Monday, May 15, 2017

New camera lens

If you've taken a look at the earlier posts in this blog, you know I dabble in photography as a hobby.  I've been taking a photo a day since 1/1/2011, which is a lot of photos.  I have a DSLR and I know how to use it.  😉  More or less.

For months now, I've been thinking about a better lens for my Pentax.   I have 50-200mm, but that won't nearly be enough to zoom when we're in Denali or on the day cruises.   I really was coveting this lens:

but with a pricetag of roughly $1000 to $1100 which never really dips below $1000, except briefly around Christmas when it was $995, it was a no.   It's a 300mm prime lens, and gets great reviews, but no...especially since I've never needed such a lens in regular life before...although Chretien argued that I might start finding reasons to use it.

Then I thought maybe I'd rent it.  I looked around and both Camera Lens Rentals and Lens Rental
had it for about $200 for the time I'd need it.  Lens Rental had an insurance policy which covered just about every possible situation...including bear attacks. 

And then I started thinking...what if I didn't get the prime lens, and went with a lesser lens--the 55-300mm zoom?

There are actually several versions of this lens.  There is one that is not whether sealed.  I figured that was a no-no, since if there is any place I would be likely to need weather sealing (e.g. from rain!) it might be in Alaska.

There is also a newer model, whose focus is supposed to be a lot quieter.  However, the mount will not work with my Kiis model camera, and will force the aperture to stay wide open all the time...and given that it's about $100+ more right now, I figured I'd go with the one that would work with my older model Pentax.  I figure, some day I might regret it when I upgrade the camera, but that day isn't now, and now I want to be able to control the F-stop.

So this baby is headed my way.  I can't wait to get it on Wednesday and see how much better it is over my current zoom.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Pre-trip Planning: Day 14--Girdwood/Anchorage --> Home

This is our last day in Alaska (Sob!)  As I've mentioned, we don't leave until after dinner, so we still have some hours to do something fun!

I listed quite a few items for Day 13.  My guess is that we might still have something left on the list...or maybe we might want to head back to Anchorage to do something that looked interesting back on Day 1.  My feeling is that by mid-afternoon, we need to start finishing up and thinking about heading to the airport, returning the minivan, etc.

Writing this all out has helped me firm up some of the days.  My guess is I'll probably continue to tweak this until the actual trip.  I am also going to have some posts about what we are bringing with us, and that'll be good to have to then compare to what we actually used.

We arrive home on the morning of Day 15, exactly two weeks after we left.