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04-28-2014, 10:18 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by theWags Quote
The thought of swapping primes scares me a bit. I think with all the tourist competition I need to be able to grab a shot quickly when it opens up. I've been doing a lot of reading on Pentax lenses and I just don't see any good alternative that would be a significant improvement over the 18-250. I've considered picking up the Sigma 70-200 2.8 and using it with my Pentax 17-70, but then I have the swapping issue again. Tamron has a new 16-300 that looks interesting, but not available for Pentax. So, while the 18-250 may not be perfect, it looks like the best alternative for my situation.
I've never been in a situation where there were so many people that I couldn't take the time to compose a shot, if really it's a beautiful photo opportunity. I would be more worried about dust than people if swapping often. And in any case I was not suggesting you do not bring your 18-250, but that you also bring 1-2 high-quality primes to use for unique images.

If you want something a bit better optically than a 18-250, the 18-135 could fit the bill, even though it's not stellar, it's better. You would loose some range of course.

I just spent a month on vacation, no serious hiking but some walking almost everyday. I traveled with the K-3, 18-55 WR, DA21, DA40, DA60-250 and sometimes the DFA100 macro WR. It is entirely possible to travel with heavy equipment (the 60-250 being the heavy item here) but I'm not sure I would bring it along for a full day of hiking.

04-28-2014, 10:56 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I've never been in a situation where there were so many people that I couldn't take the time to compose a shot, if really it's a beautiful photo opportunity. I would be more worried about dust than people if swapping often. And in any case I was not suggesting you do not bring your 18-250, but that you also bring 1-2 high-quality primes to use for unique images.

If you want something a bit better optically than a 18-250, the 18-135 could fit the bill, even though it's not stellar, it's better. You would loose some range of course.

I just spent a month on vacation, no serious hiking but some walking almost everyday. I traveled with the K-3, 18-55 WR, DA21, DA40, DA60-250 and sometimes the DFA100 macro WR. It is entirely possible to travel with heavy equipment (the 60-250 being the heavy item here) but I'm not sure I would bring it along for a full day of hiking.
Ok, I'll bite. You are right that these primes are quite compact. Unfortunately, I don't have the budget for several new $500 primes, and I don't have the experience to know if I'm wasting my money on cheaper models. I am running out of time to order by mail, so I probably have to do any last minute shopping on Amazon. They have a DA40 XS compact for $183 with great reviews. There is also a less compact DA50 for just under $200, also with great reviews. Didn't see any reasonably priced DA21. What do you think? Should I go for the DA40 or DA 50? As I said earlier, I am bringing a Tamron 90 macro as well.
04-28-2014, 12:10 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by theWags Quote
hey have a DA40 XS compact for $183 with great reviews. There is also a less compact DA50 for just under $200, also with great reviews. Didn't see any reasonably priced DA21. What do you think? Should I go for the DA40 or DA 50? As I said earlier, I am bringing a Tamron 90 macro as well.
40 or 50 is a personal choice. I prefer 40, and I think if you don't have any wider prime it could be a good idea. All reviews say the XS is a very fine lens, comparable mostly to the DA40 limited. It's also ludicrously small, and will weight less than an energy bar. That would be my choice. The DA50 is supposed to be very good, shy of "great".

Each person's style will vary. I don't like superzooms but I do use zooms a lot. However, when in front of a beautiful scene, or when making a portrait (as opposed to a candid) I like to mount a prime and be sure I will have the best IQ possible.

I'm currently reviewing the pictures from my April trip, discarding, adjusting, etc. I can spot immediately the images shot with my 40, my 100 and my 60-250 as opposed to the (more numerous) images shot with my 18-55. The latter are fine, but the formers are much better.

One of the perks of Pentax is the availability of small and reliable primes. to me at least, YMMV.

Have a good and safe trip.
04-29-2014, 12:25 AM   #19
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I was in Peru last November. I can tell you that a wide lens is very practical in Machu Picchu and other tourist crowded places. It helps you get closer to the subject and avoid too many tourists in your images. It also helps isolate subjects in confined places, and increase the impact of the dramatic landscapes of the sites in the Sacred Valley. I used my Sigma 8-16 much more than on any previous trip.
I didn't use my 300mm in any of the places on the classical tourist circuit, though I did have one with me. OTOH, I used it extensively (and my 180mm macro) during the last week of the three week trip when we spent some time in the Manu rain forest, but if you don't intend to see wildlife on your trip, I wouldn't bother. On a previous trip to Peru I visited the Colca Canyon, and the Cruz Del Condor viewpoint was the only place where a long lens was essential, i.e. to capture the condors in flight above the canyon. You know your program, so you decide whether to take along heavy long glass...
Next to the 8-16 my most used lenses were the DA*16-50/2.8 and the DA*50-135/2.8. The latter mostly for portraits, though Peruvians aren't always keen on having their picture taken.
Peru is a beautiful place, and I hope you'll be able to see some of the less touristy places. The North is relatively unspoilt (Trujillo, Huaraz, Chachapoyas, ...) and a trip into the rain forest (Manu in the South or Iquitos in the North) can provide some welcome change from all the archaeological sites.

hth, Wim

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