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01-20-2019, 03:08 PM   #16
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Thanks for the many replies everyone, keep it coming, the safari is two months out and the purchase of any lenses probably about 6-8 weeks so I've got some time to contemplate.

To answer some questions and give some more context:
Renting from home is not an option as I won't be home before the trip to Africa. I'll be in Australia before that, which is where I'll be looking to purchase the lenses, preferably Melbourne or Sydney or a city in between the two. So if anyone has recommendations for a good store? A store with occasions would be even better. Or perhaps a forum member?

The suggestions of a second body and a teleconverter got me thinking. Second body would be nice, though only if I can get a K3 or K5 second hand. Too expensive otherwise and I have no interest in a new KP or K70.
Not too sure about the teleconverter as I'm not really into birds and from photos that people linked in this thread 300mm seems to cover most stuff.

I'm leaning towards the DA 300 and a second body with either the lenses I already have or an additional 55-300 which then won't be used above 250mm. Budget wise this would require scoring a deal though. If I can't get those three discounted or secondhand I might be better off with just the extra body and the 55-300, rather than (not being able to) switch lenses.

Unfortunately I have a 50-135 at home which I won't be able to access before the trip. Otherwise the 300 + extra body and TC would probably be best. Shipping to South Africa seems like a hassle and expensive.

About the parks and the trip, Namibia and Botswana will be in a group, the trip is a very typical one from Victoria Falls to Cape Town in 20 days. Transport is a truck with 20 people max, complemented by some 4x4 game drives with seperate vehicles. South Africa will be self drive from Cape Town to Johannesburg, 20 days as well.

Thoughts?

01-20-2019, 03:22 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
"Black Rhinoceros at Sunset" by Johan Georget on a k5 with 16-50 is my favorite Pentax safari photo.
Interesting Photo of the Day: Black Rhinoceros at Sunset
Superb - I agree. Context can be king. That is a shot that drips context.
01-20-2019, 03:23 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by -JW- Quote
. . . I'll be in Australia before that, which is where I'll be looking to purchase the lenses, preferably Melbourne or Sydney or a city in between the two. So if anyone has recommendations for a good store? A store with occasions would be even better. Or perhaps a forum member?

The suggestions of a second body . . .

. . . . South Africa will be self drive from Cape Town to Johannesburg, 20 days as well.

Thoughts?
as far as I known, noelcmn is the right guy to ask about self drive safari in South Africa, I would PM him

as far as buying equipment in Australia - did you know you can sort the Market Place " buy/sell " by country where the equipment is?


The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax Cameras and Lenses (Australia) - PentaxForums.com

you might want to pm some folks who are members here who live " down under " as well

you could try using the " members map " to find out who they are and where they live and send a pm or two

Worldwide Pentax User Map - PentaxForums.com

I would recommend a second body to aid in switching set ups fast and just in case
01-20-2019, 03:25 PM   #19
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One body with the 60~250mm and a second with a DA300 + 1.4TC would be an excellent kit, so long as you don't mind the bulk and weight.

01-20-2019, 03:27 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
One body with the 60~250mm and a second with a DA300 + 1.4TC would be an excellent kit, so long as you don't mind the bulk and weight.
I agree. In this case the focus breathing on the DA* 60-250 is actually an asset as it allows you to not need anything wider as things get closer.
01-20-2019, 04:37 PM   #21
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60-250 and 300 and extra body is not an option budget wise. Weight/space wise it would be possible but not preferrable.

Budget limit would be about 1500 euro's.

Shipping the 50-135 from home turns out to be 40 euro's, so that might be worth it afterall. It's a risk though.
01-21-2019, 04:29 AM   #22
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Hi!

Two bodies. One for tele, one for your 20-40. The DA60-250 is to tight for elephants and giraffes.
I was in Kenya on safari years ago, learned from my mistakes. Buy a used 2nd body, even a Kx is better than nothing.


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01-21-2019, 12:53 PM - 1 Like   #23
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Plenty of good advice from knowldgeable member have been given. I can only add my own experiences. Note that @noelcmn is an avid bird photographer and will never find a lens long enough I agree that 300mm is too short for birds, and is often on the short side in other situations. That said, I use a 55-300 myself as this is a marvelously small lens of (for me) adequate quality (my copy is very close to my FA*300/4.5 at 300mm). Weight matters when out walking as well as when travelling by air.

I would pick a zoom over a prime any day on a safari - unless you have two bodies. Maybe even then. In a vehicle you will often get too close for 300/500mm - depending on location, of course, but even in Etosha you will get "too close" at times. Even 55 or 60 mm can be too narrow. Noel's point on the unpredictability of animals' behaviour is spot on. Anything can show up almost anywhere at any time (or maybe not at all), and you don't want to spend time swapping lenses. Some of these parks can be very dusty as well, if not as bad as some of the East African parks.

The 55-300 will do very well in daylight. If you're lucky enough to go on any night drives it would be nice with the extra stop from a 60-250 or 300/4, but you can absolutely get usable results with the slower 55-300 as well (and you won't see anything at very long distances anyway). Just don't be afraid of letting the ISO go high - as high as you need. Even an ISO 25k image can be salvaged with good processing as long as you manage to nail focus and exposure - well enough to be a nice memento, at least. If you go with the 60-250 I'd recommend a teleconverter as well. This lens can handle it (unlike the 55-300 in my opinion). I haven't used it myself, but from what I gather the 60-250 will reach 250 mm only when focusing close to infinity, and end up being more of a 200 when focusing close. Just something to be aware of.

Bringing an extra camera is a good idea as a backup, too. Even a superzoom point&shoot is a lot better than not having anything at all. I have a Ricoh GR as a wide-ish second camera (18mm/2.8) for when the 55-300 is too narrow.

I think it's very hard to say too much on what shooting distances to expect as those parks vary a lot topographically and botanically, from desert to swampland to dense bush in hilly terrain. In open country (like much of Etosha) you will often be quite a bit away. In denser vegetation and hilly country you might see nothing, then suddenly have an elephant a few metres away.

For the self-drive (as I guess it's hard to influence the time table on the truck): Get up early! Be at the gates when they open. Every minute counts. Many of the best sightings will be just after sunrise. Prepare a packed breakfast and eat it in the car at a waterhole.

Finally, whatever you end up taking you'll have a fantastic time. Guaranteed. You are going to a handful of the top wildlife areas in the world. Don't forget to put down the camera from time to time and just be there. And be warned: Safaris can be highly addictive! I'm always looking forward to my next "fix". You would think that after some 40 parks and reserves in 15 countries one should have had enough, but no...

01-21-2019, 02:14 PM - 2 Likes   #24
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Please note that Savoche is wrong . It's not Safaris that are addictive, it's AFRICA. But he will never admit that he's been bitten BIG TIME
01-21-2019, 02:22 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelcmn Quote
Please note that Savoche is wrong . It's not Safaris that are addictive, it's AFRICA. But he will never admit that he's been bitten BIG TIME
Me? Bitten?? Nevah!!

Hoping to return to Kgalagadi this year
01-21-2019, 03:03 PM   #26
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There are plenty of things to bite you there.
01-21-2019, 03:10 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
There are plenty of things to bite you there.
at the lodges we stayed at in 2016, there was a " game book " for you to record what you had seen that day

I ended all of our entries with:

" . . . we followed the rules, we did not feed the animals, we returned alive "

Last edited by aslyfox; 01-21-2019 at 03:30 PM.
01-21-2019, 03:33 PM   #28
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A bit late to the party, bt I'd definitely chose the 60-250 of the lenses listed - it is sharper, by all reports, if only slightly, and that makes a difference to cropability, and the constant f/4 and better IQ will be useful at the long end for isolating the subject, and a the edges of the day for allowing lower ISOs. the 150-450 would be better for most birds, of course (apart from thr slower aperture), but if there was a choice between staying at home with a new lens and going on safari with an older shorter one....
01-24-2019, 01:40 PM   #29
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Ok, so I kind of made up my mind and I'm forgetting about the DA 300mm for now, as it would require purchasing an additional 55-300 for flexibility of range or shipping my 50-135 from home. The latter is preferable but difficult.

I'm in for an additional body for sure, so currently looking into that.
Lens-wise it's 60-250 or 55-300.
The 60-250mm would only make sense with a teleconverter for me, would the image quality with converter be significantly better compared to the PLM 55-300mm?

Images would be used web based, with the occasional print of 50*75cm (20*30 inch).
01-24-2019, 01:45 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by -JW- Quote
Ok, so I kind of made up my mind and I'm forgetting about the DA 300mm for now, as it would require purchasing an additional 55-300 for flexibility of range or shipping my 50-135 from home. The latter is preferable but difficult.

I'm in for an additional body for sure, so currently looking into that.
Lens-wise it's 60-250 or 55-300.
The 60-250mm would only make sense with a teleconverter for me, would the image quality with converter be significantly better compared to the PLM 55-300mm?

Images would be used web based, with the occasional print of 50*75cm (20*30 inch).
have you read the " user " reviews and " In Depth Review " of the HD Pentax 1.4 AW AF Rear Converter yet ?


HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter Reviews - DA Teleconverters - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database


This teleconverter is compatible with nearly the entire current Pentax lens lineup, and also with most legacy lenses. There is a handful of modern lenses with which the converter is not compatible, but fortunately, most of these lenses are wide-angles that wouldn't normally be used with a teleconverter. However, we still recommend that you check the specifications for compatibility before investing in the converter or a new lens.

Read more at: [url=https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/pentax-da-14x-aw-af-rear-converter/conclusion.html#ixzz5dYls5tHO]Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter


this thread might be of interest as well:

The Pentax HD PENTAX-DA AF Rear Converter 1.4X AW (with any lens) Club

Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/257619-pentax-hd-pentax-d...#ixzz5dYnptJJC

Last edited by aslyfox; 01-24-2019 at 01:51 PM.
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