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07-31-2007, 07:11 AM   #1
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Prime lens for Indoor sports?

I really enjoy participating in and watching martial arts. I take a lot of photos at tournaments that are usually in large gymnasiums and the lighting isn't that terrific.

I usually use a Sigma 55-200 which isn't too bad but obviously I can't get the shutter speed I need to freeze movement - sometimes a good thing mostly not.

Looking at my shots most are in the 60mm - 70mm focal range and I am seriously looking at the DA* 50-135 but at approx $1,500 Australian it will be out of my reach for many months.

So I am now considering either the DA 70mm or even a 77mm LTd which is about half the priceof the zoom. I know I am going to lose some flexibility in achieving some shots but I know that if I zoom in with my legs (so to speak) I will still be achieving much of the shots I am now (composition wise) with a much faster lens.

Am I looking at this the right way or is taking sports shots with a prime a dumb idea?

07-31-2007, 05:03 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Falcons Quote
I really enjoy participating in and watching martial arts. I take a lot of photos at tournaments that are usually in large gymnasiums and the lighting isn't that terrific.

I usually use a Sigma 55-200 which isn't too bad but obviously I can't get the shutter speed I need to freeze movement - sometimes a good thing mostly not.

Looking at my shots most are in the 60mm - 70mm focal range and I am seriously looking at the DA* 50-135 but at approx $1,500 Australian it will be out of my reach for many months.

So I am now considering either the DA 70mm or even a 77mm LTd which is about half the priceof the zoom. I know I am going to lose some flexibility in achieving some shots but I know that if I zoom in with my legs (so to speak) I will still be achieving much of the shots I am now (composition wise) with a much faster lens.

Am I looking at this the right way or is taking sports shots with a prime a dumb idea?
It is not a dumb idea! In fact, given the demand and supply of Pentax lenses, unless you want or can spend $1800.00 US on a used 80-200 f2.8, it is the only way to go if you want a lens with f/2.8. In the 60-70mm range the 77 limited would work well. You might also consider the D FA 100 f2.8 macro; I use it to shoot middle school basketball games in poorly lit gyms where the pentax 50-200 4-5.6 is too slow. I have been pleased with how the D FA 100 f2.8 works in that situation. I have not used the 77mm limited in that setting because it was not long enough. The D FA 100 is also less expensive than the 77mmlimited.
If you are mostly shooting in the 60-70mm range, you might also look at the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 or the equivalent Sigma. I own the Tamron and find it a very good lens and it is not very expensive, relative to the 77mm limited.
I too am saving up for the DA * 50-135 because of the faster focussing it should provide on my K10D. Obviously a zoom provides greater flexibility, but I have been successful zooming with my feet and using the D FA 100 2.8
07-31-2007, 07:38 PM   #3
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Just a thought, but how about a 50mm F1.4 along with a short extension tube.

You should be able to get the lens used for a reasonable price, and the tube shouldn't cost much.

In KEH's last flier they had 2 - 50mm f1.2 lenses in the $300 - $400 range, and 5 - 50mm f1.4 lenses for in the $80 - $200 range.
08-01-2007, 02:46 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses - you have certainly given me some ideas.

08-01-2007, 05:35 AM   #5
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Some people I know shoot gymnastic with primes, focal lengths between 80mm to 135mm.

Of course, these people usually stood by the side line to get a good shots of the subjects.

So pentax FA* 85 f1.4, Fa 77 ltd, or even Fa 135 f2.8 should be quite useful in these circumstances. Since these lenses perform better in dim lights anyway - colour always seem richer with these lenses.

To me, f2.8 is often not bright enough in a lot of circumstances like street candids, indoor sports etc. Primes can have its advantage just by getting the shots to start with

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