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09-05-2007, 11:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Newcastle, NSW, Australia
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What would you do if you were me with my current set up

G'day everyone, i'm having a great time procrastinating at the moment and thought i'd pose this question as I have been thinking of this since last night.

My LBA is in full swing and i'm constantly looking for my next lens purchase, trying to decide what I "need".

I shoot weddings, have been recently doing alot of work for a large building company shooting their projects, landscapes and basically will attempt anything someone asks me to do.

My line up is as follows - K10D, istDS as the backup, Tam 18-250, Sig 10-20, FA 1.4, SMC-A 1.7, Pen 18-55 DA, Sig DL 100-300. It does the job for what i do very well and i especially love the 18-250 and the 10-20. I only got the FA 1.4 and the 18-55 this week after selling a Sig 18-125 and a Sig 28-105 2.8. A good trade up I thought, but havent had enough time to use them.

I'm really looking forward to using the FA 1.4 for weddings, that will come in a few weeks time. The 18-55 was cheap US85 brand new, it has good wraps and makes a good emergency backup lens. Some would argue its a great first choice lens and I dont disagree.

As i'm earning some money from photography its funding my equipment addiction. My wife says "it just wont stop, will it ever end?, you have all you need" She's not like us and doesn't understand. We can't get enough, it will never end!

I'm heading to Africa at the end of the year on a 2 week safari as part of a bigger 6 week world trip. Space and gear is an issue and i'm concerned that my 18-250 wont have enough reach for the animal shots i'm hoping to get. I've entertained a teleconverter but would be concerned about image degredation.

I have really been thinking about the Bigma but not too sure about the size and weight, especially lugging it around for 6 weeks, when i would only be using it for 13 days. It would give me the reach, but not too sure about how much i'd need it for afterwards.

A good old FA 300mm F4 has crossed my mind, but the Bigma i think would be better for me.

Then again i could save the cash (and my marraige (just kidding), use it on my trip,but where is the fun in that.

So many lenses, not enough dough. If you were me and faced these choices, what would you do. I'm interested to know?


09-05-2007, 11:53 PM   #2
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Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 193
Bigma and then ship it home (or a buddy's house) on day 14.
09-06-2007, 04:52 AM   #3
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Location: Toronto
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with your present line up, the biggest "hole" is something that is fast at 250mm.

the present 18-250 lens will not be fast enough, and with a TC may not focus well due to lack of light.

You have mentioned a couple of options, like a 300mmF4 and the BIGMA. there are other options along this line, such as 400mm F5.6 lenses, and some 500-600mm mirror lenses. Mirrors are a little slower, and fixed apature (which can be a problem) but they are light.

What you also need to consider is a flash, that will work with the lenses. Given you have the K10D and an *istDS you should probably go for an AF540FGZ which can support P-TTL. Lens choices should be kept to automatic apature lenses to use the P-TTL on the K10D unless you are willing to accept 6 MP flash shots using TTL and the DS body for flash. Note the AF540FGZ supports both modes.
09-06-2007, 05:50 AM   #4
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Looking at that lineup, if you add the Bigma you wouldn't have too large a kit. Take the 10-20, the 18-250, the FA 50 both bodies and the Bigma. I'd add polarizers for all if you can and at least one ND 6 or 8 (maybe for the 18-250) in case you're at a great waterfall or some other place you want to slow the camera down a bit in bright daylight. Maybe add a monopod that is light and a mini tripod (a must have) and you're set. Put that all in a backpack bag that will be your carry on and it should be compact enough for travel.

Yes the bigma is large and heavy but not as bad as it might seem and with the vast range/image quality it offers there isn't much better. I've taken it with me in a backpack bag for shorter trips and not regretted it. Change the provided strap with something strong that has more padding and you can wear it on your shoulder with the camera attached quite comfortably.

I don't know about shipping anything that valuable from Africa and you might wind up paying duties or taxes on it being shipped back home.

As for the flash, it would largely depend on what you shoot. For close people shots the onboard flash should do. How much close-up/macro photography would you do on a trip like this? I'd assume most of your shooting would be daylight and a flash may be something extra to lug around that is not required. If you do decide to get one then consider the Sigma 500 Super. Half the price of a new AF540 and I've heard works equally as well.

You might want to write M80 a note directly as he just completed a trip like this. ( He might have suggestions as to what worked for him and what he would have done differently.

Lastly if you decide on the Bigma we're hearing that the mount may be discountinued. That may be just a rumour as the Sigma site says it's available and there are several online retailers (amazon etc) that show it in stock. May be worth an email to Sigma if you want to be sure. I wrote them recently and they have several new lenses that will be added to the line with Pentax mounts, so they are not leaving us behind.

Here's their contact info:
Website: Sigma Corporation of America
Phone: 631.585.1144.
Toll Free: 1.800.896.6858.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 09-06-2007 at 05:56 AM.

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