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08-10-2009, 04:53 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Numb Thmubs Quote
I'll open the can of worms: Is the Pentax pair worth the extra 50%???

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1. The Pentax lenses have better IQ (resolution and colour)
2. You won't feel the need to replace or upgrade them anytime soon (maybe ever)
3. Future Pentax cameras will compensate for Pentax lenses (automatically reduce distortion and CA). The K7 does this already.

I'd go for the WR zoom. It has improved IQ compared to the original 18-55 and the weather resistant rating is a great feature. Spend a little more now and you won't regret your decision later.

PS I'm surprised no one's mentioned a bean bag to support your camera. I thought it was a standard piece of gear for a motorized safari. OTOH the nice thing about the 55-300 is that it's very conducive to handholding.

Last edited by audiobomber; 08-10-2009 at 08:46 AM.
08-10-2009, 04:56 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Retailers may simply not know, so they default on the easy answer: No.
I have the Tamron 1.4x TC, and it's worked on all my screw-drive lenses, including the DA 55-300.

Problem is the TC+DA lens combo slows AF down immensely.
You'll find a TC on the DA 55-300 will make the AF experience an incredibly painful one.
In the image comparos I've seen, a cropped 55-300mm photo shows better than a 55-300 + TC.
08-10-2009, 10:14 AM   #18
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I got back from Zambia a few weeks back and took with me a Sigma 17-70mm and a Sigma 100-300mm (expensive, especially at current prices!). I also had a 1.4 x TC which I didn't really use that much and cropping images now that I'm home is quite acceptable.

For 90% of my wildlife shots 300mm was enough (and too much for a lot). Unfortunately that wasn't long enough for many bird shots where 500mm may not have been long enough.

I had my Sigma 100-300mm mounted on a monopod most of the time, or I used it hand held. The vehicles used in Zambia are not suitable for bean bags.

The trip you have planned sounds like an amazing one and I look forward to seeing your images.
08-12-2009, 07:35 AM   #19
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What to take on Safari

Like you I prepared for my Safari, asking all the same questions!

However this is what I would advise:

300mm is more than enough! The animals get up close and on occasion, very close.

A good zoom 50-200 or 50-300. Whilst I used the F*300mm, my wife used a DA 50-200. Needless to say my wife was able to get the whole animal in the frame, whereas I ended up with a head/head and shoulders shot.
I did not use my bean bag or a tripod. The light is so good that we had really good shutter speeds for hand held shots
In addition take:
A couple of spare batteries for the camera + charger
As much memory as you have, as the photo opportunities are there for the taking(!)
A 50mm macro if you have one - there are plenty of interesting bugs and flowers too - besides all the animals

One lens often forgotten - especially with a maybe revival of the mirror lens is the K 400-600/8-12 Reflex - Seen one for sale on the site. I have one and it is a great performer and light weight as well - just a thought if you can't get too close...

Hope this helps

Some of my photos live here:
Flickr: certedfriday's Photostream

Last edited by CertEdFriday; 08-12-2009 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Just an additional thought
08-13-2009, 12:37 AM   #20
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Original Poster

Thank you, that is good information.

I suspect I will end up with an 18-55mm WR as standard lens (the dust proofing will be a good idea here in Australia and in Africa) and a 55-300mm.

I wonder if Pentax plan on making a 55-300mm WR any time soon... The 55-200mm WR is still not available here.

I can hold off getting the 55-300mm if there is one in the pipeline!

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