Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-25-2009, 02:15 PM   #16
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Copenhagen
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,845
Here is one user that went for the light and compact 55-300 :

More Botswana Pics (Duma Tau) [Page 1]: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Looking forward to your pictures, upon return

02-25-2009, 02:59 PM   #17
Site Supporter
David Whiteley's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 374
QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
Here is one user that went for the light and compact 55-300
Yes, though following your link I realize how on my own Africa trip, I really missed the bird shots (except for ostrich and secretary bird!). I've never been much of a birder, but there sure were lots of interesting species I could have been photographing. That mirror lens featured in the long shots of that seires really demonstrates what opportunities there are for reach. (Also reminds how wonky the bokeh can be--but hey, that first cheetah shot I think is actually accentuated by the "dangerous"-looking bokeh.

Seriously, I could part with my Sigma 600/8 since I can always TC the DA*300, if the OP wants to go that route.

But anyhow, the DA55-300 does seem to be producing some wonderfully contrasty colorful shots. It's certainly a viable option for a certain type of wildlife photography.

I was also meaning to make the point the link's photog says about not needing super-wide for landscapes. I quickly realized as I considered my Africa landscapes: most of them were of setting suns, rising moons & skies where a longer shot fills the frame more with the wonderful colours. There's a big tradition of sunset cruises whenever you're near a river--either an excuse to drink for the so inclined, or an excuse for great sunset shots for those more focused on the pictures than the pints.
02-25-2009, 03:51 PM   #18
Pentaxian
Patriot's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Holy Land
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 382
I think the Tokina 80-400 lens would be a good choice, it's sharper then Sigma 135-400 on the long end.
Check link below to see the pic taken with Tokina during Botswana trip

Botswana Photo Gallery by Dominique Schreckling at pbase.com
02-25-2009, 04:03 PM   #19
Moderator PEG Judges
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 30,585
Take a lens long enough to stop you getting eaten

02-26-2009, 02:56 AM   #20
Veteran Member
Ben_Edict's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SouthWest "Regio"
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,303
QuoteOriginally posted by Patriot Quote
I think the Tokina 80-400 lens would be a good choice, it's sharper then Sigma 135-400 on the long end.
Check link below to see the pic taken with Tokina during Botswana trip

Botswana Photo Gallery by Dominique Schreckling at pbase.com
That's a good suggestion. I totally forgot about the Tokina, though I have one in my lens cupboard. As I never used it, I cannot really compare the quality to the Sigma 50-500, but at least it is much smaller and more lightweight - better for travelling. But they are hard to find. (Though I would sell mine, if somebody has use for it - like new, first version without tripod collar).

Ben
02-26-2009, 08:33 AM   #21
Site Supporter
David Whiteley's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 374
Lenses like the Toki 80-400 may well be a good suggestion for some, but I'm not convinced it would suit the OP. Twice the price, twice the minimum focus distance and 2.5 x the weight of the 55-300? This is not a compact super-versatile lens, it's pretty specialized. Maybe a minor point, but also could be pretty major. I personally can see the DA55-300 doubling as a walkaround long and good length & focus distance for casual portraits (w/o the speed & shallow DoF & pro IQ of a serious portrait lens, obviously); I can't really see it for the Toki 80-400 for those uses. That might be an important distinction for the OP, or it might be a factor in considering if the Toki is worth the extra $$.

On top of which, would I be offending anyone if I said that the DA55-300 shots from the earlier link seemed richer in colour & more contrasty (to my quick & sloppy, non-specialist viewing) than the Toki shots from the more recent link? (Could be pp, could be different lighting/haze conditions...)
02-26-2009, 12:39 PM   #22
Veteran Member




Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Copenhagen
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,845
QuoteOriginally posted by David Whiteley Quote
Yes, though following your link I realize how on my own Africa trip, I really missed the bird shots (except for ostrich and secretary bird!). I've never been much of a birder, but there sure were lots of interesting species I could have been photographing. That mirror lens featured in the long shots of that seires really demonstrates what opportunities there are for reach. (Also reminds how wonky the bokeh can be--but hey, that first cheetah shot I think is actually accentuated by the "dangerous"-looking bokeh.

Seriously, I could part with my Sigma 600/8 since I can always TC the DA*300, if the OP wants to go that route.

But anyhow, the DA55-300 does seem to be producing some wonderfully contrasty colorful shots. It's certainly a viable option for a certain type of wildlife photography.

I was also meaning to make the point the link's photog says about not needing super-wide for landscapes. I quickly realized as I considered my Africa landscapes: most of them were of setting suns, rising moons & skies where a longer shot fills the frame more with the wonderful colours. There's a big tradition of sunset cruises whenever you're near a river--either an excuse to drink for the so inclined, or an excuse for great sunset shots for those more focused on the pictures than the pints.
How was the Sigma 600/8, was it well suited ?


For Africa portfolio, always a pleasure seeing work from this Pentaxian :
Africa | Photo Gallery
02-26-2009, 02:15 PM   #23
Site Supporter
David Whiteley's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 374
QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
How was the Sigma 600/8, was it well suited ?


For Africa portfolio, always a pleasure seeing work from this Pentaxian :
Africa | Photo Gallery
I probably was misleading in my post: in Africa I just had a Sigma 70-300 APO, no mirror myself at the time. But the link to a different photog's Africa photos that someone else posted earlier on this thread showed that they got a bunch of bird shots with a 500mm mirror. Made me realize I didn't get shots similar with my Sigma 70-300.

Only just this winter, I picked up the Sigma 600 f/8 mirror, anticipating that I might in future want the super-long reach. I didn't have it in Africa. But I've been going LBA mad this winter, and after getting the 600 (still haven't found the occasion to give it a good test) I decided that rather than rely on the 80-200/2.8 for everything (or with TC to 400, then mirror for 600), I'd switch to DA*50-135 + DA*300. Since the latter could TC all the way to a 600/8 itself (losing AF, but at least offering multiple f/stops and "A" setting for auto exposure, so two advantages over the mirror) I may now let the mirror go without ever having put it to proper use.

I do think the mirror would offer a compact way to get an amount of reach that would probably prove quite handy for a lot of birding and distant wildlife. Which is why I haven't ruled out keeping it. Rudamentary testing suggests decent resolution, shallow DoF up close (it's cold and I've tested it inside only). Colour & contrast may not be stellar but they didn't bug me so far either. But not too shabby 2m min. focus distance--the DA*300 is even better, but many long tele's are much longer min. distance, which takes away some potential alternate uses (semi-macro bug hunting, "backyard wildlife" etc.).

02-26-2009, 02:33 PM   #24
Site Supporter
David Whiteley's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 374
QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
For Africa portfolio, always a pleasure seeing work from this Pentaxian :
Africa | Photo Gallery
Hey! Terry's practically my neighbour (well, just the other side of Algonquin park, about 6 hours away really; but by Canadian standards that ain't much). We also seem to be shadowing each other's travel (southern Africa, Peru). Oh, except I go on a major trip once every couple of years and do hack photography, whereas he's made a pretty awesome career of it.

Is he ever on the forums here? He ought to weigh in on this (I'm assuming he hasn't though some usernames are cryptic).
02-27-2009, 01:30 PM   #25
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Switzerland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,294
On my first trip to Africa (South Africa), back in film days, I took for the wildlife a Pentax FA 80-320. It does not have an exceptional reach, but even on film (no crop), I could do some very nice wildlife shots. 320mm will of course not be enough for a hyena sleeping in the shadow of a distant tree, but a 400mm will not do it neither.

I discovered my passion for wildlife photography only later and went for the Tokina 80-400. Especially on an APS-C camera, this gives a very useable 120-600mm which is quite confortable for wildlife. Unfortunately, as already stated here, this lens is getting extremely hard to find.

I would say, if you are not especially interested in wildlife photography, go for the 55-300. It is an inexpensive tele which will already allow you to get quite a lot of very nice shots on a safari in Tanzania.

If you do however want to continue, there are better choices. One might be the Tokina 80-400 but this one get very difficult to find, or the Sigma 120-400.

Up to now, the Tokina 80-400 came with me on each safari tour since I bought that lens. Now, however, I do want to improve the quality of my photos and I will try on my upcoming trip to Zambia, to leave the Tokina 80-400 at home. Instead, I take a DA*50-135, DA*200 and DA*300 (and a 1.7x TC just in case I do need the extra reach).

I do hope the decision to leave the Tokina 80-400 at home will be the right decision.
02-27-2009, 01:40 PM   #26
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,312
QuoteOriginally posted by tcom Quote
I do hope the decision to leave the Tokina 80-400 at home will be the right decision.
Last year I made, what I consider a critical error. Go back to my first posting, I said take everything.

I went to texas with my family for the school brake, and spent a day in Rockport, where the whooping cranes winter.

The longest thing I took was my 70-200 F2.8 and 2x TC. No tripod, no monopod.

At home, I left my 300 F4 and 1.7x AF TC, and also my celestron C90 1000mm F11 scope with T mount. plus 2 tripods and 2 monopods

The shot below is about 1/10 the total frame area of the K10D.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/208249-post1.html

It's not bad, but if I took the scope I could have filled the entire frame.
02-27-2009, 04:03 PM   #27
Pentaxian




Join Date: Aug 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,563
We have done a 2 week safari in Tanzania in 2007.
For that I purchased a K10D and a 18-250mm Tamron.
The Tamron stayed on the camera all time, there is a lot of dust and situations often do not permit for lens changes.
When shooting local pictures (country markets etc.) wide angle as well as tele is nice to have at hand.
The 250mm was enough 80% of times, longer is better for wildlife shooting.

We have just booked a 3 week walking / boating / driving / flying safari in Zambia in September.
With the 2007 experiences, I'm looking for: longer, faster glass, faster low light autofocus.
The plan is to bring 2 bodies, one with the 18-250mm, the other with long fast glass (Sigma 70-200 f2.8 + 1.4 & 2.0 TC's, perhaps 100-300mm + TC's).
If Pentax does not bring a K30D with better AF on time, the extra body will most likely be a N**** D90. I still need to buy the lenses.
So, we are waiting what the PMA will bring us

Hope this helps.

- Bert

P.S. Bring a FA 50mm f 1.4 for no flash night scenes....
02-27-2009, 07:15 PM   #28
Site Supporter
David Whiteley's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 374
QuoteOriginally posted by tcom Quote
Up to now, the Tokina 80-400 came with me on each safari tour since I bought that lens. Now, however, I do want to improve the quality of my photos and I will try on my upcoming trip to Zambia, to leave the Tokina 80-400 at home. Instead, I take a DA*50-135, DA*200 and DA*300 (and a 1.7x TC just in case I do need the extra reach).
You've gone the same route I have, except I skipped the 200 (I figure I'll either crop or if absolutely dying for 200mm FoV, I'll TC the DA*50-135). I'll be keen to hear how that works for you.
02-28-2009, 07:11 AM   #29
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Switzerland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,294
QuoteOriginally posted by David Whiteley Quote
You've gone the same route I have, except I skipped the 200 (I figure I'll either crop or if absolutely dying for 200mm FoV, I'll TC the DA*50-135). I'll be keen to hear how that works for you.
On night safaris, I really appreciated the DA*200/2.8. Being a 2.8 lens, the AF was still working fine and it allowed me to take quite some night photos I would not have thought possible:

K20D, DA*200, f2.8, 1/15s, 3200iso, handheld !


K20D, DA*200, f2.8, 1/50s, 500iso
02-28-2009, 07:34 AM   #30
Veteran Member
PePe's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 452
I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of weeks in Kenya and Tanzania last winter, doing mostly wildlife photography. A quick overview of my files indicates that more than 80% of my pictures were shot with the longest lens I had , a 300/2,8, often with a 1,4 x TC. Sometimes even a 2 X TC.
I think the conclusion is that if you really go into the wilderness, you do need reach and long glass. For my next trip I currently have a 500/4,5 on order...
I priorize image quality and therefore prefer primes. I found it very convenient to work with two bodies. This pretty much eliminates the need to change lenses on the field.
Hovewer, there are parks where you can get pretty close to the animals. If you do most of your shooting in these, you can probably get along with shorter lenses.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
country, da55-300, k-mount, k10d, kit, lens, lens selection, pentax lens, setup, slr lens, trip
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help with lens selection splurf Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 3 11-20-2009 08:17 AM
Lens selection for upcoming trip to Zambia tcom Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 03-01-2009 03:40 AM
Trip to africa with a 1 month old k20d Isaac314 Post Your Photos! 17 09-08-2008 09:10 PM
Lens selection Flaco Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 8 12-01-2006 06:23 PM
Need lens selection help? DJR Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 4 09-18-2006 06:58 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:56 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top