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07-30-2019, 03:54 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by mgvh Quote
For a CPL, check out the Lenstip reviews HERE and HERE.
Personally, I got a Marumi Super DHG for my 18-135, and it has been very good.
On the 2015 test, you'll see that best value ones are the Marumi Fit+Slim and the Hoya Antistatic. All these cost between $38-$70.
Thanks for these links. In the last few weeks, I have purchased three CPLs and two 1.8 ND filters and returned one of CPLs due to poor build. If I had these test results in hand, I might have used a different purchase strategy or at least done a more thorough job of research.


07-31-2019, 12:46 AM   #17
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I don't have either but I wouldn't take both the 18-135 & 28-75 unless I had spare room. The 18-135 paired with the 35mm would be my choice. If you wanted longer reach I'd consider an M series 200/4 or 80-200/4.5 either should be reasonably cheap.

As to filters, a polorizer is a must have (used carefully) and I'd take UVs but nothing that may become fiddly or time consuming to operate.
07-31-2019, 02:19 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by wedge Quote
In a couple weeks, I'll be going on a cruise to New England and Nova Scotia. This is likely a once-in-a-lifetime trip for me, so I plan on taking a LOT of photos and want to get the right.
Might I add insurance for gear. I purchased insurance the day before I left for an AK cruise. I'm so glad I did. We went on a whale watching trip. The boat seated 50-75 people, but there was still a wave big enough to knock my tripod over and take out my K-1 and 300mm lens. When I got back, insurance covered the gear.

Thankfully I had a K-5IIs as backup. The DFA 28-105, while better than nothing, was too short for the task. As noted earlier, whales can approach boats, but boats must stay a certain distance away. While I got better shots than those using IPhones, the whales were too far away for good shots. I own the Pentax version of the 18-250 (unfortunately did not take it on the trip), and it lives on my K-5IIs. It is not a prime, but my copy performs great stopped down a bit. I would definitely take your 18-250. You will most likely see a bit of rain, so take the 18-135 WR and plenty of microfiber cloths to clean your protective filters.

Here is a post from a while back that also includes an actual pixel crop of a whale, and gives you an idea of what to expect if you use a lens in range of 105-135 for whales.

While I did not use need to use it, I also purchased a folded up plastic cape with hood and an inexpensive plastic camera/lens cape. They take next to no room, but will help protect you and your gear if you want to shoot in the rain.

Last edited by rgknief60; 07-31-2019 at 02:31 PM.
07-31-2019, 06:16 PM   #19

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I understand your reasoning for including the 18-250mm lens. That is in case you need more telephoto, since you are not up to buying a tele zoom. For budget concerns, and higher quality if you were to go that way and sell your 18-250mm, you can still get the very good HD DA 55-300mm WR for less than the newer PLM version. This will provide a better quality combo than using your 18-250mm. As others have said, the DAL 35mm f/2.4 makes a compact normal lens, and gives more aperture for lower light conditions.

Having a protective filter available in case of threatening conditions, blowing sand, etc. is a good idea, but I always use the best quality multicoated when I use any. A graduated neutral density filter and a good CP filter can be very useful.

08-04-2019, 11:31 AM   #20

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I've done a similar cruise twice. Given that you live within a day's drive (albeit an unpleasant day) why is it a once-in-a-lifetime trip? Being close you can find last-minute pricing and if you can find someone to split the cost with you can spend a week in an inside cabin for not that much money.

Wildlife is seasonal and we saw zero whales. Realistically you're shooting down from far above the whales and so it's not the same as being on a small boat where you're more or less at sea level. Generally the shore will be too far away for wildlife unless you're on an excursion. Once on an Alaska cruise I did experience the ship chase a bear family along the shore (even large ships can essentially turn in their own length, and it had to since the bears kept walking back and forth.) But you're on a moving platform and you would have needed a massively long lens for good pictures. They were nice to watch with binoculars but if you want bears you really need to find them closer while you're on land.

Anyway for a one-in-a-lifetime trip you sort of have to say if you have budget or are just sticking with what you have. I used my polarizers, ND grad, and all three of my primary lenses (older 10-20 Sigma, 16-85, and 60-250 Pentax.) I might be tempted to try the new 55-300 Pentax for travel vs. the 60-250, but annoyingly it won't work on any of my K-5 bodies.

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