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09-11-2011, 03:05 PM   #1
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Landscapes and Wildlife

Hi,
Wondering if anyone has any ideas/suggestions/ etc about particular lenses for landscape photography and also wildlife photography. Have a number of lenses but am thinking of selling off a few and replacing, also wanting tack sharp images from new lenses. Currently using K5 body and K200d as backup body. Appreciate all opinions. Thanks

09-11-2011, 03:38 PM   #2
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Do you have a good tripod? Even very good tripod is cheaper than mid range lens and it can improve sharpness a lot more. I mean SR is cool and helps a lot, but tripod is IMO necessary for landscape.
Sorry if you already have one, I had to ask.
09-11-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
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DA* 55mm, 200mm, 300mm, and DA 12-24mm. That will cover everything you need. Anything in between those focal lengths aren't needed for what you describe.
09-11-2011, 04:50 PM   #4
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Don't know what gear you already have obviously, but for wildife you generally need longer glass.

As a starting point I would recommend DA 55-300 f4-5.8. Very good IQ for the size and weight and a comparative bargain ( $350 if you buy from the US). Of course theres the plastic mount "DAL" version for even cheaper used or on some on-line sellers.
There are of course many Tamron or Sigma 70-300mm also good value, my pick would be the DA version of the 55-300.


Beyond that point it gets more exotic. Heavier and Costly.
Type "wildlife" in the search box up on the top right corner over there and the there are several threads with (mainly higher end) sugestions and plenty of brilliant examples. DA* / FA* / F* 300's from Pentax would be the lightest. For longer and AF you have to go to Sigma.

For the other type of wildlife (insects). I would recommend the DFA100WR macro.
Alternatives are the older DFA100 (non-wr) and Tamron 90 and Sigma 105 (non-OS just discontinued).
Some of the Sigma 70-300 can focus resonably for close-up but not 1:1macro.
The DA55-300 is most definitely not a macro lens as the minimmum focus dist is 1.5m.

The DA15 is interesting for landscapes, but being so wide it can de-emphasize distant subjects when there is some foreground elements, as this is the nature of this ultra wide angle.
With decent panorama stitching programs these days any lens can be used for landcapes. A decent tripod is a necessity.

09-11-2011, 06:15 PM   #5
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This is a pretty vague request. A big variable will be if you like zooms and are okay with their weight. Another is how much hiking you'll be doing to get your landscape/wildlife photos. Budget is another but you have a K5 and K200D so I'm guessing your budget is relatively high.

the 12-24 is an outstanding lens and would be great for what I do (landscapes esp waterfalls). But it's heavy and I'm not interested in a square filter system (portability). So I have a DA15 on the way to go with a 24-28mm primary lens. And I also like the landscape shots that I've taken with my A50/1.7. I'll probably use this 3 lens combo and possibly take my M135/3.5 along with a set of ext tubes.

I'm not the OP but how necessary is a tripod if you're shooting in good light with wide/normals and shutter speed faster than 1/100th? I have a good tripod but I reserve it more for special circumstances.
09-11-2011, 07:05 PM   #6
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You might be surprised at what your current lenses will do with landscapes. Nedd Bunnel Ned's Photo Journal - Pentax Photography and Notes gets out with just one fixed focal length lens and finds out what opportunities the are. I often use my 50-135 zoom exclusively and I find I get some of my best landscapes. landscapes often says more about the photographer and available light than the gear.

For your wildlife eg mammals and birds consider maybe the sigma 50-500 or pentax 60 -250. If sharp is the objective maybe the pentax 300. I wouldn't go with anything with less quality. All the pentax macros are great.
09-11-2011, 08:05 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Karina1 Quote
also wanting tack sharp images from new lenses
For wildlife if you want "tack sharp" the best bet would be the DA* 300, which is about as sharp as you can hope to get at that focal range.

For landscapes, there are more choices. I use the DA 10-17, the DA 12-24, and a bunch of older manual focus lens, mostly primes, for that sort of work. I don't think you would go wrong with any of the current fixed aperture DA zooms or primes (I suspect you'd get slightly better results with primes, as they involve less optical compromises).
09-11-2011, 10:43 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by abacus07 Quote

I'm not the OP but how necessary is a tripod if you're shooting in good light with wide/normals and shutter speed faster than 1/100th? I have a good tripod but I reserve it more for special circumstances.
Often the best lighting for landscape is at the "ends" of the day or in fact just before the sunrise or just after sunset. you need a tripod for this. Tripod is also handy for setting up panos. and for waterfalls etc.


For general landscape in day light (plenty of that in Australia) tripod might not be needed.

While we're on the subject, of daylight shooting landscapes. In Australia a polariser is essential.

09-11-2011, 11:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve1307 Quote
Often the best lighting for landscape is at the "ends" of the day or in fact just before the sunrise or just after sunset. you need a tripod for this. Tripod is also handy for setting up panos. and for waterfalls etc.


For general landscape in day light (plenty of that in Australia) tripod might not be needed.

While we're on the subject, of daylight shooting landscapes. In Australia a polariser is essential.
Okay, those are the situations that I use a tripod. But a lot of my landscapes are shot when I'm hiking and that's during the day. And typically I've found that once the sun is up or before it's down there is enough light. Otherwise I'm contending with large sections of my photo in shadows. sometimes good but most of time it's something I want to be seen.
09-12-2011, 01:10 PM   #10
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Thankyou so much to everyone for your suggestions and ideas, sorry if my question was a little vague. Really appreciate people's opinions as so many lens reviews etc etc but I have found the experts are the user's and the best people to talk to... thanks all )
09-12-2011, 01:37 PM   #11
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Karina, there are a plethora of options for you - it's just a matter of deciding which focal length (or range) you prefer to use for your landscapes and wildlife. It also depends greatly on your budget.

What you're probably after is something at the wide end, like a DA 12-24 or DA 15 limited, and something at the long end, like the DA 55-300 (if funds are limited) or the Sigma 100-300. But there are lots of other possibilities. Have a sift through the lens review database to find lenses that suit your needs best.
09-13-2011, 12:34 AM   #12
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When I'm looking at both wildlife and landscapes I'll use both cameras, one with a wide prime and the other with a long lens for the wildlife.
Same deal when going somewhere for wild flowers and wildlife but then a macro lens replaces the wise.
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