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12-05-2015, 02:02 PM   #1
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Pentax DA 50mm f/1.8 for basketball

I've been shooting some basketball lately and have found myself in rather challening conditions. Long story short, my DA* 60-250mm lens is damaged and is giving me soft images wide-open, so my options were limited to a DA 50mm f/1.8 and DA 18-135mm lenses. The DA 18-135mm has been giving me usable results for the last few games, but the slow aperture has made the results very challenging to post-process due to the poor lighting of the venue.

Just today, however, I decided to use my 50mm prime for much of the game. As a staff photographer with baseline access, 50mm proved to be enough for a good portion of shots when the action gets near the basket. At the cost of zoom flexibility and reach, the prime gave me the advantage of three extra stops of light and shallower depth of field. With the right technique, the results were nothing sort of epic. The shot for this page is an out-of-camera JPEG taken with the DA 50mm, 1/500s f/2.2 ISO 1600.

I'll put some post-processed, full-size images on Flickr once I get them through my workflow.


Last edited by bwDraco; 12-05-2015 at 02:12 PM.
12-05-2015, 04:17 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by bwDraco Quote
At the cost of zoom flexibility and reach, the prime gave me the advantage of three extra stops of light and shallower depth of field
You can always crop, I doubt if anyone is going to use game shots for art prints, but how did the DA 50 do focusing on players as they moved across the court?
12-05-2015, 05:22 PM   #3
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I shoot my da 50MM f1.8 during my son play basketball game recently. Most pictures are sharp and colour than FA 50.
12-05-2015, 06:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing your experience. Arena sports with a 50mm sounds like a good match to me, for all the reasons you noted. The yet to be released D FA 24-70/2.8 would be a real winner for that kind of shooting too.


Steve

12-05-2015, 06:18 PM   #5
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Here's the "trophy shot" of the game (click for full size on Flickr):

Pentax K-3 II with DA 50mm f/1.8 lens. TAv, 1/500s f/2.2 ISO 2000. Processed and cropped from raw in RawTherapee.

Last edited by bwDraco; 12-05-2015 at 06:39 PM.
12-05-2015, 10:54 PM   #6
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Screw drive, short throw, wide aperture - would seem fine for auto focus.
12-05-2015, 11:52 PM   #7
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Nice shot...have you thought about the new 24-70mm?
12-07-2015, 04:54 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The yet to be released D FA 24-70/2.8
Yet to be released? Wait, haven't Rondec and others been posting pictures taken through it for weeks now? Or did you get mixed up with the 70-200?

---------- Post added 07-12-15 at 08:29 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bwDraco Quote
Here's the "trophy shot" of the game
Oh, that's fantastic. Being courtside helps, of course, but that's a great shot.

12-07-2015, 07:50 AM   #9
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When I use to shoot canon I was in a similar situation and used canons 50mm 1.8 for a basket ball game. I agree, if you pick your shots wisely (instead of trying to shoot everything like with a zoom), then you can get some fantastic results.
12-07-2015, 06:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
Yet to be released? Wait, haven't Rondec and others been posting pictures taken through it for weeks now? Or did you get mixed up with the 70-200?
I am often mixed up. I had forgotten that the 24-70 was available now at market . Though I was probably having some confusion with the D FA standard zoom still on the roadmap.


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12-08-2015, 05:13 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
the D FA standard zoom still on the roadmap.
I thought that was going to be a 20-something to 100-plus. Should be interesting.
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