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  • Andrew JK Tan

Nikon D850 - The Lions of the Mara

WARNING ! - do NOT proceed further if you can't stand the sight of blood.

The Lions of the Masai Mara are definitely the top of the food chain. In this safari alone , I witnessed 2 sessions of lions feeding on their kills and 1 successful hunting session and that is all on top of the many lion sightings on an almost daily basis.

From the way the lions feed and hunt , it is pretty clear why they are at the apex , they way they cooperate and socialise in their prides are pretty incredible.

All images captured with the following setup

- Nikon D850 set for 9FPS (1.4kg)

- Nikkor 180-400 f4.0E with integrated 1.4x TC FL ED VR lens (3.5kg)


- Hand-Held

- AF-C

- Group or D9 AF Area Mode

- Back-Button focusing

- AF Tracking level sensitivity at Level 2

Just to sum it up , this combo to me is a "killer" for safari photography, it offers :

- great flexibility in focal length

- super fast AF

- extremely accurate AF

- razor sharp images with superb color rendition

Nikon D850 Nikkor 180-400mm f4.0 ISO1600 f5.6 1/1600s Hand-Held

Above image shows the lioness basically choking the waterbuck after a very successful hunt which was over in less than 60 secs when the chase began.

Nikon D850 Nikkor 180-400mm f4.0 ISO1600 f5.6 1/1600s Hand-Held

Above series of images , show the lions starting to work on their prey by first removing hair/fur from the fallen prey. The scenes that you can capture from this hair/fur/skin removal process can be pretty hilarious as you can see from the image.

The next series shows the lions really tearing in and having a great time munching down on the muscles and flesh of the waterbuck.

Nikon D850 Nikkor 180-400mm f4.0 ISO2500 f8.0 1/800s Hand-Held

This next one shows a very fulfilled lioness after satisfying her hunger.

Nikon D850 Nikkor 180-400mm f4.0 ISO3200 f8.0 1/800s Hand-Held

Next a series of Lion/Lioness images from a second feeding/kill session which I witnessed in the morning

Lioness stalking

Nikon D850 Nikkor 180-400mm f4.0 ISO400 f5.6 1/500s Hand-Held

Lioness carrying the leftovers of a Wilderbeest leg

Nikon D850 Nikkor 180-400mm f4.0 ISO1600 f5.6 1/2000s Hand-Held

..... and finally to close of this second blog on my Masai Mara Photo Safari , here are a couple of images on the "KING" of the pride.

That's it for now , till my 3rd blog on my adventures at Masai Mara National Park , Kenya.



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