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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    160

    How would you protect your gear on an African safari?

    Theoretically speaking (because Im not doing this just yet) how would one go about protecting camera + lens on an African safari?

    Im talking dust and dirt flying up from cars and sand blowing in the wind etc.

    Obviously a lens change here would be a big no no but even without a lens change just how many precautions would one have to take in this situation?
    Nikon D80
    Nikkor 70-300mm VR f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED
    Nikkor 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED
    Nikkor 50mm 1.8D
    Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    69
    UV lens?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    516
    In reality, your camera is extremely durable. My D70s has gone to heck and back on a few occasions.

    I'd recommend a Lowepro All Weather bag. I use the Nova 2 but your model choice will depend on what size you need. The Lowepro I have has been excellent. The outside will get PLASTERED with dirt, mud, and dust. The inside stays as new as the day I opened it up. Overall, a great bag.

    I normally operate outside with off road vehicles and the lowepro has been excellent. The only thing I will say is in these conditions, smoke from a vehicle's exhaust pipe (usually burning oil) is REALLY REALLY bad for cameras and other electronic equipment. If you see a vehicle near you trailing a smoke cloud, IMMEDIATELY secure your camera equipment. The oil cloud is HORRIBLE for cameas. Otherwise, dirt and dust can easily be removed.

    Also try to keep your camera off the floors of vehicles. The more rugged vehicles tend to have a lot of vibrations in the floors and also the floors get REALLY hot. Your D80 will thank you for not being thrown on the floorboard.



    Oh, and don't let the lions eat your camera. That'll significantly reduce camera life
    Last edited by LR Max; 07-13-2007 at 06:15 AM.
    Small Town Newspaper Oaf

    East Coast Coorespondant for CRAWL Magazine!!??

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Great White North
    Posts
    1,313
    On African safaris there is dust - LOTS of dust. No matter what you do, dust is going to get everywhere and especially so if you are in a opened top Range Rover or similar vehicle. You could bring a UV filter but I'm not sure what good it will do you. It's not dust that's going to damage the front of your lens. I would say regular cleanings will serve you better than trying to prevent dust infiltrations. You'll probably have an early morning drive followed by lunch, then another drive till evening. You'll also have a break or two during the day. Use the stops to blow dust off of the camera and touch up your lenses. In the evening you'll have a tent or lodge to work in so you can clean off the sensor there if need be. I use a DSLR brush while travelling.

    For the stuff inside your bag, you could place some items inside ZipLoc freezer bags as an extra precaution. If you are really, really concerned, you could pick up a vortex storm jacket - http://www.stormjacket.com/ It is rain gear but they do a pretty good job at keeping out all the elements. I don't think you'll have to go that far if you clean regularly and exercise reasonable caution. Hold the camera inside the vehicle while moving. If you are in a fairly small group you can ask the driver to stop if you see something that you want to shoot.

    On a final note, you'll get a lot less dust inside the camera if you are working with fixed focal length lenses. Have fun!

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