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12-02-2009, 04:21 PM   #16
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Thanks!

Thanks to everyone for the great advice and for giving me several things to take into consideration. My lack of experience with a lens like that, the extra weight and the likelihood it will only come in handy a few times leads me to believe I would probably be better off just sticking with what I have.

I would love to get some great wildlife/landscape shots, but photography is not the main reason we are going. The main reason is to have a great family vacation.

I forgot to mention what type of trip it was. We are doing a land portion that includes Denali and a couple other places. Then we are going to cruise the inner passage stopping at Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point and Ketchikan.

QuoteOriginally posted by Raptorman Quote
Ive always had great luck with a 200mm lens. Anything longer and you'll need a supernova to get enough light through it to shoot above stupid slow speeds anyway. I shoot film too, and its probably different with a digital, but something to consider.
The lack of light is a definite concern with the DAL 55-300. Especially since there is usually a lot of clouds and rain in that part of Alaska. I am hoping the high ISO performance of the K-x will help. I have about 7 months to learn and practice with it before we leave.

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to respond to my original question.
Bill

12-02-2009, 07:44 PM   #17
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Hi Bill,

I think it's good that you are thinking about this 7 months before your holiday, not 7 days.
Even the 300mm long end of the 55-300 takes some practice to get right.
In my experience, I used the lens handheld for a few months, and it took a fair bit of practice to get reasonably sharp pictures. My main problem was blur from camera shake. Good technique and practice helps a lot, so get out there as much as you can. Then you can reduce the time spent 'learning' when you are actually on your holiday.

I would also recommend a monopod. From my experience, this simple device eliminated a lot of blur, so I could get much more consistently sharp pictures. IMO the impact on convenience is minimal compared to a full tripod. I suggest you try one sometime before you go anyway.

Regarding raptorman's comment, sure the 55-300 is relatively slow but I think you will be fine during the day. I tend to go straight to ISO 400 when shooting something like a bird, to keep the shutter speed up. I'm yet to try shooting with longer telephotos on film.

cheers
12-02-2009, 07:49 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by flockofbirds Quote
Maybe a teleconverter?
The 55-300mm is a very nice lens but not good enough to support a TC, IMHO.
12-03-2009, 03:21 AM   #19
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when I travel, even on family vacation, I always take something that can go to at least 400mm if not further, because the vacation is mine also and if you get up early (let every one else sleep in) there are lots of wild life opportunities in the early morning, and you can do the wild life shots while the family sleeps.

12-03-2009, 04:37 AM   #20
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Digiscoping

Have you thought about attaching a spotting scope via a t-adaptor?

The Celestron Ultima range have a t-thread on the eyepiece. Manual focus & exposure of course, but that's much easier with digital than film was.
12-03-2009, 09:57 AM   #21
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Now that you have been a little more specific on the trip and the activities, you may be perfectly fine with what you have as wildlife shots will likely be more of a chance happening and the odds are you will have the wrong lens on the camera when the chance happens. You will probably find that you will be using the wider end of your 18-55 the most. An option not mentioned also is the super zoom P&S which you can carry at all times and some of those zoom to over a 400mm equiv.
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