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02-28-2012, 01:23 PM   #1
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Which lens should I take to Florida?

Hello all,

Need some help on a lens I need to buy for a trip to Sarasota, Fl. in July. I will be taking my K20D with me (I have a K5 too), but I want to travel light. So I would rather not bring my Da 16-50 or my Da 50-135, just would rather bring 1 lens that covers a wide focal length like maybe 18-250. I dont want to spend a lot of money but would also like to purchase a solid performing lens, used would be fine. Dont want to spend more than $300.00.

Not too long ago i bought a 100-300 Pentax off craislist for $80.00. Its a decent lens and really light, so I may bring that but would rather just bring one lens for wide and telephoto shots. Plan on taking excursions to the Everglades, and love birds so a long telephoto is a must have.

One more thing; if anyone has been to Sarasota and has any reommendations on where to go and what to see please let me know.

02-28-2012, 01:33 PM   #2
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It will be hard to combine both a long tele for birds and a wide focal length in a single lens.
If traveling light is important, I'd suggest your 100-300 and then the kit lens, 18-55.
Conditions in Florida in July should be bright enough
for the kit lens to work at its optimal apertures, around f/8.
02-28-2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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I'd take a shorter lens too but whatever you take do not forget the CPLs for them.
02-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #4
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get a "ADVANCED POINT & SHOOT" CAMERA.

02-28-2012, 02:36 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kfz Quote
get a "ADVANCED POINT & SHOOT" CAMERA.
The contrast-detect autofocus with that kind of camera may not be fast enough for the birds.
02-28-2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kfz Quote
get a "ADVANCED POINT & SHOOT" CAMERA.
The K-01 isn't out yet
02-28-2012, 04:12 PM   #7
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I just came back from Sarasota. I took a 500mm Sigma 4.5, which is way beyond your specs, but my wife got some excellent shots with a Panasonic Lumix FZ150K that I bought used for $180. I was jealous that she did well with 1lb worth of equipment whereas I was carrying 9lbs. Of course, i win on the detail, e.g., http://i1093.photobucket.com/albums/i436/oeriies/ducks%20and%20birds/greatbl...arasotafeb.jpg

I visited The Celery Fields, the creek directly next the the van Wezel arts center downtown, Centennial Park (also downtown), and the Oscar Scherer Park. I got good shots at the first 3, wheeas Oscar Scherer Park was by and large a denuded desert. Your mileage may vary in the summer.
02-28-2012, 05:33 PM   #8
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I agree with celery fields,
then JN ding darling natl, wildlife refuge on sanibel island
then Carl e Johnson in estero, My favorite in that area

Bring a cheap plastic cover for quick rains.

Start as early in the morning as possible

I would bring a lens that can handle high contrast. (Modern coatings)
Dal 55 300 is very good in bright conditions + a wide angle lens

Check for audubon walks in the area. Local knowledge is invaluable

02-28-2012, 05:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stargeezer Quote
Dal 55 300 is very good in bright conditions + a wide angle lens
Good recommendation,
02-28-2012, 08:35 PM   #10
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Yes, I was thinking about buying that one, not only for the trip but for general use. I may sell my FA 50mm 1.4 (too soft wide open, bokeh not great)and the 100mm-300mm I got off craigslist and buy the 55mm-300mm
02-28-2012, 08:36 PM   #11
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Nice pic, I believe that's a Blue Heron. We have tons of those here in Seattle. Hopefully I'll see some birds I am less familiar with.
03-01-2012, 11:16 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SashasMom Quote
Yes, I was thinking about buying that one, not only for the trip but for general use. I may sell my FA 50mm 1.4 (too soft wide open, bokeh not great)and the 100mm-300mm I got off craigslist and buy the 55mm-300mm
My wife's full kit is the 18-55WR and a DA55-300. A wonderful light weight all around set up. (and a K200D)
03-01-2012, 04:51 PM   #13
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As a person who lived in Florida for a decade, I might also caution the OP that she can expect heavy thunderstorms during the summer in the Sunshine State. The prevailing weather pattern during summer is from west to east, which means storms on the west coast earlier in the day and in the afternoon on the east coast. Although clearly other posters seem to have done well without WR in their cameras and lenses, you might be glad you have your 16-50 with you. At the very least, you should heave a weather-resistant bag that you can quickly put your camera and lens inside of.

Before I added a micro four-thirds kit to my arsenal, the DA 18-250 was my favorite travel lens for my Pentax gear. There's some distortion at 18mm... but just don't take architectual shots at that focal length. Other than that, it's a remarkably flexible lens and really quite good from 28-200mm. No WR, though. If not the 18-250, then see if you can swing a DA 18-135, which does have WR. But if you insist on birding shots, it's either the 18-250 or the 55-300 paired with the 18-55.
03-01-2012, 08:34 PM   #14
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not much to offer on the lens advice but make sure to check out siesta key while you are there. rated #1 beach in the US if i recall correctly. I am not a beach person and even I quite liked it there.
03-04-2012, 12:50 AM   #15
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Have you considered renting a lens for your trip instead of buying? It would give you more options, given your $300 budget. The DA18-135 is WR, which would seem ideal for the frequent rainstorms of florida.
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