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01-22-2013, 05:33 PM   #16
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One optically decent solution for this would be a teleside converter. I actually own one of these and I can say it does not reduce resolution on my old compact camera. There's one *big* issue, however:

See this link. It's insanely huge!

01-22-2013, 05:34 PM   #17
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Another Yellowstone visitor here.
I used the Sigma 18-125 and an old Sigma 100-300 I had.
The 18-125 was on the camera most of the time, although there was occasional use of the 100-300 where I was looking for the 300mm to capture a fast dis-appearing Grizzly & cub. By the time I... a) found it & ...b) fitted it, the bear was several hundred metres away ( on reflection it was a good thing the distance was increasing...not decreasing !!). Resulting shot was ok, but nothing special.
I would say your 55-300 is more than adequate and that you will use it a lot more at the 55mm end than you think.

Enjoy the trip.

Adding some shots. Exif should be intact to demonstrate why 55-300 will do the job.

Cheers

ps....and now I see the exif doesnt give focal length as there were copied to CD in store whilst travelling....so .....Ist is 125mm. 2nd 300mm. 3rd a nervous 300. 4th 300mm. 5th 108mm
Hope this helps.
For what it is worth.....Yellowstone is probably the one place where the 18-270 would never leave the camera.

Last edited by Mallee Boy; 07-25-2014 at 03:44 PM.
01-22-2013, 06:23 PM   #18
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After long wrestling with this issue, and many lens options, I only use my Pentax FA 1.7 for close ups. At distance it just doesn't deliver a quality image even on a DA* 60-250. Within 50 feet however, it's well worth putting on the camera.

Taken in combo with the Tamron 90 macro..



Its great used as an extension tube on steroids.^
Or when the subject isn't too far away.



From longer distances I have no images that were worth saving to show you. (Cleaned the hard drive recently.) The Chromatic Aberrations encounterd using a TC can be distressing. I don't think it will be good for what you want to do with it.

Last edited by normhead; 01-22-2013 at 06:50 PM.
01-22-2013, 08:00 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChromaNoise Quote
One optically decent solution for this would be a teleside converter. I actually own one of these and I can say it does not reduce resolution on my old compact camera. There's one *big* issue, however:

See this link. It's insanely huge!
We used to call those auxiliary tele lenses. Back-in-the-day, they were a common tele or wide-angle solution for fixed lens rangefinder cameras and even the occasional fixed lens SLR. Some were pretty good, though it should be noted that the good ones were matched to the lens they were mounted on.


Steve

01-22-2013, 08:18 PM   #20
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Heh, I will also be visiting Yellowstone in July (last week of hte month) for a family gathering... Blasphemous as it may seem to some, I will probably leave my Pentax kit at home (K100D and assorted consumer-grade glass plus the DA12-24), and take my little Olympus XZ-1 instead. I'm not out to capture close-ups of distant wildlife, but rather the scenery, family snapshots, and that sort of thing. The camera in your pocket and your hand beats the camera in the bag in your trunk a mile away... And, with that rig I can take along my dive housing and not worry about dunking anything out in the lake on a kayak...

If I do take the Pentax, I'd probably take the 12-24, the 18-55 kit, and my 70-300. With the expectation that there'd be a lot of lens-changing (I say I'm not out after distant critters, but if I take the glass I'd end up using it and trying anyway...).

Jim
01-22-2013, 10:39 PM   #21
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I wrote a field report on my trip to Yellowstone this past summer. Summary: My DA 18-135 was about all I needed. I used my Sigma 10-20 more than my DAL 55-300.
Full report (in a Yellowstone thread) HERE.
01-23-2013, 03:12 PM   #22
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This is a paste from a Amazon 1.4 Vivitar autofocus teleconcnverter with only 1 review. What does this review mean in terms of mw using my 55-300 pentax lens? Will I have less than positive results or will they be simular? I would be using a tripod.


" I have always held a negative impression of teleconverter, thinking that it would seriously and negatively affect the optical performance of any lens attached to it. Someone in a photo discussion forum brought up this TC and showed a few pictures that were indeed quite impressive. I am not a big fan on long lenses but there have been situations where longer focal length was needed. A good quality TC would have been handy. After looking at the price, I gave it a try.

Matching with a Tamron 70-200, center sharpness was excellent while corner was degraded a little. There was a slight but noticeable drop in contrast which can be recovered easily in Lightroom. Stopping down the aperture helped to bring IQ up across the entire frame to just shy of excellent. This is the combo that will be in my bag from now on. Moving up the FL of the primary lens, I was expecting disastrous results when matching this TC with a Sigma 100-300 since Sigma has a matching TC at 3X the price. On the contrary, the combination was even better than the Tamron 70-200 combo. I did not notice any degradation in sharpness or contrast. May be it should not be a surprise as the Sigma 100-300 is such a fine lens. I just realized that I have effectively bought a fantastic 600mm f/5.6 (on APS-c) for $96!!!!! Would the matching Sigma TC be even better ......

Elimination of vibration and hand shake is key to getting good results for long focal length. Make sure you have a sturdy support when you do the evaluation. I also did my evaluation with mirror locked up, a shutter release cord and a 2 second delay. Just behind the Samyang 14mm f/2.8, this is the next best value I acquired so far. "
01-23-2013, 04:29 PM   #23
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I was at Yellowstone and Grand Tetons last September and I had with me my K-7 and the following lenses:
  • Pentax F 24-50 F4
  • Pentax DA 55-300 F4-6.8
  • Samyang 8 mm F3.5 Fisheye
  • Tamron SP 500 mm F8 Mirror
  • Pentax M 100mm F4 Macro
  • Tamron 1.4X teleconverter
Here are the focal lengths used (from ExposurePlot) in the 1,376 photos. The 24mm, 50mm and 55 mm peaks are at the extreme ends of the 2 most used lenses, the F 24-50 and the DA 55-300. Clearly the 24mm was the most popular and I could probably used a wider one. I am planning to get a Samyang 14mm F2.8 for the next trip

Almost all wildlife was shot with the 55-300. I used the mirror lens a few times with and without the 1.4X teleconverter for some distant animals.

The Fisheye produced some spectacular results both in framing and sharpness. A lot of the hot springs are circular and "fit" well into the Fisheye distortion field.

For shots that I really wanted wide and big, I used stitched panoramas with very good results.

Attached Images
 
01-23-2013, 08:39 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
I wrote a field report on my trip to Yellowstone this past summer. Summary: My DA 18-135 was about all I needed. I used my Sigma 10-20 more than my DAL 55-300.
Full report (in a Yellowstone thread) HERE.
Two summers ago I was in Yellowstone and Gran Teton. I borrowed a Nikkor 200-400 4.0 for my long shots as did not have my Sigma 70-200 2.8 or the Sigma 2X TC for the Pentax yet. For the one Grizzly we spotted even the 400 was shorter than I wanted. But my friend who lent me the Nikkor told me that a wide angle lens was all I needed for bears so I also took one with the Sigma 10-20 at the wider end and could not even spot the bear but I took the shot for him anyways My wife who is the wide angle shooter actually used her 70-210 more than her other lenses as to her that trip the details in the landscape were the most appealing.

I do not think a TC on a slow lens is a good idea. If I was to return I would again borrow either the 200-400 or a 400 2.8 and maybe a newer camera than the D200 but that is my good fortune. I doubt I would be happy with shots at f12 for the most part of wildlife. Some of the shots I got were much shorter lenses especially of the bison.
01-24-2013, 06:57 AM   #25
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I spent a week in Yellowstone with my family in July 2011. My thoughts:

- Don't buy a teleconverter for your trip but rather rent a Bigma or some such other lens as already suggested. Much better idea.
- I found Yellowstone wildlife shots to be just as I expected. If some animal is close enough to a pull-out or trail so as to be easily photographed you'll have a hundred other folks standing around and in front of you. Patience with other folks who can even be rude now and then is required.
- I had a bison walk right up and against my SUV as the animal passed us on one of the narrow gravel secondary roads on a steep hillside with my only choice being to stop and wait. I became less focused on getting a photograph and more concerned about bison-on-SUV violence but he turned out to be a cool headed fellow. My wife may have some of the few wildlife close-ups shot using an 18mm.
- Don't be ashamed of missing all of the wildlife shots you wanted to capture and resorting to buying the wonderful postcards in the gift shops. It's all good.
- Check with the "Geyser Gazer Geezers" at Old Faithful for the expected geyser eruption times. My wife and older daughter caught Beehive erupting one morning thanks to the guys. When you see several older fellows take out notebooks to write down times when a geyser eruption call comes over the radio...
- If you stay on the roads take every bit of camera gear you have. If you take to the trails leave most of it in the car.
- Bear spray is the best thing you should never have to use.
- The restaurant at Roosevelt Lodge had excellent pie.
01-24-2013, 06:57 AM   #26
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Wow alot of good information here. I think Im going to give up on the thought of a TC and just hope for the best with just the 55-300 for distance. I think my best idea for this trip is to have two bodies to be ready to shoot at any giving moment. Currently I only have one body. Im in the running for a $314 K01 with the kit 40mm. Now assuming I take the K01 and the KR, which lens should I dedicate a lens on. My Lenses are the 55-300 pentax , the 12-28 pentax, the kit 18-55 and a 35mm pentax oh and I almost forgot the 40 mm that is shipping with the K01? Im initailly thinking put the 55-300 on the Kr for the reason on a view finder. and put the 35 for sharpness on the K01 or maybe the 12-28 for landscape and wildlife with in 100 yds. The 40 also provides additional sharpness according to photos seen here on PF. Possibly because of its fixed focal length and maybe because of 16 mp in the K01. So using the 40mm with the pentax K01 as a walk around principle camera is a possibility. Having never been to Yellowstone Im staying at 4 lodges in the park on 5 nights with 2 at Old Faithful Inn. Then we travel to Jackson Hole to view the Grand Tetons for 2 additional days..
01-24-2013, 07:28 AM   #27
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I'd probably go with the KR/55-300 and K01/18-55 ready to go with the K01 available to shoot the primes when time allows. I've never had success with super-wide landscapes, I suspect due to a lack of context in my shots.

Just as an FYI and if you should be interested, I practice what I call "In the footsteps of Ansel Adams" when we travel on vacation and I find we're in areas where Adams shot some of his photographs. The drive along the east side of Grand Teton NP between Moran Junction and Moose Junction on highway 191 includes a Snake River Overlook which is practically where Adams set up for his Snake River photograph.

Tetons and Snake River by Ansel Adams

It's a fun challenge for our vacations and it takes just a few minutes for a stop. When I know we may see such an opportunity I pack my old film camera, a 28mm, and a roll of B&W film in the trunk of our car. And it's always fun answering the "how did you know where that spot was" question from my wife.
01-24-2013, 07:32 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by ovrexposed Quote
Im thinking of using a teleconverter with my DAL 55-300 zoom lens. I use a K-R. Could someone recommend a good teleconverter for this trip? Thanks.
This trip is on my to do list, but I would not bother personally with a tele converter on the DA55-300

This lens is too slow at 300mm to be able to use a tele converter, no matter the quality, to permit the AF to work

I use a tele converter quite successfully on my 300/4. (The Pentax 1.7x AF converter ) and the sigma 1.4x and 2x temple converters on my sigma 70-200F2.8

What you will note here is the native aperture of my lenses where I use teleconverters is F4 or faster
01-24-2013, 02:31 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by demp10 Quote
I was at Yellowstone and Grand Tetons last September and I had with me my K-7 and the following lenses:
  • Pentax F 24-50 F4
  • Pentax DA 55-300 F4-6.8
  • Samyang 8 mm F3.5 Fisheye
  • Tamron SP 500 mm F8 Mirror
  • Pentax M 100mm F4 Macro
  • Tamron 1.4X teleconverter
Here are the focal lengths used (from ExposurePlot) in the 1,376 photos. The 24mm, 50mm and 55 mm peaks are at the extreme ends of the 2 most used lenses, the F 24-50 and the DA 55-300. Clearly the 24mm was the most popular and I could probably used a wider one. I am planning to get a Samyang 14mm F2.8 for the next trip

Almost all wildlife was shot with the 55-300. I used the mirror lens a few times with and without the 1.4X teleconverter for some distant animals.

The Fisheye produced some spectacular results both in framing and sharpness. A lot of the hot springs are circular and "fit" well into the Fisheye distortion field.

For shots that I really wanted wide and big, I used stitched panoramas with very good results.
Your graph reflects my own experience. The wildlife is there, but the landscape is so much more accessible from a creative standpoint and a works so well with a kit that is biased to the wide side.


Steve
01-24-2013, 02:33 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by B Grace Quote
...how did you know where that spot was" question from my wife.
I had to laugh! So many of Adam's photos were quite litterally taken from the parking lot or not too far away.


Steve
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