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07-26-2014, 01:39 AM   #1
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Greetings good Pentax people,

I'm relatively new to DSLR photography after a 20 year break from 35mm photography. I purchased a k5ii, 18-135 wr a few months back with the idea of getting back into a hobby I truly love. I'm based in South Africa and have been flitting through this friendly and informative site for a few months now. I'm very, very happy with my purchase and not a day goes by where I don't shoot something.
This just serves as a greeting to all and a small introduction of myself and I look forward to being a part of this fantastic community.
I recently had the fantastic luck of finding a property to rent on a game estate and the amount of wildlife and photo opportunities available around every bend whilst walking my little mutt Diesel has me wanting glass with a little more reach. I'm tempted in getting the relatively inexpensive DA 55-300, as the DA 300mm is a little out of my price bracket currently. How would this fair for general bush shots, Kudu, Impala, zebra etc. Predominantly daylight, though a lot of what I photograph currently is at sunset. Should I hang out the 7 months it will take to save up for the beautiful 300mm or just grab the cheaper 55-300 in the interim and way lay the purchase of the lens for a while. I hope this want to long winded and look forward to hearing some of your informed replies. Greetings again and thank you for all the past info over gleaned from these forums, that helped me make my original choice of pentax, over canon and nikon.
Regards,
Shane

07-26-2014, 06:16 AM   #2
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Welcome!

The K-5 II and the 18-135 is a really powerful kit. It really is.

I envy your ability to be surrounded by such incredible wildlife. Never been to SA, but it's certainly on the bucket list

Regarding the 55-300 - it's a great lens and punches WAY about its price in many areas. Recently a 19 page in-depth review was published of the latest 55-300 incarnation by Pentax, the HD WR version. That should answer pretty much any and every question you could have about the lens (and the two other versions made by Pentax), and there's tons of sample photos as well. Additionally, a considerable portion of the review focuses on a comparison against the lauded DA* 60-250 F4 pro-grade zoom.

HD 55-300 WR In-Depth Review.


Oh, in case you're curious, expect the 15 page in-depth review of the DA 18-135 WR to be published in the next few weeks.

Also, you said that you have been out of the photography loop for a while (and I don't know how involved you were back then). DSLR's are a whole different beast than the film SLR's of yesteryear. No condescension is intended, but this post might prove a good refresher of the things to become competent in when handling a DSLR:

True Beginners - READ THIS/START HERE!


And you've certainly chosen wisely, especially if you are looking for gear to beat around in the bush with

Again, welcome!

-Heie
07-26-2014, 07:25 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard! All good advice from Heie there.

I know I am very happy with the 55-300 for wildlife. You can see some examples from my visits to Namibia, Zambia/Zimbabwe, and South Africa on Flickr. The ones from Namibia are mostly taken from a vehicle, the ones from Zam/Zim are a mix of walking and driving while the ones from SA are all on foot. All pictures of animals are taken with the SMC DA 55-300.
07-26-2014, 02:16 PM   #4
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Hey thank you both for the friendly welcome and great advice. I did see a review on the HD version recently, but have a feeling it will take a while before reaching South Africa. We tend to have a slight delay in general tech releases.
I appreciate the excellent photo samples, thank you Savoche those are really beautiful shots and have definitely helped with my decision.
Hi Heie, you clearly know your stuff and I have taken your words with a lot of weight. I think I've gotten the hang of digital slowly and find it much simpler than the old film. I'm going to have a read through the link you supplied right after typing this message. Thank you again for the in depth and fast reply.
I've been very pleasantly surprised by the ability of the 18-135WR, I've gotten some really nice shots in the past in difficult lighting.
Thank you again, I'm be getting my 55-300mm the next few days then and visiting here regularly with my results. Have a great evening.

07-27-2014, 02:21 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard, looking forward to seeing your "local" wildlife shots, I'm very envious of your "a property to rent on a game estate".
07-28-2014, 01:47 AM   #6
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Thanks Kerrowdown :)

I am very fortunate in having found this place. When I read the advert, I thought it was too good to be true and had my reservations. Now that I've moved in, I'm finding it really difficult to get any work done as the wild outside calls me hourly. I have to force myself to stay seated in front of my PC.
Thank you again for the warm Scotts' welcome. I will be going through the shots this afternoon I took yesterday on my hike; I'm hoping the results are as amazing as some of the wildlife shots I've seen here.
Have a brilliant day your side of the world and your welcome to visit here anytime for a stay over and a photo excursion if you're ever visiting the tip of Africa.
Cheers
07-29-2014, 05:54 AM   #7
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Welcome from Chicagoland!

The 55-300 is an easy choice, since everything else is either not as good or much more costly.
I'm on my second copy (lenses can only take so much damage). We live near a scenic river so it's great to have this zoom since you can never predict what you'll see any given day.
07-29-2014, 02:59 PM   #8
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Welcome Shane. PF is a great reference for all thing Pentax and photography in general.

You're off to a great start with k-5ii and 18-135. The 55-300 is a very useful general tele lens and lightweight and size suits travel kit. Well worth it as part of a mixed kit. You can always add longer or better (but will be big/heavy), so you will likely keep the 55-300 for convenience of weight/size.

What part are you from?

BTW: Swambo and I are looking forward to road trip to Kruger Park in a few weeks time. Looking forward to game viewing for a week.

08-07-2014, 07:12 AM   #9
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Thank you all once again,

QuoteOriginally posted by KevinR Quote
Welcome Shane. PF is a great reference for all thing Pentax and photography in general.

You're off to a great start with k-5ii and 18-135. The 55-300 is a very useful general tele lens and lightweight and size suits travel kit. Well worth it as part of a mixed kit. You can always add longer or better (but will be big/heavy), so you will likely keep the 55-300 for convenience of weight/size.

What part are you from?

BTW: Swambo and I are looking forward to road trip to Kruger Park in a few weeks time. Looking forward to game viewing for a week.
Apologies for the delay in reply and thank you again for the warm welcomes. I am based just outside of Johannesburg in the Krugersdorp area. Very dry and dusty here at present and really glad I have a weather proof, sealed Pentax. This dust gets in everywhere.
I Haven't as yet gotten my 55-300, work has kept me busy until all hours of the night and no opportunity to head to the stores. (sending the lady out for the necessities instead).
The last time I was in the Kruger Park area was the in the army, many, many years ago. I hope you get all the shots you hope for. Must be just as dry that side of the country I'm sure.
Thank you again for the welcome and it's good to see other South Africans enjoying their Pentax's as much as me. Your glass collection is fantastic by the way, give me a few years and I too can have a cool lens list in my sig
08-07-2014, 11:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mindseed Quote
your welcome to visit here anytime for a stay over and a photo excursion
Now don't you go tempting me...
08-07-2014, 12:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Now don't you go tempting me...
You know, getting to London might take you longer than the overnight flight from there to Johannesburg
08-12-2014, 03:01 AM   #12
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Temptation

QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Now don't you go tempting me...
Hi Kerrowdown, this isn't Temptation, it's an invitation I can tell you it would be much cheaper and easier for you to visit South Africa, than it would be for me to visit your country - something I've always wanted to do. Visit Scotland.
The South African Rand is worth little to nothing at the moment unfortuantely. You on the other hand could buy a small home here with a few coins in your back pocket.
I tell you what Sir. I've always wanted to visit Scotland, perhaps we can swap a holiday
08-12-2014, 03:59 AM   #13
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Bonjour from France and welcome to PF, Shane ... Hope to see some images soon! Salut, J
08-12-2014, 12:27 PM   #14
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Life on the farm

QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
Bonjour from France and welcome to PF, Shane ... Hope to see some images soon! Salut, J
Heita! from Johannesburg South Africa Thanks for the welcome Jean. I'm hoping to put some up soon. I'm just not 100% sure I'm confident enough to showcase anything as yet. There are some truly amazing photographers amongst you.

Not sure if I'm proud enough of them as yet, but I'll upload them to show how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful part of the world.
Please feel free to let me know exactly what you think. I'm here to learn.
As you can see. That 55-300 would do me wonderfully here. End of this month. It's mine.
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08-12-2014, 12:39 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by mindseed Quote
Heita! from Johannesburg South Africa ... I'll upload them to show how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful part of the world. ...
Some very nice images ... Merci, J
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