Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-07-2013, 12:03 AM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 8
Fast 50's for live music doubt

Hi all,

I'm a new comer pentax user, I own a k5 and some lenses.

I primary do live music photography, mostly in small avenues. For that purpose I have a Tamron 18-50 f2.8 and a Pentax K 50 f1.4 which I love.

My concern it's about getting an AF version of the fast 50.

I allways have to shoot using the LiveView my manual 50, as I'm not able to tell if the subject is in focus using the viewfinder.

Would my k5 and a fa 50 1.4 able to focus in an small crowded rock gig? Or I still will need to focus using the manual ring and the LiveView?

What about the DA 50 1.8?

Thanks in advance.


Last edited by Baxujolea; 04-08-2013 at 12:49 AM.
04-07-2013, 12:35 AM   #2
hcc
Pentaxian
hcc's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,526
The answer of your question is linked with 'how much light do you have?'.

In low light, you need to use/enable the AF assist light to use a AF lens. A fast lens (f1.4 or f1.8) is needed for better results.

But.... in very low light, MF is the best technique together with a fast lens. Personally, I tend to pre-focus the lens with the distance ring, before doing some fine tuning. Importantly IMHO, MF in very low light works best with a MF lens having an accurate manual focus ring. Many AF lenses doe not have an accurate focus ring, although the FA Ltd are not too bad in terms of MF accuracy IMHO.

Hope that the comment may help.
04-07-2013, 12:46 AM   #3
Veteran Member
hks_kansei's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 795
I'd recommend manual focus as well, I've found Auto focus to always be pretty average in anything below a sunny day (granted, I use an ist, the K5 presumably is a lot better)

I would still recommend a manual focus lens though, ideally I'd suggest an A series over the K purely because it saves having to stop down meter (less time wasted to miss a shot)

The A series lenses have really nicely dampened focus rings, so they are much easier to focus than the newer lenses with no damping (I'm not sure when the dampening stopped, I presume when AF came out so the AF motor didn't need to force past the damping?)


Other option is to bring a flash if allowed, I can't really recommend specifics since I only bought my first modern flash yesterday (been using a tiny AF160 prior)
04-07-2013, 01:59 AM   #4
Site Supporter
Sandy Hancock's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,635
Flash? Get real. I do a lot of concert photography, so I think I know what you mean about low light. If there are some among you who can nail manual focus in the dark with an APS-C digital camera, you have my respect.

If you have the bucks, think seriously about the DA*55. It is very respectable wide open and really sings beyond f/1.8.

The FA50/1.4 is a fine lens though - just not as useful wider than f/2.0. I used it quite a bit for indoor concerts with my K-5 before upgrading camera and lens. I still have both of them though, and I have no plans to move them on.

04-07-2013, 02:17 AM   #5
New Member




Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 8
Original Poster
Thanks for the answers.

The apperture is not a problem and my actual manual pentax smc 50 1.4 has a very good manual focusing ring, so no need for "A" type lens.

Regarding the flash I used to play with it in live concerts with my km and the kit lens that I used to have, and it's nice to expose for long time and getting the subject "frezed" with the flash, bang. The result it's a white subject with a lot of coloured blur around it, it's nice, but I want to do "no flash" live music photography.

I don't have the bucks for the DA*55.

Sandy, you have a possitive low light concert shoting experience then, I mean using the FA 50 1.4 and the K5 using autofocus, right?

I must say that my method of manual focusing and the LiveView works fine, I have taken very good pictures using that method, but it takes too long to take a foto and I usually keep the attention of the public as I put a shinning screen between the stage and the people for a long period, while I'm focusing.... that's what I want to avoid, long focusing times with a bright screen in front of the crowd.
04-07-2013, 02:34 AM   #6
dms
Site Supporter




Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New York, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,620
What f stop are you using? If it is wide open or close to wide open (for manual focus) the stock screen is likely the problem. I use the K20D but changed the screen for the older ist screen and later for a split screen. I suggest you look into a replacement screen--but if you use split screen then spot metering is seriously impacted. With a fast (f/1.4 to f/2 about) lens the split screen will work well with spot metering. Slower lens (or pre A lens where metering is stiop down) it's more a question of one or the other. Beyond this--practice.
04-07-2013, 02:37 AM   #7
Pentaxian
Mareket's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Chester
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 719
I'd watch out for the misty haze that the FA 50/1.4 has wide open in harsh light such as on a stage. I've used it quite a lot for theatre work and so many shots are ruined by a glow around high contrast edges. A hood helps, but it doesn't make it go away. Other than that it's a fantastic lens, but the K-5 struggles to keep up with movement in low light in any situation really.Weirdly, I find the 50-135 trumps it in low light despite being two stops slower, AF is far superior, it's easily as sharp and by the time you've stopped the FA down enough to get rid of the horrible bokeh and haze you don't have a massive advantage anyway.

It may help to pick a shot you want and focus on something like a microphone or monitor or whatever that's in a similar plane of focus. Do a quick digital preview to check focus and then wait for the subject to move into position.

As far as I'm aware this sort of AF is difficult for pretty much any camera. Though it'd be interesting to see how low-light AF systems like the K-5II fare.
04-07-2013, 02:49 AM   #8
Moderator PEG Judges
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 32,560
QuoteOriginally posted by Baxujolea Quote
Fast 50's for live music doubt
I've been using my SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.2 for years for this very purpose.

If I'm up close enough to the action and IMHO manual focus is the only way to go in low light.

Watch out for those mic stands if your using auto focus, cos you know where it's gonna focus on, dont you?


Last edited by Kerrowdown; 04-07-2013 at 02:55 AM.
04-07-2013, 02:54 AM   #9
dms
Site Supporter




Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New York, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,620
A further comment--the 50mm f1.4 (K) lens is used by many for just the application you want. Looking to do better with a new lens makes sense if the spot metering issue with a new screen is a problem (in which case a A 50mm (f1.7 or 1.4) would cost $50 to $200t. The screen if you go that route is likely $50-$100. But other than full open metering (which an A lens does) a newer lens (F or later) will not do much--and may actually be harder to manually focus.
04-07-2013, 03:17 AM   #10
Site Supporter
Sandy Hancock's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,635
QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Watch out for those mic stands if your using auto focus, cos you know where it's gonna focus on, dont you?
Ain't that the truth.
04-07-2013, 06:53 AM   #11
Pentaxian
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,824
Sure, get a DA 50mm f1.8 or FA 50mm f1.4 (still in production, you can get it brand new). Put a lens hood on it, you will want the added protection in a crowded place. Might even want a rubber hood, because its the most flexible.
The FA 50mm f1.4 might be better because it has distance scales, which you can use for better MF and zone focusing. But at a concert you will probably be shooting nearly wide open, so zone focusing won't help you much.
So I suggest you learn how to use CiF (Catch in focus or focus trapping). And test your lens ahead of time to make sure the AF confirm is accurate. However, I'm pretty sure you can't use CiF with the DA 50mm. You already have a manual 50mm, might as well go with that..
Also, don't be afraid to push ISO. Dark concert venues are quite difficult to photograph, because the performers are moving, there are big light contrasts, and the DoF is thin at wide apertures. There are a couple of threads on this topic, with some nice advice. A great idea is to pre-focus on a well-lit spot where you know the performer will go to eventually, and just wait until they move there and then take the shot.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 04-07-2013 at 06:58 AM.
04-07-2013, 08:24 AM   #12
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,451
CIF might work, but it will "see" the light stands better than the subject, as mentioned above. Contrast AF looks for high contrast, after all.

Manual focus is the best choice. Read Na Horuk's advice, and add burst shooting as the performer moves through your point of focus. This can up your percentage of shots quite a bit.

I would also tend to use manual exposure. In the early part of the concert take a few shots and set your exposure for the spot lit performer using the histogram. Then just leave the exposure there for the rest of the concert.
04-07-2013, 08:56 AM   #13
Pentaxian
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,824
lol its pretty funny that.. the best advice on how to take photos of a complicated scene is to just turn off most of the automation
04-07-2013, 09:05 AM   #14
Moderator PEG Judges
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 32,560
QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
In the early part of the concert take a few shots
Normally that's all you get, three songs and your thrown out anyway.
04-07-2013, 01:09 PM   #15
Senior Member




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Grimsby UK
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 224
I have the da and f 50s. Very little different between them. The da 50 does focus slightly quicker, may have a shorter focus throw than the f due to being an f/1.4 lens.

However i very rarely used my 50 for concert work preferring the tamron 17-50mm instead. If the light was so low i couldn't get focus then I would put the flash. If the venues are truly small then this shouldn't be an issue.
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!
focus, k-mount, k5, liveview, music, pentax, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Fast 50mm primes: S-M-C takumar 50/1.4 (UV treated, no yellowing), Ricoh 50/1.4 PK grahame Sold Items 13 12-30-2012 07:34 AM
Live music gig - techniques/tips please cozzykim Photographic Technique 19 10-17-2012 01:24 PM
People Live music - The Hoochers rawr Post Your Photos! 3 10-16-2011 07:59 PM
People Live Music Lastnight Christopher M.W.T Post Your Photos! 15 09-13-2010 08:10 AM
People DON'T KILL LIVE MUSIC fractal Post Your Photos! 18 02-28-2010 07:53 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:55 PM. | 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