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03-09-2013, 02:20 PM   #1
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Pentax F 70-210 zoom with "A" = good, heavy?

Hello.

I recently purchased an F zoom lens with an "A" setting, something I've always wanted to try since up 'til now, all I had was the K-r kit lens (DA 18-55), some k-mount manual primes, and a few takumar m42's.

I'm looking for advice on how to stabilize the F zoom lens manually, as I notice it is rather front-heavy, and on a little camera like the K-r to boot.

Trying not to get too discouraged... but I am not used to the heft of an oldey but goody such as this lovely film-era lens is. Do I have to always use a tripod with it?

Any ideas are appreciated; thanks so much.

~TJ

03-09-2013, 02:25 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
Hello.

I recently purchased an F zoom lens with an "A" setting, something I've always wanted to try since up 'til now, all I had was the K-r kit lens (DA 18-55), some k-mount manual primes, and a few takumar m42's.

I'm looking for advice on how to stabilize the F zoom lens manually, as I notice it is rather front-heavy, and on a little camera like the K-r to boot.

Trying not to get too discouraged... but I am not used to the heft of an oldey but goody such as this lovely film-era lens is. Do I have to always use a tripod with it?

Any ideas are appreciated; thanks so much.

~TJ
Well the 70-210mm is actually quite compact compared to F2.8 zooms. You don't need a tripod for it; shake reduction should take care of the minor instability that hand-holding it introduces.

Adam
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03-09-2013, 04:53 PM   #3
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Works great by hand, I also use it with a Af doubler and am very pleased with it.
03-09-2013, 05:50 PM   #4
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I've found it handles nicely with a K-01 and there's no grip! That lens was released along with the SF1/SFX which was a brick. OTOH it had a large grip like a K-r. K-mount Page SF1



Using two hands in the classic SLR grip helps (if you aren't accustomed to that).





03-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the tips! They were over the top!

Not sure how to bring this up, but being a woman, I can only get my arms so close to my chestóbut I will try my best to emulate the fellow in the photo.
03-09-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
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Try holding them next to your rib cage on the sides. The idea is to make a three-point support (elbows, brow, hands).
03-10-2013, 08:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
Thanks so much for the tips! They were over the top!

Not sure how to bring this up, but being a woman, I can only get my arms so close to my chest—but I will try my best to emulate the fellow in the photo.
Seriously, you have built-in shock absorbers / vibration dampeners - isolators that should be used to your fullest advantage. This was always a point of issue with women having a support advantage in competitive shooting events while in the off-hand /. standing postion. A proper rifle off-hand position with the hand acting as a palm rest for a long lens while the arm acts as a monopod against the side of your chest offers great support...especially if you can combine it with tripping the shutter between heart beats when forced to use slower shutter speeds...

Last edited by BillH; 03-10-2013 at 08:38 AM.
03-12-2013, 07:22 PM   #8
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Still trying very hard but only getting one good shot in about 70 for hand-held. My issues are many: my camera is small, but I have gangly hands. There seems to be no room between my right hand fingers in the grip/on the shutter and my left hand fingers supporting the weight of the K-r plus rotating the F 70-210 lens's focus ring.

I'm using the magnifying eye cup due to poor eyesight, and I'm wearing progressive lenses. (OK, I'm old, too.) Can't get my forehead on the camera and have scratched my glasses trying. I know I sound like a crybaby, and I'm sorry. Maybe this lens just isn't for me due to all these variables. I like the clear shots that I do get, but they are few and far between.

Thanks for all your help. Can anyone recommend a comparable lens with the same reach that is a little more streamlined (thinner) and lighter with an "A" setting? I cannot afford a DA lens at this moment and favor film-era lenses. I might be willing to trade or something. Thanks so much.

03-12-2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
Thanks for all your help. Can anyone recommend a comparable lens with the same reach that is a little more streamlined (thinner) and lighter with an "A" setting? I cannot afford a DA lens at this moment and favor film-era lenses. I might be willing to trade or something. Thanks so much.
I would try a DA 50-200 f4-5.6, unless you need an aperture ring. I have never seen a direct comparison of image quality but I don't expect huge differences. The DA is something like 300 grams lighter, depending on the version you buy. And it's pretty cheap used too, especially the L version. I have considered it myself for the weight savings because I use the F70-210 as a travel lens a lot.
03-12-2013, 07:41 PM   #10
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If you're going to manual focus you should probably get a lens that was designed to manual focus...

The Kiron 70-210/4 Macro w/ Zoomlock gets very good reviews. It was also sold as a Vivitar Series 1...
03-13-2013, 07:33 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
Still trying very hard but only getting one good shot in about 70 for hand-held. My issues are many: my camera is small, but I have gangly hands. There seems to be no room between my right hand fingers in the grip/on the shutter and my left hand fingers supporting the weight of the K-r plus rotating the F 70-210 lens's focus ring.

I'm using the magnifying eye cup due to poor eyesight, and I'm wearing progressive lenses. (OK, I'm old, too.) Can't get my forehead on the camera and have scratched my glasses trying. I know I sound like a crybaby, and I'm sorry. Maybe this lens just isn't for me due to all these variables. I like the clear shots that I do get, but they are few and far between.

Thanks for all your help. Can anyone recommend a comparable lens with the same reach that is a little more streamlined (thinner) and lighter with an "A" setting? I cannot afford a DA lens at this moment and favor film-era lenses. I might be willing to trade or something. Thanks so much.
I have all of the physical problems you do except that I'm male. When I'm shooting with the Pentax A 70-210 or even the heavier Sigma EX DG 70-200 F/2.8 here's what I do:
Stance: Feet about shoulder width apart but one foot a little behind the other and weight on rear foot (helps with back to front swaying)
Lens supported underneath with left hand
Elbows tight in sides of body (not front!)
When I'm ready to shoot I take a breath (doesn't need to be a deep inhale) and hold it while putting a steady downward pressure on the shutter. When the shutter fires it should be somewhat of a surprise. Don't jab at the shutter, it can create all kinds of problems.

Other things to look for:
Make sure the shake reduction is on!
At first try for relatively moderate F stops (at least F5.6 or higher) and relatively high shutter speeds (1/80 or faster) until you get the hang of the stance.

I can hand hold my A 70-210 to under 1/40 of a second if I'm careful, that's with the OM3 eyepiece and glasses.

NaCl(hope that helps)H2O
03-13-2013, 08:12 AM   #12
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I have successfully handheld the DA 55-300 at 1/40s @ 300mm, and I'm not the steadiest person in the world. I have handheld shorter focal lengths for much longer.

This is 0.3s @ 40mm




But I don't try to MF an AF lens...and they are much lighter lenses.
03-13-2013, 08:25 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by timmijo Quote
Still trying very hard but only getting one good shot in about 70 for hand-held. My issues are many: my camera is small, but I have gangly hands. There seems to be no room between my right hand fingers in the grip/on the shutter and my left hand fingers supporting the weight of the K-r plus rotating the F 70-210 lens's focus ring.

I'm using the magnifying eye cup due to poor eyesight, and I'm wearing progressive lenses. (OK, I'm old, too.) Can't get my forehead on the camera and have scratched my glasses trying. I know I sound like a crybaby, and I'm sorry. Maybe this lens just isn't for me due to all these variables. I like the clear shots that I do get, but they are few and far between.

Thanks for all your help. Can anyone recommend a comparable lens with the same reach that is a little more streamlined (thinner) and lighter with an "A" setting? I cannot afford a DA lens at this moment and favor film-era lenses. I might be willing to trade or something. Thanks so much.
I have found this zoom is an excellent lens, it is a bit heavy. However, the focusing ring is too small, practically no dampening and margin for error is almost none existent making manual focusing difficult but it can be done with practice. As an auto focus Pentax lens, this is superb and a great value.

The first thing I would do, use the lens in Auto Focus, check your results and if most of your images are acceptable, then more practice manual focusing is simply needed. If only a few of your images are acceptable, you may need to adjust the auto focus in your K-r, which I believe can be found in the menu and/or concentrate more on technique (described previously). FYI - I rely on the camera's focus confirmation and never entirely on my eyes...

As per a manual lens with an "A" setting, keep in mind you will need to input the Focal Length of lens in order for the Image Stabilization to work properly, and trust me, this is an entire new set of variables to ponder in your quest

Good luck, please post back with results!
03-14-2013, 11:57 AM   #14
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Thanks, not giving up yet. I guess I should explain that I need an autofocus lens like this for fast moments (such as in the football stadium while shooting the band at halftime) using auto. Just like the kit lens, only with more reach, yet retro—that's why I bought the F70-210 in the first place.

I need the manual focus capabilities for creativity purposes, which happens when life is a little slower than in a stadium. Know what I mean? My ongoing purpose is to master manual photography but to use auto focus when the situation calls for it. There are a lot of things going on while I am in the stands that are not conducive to enjoying learning manual photography (the needs of husband & teens, jostling, distractions, fighting for a spot at the fence (to support my arms while shooting), frozen fingers, strangers blocking my view, etc. I am not a purist; auto can be a life saver at times.

All I had last fall was the K-R kit lens and a Sears 135, and that was my reach. I had to shoot manually on the Sears; there was no other option. I got some decent shots for not knowing what I was doing at the time. Stopping down wasn't working too well, so I often opened/closed the aperture depending on the available light.

Next season, it would be great to have some auto zoom abilities, so if my F70-210 is not working for me, I would like something very similar but easier to hold. It does not need to be a film-era manual lens. But that is a plus in my book.

Meanwhile, I am having great fun successfully shooting manual using the following lenses I have acquired: Tak 55 f1.8, Tak 50 f1.4, Sears 50 f1.7 and RMC Tokina 35-105. They are all small and light and I am having a blast with them. I just want to be able to zoom a little and still get good pictures when the situation calls for it.

I will show you what I have been shooting when I can. Last night, I placed the K-R with F70-210 on a bar stool and got a great shot of my Kalanchoe. It was encouraging. Then I got out my tripod and tried a few more times, each time getting non-blurry shots. So I guess it is just me and my shakiness.

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.

PS- I am a pixel peeper and thus very hard on myself. The 100% view determines my keepers. Thanks.

Last edited by timmijo; 03-14-2013 at 12:07 PM. Reason: adding
03-14-2013, 11:23 PM   #15
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How about using one of these: Manfrotto 361 Shoulder Brace for Monopods 361 B&H Photo Video This lets you maintain three point support (right hand, brow, shoulder) for the camera and lens, freeing up the left hand to focus and zoom or support for the lens as needed. When this brace is used with a monopod, you can support far heavier and longer lens than this lightweight lens.
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