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06-26-2012, 08:16 AM   #1
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safari photography

Hi All

I am new to this forum and registered because it looks great! I live on a sailboat and am currently circumnavigating with the boat, GAIA, in Malaysia right now and me in Canada visiting family and friends.

I am looking for advice re the purchase of a telephoto or zoom lens for my K7. We will shortly be crossing the Indian Ocean to South Africa with the goal the game parks for extended visiting. I own the 18/55 and 50/200 DA lenses but would prefer to cover the range and preferably more with one lens or buy a dedicated telephoto used or new. Money is not the primary concern. Comments would be much appreciated from anyone of course with expertise and particularly from those with safari experience or other wildlife photography expertise.

Looking fwd to your comments

jim

06-26-2012, 08:47 AM   #2
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I can recommend the Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 for its IQ, or if you want more reach, the Pentax 55-300mm. Both have been reviewed in-depth on our homepage, and if you type in the focal length in our search box, you'll see a link.

Even options include the Sigma 150-500mm, 50-500mm, or 120-400mm, with user reviews here: Pentax Lenses by Sigma, Tamron, Zeiss, and more - Reviews and Specification Database - Pentax Lens Review Database

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06-26-2012, 09:25 AM   #3
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The choice of lenses depends on how close to the animals you get. In Kruger and some of the other South African parks you often get very close to them, and a 70-200mm will be sufficient. In the "real" wilderness you need more reach. This is where I use 300mm and 500mm primes.

Welcome to the forum!
06-26-2012, 10:08 AM   #4
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The focal range 50-300 would cover most requirements for animals because you can generally get up fairly close by vehicle. There are exceptions, but if you go too long you might miss some of the closer animals and vistas. Obviously birding is a different challenge and longer is almost always better.

The ideal all-in-one lens, although not top-end image quality, is the Pentax DA18-250 or equivalent Tamron. But if you want top-end quality, then you may need multiple lenses. The Tamron or Sigma 70-200, or Pentax DA*60-250 are all stellar image quality options.

Where in particular do you plan to berth, and what parks are on your agenda?

06-26-2012, 10:10 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by PePe Quote
The choice of lenses depends on how close to the animals you get. In Kruger and some of the other South African parks you often get very close to them, and a 70-200mm will be sufficient. In the "real" wilderness you need more reach. This is where I use 300mm and 500mm primes.

Welcome to the forum!
I agree with PePe - 200mm may be enough but it depends how close you will get. On safari in Tanzania 300mm was usually enough but I was still reaching for the 1.4x teleconverter at times.

I cannot fault the image quality of the Sigma 100-300 f4 but it is fairly hefty if you are travelling.

If your 50-200 is a good copy then maybe using that in combination with a longer prime would work. However, bear in mind that you don't want to be changing lenses too frequently in dusty conditions. That is why a lot of people suggest the Sigma 50-500.
06-28-2012, 06:50 AM   #6
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17/250 zoom with teleconverter?

Thanks all for the great suggestions. I replied in the quick reply section and got timed out and lost the whole thing. (#$%%^). Aggravating as I'm short of time.

Nice to read how many of you have been there! I'm going to look more closely at the individual suggestions to make up my mind when I am more stationery but in the meantime I favour Kevin's idea of an all in one lens as I dislike changing lenses in the conditions I often operate in. Salt spray or aerosols, dust or dicy conditions like the back of a truck, train etc.

I wonder though if the Tamron lens is still available and will try and find out. The Pentax 17/250 is no longer made I think and I do not know about used lenses. I will go searching when I'm back in Toronto in a few weeks.

Also the mention of a teleconverter intrigues. Perhaps that might be the convenient way to extend the reach of the 17/250 and selling the two lenses that will be redundant will help pay for the cost.

Any further suggestions on using a tele converter with the 17/250 assuming I can find one?

Thanks again everyone, most helpful.

Jim
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