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09-11-2007, 02:32 PM   #1
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pentax FA 80-320mm lens sports

Ive just bought the 80-320mm to shoot a footy grand final, has anyone tried this lens for sports.I read alot of reviews and this lens gets a good wrap but there was one reviewer saying its not for fast sports action.then again the same bloke said no good for bird photograhy so i took it out for the first time yesterday and got some nice sharp results of pelicans in flight so i hope to prove him wrong with the sports to. like to hear from any users of this lens for opinions.thnx

09-11-2007, 05:58 PM   #2
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Well it's not a fast lens - f4.5-5.6, so hopefully you'll have good weather for the final.

I haven't tried mine for sports as i have a faster alternative, but would be interested in your experience. How close are you to the ground? Hopefully not up the top in the MCG!
09-11-2007, 11:44 PM   #3
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Thnx , the game got washed out last week so hopin for a sunny day,il let u know how it goes .
09-12-2007, 09:19 AM   #4
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Quick Sample

I have found this lens to be quite good . . . have used it for several years at USC football games.
Here is a shot from a night game at ISO 1600 with my K10D. . . only PP was a crop . . . have not yet had time to do any serious PP.

Attached Images
 
09-12-2007, 01:56 PM   #5
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good shot.

Thnx for the sample. I was startin to regret gettin the lens but when u think about it ,ive been using a Tamron 80-210mm lens its a 4.5 to and ive got some realy good results with it .just found it to be a bit short at times.Ive tried the lens out with birds in flight and im pretty impressed with the quality of shots im gettin.The lens creep is pretty bad other than that very happy with it.
09-12-2007, 03:35 PM   #6
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We are spoiled. With digital, all you have to do is up the ISO a little and your slow lens isn't so much a hindrance. The only thing you won't gain is the smaller depth of field that a faster lens can give you. Other then that, shutter speeds aren't much of a problem with today’s digital cameras. It just gets better and better with each camera coming out also, as they continue to improve noise levels.
09-16-2007, 01:12 PM   #7
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I EXPECT to be getting one of these lenses myself...SOON...

Dear Trumpyman:

The PIPE Here, from New England USA...and since my Pentax rebate should be on its way to me (hopefully, arriving by Sept. 21) I expect to be getting one of these lenses myself, very soon, for future use in aviation (RC model and fullscale) "action" photography with my K100D.

Just a few questions for you...

1: Is your lens the "silver" finish one I've seen online in a couple of places, or is it one of the "black finish" ones? Someone here in another thread advised me to "steer clear" of the black finish ones, as they SEEM to have had problems in working well with Pentax SLR digital camera bodies (something about what "Chickenhawk" here at the Pentax Forum, at his post at https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/83869-post22.html , said as follows, late this past summer in a reply to a post I wrote in)...

"There is one thing to watch with these [FA 80-320 zoom] lenses. Some of them suffer an internal fault where they work on film cameras but will not work on digitals. Many of them were factory rebuilt to correct this, but I am sure a few have slipped through the cracks. This is one lens - new or used - that you NEED to test on your camera before buying it, or have the ability to return it for a full refund if it doesn't work. I have never heard of this fault on a silver version of the lens, but I have seen many such faults on the black version. (The lens will not read or operate the aperture setting correctly on digital bodies.)"

Needless to say, any online place that I intend to get it from will HAVE to have some sort of ability to do this for me (to accept the return of a possibly "aperture-challenged" FA 80-320mm lens), or I wouldn't get it from "them"...!!!

2: How's the focus sharpness at the far end of the zoom range, especially for things in motion, that you HAVE to "pan" (like vehicles in motion, winged or not) to get a good clear shot? I AM willing to try my K100D with this lens at ISO 400 for more flexibility in shooting with that f/5.6 max aperture at the 320mm end of things, but I'd just like to get your opinion on this, where you've already got one.

Hope to get an answer soon...

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE!
09-16-2007, 01:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by The PIPE Quote
Dear Trumpyman:

The PIPE Here, from New England USA...and since my Pentax rebate should be on its way to me (hopefully, arriving by Sept. 21) I expect to be getting one of these lenses myself, very soon, for future use in aviation (RC model and fullscale) "action" photography with my K100D.

Just a few questions for you...

1: Is your lens the "silver" finish one I've seen online in a couple of places, or is it one of the "black finish" ones? Someone here in another thread advised me to "steer clear" of the black finish ones, as they SEEM to have had problems in working well with Pentax SLR digital camera bodies (something about what "Chickenhawk" here at the Pentax Forum, at his post at https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/83869-post22.html , said as follows, late this past summer in a reply to a post I wrote in)...

"There is one thing to watch with these [FA 80-320 zoom] lenses. Some of them suffer an internal fault where they work on film cameras but will not work on digitals. Many of them were factory rebuilt to correct this, but I am sure a few have slipped through the cracks. This is one lens - new or used - that you NEED to test on your camera before buying it, or have the ability to return it for a full refund if it doesn't work. I have never heard of this fault on a silver version of the lens, but I have seen many such faults on the black version. (The lens will not read or operate the aperture setting correctly on digital bodies.)"

Needless to say, any online place that I intend to get it from will HAVE to have some sort of ability to do this for me (to accept the return of a possibly "aperture-challenged" FA 80-320mm lens), or I wouldn't get it from "them"...!!!

2: How's the focus sharpness at the far end of the zoom range, especially for things in motion, that you HAVE to "pan" (like vehicles in motion, winged or not) to get a good clear shot? I AM willing to try my K100D with this lens at ISO 400 for more flexibility in shooting with that f/5.6 max aperture at the 320mm end of things, but I'd just like to get your opinion on this, where you've already got one.

Hope to get an answer soon...

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE!
I've certanly been happy with mine--- I didn't use it alot with the film bodies because it seemed out of balance, but this isn't an issue with the heavier K10 where it is my general purpose telephoto of choice.

09-16-2007, 01:51 PM   #9
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Hi Pipe how r ya.I shot a grand final on the week end and was pretty dissapointed with the lens performance.I still think its a bloody good lens but just to slow for sports.Its not so much the fast movement it just doesnt like busy situations,lots of movement.If your panning on a single subject it seems fine but when theres more than one thing moving it seems to have trouble focusing.Last week i tried it out on birds,when i panned with a single bird at 300mm the shot came out beautiful,but when there was a few birds the lens seem to hunt alot .ok i just checked the bird pelican was shot at 240mm ,i just uploaded the photo to my gallery if u want a look , Gliding Pelican. good luck
09-16-2007, 05:44 PM   #10
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Dear Trumpyman:

The PIPE here again...and thankfully when I AM shooting an aircraft in flight for a good image...which you can see one of from this past summer in my post at...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/79488-post14.html

(just so I can avoid posting it again, AND eating up my 1 MB of posting space for photos)...with the Fokker D VII quarter scale. or 'Giant Scale" sized RC model aircraft in that SECOND, in-flight photo...which WAS cropped from the original, because it was my 50-200mm that took it at maximum zoom, at least I'm ONLY having to focus on ONE moving object!

The 320mm max zoom of the 80-320 lens SHOULD add quality to my action photography...while I was at NY State's Old Rhinebeck RC Jamboree last weekend, the weather was such that the humid, tropical heat WAS a potential threat to my health there that day, so I couldn't get much in the way of photography done with the K100D that weekend.

But AGAIN, I'm asking, Trumpyman...IS it the SILVER finish lens that you've got, OR the black finish one that "Chickenhawk" advised me to steer clear of...PLEASE let me know!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE...!!!
09-16-2007, 07:58 PM   #11
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Sory Pipe its the black one. It seems good to me apperature and eveything seems to work fine.The bloke i bought it of has kenko 2x converter was thinkin of getting that as well. U heard anything about them ? I will probably keep the lens until i can afford a Bigma. Ive got Sigma 17-70 very happy with that for my short lens. take care
09-18-2007, 12:51 AM   #12
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Many of the black ones were factory refurbished to correct the internal problem so if it works on your camera, it is probably a good one. That is the only difference between the black and the silver finish. (I have one of each.) This is why I advised to test before buying or be sure you can return it if it doesn't work. (The camera will show "- - -" for aperture.)

I originally found a noticeable softness, but I found a deep lens hood and discovered it was lens flare. I bought a Pentax PH-RBF 58mm lens hood, sanded off the bayonet lugs with a dremel and epoxied a 58mm thread ring to the inside. It works perfectly and matches the silver finish.

While I like this lens, I don't think it is really intended for shooting fast moving sports. It sure tracks birds in flight nice, though!
09-22-2007, 07:36 AM   #13
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Where could I get a lens hood for my 80-320 purchase?

Dear Chickenhawk:

The PIPE here once more...my Pentax rebate arrived last Thursday night (the 20th of Sepetmber) and it's now safely in my local bank....

...so in about two weeks I'm planning on ordering my own 80-320 lens, and give it a try on both the K1000SE film camera (IF the light meter is all right...it may just have a pooped-out meter battery, or dirty meter battery contacts) and, of course, on my K100D.

You DID just state that you got a lens hood for your own 80-320...that "exact" model (the Pentax PH-RBF one) you said you were using, after doing some looking on the 'Net earlier this week, does NOT seem to be readily available in the USA.

Doing a Google search for '58mm lens hood' seems to have revealed a number of "generic" screw-in (just as a 58mm lens filter would) hoods, some even being collapsible rubber units...might any of these be suitable to reduce any possible lens flare when using the 80-320mm lens?

Also, how DEEP is the Pentax lens hood that you acquired for your 80-320??? In addition, does your lens hood have those "petals" on it like some of them do (although I imagine those are mostly for wide-angle lenses) or is it a "constant depth" throughout its 360º circumference?

Hoping to get some info from you on your lens hood choice...so I can find something "generic" that would easily screw into place on my own 80-320, and would be MUCH easier to find and purchase...!

Thanks in advance,

The PIPE...!
09-22-2007, 08:09 AM   #14
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I use the 80-320

on high school soccer and have had mixed results with it. I have the siver finish model and my biggest issue is the auto and manual focus will not set on a subject you are trying to focus on at 320 mm and sometimes at a lot less, maybe around 200mm. Maybe it needs to be serviced. I purchased a tamron 28-300 to compare and it does a lot better job and will focus at full 300mm range anywhere on the soccer field.
09-23-2007, 02:04 AM   #15
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Any 58mm lens hood will do. I used the Pentax one because the silver finish matches the lens perfectly. My wife uses the black lens and I don't think she notices or cares that the hood doesn't match, but I am too much of a perfectionist to not have my hood match my lens.

You don't need a petal hood because even at 80mm, there won't be any vignetting at all.

Being a perfectionist is pretty dumb on one hand because it costs me a TON of money. On the other hand, my clients seem to really appreciate the fact that I am a perfectionist. I once had a movie star say I was "the most anal guy in Hollywood."

I was actually quite proud of that, and I think he meant it affectionately.
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