Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-09-2007, 05:07 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 20
Lens for grand-daughter's dance recital

Hello, this is my first post here (although I have been reading this and other Pentax forums for quite some time) and wanted to get your opinion on my next lens purchase. A couple of years ago I decided to invest in a DSLR to try to take better pictures of my grand-daughter. I currently have the K10D, the two kit lenses, and a Tamron 28-75/2.8 and FA 35/2 for taking pictures in lower light. (Eventually I will purchase and learn how to use an external flash, but for now would prefer to focus on improving my photography skills in available light rather than trying to learn another aspect of photography). The Tamron is on my camera most of the time, followed by the FA 35/2.

I really like the IQ of Pentax primes and would like to increase my use of primes. However, I often find the FA 35 too short for my type of shooting, which tends to be closeups of family (the majority of my shots with the Tamron tend to be at 75mm). After going back and forth between the FA 77/1.8 and DA 70/2.4 for what seemed like ages, I finally decided to go with the FA 77 over the DA 70 (despite the fact that it is smaller, faster auto-focus and cheaper) because I felt that with a maximum aperture of 2.4 the DA 70 just wasn't enough of an improvement over my 28-75 to justify spending that much money. Or perhaps that's just how I rationalized the decision to spend even more to get the FA 77! There's also just something about the pictures taken with the FA 77...

So just when I was finally about to bite the bullet and order the FA 77, I find out that my grand-daughter (now 4 years old) will have her first dance recital this December and am now wondering if I should consider the DA* 50-135 instead? I think a zoom would be more practical for this type of event and am worried that the 28-75 may not be long enough. The recital will be on the stage of their local small town movie theater, and I donít know how close I will be able to get. However, I am also concerned that 2.8 may not be fast enough since flash is not an option.

The zoom is obviously bigger (more to carry around and more intimidating), slower and more expensive than the FA 77 (which was already more than I really would like to spend), but the images from this lens and the reviews have been quite impressive. Also, thereís the current rebate, as well as the ďmagicalĒ quality of the pictures, albeit from much better photographers than I am, from the FA 77 to consider.

So what would you recommend in my situation? Would you use the 28-75, perhaps in conjunction with the FA 77 if 2.8 isnít fast enough, or do I really need the extra reach of the DA* 50-135/2.8? Would you give up the extra speed of the prime for the convenience of the zoom? If I go for the prime, should I reconsider the DA 70/2.4? Down the road, I could see myself with a three or four lens prime kit (DA21, FA43 or FA35 & FA50/DA55, and FA77/DA70), along with a few good zooms, but it may take a while.

Obviously, I'm confused! Perhaps I should ignore LBA, just keep using what I have and concentrate on improving my photography skills? The only thing I know for sure is that I donít want to get so wrapped up in trying to take pictures that I forget to just enjoy the recitalÖkids grow up way too fast!

Please help me decide before I go nuts!
John

11-09-2007, 05:39 PM   #2
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Vilcabamba, Loja
Posts: 216
Get a Tripod or Monopod

QuoteQuote:
So just when I was finally about to bite the bullet and order the FA 77, I find out that my grand-daughter (now 4 years old) will have her first dance recital this December and am now wondering if I should consider the DA* 50-135 instead?
Personally, I'm down on the FA77. The speed difference vs. the DA70 is minimal. The FA77 also has a number of faults that are fixed with the DA70 (The designers keep earning their paycheques for a reason).
Why don't you just buy a monopod or tripod and use it with your existing lenses for using in the theatre? That will reduce your need for fast, expensive lenses as you can use way lower shutter speeds.
The DA70 or FA77 are not telephoto lenses. For this particular use, 135 may also be too short. Hope this helps...
11-09-2007, 06:43 PM   #3
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bronx NY
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,611
I love my 77. That and the Tamron 90 are probably my two favorite lenses. I'd go with the 77. For the price of the 50-135 you can get both the 77 and a manual focus SMC 135 f2.5 which will be a bit faster than the f2.8 50-135. Of course you lose the convenience of the zoom. Having used the 135 extensively, I doubt that a small theater will be too big for that focal length. By "the two kit lenses" I'm assuming you mean the 18-55 and the 50-200. I'm definitely not a very big fan of the 50-200 and I'm pretty certain you'd get better results with almost any other lens in your bag. I don't think a tripod would be very practical, and a monopod simply isn't stable enough for low light conditions and the slowness of the 50-200.

NaCl(if you like shooting around 75mm or so get the 77, it's a gem of a lens)H2O
11-09-2007, 07:13 PM   #4
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Vilcabamba, Loja
Posts: 216
Ben Franklins

QuoteOriginally posted by jrkeiser Quote
The recital will be on the stage of their local small town movie theater, and I donít know how close I will be able to get.
Why don't you go down to the theatre a few days early, with your DA50-200, and the lights on and off to check focal lengths? Maybe Ben Franklin in someone's palm would help.

11-09-2007, 09:45 PM   #5
Veteran Member
Mike Cash's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Japan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,952
QuoteOriginally posted by Mr. The Guy Quote
Why don't you go down to the theatre a few days early, with your DA50-200, and the lights on and off to check focal lengths? Maybe Ben Franklin in someone's palm would help.
Surely you meant Lincoln or Hamilton?
11-09-2007, 11:11 PM   #6
Forum Member




Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 56
I remember using my DA70 for a graduation and it was dark (no flash). I was shooting wide open and at 2.4 the DOF was too shallow already for what I wanted to do.

Instead of buying another lens you can use your zoom and just increase the ISO from 100 to 800. And if it is still not enough you can shoot Raw, underexpose your shot by -1 or -2 ev (depending on your histogram) and just push it digitally.
11-10-2007, 07:29 AM   #7
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
I have shot my daughters recitals and school musicals for years I have relied totally on a sigma 70-200 f2.8 and either my *istD or K10D. Always set to highest ISO, because stage lighting is generally poor (for photography that is, not for the performance) and you want shutter speed to freeze the subject. On occasion, I have found myself wishing for slightly less focal length (small halls) and a 50-135 or 50-150 might be a good selection, bit get F2.8, nothing slower. You will be shooting wide open most of the time.
11-10-2007, 08:20 AM   #8
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 441
Get the DA* 50-135mm. You will need the flexibility of a zoom, and the most reliable focusing possible with changing and uncertain lighting. Plus the quiet focusing will make it less of an annoyance for others. Use SR and increase the ISO as necessary. Also, be sure you have the latest firmware installed in the camera to make use of the in-lens motor.

11-10-2007, 11:00 AM   #9
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 20
Original Poster
Thanks to everyone here for the advice so far. I'm pretty sure I don't want anything slower than 2.8 in order to be able to freeze the action, and trying to get into the theater early was a good suggestion... hopefully for less than a Ben Franklin.

I've considered a 70-200 in the past, but they are hard to find and quite expensive on e-bay. I really wasn't thinking about the 50-135 at this time until I learned about the recital. I was waiting to compare it with the Sigma 50-150 and Tamron 70-200 when they became available in a Pentax mount. Have to say, from what I've seen I like the size of the 50-135/150 better for carrying the lens around all day. However, can't really compare fairly since I haven't actually seen any of them.

Lowell, out of curiousity, what focal length do you use most when shooting recitals and musicals? If you tend to be on the wider side, perhaps my 28-75 would work ok with some cropping in post processing?

I really like the 77, and the extra stop (or 1.5 stops according to some posts I've seen) over the 70 could come in handy - although you're right that DOF could be an issue wide open. Nothing against the 70, it looks like a great lens and the reviews and photo's I've seen from this lens have been terrific. However, I just keep coming back to the 77. I think it's probably because of the pics of Frank's kids taken with this lens I've seen on this and other forums. I think he had the 70 as well, but kept the 77. I only hope some day I can take pictures of my grand-daughter that are half as good as his!

A manual focus 135 might be a possibility down the road, but need to work on my focusing skills. I'm playing around with it some using my Dad's old Auto-Takumar 55/1.8, but I'm not very good yet. Learning to cover the connections and using the camera auto-focus to confirm focus and release the shutter has helped.

Still a lot to consider, so please keep the suggestions coming! Until I took up photography, I used to think fishing was an expensive hobby!
11-10-2007, 12:15 PM   #10
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
QuoteOriginally posted by jrkeiser Quote
Lowell, out of curiousity, what focal length do you use most when shooting recitals and musicals? If you tend to be on the wider side, perhaps my 28-75 would work ok with some cropping in post processing?
As I said in the post, i have exclusively used my sigma 70-200 f2.8 (no longer available but occasionally on E Bay)

The problem is that occasionally, especially in small auditoriums 70mm is too long. One time I had to sit in the last row just to get by. (had I known how small that theatre was, I would have taken my 50mm F1.4 (oops)

Most times, I sit half way up in large school auditoriums, and 70-200 is just fine.

This also allows you to be away from the crowd, who might not appreciate click-click-clikc all night.
11-10-2007, 01:42 PM   #11
New Member




Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 20
Original Poster
Thanks Lowell. I was just thinking that if you were shooting between 70 and 100 a lot that I might be all right with the 28-75, shooting at the long end of my zoom and doing some cropping in post processing.
11-10-2007, 08:04 PM   #12
Veteran Member
Eaglerapids's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Idaho,USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,588
QuoteOriginally posted by jrkeiser Quote
Until I took up photography, I used to think fishing was an expensive hobby!
You can say that again!
But then fishing isn't a hobby, it's a necessity if I'm to remain sane:-).
11-10-2007, 11:22 PM   #13
Veteran Member
roentarre's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 11,794
I would go for Da* 50-135 f2.8; it seems that this zoom will give you more flexibility if you are going to sit somewhere in the audience seats (you cannot really move much)

Manual focus with Fa 77 ltd is essential in the theatre environment and DOF is too narrow with f1.8 to start with. Stopping down to f2.4 or so would mean little difference of using this limited since 50-135 is sharp wide open anyway.

I am waiting for my Da* 50-135 to arrive and I am salivating for it. It would be so handy to own this zoom. If the zoom also autofocuses reasonably fast and accurate, its silent AF is a bonus in the theatre too!

After all, every pixel counts with each frame of photos you take. It hurts everytime I crop images in photoshop!

hehe (just joking)
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
da, dance, fa, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, photography, pictures, primes, recital, skills, slr lens, tamron
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Piano Recital dnx Video and Pentax HDSLRs 1 05-22-2010 04:21 PM
People Grand daughter in distress dankuno Post Your Photos! 3 12-27-2009 12:15 AM
recital dcmsox2004 Post Your Photos! 5 03-25-2009 11:25 AM
Grand Daughter - a little lady dylansalt Post Your Photos! 14 02-06-2009 03:07 PM
recent grand daughter photo-?? kev.pride Post Your Photos! 1 09-26-2008 06:17 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:22 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top