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04-13-2011, 10:58 AM   #1
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Which Lense Next ?

I have been invited to back up on 3 more Pro shoots (another Ball, an International Fencing event and an amateur golf event) weekend after next and then do one on my own (well, with his assistant helping me out) in June (fly up to some city in the North of China).

The main lenses I have are listed in my signature below. I have two bodies K7 & K5.

I think I'm OK for both the golf & the ball, however it's the fencing I'm worried about. Typically poorly lit indoor arena though as invited photographers we'll have piste side positions and, I guess, be quite close. Flash is out of course.

We get two days (day 1 is for national events and day 2 is the international) but Day 1 is the money day (selling shots on the spot to family, friends & parents of the competitors) with Day 2 being for the organisers, AP etc.

I was thinking about using 3 lenses I own : 43 Ltd, Tamron 17-50/2.8 and Sigma 50-150/2.8. Though now I'm also tempted by the price of the Sigma 30/1.4 (about $450 here which means my kitty stays about half way to the 150-500 too ! ) as I've heard a fast semi-WA could be valuable too if we are close to the piste. Do I need a great portrait lense ? A 70 / 77 or Sigma 85/1.4 ? I do have the Tamron 90/2.8 - good enough in that light ?

I'm was going to get a 70-200/2.8 (Sigma for the HSM) but since I have the 50-150 and think it may be long enough (backed up by the *300), I'm going off the idea now.

What do you think ? Is there a gap or something I'm really missing ? I'll be buying another SD card and another spare battery too.

Kitty currently stands at about US$1,000 - 1,200 but I'd really rather not use it all unless I have to ! And I was beginning to think about a 150-500 to match my DA*300 for birding too *sighs*

Thanks for your advice !

04-15-2011, 10:58 PM   #2
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Really surprised at the lack of response to this question on this forum from over 200 views ! I guess not many people have shot at a fencing event and are reticent in hazarding a guess or offering an opinion !

I guess I should update my signature as I have in fact sold that FA50/1.4 (actually it was an F 50/1.4 so another mistake in my sig) ! I do have a lovely Takumar 50/1.4 but unless I pre-focus and pray, I don't see it being the ideal lense. I tried to buy a Sigma 30/1.4 from my preferred retailer yesterday but there is no stock due to the factory closedowns after the earthquake in Japan.

I was lucky enough to find a great site on the web though and maybe if someone has a similar event to shoot (I noticed a thread on shooting martial arts) then this may be relevant : - Official FIE Photographer

Probably for the angle I expect / hope to be shooting at (30 - 45 degrees) the 30 might have worked - but unless I get lucky this week it looks like I won't have it in time (I'm a little reticent in buying on-line as I like to try out multiple copies when buying new).

TAv is my standard mode so I'm very comfortable using it (I have set the max ISO to 6,400) and it is what I will be using as the lighting will be very variable but I need to keep the shutter speed up to capture the action. I currently have AF mapped to the AF button - it's a bit faster than half depressing the shutter button.

For Day 1 I've decided to take the 43 Ltd, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 50-150/2.8, Takumar 50/1.4 (on the K7 set to 800 ISO - unless I can get the Sigma 30/1.4 before then) and maybe also the DA*300/4 (I was thinking of trying shots from further back for low DoF and high background OOF bokeh as it seems that usually the backgrounds for these events are distracting). For Day 2 we'll see how Day 1 goes !

Anyway - posted this here for anyone in the future looking for information on shooting Fencing and their possible future searches.
04-16-2011, 04:38 PM   #3
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I have the Tamron and the Sigma. I find the Sigma HSM focusses faster than the Tamron; if you are to the side and focussing laterally, either will be fine.
You have the K-5; don't be afraid to use high ISO. With proper exposure, even ISO 6400 will be fine.
At a recent event in an elementary school gym I was able to shoot at shutter priority of 1/60 (it wasn't a sports event) at ISO 400 and f2.8-4.0, so perhaps the lighting won't be as bad as you think.
Be sure to post some pics; I would love to see how they turn out!
04-16-2011, 06:56 PM   #4
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I don't have any experience with this but if you were very close to the action I would think a DA* 16-50 would come in handy. You could always consider renting one for the event and if it works out you could buy one. If not, then you have plenty of other lenses to fall back on. Actually I just noticed you have a Tamron in the same range and speed, so I think you have the right idea there. Good luck, and looking forward to reading/viewing this next outing of yours. Your last wrap-up was pretty interesting.

04-16-2011, 08:39 PM   #5
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Block of text hurts eyes.

Stick with the macro.
04-16-2011, 09:14 PM   #6
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Looking at your list of lenses I would think that you would be fine. If you really feel the need you could upgrade your gear by getting into the DA* line, but I don't think it would be necessary as long as you are able to achieve focus quickly.

If you are really pining after that 150-500 then I would keep the kitty full and keep saving.
04-17-2011, 07:46 PM   #7
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Thanks Gebco - as I mentioned I do have the K5 already set to max out at 6,400. We'll see hope it goes - thanks for the advice !

Heegz - glad you liked the last write-up ! We'll see what happens here and like you I'm beginning to think the 17-50 is going to be the work-horse.

macro PB?

Thanks for your advice Allison. Focus wise I don't think the 16-50 performs any faster than the 17-50 (though quieter) and sharpness wise there is nothing in it so the Tamron will, hopefully, be fine ! The 150-500 is the current subject of my LBA l ....... the DA*300 + AFA x1.7 gives the same reach at half a stop slower and nearly the same IQ but surely there is some advantage to the Bigmos !
04-17-2011, 10:18 PM   #8
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I'm no pro, but I would guess that the tamron macro will be as sharp as you could want wide open for this sort of thing, good reach. Do you have decent high ISO? If you have anything as good as the KX I'm sure investing in an extra fstop won't be worth it for this purpose.


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