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01-26-2013, 02:57 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ufale Quote
I am going on a Safari in July, and I am trying to plan which equipment to take along with my cameras (K5 and K20d) I have a few questions:
-Is the video quality on the K5 good enough, or will I need to bring an HD camcorder?
-Is a battery grip useful, or is it just unnecessary weight?
-Should I even bother with prime lenses, or should I just bring several good multifocal lenses?
-Should I shoot raw, or jpeg?
-How much memory should I have at minium (12 day safari)?
Thanks in advance.
- The video on K-5 is very space consuming. You could considder a K-30, since recording audio is not your main goal and it has a descent videomode.
- It is just weigth I think.
- coming on that later
- I would say RAW. Don't waist space on RAW+, since you can select images on the card later at home and develop them into JPG if you like.
- Much more then all others considder, but also bring some spare battery's. I would say buy some not to fast 32gb cards and don't spent time on judging picture since you could do that at home.


QuoteOriginally posted by Ufale Quote
I could probably do an entire post on my lens choices alone. For sure, I am going to bring the 16-55 *DA, and my 50 1.4 prime. However, I am very conflicted about my long range lens choices. I do have a Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED. I like this lens, but I am concerned that it is not up to a 'trip of a lifetime.' I am considering the Sigma 50-500mm (Bigma). I like what I read about this lens, and I like the fact that I can use it without a tripod. What does concern me is that it is not weather resistant. As an alternative, I am considering the Pentax 300mm smc P-DA* F4 ED(IF) SDM Lens. This lens does not have the telephoto capability of the 'Bigma,' but it does have outstanding IQ, and it is water resistant.
This is where the do you have money to spend question comes. I would choose when possible for a combo K-5/K-30 for you since video is a question for you. So update K20D to K-30 and maybe update K-5 to K-5 IIs when possible. Think off what you would like to do? Take pictures off wildlife in a distance and taking video for wildlife in a distance? You don't want to change lenses to often, since dust is probably going to creep into your system. When possible you could buy DA*300mm to attach to the K-5 IIs for wildlife images. Don't take it apart from the camera for those 12 days. Buy DA*60-250mm to pair with the K-30 and use it for images and video. You can take the DA*16-50mm and use that on occasions when in camp on the K-30 (or don't sell the K20D/K-5 and use it on that).

Leave the rest at home. Sell the thing you don't use. After the trip you can also sell a lens if you don't use it anymore. In the car you probably can only use a monopod, so this is a good investment.

There is one other recommendation that I can do:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=wildlife+kenya&sprefix=wildlife+ken%2Caps%2C232
Buy a good photobook and spend less time on taking images and just enjoy your "once in a lifetime"trip.

01-26-2013, 05:00 AM   #17
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Thanks for this suggestion! I was so impressed, that I just ordered one of these cameras from Best Buy. Now, I just need to get a good deal on the K mount for this camera. The one that Pentax sells costs as much as the camera.
01-26-2013, 07:59 AM   #18
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I would definitely take the Q (with the Pentax/Q adapter) for video and also long reach. K-5 with 18-135WR lens for tough weather conditions and the DA12-24 for wide shots. Some small fast primes like 24mm and 55mm plus some NDx4 or polarize filters.
01-26-2013, 09:23 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
- The video on K-5 is very space consuming. You could considder a K-30, since recording audio is not your main goal and it has a descent videomode.
- It is just weigth I think.
- coming on that later
- I would say RAW. Don't waist space on RAW+, since you can select images on the card later at home and develop them into JPG if you like.
- Much more then all others considder, but also bring some spare battery's. I would say buy some not to fast 32gb cards and don't spent time on judging picture since you could do that at home.




This is where the do you have money to spend question comes. I would choose when possible for a combo K-5/K-30 for you since video is a question for you. So update K20D to K-30 and maybe update K-5 to K-5 IIs when possible. Think off what you would like to do? Take pictures off wildlife in a distance and taking video for wildlife in a distance? You don't want to change lenses to often, since dust is probably going to creep into your system. When possible you could buy DA*300mm to attach to the K-5 IIs for wildlife images. Don't take it apart from the camera for those 12 days. Buy DA*60-250mm to pair with the K-30 and use it for images and video. You can take the DA*16-50mm and use that on occasions when in camp on the K-30 (or don't sell the K20D/K-5 and use it on that).

Leave the rest at home. Sell the thing you don't use. After the trip you can also sell a lens if you don't use it anymore. In the car you probably can only use a monopod, so this is a good investment.

There is one other recommendation that I can do:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=wildlife+kenya&sprefix=wildlife+ken%2Caps%2C232
Buy a good photobook and spend less time on taking images and just enjoy your "once in a lifetime"trip.
I really like your camera suggestions. I would rather buy a K30 than a dedicated video camera. If I have to choose, which do you think is the better move: and upgrade to a K5IIs from the K5, or an upgrade to the K30 from the K20d. It seems like the K30 would be the bigger improvement. Also, I have been leaning toward the 300mm f4. Which would you prefer, the Sigma 50-500, or the Pentax 300? If I bring the Q (with a K mount adapter), I should have pretty good range.

01-26-2013, 01:40 PM   #20
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I don't understand why people talk about small memory cards. they aren't that expensive on ebay. the K5 is very happy with a 64G card.
I can recall if your backup camera works with 64g cards or not so Adam's suggestion of 32G cards is fine.. I would suggest that you use all of them at least
once before taking off and down load from them--- to verify that they are going to work. Now and then there is a bad card...

You can buy those cards very inexpensively on Ebay. --- and I concur with the RAW + solution. Memory cards are cheap.

I love the DA*16-50 and wouldn't go without it. What I see you missing is something good on the long end. the 300mm F4 is a good choice with an
converter. I suggest the weaker one-- the 1.4x or 1.7x... and a cheap monopod. Putting a converter on a cheap zoom just doesn't make it.
01-26-2013, 03:46 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
I don't understand why people talk about small memory cards. they aren't that expensive on ebay. the K5 is very happy with a 64G card.
I can recall if your backup camera works with 64g cards or not so Adam's suggestion of 32G cards is fine.. I would suggest that you use all of them at least
once before taking off and down load from them--- to verify that they are going to work. Now and then there is a bad card...

You can buy those cards very inexpensively on Ebay. --- and I concur with the RAW + solution. Memory cards are cheap.

I love the DA*16-50 and wouldn't go without it. What I see you missing is something good on the long end. the 300mm F4 is a good choice with an
converter. I suggest the weaker one-- the 1.4x or 1.7x... and a cheap monopod. Putting a converter on a cheap zoom just doesn't make it.
I think that people prefer the smaller cards because they are afraid to lose too much information if the card is lost/broken. I have been buying the 64gb's, because they are not much more money than the 32's. There is nothing that says that I have to fill the card.
01-27-2013, 12:50 PM   #22
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You'll want two dslr bodies, a movie camera not the k5 if you really want movies. A short and long zoom lens. Many of not most critters are going to be well within or too close for 300mm in my experience. Don't change lens on the go or you will dust up. I'd drop the handle extension. You will probably not need a monopod or tripod, but ask the driver to get the sun behind you, and stop the engine. Most of you opportunities will unfortunately be of the south end of the critters...the African salute. Delete liberally every night and remember to selectively use shake reduction...it takes time to spin up...often better to add iso. Shoot raw!!!! You want to do a lot of pp.
01-27-2013, 12:51 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
I don't understand why people talk about small memory cards. they aren't that expensive on ebay. the K5 is very happy with a 64G card.
I can recall if your backup camera works with 64g cards or not so Adam's suggestion of 32G cards is fine.. I would suggest that you use all of them at least
once before taking off and down load from them--- to verify that they are going to work. Now and then there is a bad card...

You can buy those cards very inexpensively on Ebay. --- and I concur with the RAW + solution. Memory cards are cheap.

I love the DA*16-50 and wouldn't go without it. What I see you missing is something good on the long end. the 300mm F4 is a good choice with an
converter. I suggest the weaker one-- the 1.4x or 1.7x... and a cheap monopod. Putting a converter on a cheap zoom just doesn't make it.
In case they crap out, you have Picts on more than one card.


Last edited by Markbrumbaugh; 01-27-2013 at 12:53 PM. Reason: Leave TC at home...dust. Many cards used, not just one one card for oce in life trip
01-27-2013, 12:52 PM   #24
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No TC!
Dust!
01-27-2013, 12:59 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ufale Quote
I really like your camera suggestions. I would rather buy a K30 than a dedicated video camera. If I have to choose, which do you think is the better move: and upgrade to a K5IIs from the K5, or an upgrade to the K30 from the K20d. It seems like the K30 would be the bigger improvement. Also, I have been leaning toward the 300mm f4. Which would you prefer, the Sigma 50-500, or the Pentax 300? If I bring the Q (with a K mount adapter), I should have pretty good range.
I think the upgrade to K-30 would bring the most with the video-option.

Well I used to own the Sigma 170-500mm, wich is one off the early long zoomlenses. They are nice, but you need a lot off light (go to f9-f11), wich you probably will have. The DA*300mm is much better, but shorter.
01-29-2013, 12:36 AM   #26
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I am not convinced that more than 300mm is needed except for birding due to the heat haze. You might find that you need a wide angle to capture the massed herd and the vistas.
06-01-2013, 03:47 PM   #27
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Just an update to this thread. So far, I am planning to go to Africa with the following: K5 and K30 (just purchased), DA* 16-50, DA* 300 mm (recently purchased), DA* 60-250 (just purchased). I bought the Pentax Q, but I do not think that I will be taking it on safari. I did by the K-mount adapter, but I found it very difficult to use. I returned the adapter, and I just use the Q as a walking around camera. I still need a dedicated video camera. I vacillate between a top of the line Cannon Vixia, and a 70x Panasonic HD. Also, I have a dozen SD cards at 32 GB a piece. Thanks to all of you that have offered me advice.
06-02-2013, 01:02 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ufale Quote
African Safari
Do you need a photography friendly/understanding bag carrier?
06-11-2013, 05:06 AM   #29
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Hi,

I was to a Safari in Kenya this Christmas. With me I had my K20D with 16-50, 50-135 and A* 300 f4 (manual focus). My wife had the Q with standard zoom.

I found the A* 300 perfect as focal length for 90% of the wildlife shots because the animals are not too far and also for some landscape shots, as the landscape is so super broad. By the way I love the image quality of the A* 300, and the manual focus was not a big problem. Meanwhile my wife used the Q for the landscapes. That proved itself a good combination!

Other than that i used the 16-50 in the villages and only seldom the 50-135. So maybe as a standard you could keep the camera with best AF with the DA*300 and the other with 16-50, and switch the 300 with the 60-250 if you ever need it. I think you are well covered! (You can find my shots here in the "Kenya" section: Gallerie - Tommaso Bientinesi - www.tommasobientinesi.it as a reference of what you get)

As for the rest: I did not use a tripod nor a monopod and I think it would have been worse. Those cars with detachable roof offer you a good support to lean on, and it is much better to be able to rotate or to change your position quickly. The driver will usually stop at your request and will probably be used to carrying photographers around.
I had 2 batteries with me but no grip, I just switched the battery when needed. I did not find a single place without electricity (and I was really in super-budget accommodations like campings or hotels for the locals).
Personally I prefer to shoot jpegs but that is your choice really. Every evening I deleted all the totally wrong pictures and most of the duplicates; that saved me space and also a lot of work at home. Nonetheless I ended up with over 3000 shots in 2 weeks, which would have been maybe 10000 without the deletion, so take enough cards!
Also, at sunset I changed my preset from 6500K to 8500K, I think it rendered the equator sunlight much better.

By the way, good luck for your trip and yes, having been there, I am VERY envious!

PS: remember the plug converter for electricity! In Kenya they have the 2-hole, "German"/Europe style plugs.

Last edited by kyukyu; 06-11-2013 at 05:49 AM.
06-11-2013, 08:41 AM   #30
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One thing to not forget is a good quality superzoom point and shoot for the long shots. There are some really good ones now and they will not weight as much. A DA*300 is great but very heavy. Seems to me that the DA*16-50mm, DA 55-300mm and the superzoom is a good option.

This guy used a Canon SX40 but Sony has just come out with a very pocketable HX50V that has a 720mm lens. I have the HX30V that has a 500mm lens and it's great in decent light. It's easily 85% of what my DA Pentax lenses can produce in the right conditions. I printed some of my Italy shots and it's hard to tell the difference between my P&S and MY DSLR.

Canon SX40
African Safari with Canon SX40HS superzoom: Nature and Wildlife Photography Forum: Digital Photography Review
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