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09-29-2010, 05:20 PM   #1
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Choosing a telezoom for motorsports ?

I've got to buy myself a telezoom to shoot my friends riding bikes on the circuit , i've been trying with my Pentax 50-135mm f/2.8 and croping when subject is too far , this isn't working like i want it too.

I'm not sure that a Pentax 200mm f/2.8 will quite cut it for long shoots so i'm leaning for a 300mm lens
here are my 3 choices :
Pentax 300mm f/4
Pentax 60-250mm f/4
Sigma 100-300mm f/4

Many will say that the 300mm from Pentax is the way to go but i'm not convinced , maybe a zoom is more practical then having to choose a sweet spot to capture the bikers just right.
The 60-250mm looks like perfect but it's very expensive , it's not too big and not too heavy , much less so then the Sigma 100-300mm

09-29-2010, 05:29 PM   #2
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I guess it depends on where you're shooting. I assume you're trying to camp on an apex, where a zoom may benefit you a bit if there are multiple bikes leaning in simultaneously.
09-29-2010, 05:54 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rory Quote
I guess it depends on where you're shooting. I assume you're trying to camp on an apex, where a zoom may benefit you a bit if there are multiple bikes leaning in simultaneously.
With a zoom i get to choose more places where i can take pictures , the thing is
would the 300mm prime give better results then a zoom lens ???
09-29-2010, 05:59 PM   #4
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Crop those shots with 135mm into 4, then that's how the 300 will look like. Should give you an idea if 300mm would be long enough.

09-29-2010, 07:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by guillermovilas Quote
With a zoom i get to choose more places where i can take pictures , the thing is
would the 300mm prime give better results then a zoom lens ???
I see what you're saying. I'm just voting for the versitility over the slight increase in image quality. Granted, I don't have experience with any of the lenses in question, if I was in your position, I'd go for a zoom. I would be really bummed if I found the perfect apex where bikes were backing in and I wasn't able to get a tad wider to get a few bikes going in at the same time.
09-29-2010, 07:52 PM   #6
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I use the Sigma 100-300/4 for motorcycle racing with my D700 and get great results. Not sure how it would perform on a Pentax APS-C body, though.

Some galleries:

Motorcycles 8-22 - deadwolfbones' Photos
Motorcycles July - deadwolfbones' Photos
Motorcycles May - deadwolfbones' Photos
Motorcycles April 25 - deadwolfbones' Photos
09-29-2010, 07:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
I use the Sigma 100-300/4 for motorcycle racing with my D700 and get great results. Not sure how it would perform on a Pentax APS-C body, though.

Some galleries:

Motorcycles 8-22 - deadwolfbones' Photos
Motorcycles July - deadwolfbones' Photos
Motorcycles May - deadwolfbones' Photos
Motorcycles April 25 - deadwolfbones' Photos
Sure it does!

I used to own a Sigma 100-300/4 and it performed extremely well with the K20D!
I now have a "prime" DA*300/4 (smaller, lighter) which I use with TC's from time to time,
and it compares very well to the Sigma,
Either of these have great TC's you can add to the lens too, although the Pentax TC's are hard to come by these days.
No doubt both of them lenses would do the trick with a K7 or K5, with or without a TC.

JP
09-29-2010, 09:48 PM   #8
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it really depends...in the bright daylight, even a 70-300mm lens will work. However if the race stretches to evening, a 70-200mm f/2.8 starts being handy.

09-29-2010, 09:49 PM   #9
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I've never used digital, but I've done a heap of motorsport photos, mainly with an LX, & "A" Series Pentax Lens.
The lens I used when I was around the track was the "A" 70/210....Now I know you probably won't buy that particular lens for digital, but I reckon that sort of focal length will give you the range you need.
Depends how close you can get to the action....in the pits I didn't need that much zoom, so I used the 28/135, a bit bulky, but nevertheless a pleasure to use.
Cheers, Pickles.
09-29-2010, 11:37 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
I use the Sigma 100-300/4 for motorcycle racing with my D700 and get great results. Not sure how it would perform on a Pentax APS-C body, though.

Some galleries:

Motorcycles 8-22 - deadwolfbones' Photos
Motorcycles July - deadwolfbones' Photos
Motorcycles May - deadwolfbones' Photos
Motorcycles April 25 - deadwolfbones' Photos
Fantastic pictures you made there , did you use a monopod or were they all made handheld ?
Because i use to own this lens too and it was real heavy , i sold it because at that time i didn't have any use for it.I can't imagine holding it around the circuit for hours
That's why i'm seriously considering the Pentax 60-250mm f/4 , it's 300gr lighter , much much shorter and it makes sublime pictures too

Now that i have a new bunch of rider friends i regularly go see them at the Zolder circuit just 6 miles from where i live ( Zolder is in Belgium and sadly it's the place where the famous F1 driver Gilles Villeneuve lost he's life ).

The thing is that there are wires all around the circuit , can't get a good view or reach from a close distance , thinking of using a ladder but that could be dangerous , i see that's the advantage you had with your pictures , looks like you had plenty of close access

Here are a few pictures i took with my Pentax 50-135mm f/2.8 , quite a bit of cropping too





09-29-2010, 11:52 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Sure it does!

I used to own a Sigma 100-300/4 and it performed extremely well with the K20D!
I now have a "prime" DA*300/4 (smaller, lighter) which I use with TC's from time to time,
and it compares very well to the Sigma,
Either of these have great TC's you can add to the lens too, although the Pentax TC's are hard to come by these days.
No doubt both of them lenses would do the trick with a K7 or K5, with or without a TC.

JP
Why did you sell you're Sigma 100-300/4 just because of the weight

So that's just my point , if i decide not to go for this lens it will be only because of it's size and weight and then i could choose between both Pentax , 300/4 & 60-250/4.
Knowing what it's mainly for ( motorbikers on circuit ) why would the 300/4 be better then the versatile 60-250/4
The 300/4 : 1.07kg and 184mm long
The 60-250/4 : 1.230kg and 167mm long

Tests say the 60-250/4 is excellent and as good if not better then prime lenses at all focals , sharp wide open .
What makes me doubt is no one has this lens , it doesn't sell and you hardly read anything on any forums about it's great performance.
On the other end there are plenty of 300/4 owners and plenty of great comments everywhere , for many this is the ultimate Pentax long range tele
09-29-2010, 11:59 PM   #12
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the sigma gets my recommendation, one thing people often neglect to mention is that the sigma 100-300mm f/4 APO EX DG is a constant aperture Internally focusing internally zooming lens.Meaning it stays the same length no matter what zoom of focus setting you have it on.

it also focuses very quickly. It is prone to hunting under low contrast conditions, but it locks onto moving subjects quite quickly.
09-30-2010, 12:49 AM   #13
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I actually have all 3 lenses you list (except my 300mm is the F* 300mm f4.5).

I use the 300mm with the 1.7 TC when birding
I use the 60-250mm in good light where fast AF is not needed and I want superb IQ
I use the Sigma 100-300mm if fast AF is needed along with the extra length.

If I had to keep just one it would be th Sigma as it is pretty good with the Sigma 1.4x teleconverter (for birding), it has very good IQ (although not quite as good as the 2 Pentax lenses) and the AF is super speedy compared to the other two.
09-30-2010, 01:03 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike.P Quote
I actually have all 3 lenses you list (except my 300mm is the F* 300mm f4.5).

I use the 300mm with the 1.7 TC when birding
I use the 60-250mm in good light where fast AF is not needed and I want superb IQ
I use the Sigma 100-300mm if fast AF is needed along with the extra length.

If I had to keep just one it would be th Sigma as it is pretty good with the Sigma 1.4x teleconverter (for birding), it has very good IQ (although not quite as good as the 2 Pentax lenses) and the AF is super speedy compared to the other two.
Very happy to find someone who has all 3 lenses , this makes comparaison much cleaner.

So the 60-250mm doesn't have fast AF this might be a serious problem for speedy motorbikes but it should be easier working handheld , right

Sigma looks great but what a heavy piece of glass , IQ is very important for me.

Why are there so few people who have a 60-250/4
09-30-2010, 01:08 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by guillermovilas Quote

Sigma looks great but what a heavy piece of glass , IQ is very important for me.
Nothing wrong with the IQ of the 100-300mm f4



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