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Africa: Through a Borrowed Lens

I am a photographer, and as a photographer I like cameras. I have a collection of more than 20 antique ones and love adding to my toys.

When we decided to go to Tanzania on Safari I thought “giddy up! I can justify getting that new lens I want!”  Well, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t justify spending another $1,000 on a lens with more power than I’ll need for just about any other shoot I could imagine.

Then, I thought a used lens would save money. I called around and couldn’t find a good deal. As I made my inquiries, a camera shop I trust suggested borrowlenses.com. It was just what I needed.

I was able to find a Tamron 200-500mm lens for my Nikon DSLR and rent it for two weeks for $150 (including taxes, shipping and insurance). It didn’t have auto focus, but that didn’t really bother me. I’m pretty sure I can focus faster on the fly – and on the subjects I want – anyway. I’m pretty happy with the results, what do you think?

This Black Rhinoceros went for a trot across the Ngorongoro Crater, but was WAY too far away for any of the lenses we own. The rented lens brought him close enough for a great action shot!

This Black Rhinoceros went for a trot across the Ngorongoro Crater, but was WAY too far away for any of the lenses we own. The rented lens brought him close enough for a great action shot!

We were surprised to spot this Honey Badger (they're typically nocturnal) running along the edge of a pond in Tarangire National Park. Once again, the lens made all the difference.

We were surprised to spot this Honey Badger (they’re typically nocturnal) running along the edge of a pond in Tarangire National Park. Once again, the lens made all the difference.

This lazy lion in a tree would have been hard to capture with our standard telephoto.

This lazy lion in a tree would have been hard to capture with our standard telephoto.

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About No Kids, Will Travel

In the eyes of their friends and family, Amanda and Zeke are a young jet setting couple without any real responsibility. In real life, the stress of work and raising a kitten push them to flee reality at every opportunity. The "lack of obligation" gives them the chance to explore the world.

3 comments on “Africa: Through a Borrowed Lens

  1. […] Africa: Through a Borrowed Lens – nokidswilltravel.com Do you really need that expensive lens to capture a great shot?: Of course you don’t. Yes it is tempting to unwrap a new toy out of its lavish matte box but those thrills don’t last like the memories of an African adventure. No Kids Will Travel explains how he saved money by renting a lens for his camera rather than purchasing a new or used one. Enjoy their African wildlife images. […]

  2. […] National Park kept their distance more than those we encountered later on the Serengeti, but our rented 500 mm lens helped us get fantastic photos to go along with our memories of these majestic […]

  3. […] more thing: our borrowed 500mm lens was $150 (and paid for itself the first day, our photos wouldn’t have been nearly as good […]

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