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05-20-2008, 06:07 PM   #1
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Trip & Equipment Report.

THE TRIP:
17 days on the South Island of New Zealand. Starting & finishing in Christchurch. Travel was by car (Toyota previa) which was ideal for the two couples (4 people) as it allowed us plenty of floor space for camera bags etc and was an easy vehicle to get in & out of as we are all in our mid - late 50's.
Accommodation was motels/hotels, price range paid was $95 - $150 nzd per night (per room). Most rooms had cooking facilities which helped in keeping costs down.

THE WEATHER:
Mostly overcast with periods of sunshine, only one totally wet day (on the West Coast which is pretty normal) and cold (day highs of 10-16C)

THE EQUIPMENT:
K20D: given I had only had the camera a week there was a learning curve but generally it performed very well. I found the controls and features easy to use, but there a lot of features that I was not prepared to 'play' with for risk of messing things up.
The only "issue" I had with the K20D was it started to behave strangely when powering down/off. A number of times it "froze" which could only be resolved by taking out the battery. I haven't used it much since coming home, but the problem has not re-appeared either and it is powering off properly. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has experienced anything similar. The book does make reference to a static electricity build up that has all the symptons of what I experienced.

SIGMA EX DG 24mm f1.8: The most used lens. Focal length was good, aperture values on this lens are priceless. Lens flare is an issue that you have to be constantly aware of, but imho it does a good job in a wide variety of situations.

PENTAX DFA 100mm f2.8: used almost as much as the Sigma 24mm. Focal length was a great compliment for the 24mm. F2.8 was very valuable. The images speak for themselves i think.

SIGMA 135-400: used a bit, maybe 50 shots out of the 1100+ (RAW) in total, but when it was used it was very much appreciated.

PENTAX 18-55: yes, I did take it afterall, but only used once.

SIGMA 18-125: this lens spent 95% of the time on the *ist DS which my wife used (who took another 1000+(jpeg) shots), however I did pinch it for a walk around Christchurch day, and it is certainly very handy in that situation. I am yet to process those shots and will do so with interest.

PENTAX *ist DS: used by my wife, no issues, no problems, no fuss. Changed batteries (eneloops) once after some 600-700 shots.

SD Cards: had a variety from Extreme 111 to Toshiba. No problems. took something like 20 gig and used it all.

TREKPOD GO! : is a hiking pole come monopod that can double up as a tripod. As a walking pole it is fine, good grip, light etc. As a monopod it is fine, the little ball head is a bit fiddly, but once used to it works well. As a tripod it is something that you would only use on occasions, it does the job, but it is a compromise. Having said that, the Trekpod Go! will accompany me on all future travels because its plus' far outweigh any negatives.

Hope you find that useful.

For Australians (& anyone for that matter) that have not visited NZ I can only say get your butt into gear and do it, airfares are really cheap and the scenery is spectacular.

Cheers
Grant
PS: I have posted photos in 'post your photos' threads.

05-20-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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Thanks for the report Grant. What would you leave behind on future trips and what kit would you add? What was the issue with the trekpod as a tripod and did you try the panorama feature on the head?
Gary
05-20-2008, 06:34 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Thanks for the report Grant. What would you leave behind on future trips and what kit would you add? What was the issue with the trekpod as a tripod and did you try the panorama feature on the head?
Gary
Hi Gary,
No I did not try the panoramic head feature, forgot it was even there to be honest.
The Trekpod is made from light weight materials.
My issue with it as a tripod is that the K20D is not a small camera and there was a certain amount of vibration/movement, which defeats the whole purpose of a tripod. I would use it with the remote control.

BUT, it sure beats lugging around a full sized tripod for occasional use.

What would I do differently?? Something like the 300mm f4 would be very useful in place of the 135-400 IF the need for a long lens was there, for example: lots of wildlife (like the mystical moose).
I will be on the look out to replace the 24mm with something like the DA* 16-50, but I will not sacrifce speed.

Cheers.

Last edited by Mallee Boy; 05-20-2008 at 06:39 PM.
05-20-2008, 06:53 PM   #4
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I thought I noticed the land rise up when you left and took all that gear back!

Glad you enjoyed yourself.

05-20-2008, 07:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
I thought I noticed the land rise up when you left and took all that gear back!

Glad you enjoyed yourself.
Nah...it was balanced out by all the Pinot we drank ......your national Pinot Noir stocks are seriously depleted now.
05-20-2008, 08:26 PM   #6
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Great Pictures...Great Wine... What more could one want?
05-21-2008, 04:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
My issue with it as a tripod is that the K20D is not a small camera and there was a certain amount of vibration/movement, which defeats the whole purpose of a tripod. I would use it with the remote control.
Have you tried using the 2 second shutter delay to combat this?
05-21-2008, 07:02 AM   #8
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Morning Grant.

I know someone who just went to NZ for 4 weeks, both islands. We watched a great "slide show" (jpeg show?) of the event.

Glad you had a good time. You did take a photo of those transplanted Canadian moose, didn't you?

-G

05-21-2008, 02:15 PM   #9
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Hi KrisK10, yes, that would work if you didn't have the remote.

Hi George, We ate at the Moose Bar in Te Anau where the story is that a Moose has been sighted. The supporting photos were very grainy and hardly conclusive. Still think the moose is a myth. (bracing for barrage of moose photos )

Cheers
Grant
05-21-2008, 02:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
Hi KrisK10, yes, that would work if you didn't have the remote.

Hi George, We ate at the Moose Bar in Te Anau where the story is that a Moose has been sighted. The supporting photos were very grainy and hardly conclusive. Still think the moose is a myth. (bracing for barrage of moose photos )

Cheers
Grant
We live in a world of autofocus cameras & camcorders.

So why is it that images of the Yeti, Sasquatch, aliens, UFO's, Nessie, Ogopogo, and New Zealand moose are all grainy and badly out of focus?
05-21-2008, 05:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
We live in a world of autofocus cameras & camcorders.

So why is it that images of the Yeti, Sasquatch, aliens, UFO's, Nessie, Ogopogo, and New Zealand moose are all grainy and badly out of focus?
It's a conspiracy I tells ya.
05-21-2008, 05:43 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
We live in a world of autofocus cameras & camcorders.

So why is it that images of the Yeti, Sasquatch, aliens, UFO's, Nessie, Ogopogo, and New Zealand moose are all grainy and badly out of focus?
George.....wonder why that would be?...

but pardon my ignorance....what the @@!#@! is a Ogopogo??? never heard of that one!

Canadian?
05-21-2008, 10:38 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mallee Boy Quote
George.....wonder why that would be?...

but pardon my ignorance....what the @@!#@! is a Ogopogo??? never heard of that one!

Canadian?
Yeh... I've not heard of that one before either.

And you forgot Australia's own Bunyip, George
05-22-2008, 12:01 AM   #14
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And Tassie Tiger ... well it was real before it became extinct.
Also forgot the drop bears too.

I think I know who took the photos though ... must have been DV on here
(all in good jest) hee hee
05-22-2008, 02:12 AM   #15
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and the Hoop snake, dont forget Banjo's Hoop snake.... now thats one dangerous fella to upset.
Actually the Bunyip can be seen at Murray Bridge in South Australia....a $1 coin in the slot brings him up everytime. :ugh:
Marvellous!
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