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02-28-2009, 08:15 AM   #1
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Lens selection for upcoming trip to Zambia

Last September, I did a great 10 day safari in the South Luangwa NP in Zambia. As equipment, I had:

- 2x K20D
- DA*16-50
- DFA100/2.8 macro
- DA*200/2.8
- Tokina 80-400

The equipment worked well. I was especially happy with the DA*200/2.8. It is a great lens especially on night safaris. Also during the day, in the very dusty env., it performed very well.

The Tokina 80-400 is a nice lens. It gives an extra reach for the wildlife and thanks to the long zoom range, it also allows some shots when an elephant gets very close to the car... It is light weight and relatively small, which is great for a travel lens. But then, especially on the far end, it gets soft. In the photo book I did from the trip, I immediately recognize the photos shot with the DA*200 and those with the Tokina.

In a few weeks from now, I will visit the same national parc again, but it will be the end of the rainy season and not the dry season. Since the last trip, I bought the DA*300 and it is time to make my mind on the lenses to take.

The DA*200 is needed for night safaris. I will leave the Tokina 80-400 at home and replace it by the DA*300 for the upper end, and the DA*50-135 for the lower end. I will also take the Pentax F 1.7x AF converter for extra reach on the DA*300. This makes the following equipment list:

- 2x K20D
- DA*16-50
- DA*50-135
- DA*200
- DA*300
- DFA 100/2.8 macro
- Pentax F 1.7x AF converter

I do hope that I will not regret leaving the Tokina 80-400 at home. With both cameras, I will be able to limit the lens swapping. The trip will show if it was the right choice.

02-28-2009, 08:34 AM   #2
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Dominique,

If you where going to India you could be going around on an elephant or if you where going to Nepal you could enlist the help of a sherpa to carry around all the equipment :-) Then no problem taking the Tokina on top of all others and also a very wide for gorgeous sunsets on the savanna...
In Africa you will have to do we a full set of DA* only...

Have a lot of fun and happy shooting.

Luc
02-28-2009, 11:28 AM   #3
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Original Poster
Thank you Luc.

Well, when I do think about the real long tele lenses, I do miss the sherpa...

But on this safari, I will be mostly "carried" around the National Parc, either by car or by boat, so the weight is not so important. I will certainly not take such an equipment for a hicking tour.
02-28-2009, 03:33 PM   #4
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BTW how do you like the 16-50mm. I just bought one and thankfully could not see any obvious defect. I am just starting to process a few sample shots.

Cheers,

Luc.

03-01-2009, 03:40 AM   #5
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Original Poster
Yes, the 16-50 is a great lens, and the weather sealing makes it even better, especially on such trips.
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