Going on Safari in South Africa? Rent a Lens!

People often complain about their photography equipment while on safari.  Lens envy is a huge issue.  And well equipment certainly isn’t the key to taking great safari photos, having good gear doesn’t hurt.  I think what few people realize, though, is that they don’t need to own thousands of dollars of equipment, if you’re going on safari for a couple days just rent a lens. When I headed to Kruger National Park in South Africa, I knew that I wanted a little bit more lens than the 70-200mm Canon f/2.8 I’d been shooting on my other safaris.  So I searched out a rental company in Johannesburg and was stoked to meet Peter from http://www.alensforhire.co.za With some of the best gear in South Africa, Peter rents out lenses and other camera equipment.  The prices are reasonable and the service is great.  Best of all, renting a powerful lens for a couple days on safari will save you thousands of dollars buying equipment you might only use a couple times a year.  If it seems like a simple solution to the cost of expensive camera gear, it’s because it is. Kruger National Park, lion

What Lens did I shoot?

I ended up renting a Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8, and well the lens itself was fantastic, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some issues.  I guess the main issue was likely a problem using the lens with my 60D body.  The autofocus on the lens was incorrect about 70% of the time, and actually it took me until the end of the first day to notice the problem.  I actually thought it was a serious lens issue, but after manual focusing and getting sharp images, I realized it was a problem with how the lens messed with the cropped sensor of my 60D.

Kruger National Park, elephant

Out of focus… but still cute.

Regardless of the problem, the lens was perfect for what I needed, and I have no problem manual focusing.  It’s a really nice focal length for safari.  At 120mm, you’re usually wide enough to capture bigger animals and closer objected, and at 300mm there are only a few situations that you wish you had more lens. Kruger National Park, zebra In terms of image quality, I was impressed with the colour and sharpness.  I also thought it behaved incredibly well in low light.  I had very few instances of chromatic abbreviation, even when shooting in poor light.  All in all, I was impressed and actually felt a little silly going back to my 70-200mm afterwards.

Going on Safari?

If you’re heading on safari and want to rent a lens, be sure to give Peter an email at peter(at)alensforhire(dot)co(dot)za.  He’ll even have a lens delivered to you at the airport so there’s no need to go out and find him!

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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6 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tip. Think I’ll check out the Nikon 200-400 f/4.0 VR II for my first week in Kruger in January.

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  2. Hi Brendan,
    Its very nice to share of your Safari adventures. I really love the zebra photo. Its full of colors. But the important thing is I learnt that you could rent a lens.. I dont know of any services in India. Can you tell me of any?

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  3. Thanks Brendon
    Glad that we Were able to help,
    by the looks of your pictures the equipment worked well and we look forward to your next trip to our magnificent country.
    all the best Peter

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    • Thanks Peter. I really appreciate the support from down there. I miss SA a lot these days. I’m already trying to figure out a way to get back!

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  4. I found A Lens for Hire (Peter) from this webpage and I used them. Could have not been happier with the service, price, and equipment. Highly recommended.

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    • Glad you found Peter through this article! He’s absolutely fantastic, so highly recommended for lens rental in South Africa.

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