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02-02-2010, 11:37 AM   #1
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New to the forum - would love some safari/jungle/vacation lens advice

Hi All (not sure if my last one posted or not, I tried an hour ago and it didn't show up)!

I'm new to dpreview forums so I'd just like to start off by introducing myself. I'm a hobbyist photographer who has a Pentax K10d with only one lens: a Sigma 18-200 f3.6/6.3 lens. I enjoy taking photo's, but have never sold any. I've only won 1 very small photography contest (non-cash prize), so while I know how to frame a photo and use F-stops, I judge my abilities to be that below the typical prosumer. I've just bought an Chinon F1.7/50mm manual focus prime lens to play with, it was in mint condition and cost me 25 quid and it's in the mail.

The camera is actually my wifes, and she was adamant on getting an all-in-one lens because she doesn't want to swap all the time / have to carry many things, hense the 18-200mm. If the IQ on this lens was good I'd think the same thing, but I just don't find the images crisp enough / with enough bokeh. So now I'm left with trying to figure out what lens I would be willing to lug around for a 2 week honeymoon.

The first thought we had was doing mount Kilimanjaro (6 days up, 1 down) followed by a week long safari. The other is a an adventure in south-east asia where we would be spending a lot of time in the jungles / backpacking. In both cases, as you can probably tell, weight is going to be a concern. Budget is a bit limited because we both just completed our 10th year of post-secondary education (i.e. poor as piss), but I'm willing to splurge a bit as we both have REAL jobs starting in the next few months.

I've got a few ideas in mind, however rather than biasing peoples opinions by providing my current choices - I would love to hear any suggestions that this seemingly very friendly forum has. Be it a heavy mega zoom, carrying around one/more than one prime lens(es), stick with what I've got with a multiplier, or even to go buy a small point and shoot camera and take that instead.

Thanks all!

02-03-2010, 01:28 AM   #2
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Your honeymoon sounds different than mine. I only needed a Polaroid camera, if any, never really left the hotel room all that much.

But if you insist on' having a camera type holiday I might try a DA 16-45 if you like landscape type shoots, or faster zoom if you want to try for the running lion at 400 yards type photos. Maybe try that there zoom of yours plus a nice wide angle lens to get some crisp mountain climbing shoots.
02-04-2010, 03:17 PM   #3
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We're an adventurous couple, what can I say? In fairness, we've been common-law married for a while now anyways so this is more about getting an adventure in.

The 400mm/500mm primes I've looked at are stupidly heavy so I'm not really keen on that for more than playing around in my local neighbourhood (old manual ones). What do people think about TC's on a f3.5-6.3 18-200mm Sigma lens? Would that be too dark at range? How about a mirror lens, they're light, and it wouldn't kill me to carry it up the mountain? I've seen mixed reviews here, some suggesting that a 70-300mm with TC would give a better picture, to which no proof has really been offered (except for some very odd photo-shopped images).
02-04-2010, 04:02 PM   #4
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Ok to be fair to my pictures this is a very tough photo, white sky, into the sun, at distance, white and black subject. But all I have done to these is auto white, auto tonal and resize. They are shot at 1/60, f/8 on a M 75-150, M 75-150 with TC x1.2, and DAL 50-300 on K-X body at -25 degrees C, full zoom and c. 150 yards distance. If it warms up outside I'll take better samples!

They are about as bad as can get. But you asked about loss of light, which this shows is not too big of an issue. This might give you some idea that light might not be the issue, BUT CA and other issues might come up with a TC.

PS I tend to overexpose and try and fix later in lightroom, sorry if they seem too bright.

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02-04-2010, 06:09 PM   #5
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Hrm, how come my question gets moved to 'Off-topic forum' while https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/89252-i-need-lens-alaska.html is stuck in the lens forum?

So much for the moderators being supportive of new members ...
02-10-2010, 11:24 PM   #6
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Thanks for reporting the spammer, icywarm. Much appreciated.

Would you like this thread moved back? It seems to me that it can fit in either category. From what I can tell, though, this was your first thread, and after being approved it was moved over here.

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02-11-2010, 12:34 AM   #7
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I was not the OP for this thread. I followed his posts and it looks like he is asking questions in other places now to get his answer on zooms vs TC's.
02-11-2010, 12:36 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by whelmed Quote
Hrm, how come my question gets moved to 'Off-topic forum' while https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/89252-i-need-lens-alaska.html is stuck in the lens forum?

So much for the moderators being supportive of new members ...
If you see a thread that you think should be moved, feel free to report it. Threads tend to get moved to the forum that would be most beneficial. Not just for now but for future search purposes. In the case of your thread, this is something that people might search for in the future and the advice in it should be general for that type of trip. The thread you have provided a link for isn't the kind of thing that people will be doing searches for and besides, the trip he mentions is secondary to his lens requirement. He could have just said, "I have this lens and this lens, what other lens should I get?".
I'm sorry if you think that moving a thread to where it might benefit the most people isn't being supportive of you. It's true what they say, you can't please everyone.

QuoteOriginally posted by whelmed Quote
I'm new to dpreview forums
By the way, this is Pentax Forums, here's a link to DPReview if you're lost. - Digital Camera Reviews and News: Digital Photography Review: Forums, Glossary, FAQ I've heard they are quite supportive if they like you.


If you do need help with anything that you can't find an answer to, you can start a thread here - https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/site-suggestions-forum-help/ or PM a moderator. The first option is usually quickest as often a regular member can answer the question.


Last edited by Damn Brit; 02-11-2010 at 12:44 AM.
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