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08-08-2010, 07:00 PM   #16
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Arpe looked at your pics and they are fantastic and exactly what i would like to achieve with my photo's one day, my son actually was scouted by the Irish selectors around Xmas but the rules here state he has to play for ulster first which atm he is doing with the U19's, but Arpe i agree with you 100% can Ireland play as i have the the red rose through my veins and it would be a hard pill to take if he puts on a Irish shirt lol.

RioRico thankyou for spending the time to type out a explantion to the extent it was like being back at school when i looked at the pictures to understand the story as i could not read properly, basically what i'm saying is that my noobie brain has absorbed alot of but atm it's dark o'clock here so cannot put the settings on my camera into motion atm but will do.

no more questions atm pheeeeewwww.

08-11-2010, 03:41 PM   #17
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As I often do, I'd suggest a visit to your local library or bookstore to get a book on basic photography. The concept of aperture and how it relates it to shutter speed, depth of field, and exposure is so impotant, so vital, that you would be doing yourself a disservice just trying to pick up quickie answers online.
08-15-2010, 08:28 AM   #18
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I have kids in sports and from time to time I will photograph their games. I search "shooting high school sports" and then view the web sites for tips (I need all of the help I can find for sports photography).

Here is a quick example of one site - I know there are more sites and some geared towards students that shoot for their schools.

Sports Photography: An Introduction

I also think that if you have access to used lenses you could purchase the 200 f2.8 or a shorter 2.8 lens used and then resell it at a later time. Used lenses tend to hold up in value as long as they are not damaged.

For what it is worth, the best telephoto/money lens I have is my legs and a willingness to get closer to the subject.

With moving subjects I try to shoot from the end zone versus the sideline. I find it is easier to focus when subjects are moving towards the camera and it also features the front of the athlete. I believe that much of professional basketball and NFL football is shot from this vantage point for publicaton.

Last edited by stover98074; 08-15-2010 at 08:33 AM.
08-24-2010, 11:51 AM   #19
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Iceman,
Photographing soccer is a very small proportion of my work, but since itís so visible (especially when your corporate team wins the championship) good results matter to my employer and me. My kids (12 & 10) also play soccer and I do shoot their matches and make a few shekels from the parents.
If my son played at the level of your sonówith an excellent future hopefullyóthis is what Iíd do:

- Purchase a lens with a minimum of 400mm focal length. An adult pitch is really long and wide to this American.
- Make that lens a zoom so you have the flexibility to cover near and far action (depending on where you are shooting from)
- Make the camera and lens either a Canon or a Nikon. Usually good photographs depend on the skills of the photographer more than the gearóbut sports (and wildlifeóbirds) are different: gear matters a lot more.
- Pentax lacks both the higher frame rate and most importantly a predictive AF system that other brands offer. There are simply many more lens choices for Canon and Nikon as well. Pentax is outstanding for other kinds of photography.
- Yes it is possible to get killer sports shots using Pentax and say Sigma (Arpeís work is excellent) but the margin for error is much thinner for most mortals, and securing lenses is harder.
After a few years using Pentax systems I finally moved over to a Canon 7D with a 100-400AF L IS lens very recently. I noticed the differences in my shots immediately. Unfortunately I cannot share any here, but come September I will hopefully be able to.
- I would not ordinarily suggest such a drastic and expensive tool change for most parents, but your young manís got game and you donít want to let those opportunities pass by with distant blurry photographs.
- Do realize that to obtain a similar perspective as Arpeís shots, you will need to be shooting down on the field level. That may or may not be an easy thing for a parent to do; if it isnít, your equipment choice isnít going to matter much.


M

08-24-2010, 05:45 PM   #20
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Thanks Miguel.
That 100-400 is quite a slow lens, 4.5-5.6, do you use it under lights?

Any reason for the 7D over the Nikon D300(s)?
08-24-2010, 05:50 PM   #21
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This is pretty sad. Here we are on a Pentax Forum and Pentax users are recommending Nikon or Canon for sports shooting. Pentax really has to pull up their socks on this AF speed issue.

Tom G
08-24-2010, 05:54 PM   #22
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It is. I am currently saving, very slowly, to replace my K-7 with either C or N just because of it, I way prefer the Pentax form factor, but I've fallen into quite a bit of sports shooting now. At this stage I'm looking at the D300s replacement.
08-24-2010, 06:01 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
It is. I am currently saving, very slowly, to replace my K-7 with either C or N just because of it, I way prefer the Pentax form factor, but I've fallen into quite a bit of sports shooting now. At this stage I'm looking at the D300s replacement.
I'm a longtime Pentax shooter (30 years) so I can hardly be called a basher but why does Pentax lag so far behind in this particular area? Surely they must be aware how damaging this is to their sales and future. I'm certain they are working on the issue but they really need to address it and soon.

Tom G

08-24-2010, 09:24 PM   #24
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No, I only use it outdoors. But it got real grey and dank for my last match, and I had to push the ISO to 1600 and it performed well. I could have gone to 3200, but as an old film shooter it's hard for me to go there psychologically at least

I tested both the 7D and the D300s--actually my prejudice was towards Nikon because I like their interface better than on earlier Canon DSLRs (both pale compared with Pentax, ergonomics too). But the 7D interface has been redesigned to a large extent in a very positive way and it was noticeably easier to change my settings on the 7D when compared to the D300s.

Also, the Canon 100-400 L lens was significantly faster to focus than the corresponding Nikon 80-400mm. That alone cinched the choice. Since sports is kind of a sidelight for me (but one I do enjoy), that meets my requirements right now well enough--and it works great for birds too.

Any future high-level 2.8-ish long lens upgrades will be accompanied by a 5DMK2 body purchase. Unlike Pentax, the Canon lens system is oriented towards full-frame use. Very few of their EF-S (digital cropped) lenses garner the raves that Pentax DA* and DA Ltd lenses do. I actually just purchased the Tokina half-sister of the DA* 50-135mm f2.8. Felt familiar enough, though they do include a tripod mount!

In my artistic heart I will hope that Pentax has a FF offering at that time.

M

QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Thanks Miguel.
That 100-400 is quite a slow lens, 4.5-5.6, do you use it under lights?

Any reason for the 7D over the Nikon D300(s)?
08-24-2010, 09:35 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
This is pretty sad. Here we are on a Pentax Forum and Pentax users are recommending Nikon or Canon for sports shooting. Pentax really has to pull up their socks on this AF speed issue.

Tom G
Tom, I agree with you but I don't see a whole competitive solution happening for sports shooters from Pentax. Developing predictive AF subsystems is just one component. Then you have to produce a full line of long, fast lenses. Then you have to have them available on short notice in all large cities. And then you have to service them and provide interim loaners.

That's a lot of infrastructure and manufacturing investment. The old Pentax of the 70s may have had something close to that, but that was then and this is now. And Pentax's higher-end offering will be the 645D.

In this perspective, I'm impressed that Pentax has done so much with such limited resources. My Canon stuff is technically very good, but it seems to lack soul.

M
08-24-2010, 11:12 PM   #26
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Thanks Miguel. Shame it is about Pentax and sport.

I was shooting under lights last week at 1/350, f2.8, ISO4500! Just a bit of noise on the pics!!
08-25-2010, 07:51 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Tom, I agree with you but I don't see a whole competitive solution happening for sports shooters from Pentax. Developing predictive AF subsystems is just one component. Then you have to produce a full line of long, fast lenses. Then you have to have them available on short notice in all large cities. And then you have to service them and provide interim loaners.
You may find this available in certain venues and available for media outlets etc. This isn't going to happen for the average Joe shooting their kids soccer games. They don't provide these services for free either.

QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
That's a lot of infrastructure and manufacturing investment. The old Pentax of the 70s may have had something close to that, but that was then and this is now. And Pentax's higher-end offering will be the 645D.

In this perspective, I'm impressed that Pentax has done so much with such limited resources. My Canon stuff is technically very good, but it seems to lack soul.

M
The thing I like about one of the Nikon line, i.e. the D70s, D90 and D300s is the front a rear wheels. I don't like the form factor as much as the *istD, K20d etc. but I like it a lot better than any of the Canon line. When I got the K200d and K20d, I was considering the D90. However, since I had a long history with Pentax film bodies, I went with Pentax. I never noticed a step down in AF from the move. I still use the D70s occasionally but mainly with the 100mm micro Nikkor or the 18-70mm/3.5-4.5 lens. The prices are down on the D300s but they are on the K-7 as well so it is still nearly 2x, $869 to $1500 shipped to be exact for the bodies. This can be a key factor for the weekend warrior versus a media guy covering 50 games a week.

Last edited by Blue; 08-25-2010 at 07:59 AM.
08-25-2010, 11:24 AM   #28
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Iceman,

I think people gave some good answers here. In order to really make your sports shots jump ahead lens wise, you would need to go up to one of the 70-200 2.8 lenses, or the Sigma 100-300 f4. That Sigma is great for outdoor sports, a big advantage being fast AF (for Pentax). All those are over $700 though.

I see in your profile that you have a K-x. That camera actually was a major advance for Pentax in the world of economic sports shooting. Night and day from my K10d in terms of ISO and focus speed. 4.5 fps is nice too, but not as important as ISO perf and focus speed.

I really agree with the other posts above about being anxious for Pentax to improve their AF performance. I don't think it's necessary to provide gear to be able to compete with Canon and Nikon for pro level sports work, but I DO believe it's important to provide an upgrade path for other users that may want to move up. I consider myself a fairly common demographic for a DSLR buyer, a parent with growing kids. I chose Pentax years ago because it represented the best bang for the economy buck. Many parents don't want to break the bank on camera gear, but want quality. I got that. Then, as my kids started becoming more active in sports, I started getting more serious about being able to produce hi quality sports shots. I quickly found out that sports was the biggest area where Pentax just does not compete well with Canikon. The problems used to be both high ISO performance and AF-C performance. The K-x addressed the high ISO performance gap. The AF gap still remains. If I didn't need the sports performance, I would be satisfied with my Pentax stuff. I'm too invested now to switch though. I am watching anxiously about news of a revamped AF system in the new models. Closing that gap will help Pentax grow by providing an upgrade path for everyone, even if they don't need it or cant afford the top models today.

I share many of the sports photos I take with the other parents. They think they are great, and I do get some questions about what I suggest them to buy when they move up to a DSLR. I try mostly to tell people that for the most part, all of the major brands will provide them with great IQ, and to try them out for themselves and buy the one that feels best for them, and has the features that matter most to them. If they push me for brands, I do tell them to try and stick to either Canon or Nikon mostly. There are three main reasons:

1) They can go into a store and handle and try them. No store in the entire state that I live in has Pentax DSLRs to try.
2) Owning one of the big 2 just makes many things easier. It's easier to find accessories, apps, lenses, flashes, etc. It's easier to try out things that friends have, or in the rare occasion, rent something if you need it.
3) If sports is important to them, the other two just handle that better, and provide an upgrade path if they choose to get a little serious about it.


Please Pentax, close the biggest target you have for criticism, and upgrade the AF system!
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