Reptilia Gear Thoughts

The rooms we will work in first are like small classrooms.  There will be an exhibit area at one end with handlers and keeper managing the critters in a "real world" structure with trees, leaves and the like.  The rooms are lit with fluorescent tubes in a high ceiling.  Lighting is ok verging on dim.  Because each room will have about 10 attendees in it, I would suggest a longer focal length lens along with your camera and tripod.  A flash will be advantageous to avoid longer shutter speeds.  ISO in the rooms for ambient light will likely start about ISO 800.  We may be able to get closer to the critters in this setting so you may choose to bring a macro lens, but really, how close do you actually want to get?

In the Zoo, lighting in the terrariums is usually tungsten because it provides light and heat.  Overall lighting is very dim.  You will be looking at an ambient light ISO of at least 1600.  Hence bringing a supplemental light such as a flash or even a small flashlight could be beneficial.  Here you will be able to get closer, so if using a telephoto zoom, be sure it can focus to within a few feet, if not bring an alternate lens.  If you will use ambient light, your tripod will be important, along with a shutter release cord to reduce the chance of camera shake.  Given that there will be lots of us, I will suggest that if you will use a remote release, a corded one has the least probability of interference with another photographer.   

The facility will not be open to the public during this period.  The Behind the Scenes tour attendees will start at about 10am once the Zoo has opened.  Our guide will take us behind the terrariums and be opening the rear panels.  Tripods I think will be unusable in the tight confines so I would suggest a telephoto zoom capable of focusing closely along with a flash, and for better control an off camera cable will be beneficial I think.

I am not a biologist but I suspect some of these critters might spit or leak, so I would suggest you carry a small towel and have protective filters on your lenses.  

The kit I will be bringing as it stands right now is
Canon 1Dx body
Canon 28-300 zoom
Canon 100 or 180 macro
Canon 600 EX-RT speedilte with OC3 off camera cable and shoe
Rogue flash diffuser
RRS Flash Bracket
Tripod with ball head
Xenon handheld flashlight with CTO gel just in case I get into mixed light situations

See you Sunday

Ross Chevalier

Technologist, photographer, videographer, general pest

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