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03-16-2013, 06:34 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
... Thanks for helping, and I am still open to suggestions about shooting in the stadium. Are there lenses with a 150 reach or 175 rather than 200 or 300? Those would be plenty of reach for my purposes and should be lighter than something that goes to 200 or 300.

Thanks so much for all the help.
I feel the Pentax M 75-150 is one of my best lenses, zoom or prime. My copy is sharp the entire zoom range even wide open. I think this lens is an optically better lens than my Pentax A 35-105...

The only drawback, is it's an M, which means some stop down metering but it's a constant f4.0, so metering should be consistent throughout zoom range once you've determined the correct exposure at your settings.

It's also a one touch zoom, relatively compact with a built in hood. if you can find a good copy with little or no zoom creep it's a super bargain!

Sample Photo:




Pentax M Set Flickr


Last edited by theunartist; 03-16-2013 at 06:40 AM.
03-16-2013, 12:32 PM   #17
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Hi TJ,
It seems clear it is you and your technique and not the lens, since your shots are sharp when on a stool or tripod. I will assume you are aware that you have to wait for the little "hand in quotes" icon to appear in the viewfinder before you shoot in autofocus, right?

If I were you I would shoot those stadium moments with autofocus and save your manual efforts for non-action shots when you have time to properly brace or support the camera/lens. As excanonfd suggested, I use a monopod when I am moving but slightly differently. I put the monopod foot in a belt-mounted pouch (my brother just braces the foot on his fanny pack) so the weight of the camera is fully supported by the monopod; all I have to do is operate the controls. This one thing can make a major difference in your keeper rate. With this simple rig I can shoot a heavy Tokina 80-200mm/f2.8 lens mounted on a K5IIS with grip at large apertures and still get sharp shots.

I also suggest that you shoot in either aperture or shutter priority, depending on your needs, and be sure ISO is set to auto. That way you can set a shutter speed or aperture you want and let the camera set the other parameters for you while you concentrate on staying still as you press the shutter release.

Be sure your viewfinder diopter is correctly set when your eye, with glasses comfortably in place, is at the viewfinder. You can't manually focus unless this is correct for you and even a click off one way or the other makes a huge difference. This is especially important for eyeglass wearers.

Learn to brace your arms against your body with one hand under the lens when shooting. When you hit the shutter - stay still! If you do this, and all your camera settings are correct, there is no reason you shouldn't be getting sharp shots with the F 70-210 lens handheld. It is a very sharp lens, albeit a little slow, and you should be getting a very high percentage of sharp shots.

I apologize if I am stating the obvious here. Keep at it and don't give up on that lens; it's a keeper.

Mushin
03-16-2013, 06:10 PM   #18
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Should an eyeglass wearer adjust the diopter with the glasses on, or without? I've heard both. Can someone remind me how to do that? It seemed unclear from the manual. And do you suggest I remove the magnifying eyecup when doing so?

Also, I have been thinking of a monopod and would like suggestions on a particular model. I had assumed they would be perched on the ground, but this sounds like one that you wear.

Still working! I spent 2 hours with my F70-210 on a tripod yesterday doing (would you believe) self-portraits with manual settings. (Only 'cuz I have no good pictures of myself.) I got at least 30 keepers (keepers being the ones I liked); but almost all shots were clear and clean.

I'm not giving up on the lens; it has a dreamy quality about it that I love. Thanks for all the help.
03-16-2013, 07:33 PM   #19
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Some handheld shots; the pencils were one of the first shots I ever tried. Soft but ok. The young lady was taken manually, aided by flash which sped things up a bit, creating an acceptable shot. Both still look soft, tho. I did not sharpen the second picture, just resized. I think I'm losing something in the resizing and could still use help in that department (PSE7 is driving me nuts with the resize, resample, resolution boxes while trying to get my upload to a hair under 1 megabyte= .90.)

But anyway, more to come.

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03-16-2013, 07:37 PM   #20
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There are as many opinions on glasses and diopters as there are people. Whether you shoot with or wihout glasses and/or the magnfying loupe, under those conditions (whatever they are) slide the small lever on top of the VF frame right or left (it clicks) until the LED indicators in the field are crisp and sharp.
03-16-2013, 08:36 PM   #21
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I suggest adjusting your diopter using whatever you use when shooting. If that means glasses then use them, with your magnifier intact. To adjust the diopter (hopefully your magnifier will allow access to the adjuster) look at a bright wall through the viewfinder. See the framing lines on the screen? Make those lines as sharp and clear as you can by moving the diopter adjuster one way or the other. You are not trying to focus on anything through the lens; you're trying to make the lines on the screen tack sharp. Do all of this with your eye in your normal shooting position and without jamming your glasses into the eyecup.

Its a good idea to check this adjustment from time to time. Your vision can change, especially with some medications or medical conditions (diabetes, for one), and it isn't unusual for it to change daily or even several times per day.

For the purposes of propping the camera on a fanny pack or belt, any lightweight monopod will work as long as it allows you to adjust the viewfinder to eye level. If you want a really solid one that you can use on the ground then there are many. I like the Manfrotto classic monopods like the model 679B to which I attach a tilting head. It is very solid and not outrageously expensive.

The other thing that occurred to me is that you might want to look into focus adjusting the camera for your F-70-210, which I think the K-r will allow. It will help give you the sharpest performance the lens is capable of.
03-17-2013, 12:52 PM   #22
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Good advice; thanks so much. If my camera is focus adjusted for a particular lens, is it easy to then focus adjust to another lens? I swap lenses quite a bit. Although I have a few nice ones, none are my favorite yet.
03-17-2013, 01:00 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
Good advice; thanks so much. If my camera is focus adjusted for a particular lens, is it easy to then focus adjust to another lens? I swap lenses quite a bit. Although I have a few nice ones, none are my favorite yet.
The K-r has a single universal focus adjustment. If you swap lenses you will have to change the focus adjust for each one. It is still better than the K-x which didn't have any focus adjustment unless you ran it in debug mode.

The K-30 and K -5 can remember the focus adjustment for multiple lenses.

03-17-2013, 01:09 PM   #24
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Boriscleto, thanks for confirming the focus adjust thing. Is adjusting for each lens done like the old K10D Debug menu was? If so, it should just take a few seconds to dial in the needed adjustment when changing lenses, right? Its a hassle but at least its possible without hacking the software.

Edit: TJ, there is a ton of info on focus adjusting Pentax cameras on this site and on the net. It is well worth the time to do it for your gear. Post any questions you have and the knowledgeable folks on this site can clear things up for you. Enjoy your new camera!
03-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #25
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a few more from the F70-210; the toy (handheld) was sharpened; the woodpecker (ledge-supported) was straight out of the camera, no enhancing—only resizing
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Last edited by timmijo; 04-24-2013 at 06:50 PM.
03-17-2013, 04:54 PM   #26
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Another upload of the deer toy again; I was pleased with this handheld shot using the Pentax K-R and a Pentax F zoom 70-210.
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Last edited by timmijo; 03-17-2013 at 04:57 PM. Reason: adding info
03-17-2013, 06:38 PM   #27
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The deer toy looks great! Not sure what happened with the bird shot - did you hit the shutter before the shake reduction icon lit up?

It looks like the lens works fine. Hang in there, TJ!
03-17-2013, 07:01 PM   #28
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Yes the lens is heavy, and yes, it's very good. But the good here has a caveat. It's NOT a general purpose lens that you can bring everywhere and shoot under all conditions, if that's what you're alluding to in your question. There are so many variables to your question so I will try and attempt to answer in stages.

Because it's a long and slow lens, I would suggest you use this lens in very bright conditions first. Keep the ISO relatively high even in bright sunshine, like ISO 400, and the shutter speed fast ie around 200-300, and you will be rewarded with amazing handheld images. Sharp contrasty and beautiful. That should be the condition you use the lens under. Practice until you get amazing images, then expand these conditions. DO NOT, I repeat, do not use the lens indoors, at night, or in dark environments until you mastered the lens because you would want to throw away the lens and the camera if you don't.

Once you start understanding what the lens can do, try to extend it's limits. Use it on a tripod indoors or shoot with very high ISO. You would find these are compromised shooting conditions. People don't stand still enough to shoot with a tripod, you can't frame or meter as well because the camera is stuck in one position and not easily moved. Plus you get crazy artifacting because it's higher ISO. If you insist on shooting under these conditions, and expect the images to come out like those you shot with on the 50mm f/1.4, you really have to adjust your expectations. Know that the lens is not made to shoot in these conditions. That's why you have the $1500 50-150 f/2.8.

What I am trying to also say is that you have to understand the limitations of your tools, adjust your expectations accordingly ,and also practice to learn how to get the best pictures with the tools you have under said conditions. You might also have to admit that you currently don't have the tools or budget to shoot under such conditions, and try to rectify it.
03-20-2013, 07:29 AM   #29
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Thanks for all the advice; I was outdoors in full sunshine using auto yesterday and got a few pictures of my cats that came out great, hand-held. I can't resist going totally manual with this lens, though, and when I was using it with a tripod indoors a few days ago doing self-portraiture, the manual shots (with flash, turned down) came out better than the auto ones. I will try adjusting that ISO as you mentioned although I normally just keep it on the default which is 200.

I have no unrealistic expectations of a film-era lens with an "A" setting; it's just fun to experiment.
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