Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-08-2012, 09:58 AM   #16
Pentaxian
KevinR's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 646
I think the 50-200 will be a little too short. Seeing as you are on a budget, the 16-45 and 55-300 combination would be a good value proposition together with the K-r, and will cover most landscape and wildlife (except extremes such as birding). Your K-r has good ISO performance, and will give you latitude to shoot at slower aperture or in poorer light.

As others have pointed out, September is not rainy season (peak normally Nov-Mar), but can be hot and dusty at the end of the dry season. So K-5 and/or WR is not really critical compared to minimizing lens swopping.

Some have recommended a 300mm prime, but I would recommend against this unless you have a second body and lens handy. 300mm will often be too long, and you will end up shooting elephant eyes and nostrils...

A Bigma 50-500 might be a consideration, and would expand you kit to cross over to the super-telephoto range for birding etc.

The bridge/ultra-zoom P&S is highly recommended both for backup, and also for alternative views. I haven't used my DSLR's much of wildlife (sadly Cape Town is furtherist city from good wildlife-parks), but have used a Canon P&S S2is with 12x optical zoom (effective 36-430mm FL) very successfully on a number of occassions. This is similar to DA55-300 effective FL on long range.

If I may ask, what are the highlights/stops of your itinerary?

Good luck, and enjoy.

02-08-2012, 11:57 AM   #17
Senior Member
bilybianca's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Hassleholm, Sweden
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 228
I think I'll have to differ from what most posters have written above. I've been to South Africa many times, but just once as a tourist. I didn't go to Kruger, but to the Hluhluwe and Addo parks.
I thought "longer must be better", but felt I couldn't bring my 600mm for it's bulkyness. So I had to take the A*200mm f2.8 and a 2Xconverter, and the AF adapter F 1.7X. To be able to do some street photography, and as a backup if I got mugged, I brought an F 70-210mm zoom.
So what happened? First day in Hluhluwe I was armed with the 200mm and the converters.

Got these shots, without converter:


Attachment 117157

The problem was that sitting in the car I simply came too close to the animals! Nota bene, these are true wild animals, it's not a zoo. But they are so used to cars that they don't care about them.

So for the rest of my stay in the parks I put my 70-210mm zoom on instead. It gave me good-enough photos for my needs.

Attachment 117158
Attachment 117159

Lesson learnt: your longest and best lens don't always serve you the best.

But if I ever had an opportunity to go for a real photo safari, with hiking trails and staying in hides in NgoroNgoro, I'd bring that 600mm after all.

Kjell

Last edited by bilybianca; 11-10-2012 at 04:31 PM.
02-08-2012, 09:22 PM   #18
Senior Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 128
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by bilybianca Quote
I think I'll have to differ from what most posters have written above. I've been to South Africa many times, but just once as a tourist. I didn't go to Kruger, but to the Hluhluwe and Addo parks.
I thought "longer must be better", but felt I couldn't bring my 600mm for it's bulkyness. So I had to take the A*200mm f2.8 and a 2Xconverter, and the AF adapter F 1.7X. To be able to do some street photography, and as a backup if I got mugged, I brought an F 70-210mm zoom.
So what happened? First day in Hluhluwe I was armed with the 200mm and the converters.

Got these shots, without converter:


Attachment 117157

The problem was that sitting in the car I simply came too close to the animals! Nota bene, these are true wild animals, it's not a zoo. But they are so used to cars that they don't care about them.

So for the rest of my stay in the parks I put my 70-210mm zoom on instead. It gave me good-enough photos for my needs.

Attachment 117158
Attachment 117159

Lesson learnt: your longest and best lens don't always serve you the best.

But if I ever had an opportunity to go for a real photo safari, with hiking trails and staying in hides in NgoroNgoro, I'd bring that 600mm after all.

Kjell
Those are some nice photos Kjell, good to see what a 200mm can get you. I think I'm going to get a 55-300mm, if I need longer I can use my borrowed P&S. I really don't want to have too much with me, I'm there for the wildlife firstly, and hope to get some great photos as well. The big zooms are just too big to take with me I think, they weigh more than double my current kit. Hopefully a successor to the K-5 is announced at CP+ and the price of the K-5 will drop significantly.

I'm over excited about going now and I've got 7 months til I go. I've been researching things crazy at work, my output is down this week big time.
02-09-2012, 03:54 PM   #19
Senior Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Nottingham
Posts: 172
QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
The 55-300 is not good at all with TCs, almost unusable due to hunting, IQ is pretty poor too
What do you mean by "hunting"? I'm talking about manual focusing. In my own tests, using a Pentax x1.4, I'm finding the IQ is better than with cropping.

02-09-2012, 07:49 PM   #20
New Member




Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 13
Go Long!

First, I think the advice that Ryanatta provided is spot on!
Don't worry about changing camera bodies...focus on getting a longer lens. I think the zoom to 300mm is OK...but if you can get even longer that would be better.

Least expensive way to extend your length is to add a tele-converter. Next choice is to purchase a 2nd hand 400mm or even 500mm lens. Consider some older manual focus lenses that can be had for a budget price.

Just checked B&H...there are some 500mm lenses for under $125 - Bower, Rokinon and there are a slew mirror lenses made by Vivitar, Bower, Phoenix, Rokinon that are under $175. I've used these inexpensive long lenses before (with film bodies) and my images came out surprisingly well. If on a budget, I would seriously consider these inexpensive options.

The last suggestion, is to purchase a 400mm or 500mm Sigma prime lens. Then resell it when you get back home. You can probably sell it for 80-90% of your original costs....and besides you will not likely ever use that long lens again.

Last edited by Wilson1802; 02-09-2012 at 08:09 PM.
02-09-2012, 08:35 PM   #21
Site Supporter
Jessesdad's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Blackwood
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 328
I took my K-r, DA-L 55-300 and Sigma 17-70 on a work trip to Kenya and Zambia. I was very happy with the results. Depends on whether you're after decent photos and great memories or whether you want make the cover of NG.
All these are with the 55-300. Great lens. Not super-sharp at 300 but more than acceptable. Sharpness is over-rated.





Last edited by Jessesdad; 02-09-2012 at 08:44 PM.
02-10-2012, 01:48 AM   #22
Veteran Member
Frogfish's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 4,490
QuoteOriginally posted by Brangdon Quote
What do you mean by "hunting"? I'm talking about manual focusing. In my own tests, using a Pentax x1.4, I'm finding the IQ is better than with cropping.
Brangdon.

The lens is very slow at anything above 200mm (f5.6 - 5.8) which means you usually have to bump up the ISO to keep up the shutter speed (which, with a TC attached, can quickly get to an unacceptable level in dim light, woods or evening) and in dim light it's bad enough even without a TC attached. At 200mm it's f8 as soon as you attach a x1.4 TC (but need to stop down for better IQ) and then if the light is dim you are going to be shooting at f11-16 and this lens combination is going to hunt, lock too lock ! Most people using the 55-300 will want to use it in AF mode, if using it as purely a MF lens then there are better, older, cheap options out there for a tele lens.

Courtesy of Audiobomber :

55-125 = 4.0
125-200 = 4.5
200-275 = 5.6
above 275 = 5.8

I like the lens and won't sell it for now but I haven't used it for more than a year because personally I always have better options (unless you want to go light). It's not that it's not capable of excellent quality (even with a TC) it most certainly is, it's just that TBH I think there are bette options.

Here is a link to testing I did on some lenses with added TCs (the Tamron x1.4 and Pentax x1.7) : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/139941-lenses-...-x1-4-etc.html

If you are happy to MF only then the Tamron 500BB gives you an extra 100mm, costs far less than a TC and has better IQ.

Last edited by Frogfish; 02-10-2012 at 02:30 AM.
02-10-2012, 01:49 AM   #23
Veteran Member
Frogfish's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 4,490
Kjell - what a gorgeous bee-eater (?) !

02-10-2012, 01:54 AM   #24
Veteran Member
Frogfish's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 4,490
QuoteOriginally posted by Wilson1802 Quote
Least expensive way to extend your length is to add a tele-converter. Next choice is to purchase a 2nd hand 400mm or even 500mm lens. Consider some older manual focus lenses that can be had for a budget price.

Just checked B&H...there are some 500mm lenses for under $125 - Bower, Rokinon and there are a slew mirror lenses made by Vivitar, Bower, Phoenix, Rokinon that are under $175. I've used these inexpensive long lenses before (with film bodies) and my images came out surprisingly well. If on a budget, I would seriously consider these inexpensive options.
I'd avoid all of those mirrors except the Tamron 55BB (500mm) which is generally acknowledged as being the best 500mm mirror out there (the Tair gets good reviews too).

QuoteOriginally posted by Wilson1802 Quote
The last suggestion, is to purchase a 400mm or 500mm Sigma prime lens. Then resell it when you get back home. You can probably sell it for 80-90% of your original costs....and besides you will not likely ever use that long lens again.
I think I mentioned that in this thread (or maybe it was another one) but anyway agree ! Buy a used Sigma 150-500 and sell it when you get home if you don't want to keep it. Add a Tamron 17-50 to that and you're sorted for Safari.
02-10-2012, 06:45 AM   #25
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,361
In looking at the OP's inital post, all I can think of is that the difference between 200 and 300 is not that much. But then again, I would not hesitate to put a1.4x TC on my sigma 70-200/2.8.

I think however, you need to carefully consider with the 50-200 vs 55-300 the image quality in the 200-300mm range. Would you actually gain anything.

Ideally, for a trip like this you might want to reach out to 400mm but your lenses don't allow for use of a TC. You also want to travel light, so packing something different than what you have is going to be tough.

If you have the cash (i suspect it would cost about $800) you could search for an older used sigma APO 70-200/2.8 EX. Make sure it is screw drive, not HSM, and also make sure it is NOT the macro version.

I have the origonal 70-200EX Non GD Non macro, and it is exceptionally sharp at 200mm wide open, and works very well with the sigma APO 2x EX DG teleconverter to give you 140-400mm F5.6 It makes an ideal safari lens. The newer macro versions were soft at 200mm lens plus TC used should be less than $800
02-10-2012, 07:52 AM   #26
Site Supporter
altopiet's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The Great Karoo, South Africa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,926
QuoteOriginally posted by Smilesy Quote
I'm there for the wildlife firstly
As already stated by others, I must also reiterate that you'll have to think carefully about your priorities on this trip, you might end up having lots of wonderful photo's, but will your next wife like them?

A lot of valid points have been made already, I might just add that you should research the places you'll be visiting. What type of terrain and flora will you encounter?. Addo Elephant park, coastal region, lots of dense shrub, animals usually close and used to traffic, as it is a small park. This equals short/ medium lens. Any parks in the Karoo region, usually vast open spaces with sparse vegetation. Larger parks less traffic, wilder animals, equals long lenses.
Kruger National Park, a mix of the others.

Conclusion, taking into account your quote above, leave the bride to be at home, buy a Bigma, take some incredible shots, go home and spend hours telling her about the trip
02-10-2012, 08:17 AM   #27
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,361
altopiet makes some good points, maybe the Statement "i'm there for the wildlive firstly" shoud be rephrased "we're there for the wildlife ..."

Make sure to include yourselves in the photos, it will be much more memorable.

also, and this is one thing I missed in reviewing the kit, but your comment reminded me, is that there is more than just wild life, you might want to consider some form of macro, and at least one really fast lens for night shots.
02-10-2012, 01:17 PM   #28
Senior Member
bilybianca's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Hassleholm, Sweden
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 228
QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Kjell - what a gorgeous bee-eater (?) !
It doesn't eat bees, feeding on nectar it goes out for lunch with the bees. It's a Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Cinnyris afer. Gorgeous oh yeah!

Kjell
02-10-2012, 01:18 PM   #29
Senior Member
dmfw's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Dallas, Tx
Photos: Albums
Posts: 159
How close will you get to the animals? Eg. If you shoot bears in Alaska, you can get close, as long as you have someone to watch your back. With lions, I assume you will be in a vehicle.

I have the DA 55-300 is it is OK, but for distance and close ups consider a 500mm. If money is an issue, look at a off brand 500mm mirror lens.

Idea, go to a local zoo with your current lens and a 300mm, if you can borrow one, and make a trial run.
02-11-2012, 08:47 AM   #30
Senior Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Nottingham
Posts: 172
QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
The lens is very slow at anything above 200mm
Yes, I mentioned that in my original comment. Good fast long lenses are expensive. That can't be helped. With a TC, you can use it in the day time when the light is good, and take it off in the evenings, or use it below 200mm.

QuoteQuote:
Most people using the 55-300 will want to use it in AF mode,
Shooting longer than 300mm, I think it's better to use manual focusing because the depth of field gets so narrow. It's a useful skill to have regardless, all the more so if you are on a limited budget. Again, with a teleconverter you can take it off and go back to using autofocus.

QuoteQuote:
If you are happy to MF only then the Tamron 500BB gives you an extra 100mm, costs far less than a TC and has better IQ.
I just bought both. The Pentax x1.4 cost 99 and the mirror lens 79, so the difference isn't that great. So far I've had better results with the teleconverter. Admittedly manually focusing with the mirror lens was more of a pleasure. However, it's also a lot more weight and bulk than the teleconverter, and the donut bokeh is, shall we say, an acquired taste? If you prefer mirror lenses, that's fine, but speaking from my own experience, the 55-300 plus x1.4 was a more practical kit than 55-300 plus mirror, especially when you need to travel light.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bit, da, k-5, k-mount, k-r, lens, option, options, pentax lens, slr lens, wr
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What to take on African safari? sealonsf Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 41 02-02-2015 03:58 PM
How the 12-bit prime II image engine get 14-bit raw file? lapiovra Pentax K-5 9 12-30-2011 06:10 PM
Nature my trip to African Lion Safari monching Post Your Photos! 3 09-01-2010 05:54 PM
Nature African Safari qtopplings Post Your Photos! 11 11-21-2009 08:59 AM
African Lion Safari, Hamilton manumon77 Post Your Photos! 6 08-20-2009 09:07 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:32 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top