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12-11-2009, 04:01 PM   #1
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Leaving for Hawaii

Leaving for Hawaii next week and would like to rent a lens to take with me. Currently my set-up consists of the K100d Super, 18-55 kit lens, 50 1.4, DA35, Sigma 10-20 and a Tamron 70-300. I'm not trying to fill any gaps in my set-up, would just like to try a new lens for possible purchase as an upgrade to the ones I have now. I imagine a lens on the wide side would be useful for a destination like Hawaii, but there is also going to be surfing comps. going down while I'm there and would like to get some good shots with that.

Any recommendations would be appreciated!

12-11-2009, 04:52 PM   #2
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On my last trip there, I took a *ist DS, Sigma 16mm fisheye, Sigma 24/2.8, FA 35/2, F50/1.7, Takumar 105/2.8, DA 16-45, F70-210 and AF500FTZ flash, about 10 pounds total. I could have left the fisheye, 50mm, Takumar and flash home, but you never really know what you'll use. Based on experience, I did not think I would need to go beyond 210mm, and I was right. I used the DA 16-45 a lot.

With your kit, I would consider the Tamron 70-300 as the weakest link. Depending on where you are and where the surfers are, 300mm might not be enough for tight surfer shots, but fine for showing "enormous wave/tiny surfer" shots. I guess you could rent a Sigma 50-500, but you either have to bring/rent a tripod or shoot handheld. It might be bright enough on a sunny day. I don't think I would want to carry that lens for the rest of the trip, either.

A lot depends on what they have to rent and your upgrade ideas. A DA*16-50 would have worked out great for me, and that would replace your kit lens. You could try out Pentax's fabulous SDM! It would also allow you to leave the DA35 and/or 50/1.4 home.
12-11-2009, 05:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input Dave, I was eyeing the 50-500 Sigma, but like you said, I dont think I want to carry that lens on my trip, I guess I'll have to see how close my hotel will be to this. Was thinking maybe the 31 1.8 as a general walk around lens?
12-11-2009, 07:55 PM   #4
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I went to Hawaii about a month after I got my K10D with just the body, the kit lens, and a Tamron 28-300mm zoom. 300mm was alright for just getting shots of normal everyday surfers because I could move as close to them as the waters edge, but I would imagine you won't have that kind of opportunity at a competition. Granted, I couldn't get super close shots of them, but they were still close enough to crop and get a good action shot out of.

My biggest regret while I was there was that I didn't have any wide aperture lenses for handheld shots while on hikes in the forest. Even during the day very little light gets through, making handholding hard even with SR. You have that partly covered with the 50mm though(I was seriously considering getting a 50mm 1.4 shipped to my hotel while I was there).

I think the FA 31 Ltd would be a good option for you, or maybe one of the Sigma 20/24/28mm 1.8 lenses. A wide, wide aperture lens would have come in very handy.

12-11-2009, 11:44 PM   #5
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I went there for my honeymoon two years ago. The weakest link in your kit is a weather sealed lens. I suggest you consider that.

Hawaii is a sliceof paradise. Enjoy your trip.
12-12-2009, 02:33 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
It would also allow you to leave the DA35 . . . home.
never - repeat never - leave the DA 35 home - it is an astonishingly good lens. I was just looking through some photos and noticing how good it is and thinking I should use it more.

anything long and good is going to be heavy and expensive to rent and I am not sure if you could rent a sigma 100-300 f4 but it is the one to buy if you can live with the weight IMO.

have you considered a light weight tripod - some of the knock-offs (induro, benro?) are quite good and reasonable in price and weight. SR is nice but for tack sharp photos f8 and a tripod is the way to go, again IMO.

what would it cost to rent a good lens? maybe it would be a significant portion of the purchase price of a tamron 17-50 or 28-75.

have a great time in Hawaii - where exactly are headed?

Leonard
12-13-2009, 01:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input everyone!

I placed an order for a 50-135 f4 sdm. About 99.00 round trip shipping for 10 days. I think I'm going to leave the 50mm and the 18-55 at home and bring a smaller bag. Hopefully I won't regret anything

I was almost set on the 50-500 sigma, but opted against it as I wouldn't have much use other than the surfing shots plus I've always wanted to try the 50-135

Gonna be staying on Oahu, first time in Hawaii too! Shark diving, water falls, gliding are in my near future!
03-12-2010, 03:26 PM   #8
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how did things turn out?! I bought myself a k7 on sale recently in advance of my hawaiin honeymoon this june.. I am unsure of what to try and buy/rent outside of the 18-55 kit lens.

I feel like something a little wider and a nice 55-200/300 would be sufficient ... everything is a HUGE step up from the old point and shoot!!

03-12-2010, 05:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jdiritto Quote
how did things turn out?! I bought myself a k7 on sale recently in advance of my hawaiin honeymoon this june.. I am unsure of what to try and buy/rent outside of the 18-55 kit lens.

I feel like something a little wider and a nice 55-200/300 would be sufficient ... everything is a HUGE step up from the old point and shoot!!
I had the opportunity of living in Kauai in 2008. It was an amazing experience. BTW - where are you going to be? I was shooting Olympus in those days, so the lenses do not apply specifically. I can however give you some advice from my experience. Keep things to a minimum (forget for a moment that you will be on your honeymoon). If I were going for pleasure (with no specific shooting in mind), I'd take my K-7, 18-55WR, 50-200WR, and FA43. Most of my shooting was either at one extreme (wide angle) or the other (telephoto). In your case, I'd add the 50-200WR. At $200 (check eBay) new, its a no brainer to me. Above average IQ, decent focus speed, and WR. Adding a fast(er) prime for walking around would be nice (FA43, DA40, FA50, etc.).

I also love shooting surf photography. This is were my Olympus 50-200 and TC came in handy. The DA60-250 or DA300 would be a similar lens. However, either one of those will take up space. Seeing as it is your honeymoon, pack light, think of photography as bonus. I'm going on my honeymoon in June as well (Bora Bora), and plan on taking the K-7 and all my Pentax lenses (see sig) minus the F*300. I also tend to take a P&S film or rangefinder on my trips abroad. If it is lost or stolen, oh well.

If you'd like to see some shots from my time in Hawaii, feel free to check out this link.

Have fun!
03-12-2010, 08:11 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote
I had the opportunity of living in Kauai in 2008. It was an amazing experience. BTW - where are you going to be? I was shooting Olympus in those days, so the lenses do not apply specifically. I can however give you some advice from my experience. Keep things to a minimum (forget for a moment that you will be on your honeymoon). If I were going for pleasure (with no specific shooting in mind), I'd take my K-7, 18-55WR, 50-200WR, and FA43. Most of my shooting was either at one extreme (wide angle) or the other (telephoto). In your case, I'd add the 50-200WR. At $200 (check eBay) new, its a no brainer to me. Above average IQ, decent focus speed, and WR. Adding a fast(er) prime for walking around would be nice (FA43, DA40, FA50, etc.).
That is a pretty good recommendation. The WR lenses are useful for beach, boat trips and unpredictable weather.

QuoteQuote:
If you'd like to see some shots from my time in Hawaii, feel free to check out this link.
I moved there when the trees in photo #9 were just saplings. They are really fast growing trees. Just east of here is the Knudsen Gap, where that unpredictable weather often catches tourists in convertibles.

Here's a photo from Kalapaki Cemetary, above the bay where some of your photos (like #13) were taken.



Bora Bora from Philadelphia - maybe not bad on the way there, but going back is going to be a jet lag killer.
03-13-2010, 06:06 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies -- I love your pictures! Hawaii looks so amazing in every image

We are styaing 6nights on Maui (4 in upcountry and 2 in hana) and than 7 nights on Kauai on anini beach front! Very exicited.

You don't think having anything to get wider than 18mm with the kit lens would be beneficial? I am a big fan of landscape/nature photography and hope to do a lot of exploring - I was also thinking the wider angle would be fun to have for a boat trip of the na pali coast line (those cliffs amaze me everytime I see pictures of them)


When it comes to the zoom, there seems to be many possibilities too.. I could opt for the 55-300 (no WR), or the 50-200 (WR), or take a 18-250 (or similiar) and keep the kit lens at home which would be be less to carry but also less to work with -- I would prefer to use the kit lens (since I paid for it) and something that will extend it

Since I will more than likely be renting any lenses outside the kit one, I don't think the WR is going to be a huge factor; if I were purchasing to own I would be far more interested in that -- overall, I feel like everything will be amazing; I can not wait to get out hiking locally to break the kit in before we travel. I'm just trying to weigh in all options and make the best chocie with what little slr knowledge I can gather, the forum here and other sites are very informative


My cousin went to bora bora last year for her honeymoon -- looked like a great place to travel as well
03-13-2010, 08:21 AM   #12
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Thank you for the kind words - I appreciate it! Kauai (and all of Hawaii for that matter) is very photogenic.

In all honesty, I don't think wider is needed. There are many majestic views in Hawaii, but I didn't use (or have a need for) a lens wider than 28mm (35mm equiv). I did stitch some images together for a panorama. Very easy to do handheld when shooting a 'scape in the distance.

I think the Napali cost will end up 'tiny' if you go real wide. Sure you'll get more in the image, but it will deemphasize the beauty and detail of the coastline. Remember, the wider you go, the more foreground (or in your case water/ocean) will be in the photo. Again, in some cases it may be helpful, but I think the DA18-55WR would be just fine in this case. Any distortion at 18mm will be unnoticeable on a landscape and WR will be more than beneficial on the boat (trust me I know!).

As far as long zoom, I think the DA50-200 is a great all purpose tele. Sure the DA55-300 goes longer, but if you don't have a specific use in mind, it may be overkill. And don't underestimate the WR in Hawaii. Rain is always a possibility.

When on Maui, make sure you get up real early one morning and go to the top of Haleakala. Well worth it. Trust me. It is amazing to see the sun rise above the clouds.

No matter what, it is your honeymoon. Don't stress over the gear and photos. If you prepare with two or three lenses to handle 90% of your shooting, you'll be set. You could take a 50mm lens and nothing else and still come back with memorable images. Have fun!



QuoteOriginally posted by jdiritto Quote
Thanks for the replies -- I love your pictures! Hawaii looks so amazing in every image

We are styaing 6nights on Maui (4 in upcountry and 2 in hana) and than 7 nights on Kauai on anini beach front! Very exicited.

You don't think having anything to get wider than 18mm with the kit lens would be beneficial? I am a big fan of landscape/nature photography and hope to do a lot of exploring - I was also thinking the wider angle would be fun to have for a boat trip of the na pali coast line (those cliffs amaze me everytime I see pictures of them)


When it comes to the zoom, there seems to be many possibilities too.. I could opt for the 55-300 (no WR), or the 50-200 (WR), or take a 18-250 (or similiar) and keep the kit lens at home which would be be less to carry but also less to work with -- I would prefer to use the kit lens (since I paid for it) and something that will extend it

Since I will more than likely be renting any lenses outside the kit one, I don't think the WR is going to be a huge factor; if I were purchasing to own I would be far more interested in that -- overall, I feel like everything will be amazing; I can not wait to get out hiking locally to break the kit in before we travel. I'm just trying to weigh in all options and make the best chocie with what little slr knowledge I can gather, the forum here and other sites are very informative


My cousin went to bora bora last year for her honeymoon -- looked like a great place to travel as well
03-13-2010, 08:24 AM   #13
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Cool shot from the cemetery. Nawiliwili Harbor is one of my favorite places to 'hang out' in Kauai. Great for photography.

That's amazing that those trees were just starting out when you were there - I suppose the Kauai rain helps the quick growth!

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
That is a pretty good recommendation. The WR lenses are useful for beach, boat trips and unpredictable weather.



I moved there when the trees in photo #9 were just saplings. They are really fast growing trees. Just east of here is the Knudsen Gap, where that unpredictable weather often catches tourists in convertibles.

Here's a photo from Kalapaki Cemetary, above the bay where some of your photos (like #13) were taken.



Bora Bora from Philadelphia - maybe not bad on the way there, but going back is going to be a jet lag killer.
03-14-2010, 06:38 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote
Thank you for the kind words - I appreciate it! Kauai (and all of Hawaii for that matter) is very photogenic.

In all honesty, I don't think wider is needed. There are many majestic views in Hawaii, but I didn't use (or have a need for) a lens wider than 28mm (35mm equiv). I did stitch some images together for a panorama. Very easy to do handheld when shooting a 'scape in the distance.

I think the Napali cost will end up 'tiny' if you go real wide. Sure you'll get more in the image, but it will deemphasize the beauty and detail of the coastline. Remember, the wider you go, the more foreground (or in your case water/ocean) will be in the photo. Again, in some cases it may be helpful, but I think the DA18-55WR would be just fine in this case. Any distortion at 18mm will be unnoticeable on a landscape and WR will be more than beneficial on the boat (trust me I know!).

As far as long zoom, I think the DA50-200 is a great all purpose tele. Sure the DA55-300 goes longer, but if you don't have a specific use in mind, it may be overkill. And don't underestimate the WR in Hawaii. Rain is always a possibility.

When on Maui, make sure you get up real early one morning and go to the top of Haleakala. Well worth it. Trust me. It is amazing to see the sun rise above the clouds.

No matter what, it is your honeymoon. Don't stress over the gear and photos. If you prepare with two or three lenses to handle 90% of your shooting, you'll be set. You could take a 50mm lens and nothing else and still come back with memorable images. Have fun!
Many kudos again! I am tempted to rent the wide as I feel it is a lens I would like to buy in the future when money permits -- toying with it some in Hawaii would be fun and surely provide great shots at times

We are going to catch the sunrise on Haleakala the first morning there, as we will wake up very early due to the time differences/jet lag and what not. I wish I had the stomach to handle a chopper tour - Ive heard great things about them from a friend that lived on maui for 10years
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