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01-21-2013, 05:24 AM   #1
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Yellowstone in July 2013

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.

01-21-2013, 05:44 AM   #2
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Are you sure you wanna go down that road? Considering your lens is not exactly fast, you may run into problems especially on the long end of the zoom range. A 2x teleconverter will at least halve the light coming through the lens (so you'll start at f/12 at the long end) and you'll also get a giant resolution loss as a "bonus".

So in order to summarize this, you should only consider a teleconverter as a last resort. Getting a mirror lens might be a better option if you're on a budget, but of course that comes with its own limitations.
01-21-2013, 06:26 AM   #3
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A teleconverter will always be a bit of a compromise between the extra 'distance' you can achieve and the loss of image quality.
I believe that a 2x teleconverter is probably a step too far, because that will lose approximately 2 stops of light.
However, a 1.4x/1.5x teleconverter will lose just 1 stop, so that is perhaps a worth a go.
The "Tamron-F 1.4X Pz-AF MC4" is well regarded, but is no longer in production and is difficult and expensive to find.
Tamron-F 1.4X Pz-AF MC4 Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
If budget is an issue, you can certainly find relatively inexpensive 1.4/1.5 teleconverters out there, but otherwise you may be better off looking at one of the Sigma lenses that stretch up to 500mm.
01-21-2013, 06:29 AM   #4
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I believe teleconvertors are only worth it on pro glass

01-21-2013, 06:39 AM   #5
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Yellowstone 2013

You will probably not not need a TC for wild life photography in Yellowstone NP. The animals (bisons, elk, even bear) sometimes are close to the roads in the park, very close...
01-21-2013, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #6
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01-21-2013, 08:39 AM   #7
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that's a coincidence: I 'll be in Yellowstone too, one week from july 25 2013. You too? If so, I you see somebody walking around with a K-5, taking a picture of two, and then runs to keep up with a woman and two teenage girls, it might be me :-)

I was thinking of getting a 55-300 to be able to get wildlife in some detail (in stead of my tamron 18-250). I'm not willing to invest more, because I think I won't use an expensive, heavy tele after I come back, so that would be a waste of money. And to photograph wildlife, you need more than a good lens, anyway: you need knowledge, patience and determination. And then some more patience. I'll be with wife and kids, so I'll going to settle with nice landscape pictures with an animal thrown in here and there....and try to be lucky for something closer :-).

Anyway, that's another solution you could consider: settle with the limitations of a 300mm max., and go for all those other photo opportunities.
01-21-2013, 12:06 PM   #8
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I was there several years ago in July on a car trip. We spend several days there. I don't think 55-300mm is quite useful. I brought a 70-200mm with me but use most of the 18-55mm kit lens. The only time I might need a big zoom is at a time there was a mother bear with 2 babies that was walking deep down a valley. Zoom lens can only seem a tiny spot. Only the people who had binocular can see them. So I'd guess 18-135mm would be an optimal setup for yellowstone. Now I have two f2.8 zooms but for the sake of running around kids I normally only have enough time to use the 18-50mm f2.8.


Last edited by benhai; 01-21-2013 at 05:53 PM.
01-21-2013, 12:29 PM   #9
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I too have the K-r, DA-L 55-300, and a 2x TC.

I do not use the TC with this lens because it is not a very good lens to manually focus, especially through such as dim viewfinder. As mentioned, the TC slows you down a lot, and the drop in image quality. 300 is iffy to hand hold sometimes, 600 is tough.

Better to just crop the photo.
01-21-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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My trip starts 7-9 and Im there for a week. This is my Ist trip to Yellowstone. Having been to Mt Rainier last year I could have used more length in taking photos of mountain goats on a mountain hill side from a trail. That wild life was only seen using binoculars, I did manage a few photos. I have other lenses, 18-55 kit, 12-28 wide angle and a 35mm. I intend to take all my lenses. I ve been reading message boards gathering data for this trip. Wolves and Bald eagles are a few that length may be a problem. I may just rent a lens. I may try the site mentioned in this thread. Im looking at getting a second body. I have a yellow K01 on order from Amazon that might not make to me because of out of stock circumstances. My shipment date was late Feb early Mar . Im not holding my breath. My daughter has a K30 and she will be on the trip so we might have to "team" inorder to share equipment for certain situations. Im also considering a K5 from CL. thanks for the suggestions.
01-21-2013, 07:56 PM   #11
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This is example of a limitation of my length on the 55-300. Mt Rainier 2012 on a hike from a trail.
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01-21-2013, 08:05 PM   #12
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This is another pic from a different vantage point. I only have one of these.
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01-21-2013, 08:05 PM   #13
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For my Yellowstone trip 2 years ago I took a 75-300, and while I was glad I had the 300mm with cropping I got just about all the reach I needed. I also had a 16mm fisheye and a 18-55 WR zoom, along with a fast prime for people pics. The WR is nice around the sulfurous thermal features - and I used a filter on the front, too, just in case.

Here's an example at 300mm, cropped somewhat:

01-22-2013, 05:20 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by L33tGreg Quote
I believe teleconvertors are only worth it on pro glass
...or not.

A lens is only as good as the full optical path. For example, add the average 2x tele converter to the FA 77mm Limited and you will get a very average 154mm f/2.6 lens.


Steve
01-22-2013, 05:22 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ovrexposed Quote
This is my Ist trip to Yellowstone. Having been to Mt Rainier last year I could have used more length in taking photos of mountain goats on a mountain hill side from a trail
I think you will find that the wildlife in Yellowstone is a little more approachable than the goats at Rainier. Exceptions would be moose, grizzly, and wolves.


Steve
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