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06-19-2013, 12:12 PM   #1
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I'm a bit confuddled... a lens for motorsport

Lenses, there's hundreds to choose from, and when I decide I've found the ideal one, I read a thread that suggests another!

I have a Sigma 10-20, a DA55-300 and the 18-55 that came with the K20. Recently I was fortunate enough to borrow a K30 and K5-IIs from Pentax, I was cheeky and asked for the 18-135WR to come with them. I liked the 18-135WR, especially when it rained! It was also good for taking photos of moving vehicles... in the rain!

Anyhow, my question is, which lens do fellow Pentaxians favour for motorsport? I'm often right next to the track and therefore the 55-300 is great for the distance, but a bit rubbish when the vehicle is passing.

I can see me buying the 18-135WR because of it's WR-ness, but what other options are there?

Ta...

06-19-2013, 12:27 PM   #2
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I dont own either of these but Tamrons 70-200mm f2.8 and Sigmas 70-200mm f2.8 offerings would probably be worth checking out. I dont believe either are weather proof if thats a deal breaker though.
06-19-2013, 12:42 PM   #3
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I have the Tamron 10-24, 18-135, 55-300, and had the 18-55. I use my Tamron 70-200/2.8 for sport. I find it incredibly sharp and plenty fast enough. Some say that the Sigma 70-200/2.8 is faster to focus, plus its silent as I recall (which for sport is a so-what for me), however its significantly more expensive. Tamron is offering a newer 70-200/2.8 that costs about what the Sigma costs and is also silent (again, who cares for sport). I always have my 18-135 in the bag in case of inclement weather, and used it recently at one of my son's soccer matches to replace the 70-200/2.8. It's slower and shorter but can get some descent shots with planning and knowledge of its abilities IMHO. When I want wider than 70 and fast I shift to primes (30/1.4, 35/2.4, 43/1.9, 50/1.4 are my choices).

Good luck with your decision.
06-19-2013, 01:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian.T Quote
I'm often right next to the track and therefore the 55-300 is great for the distance, but a bit rubbish when the vehicle is passing.
The Pentax 60-250 f4 WR comes to mind... You like the reach of your 55-300 but essentially want faster, sharper, and WR. The 70-200 options are good but lack WR, which seems important for you.

It's expensive, however.

06-19-2013, 01:18 PM   #5
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Bought the Tamron 70-200 here used. I got it for my daughter's graduation, intending to sell it along right after. It really is a peach, and I am keeping it. I have the 18-135 also, and it's great for walking around with the family, or bad weather. Had it in Disney World, we got hit with tropical storm Andrea, I kept shooting.

The Tamron is MUCH sharper, and the faster aperture can help you keep shutter speeds way up, which is good for motor sports.

I think your particular situation is best served by two cameras. Keep the wide on one for close passing, and a tele on the other for distance shots. Get a black rapids strap for 2 cameras. Buy the Tamron here used, and if you don't like it, sell it. Not much lost.
06-19-2013, 05:02 PM   #6
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Da* 55-135

The DA* 55-135 may be another lens that can solve two of your problems. Fast aperture at f/2.8 and weather resistant. It focuses fast, is sharp, and (i think) it has sexy bokeh.
You do not get the extended range of a 70-200 on a cropped sensor, but its weather sealed and costs less than owning both a 18-135 and 70-200.
06-19-2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
Bought the Tamron 70-200 here used. I got it for my daughter's graduation, intending to sell it along right after. It really is a peach, and I am keeping it. I have the 18-135 also, and it's great for walking around with the family, or bad weather. Had it in Disney World, we got hit with tropical storm Andrea, I kept shooting.

The Tamron is MUCH sharper, and the faster aperture can help you keep shutter speeds way up, which is good for motor sports.

I think your particular situation is best served by two cameras. Keep the wide on one for close passing, and a tele on the other for distance shots. Get a black rapids strap for 2 cameras. Buy the Tamron here used, and if you don't like it, sell it. Not much lost.
Glad you are liking the Tammy, it is a great lens for sports of all types and was my most used lens until I picked up the Sigma 70-200. The Sigma seems to focus a little faster but I mainly wanted it to shoot indoor events such as plays where the silent focus is needed.

I agree with the idea of shooting with 2 cameras, I will likely try that next fall shooting football.
06-19-2013, 08:33 PM   #8
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What kind of problems are you having with the 55-300 in terms of cars passing? Perhaps in the rain? I used the hoary DA 18-250 at Lime Rock last fall without issue - even at f/6.3. I'll have to see if I can post a shot or two. But the very expensive DA* 50-135 has WR at a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture.

06-19-2013, 08:38 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian.T Quote
Lenses, there's hundreds to choose from, and when I decide I've found the ideal one, I read a thread that suggests another!

I have a Sigma 10-20, a DA55-300 and the 18-55 that came with the K20. Recently I was fortunate enough to borrow a K30 and K5-IIs from Pentax, I was cheeky and asked for the 18-135WR to come with them. I liked the 18-135WR, especially when it rained! It was also good for taking photos of moving vehicles... in the rain!

Anyhow, my question is, which lens do fellow Pentaxians favour for motorsport? I'm often right next to the track and therefore the 55-300 is great for the distance, but a bit rubbish when the vehicle is passing.

I can see me buying the 18-135WR because of it's WR-ness, but what other options are there?

Ta...
The best tool I have for this job is the DA* 200mm. Have a look on my website scenicrimphotography.com.au (dont think I am allowed to post a link, so add the www.) and you will see some shots from the Austin 400 in Texas. I used two lenses, the DA*200 and the Sigma 135-400.....it should be obvious which is which....anything soft is with the Sigma which struggles for sharpness above 300mm. Having said that, I am going to check the focus adjustment on the Sigma because it has had a couple of trips in checked baggage and may be suffering as a result.

Cheers.
06-19-2013, 08:52 PM   #10
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I usually drag out my Sigma 70-200mm and DA*300. Depending on my distance and if I want single or group shots, I use both. DA is great for WR, Sigma is great to have the zoom range, as the action changes. Throw on a 1.4x or 2x TC and you've got good reach, and still have respectable speed.

Couple of my shots, first with the Sigma, second with the DA*300





06-19-2013, 10:11 PM   #11
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If you use a baggie and rubber bands, or a store-bought camera condom, your choice of lenses goes way up :-)

The Tamron 70-200 is very sharp.

Motorsports is not generally considered a Pentax strength.
06-19-2013, 11:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote

Motorsports is not generally considered a Pentax strength.
Great advice folks, thanks.

Thing is, I like my Pentax and I don't want to move to another brand, but my motor sport photos end up in magazines!

Here's what I ended up with using my DA55-300...















Great for distance, but during this event I was allowed to stand right next to the track, and this was the only decent image I could get, I was wishing I still had the 18-135!

I think as suggested, I'll end up keeping my K20 and buy another body so I have a choice.



Thanks again...
06-19-2013, 11:37 PM   #13
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If you are getting that close to the action I would strongly...STRONGLY...reccommend the DA*50-135
Good work btw.
06-20-2013, 12:20 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian.T Quote
a lens for motorsport
I was going to say fast and long, but I think a lot depends on your access rights, i.e. how close to the action you can get, which will determine the focal length you will require.

I would have thought at least 300 mm being the minimum and you may have to consider primes lenses to get the lens speed.
06-20-2013, 05:01 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I work with a guy who used to use a Sigma 100-300 for motorsport - for size/weight reasons he sold it and bought a DA* 60-250 - he was so happy when he photographed some historic cars at Monaco in the pouring rain while most of the Canikon users were sheltering their cameras

He tempted me into buying one too - and I don't regret it! It's perfectly usable at maximum aperture, well built and balanced (bit unweildy at full zoom extension), and not too heavy for its range. I like the fact that it goes down to 60 (the difference between 60 and 80 can be quite significant when framing a car shot), I thought I would be annoyed at the long end not being 300, but I find 250 enough most of the time.

I know they are quite expensive, but after you've worked your way through, 50-200's, 70-210's, 55-300's etc you'll appreciate the difference
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