TESTIMONIALS

Sally Hinton

My other favourite part of the workshop was watching the elephants from the hide - the babies were just so cute slipping and sliding in the mud around the waterhole and watching the interaction between the babies and the older elephants was very special!

OUR PARTNER
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CONTACT DETAILS

Telephone:          + 27 (0) 12 344 6681
Reservations:      reservations@photomashatu.com

 

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PHOTO GEAR

PHOTO GEAR TO ASSIST YOU IN THE HIDE:

 

The following gear is provided for you:

  • Smart phone tripods.

  • PhotoMashatu beanbags.

  • Rotating photography plates.

  • Option of renting a camera body and/or lens.

WHY SHOULD I RENT EQUIPMENT?

 

  • The ability to rent a lens eliminates the worry of in-flight weight restrictions and carrying the extra load on-board. International travel weight restrictions have become stricter each year, making it difficult to travel with large amounts of camera gear; a large lens being by far the heaviest piece of camera equipment you will bring along.

  • With the large cost to purchase a lens that may be used a few times a year, it makes sense to rent a lens specifically chosen to be the best for the few days in the year that you are on safari.

  • We have carefully chosen a selection of lenses that are perfectly adapted for the terrain and wildlife viewing at Mashatu. The lenses we offer are suitable for the beginner enthusiast through to professional. With the open terrain that characterizes Mashatu, it is optimal to use lenses that offer the photographer great reach in order to zoom in on your subject. This is why all our lenses exceed the standard reach of 300mm that allows you ‘fill your frame’ and eliminate excessive cropping during post image editing.

  • It gives you the opportunity to “see through the eyes of a professional photographer” and capture the same type of images that professional wildlife photographers take.

  • You do not need to be a professional to use the lenses. Our staff will give you a 5 minute introduction to using and caring for the lens before you start taking great images with it.

 

WHAT WOULD THE RENTAL OFFER YOU?

 

If you don’t own or use a long reach zoom or Prime lens, then the immediate difference in your image quality when using one of our lenses will be the first noticeable effect. The lenses have been crafted for high end results offering the best in sharpness and speed.

If you already own a lens, then the ability to rent one eliminates the need to bring along your own. Many people don’t own super zoom lenses that reach beyond 300mm. Our lenses all go beyond 300mm zoom length. This allows you to get crystal clear and close up images of your subjects. Some of our lenses extend to 600mm which allows for extreme zooming in to get images of small birds and the “eye of the elephant”. At Mashatu, the desired zoom length for photographing wildlife is between 300 and 500mm.

  • Less weight to carry while travelling.

  • The opportunity to experience and test out professional quality lenses while on safari.

  • Use lenses beyond 300mm in length, a focal range that not many travellers ever get to experience.

  • Photograph Mashatu’s wildlife with the optimum range of 400-500mm and thus increasing your chance attaining of excellent images.

  • Use lenses that perform best in low light. A lot of animal activity occurs at dusk and this is when these lenses still work very well.

  • We supply beanbags and other support for the lenses when you rent them from PhotoMashatu.

  • To see the world and take images like a professional photographer.

 

OUR LENS SELECTION

 

Sigma’s motto is not to be the biggest Lens Company in the world, but simply to be ‘revolutionary’. Their new range of SPORT Lenses is a true testament to this and they are on top of the game when it comes to versatile zoom lenses. The close focusing distance of 150mm and the far reaching 600mm ensure that weather you are in the hide or out on game drive, you can capture all the action. The aperture of f5.6 at the short end of 150mm tapers off to f6.3 at the long end at 600mm on this zoom lens. These lenses offer extreme versatility and flexibility, which in turn, means it is very easy for you to use and take excellent images with.

1 x Nikon mount Sigma 150 – 600mm f5.6 – 6.3 Lens.

1 x Canon mount Sigma 150 – 600mm f5.6 – 6.3 Lens.

1 X Canon 7D MK I body.

 

When choosing the lens that will best suit you, there are a few factors to keep in mind that will ultimately help you take better photographs. The best Lens is the one that suits the photographer the most. Ask yourself the following questions...

  • Can or do you want to be able to hold it by hand?

  • Do I want to be able to zoom, particularly if you don’t own a zoom already to use alongside the large fixed focal lenses?

  • Do I want to change lenses on a game drive if the fixed focal lenses have too much ‘zoom’?

  • Do I want to sacrifice the lighter weight and smaller size of the SIGMA lenses over a slight edge in sharpness, heavier weight and marginally faster speed of the lens auto focus like the big fixed focal 500mm and 600mm lenses?

  • Do I want a lens that will perform marginally better in low light conditions?

  • Do I want to rent a lens that will cover all wildlife, from birds to close ups?

EQUIPMENT DETAILS

 

SIGMA 150 – 600mm
  • Lighter than 500mm or 600mm fixed lens.

  • Versatile, ie: can zoom from 150mm to 600mm.

  • Can be handheld if necessary.

  • For clients wanting to get a feel for a professional photographers point of view but without the burden of too much weight.

  • Can fit into larger camera bag, making it easier to carry.

  • Great all round lens for all types of wildlife.

  • Easy to manage and hold while out on game drive.

  • Easy to operate.

CANON 7D CAMERA BODY

The Canon 7D is a great choice for keen enthusiasts. It has top image quality and functionality without the bulk of the top-level professional bodies. The 18mp CMOS sensor, 100% coverage viewfinder, 1.6 crop factor and up to 8 frames per second in continuous shooting, makes it an ideal camera for great wildlife and bird photography.

LENSES TO USE AT MASHATU?

 

Photo skill Level:      Beginner - Intermediate - advanced

Equipment:

  • 1-2 Pro-sumer camera. Pro camera bodies if photographing birds.

  • 1 consumer camera body if only photographing mammals.

  • 500-600mm lens for birds.

  • 70-200mm lens for the scenic images.

  • 100-400mm range for mammals.

  • Beanbags.

 

All your drives will be from an open vehicle with a ranger driving and guiding you. This means that a monopod or a beanbag will be the best types of support for your cameras and lenses. The vehicles are allowed to drive off road here so they will be able to position you for the best angle for photos at sightings. Most of the mammals are very relaxed around vehicles meaning a 400mm lens is more than enough to capture them. Of course having a zoom aids in your compositions here, especially when photographing action scenes or changing from a full body photo to a portrait. It is suggested to use a lens in the 100-400mm range. Most predators are either moving fast or move in the dark hours of day (lion and leopard). Having a lens that you can easily manoeuvre around makes a big difference here. An extra 2 seconds to set up your camera is a long time when photographing action.

If you are keen on bird photography, then a 500-600mm lens is very handy. With most birds you are able to get relatively close, so this is the one place where a 500mm lens will do for bird images.

With the relaxed elephant herds you can expect to use your wide-angle lens as well as the longer lenses. This is the one place you will have opportunity for every focal length when it comes to elephants. A wide-angle 12-24mm lens will frame an elephant very nicely against the sky. With them coming so close to you, this is quite easy to do. If you drive in front of an approaching herd and sit quietly the herd will envelop around you without any fuss. The only sound will be the camera shutters working away!

HOW DO I BOOK?

 

The PhotoMashatu rentals can be booked through PhotoMashatu reservations office (reservations@photomashatu.com). Clients in camp can book on an ad hoc basis at the lodge subject to availability. Please click here to view the pricing.