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02-10-2012, 09:07 AM   #1
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Photographing dogs & horses

I shoot with a K20D and I'm going to specialize in dog & horse portraits/action shots.

What would be the best all around or other lens(es) to use in your opinions? I want tack-sharp images obviously, as well as decent AF but I don't have a big bank account. Max would be around $1000, but I'd be more comfortable spending less (1/2 or 3/4 of that if possible).

I currently have:

Tamron: F/4-5.6 Di LD MACRO 70-300

Tamron: F/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical [IF] MACRO18-200

Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL

As you can see I could really use a faster lens (and really want)!

Thanks in advance for your input.


Last edited by Naturenut; 02-10-2012 at 09:16 AM.
02-10-2012, 09:37 AM   #2
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If this is indoor, that Tamron 70-300 will be good. I used it for a couple years but was upset by purple fringing in high-contrast environments. It's soft above 200mm, but if you use it between 70-180 it's really good. I always had great luck with its focus accuracy. If you're in bright sun you may get that fringing effect.

How close will you be?

I replaced that Tammy with the DA 55-300 and haven't regretted it for an instant. The DAL version is less expensive but might be perfectly suitable for your requirements.
02-10-2012, 09:51 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
If this is indoor, that Tamron 70-300 will be good. I used it for a couple years but was upset by purple fringing in high-contrast environments. It's soft above 200mm, but if you use it between 70-180 it's really good. I always had great luck with its focus accuracy. If you're in bright sun you may get that fringing effect.

How close will you be?

I replaced that Tammy with the DA 55-300 and haven't regretted it for an instant. The DAL version is less expensive but might be perfectly suitable for your requirements.
I hope these aren't indoor events, otherwise, I'm afraid you've got the wrong system for this type of work.

If it's outside however.... then I will side with TER-OR and suggest the DA55-300 as a great low cost alternative.
02-10-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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I will primarily be outside.

Is there that much of a difference between the DA 55-300 & the Tamron 70-300? I've experienced the purple fringing with the 70-300 at the high end of its range too.

Any faster lenses that are w/in my $ and need range?

02-10-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
If this is indoor, that Tamron 70-300 will be good. I used it for a couple years but was upset by purple fringing in high-contrast environments. It's soft above 200mm, but if you use it between 70-180 it's really good. I always had great luck with its focus accuracy. If you're in bright sun you may get that fringing effect.

How close will you be?

I replaced that Tammy with the DA 55-300 and haven't regretted it for an instant. The DAL version is less expensive but might be perfectly suitable for your requirements.
Well when photographing horses you have to be a good distance away because of their long faces. I typically shoot from at least 50+ feet away minimum when using the 70-300. I can stand/crouch down closer than that with dogs if they are still.
02-10-2012, 12:04 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
I hope these aren't indoor events, otherwise, I'm afraid you've got the wrong system for this type of work.

If it's outside however.... then I will side with TER-OR and suggest the DA55-300 as a great low cost alternative.
If I were going to shoot indoors, what would be the ideal system?
02-10-2012, 01:04 PM   #7
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I've found the Tamron SP AF 28-75/2.8 to cover that task very well and it's fast enough to avoid complex lighting solutions in most cases. About $400-500.

Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 AF XR Di LD Macro SP

H2

At 43mm, f 5.6 ISO 200

02-10-2012, 01:18 PM   #8
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I guess it depends on how close you'll be to the action. These cameras have plenty of cropping potential, remember. A mid-ranged zoom may suffice.

Yes, the difference between the Tamron 70-300 and the Pentax 55-300 is dramatic. There are other good zooms out there, though.

Keep your shutter speed high if those critters are moving around!

02-10-2012, 10:55 PM   #9
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Best Value

Your best value is the Tamron 28-75/2.8. My first paying job in 2009 was a horse whose owner recently e-mailed me about photographing her new horse this spring. I had a K-20, the Tamron and a Pentax 50/1.4. The attached photo was shot vertically and is about 30% of the original frame. Made 8x12 prints. Never could get comfortable with the 50mm.

Still using the Tamron, a lot. Good portrait lens, good for headshots, important for dogs especially. The extra 2 stops from your current lenses is a big help. Constant aperture is a big help for shooting manual, the only way I shoot now. I found the zoom plenty as I was moving around in with the horse in turn out.

Nowadays, I shoot with two bodies. Depending on situation, 12-24 & 28-75 or 28-75 & 50-135. If I was you, I'd get the Tamron 28-75, sell the kit lenses and buy a 50-135. If you are outside, you don't need the K-5 ISO. If you were in a ring undercover, the K-5 ISO would be important.
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02-13-2012, 05:59 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your input. I really do appreciate it. As always the folks here are awesome.
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