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10-26-2010, 06:25 PM   #1
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Question about lens for night soccer

I hava a Kx and a 70-200 F2.8 Tamron and am unhappy with the results at night under the lights. I am shooting at iso 5000-6400 to get anything usable even though noisy. I am considering A DA* 300 F4. Would this help me at night under the lights. I should add I'm also considering a Kr before next season.

10-26-2010, 07:28 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by kwar Quote
I hava a Kx and a 70-200 F2.8 Tamron and am unhappy with the results at night under the lights. I am shooting at iso 5000-6400 to get anything usable even though noisy. I am considering A DA* 300 F4. Would this help me at night under the lights. I should add I'm also considering a Kr before next season.
If there is insufficient light for reasonable shots using the 70-200/f2.8, I would say in general that going to a 300/f4, results will only get worse. Going to a longer focal length will narrow the field of view, thus lighting will become more important. Add a slower lens, even though its a prime, will probably not work out for the best. It still comes down to light.

So, having said that - could you post some examples, and some additional information like what apertures are you using - wide open or stopped down some? I am guessing wide open, and that is why going to a f4 lens will just add to your woes. What shutter speeds are you using also. If you are getting non blurry images, then you may try a slightly slower shutter along with a higher ISO speed, but you are probably on the ragged edge now already.

Overall, a higher ISO and using noise reduction software to clean up your take is probably the only choice you have with the Kx. The Kr has a higher ISO ceiling, however the Kx is essentially one of the best low light bodies available - especially considering the price. You might have to consider the K5 with its even higher ISO limit.

10-26-2010, 07:35 PM   #3
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A F4 lens is a stop slower than your existing lens, so no, this won't help.

Could you explain what it is you aren't happy about? Noise, blurr, colors, under exposure, too short focal length???

Regardless, there's a whole lot of different things that might help though, so here's a few I'll throw out:
- Using good denoising software (eg Topaz Denoise) could give you back a stop or so (although at 6400 on the K-x that's the practical limit for any chance of acceptable photos)
- Ensuring you don't under expose at high iso, err on over exposing if anything because you cannot pull the exposure up without it looking horrible at those high iso's.
- Fast prime lens, but there is nothing new in a Pentax mount faster than 2.8 once you get past 85mm. Second hand I don't know, there's a A135 f1.8 and maybe some other options?
- Get closer so you can use a shorter fast prime
- Use a flash if it's allowed
- A K-5 is probably a stop better than the K-x
- Buy a Nikon D3
10-26-2010, 07:53 PM   #4
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That is what I was afraid of.

Both the K5 and a 300 F2.8 are out of my league right now. Both for price and my abilities. I am unhappy with pretty much all of what you both have mentioned. I do need to find some noise reduction software. I am new to post processing and am currently using picassa and have no experience with any NR.

10-26-2010, 08:00 PM   #5
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ISO 6400, f2.8, 1/60-ish shutter speed is pretty "exposed" already IMO.

It must be REALLY dark there!
10-26-2010, 08:03 PM   #6
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Value wise it's hard to beat noise reduction software. Getting back a stop or so for <$100 is a lot cheaper than getting a stop back with a new body or a longer fast lens. (I know not quite the same thing, but close enough)
10-26-2010, 08:05 PM   #7
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Kwar, Go ahead and post some of your images. When you resize them for posting preserve the EXIF data so that everyone can see the data associated with the image. As twitch wrote, there is the Nikon D3 with higher ISO speeds, but its price along with the lenses will make the K5 look very affordable.

Equipment wise, it looks like you have the best for what you spent. It appears that technique, experience and post processing will be your best friends. Are you using a tripod? Can you use a shorter faster lens? That's why posting some images will help.
10-26-2010, 08:27 PM   #8
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I'm using a monopod. I try to speed up the iso to stay away from 2.8 its tough to track and keep focus on high school soccer players. I was hoping a Kr might help with this. I may try to find a shorter fast lens to try. They are easier to find and afford than the 300 2.8. I'll try to get something posted tomorrow. I have nothing avail right now. Technique and experience are coming along. I've only been shooting for a year and a half and the learning curve has been steep. I will look into nr software as well. I'm not looking to get published , just to get some good action shots of my kids. Thanks for the input guys

10-26-2010, 09:19 PM   #9
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That's a tough assignment you are trying to fulfill. You should post some images as it would help quality suggestions. Your camera has good high ISO performance, experiment between 3200-6400. Using the f2.8 aperture is critical if imperfect. I would use that and simply write-off shooting action in more distant and darker parts of the pitch.

Equally important is learning to use basic post processing and noise reduction. It should make a noticeable difference, but without seeing your shots it's just an assumption on my part.

How is the sharpness of the shots?

M
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