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03-08-2012, 04:31 PM   #1
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Long time listener, first time caller

How's it going?

I've been lurking for about six months now, and suppose now is as good a time as any to get more involved.

A little about me... I bought a K-X about 1.5 years ago, and I took it with me to Morocco, took some pretty good shots of the Sahara and Marrakesh with my kit lenses and have been in soaking up as much about photography, light etc. as I possibly could since then.

So obviously, I should quit my day job and go pro, right? Just kidding. Actually, looking back at my travel shots now, with a little bit more knowledge, I know I missed a lot of opportunities.

Anyway, I'm headed to Tanzania in a few months with a volunteering organization, and will be staying in Tarangire and Ngorongoro for a little while as well. The whole trip will be about a month. I'm on a budget and I'm hoping to rent a bit of gear. So does anyone have suggestions for what gear I'd be beating myself up for not having with me when shooting game/Landscapes? Any tips for a new forumite getting ready to travel? There might be better places to get those questions answered than the welcome thread, but I figured I'd start out here.

Nice to meet you all,
Solidmercury

03-08-2012, 09:13 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Glad you decided to say hi.
03-09-2012, 09:26 AM   #3
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Lenses For Travel?

Hello Solidmercury, Welcome to the Forum!,
I don't know of any rental companies that rent high-end Pentax lense, but they may exist. You might start a thread on the DSLR or Lens section with that question as a title.
But a lot of the replies will ask these questions; What type of shooting are you interested in? What focal lengths do you use most frequently? Do you need faster available-light lenses, or will you be shooting mainly during the day, outdoors?
Will you be taking either a tripod or a flash? Or both?
For what is commonly called "Street" or walking around, candid portrait- photographs, most people favor either a do-everything zoom like the kit len(s), or a moderate wide angle prime, a "standard" lens and a short telephoto. With those 3, you can capture 90% of the shots you want to take. In addition, most, if not all of them can be obtained easily in the f/2.8 aperture range, which would allow a much greater latitude in lighting conditions than a zoom. Unless you spring for a very expensive, bulky and heavy f/2.8 zoom, of course.
If you're comfortable with manual-focus lenses, you would be looking at about $50.00-$100.00 each for the three I mentioned. That would be either K mount, "M" or "A" lenses. Auto focus primes would be more expensive.
Another option is to try a medium wide-angle prime (24mm or 28mm), an F 35-70mm f/3.5-f/4.5 zoom (about $50.00 USD) and the FA 100-300mm f/4.7-f/5.8, (the silver version) an older autofocus tele zoom with good optics and ratings. These sell for around $100 regularly on eBay.
The advantages of these three is that the wide angle (at f/2.8) would be a stop and 1/2 to two stops faster than the kit lens and much sharper. It is considerably smaller, too.
The 35-70mm is a full stop faster than the 18-55 at any (equal) focal length and goes to 70mm (at f/4.5) providing you with a standard-to-short tele in a very compact single lens. I believe it's sharper, too. It has a useful "Macro" mode at 70mm, although not a true macro, it does allow clear and sharp close-ups of small objects.
The 100-300mm tele zooom, while slow, would allow you to "reach out" in daylight situations for wildlife to 300mm, a 50% increase in magnification over a 200mm.
Just some ideas, if you start a thread on the regular forum, I'm sure you'll get many more!
Good Luck,
Ron

Last edited by rbefly; 03-09-2012 at 09:34 AM.
03-09-2012, 09:37 AM   #4
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Based on my current useage.. I wouldn't go anywhere without my DA 18-135. If I had to take just one lens with me, that would be the one. My second would be my DA*60-250... but, on a budget, just buy a second hand Sigma 70-300. People will tell you it's crap... but dollar for pound it's probably one of the best lenses out there. It gives you a relatively lightweight very carry-able 300mm lens that also does macro. In fact if you are just shooting with the kit lens right now, you could buy one second hand for less than the cost of a rental.

03-09-2012, 10:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for the thoughtful reply, I'll definitely head into the Lens section for more questions.

QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
I don't know of any rental companies that rent high-end Pentax lense, but they may exist. You might start a thread on the DSLR or Lens section with that question as a title.
I know that borrowlenses has a modest Pentax selection and an outfit in Indiana called cameralensrentals has a much bigger selection. Most of the others are pretty much Canon and Nikon only.

QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
But a lot of the replies will ask these questions; What type of shooting are you interested in? What focal lengths do you use most frequently? Do you need faster available-light lenses, or will you be shooting mainly during the day, outdoors?
Will you be taking either a tripod or a flash? Or both?
Daylight, Tripod, Street portraits, landscapes, wildlife, you name it. I have an okay tripod and a few cheap flashes now, and am trying to learn how to take better advantage of them.

I'll have a few months to figure out the lenses I really want. My problem is there is so much choice, and too much time to think about it.
03-09-2012, 11:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Based on my current useage.. I wouldn't go anywhere without my DA 18-135. If I had to take just one lens with me, that would be the one. My second would be my DA*60-250... but, on a budget, just buy a second hand Sigma 70-300. People will tell you it's crap... but dollar for pound it's probably one of the best lenses out there. It gives you a relatively lightweight very carry-able 300mm lens that also does macro. In fact if you are just shooting with the kit lens right now, you could buy one second hand for less than the cost of a rental.
Is the Sigma 70-300 an AF lens?
I have an 18-55 and a 50-200 kit now and what I feel like I'm missing out on is the f2.8 or larger range to have that extra flexibility, and that's why I was thinking renting.
I think if I want more range, I saw a sigma 50-500mm lens, but that's getting up there, and would still probably have to be a rental, and in that case, would I be happier with a faster prime telephoto lens for a little upcharge?
03-09-2012, 11:25 AM   #7
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A very warm welcome. Please note, as you have stated above the all lens questions need to be posted in the lens Forum. It would be advisable to open a discussion there if you wish to seek further information on lens.

Great to have you aboard,
03-09-2012, 12:47 PM   #8
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Welcome Ryan. As you have already noticed we are a friendly bunch here. Would really like to see some the photos of your African travels. Your photos are a lot better than you think. I tend to be my harshest critic an am guessing you are the same. Post soon......Cliff

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