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11-05-2009, 09:17 PM   #16
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Patagonia for a month, sounds perfect. I am undergoing the same personal battle as I am headed to Peru for 10 weeks starting in January, cycling-mountaineering (ie everything is on the bike, so weight is huge for me) and then working in a clinic. I was torn by the new Tamron 10-24 (I shoot mainly wide angle) but in the end it is way too big and heavy. So I think I have convinced myself that the 15mm will be my wide angle lens and the lens I use on the street, and then I am going to take the 50-200 WR for the rest (although something really makes me want to take the 40mm as well, super small, can fit anywhere, etc). Definite compromises for sure, missing a ton of range, but when weight really matters you need to compromise. I might end up having to hike it a bit just using the 15mm to get a composition I want, but its less weight. By the way, I have bicycle toured with both the Sigma 17-70 (Cambodia and Vietnam) and the Pentax 18-250 (Ecuadorian Andes) in the past, neither are perfect lenses, but I have had them in less than ideal conditions and they have done just fine. A plastic bag if it is really raining, and maybe I have just gotten lucky, but so far so good. That being said, I am sort of excited by the primes as far as quality goes. Now to get rid of the zooms to make room for the primes, I think my legs will thank me though.

11-06-2009, 08:44 PM   #17
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I have the 15 and 35 and also the 16-50 and I think they are each great in their own way.

Points to consider are:

Carry one lens instead of two and more importantly BUY one lens instead of two.
The 16-50 is weather sealed to match the K7.
A constant f/2.8 max aperture.
You get all the focal lengths between 16 and 50 in one lens.
AND the IQ of the 16-50 is excellent.

I have images taken with the 16-50 on a K10D enlarged to 20 x 30 inches that were absolutely stunning. That lens will satisfy your needs for landscape, street scenes, night shots, and even a portrait in a pinch.

Just my .
11-06-2009, 11:37 PM   #18
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With all the wildlife potential I'd be inclined to suggest the Bigma as part of the kit. It does have a handy carry bag so not likely to intrude on other neccessities in the main pack.
11-07-2009, 12:16 AM   #19
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If you want to go really wide there is the Samyang 8mm fisheye. It is manual focus but does that really matter at 8mm? It can be had for ~$300.

11-07-2009, 04:53 PM   #20
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Thanks for the latest replies. I finally went out this morning and bought the DA 15m Ltd and the DA 35 Macro Ltd. I haven't had the chance to play around much with them (I will tomorrow) but so far they look promising.

I seriously considered the DA* 16-50 but its size and weight finally put me off. Only time will tell if I made the right choice.

As it stands, my lens lineup for this trip is:
  • DA 15mm F4 Ltd
  • DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Ltd
  • DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 WR
  • ?DA 18-55mm F3.5-5-6 WR? (to be decided; might come due to its WR)

I am no expert photographer, but in this trip I aim to continue learning and hopefully bring back a few photographs worthy of your attention.

Thanks again for the advice!
11-07-2009, 07:58 PM   #21
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You might also want to consider a tamron-f 1.4x teleconverter if you can find one for a reasonable price. I just tried mine out today on the 50-200 (non-WR) with great results. As long as you've got the light to work with to offset the loss with the TC, the sharpness is kept, and you get that extra length. Takes up very little space in the bag as well....I just store mine on the 50-200.
11-08-2009, 09:56 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by gfonso Quote
Thanks for the latest replies. I finally went out this morning and bought the DA 15m Ltd and the DA 35 Macro Ltd. I haven't had the chance to play around much with them (I will tomorrow) but so far they look promising.

I seriously considered the DA* 16-50 but its size and weight finally put me off. Only time will tell if I made the right choice.

As it stands, my lens lineup for this trip is:
  • DA 15mm F4 Ltd
  • DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Ltd
  • DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 WR
  • ?DA 18-55mm F3.5-5-6 WR? (to be decided; might come due to its WR)

I am no expert photographer, but in this trip I aim to continue learning and hopefully bring back a few photographs worthy of your attention.

Thanks again for the advice!
I'm a bit late to this thread, so here is my small suggestion.

I've had both the DA35 Macro and 2 versions of the DA 18-55 (-L and -II). Both are great all-around lenses. However, the focal-lengths are a bit redundant; the DA18-55 lenses are strongest in the middle range (good between 20~40mm and best at ~35mm). So, if I carry one of these 2 options, then I won't carry the other.

The DA35 is a 1.3 stops brighter (f/2.8 vs f/4.5), but when I really need brighter, then f/2.8 isn't a huge difference. The DA35 does go to 1:1 but because of working-distances it's hard to get closer than ~1:2. Since both the 18-55 and 50-200mm lenses close-focus to 1:3, they don't give up much in magnification.

(Of course, the DA35 is optically superior than the kit zooms at f/2.8~f/4 and at macro-distances but it sounds like those are not priority for your kind of trip.)

The DA15 is a perfect complement to either the DA35 or DA18-55, so that's a great choice. It's small and easy to carry.

The 50-200 lenses supposedly are best at ~135mm, weakest at 50mm and 200mm. (I don't have this lens, so can't confirm.)

So, this would be my optimized lightweight:versatile kit:

DA15
DA18-55WR
A50/1/.7 _or_ A50/2.8 Macro (both small lenses, one gives you a low-light option the other gives a true macro option)
DA50-200WR
Gorillapod (or other small tripod)
Close-Up lens
Polarizer
11-08-2009, 11:46 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by WiseOx Quote
You might also want to consider a tamron-f 1.4x teleconverter if you can find one for a reasonable price. I just tried mine out today on the 50-200 (non-WR) with great results. As long as you've got the light to work with to offset the loss with the TC, the sharpness is kept, and you get that extra length. Takes up very little space in the bag as well....I just store mine on the 50-200.
Thanks for the suggestion. The teleconverter is an interesting option that I want to explore in the near future, but right now I feel I am already getting into many new things (getting to know the new lenses, deciding on which tripod to take, and all the non-photography related stuff that needs to be taken care of before a big trekking trip), and I prefer to explore this at a less hectic pace. So far the 50-200 WR has given me everything I expected and more, so I'm not worried about that stretch of the focal range.

QuoteOriginally posted by dave9t5 Quote
I'm a bit late to this thread, so here is my small suggestion.

I've had both the DA35 Macro and 2 versions of the DA 18-55 (-L and -II). Both are great all-around lenses. However, the focal-lengths are a bit redundant; the DA18-55 lenses are strongest in the middle range (good between 20~40mm and best at ~35mm). So, if I carry one of these 2 options, then I won't carry the other.

The DA35 is a 1.3 stops brighter (f/2.8 vs f/4.5), but when I really need brighter, then f/2.8 isn't a huge difference. The DA35 does go to 1:1 but because of working-distances it's hard to get closer than ~1:2. Since both the 18-55 and 50-200mm lenses close-focus to 1:3, they don't give up much in magnification.

(Of course, the DA35 is optically superior than the kit zooms at f/2.8~f/4 and at macro-distances but it sounds like those are not priority for your kind of trip.)

The DA15 is a perfect complement to either the DA35 or DA18-55, so that's a great choice. It's small and easy to carry.

The 50-200 lenses supposedly are best at ~135mm, weakest at 50mm and 200mm. (I don't have this lens, so can't confirm.)

So, this would be my optimized lightweight:versatile kit:

DA15
DA18-55WR
A50/1/.7 _or_ A50/2.8 Macro (both small lenses, one gives you a low-light option the other gives a true macro option)
DA50-200WR
Gorillapod (or other small tripod)
Close-Up lens
Polarizer
Thanks, I believe it is a good suggestion, but I've been out today taking some shots with the DA35 and I'm impressed (even looking at the JPGs from the camera). I don't think I can bring myself to leave without it.

As for the Gorillapod, I've been taking one on every hiking trip since the summer, and I've found it's usability very limited. I still might take it to Patagonia, but I'm seriously thinking of taking the hit in weight and take a real tripod and ballhead...

11-08-2009, 11:44 PM   #24
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In 2004 I spent a month in the Himalayas with a 17-40/4 and 70-200/4 for my film based Canon. My backup and camera of choice when in villages was a Hexar AF (sorta like an autofocus rangefinder) with a fixed 35/2.0 lens. I loved this set up. I still shoot Canon, but I'm currently preferring Pentax with it's sensor based SR and compact primes (DA Ltd).

That said, I think I'd go with a pair of zooms again: 12-24 and 55-300 (or 55-200WR for WR and smaller size). Maybe throw in the DA35 macro to fill the gap and a little faster since I pretty much live with that lens on my camera now.

While I appreciate the size/weight of the primes, changing lenses when you're tired and hungry can be a PITA. Most of the time I never bothered to take off the 17-40 to change to the 70-200 unless the photo-op was too good to pass up. Also more lens changes equals more dust getting in the camera in dry, windy locations.

Then again, I have the 12-24 as my only Pentax zoom and dream often of the DA15 because of it's small size. Oh why does lens selection have to be so difficult?
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