Tierpark Hellabrunn with Minadax Telephoto

Munich’s Hellabrunn zoo was founded in 1911 as the first “geo-zoo” in the world. Animals live spacious enclosures, often without any significant barriers at all, that are organized in geographic clusters. Harmless animals that are used to human contact, from goats to peacocks, are free to roam the visitor walkways. Of course there are also a number of traditional glass containers for smaller animals, especially non-mammals, and safe enclosures for the big dangerous ones.

You can find the gallery at the end of this post, after some notes on my equipment. Click on any picture to enter a full-screen gallery view with descriptions and Exif data.

2017-03-13: Moved gallery from Google Photos to my own host. Meanwhile I have also published a follow-up gallery with a different lens and some more creatures.

Photography Notes

On this visit I put the Minadax 1.7× telephoto converter on the long Sony SEL-70200G f/4 lens of my Sony A7R II and focused on long-range shots of larger wildlife that you can’t get too close to. The typical vignetting of the Minadax is visible in many photos, but to be honest I quite like it for this kind of photography. It has a certain nostalgic effect and focuses attention on the subject at the center. Some of the great apes were sadly inaccessible to me on this occasion as they were behind (plexi-) glass walls that caused annoying reflections, and I didn’t have a polarizing filter for the Minadax. Next time…

I’m happy to say that the much-improved shutter noise reduction of the A7R II compared to its predecessor made itself felt. Even with the heavy Minadax converter screwed on, very few pictures were outright blurry. Usually I had the luxury to choose between several good shots for every subject. As usual I adjusted exposure and contrast in Adobe Lightroom, and cropped a few pictures though mostly just from 4:3 to 1:1 format when the sides were uninteresting.

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