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10-21-2007, 12:22 PM   #1
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very new to dslr--question on lens

Hi---I just purchased my first dslr. (still waiting for it to come in the mail) A Pentax k100d Super. My older camera was a basic Kodak p&s digital. I am now making the jump into slr to get better photos of my kids at friday night football games, graduations, dance competitions, etc. The camera is coming with the kit lens---18-55mm and I also purchased a 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens to go with it. I have been hearing a lot about the 50mm f/1.4 lens for low light. Will this do the job for dance competitions--we are not allowed to use flash photography or else our studio gets kicked out of the competition. Also, is this the better lens to use for Friday night football games because the lighting is not good (even with the stadium lights) or should I use the 70-300 mm lens? Will I need a tripod for dance recitals and competitions? As you can see, I have never even held a lens in my hand before. I have always wanted a camera that can switch out lenses and now that I finally have one, I want to do it right.----thanks so much for any help!

10-22-2007, 01:18 AM   #2
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The 50/1.4 is great for low light and will likely be your best bet for indoor dance competitions, where the distances involved are (I'm guessing) not great. If cost is an issue, consider picking up instead a 50/1.7 (commonly available used) which also has a reputation as a great lens. (Try to take our friend Lapeen's from her and you'd probably have a fight on your hands).

Unfortunately, a 50mm won't have the "reach" that you will likely desire for football games. Fast (that is: wide maximum aperture) zoom lenses come at a premium price, especially if you want one that is fast throughout the zoom range. The maximum aperture on zoom lenses typically gets smaller (slower) as you zoom toward the long end of the range. Here again, if cost is an issue you may consider a telephoto (non-zoom) lens with a good maximum aperture. See what the zoom you have already purchased is capable of doing for you.

Don't be bashful about asking any questions at all; there are lots of very friendly folks here who are always quick with useful answers.
10-22-2007, 09:00 AM   #3
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I can definitely recommend the 50 f/1.4. A lot of bang for your buck. Low light ability, high IQ.

How far away from the dances will you be during the competitions?

With 6mp, you can most likely crop into the center 1/2 of the picture and still get acceptable 4"x6" prints. So a 50 f/1.4 may just work out for you.
10-22-2007, 10:05 AM   #4
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The 50mm is great and will do a fine job indoors. As Mike said, I'd test out that new zoom at a few games first before jumping to a new lens. In both situations you have an advantage with the K100D. That camera will do higher ISO shooting better than the K10D. So you can turn the ISO up, make the camera more light sensitive and shoot in many situations without a flash. It just might be enough to use the 300mm at those games without spending any extra and with the speed of either 50 you should have few issues unless the light is totally awful.

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