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08-04-2019, 10:46 PM   #16
Des
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QuoteOriginally posted by JLou Quote
I do have a Sigma 100-300mm F4.5-6.7 DL. Do you think that would do the job?
I haven't used one but the reviews and sample images are not encouraging. Any variant of the 55-300 would be much better. Plus the extra range at the wide end would reduce the need for lens changes or the need for a medium tele lens.
QuoteOriginally posted by JLou Quote
I also have a Sigma EF-530 DG Super flash unit, will that be useful??
Handy but not absolutely essential IMO. I use flash as fill for wildlife shots. Could also be useful for nocturnal wildlife. Otherwise do you envisage any indoor use, where you would need the flash?
QuoteOriginally posted by JLou Quote
Somewhere, I have a wireless remote, might try and hunt that out!
If you have a phone with an IR beam (e.g. Galaxy S5/S6), it can work as your remote shutter release with a free app (e.g. DSLR Remote). One less thing to take.
QuoteOriginally posted by JLou Quote
I would love to add one of these, but I don't think I can afford it ��
Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 can be had for around $300, sometimes less.


Last edited by Des; 08-05-2019 at 12:12 AM.
08-04-2019, 11:05 PM - 2 Likes   #17
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I would not cart all that stuff around and store it in the car or caravan, definitely not even when parked in Alice Springs!

One or two cameras and three lenses is just fine when you are confident of putting equipment to the best use whatever the circumstance. Nothing will be gained with a never ending collection of trinkets. Just be aware that theft from cars and vans in Alice and around Uluru is a daily event. I lived/worked there this year from April to 22nd July and can vouch for its hazardous nature, especially at night.

I took with me my P67 and 4 lenses (I found I used only regularly, with the 165mm not getting any use!) and a 6x9 pinhole and two tripods. There was nothing more I needed or wanted, other than cheaper premium unleaded 98 petrol rocketing all the way to $2.30/litre...

My weekend travels northward reached as far as Devil's Marbles/Wauchope. Also Ormiston and Trephina Gorges 85 kays outside of Alice. Lovely!

The night skies are something to behold whole sipping a Tanqueray gin! Take a tripod, but be prepared for people to wander along with the phones and cameras and flashes blaring at the sparkling skies. Beware, too, if staying at the Devil's Marbles, the two resident dingos who will keep a keen eye on the movement of food. Possibly anything else not kept under lock and key. We really don't want another, "A Dingo took my Pentax!" moment...

Uluru is packed to the rafters with tourists (and a small minority are aggro/abusive towards traditional owners, and Rangers too!) trying to get that "one last climb of the rock" in the bag before the climbing ban kicks in at the end of October. Expect crowds and cars and buses and backpackers and dust ... the lot!! There is an easy walk at the base of the rock with interesting viewpoints. "Around the back" of Uluru is where photography is not allowed because of place where secret mens' business is conducted.

Include Kuta Tjuta and King's Canyon in your itinerary, and the wide brown land beyond Alice.

Last edited by Silent Street; 08-04-2019 at 11:32 PM.
08-04-2019, 11:50 PM - 1 Like   #18
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Head west from Alice Springs and follow the Western McDonnell ranges as far as time allows. The best part (IMHO) is the infrequently visited Redbank Gorge/Mt Sonder and is worth the best part of a full day if you can spare it. Serpentine Gorge is another magnificent and less crowded stop on the way - walk *all* the way in and then be prepared to swim. Ormiston & Glen Helen Gorges, Ellery Creek Big Hole, Simpson's Gap and Standley Chasm are great too, but everyone goes there.

If you have a capable 4WD vehicle, Palm Valley is also worth a visit. Kings Canyon and Kata Tjuta are also amazing as mentioned above.
08-05-2019, 12:42 AM - 1 Like   #19
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Hermannsburg is well worth a longish day trip to learn about Albert Namatjira's life as a prolific artist of the Australian outback landscape. There are truly magical landscapes that beckon toward sunset, but you should not continue the drive back to Alice in the dark because of wandering wildlife (same applies to driving north beyond Pimba in South Australia: only drive during the day).

When I visited Hermannsburg, photography was discouraged.

08-05-2019, 07:19 AM - 1 Like   #20
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Thanks @SandyHancock and @SilentStreet for your thoughtful suggestions & recommendations, they are very helpful as I plan our itinerary.
I am a little limited on the length of walking I can do (my cancer has left me a little on the fatigued and slow side), but I am determined to do and see as much as I can, still so much to do/see and potentially little time.
Hubby and I keep talking about doing this (and other trips) so, when the cancer returned (for a 3rd time) we said, bring it on, let's go buy a caravan and do what we said we'd love to do!!
I really appreciate ALL the advice and suggestions. You are all So great, I feel like I haven't been away from this place!!

---------- Post added 06-08-19 at 12:32 AM ----------

@Des... oh man, I gave my hubby my S5, and he broke it, right after he broke his S5!!!

Last edited by JLou; 08-05-2019 at 07:22 AM. Reason: formatting!
08-06-2019, 08:24 AM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
Head west from Alice Springs and follow the Western McDonnell ranges as far as time allows. The best part (IMHO) is the infrequently visited Redbank Gorge/Mt Sonder and is worth the best part of a full day if you can spare it. Serpentine Gorge is another magnificent and less crowded stop on the way - walk *all* the way in and then be prepared to swim. Ormiston & Glen Helen Gorges, Ellery Creek Big Hole, Simpson's Gap and Standley Chasm are great too, but everyone goes there.

If you have a capable 4WD vehicle, Palm Valley is also worth a visit. Kings Canyon and Kata Tjuta are also amazing as mentioned above.
If anyone is doing the loop west of Alice thru these gorges and past Mt Sonder, then I would suggest overnighting at Glen Helen. Next day head down the range onto the Mereenie Loop Road and if you have time and a 4WD, drive into Gosse's Bluff before continuing to either Hermannsburg or King's Canyon. Gosse's Bluff is an impact crater with a very well documented structure and geological history. You can roam around inside the structure (not really a crater but the remains of what was below a crater).

Read all about all of this as you go, including the cross-section of geological history at Ellery Big Hole: NTGS digital library: A guide to the geology and landforms of central Australia
08-07-2019, 04:38 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by PhilipK5 Quote
We just came back from Uluru, Kings Canyon, Ormiston Gorge, Roma Gorge and Alice etc. I have a K5 with the Pentax 18 - 135mm lens which was used for 90% of the photos, including Uluru. I did use a Sigma 10 - 20mm ultra wide angle for Simpson Gap and a couple of the gorges and some tight spaces around the base of Uluru. As per other comments above some of the best photos were taken close to sunrise and sunset. Dust isn't much of an issue unless wind is blowing hard. Lots of the good spots need a little bit of walking to get to so keeping the kit light to carry is often more important than having the ultimate selection of gear at hand.
Phil, your three lens kit (from your profile) is a perfect setup for that trip. I have all three of those same lenses, plus grad-ND and CPL filters to match, as my travel kit.

I have worked through Central Australia most of my life. The best thing about photography in the Red Centre is that almost any lens can deliver good photos, since you are generally working with good light, wide contrast and hence your lenses are at f7-11 most of the time. With digital cameras, you can work on the white balance, custom settings and exposure compensation in real time to improve your shots. And remember the lens shades/hoods!
08-07-2019, 05:37 AM   #23
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never been to that part of the world

but on my recent trip to Tanzania, my HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW literally separated into two pieces in the middle of the trip

I was very glad that I had decided to bring my HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE

I had planned on using the 55 -300mm as a light weight alternative for walking and river safaris

having it turned out to be very helpful

if you can haul " extra " gear, it might be wise to do so.

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