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04-17-2011, 01:04 PM   #16
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OK thanks to advice here I ordered the FA 50mm f/1.4. Adorama has it refurbished for $300 right now. They are going for $300 used anyway so why not. I got it with the idea that it'll be a useful length and speed from now until pretty much forever.

I was a little worried about the long length so while I was at it I added the new DA 35mm f/2.4

If I had a K-5 already I probably would have split the difference with the DA 40mm and just cranked up the ISO. But with the K200d I'm a little more challenged.

Thanks can't wait to start using them!

04-17-2011, 02:39 PM   #17
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Great shot of kick boxing!
04-18-2011, 12:13 AM   #18
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I'm not familiar with DA L 35/2.4, but that FL is good. Have seen some good comments of that lens on this forum, so I think those will get you good results at Dojo and other places too
04-18-2011, 07:46 PM   #19
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"Martial arts lens"? -- at first I thought is it some new fancy lens!

:S

04-18-2011, 09:18 PM   #20
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I shoot my kids weekly at the local dojo and I can tell you it's hard without a flash. Even 2.8 is not fast enough under normal indoor lighting. 2.8 works only when I have some outdoor light coming in.

Tournaments are really tough. I need to turn up the iso to get enough shutter speed to stop the motion. Here the monopod is a absolute requirement.

When I absolutely can't use a flash, I turn up the ISO and use noise reduction in post processing. I also rely on my feet than my zoom. The 35mm f/2.4 sounds a promising lens for this application.

I've been blessed by the sensei at my dojo, so I'm allowed inside to shoot the pictures, instead of being limited to the waiting area. I'm also a student, so that might have tilted the scale in my favor. The other parents also get copies...
04-19-2011, 08:02 AM   #21
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I'm surprised to see so many people here recommending a 50mm prime lens. "Zooming with my feet" may be fun to say, but in a situation where you're in a crowded, enclosed space and you're trying to stay on the fringes and out of people's way, it's just not realistic. You'll wear out your welcome very quickly.

And while it may be tempting to use apertures wider than f/2.8, I think that you'll run into focus problems with your fast-moving subjects slipping out of the razor-thin focal plane.

The recommendations of a 70-200mm f/2.8 are also suspect, especially since you said you wanted to stay around $300. A 70-200 may be great for tournaments in a large venue (assuming you don't mind having a log-sized lens attached to your camera), but in the average dojo you're often going to wish you could back up about 15 feet through the wall.

I believe the person who recommended the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 was spot-on. You'll have a slightly-wide angle at 28mm allowing you to easily capture a pair of combatants squaring off, but with a range of up to 75mm you'll still be able to get a tight shot without being right in your subject's face.

You'll need some luck to find one for $300, but if you can stretch your budget to $350-$400, you should have no trouble finding a nice second-hand copy. And if you don't already have an f/2.8 constant-aperture lens, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

And in most situations, f/2.8 should be fast enough, as long as you don't mind raising the ISO. I know that on my K-x, ISO 800 and 1600 are good enough for large prints. While there is some noise present at those levels, I do not find it objectionable and it kind of resembles a fine film grain. And if you convert your images to black and white, the grain is actually very attractive.

I've never shot with your camera, the K200D, but I used to have a K100D and I wouldn't hesitate to use it at ISO 800 or 1600.

Last summer I had a chance to shoot my nephew and his father at Tae Kwon Do with my K-x. I took my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and my Pentax DA 55-300mm. I mostly shot with the Tamron at f2.8, 1/320 sec, and ISO 800. For the Pentax 55-300mm I used ISO 1600. If I were doing it over again, I would probably just take the Tamron and shoot at f/2.8, 1/400 sec and ISO 1600.

There were windows along one wall, but it was a gray, overcast day, so there wasn't sunlight pouring in. And I would almost rather not have any windows since mixed lighting sources can make it difficult to get colors and skin tones perfect.

Shutter speed of 1/320 was generally fast enough to freeze the action, but there will sometimes still be some motion blur at the extremities during moves. This is not necessarily a bad thing since it imparts a sense of the motion.

Here are some of the shots from that day. All of the shots are linked to the full-size 12MP image (minus a little cropping), so pixel-peeping is available. No noise-reduction was applied to the full-size images. Click on the image to download the full image file.

BTW, the grain on these shots is actually a little more than I typically see from my K-x. But it turned out that my shutter speed was too high so most of the shots were dark, which meant that I had to boost the exposure quite a bit in Photoshop. Since I shoot RAW, this wasn't a big problem, but it did result in slightly more grain than is typical. That's why if I were doing it again, I would just go ahead and shoot at ISO 1600 at f/2.8.





















Last edited by Edgar_in_Indy; 04-19-2011 at 09:29 AM.
04-19-2011, 08:12 AM   #22
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BTW, in regards to using a flash, I would avoid it if possible.

Unless you're able to setup strobes powerful enough to light the whole dojo, use of a flash will not allow you to capture natural looking pictures. You'll have to deal with mixed lighting sources, and your shots may feature the deer-in-the-headlights look where your subject is blazing bright, and the background is dim. And certain materials and fabric will feature an unnatural sheen or sparkle when exposed to a flash.

And with the flash, you will be limited on your shutter speed to the maximum flash-sync speed.

Also, a flash is just one more piece of equipment to lug around and worry about. With my old Olympus e-510 I used to use a flash a lot. But with my K-x I almost never use it.

With how good modern DSLRs are at high ISO, you are often better off just bumping up the ISO. If you're not happy with your K200D at higher ISO, you may consider selling it to buy a K-x or K-r. You can get a used K-x on eBay for around $370 for the body only, or around $425 with a kit lens. And if you sell your K200D, it would go for around $300 for the body or around $350 with the kit lens. So the cost of your upgrade would only be about $100.
04-19-2011, 08:43 AM   #23
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Interesting thread and more info for my coming Fencing shoot next weekend. This is a thread I opened for advice in regard to that shoot - I think the link to the Pro shooter's site I put up in it should prove interesting and instructive : https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/140312-lense-next.html

04-19-2011, 09:03 AM   #24
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Edgar thanks my findings are pretty much exactly as you've described. I was targeting the Tamron 28-75mm but I've decided to try the primes to see what all the fuss is about. My best results have been with the M-50mm f/1.7 at 1600 ISO so I expect the FA-50 to do just about as well. I am pretty good with Photoshop. With some practice I've been able to get good focus at f/2.0 although there have definitely been some flubs.

During belt exams or tournaments 90% of the parents will sit along the edge with their point n' shoots or phone cameras. I've just been walking to the front middle of the mat and sitting there and eventually other parents will figure it out and join me :-) So it hasn't been hard to get a good position.

I did have a K-x previous to the K200d but I just liked the K200 better, especially with WR for outdoors since I take it skiing, hiking and biking. So I have to live with the indoor ISO penalty until I can get a K-5.

Now that Spring is here the dojo has better light. In mid-winter here in Seattle it's dark by 4:30. I'm also going to try a monopod, I don't know why I never thought of it before. That should give me a couple stops too.

Those are nice shots thanks for posting.
04-19-2011, 09:19 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by InlawBiker Quote
I'm also going to try a monopod, I don't know why I never thought of it before. That should give me a couple stops too.

Those are nice shots thanks for posting.
I'm not sure how much good a monopod would do, since it won't do anything to stop your subject from moving. Unless you're shooting a completely stationary subject, anything under 1/60 is going to blur anyway. Anything more than very slow motion, and 1/60 will blur. If you're shooting a quick-moving subject, your shutter speed will have to be significantly faster...probably at least 1/200 or 1/250...to get sharp photos. 1/320 or 1/400 would be much better.

In either case, whether it's 1/60 or 1/200, camera shake is not going to be your limiting factor at the relatively short focal lengths we're talking about...especially with Shake Reduction. So I really can't see how a monopod would be worth the trouble (and the funny looks).
04-19-2011, 09:40 AM   #26
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Dojang and gym photography used to make me nuts. I use a K200 at ISO800. I bring a grey card to set white balance.I use a Mamiya 55/1.4. Manual focus is relatively easy for me and this combo works great . I think you made the right choice with the 50/1.4

Last edited by seacapt; 04-19-2011 at 09:50 AM.
04-19-2011, 10:45 AM   #27
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Well using a monopod is maybe a good idea if you have some distance to the ring/dojo whatever it is. If you are close to it you won't have enough movement.

I also used 55mm/85mm f1.4 lenses at f2.0 with sports and that gives you plenty of light.

Another shot from that same game.


Good luck next weekend.
04-19-2011, 11:16 AM   #28
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Edgar

I do not disagree that the tamron 28-75 is a good lens (It would be hard to complain about it as I have had one for 4 years now,) But......

I have found in many situations, especially in smaller gyms, and high schools where kids practice etc, the lighting sucks, and windows are useless because most classes are night so they don't add anything. I would easily give anything to be able to shoot at F2.8 or smaller and 1/320 with ISO 800, usually I am sitting at F1.4 and ISO 3200 to be able to freeze the motion of kicks etc.

the reason I recommented the 50 is in order, focal length, speed, speet and speed.
04-19-2011, 11:38 AM   #29
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+1^ as above. I like lenses with 2.8 and they are faster that normal lenses(3.5-5.6), but with 1.4 or 2 it is already a different story ISO 2000 down to 1600 or 800... Maybe you loose something with composing, but you can freeze motion, more or less...
04-19-2011, 12:19 PM   #30
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You make good points. I suppose that if I needed f1.4, I would be torn between the Sigma 30mm and 50mm.
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