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06-14-2010, 09:32 PM   #1
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what would be a prime setup for sports?

Like soccer, football, hockey and basketball?

Using with K20D and preferably AF.

06-15-2010, 01:27 AM   #2
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What's your budget?

Consumer zooms Pentax 55-300 or Sigma/Tamron 70-300. Cost USD 200-400

Pro-level: Pentax DA* 300mm f4 SDM or all F* and FA* tele primes and zooms >300mm. Cost USD 1200-3000
06-15-2010, 01:29 AM   #3
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Prime as in good, or prime as in fixed focal length?

A 250-600mm AF lens is, IMO, ideal :P

If you won't want to go down that route, any prime or zoom ending in the 200-400mm range would get the job done. The smaller the aperture, the better, of course. I've used my 80-200mm/2.8 and 300mm/2.8 (and 4.5) Pentax lenses for the purpose with great success. What I would stay clear of for sport, however, is the DA* 50-135mm, as it's simply too short. Same goes for any prime shorter than 200mm IMO.

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06-15-2010, 02:28 AM   #4
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AF is great but I wouldn't overlook MF. Iím not a big fan of zooms so my choice is a fast telephoto. My goto lens for most sports is an old Pentax K 200/2.5. I like the 200mm focal length for most sports and the extra speed is great for the low light often found in hockey arenas. It is also great for football and soccer. I donít shoot basketball so I canít speak from experience on this sport. It takes a while to hone the manual focusing skills but practice is pretty cheap. People were taking sports images for a hundred years or so before the advent of AF. That being said I wouldnít turn down a new DA* 200/2.8.

Tom G

06-15-2010, 03:36 AM   #5
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prime as in fixed focal length.

I just earned accreditation to shoot pro league games and although i do get the shots, i feel that its time to step up and upgrade my glass as i will now be taking indoor and night games.

Dont really see glass like 400 f/2.8 from Pentax side so my long term plan is to get a secondary Canon/Nikon system for super telephoto.

So if i stayed with Primes for Pentax which ones should be in my bag? I take mostly jpegs so that i spend less time in front of computer and more time in bed for my back. Most likely will get everything new as old lenses are not widely available where i am and shipping prices can be murder.
06-15-2010, 07:21 AM   #6
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I use the DA* 200mm for indoor and outdor sports. My kids are into swimming and gymnastics and we also sometimes go to dog shows. IQ at f2.8 is incredible and AF is fast. Plus, I think 200mm is great for outdoor sports unless you are sitting in a stadium and far from the action. In this case, you might want to consider a DA* 300mm f4. However, 300mm is too long for indoor and f4 not fast enough.
06-16-2010, 05:06 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SylBer Quote
I use the DA* 200mm for indoor and outdor sports. My kids are into swimming and gymnastics and we also sometimes go to dog shows. IQ at f2.8 is incredible and AF is fast. Plus, I think 200mm is great for outdoor sports unless you are sitting in a stadium and far from the action. In this case, you might want to consider a DA* 300mm f4. However, 300mm is too long for indoor and f4 not fast enough.
I heard 200mm does not come with the tripod collar. does it matter in actual use?
06-16-2010, 06:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
I heard 200mm does not come with the tripod collar. does it matter in actual use?
You probably wouldn't need it. Its been my experience at most major venues that getting in with a monopod/tripod is unlikely. The lens I use is a mf Tammy SP 180mm f2.5 lens. It works good in medium to small stadiums. That lens is tough to come by and am mentioning it for focal length reference. If I were to go after an af equivalent, the DA* 200mm would be the lens.

06-16-2010, 07:06 PM   #9
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I guess I disagree with your assessment that prime lenses will satisfy your shooting requirements. From my experience shooting soccer at Qwest Field (Seattle), and shooting youth baseball and youth soccer elsewhere, a wide-ranging telephoto works far better. You simply don't have the physical roaming space to accommodate a single focal length in many venues. This is not to say that a 300mm f4 telephoto won't be useful, but it is a limitation. For soccer, baseball, and football you need a minimum 400mm on APS-C. Basketball 200mm or less, depending on where you are positioned.

There is also the issue of how many lenses you are able to shlep around for the gig. My assignments also entail pre-game and after-game team shots which means having wider angled lenses on hand or on a 2nd body.

Unfortunately there are limited options for the Pentax platform. Fortunately for me, sports is a non-critical assignment, so I can get away with using a Bigma or a 200mm f 2.8.

If I depended on sports shooting for more than 30% of my current or future work, the decision to switch to Canon or Nikon would be a no-brainer. The technical capabilities are significantly better for sports shooting and you get many more lens choices. Almost all the Canon shooters I run into have the 100-400mm as standard. The primes are also faster and more available for rent. Of course the capital costs are higher, but it's work. You'll make it back.

If you are shooting night games, you'll also appreciate the higher-ISO performance from these platforms, plus better integrated flash functionality which will come in handy for football sideline grabs especially.

M
06-16-2010, 07:47 PM   #10
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Miguel,

400mm isn't necessary for College Football stadiums. Then you talk about certain lenses being too big for certain venues and you bring up the Sigma Bigma. :Hysterical:

QuoteQuote:
You simply don't have the physical roaming space to accommodate a single focal length in many venues.
As far as zooms go, the DA 55-300mm is adequate as far as focal length goes in the SEC and ACC stadiums which means that will work in any football stadium. On the other hand if you want an eye or head shot of Peyton Manning taking a snap, you will need a big, fast lens AND a press corp pass on the side line/end zone.

The venue and time of day/night dictates the lens I choose to use.

Da 55-300mm @ 300mm in a day game at Doak-Campbell Stadium.



A night game at a NCAA Div II football game from about the 4th row around the 50 yard line with the SP 180mm f2.5



Evening game at Doak-Campbell with the SP 180mm + 1.4x matching converter.

06-16-2010, 08:47 PM   #11
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The sigma 100-300mm f4 is nice if f4 is fast enough for you. The 120-300mm f2.8 is supposed to be good for sports, but it doesn't come in K mount.
06-16-2010, 09:01 PM   #12
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Blue,
Re: Bigma use, I am referring to physical space for backing up and getting a wider field of view with a single focal length lens that the OP was desiring. The Bigma with 50mm on the wide end is excellent for action close to the sidelines where I tend to shoot from. Unfortunately the optical quality of the lens is pretty average and the AF is worse, but that's what the low end gets you.

Judging from your first shot, I would disagree about 400mm being unnecessary. I assume that the action you are covering at 300mm is near field. How 'bout action a little closer to the goal post or behind the goal post? Your example is a fine shot indeed for our context here, but paid work would demand a much closer capture.

Same for the others, during a game you have to be able to capture action that's not always close to one's seats--a stable location. I assume the OP will roam some if he can. Isn't that SP a manual-focus lens? It's fine for that second prior to the snap where the offense cannot move, but for action honey shots, AF is a requirement to me. And that's where those other platforms come into play.

M
06-16-2010, 09:22 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Blue,
Re: Bigma use, I am referring to physical space for backing up and getting a wider field of view with a single focal length lens that the OP was desiring. The Bigma with 50mm on the wide end is excellent for action close to the sidelines where I tend to shoot from. Unfortunately the optical quality of the lens is pretty average and the AF is worse, but that's what the low end gets you.

Judging from your first shot, I would disagree about 400mm being unnecessary. I assume that the action you are covering at 300mm is near field. How 'bout action a little closer to the goal post or behind the goal post? Your example is a fine shot indeed for our context here, but paid work would demand a much closer capture.

Same for the others, during a game you have to be able to capture action that's not always close to one's seats--a stable location. I assume the OP will roam some if he can. Isn't that SP a manual-focus lens? It's fine for that second prior to the snap where the offense cannot move, but for action honey shots, AF is a requirement to me. And that's where those other platforms come into play.

M
The 1st shot was from the "nickel" seats, way the hell up. I still say the Bigma is a dog for sports and way too big to boot because it is way too big for a spectator lens and not all that great for the side line.

As far as action with a mf lens, you are joking aren't you? The above shot of Osceola & Renegade was with MF. This sequence is from a play out of the Gun with the SP 180mm.








Botched P.A.T. sequence with the SP:







As far as "paid" shots go, all shots aren't face shots nor do the vast majority end up in SI. Furthermore, its good to get team shots during sporting events. As I said in the previous post, the shots were from the stands. A side line pass changes things. I guarantee you the night I had my SP 180 out at the game, the Pros on the field were trying to get me dragged out of the stands and thrown out but I had a little more clout than they anticipated.


Edit: The AF may or may not increase my success rate. Missed focus is missed focus whether it is by the camera during a spray and pray or mf sequence.

Last edited by Blue; 06-16-2010 at 09:40 PM.
06-16-2010, 09:34 PM   #14
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Of course if one is roaming the sidelines with a "Pass," there are always the more expensive options as well as frugal ones.



06-17-2010, 07:18 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
I heard 200mm does not come with the tripod collar. does it matter in actual use?
No, these shots taken hand held with the 200mm indoors.
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