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10-20-2013, 08:36 AM   #1
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Lens for action with a K3 :)

I will probaply switch from Nikon to Pentax and now I-m looking for a lens with Fast AF for Action Sports. Is the DA* 60-250 or the DA* 50-135 better in terms of Image Quality and AF speed? What standard zoom has a fast AF? And is a Sigma 70-200 2,8 faster than the DA* series?

10-20-2013, 09:30 AM   #2
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I have the DA*60-250 and while it is a wonderful lens, I would not call if fast focusing. I have never used the DA*50-135 so I cannot help there, though I think it would be too short for many sports. Image quality on either is stellar.

I think the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 is generally recommended for fast sport shooting. You can also check out the lens reviews here: Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
10-20-2013, 10:24 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
I have the DA*60-250 and while it is a wonderful lens, I would not call if fast focusing. I have never used the DA*50-135 so I cannot help there, though I think it would be too short for many sports. Image quality on either is stellar.

I think the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 is generally recommended for fast sport shooting. You can also check out the lens reviews here: Pentax Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
50-135mm is equivalent to 70-200mm in FF. Sport shooters also use this focal length.
10-20-2013, 12:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by hZti Quote
I will probaply switch from Nikon to Pentax and now I-m looking for a lens with Fast AF for Action Sports. Is the DA* 60-250 or the DA* 50-135 better in terms of Image Quality and AF speed? What standard zoom has a fast AF? And is a Sigma 70-200 2,8 faster than the DA* series?
The Sigma 70-200mm is probably your best bet. We'll how to wait and see how the K-3's new AF system performs, though!


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10-20-2013, 02:10 PM   #5
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To be honest, I use the Pentax 55-300mm on my K-7 at motor sports and it's plenty fast enough. I have setup the camera for back-button-focusing and the AF on 'Continuous'.
I just keep my thumb of the back-AF button and fire at will with the shutter button as I follow the cars on the track. I get good results this way.
10-20-2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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Another way is if you know about where the action will occur manual focus at that point and as the action approaches start firing shots as it passes through the focus point. Doesn't work with all sports. Also a longer depth of field if there is enough light helps too.
10-21-2013, 04:46 AM   #7
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There's also the old screw drive Sigma 50-150 f/2.8. Sigma screw drive lenses usually have short focus throws leading to quick AF.

Don't get the Pentax 50-135 for action. While optically stunning, it's decidedly slow focusing, with a very long focus throw. Great for precision manual focus override but not for action.

What Nikon gear do you use for action sports at the moment?

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10-21-2013, 04:54 AM   #8
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Another vote for the Sigma 70-200/2.8. It beats the pants off the DA*50-135 or DA*60-250 for focus speed. It also zooms quicker; the zoom ring is so smooth I can operate it with one finger

10-21-2013, 05:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hZti Quote
I will probaply switch from Nikon to Pentax and now I-m looking for a lens with Fast AF for Action Sports. Is the DA* 60-250 or the DA* 50-135 better in terms of Image Quality and AF speed? What standard zoom has a fast AF? And is a Sigma 70-200 2,8 faster than the DA* series?

Can you elaborate a bit on what kind of sports you're talking about?
10-21-2013, 08:17 AM   #10
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Sports like Downhill, were you mostly need glass from 30-70 mm with fast AF. Is the AF from the 16-50 so bad? Is it compareable to an 17-50 or 17-70 Sigma?
10-21-2013, 08:29 AM   #11
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Well, you may consider holding off until potential fools like me provide real world reports on K-3 sports shooting. In the perfect universe the K-3 will capture action with accurate predictive AF equal to or better than my Canon 7D. Now I'm using a longer lens than you so my choices are fewer. If the K-3 plus Sigma f4 100-300mm cannot do it, then I'll simply flip all my Pentax stuff.

M
10-21-2013, 10:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hZti Quote
Sports like Downhill, were you mostly need glass from 30-70 mm with fast AF.
If you only need 30-70 take a good look at the F 35-70. Very fast AF, good IQ, weighs next to nothing and cheap as chips.

DA*16-50 is not horrible, just not a speed demon. Probably perfectly adequate for your needs unless you need a longer range. It is by far my most used lens, but I don't shoot sports.
10-21-2013, 11:45 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
If you only need 30-70 take a good look at the F 35-70. Very fast AF, good IQ, weighs next to nothing and cheap as chips.

DA*16-50 is not horrible, just not a speed demon. Probably perfectly adequate for your needs unless you need a longer range. It is by far my most used lens, but I don't shoot sports.
Isnīt the 35-70 a screwdrive lens? The should have all the same speed? Iīm probaply try the 16-50 and when itīs to slow Iīm going to upgrade. Or is the Sigma much faster (17-50/17-70)?
10-21-2013, 01:53 PM   #14
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With Pentax lenses, the length of the focus throw seems to be the most important determinant of AF speed. For that reason the DA*16-50 is the quickest of the SDM lenses I have used. Mine is now converted to screw-drive and is no slower. It should be quite adequate for downhill (skiing presumably) where the motion is reasonably predictable.

There are several screw drive lenses which focus much faster than any of the SDM options.
10-21-2013, 03:11 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by hZti Quote
Isnīt the 35-70 a screwdrive lens? The should have all the same speed?
I have a number of screw drive lenses that are noticeably faster than SDM lens. The speed of the screw drive motor remains the same, but the focus throw is really the more important factor. As Sandy noted 16-50's converted to screw drive are reported to be no different than the SDM speed. The 16-50 has a relatively long focus throw, which is good for manual focusing with quickshift but possibly makes it a little slower with AF.

The F 35-70 is very quick. The F 70-210 is also very quick. Noisy, (whirrr - bang) but very quick. On the other hand I have the FA 28-105 f/3.2-4.5 and it is very slow to lock on. I love the lens for the focal length but it hunts too much.
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