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Author Topic: Lenses for a balloon festival  (Read 63238 times)

skierd

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Lenses for a balloon festival
« on: August 14, 2017, 02:53:40 PM »

I'm going to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque in October with the family to visit the rest of the family. I know I'm bringing my Pentax K-30, unless it gets replaced by the new KP by then, and my HD DA 20-40 f2.8-4 Limited and DA* 50-135 f2.8.  We're going for the Mass Ascension and a couple of the glows for sure.

Will my 20-40 be wide enough/fast enough? Or should I be looking at something wider?  I'll also be using these for the northern lights at least too this winter so I'm fine with buying a lens. I've wanted the Pentax 10-17mm Fisheye for a while because fisheye, but the Sigma 10-20 f3.5 or the Tamron 10-24 are also compelling choices.  There's also a Pentax 12-24 f4 and the beautiful little 15mm f4 Limited... Trying to stick with AF lenses unless the Rokinon's, etc really are too good to ignore.
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MattBurt

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Re: Lenses for a balloon festival
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2017, 03:38:14 PM »

It probably depends a lot on how close you will be but if it were me I'd want to be able to go wider.
I have the 15 and a Rokinon 8/3.5 and the 15 is fantastic while the Rokinon is good and well worth the money.
For stuff like Northern Lights you may want faster than either of those two so the DA* 16-50 is also a reasonable choice although a possible gamble on AF trouble. If you do get a bad one you can get it converted to screw drive which is a nice plan b.
Irix also makes that 15/2.4 in K mount but no AF.
 
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NancyP

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Re: Lenses for a balloon festival
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2017, 04:59:54 PM »

Depends on how much money you want to spend. One of the rectilinear zooms would be a good general utility lens (10-20mm, 10-24mm, 12-24mm), given that you have normal to telephoto range covered. If you are wandering around close to the balloon take-off (they usually don't allow people in the balloon takeoff area due to safety), you will need a wide angle to get a decent amount of balloon in the frame. The cheap options are the Rokinons (Bower, Samyang, etc), and remember, the wider you go, the greater the depth of field, so for a lot of superwide manual lenses, you do zone focusing and it works out fine.
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skierd

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Re: Lenses for a balloon festival
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 02:18:20 PM »

I'm not afraid of SDM failure; I know it happens but like you said screw-drive conversions or a repair are possible.

I'm basically stuck between the 10-20 f3.5 and the 10-17 Fish at this point, and I think I'll end up having to flip a coin (or eventually get both).  I want the 15mm Limited too, but that's more GAS than anything, and while I'd like the DA*16-50 to complement or replace the 20-40 I'm thinking I'd still rather have something wider overall. 
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RichDesmond

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Re: Lenses for a balloon festival
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2017, 10:12:29 PM »

You're going to want as wide a rectilinear lens as they make for your system. A zoom that starts at 10mm would be a must-have, IMO.

A long lens is also nice to catch shots of people in the gondolas as they're flying.

I lived in Albuquerque for many years and went to the balloon fiesta a bunch. Some other tips:

Plan on going more than one morning if you can.

Get there as early as they open. Photos of the crews unpacking and setting up can be interesting.

It can be quite cold, and if you get there early you're going to be out in it a long time, so dress warmly, and in layers so you can shed when the sun comes up.
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Ellis Vener

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Re: Lenses for a balloon festival
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2017, 03:30:08 PM »

I'm going to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque in October with the family to visit the rest of the family. I know I'm bringing my Pentax K-30, unless it gets replaced by the new KP by then, and my HD DA 20-40 f2.8-4 Limited and DA* 50-135 f2.8.  We're going for the Mass Ascension and a couple of the glows for sure.

Will my 20-40 be wide enough/fast enough? Or should I be looking at something wider?  I'll also be using these for the northern lights at least too this winter so I'm fine with buying a lens. I've wanted the Pentax 10-17mm Fisheye for a while because fisheye, but the Sigma 10-20 f3.5 or the Tamron 10-24 are also compelling choices.  There's also a Pentax 12-24 f4 and the beautiful little 15mm f4 Limited... Trying to stick with AF lenses unless the Rokinon's, etc really are too good to ignore.

I have used everything from a 180˚ circular fisheye (the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L to an 800mm f/5.6L at the Albuquerque Ballon fest. it all depends on where you are. Make sure you get to the launch site super early.
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skierd

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Re: Lenses for a balloon festival
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2017, 12:43:08 AM »

Decided on the sigma 10-20 f3.5, looking forward to taking it out. Thanks for the advice all.
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