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Trip around the Kalahari
Posted By: tcom, 04-14-2010, 12:10 AM

Hi

I am back from a wonderful 3 weeks trip around the Kalahari desert.

The tour started in Windhoek and headed south for the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Parc (KTP). Then, we left that parc for a few days in the Kaa Concession area and ended with the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), including mostly the Deception Valley.

The first week was very hot and dry (making it really dusty), the other two weeks showed us that the rainy season was not over. A rain or thunderstorm at midday or in the evening was likely. This washed away the dust, but humidity raised, up to the level of having quite dense mist on early mornings.

I finally decided to take the following equipment:
  • 2 K-7
  • DA12-24/4
  • DFA100/2.8 WR
  • DA*200/2.8
  • DA*60-250/4
  • TC 1.7x
  • Solarpanel with powermodule and Ansmann Vario Pro charger to charge the K-7 batteries when away from power supply.
  • Netbook

What worked well
  • The weather sealing of both K-7 and the weather sealed lens worked perfectly. Even in such conditions, I never had any dust on the sensor[
  • With the help of the 26W solar panel, a power module and the ansmann vario pro, I could charge all my batteries (K-7, AA batteries for GPS and the battery of the netbook). I even charged the batteries of other people in the group.
  • All lens delivered great IQ.
  • Quite frequent use of high FPS was really helpful to follow actions such as playing lions
  • Sorting the RAW photos on the netbook in the evening was not quite fast, but still very usable. I do now have to sort "just" out of 800 shots, while I did really take over 2500 shots.

What did not work as expected
  • DA12-24 does not zoom so smoothly anymore, so weather sealing seem to make the difference
  • Because of the dust and rain, the DA*16-50 would have been the better choice than the DA12-24.
  • As it is not allowed to leave the car while in the national parcs, composing nice wide angle landscapes with the DA12-24 is not as easy.
  • Normally, on such a safari, I took both DA*200 and DA*300. This time, I took the DA*60-250 and DA*200 instead. I was quite surprised that the DA*60-250 was not what I expected. When taking a wild animal with a prime lens, if you are too close for the used focal length, you take a detailed shot or portrait shot, if you are too distance for the used focal length, you try to show not only the animal but also the surroundings. When using the 60-250, you always hesitated in taking a detailed shot or a shot showing the animal in its surroundings.
  • The 1.7x TC on the DA*60-250 takes too much light on early morning and late afternoon shots.
  • On many occasions, I missed a longer lens. I do really wish a prime lens in the 500mm region. Hopefully Pentax will soon bring a lens going beyond 300mm, or I might well take the Sigma 500/4.5.


Last edited by tcom; 04-27-2010 at 09:41 AM.
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04-17-2010, 07:06 AM   #16
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8
DA12-24, 1/200s f/7.1 at 14.0mm iso100


9 Some kind of armoured ground cricket
DA35, 1/400s f/6.3 at 35.0mm iso100


04-17-2010, 07:12 AM   #17
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Wow, sounds like a fantastic 3 weeks! Great write up on pro and cons of the equipment too!
Looking foward to seeing many more of these fantastic photo's once youve got them sorted!
04-17-2010, 12:17 PM   #18
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WOW, what a cool looking trip. I have always wanted to go on a trip like that, but first I really need to save up. As for the photos they are really stunning and you did a great job capturing them. The colors look great and your composition look nice as well.
04-17-2010, 12:24 PM   #19
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Thanks both for the comments.

As for the colors, it was easy with such a good light, unfortunately, on the second half of the trip, there was frequently a cloud cover as the Kalahari wanted to show me that the rainy season was not over yet. So, the photos on the second half will lack a bit of colors...

04-17-2010, 12:30 PM   #20
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25th March: Entering South Africa in Mata Mata and heading to Two Rivers in Botswana

Today, we left Namibia and entered into South Africa in Mata Mata, and entered the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Parc as well. We took the road along the Auob valley until Twee Rivieren, that's the southern entrance of the National Parc from South Africa, where we left South Africa to enter into Botswana in Two Rivers, just opposite Twee Rivieren.

10 Oryx
DA*60-250, 1/250s f/8.0 at 170.0mm iso100


Soon after entering the parc, we already encounter our first lion.
11
DA*60-250, 1/250s f/5.0 at 250.0mm iso100
04-17-2010, 12:32 PM   #21
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12 Springboks
DA*60-250, 1/400s f/5.0 at 250.0mm iso100


13
DA*60-250, 1/160s f/5.0 at 200.0mm iso100
04-17-2010, 12:34 PM   #22
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14 Ostrich
DA*60-250, 1/320s f/8.0 at 220.0mm iso100


15 Oryx
DA*60-250, 1/250s f/8.0 at 60.0mm iso100
04-17-2010, 12:35 PM   #23
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16 Brown Hyena
DA*60-250, 1/125s f/8.0 at 250.0mm iso100


To be continued...

04-17-2010, 02:08 PM   #24
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Great stuff, Dominique - almost like out of a story book.

Jer
04-18-2010, 05:57 AM   #25
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26th March: some kind of roundtrip in the Two Rivers area of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Parc

Today, we make a game drive in the Two Rivers area of the national parc.

17 Jackal
DA*200, 1/60s f/5.0 at 200.0mm iso100


18 Red Hartebeest
DA*60-250, 1/100s f/8.0 at 98.0mm iso100
04-18-2010, 05:58 AM   #26
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19 Young ostrichs
DA*60-250, 1/800s f/5.0 at 250.0mm iso100


20 Steenbock
DA*60-250, 1/500s f/5.0 at 250.0mm iso100
04-18-2010, 06:00 AM   #27
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21 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Parc, view on Auob Valley
DA12-24, 1/250s f/9.0 at 21.0mm iso100


22 Ostrich
DA*60-250, 1/800s f/4.5 at 250.0mm iso100
04-18-2010, 06:01 AM   #28
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23 Ground squirrels
DA*60-250, 1/100s f/6.3 at 250.0mm iso100


24 Kori Bustard
DA*60-250, 1/200s f/5.6 at 250.0mm iso200
04-18-2010, 06:03 AM   #29
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25 Blue Wildebeest
DA*60-250, 1/250s f/5.6 at 250.0mm iso320


26 Brown Hyena
DA*60-250, 1/250s f/7.1 at 400.0mm iso1250 + 1.7x TC
04-18-2010, 06:04 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by tcom Quote
Well, I am not completely through sorting and processing all the photos, but I can start the photo thread (all photos with K-7).

23rd March: Windhoek - Bagatelle Game Ranch

I landed in early morning at the airport of Windhoek (Namibia) and after the immigration procedures, I met the local guide, and the trip began. On the first day, we did not drive too much, just headed south to a nice lodge to stay for the night, the Bagatelle Game Ranch. In the late afternoon, we took our first game drive within the game ranch of the lodge:

1
DA12-24, 1/125s f/8.0 at 21.0mm iso100


2
DA*200, 1/400s f/5.0 at 200.0mm iso100
did u use any CPL filter for the first shot?
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