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07-11-2012, 08:01 AM   #1
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South Africa

Hi
I'm planning my next holydays, it would be on January/February next year (I take this seriously, are holidays ). South Africa is the most likely place to go, so I think there will be a lot of wildlife pictures, and I asking myself if I would need to add a new lens on my set. Sigma 70-200 F2.8 is the largest zoom that I have + 1.7AF teleconverter, but Would that combination be enough? Or Should I add the DA* 300mm F4 or another zoom?
Since I have just one camera I don’t know if it is safe to change lenses at the national parks, what concerns me is dust.

Thank you in advance for your help!


Last edited by Ogion; 07-13-2012 at 12:36 PM.
07-11-2012, 08:55 AM   #2
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A couple years ago I went to Uganda, and went on a safari into a game park. I only had a small sony P&S then, with 39 - 117 mm equiv. view, and only a few times did I really wish I had something longer. I'm not sure I'd have really wanted to lug around another lens if I had my DSLR back then. Photos: (I'm not claiming *any* skill here) Africa pictures by pezmaker - Photobucket

How much does that AF teleconverter degrade the IQ on your Sigma? If it's not much, I personally would suggest the sigma 70-200, teleconverter for that added reach (340 mm), and a wide prime to cover the < 70. I was in Uganda, and don't know South Africa's climate/topography/dust producing abilities, but in retrospect, I wouldn't have worried too much about changing lenses in the field - there wasn't much dust kickup at any given time. I'd be more concerned about ease of transport and whether you're going to want to be carrying this with you everywhere.
07-11-2012, 10:22 AM   #3
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For the most part, it is easy to get up close to game in the South African game parks. It depend where you are heading, but most of the main roads in Kruger Park are tarred, so dust is not always a primary concern. Even on gravel roads you just need to be sensible when changing lenses.

I would recommend sticking to a zoom rather than the 300mm prime unless you have a second body. While the 300mm can be handy, I think you will find a 300mm too much zoom for many shoots, so you will be changing often. The 70-200 should be a good option and the TC will give reach if required. Alternatively, a 55-300 is a good zoom range which should give great flexibility.

The 12-24 and 16-50 will also come in handy for the vistas and animals up close.

Hope this helps
07-11-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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pezmaker
I've a crumpler 6 millon dollar home and it allows me to carry all my stuff. I used it on my last trip to Bolivia and it was ok for me.
Regarding Sigma+TC combination: it works ok if subject and surroundings are very well contrasted, otherwise AF miss the subject very often. AF become slowly with TC. DA*16-50+TC works much, much better, so this would cover 50-70mm gap.
I remember from Bolivia that, sometimes, I saw animals across the 70-200 because was almost impossible to see without it or a binocular, so that I'm worried about my focal lenght
Thanks

07-11-2012, 12:05 PM   #5
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Iím planning to visit Addo Elephant Park and Kruger Park, so from your advice dust isnít a problem. I was thinking about 300mm just because the parks. You know it is a long trip from my home and I wonít miss THAT shot just because I donít have the right lens . I will take a look to the 55-300.
Thanks
07-11-2012, 10:00 PM   #6
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You might find some information in a similar thread https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/174471-what-ta...different.html
07-12-2012, 07:44 AM   #7
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Thanks altopiet, that thread helps me a lot.

Regards
07-13-2012, 04:06 AM   #8
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South Africa

I have been to game parks in South Africa and India and agree with most of the comments by others. Don't expect to be in dusty conditions all the time; that's just in the movies when your caught in an elephant stampede. If it's not windy there's little dust except if you sitting in an open truck going at high speed. Even then, you leave the dust behind. I used a Tamron 28-300 mm zoom and a Pentax 12-24 mm for my photos. As stated by somebody else, many of the animals are close and you won't use the maximum focal length as often as you'd think. In India I did use my 300 mm FL to photograph a leopard on a hilltop, while a friend only had a 200 mm Canon zoom. Her pics were sharper than mine, so it will depend on the quality of your lenses. I suggest that you do some trial shots with your current equipment, including the tele-converter to see if you get the quality you want at maximum zoom.

07-13-2012, 08:29 AM   #9
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Africa

You are going at the best time! You should be fine with your kit. I'm not sure you will need the TC.
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07-13-2012, 12:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by P. Soo Quote
I have been to game parks in South Africa and India and agree with most of the comments by others. Don't expect to be in dusty conditions all the time; that's just in the movies when your caught in an elephant stampede. If it's not windy there's little dust except if you sitting in an open truck going at high speed. Even then, you leave the dust behind. I used a Tamron 28-300 mm zoom and a Pentax 12-24 mm for my photos. As stated by somebody else, many of the animals are close and you won't use the maximum focal length as often as you'd think. In India I did use my 300 mm FL to photograph a leopard on a hilltop, while a friend only had a 200 mm Canon zoom. Her pics were sharper than mine, so it will depend on the quality of your lenses. I suggest that you do some trial shots with your current equipment, including the tele-converter to see if you get the quality you want at maximum zoom.
P. Soo
Thank you for the information and advice. So, I'll take the normal precaution about dust.
I already play with TC+lenses combination and am not so happy with the results. I mean they are ok, just that, but I really want a little more quality from my trip. Might be I'm worried to much about my pictures

Last edited by Ogion; 07-13-2012 at 12:34 PM.
07-13-2012, 12:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ahab Quote
You are going at the best time! You should be fine with your kit. I'm not sure you will need the TC.
Nice pictures
Pictures' EXIF shows that your largest focal lenght was 200mm, so Was it ok for you, wasn't it?
From altopiet link I red that some other where more in 300mm range and it was ok for them.
I think I would use my 70-200mm and then crop my pictures.

Tahnk you
07-15-2012, 02:46 AM   #12
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I'd definitely prefer something longer than 200. I wouldn't recommend a prime with just one body, though, as I don't like changing lenses all the time. I want to spend my time enjoying the view rather than mucking about with my camera Dust shouldn't be too much of a problem, however.

That said, I believe your 70-200 is a good lens that should allow for a fair bit of cropping. I have no experience with TCs so can't say how useful those would be.
07-18-2012, 01:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ogion Quote
Nice pictures
Pictures' EXIF shows that your largest focal lenght was 200mm, so Was it ok for you, wasn't it?
From altopiet link I red that some other where more in 300mm range and it was ok for them.
I think I would use my 70-200mm and then crop my pictures.

Tahnk you
Yes, about 60% of my shots were taken with a DA* 200 x 2.8. Those who claim you need a longer lens never had the great guides we had. They were not afraid to get in close and understood lighting. We were not allowed tripods except back in camp. I had a 300mm and TC along but it was rarely used. If I were to go back I
wouldn't change a thing. The 2.8f really came in handy as the best animal viewing was early morning and late afternoon. Nobody in our group with longer lenses were able to get the low light shots that I got.
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