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02-07-2013, 10:56 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiodoc Quote
thanks Asahi!! Ok so let me make sure I understand.. my mind is addled. I mispoke.. I have a Sigma 28-300 lens.. that is what I used on my last trip. I thought it was a great lens. Are you saying that you believe the pentax 55-300 mm lens is superior to the Sigma 28-300 lens that I own? I'd hate to purchase a new lens if I don't need to. With that in mind, it doesn't sound like I'd need 2 bodies as this lens easily covered close shots. My difficulty were shots at a great distance. So what if I purchased the K-30 to mount with the 28-300 lens and then found a telephoto prime lens to go on my K-r?
I would switch it around, put the K30 on the telephoto prime, simply because you want high shutter speed when shooting a long telephoto, both for action and for shake, although a beanbag helps.

I would put something to cover the medium wi to medium tele on the older body and the telephoto prime on the newer one.

02-07-2013, 11:00 AM   #32
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thanks Lowell! great advice. I couldn't seem to come across a telephoto prime at a 400 mm length. So here's what I think I'm going to do, would love feedback
I am going to purchase the K-30 and a 150-500 mm lens to couple together. And I will also bring my K-r coupled with a Tamron 18-200 mm lens that I also already own.
How does that sound? I truly appreciate everyone's help
02-07-2013, 02:03 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiodoc Quote
So ok, maybe I'll stick with my current lens and just upgrade my camera. Do you think the K-5 or the K-5II? ;-)
I only have k5 bodies. I don't know if the K5 IIs might have problems with feathers. I would think the fur wouldn't be a problem. If the new versions of the K5 have a real improvement with their autofocus then the later version might be better.

Reading through other people comments, one big advantage of the smaller zooms is you won't knock people out on the 4WDs. It is a lot easier to manage while seated. Also the k5s in my experience have amazing sensor cleaning and just on the basis are a big advantage in Africa.

For those people planning a African trip, one thing about travelling inside Africa is officials love their job and the tiny bit of power that goes with it. This is not necessarily airport staff. What they say about Zimbabwe is all true and more. You buy the fanciest visa in your passport (after an hour or so in a very hot line) and the local live under a piece of torn plastic. Officials also just love filling in their paperwork.

PS sorry missed the last comments. If you can accommodated the weight the K30 and sigma 150-500 will do a great job. It will get a bit long when taking shots from vehicles which is a positive and negative - people learn quickly to keep away from your lens and you are less likely to have heads and arms get in the way. Not as maneuverable. If it feels heavy long and awkward - I find that is totally forgotten in the excitement. If you are going to do some walking, I find a black rapid strap great, but they get tangles on the 4Wds.

I thought about getting a K01 as a third body. From your point of view it is extra weight

Last edited by Bob from Aus; 02-07-2013 at 02:10 PM.
02-07-2013, 03:07 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiodoc Quote
thanks Lowell! great advice. I couldn't seem to come across a telephoto prime at a 400 mm length. So here's what I think I'm going to do, would love feedback
I am going to purchase the K-30 and a 150-500 mm lens to couple together. And I will also bring my K-r coupled with a Tamron 18-200 mm lens that I also already own.
How does that sound? I truly appreciate everyone's help
Not too bad, speed is where you need it. If you have the 18-200 as well as the 28-300 do aside by side and see which is better, take the one you think works best with your second body

02-07-2013, 05:30 PM   #35
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great, thanks so much Bob and Lowell! Your suggestions are great. I think I finally know what I'm going to do. I like the idea of the side by side comparison too. ALtho I think I already know, I like the Sigma better than the Tamron. I think the shot quality is better and my Tamron creeps all the time which is very annoying. The only reason I was thinking of the 18-200 is that it is lighter.
;-)
02-07-2013, 06:18 PM   #36
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I have the Pentax 55-300 mm and think it is great for an inexpensive lens. But there is a lot of play in it physically; I would not feel good taking it to a dusty environment like the savannah. Not for "once in a lifetime" shots. Instead, if the finances are there, I'd go for the DA*60-250mm, which I have never used. But I have seen some excellent shots with it. And it's sharper at the long end than the 55-300mm.

Both of these are better options in terms of sharpness and distortion control than a superzoom.

For my money it just wouldn't be worth the bulk and discomfort of something like the Bigma. A lot of people bought it on release. And a lot of those people sold it on again, for that reason. YMMV. But my priority when travelling is to enjoy the experience first. And take pictures -- darned good pictures hopefully! -- second.

You might want a second camera with a fast fifty for shots of the locals, close critters in the shade, etc.

I know this doesn't address your need for more reach. But with a clearer lens and, say, a K-5, you will be able to crop more without losing too much detail. That can easily double the effective focal length.

The rest is all technique.
02-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #37
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Thanks rparmar. I actually took my 28-300 sigma with me this last time and it did great. I have a tamron 18-200 so a 60-250 seems redundant.
I may just upgrade my body to the K-5 orK-3o and use the same lens as before. As you say, with the greater MP I should be able to crop better. I just am having a hard time justifying bringing 2 cameras. I had enough issues handling 1. :-)
02-07-2013, 08:29 PM   #38
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35lbs - TOTAL?!?!
I am of no use here.
Thats' impossible for me!!!
Are you swimming there? Getting a "jump seat"?
That is torture to be told you can only take 35lbs of gear!


02-07-2013, 08:50 PM   #39
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Haha Lauren! Yep 35 lbs total. It was tough going but I managed it the last time. I even came in under, 34 lbs. :-) you'd be surprised, I didn't think there was any way I could do it since I usually overpack for everything. It actually was a bit freeing not having so much stuff and not checking any luggage thru. The restriction is due to the single engine planes that I'll be taking between camps. It was funny, I bought gifts to bring home, so I tossed out clothes. It helped that I brought cheap clothes that I didn't care about. ��
02-07-2013, 09:46 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiodoc Quote
Haha Lauren! Yep 35 lbs total. It was tough going but I managed it the last time. I even came in under, 34 lbs. :-) you'd be surprised, I didn't think there was any way I could do it since I usually overpack for everything. It actually was a bit freeing not having so much stuff and not checking any luggage thru. The restriction is due to the single engine planes that I'll be taking between camps. It was funny, I bought gifts to bring home, so I tossed out clothes. It helped that I brought cheap clothes that I didn't care about. ��
You're a bad-ass then! Single engine planes and Africa...dunno if I could stomach that. I suppose that given those constraints, I would go with a K5 and Grip, and a DA*60-250. I'd throw in a Gorillapod and a Cactus V5 set with the remote cords and an AF540FGZ flash. I'd put it in a Think Tank Urban Disguise. Done.

That would be my bare minimum kit.
02-08-2013, 12:36 AM   #41
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My wife is convinced the K-x took better photos (better IQ) than the K-30. I agree, the reason was the longer hood on the F35-105, on the F70-210 I had a shorter collapsing rubber hood.
On the other hand the A50/1.7 took great low light pics with the K-30.

I almost got the Bigma or the DA55-300 before the trip, but ended up buing the second body instead.
I missed long focal length, but a long prime (I have a Tamron MF 400) would have been a disaster, you are better off cropping since you really do need to zoom.
Remember I am a prime person, but not a prime fanatic.

Oh, you do not need much clothes, short sleeved shirts and shorts will do. All my warm clothes came back unused.

Seb.
02-08-2013, 08:02 AM   #42
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This is slightly off topic - but relevant to trips anywhere with a digital camera. I loaned an IstD to a friend several years ago for a trip to Africa. The pictures he brought back were disappointing from a color standpoint, Tests showed there was nothing wrong with the camera. The problem turned out to be the daylight white balance. The computer in a digital camera uses your current location and time of day to calculate what the daylight white balance is when you take a picture - since the effective color temperature of natural lighting changes over the course of a day. If you are going to use Daylight white balance make sure you reset your time and location to local conditions at both ends of a trip.
02-08-2013, 08:26 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by HoustonBob Quote
This is slightly off topic - but relevant to trips anywhere with a digital camera. I loaned an IstD to a friend several years ago for a trip to Africa. The pictures he brought back were disappointing from a color standpoint, Tests showed there was nothing wrong with the camera. The problem turned out to be the daylight white balance. The computer in a digital camera uses your current location and time of day to calculate what the daylight white balance is when you take a picture - since the effective color temperature of natural lighting changes over the course of a day. If you are going to use Daylight white balance make sure you reset your time and location to local conditions at both ends of a trip.
That's very interesting, something to remember. Thanks for mentioning
02-08-2013, 08:28 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
You're a bad-ass then! Single engine planes and Africa...dunno if I could stomach that. I suppose that given those constraints, I would go with a K5 and Grip, and a DA*60-250. I'd throw in a Gorillapod and a Cactus V5 set with the remote cords and an AF540FGZ flash. I'd put it in a Think Tank Urban Disguise. Done.

That would be my bare minimum kit.
Hey Lauren, thanks for the advice. I'm totally not bad ass, those little planes freaked me out a bit! But I love Africa and will do and suffer through anything to go there. I am still a bit of a newbie about all this, so not sure how an external flash is really going to do me any good as the flash can't possibly reach far enough for it to be productive. That's why I am looking into the K-30 to at least give me a better chance for low light shooting when we are driving at dusk. The Think Tank really won't work for me.. I'm bringing a backpack/photo bag.. it holds not only my camera gear, but other things I need to take with me. That and my small carryon. ;-)
02-08-2013, 08:35 AM   #45
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Bassek and Altopiet... it was FREEZING and rainy when I was in Kenya last Sept. I had 5 layers on in the morning. I don't think I encountered more than 2 days that were HOT, even in the afternoon. I had a sweatshirt on 90% of the time, and NEVER wore shorts. So tshirts and shorts won't cut it. Altopiet, I was in Kenya - Laikipia Plateau at Ol Pejeta (rained every afternoon), Lewa, and Olare Orok in the Masai Mara (freezing in the a.m). I am repeating the 1st and last locations, but will also be going to Sarara in the Matthews Range. Most of my photography was in safari vehicles, some with open roofs and others not. Will be doing a few walking safaris as well. So that is basically my itinerary.
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