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08-17-2016, 06:32 AM   #1
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Seeker of Knowledge (if the knowledge is actually useful - BONUS POINTS)

I'm here to ask questions and hopefully learn

Have pentax k 3 (actually on the way), k 5 ii and *ist dl along with nikon coolpix p610

Best lenses(??):

Tamron 70 - 300 mm macro zoom af

Vivitar Series 1 lenses: 200 mm prime af in lens body, 28 -105 mm macro zoom mf, and 70 - 210 mm macro zoom mf.

Pentax: 18 - 55 mm smc pentax dal af zoom and 50 - 200 mm smc pentax dal af zoom, 18 -55 mm smc pentax da mf zoom

At this time trying to prepare for our first trip to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons NPS next june, looking for opinions on renting pentax 150 - 450 mm zoom and pentax 1.4 teleconverter and any other help I can get

Interested in wild life photography

What do I know? Less than I may claim but more than some people give me credit for

08-17-2016, 07:58 AM   #2
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Hi, and welcome.

QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
Tamron 70 - 300 mm macro zoom af

Vivitar Series 1 lenses: 200 mm prime af in lens body, 28 -105 mm macro zoom mf, and 70 - 210 mm macro zoom mf.

Pentax: 18 - 55 mm smc pentax dal af zoom and 50 - 200 mm smc pentax dal af zoom, 18 -55 mm smc pentax da mf zoom
I'm not completely clear. Are these the lenses you have and are trying to choose from for your trip, or are they lenses you are deciding whether to buy? Also, that last one: 18-55 DA manual focus? Shouldn't that be AF?

You want your best camera body (or bodies) on the trip; that means the K-3 when it arrives and the K-5ii as backup/second body. The 150-450 with TC, if you rent it, will work best with the K-3 as it offers the highest pixel pitch and therefore scope for cropping in post (from what I've read, it seems that for wildlife photographers, no lens that you can carry around easily will ever get you close enough on its own).

The *ist-DL is a lovely little camera and I wish I still had mine (it died about four years ago), but it's so far behind even the base model K-5 when it comes to high quality at high ISO it isn't funny. Then again, if you're one of those people who swears by (what some regard as) the special rendering qualities of the CCD sensor in these older cameras, you might consider taking it as a second body.

As for the Nikon, I replaced a stolen Nikon Coolpix 8700 with an *istDL and felt the *istDL was the superior camera (the NIkon did video which the *istDL didn't, but I am mostly a stills shooter; this may or may not apply to your style and the types of images you want to capture.)

I hope my thoughts are useful.
08-17-2016, 08:50 AM   #3
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I have a Tamron 70-300, which was good on the K10 but on the K5 its purple fringing was brutal. On the *istD it might be great.

I suppose it depends on the type of photography you'll be doing. That 150-450 isn't exactly portable. I'd rather drag along a DA300 with 1.4X teleconverter, though you do lose the zoom functionality for finding and tracking your subject.
08-17-2016, 09:02 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
The 150-450 with TC, if you rent it, will work best with the K-3 as it offers the highest pixel pitch and therefore scope for cropping in post (from what I've read, it seems that for wildlife photographers, no lens that you can carry around easily will ever get you close enough on its own).
Agree with all the sentiments and suggestions here. One correction though, the K3 has a lower pixel pitch than the K5 series of camera. This results in the K5 having a better dynamic range than the K3. The K3 supposedly (i don't own one) more than compensates for this with its higher resolution.

That said when you are shooting landscape or wildlife (because you will need to crop), the higher resolution camera is in most cases the better choice, i.e. K3 is the camera you want.

Cheers.

08-17-2016, 10:28 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the help and helpful comments, bonus points to everyone

please keep them coming

I own all the lenses I have listed except for the "big boy" pentax 150 - 450 mm (weighing in at 4 lbs + by itself) and the pentax 1.4 af teleconverter. I would rent those for the trip. I can pick up the rentals in Jackson WY but due to early flight back I will have to bring the rentals back home and mail from there. This could cause problems with my camera back pack carryon

So I will have to limit the equipment I bring from home. I am considering taking:

K 3 and K 5 ii camera bodies
Nikon Coolpix p610s 610 (light weight carry when I don't want dslr - landscape, wide angle)
Tamron 70 - 300 macro zoom
Vivitar Series 1 200 mm prime
Monopod
Tripod
Bean bag

Thoughts and/or comments


I used the K 5 ii and the tamron 70 - 300 macro zoom on a safari trip to tanzania this summer and didn't notice any "purple fringing"

The nikon coolpix I own is a p610 bridge zoom

Agreed the "big boy" isn't portable but I don't plan on really doing the "back country"

To quote "Dirty Harry" - "A man's GOT to know his limitations"

Magnum Force (1973) - Quotes - IMDb
08-17-2016, 11:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramuk Quote
One correction though, the K3 has a lower pixel pitch than the K5 series of camera.
Say what? I thought pixel pitch was pixels per mm squared. The K3 is a 24MP camera with the same sensor size as the 16MP K5. What I was trying to say is that you will have MORE pixels per sq.mm, though I agree the K-5 has a legendary reputation when it comes to dynamic range. The K-5 has a bigger pixel SIZE.

The K-1, on the other hand, is slightly worse off in crop mode than the K-5 for pixels per square mm, though I believe the processor engine noise reduction treatment has been substantially improved so it holds its own in low light on a per-pixel basis (and that's before we get to improvements in shake reduction and autofocus).
08-17-2016, 01:22 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Say what? I thought pixel pitch was pixels per mm squared. The K3 is a 24MP camera with the same sensor size as the 16MP K5. What I was trying to say is that you will have MORE pixels per sq.mm, though I agree the K-5 has a legendary reputation when it comes to dynamic range. The K-5 has a bigger pixel SIZE.

The K-1, on the other hand, is slightly worse off in crop mode than the K-5 for pixels per square mm, though I believe the processor engine noise reduction treatment has been substantially improved so it holds its own in low light on a per-pixel basis (and that's before we get to improvements in shake reduction and autofocus).
Both our thoughts are exactly the same and the conclusions we infer is the same. We differ in how we define pixel pitch. I used the definition available here: https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/02/sensor-size-matters-part-2/ (look toward the bottom of the article under the section: Calculating the pixel size). As defined there, the pixel pitch is the distance between the center of adjacent pixels. Hence I concluded that since the K3 has more pixels for the same size of sensor, it has a lower pixel-pitch (i.e. distance between the pixels is smaller).

Looking at the review of the K3 Pentax K-3 Review - Detail and Noise | PentaxForums.com Reviews, the reviewer too seems to be using the same definition of pixel-pitch.

Anyways, all that is academic. What's important is the conclusion, which we agree on: Though the K3 has a lesser dynamic range, the higher resolution more that makes up for this, especially for landscape photography.

Happy shooting.
08-17-2016, 01:33 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I went to Yellowstone twice this year. On my K3 I used my DA 55-300 and D FA 150-450 Pentax lenses. On my K1, I used my D FA 28-105 and D FA 150-450 lenses. Through hard experience in 2013 I found that it is best to use manual focus (without focus confirmation) when photographing thermal features. Heat and steam from the thermal features seem to affect auto focus a bit. K5-IIs was the worst, K3 was better and K1 was better still in these situations. But I still mainly used manual focus to get my shots.

Wildlife is hit or miss, Lamar Valley is best for bison and possibly wolves. The only wildlife you will see with any certainty is birds, bison and elk. Everything elk is hit or miss. I saw a grizzly and three cubes in June, but they were a mile away and the only shots I got were to document the fact that I saw them. Poor quality otherwise. I only saw them because I set up by the side of the road and scanned the area with some 10 x 50 binoculars.

Thermal features are definite great shots. A lot of wildflowers too. Animals are more active in early morning and evening. In June there will be daylight by 5:00 AM. Get in the park early as you will have a few hours of relative calm before the crush begins. I like to be in the park by 6:00 AM. Cooler temperatures show more water vapor coming from the thermal features. For a really magical experience, go into the park and visit one of the thermal feature areas. On a clear starlit night the place is wonderful other world experience.

One other piece of advice. Sometimes it is okay to put the camera aside and simply take the place in. Yellowstone is a place you experience. You don't "Do" Yellowstone. You will not be able to really see the place in one visit so don't try. I am not sure how old you are, but if over 62 a $10 lifetime pass will get you into any national park for free for life. If you are younger a "Golden Eagle" pass is good for all national parks for a year. i think it cost about $100. It saves you the $30 daily vehicle fee at Yellowstone. If you have a national park or monument near you, you can get the pass there.

08-17-2016, 02:04 PM   #9
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Welcome and enjoy your trip, I'll let cleverer folk than me handle the gear questions.
08-17-2016, 02:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
I still mainly used manual focus to get my shots.
I know that feeling.
08-17-2016, 10:02 PM   #11
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08-18-2016, 12:41 AM   #12
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Bonus points to all, great info, although the "technical" discussion about pixels and the K 3 and k 5 was a bit beyond my comfort level to be honest.

As far as first enjoying Yellowstone, as mentioned by gaweidt, I was taught to first "to take "pictures" by using the "mark one eyeballs" and storing the image in memory" before trying to attempt to use the camera to capture the image. I agree that you can miss a lot when only looking through the view finder of a camera

Won't quite qualify yet for the "Golden Eagle" pass this trip I'll be 60.

We will be staying at Canyon, the old house at old faithful Inn and lake Yellowstone Hotel inside the park but I have been warned about driving before sun rise and after sun set because of animal movement in the dark

On the question of using support, the open window of a car seems too low if seated, even with a sand bag, I'm afraid of the weight if trying to use a half open window to help support the "big boy"

tripod or monopod, great if standing outside of car both take time to set up no problem with landscape but -------

Any thoughts
08-18-2016, 02:51 AM - 1 Like   #13
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here are some photos from Tanzania using the K 5 ii and the Tamron 70 - 300 mm macro zoom

any problems with the photos is clearly operator error not the fault of the equipment

shots were taken from vehicle with camera and lens supported by vehicle and sand bag, engine off[COLOR="Silver"]



---------- Post added 08-18-16 at 03:44 AM ----------

FYI

Pied Kingfisher, hovering before dive for fish Tarangire National Park

male lion Ngorongoro Crater

African Harrier Hawk Tarangire National Park
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5 II  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5 II  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5 II  Photo 

Last edited by Aslyfox; 08-18-2016 at 03:45 AM. Reason: more info added, delete duplicate info
08-18-2016, 06:27 AM   #14
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If you take the k3 and k5ii with the 70-300 and the 200 and then rent the 150-450 and the Nikon bridge camera you seem to have a lot of duplication of focal lengths. The 70-300 has a reputation for being soft on the long end also.

So if the rental with the 1.4x tc works out you could have the 150-450 on the k3 and the 200 plus 1.4x on the other camera with the bridge camera ready for shots needed up close.

You might toss the 50-200 and 18-55 in if you think these might get used at times for landscapes and midrange shots.

Does leaving the 70-300 behind make bringing back the rented equipment easier?

---------- Post added 08-18-16 at 09:29 AM ----------

Also for simplicity get some double sided rear lens caps. This makes it easier to change lenses in the field for me.
08-18-2016, 09:07 AM   #15
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bonus points awarded, but I tend to believe in Murphy's law:

"any thing that can go wrong will go wrong"

as well as Finnegan's corollary to Murphy's law:

"Murphy was an optimist"

so I might take the 70 - 300 just in case the rental that I will be picking up in Jackson Wy fails to show up
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