Trip to South Africa: Upgrade k100d or add another lens? - suggestions welcome!

Started Dec 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
bilybianca Regular Member • Posts: 353
Re: Trip to South Africa: Upgrade k100d or add another lens? - suggestions welcome!

My experience, and thus advice, will differ a bit from some of the already given. I have been to SA many times, but only once for holidays with safari parks included. I'm pretty well equipped with HQ lenses, but didn't want to bring a lot of heavy stuff so to get some reach I brought my A*200mm 2.8 lens and two converters, the Rear Converter A 2X and the AFA 1.7X. I'd say that's the best lens/converter combo you can get for a Pentax camera. I also brought a few shorter primes, I'm a prime lens snob. For street candids and as a general backup I also brought a zoom lens, the F 70-210mm f4-5.6.

The first day in the Hluhluwe game park I put on the 200mm+converter combo. The problem was that the wild animals were so close I ended up with a bunch of nice head-and-shoulders of buffalos and zebras (yes they are truly wild animals but couldn't care less for cars). So for the rest of the game-park shooting I put on my backup zoom lens, and came home with several hundreds of nice wildlife pictures.

I guess that the park you are about to visit is somewhat near Cape Town and comparably small. Then your guides will take you very close to the animals. Or is it Addo? It's not a small park, but the guides are very skilled and can bring you as close as you can come for safety reasons.

So my advice would be: go for the newer body. With the high iso capacity of the K5 (I figure it's pretty good with the K30 also) you can get short exposure times and avoid shake and movement blur. The best time for shooting is dawn and dusk, with lower light levels.

If you can afford to throw in a HQ lens like a 200mm or 300mm prime lens it will not make your combo less attractive.

Have a nice trip to SA, it's a wonderful country. Yes, the crime rate in bigger cities like Cape Town is high, but if you don't behave like a bag full of easy dollars you can handle that. In rural areas it's totally different, and the atmosphere is very relaxed. I haven't had a single unpleasant experience during any of my 15+ visits in the last 20 years. And I've spent a lot of time in areas where the tourist guide books simply says "don't drive through at night".


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Pentax *ist DS Pentax K-5 Pentax K-1 Pentax smc FA 50mm F1.4 Pentax smc DA 16-45mm F4 ED AL +21 more
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