Gearing Up For photography of Tasmanian Wildlife
Firstly, we now live in the age of Digital Photography and therefore the following notes all apply to digital camera bodies plus associated equipment.
Camera Bodies - I would suggest that if possible you bring 2 camera bodies of the same manufacturer which will accept all the lenses and other gear which you travel with. Then if you have a problem with one camera body you will have a backup.
As it is a capital city, Hobart does have several excellent photo stores plus an excellent minor camera repair service. However for the duration of the tour we will not be anywhere near Hobart apart from airport arrival and departure.
Lenses - as the prime purpose of this tour is to photograph the abundant wildlife you will require a long telephoto lens. Ideally a 500mm or a 300mm with a 1.4 or other teleconverter. A 200-400 zoom lens would also be ideal. I would also suggest you bring a shorter zoom such as a 70 – 200mm F2.8.
The 2 main lenses which I use to photograph Tasmanian wildlife are a Nikon 500mm F4 AFS plus Nikon 70 – 200 F2.8 AFS-VR.
Vibration reduction lenses are always useful but I do recommend you carry a sturdy tripod, preferably a carbon fibre model to reduce weight for the flight. It is very rare that I do not use a tripod. For most of the tour we will be photographing on foot and from a boat and sometimes from within a hide.
Many of Tasmania’s marsupials are nocturnal especially Tasmanian Devils. Therefore a good flash unit with adjustable TTL and fill flash capabilities will be necessary. One flash unit is vital and 2 – 3 flash units will allow modelling of the subject. If bringing more than one flash you will also need a clamp such as a Bogen Super Clamp or the smaller Nano clamp or similar to attach your flash to a branch or hide or similar.
Please bring plenty of spare batteries plus chargers for the camera bodies and flash units. Most of the accommodation will have electric power points available for charging batteries. You will need at least one Australian/UK power adapter.
What I Carry
The following list is what I normally carry in my Lowepro Photo Trekker bag to photograph Tasmanian wildlife.
-2 Nikon camera bodies, D300S plus D700
-1 x long telephoto lens Nikon 500mm F4 AFS
-70 – 200mm F2.8 AFS-VR
-12 – 24mm F4 wideangle
-1.4 Teleconverter (Nikon)
-Gitzo tripod plus Arca Swiss ballhead or gimball head
-Flash units wireless Nikon SB900 or SB800 plus Bogen super clamps and ballheads to mount the flash units off the camera
-Visual Echoes Better Beamer flash extender
-Circular polarising filter
-Battery chargers, cables and adaptor plugs
-Compact flash cards 16GB, 8GB and 4GB
-Portable hard drives such as Epson, Gig Vu Pro or similar
-Lens and camera sensor cleaning equipment
-Leatherman multi tool and Swiss Army knife (packed in checked hold luggage for flights)
-Laptop – Apple Macbook plus Photoshop CS5
Tasmanian Weather - the weather during a spring visit is likely to be variable (reminiscent of England!). We could enjoy sunshine, cloud and possibly rain. Daytime temperatures could vary from as low as 10 degrees centigrade to possibly low 20’s. Frost at night is a possibility in some areas. Snow is possible at Lake St Clair National Park but highly unlikely elsewhere.
Accommodation – most of it will be of a good standard, except in Narawntapu National Park where we will overnight in the basic, but clean, comfortable and very convenient park ranger’s hut.
Transport – depending on the group size we will use a coach with a driver, or 9 seats minibus, so plenty of room for everybody as well as the equipment.
Single room at Narawntapu National Park is a subject of availability.
Price breakdown - the tour COST shown on the top of the Tour Info panel is the total tour costs. It is calculated from the Ground Cost given below plus the Flight Costs.
The Ground Cost is calculated at the time of putting the tour on the website and it is not going to be changed (unless extreme force majeure circumstances occur, and not in case you have already paid your holiday).
The Flight Cost is the best air ticket price available at the time of putting the tour on the website. This price however can change near to the departure date, and it is beyond the control of any tour operator. As Focus4nature is ATOL bonded tour operator we can find the best price at the moment of the tour booking, however as the air tickets prices normally increase near to the time of the flight it may be higher than the one shown on the website. We will update that price from time to time, but this cannot be done weekly. When you decide to book a tour, please give us a call or send us an e-mail for the actual flight cost of that tour.
We advise you to book well in advance in order to avoid the flight cost increase.