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12-01-2014, 04:33 PM   #1
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I need help in creating a K-3 travel kit.

Hello,


I am new to this forum but I've been a die hard Pentaxian since the 1990s when I had my ME and ME Super SLRs. I upgraded to the K-3 from the K-m in July and I've been enjoying the camera immensely. I am in the Navy and over the next 4 years I will be deployed quite often. I plan on taking the K-3 with me around the world.


I need to know what you would pick if you needed to bring the most minimal amount of gear for the best possible photos. I need help in picking the following equipment:


1) A compact and weatherproof lens that will work in the widest amount of situations.
2) A tele-converter that will work with the above lens.
3) Recommendations for durable and high quality filters that will work best when photographing from the deck of a ship.
4) The best possible 32GB SD cards that I can buy for stills and video.
5) A way to back up my photos and encrypt them if necessary.


I already have a good idea of what I need but I'd like some solid opinions before I shell out the big bucks. Space is at a premium so all this gear needs to be able to fit in a small case. Any help offered would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks in advance!


obin


12-01-2014, 05:01 PM   #2
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1) DA 18-135 if you need more on hte wide end, DA 60-250 or 55-300 if more on the long end. All are weather-sealed
2) The Pentax HD 1.4 teleconverter is hte only weathersealed teleconverter I know of, and optically it's outstanding.
3) I've had good luck with Hoya filters. I've heard good reports about B&W as well.
4) I don't do video so I don't kow what kind of write-speeds you'd need. I've had good luck with Sandisk class 10 memory cards for stills.
5) I use Lacie Tough hard drives to back up files when I'm away from home. Can't help with encryption.
12-01-2014, 05:22 PM   #3
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1.The DA 18-135 is compact, weather-sealed, and has a decent range. Add the DA 55-300 WR or if you have the cash the DA* 16-50 and DA*60-250.
2. The Pentax HD 1.4 teleconverter is the only WR one out there.
3. I've had good luck with Tiffen, Hoya, and B&W.
4. Sandisk Extreme Pro is good, but I was in a hurry and got a pair of Patriot EP Pro 64gb cards and was very pleasantly surprised at them. I would get 64 gb cards rather than 32gb ones.
5. I don't have a recommendation for this other than to transfer files to 128gb flash drives. That's what I do on trips. If out for long periods of time then an external HDD will be the best bet.
12-01-2014, 05:38 PM   #4
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K3 Travel kit

I agree with all of the above but would throw in the 100 MM Macro WR for florals etc when on shore leave. (used this extensivly while in Burma, Laos, Viet Nam, Northern Thailand and Viet Nam)
Enjoy

12-01-2014, 05:51 PM   #5
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I have a simple travel kit which consists of the following Tamron 17-50 2.8 has better IQ than the Pentax and costs half as much, you can get used for under $400. It's not weather sealed so you will want to get a weather cover for it. The Sigma costs a lot more and isn't weather sealed either. I have the DA* 60-250 costly but worth it great IQ and weather sealed. Circ polarizer, graduated ND filter, 6 stop ND filter. The Tamron and Pentax 60-250 take the same size filter. I have both marumi and B&W filters they are both great and the Marumi costs a lot less. I think 32G cards (I only use Sandisk the fastest ones they have)are plenty big, I'd sure hate to lose 64 worth of shots. You can find some large flash drives now for under $100 check those out also. you can find 1 TB hard drives for around $60-$70. You might want to get a monopod and small ball head (vanguard makes a good one)
12-01-2014, 05:52 PM   #6
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I just desided to add DA*16-50 to my "simple kit". That together with DA*60-250 and HD 1.4x TC + K-3 should make great weather proof light-ish travel kit. Not that small but small enough for my needs. Maybe add the DA 100 WR Macro and you're ready for almost everything.
As for filters, consider polarizer and ND filters + graduated NDs if you like. If you go with these high quelity lenses, the filters shoukd also be high quality so that the image quality does not suffer too much. Hoya or B&W are good if you stick in pro grade. Marumi is maybe better but expensive.
As you will be in long trips, an external USB3 HDD will be the best choice for backup's. Consider getting two, just to be in safe side. HDD's are cheap and it's better be safe than sorry...
12-01-2014, 06:01 PM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions! I am going to pick up that Pentax WR teleconverter. I figure that a teleconverter plus a good lens will save me from needing to bring more lenses in general. Remember that space is at a premium with me so this whole kit needs to be as compact as possible.


I think this is the lens I will get unless someone says there is a better weather sealed lens out there.
PENTAX - HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR


I realize that I should have been a bit more specific than I was before on the filters. I will be taking lots of photos from the deck of a ship. I have extensive experience with this and before I used a B+W UV filter. I was somewhat pleased with the results but I use more Hoya filters now. I am happier with Hoya than I was with B+W. I just don't know if there is a best kept secret today amongst ship photographers. What is the consensus on this filter?
HOYA | The Difference is Clear


These are the memory cards I use now. I have shot thousands of photos with them so I figure I'll go with the 32GB version.
http://www.amazon.com/PNY-Performance-Speed-Class-UHS-1/dp/B00IEYG878


Thanks again for the advice. For me the price isn't a problem and I would rather just get the best stuff. I will be far away from anything that resembles a camera store for quite a while. Picking the best equipment up front is well worth it for the photos I am going to capture.


obin
12-01-2014, 06:12 PM   #8
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I would definitely also get the 18-135 because it is small and pretty decent quality, and if in port you are going to miss the wider end with only the 55-300.

12-01-2014, 06:13 PM   #9
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1) Option 1: Consumer grade WR combo DA18-135WR with DA55-300WR, relatively compact, great range, good enough IQ for the price, get this if you don't need constant f2.8 and the budget is tight(or don't want to risk SDM failure, can't blame you), Option 2: full on DA* zoom set: DA*16-50 f2.8 with DA*60-250 f4, great image quality, better All Weather sealing, quiet focus, both with constant aperture, cons would be the potential worry for SDM(I know people say it's been fixed but can't imagine what would happen if it breaks while you are overseas), and they are big and heavy and expensive. Alternative: the newly released DA 16-85WR, this one is too new to be given any true understanding of the IQ, but the range is nice and it's a WR lens, seems to be a good choice for travel if you enjoy the wide end more.

2) Pentax HD 1.4X AW TC is a no-brainer...

3)I don't use filter often but the HOYA ones I got seems to work just fine when I do.

4) Sandisk Extreme Pro 95mb/s version, get a few of these, just to be safe.

5) I know there are fancy product that can back up pictures without a PC, but for me, a decent laptop is needed for post processing so I would just add two 2TB USB3 mobile HDD to store and backup my images.
12-01-2014, 07:10 PM   #10
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I've been refining my travel kit for about 2+ years.

I have done around the world trips and I plan to do it again in the near future. It all depends on what kind of 'travel' you like to do. I mean are you really going to go to Patagonia and hike up mountains or are you going to Italy to walk the streets? Some of my friends are running around South Sudan (an active warzone) and they have been in and out of Somalia. Your ideas of 'travel' really do matter. So do your ideas of photography.

Are you going to lounge around the South Pacific? I mean seriously what's the plan? What kind of photography do you want to do? Just take selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower or are you going to try and create something artistic?

Personally I do not put a big premium on weather resistance but there are exceptions. If you go to hot, humid, tropical climates (especially islands) you will find weather resistance much more valuable. Salt water spray will get on everything whether you like it or not. There are a number of cases where you might want weather resistance. You have extreme heat, extreme cold, really dusty environments...it all depends on what you plan to do and where you plan to go.

If you are going to stick by any kind of civilization and barring that you might just like to stand in the rain...then weather sealing is a bit of a nicety that 95% of photographers live without.

But as for lenses I personally could live with the 3 FA Limiteds and a Surui travel tripod. If you want to do more then throw in the 21mm and the 15mm...straight primes. When I do my next trip that's going to be the kit I will take. Toss in a K3 and you got one heck of a good kit. I can fit it in one bag and it fits in my overhead compartment.

When I bought into Pentax my requirement was that 1. My kit will fit in one bag. 2. I must be able to carry all my camera gear and a separate backpack (for clothes etc) and still be able to drive a scooter. When I travel that's generally how I go. That said it all depends also on duration of travel as well.

In my next 'trip' I might go get an apartment somewhere (say like Chaing Mai or Nairobi) and on my long flight over take a few extras (like a laptop and an external hard drive) and maybe a few sundries...and then from there go out on a bunch of short regional trips. If I stay in Nairobi for example I can explore most of central and East Africa on 3-4 day or week long 'mini trips'. Just take a lot of SD cards... Have about 10 or 20 SD cards... and don't worry about processing anything until you get back to civilization.

It really depends on so much more than most people think about. It depends on your style and how you plan to shoot. Are you going around the world to experience people or see sights? Basically once you have developed a style of photography then take what you need to accomplish your photographic goals.

Other people could take a couple of zoom lenses and be more than satisfied. Me, I like primes.
12-01-2014, 07:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote

Are you going to lounge around the South Pacific? I mean seriously what's the plan? What kind of photography do you want to do? Just take selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower or are you going to try and create something artistic?

Personally I do not put a big premium on weather resistance but there are exceptions. If you go to hot, humid, tropical climates (especially islands) you will find weather resistance much more valuable. Salt water spray will get on everything whether you like it or not. There are a number of cases where you might want weather resistance. You have extreme heat, extreme cold, really dusty environments...it all depends on what you plan to do and where you plan to go.

I will be deployed aboard several different warships. The temperature will be as low as below freezing and as hot as 150+ degrees. Weather can range from hot and sunny one moment to tropical storm a few moments later. When we're not on the ship we may be in a helicopter or on land for a day or so at a time. Most photos will be of life aboard the ship but some will be of the various things we encounter.


obin
12-01-2014, 07:37 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Obin Robinson Quote
I will be deployed aboard several different warships. The temperature will be as low as below freezing and as hot as 150+ degrees. Weather can range from hot and sunny one moment to tropical storm a few moments later. When we're not on the ship we may be in a helicopter or on land for a day or so at a time. Most photos will be of life aboard the ship but some will be of the various things we encounter.


obin
The weather sealed zooms Pentax offers are for you. End of story.
12-01-2014, 07:55 PM   #13
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To give you an idea of the kinds of photos I want to get here is one I took with my old Optio M20 back in 2008.





That was aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and we were in the VACAPES CVOA. I took a few thousand photos with the point-and-shoot. This time I want a better camera to capture higher resolution images. That is what the K-3 is for. I feel that the little point and shoot can't capture the colors very well compared to a DSLR. You're missing the rich blue of the ocean and the pale blue of the sky.

The little point and shot did not have the contrast that I wanted to capture when the sunlight hit the aircraft at just the right angle. Everything looked so washed out and flat.



obin
12-01-2014, 08:02 PM   #14
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On a boat that size I would imagine you don't get much 'over the bow' spray.... so that said I retract my statement before and say a set of limited primes will allow you to mix it up some and enjoy your shooting...15mm, 21, 31, 43, and the 70 or 77....you can go either route. I think knowing the size of the ship you are on and all that it's just up to you.

Zooms and primes... it's your call as to which one.
12-01-2014, 08:12 PM   #15
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Thanks again for all the great advice here! I won't be on large boats the whole time. We're going to be moving around a bit. If I have the luxury of being able to bring a few lenses then I'm going to stuff some primes into the box. Something like a 50mm would get a LOT of usage. After that I would only need a lens like the 18-135mm or 50-200mm WR lenses. Other than water I worry about general humidity killing my gear. I lost a lot of photos to fogging up lenses. I think we've solved the problem of the back-up, memory, teleconverter, and filters. The only issue is which lens.


If you were forced to pick only ONE (weather sealed or not) for taking both close ups inside the ship as well as long photos of distant shorelines then what would it be? I suppose I could always crop the photos later on as long as the image was sharp to begin with.


obin
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