Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-28-2016, 03:25 AM   #16
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 13,205
Original Poster
ok, I am reviving this thread to update my equipment choices and to get some additional help deciding on equipment. For those who are "coming in late" and don't want to read the prior posts, this is a request for assistance on what equipment to take with us as we go on our first trip to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park in early June 2017. We hope to have the chance to photograph wild life, we are not that concerned with flash photography. Plan on shooting in natural light as much as possible.

All equipment will be carried with us on planes (hopefully the cameras and lenses as carry on) and a rental vehicle, we don't plan on any extensive hiking carrying the equipment. I have 2 Op/Tech USA utility slings and 2 Joby UtraFit Hand Strap with Ultraplate on the DSLRs to use to carry the equipment and a back pack as well.

my current options include:

we have Pentax K 3 and K 5 II, 2 Nikon Coolpix P610 (I plan on taking both DSLRs and 1 of the Nikons for my wife to use)

Lenses: Tamron 4-5.6 70 - 300 mm macro zoom ld [1:2] af 62 f, smc Pentax-DA 1.8 50 mm prime 52 f, smc Pentax-D FA 2.8 100 mm macro prime 49 f, HD Pentax DA 3.5-5.6 16 - 85 mm wr zoom 72 f, smc Pentax dal 4-5.6 50-200 mm wr ed zoom 49 f, smc Pentax dal 3.5-5.6 18-55 mm wr zoom 52 f, smc Pentax da 3.5-5.6 18-55 mm al zoom 52 f, HD Pentax-D FA 4.5 - 5.6 150-450 mm ED DC AW 86 f

Currently I am planning on taking the following 4 lenses: smc Pentax-DA 1.8 50 mm prime 52 f, smc Pentax-D FA 2.8 100 mm macro prime 49 f, HD Pentax DA 3.5-5.6 16 - 85 mm wr zoom 72 f, and HD Pentax-D FA 4.5 - 5.6 150-450 mm ED DC AW 86 f?

this gives me length (especially with the rear converter), macro ability if necessary and an ability to use 1.8 if necessary due to low light.

what else, do you folks recommend and why? What should I take instead of my selection?

Should I be concerned over difference: HD vs. SMC or AW/WR vs. non AW/WR or DA, D FA or dal in making my selections, are the differences enough to cause concern?


Other equipment I plan on taking: HD Pentax -DA af rear converter 1.4 AW, Pentax O-GPS1, Manfrrotto 679B/NK11 Monopod, Joby Ball X JB00157 ball Head, Benro Go Travel 1 GA168T Tripod

I have two external flash units that I don't plan on taking, should I? Pentax AF160FC Ring Flash and Metz 52 AF-1 digital

thank you for your suggestions and advice.

12-28-2016, 07:40 AM   #17
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,134
The list looks pretty complete to me. Extra batteries and chargers would be something I assume you have covered already.

If it were my trip I would take the Metz flash and some type of flash extender to add fill light occasionally to the longer dim shots. I find fill flash is pretty helpful in these shots but you may not want to do so based on your comments.
12-28-2016, 01:11 PM   #18
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,381
I took two trips to Yellowstone last year and hopefully will be able to get back there in May. I took a plethora of lenses with me. But I actually used only a few. It really depends upon on how much time you want to spend doing what kinds of things. I have been there 7 times in the past 25 years and have barely scratched the surface of the place. The three lenses that got used almost exclusively were my Pentax DA 55-300 WR, my Pentax D FA 28-105 and my Pentax D FA 150-450. I also had an MX-1 for grab shots as needed. I love that little camera. I even took a few with my iPhone 5C.

Lenses that did not get used included my Pentax DA 12-24, Sigma 17-70, Tamron 70-200 F2.8. Sigma 300mm f2.8 and Tamron 90mm f 2.5 macro. Some of this was due to time constraints and trying to see as much as possible in the few days I had. If you don't camp, hotels get real expensive after June 1. Even the Super 8 in Gardiner, Montana cost me $148/night.

If you get into the park by 6:00 AM you will get a few hours to visit the more popular spots before the crush of cars and tourist buses. The evening is also a very good time to wander around. Visiting the thermal areas at night is everything from interesting to eerie. I have a few 500 lumen flashlights that I got at BJ's for $29.99 for the pair. I plan on using them to try a little light painting this year if I get the chance.

I found that my K5 and K5-IIs had a lot of trouble autofocusing on the thermal features and mostly used manual focus with them. This year I took my K3 and K1 and had better success with their improved autofocus. I only needed to really reach out and touch something once. It involved a grizzly sow and her three cubs. The were a mile away. I found them by just sitting in one area and scanning with binoculars for quite awhile. I used my 150-450 with stacked 1.4X and 2X teleconverters on my K3. The photos are technically poor, but they are a record of something I may never see again

One does not go and "Do" Yellowstone. It is a place that does what it wants when it wants and that requires time on your part. It is a place to experience and the experience is always different so don't fell bad about missing something. Everybody who has ever gone there misses something no matter how much time that they spend there. In almost three weeks total in the park I have yet to see a wolf. Take what it offers you when it offers you and you will have a very good experience. Put the camera down once in awhile too and just take it all in.
12-28-2016, 03:23 PM   #19
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 13,205
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
I took two trips to Yellowstone last year and hopefully will be able to get back there in May. ...
One does not go and "Do" Yellowstone. It is a place that does what it wants when it wants and that requires time on your part. It is a place to experience and the experience is always different so don't fell bad about missing something. Everybody who has ever gone there misses something no matter how much time that they spend there. In almost three weeks total in the park I have yet to see a wolf. Take what it offers you when it offers you and you will have a very good experience. Put the camera down once in awhile too and just take it all in.
thanks for the advice

I agree it is easy to miss things when you spend all the time looking through the lens finder and/or the view screen of the camera instead of looking at the whole picture (pun intended) from time to time

take "pictures" with your eyes and store them in your memory first, then use the camera and its memory is always good advice

12-28-2016, 09:29 PM   #20
Pentaxian




Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 597
Well it's time to pay it forward... GTNP and Yellowstone are magnificent. Some of my favorite places on earth. In my short life I have been out that way at least a half dozen times if not more.

As far as gear goes... Bring it all, no but seriously you don't obviously need to pack two fast 50's... On the other hand, I would bring both your bodies, the awesome rental lens naturally. Others... Include your revised list of four plus the 55-200. Might come in handy imho. Sometimes you don't want to look like a paparazzi and just shoot.

Between the two parks GTNP is my favorite plenty of good spots for pics. In fact I have gone to GTNP and passed altogether on Yellowstone. Get up early and shoot, if you can, I tend to much more at sunset and on vacation I don't want to be up at the crack of dawn. I know that makes me a lazy photographer, now that I have dropped 3K on new equipment and likely another couple next year, I will be more likely to drag me myself out of bed. Be sure to do Jenny Lake and the hike to inspiration point... Amazing.

Let me know if you have questions about the trip etc. Like photo spots, hikes trust me I am not a strenuous hiker, stroller is more accurate. Most importantly have fun.
12-29-2016, 10:51 AM - 1 Like   #21
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2015
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,400
we spent a month on the road this summer

I took just about everything I owned

the three kits I USED were:

k3 18-135 55-300
k50 150-500
Fuji x30

I only used our tripods for "selfies" and the spotting scope
the monopod as a walking stick when my knee quit working right

the weather was often wet so the k3 kit was used the most and survived handily

next year we are likely going to glacier and Banff
my goal is to acquire the 150-450 so that I can wear my raincoat

I hope to use:

k3 18-135 55-300
k3ii 150-450
Fuji x30

my pods were all bogens, so they are heavy
I recently picked up a little dolica that fits in my pelican box
I suspect that is what I will use this time

I have an old cabela's window mount
I changed out the head and put on a cheap ballhead
but I used a bean bag more often even with the scope

so that leaves the most important glass for the trip
you need the best binoculars for YOU (no matter what brand they are)
a spotting scope is a great addition as well (I've used an inexpensive and light 20x burris for quick glassing)
we usually use a big vortex with a red dot sight (thanks for the idea Wildman) when detail matters

that is about all I think I know

good luck and have fun!
12-29-2016, 11:12 AM   #22
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,134
QuoteOriginally posted by ccc_ Quote
we spent a month on the road this summer
...

that is about all I think I know

good luck and have fun!
Priceless first hand knowledge.
12-29-2016, 03:09 PM   #23
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 13,205
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by ccc_ Quote

I have an old cabela's window mount
I changed out the head and put on a cheap ballhead
but I used a bean bag more often even with the scope

good luck and have fun!
I have cabela's points so the window mount seems interesting but how much weight can be put on it??

one source says about 4 lbs another claims much more

do you have any thoughts

I would be putting the big guy - the hd-pentax-d-fa-150-450mm-f45-56-ed-dc-aw - which is a whopping 70 ounces + by itself mounted on my K 3 on the window mount so you can see why I am interested in real world experience.

did you find the bean bag to be too low???

thanks

12-29-2016, 03:48 PM   #24
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2015
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,400
let's start with the beanbag
it is the small gura gear with about three pounds of rice
it just straddles the glass and I raise the window as high as it need be

bean bags get a warning as well...always have a strap attached to the camera and you
thirty five hundred dollars bouncing down the mountain would be heartbreaking

now the window mount
height same deal raise it if you need to

my ball head is pretty loosey goosey
I never let it actually support my gear alone...always a hand or two on it

I had large spotting scope/camera body combos on it with the pan head and had no issues back in the day

the one caveat about shooting from your vehicle...shut it off
neither shake reduction nor image stabilization will compensate for the engine vibration enough

that said my wife's prius is the ideal mobile photography platform
it's a marvel that game wardens aren't using them

hope that helps
12-29-2016, 04:43 PM   #25
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,134
On a related note - my dad has a manfrotto window mount and found that with the K-3 or K-50 and the DA* 60-250 the camera protruded too far into the cabin to be comfortable to use from the window mount even with a smallish ball head. The problem was simply that the tripod mount pushed too much camera back into his Nissan truck to make it viable. He could open the door and stand and use it but most of the time the items he wanted to shoot were to the sides not the front. He contented himself with simply bracing on the sidewalls of the pickup truck if he was able to get out and stand. He wasn't using a bean bag but that would likely have helped a lot. Overall having ridden as a passenger I'm more likely to grab a tripod out of the backseat and set it up than use a window mount for similar reasons. Alternately I simply handhold. The bean bag idea might work for some situations for me however.
12-29-2016, 05:26 PM   #26
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 13,205
Original Poster
Thanks to all for the advice.

As far as I am concerned you all earn "Bonus" points as the advice is very helpful.

Please keep it coming

For one day, we have arranged for a private guided tour (6 + hours) for the two of us. Two days we have arranged NPS tours. Other wise I will be driving what "they" call a SUV (a Ford Escape or similar vehicle - we have a true SUV a Suburban here at home.) unless my wife feels comfortable driving. I am concerned about spotting wild life while driving and then being able to get the camera "up and running".

Since I can't be taking any "snap" shots using the window mount, (I would have to set the camera and lens up on it) would it be better to go with the bean bag set up??? Can I even set the window mount on the window in advance and keep there as I go down the road?? It would seem quicker to turn off the engine, grab the bean bag and set it and the camera on the window glass.

Uncle Vanya says:

"On a related note - my dad has a manfrotto window mount and found that with the K-3 or K-50 and the DA* 60-250 the camera protruded too far into the cabin to be comfortable to use from the window mount even with a smallish ball head. The problem was simply that the tripod mount pushed too much camera back into his Nissan truck to make it viable"

__________

I have the same fear. Cabela's has a good return program, may just have to try it out.

ccc says:

"bean bags get a warning as well...always have a strap attached to the camera and you
thirty five hundred dollars bouncing down the mountain would be heartbreaking"

___________

First thing I was taught about handling my dad's Yashica SLR way back in the day.

"I paid for that )(*$(&G strap, put it over your neck"

I always say something very similar to anyone who picks up any of my cameras.

I always put the strap around my neck, even if I am using the hand grip or have the camera mounted on a tripod.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I am seriously thinking of adding the smc Pentax dal 4-5.6 50-200 mm wr ed zoom 49 f to the gear I will haul.

Additionally, I have 2 old 2x converters: Vivitar MC Teleconverter 2x PK-A/R-PK and Focal MC 2x Converter 20-06-42 KR

I know nothing about them, does any one?

Thanks

Last edited by aslyfox; 12-29-2016 at 05:47 PM.
12-29-2016, 06:31 PM   #27
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2015
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,400
the shake reduction on your cameras should let you hand hold for any daytime shots

I actually count on software to make up for any shots past 500mm

the k50 had a max iso of 800, the k3 was set at 1600 max
things never got too out of control as long as the engine was off

my wife has always experienced motion sickness when she's not driving (or she just hates my driving)
so as the primary shooter i'm free to shoot at will

in some places you can shoot from the road if the traffic isn't bad
three days of guiding should allow for a lot of pictures

Yellowstone's biggest danger isn't crazed bears or rampaging moose...its other tourists
so anticipate bear jams, bison pileups which often coincide with my favorite... "let's pet the buffalo"

my copies of the 50-200wr are both pretty sharp
there are parts of the west where 200mm is almost wide angle

I have a couple of the vivitar tc's I've not liked them shooting digital as much as I did with film YMMV

lastly...we took a Volvo and the distance from the seat to the window sill preempted too much camera intrusion, actually just the opposite...safety first you know

anything else?
12-29-2016, 06:37 PM   #28
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 13,205
Original Poster
ccc asked

"anything else?"

well how about the winning lottery numbers ????
12-29-2016, 06:41 PM   #29
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,134
Use a quick release ball head and then leave the window mount in with the camera in the passengers care until stopped (if the weather permits having the window down and road dust isn't an issue). Assuming the protrusion into the car is acceptable when you mount the camera.
12-29-2016, 09:04 PM   #30
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2015
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,400
QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
ccc asked

"anything else?"

well how about the winning lottery numbers ????
try 12 8 11 9 51 54

when you win buy yourself a pelican 1510 or two and send me the rest

I hadn't noticed but you are going to fly, yes?
the 1510 is the largest hard case you can carry on

you will miss three days of unbelievable landscapes as you traverse the high plains
you'll miss a bowl of chili at Chugwater, Wyoming as well...just sayin'

that's all I've got
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
1.4x, af, bag, bridge, camera, camera and lens, harrier, k3, k3 and k5ii, knowledge, macro, mc, mf, miles, mm, mm macro, park, pentax, photos, seeker of knowledge, shots, smc, strap, tarangire, trip, tripod, vehicle, wife, window
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Nature Carnal Knowledge Dewman Post Your Photos! 3 09-04-2015 09:37 AM
Pleasure in sharing knowledge kreuzn General Photography 4 11-15-2014 07:08 PM
Why DoF is only a target value for the knowledge-free beholder3 Photographic Technique 32 08-11-2013 05:47 PM
Is it common knowledge that big SDHC drain the ba... Sentas Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 15 05-10-2009 12:41 PM
K100D going crazy on me? or just a lack of user knowledge? Keebler Pentax DSLR Discussion 12 09-26-2007 06:21 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:17 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top