8
    That was the lens i used most on my safaritrip in Tanzania.
  3. gareth.edgell

    gareth.edgell New to Mu-43

    Jul 23, 2012
    Wow, you took some amazing photos. Was that the Olympus lens that you used?
  4. jpil

    jpil Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 16, 2012
  5. GRID

    GRID Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2011
    I used a 25 year old Canon 300mm so it was adapted (and manuall) on my GH1.
    But you can see how far you get with 300mm lens.
  6. Antonio

    Antonio Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 27, 2011
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    I went to Tanzania in February 2012 with a EPL-2 with a Panasonic 100-300mm lens. It was a great combo for a safari. Here are some photos:





    • Like Like x 2
  7. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    Fantastic shots! Are those the original composition, or did you have to crop/reframe in post? How did you find handling was on the 100-300? It just looks so front heavy on the rangefinder style bodies (of which I have two).
  8. Antonio

    Antonio Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 27, 2011
    Sao Paulo, Brazil

    I have cropped them mainly to adjust composition. Handling the camera with the 100-300mm was very comfortable. At first the combination looked a bit strange (small camera, big lens) but I got used to it fast. And they worked really fine together.
  9. Humiliated_grape

    Humiliated_grape Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 8, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Just to add to what's already been said (great photos, btw, Antonio) - I've made a couple of posts about my trip to southern Africa this year (You can see the photos here). The longest lens I took with me was 40-150mm + an E-PL3. The camera's size was great because I was camping, and getting on and off safari trucks it made it much easier to be carrying a small amount of camera gear. I don't know if I'd have felt as comfortable hauling around a DSLR the whole time (although I'm not used to DSLRs).

    While I was really happy with most of the shots I got, there were quite a few times I wish I'd had a longer lens. My advice would be - if one of the longer m4/3 lenses is in ur budget (75-300mm, 100-300mm or 4/3 70-300mm w/ an adapter) then definitely buy one because u won't regret it. Animals are inherently unpredictable and sometimes they just won't be as close as u'd like.

    However, If those lenses aren't in ur budget, just make sure u take the longest lens u have, try and get in as close as u can, and don't be afraid to do some cropping when u get home. I found that some of my wider shots that took in both the animals and some of the landscape were sometimes more interesting than the shots that got right in close. Also, I found that keeping my 40-150mm lens on most of the time was a very versatile option - it meant I could keep a long enough lens on to catch wildlife that we came upon suddenly (and often there is no warning) as well as having a wide enough lens to take photos of my fellow travellers and landscapes while on the game drives.

    On a side note, I have since acquired the 4/3 70-300mm lens and I don't find it cumbersome on my e-pl3 at all. I've taken heaps of fairly sharp handheld shots with it. Perhaps it looks a bit silly. But then everyone looks silly on safari with their khaki shorts. :tongue:
    • Like Like x 1
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Get as much reach as you can - my most used lens on Safari in South Africa a couple of years ago was a 100-400 on a 5DII, and even then I sometimes wished I had just a little bit more reach. And sometimes needed to swap out glass because the animals were very close by.

    Both shots of animals with background, for a sense of place, as well as 'close-up' portraits can be very interesting. If/when I go again, I'll be taking the 100-300 and an MFT body (E-M5 in my case) for the telephoto and the 5DII for landscape/wideangle work (which is where that camera shines).
  11. Antonio

    Antonio Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 27, 2011
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Well, here I have taken a wider view of a herd of buffalo (although keeping the 100-300mm) at the Ngorongoro Crater:

  12. GRID

    GRID Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2011
    I can add that i had the GF2 +20mm hanging around my neck almost all of the time, so even when it´s a big jump up to 300mm the two complimented each other good for landscapes and closeups, and it´s so damn big areas there i even took landscapeimages with the 300mm :) 
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