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07-06-2017, 11:46 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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On Safari with the K-1 and the Pentax-DA 60-250mm lens

Thanks to the help of a kind forum member from Sweden (Gutta Perka), I was able to get my Pentax DA 60-250mm lens modified for full-frame so that there was no vignetting. As a trip to South Africa was on the horizon, this lens seemed like the ideal safari lens to go with the K-1. And I wasn’t disappointed.

What was I looking for in a good safari lens? One that was reasonably comfortable to hand-hold for long periods, had a fairly ample zoom range, and was sharp enough to do justice to the K-1 sensor. The Pentax DA 60-250mm lens peformed admirably. Changing lenses is usually not an option when on safari, so the zoom range was ideal. In fact thanks to the excellent image quality, I could even photograph birds with this lens, and get acceptable cropped images. See a few sample images below to illustrate the above.

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07-06-2017, 12:37 PM   #2
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very nicely done

where did you \go on your safari?
07-06-2017, 01:01 PM   #3
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A lovely series! It would be cool if Pentax could sell a version of the 60-250mm with the baffle removed at the factory, as the FL really is quite good for FF, and the lens is a more portable alternative to the 70-200.

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07-06-2017, 04:37 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
A lovely series! It would be cool if Pentax could sell a version of the 60-250mm with the baffle removed at the factory, as the FL really is quite good for FF, and the lens is a more portable alternative to the 70-200.
I've actually been thinking the same thing. As a new K1 owner, and loving it, I'm looking at the 60-250 with a twisted sense. I want to buy a new lens that would be a nice easy to carry option on the K1 with the optics to go with the K1's resolution. My 55-300 seems pointless to put on the K1, and With a 15-30 and 150-450 already in the kit, I'm kinda sensitive to another lens with the heft of the 70-200 to add in to the mix. And there it is, the 60-250. But buying a lens new to immediately void the warranty by taking it apart is counter intuitive. Yes, I could pick up used, but having bought several used lenses, there really isn't anything like new, and for whatever it's worth, I feel like if you can afford new, give another sale to Pentax - if you're worried about a "tomorrow", don't be self-fulfilling - buy new, but I digress. Yes, Pentax, are you listening? Release a factory blessed full frame 60-250 with a modified baffle. You might be surprised how many K1 owners buy a new one!

And great pictures above - thanks for posting!

07-07-2017, 01:17 PM   #5
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A few safari options

Many thanks for your kind words, Aslyfox. Regarding the safaris I went on in South Africa. I was in Pilanesberg (ideal for two days, if you can arrange this, especially if you can go with a hired car and do your own thing). Then I was also at a safari lodge for a couple of days (Thaba Khaya, which is excellent for antelope species, such as the Kudu), and finally a Lodge that specializes in lions, Ukutula. (You can walk in the bush with two-year-old lions, escorted by game wardens of course.) If you are thinking of doing a safari with your Bigma in South Africa, I would suggest Pilanesberg (a reasonable distance from Johannesburg) and Kruger National Park, where you can see everything. Five years ago, I spent six days in Kruger, which also enables you drive around in your own car (perfect for birding as well as the animals.) See attached photos from Kruger and Pilanesberg. And remember you can spot squirrels on an African safari.
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07-07-2017, 04:16 PM   #6
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An excellent series which proves the K-1 is up to the job.

Last edited by eaglem; 07-08-2017 at 03:41 PM.
07-08-2017, 11:24 AM   #7
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I agree totally with what Adam says. I am sure the Pentax DA would be a popular zoom for the K-1 if it were slightly revamped. I understand the reluctance of some users, like clickclick, to mess around with a new lens and put the warrantee in jeopardy. A new upgraded “Pentax D FA 60-250mm lens” would solve that problem, it would be easy to manufacture and would offer users a more affordable, portable zoom in this convenient range of focal lengths. The optics are excellent as so many Pentax users have confirmed, no matter what focal length is chosen. Perhaps someone should organize a survey to get the ball rolling. We know Pentax does pay attention to this forum. Regards, johnmb
12-23-2018, 01:39 AM   #8
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Today I found a review about using D-FA 150-450 with a DA 1,4 teleconverter -
https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/da-14x-teleconverter-150-450mm-fullframe/introduction.html - and it made me to share similar dilemma I had a year ago. Found this thread, seemed appropriate.

In February this year a safari in Kenya was ahead and I didn’t know which tele lens to take along. I had modified 60-250 for K-1 and it worked perfectly - no (significant) vignetting etc. But I assumed that 250mm is a bit short for safari and thought how 60-250 with DA 1,4 TC would work on K-1. Made thorough testing and found that this combo is mostly like disaster, TC amplifies all the weaknesses of 60-250 and adds some new. It would be usable at cropped mode of K-1 (but I wanted to keep it FF as to leave the room for cropping). Results:
- Acceptable sharpness only at F8-11 and only in the centre of the frame
- Heavy purple fringing
- Heavy vignetting (from some point not recovarable in PP)
And what I found - Pentax DA 1,4 TC works pretty well with old Tamron 70-200 :-) Actually, on K-1 in FF mode Tamron 70-200 F2,8 is sharper around the frame than Pentax DA 60-250. Pentax is said that if even some DA lenses work on K-1, these are designed for APS-C, i.e. the IQ might not be as expected. And I’ve found that it results mostly on softness in corners and edges (in my case more on DA 60-250 and less on DA 40 Ltd).

So, for safari I rented D-FA 150-450 and I was very happy about that decision.

-


Last edited by tungal; 12-23-2018 at 01:44 AM. Reason: Corrections
12-23-2018, 02:11 AM   #9
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Congratulations on these fine results. Even with the FL limitation, you've got some good close images of this wildlife. Thanks for sharing.
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