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Galapagos Trip

Dennis Roggen

New member
I will be going to the Galapagos for six days in January 2015. I have an older Nikon D60 and a newer Nikon D5200. I am going to take both of those, but I am having trouble deciding on which lens to take. I have a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle and a Nikon 35mm 1.8. I am considering buying a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 (but it is expensive). In addition I have the two Nikon lens that came with the D60- an 18-55mm and a 55-200mm both of them are not the best glass. Do you have any recommendations. I would really like to take only three lens at the maximum. Thanks

Michael Nagel

Active member
Hi Dennis,


I have to start with a few questions you might have asked yourself or not.
What are your main photographic interests for Galapagos?
How will you travel during these five days?
Do you want to buy your lenses just for this trip or do you plan on a longer timescale? Renting could be an option depending on your answer.

This is what I found on the pages of a large shop on the web (I have no affiliation with them):
Longer zoom lenses for Nikon mount.

If you don't want to pay the price, but have a decent performance for a 70-200/2.8, you might try the Tamron.
I have an earlier version of this lens and this series as well as these three were shot with this lens. The first series using a K-5, the second using a K-3.

If you prefer to stay with Nikon and could accept a slower lens, why not the 70-200/4?

A different choice could be the Sigma 50-500, also nicknamed Bigma.

I am not a Nikon shooter so these are my best guesses, but as you still have some time I hope it will help to start with your search for the ideal lens(es).

Best regards,

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

A warm welcome to OPF! We're glad to have you on board. There's an entire year to go before your wonderful trip, so you have time to test out your choices.

I know little about Nikon lenses except for the legendary 14-24mm f2.8 G series Zoom which is wonderful for landscapes, the D700 which is revolutionary in performance and price and the D800 in resolution. These modern cameras have very competent focussing and that's an absolute necessity in photographing on a safari.

You might consider renting lenses and bodies from BorrowLenses.com as their quality is superb, service reliable and prices reasonable.

If your trip is 10 days or less, the price of almost any lens, (except like a new 800mm 5.6 Nikon) is a bout $35 to $135 for 10 days and they have lots of local partner companies you might be close enough to pick up your order nearby.

I'd try to rent these lenses and visit a local zoo or wild animal rescue reserve to be able to get a feel for how you like the lenses and camera combinations. I'd personally want at least a D700, but I do not know Nikon cameras well. Renting a better body is also worthwhile. You airfare or boat trip to the Galopagos is going to be far more than the price to rent really nice gear that you are most comfortable.

I'd think you want zoom with a focal length of up to 400 mm, at least, for game and then a 14-24 for landscape and game migrating or crossing a river. Two cameras, two lenses.

An APS C compact camera like a NEX or Ricoh GR would be great for in town causal shooting.


Dennis Roggen

New member

I appreciate your input. I think I will rent a lens or two and try them out and make my decision based on how I like them and the results. We will gone for almost three weeks, one week on a yacht to see the Galapagos, so renting will have a cost too. I will let you know what I decide. Thanks again.

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

That sounds like a good approach! Borrowlenses.com has specials over public holidays where they charge for a weekend but give you and extra day. But a weekend itself might be just a 2 day charge.


Dennis Roggen

New member
Another Question

I have a relative who is giving me his 70-300 ED 1.4-5.6 Nikon lens. It does not have VR - so, my question is: Do I need VR? I am worried about sharpness, especially at the higher ranges. What is your input.

Congratulations on the upcoming journey. It could be a trip of a lifetime. The 70-200mm f2.8 is a little pricey but it is completely worth every penny. If there is any chance, do yourself a favor and buy that lens. As for VR or no VR, will you be able to take a tripod? In any case, have fun on what I can only imagine as being a fantastic voyage.

Chris Calohan

Well-known member
My regular walkaround lens covers the best of both worlds in a decent WA and a decent Telephoto. I am shooting the 28-300. It is recommended for FX but will shoot fine on a DX though you will get some vignetting at the far end. I'm shooting the D800.