This fantastic moment was photographed as Burchell’s Zebras shared a drink in the Mara River. The Masai Mara is world famous for incredible wildlife: often only a few feet from our vehicle. In this case, we could not position our photo vehicle closer to the zebras. The solution: attach a 2x teleconverter between the camera body and 500mm lens for an effective focal length of 1000mm, thus ensuring a frame filling composition. In this case, I closed the lens down to F22 to ensure the zebras were sharp throughout the scene.
Tips for getting professional results when using teleconverters. 1. Use a top notch, fast, prime lens: Example: Canon 500 F4 2. Avoid slow consumer grade zooms! 3. Pay the extra dollars for the manufacturers brand that matches your lens. 4. Stop the lens down at least a stop, which improves sharpness dramatically. This should not be a problem with modern digital cameras. 5. Set ISO high enough to keep shutter speed higher than you think is necessary. 6. Use image stabilization or vibration reduction if your lens or camera body supports this function. 7. Micro adjust autofocus with each of your teleconverters to ensure proper point of focus. 8. Use teleconverters to turn a long telephoto into a super telephoto. If you always need teleconverters, you probably need a longer prime lens as a starting point. 9. Fire off several shots in a burst. Remember this: If the shutter speed is slow, shoot three shots in a row. 10. Gently squeeze the shutter button, don’t jab at it when the action heats up.
Equipment & Settings: Canon 500mm F4 lens + 2x teleconverter Bean Bag Canon 1D-S Mark II camera body ISO 500 F22 1/500th sec.