Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-19-2016, 06:07 PM   #1
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
AggieDad's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Houston, TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 577
I am Curious (again)...

How important is lens speed with the great improvement image quality at higher ISOs? Won't these higher ISO capabilities render some of the faster lens speeds moot?

I ask as I am getting prepared (pending okay from the exchequer) to do some equipment shopping.

Thanks for all thoughts.

09-19-2016, 06:25 PM   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2015
Photos: Albums
Posts: 390
I think it depends on what you are looking for...

The advances in high-ISO capabilities in the cameras have been accompanied by advances in optical design that allow things like 30mm f1.4 lenses.

I don't find the extremely fast lenses all that necessary, but there are a few people here who thrive on that... :-)

But it's still a trade... speed, compactness, quality, price, pick three?

-Eric
09-19-2016, 06:32 PM   #3
Pentaxian
photoptimist's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2016
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,627
I've wondered the same thing. Of late, its been easier to add 1 stop of performance to the camera body (boosting IQ of all the attached lenses) than to add 1 stop to each lens.

I see large aperture lenses this way:

PROs:
* bigger bokeh!
* the lens may be the "pro" model and designed for higher performance
* bragging rights (for those who care)
* expand your photography into even darker scenes (hand-held astro!)
* stay at base ISO more often and use the DR to pull detail out of the shadows

CONs
* costly! (could you buy two lenses for the price of one speedy one?)
* heavy! (could you carry two lenses for the weight of one speedy one?)
* the big aperture may be specsmanship and the lens is not that great

In the end, it's a trade-off that depends on your personal style and preferences.

But which ever decent lens you buy, I think you can be confident that you'll be able to make great pictures under most conditions with today's high-DR, high-ISO cameras.
09-19-2016, 06:35 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,554
The very argument I made with my dad.

First a faster lens also brings a shallower depth of field. This may or may not be needed.

Second the size of the pictures demanded by art seekers is huge. 30x20 and larger. This demands really clean files.

Third working within a lenses limitations is acceptable. It may however limit options forcing different choices. Even one stop may be the delta needed to make something work.

Conversely, sometimes depth of field is too shallow wide open on that f1.4 lens and you need f4 so the shot with a good f4 lens may not be any worse.

Me I opt for a mix but I'm privileged to be able to do so. I currently have lenses ranging from f1.7 to f5.6 at the fastest speed; some zooms are even slower on the long end. I'm shooting a K-3 and I rarely feel challenged by low light at f2.8 and even f4 is generally ok. But bad lighting (stage play) can force an f1.7 lens to pop in at f2 or so.

09-19-2016, 07:44 PM   #5
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: South Bend, IN, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,061
Last year I downloaded some photos from MSNBC coverage of the U.S. college basketball championship games, because they had more DOF than I had expected; it turned out that they were using f-stops around f/5.6, which was possible because modern Canon hardware allows them to shoot at "outrageous" ISO settings. Since then, I've become convinced that this is where sports photography is going, especially for amateurs, who have never found constant wide-aperture telephoto lens prices to be within reach. Perhaps the K-70 isn't quite there yet, but by the time of the K-90, or some such thing, pricing and size will make high ISO the solution to the question "How do I photograph my daughter / son / grand daughter / grand son playing basketball".
09-19-2016, 08:27 PM   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
RGlasel's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Saskatoon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,403
QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
they were using f-stops around f/5.6
On a FF camera, f5.6 allows two opposing players to be in reasonably sharp focus. F2.8 means the photographer (or the camera) has to focus on the player's face or jersey at the expense of getting other body parts in sharp focus and the other player involved will out of focus in most situations. The player benches and fans seated on the floor are going to be very out of focus (which is a good thing) at f5.6, so a shallower DOF isn't needed for subject isolation.

I would be curious to know what typical shutter speeds were. A while back I waited longer than normal at the dentist and checked out the basketball pictures in a couple of Sports Illustrated magazines, most of the pictures wouldn't have needed faster than 1/250 (player lining up to take a free throw, player on the sidelines, etc.)

---------- Post added 09-19-16 at 09:33 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
Won't these higher ISO capabilities render some of the faster lens speeds moot?
I just took a bunch of night pictures at the cabin using DA 35 and DA 70 at f2.4 and with the poor light making it difficult to see clearly in the viewfinder, I didn't realize how much shallow DOF was making pictures with more than one person in them pointless.
09-19-2016, 09:02 PM   #7
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,554
Many professional magazines like sports illustrated use to use strobes... I can confirm they still do...

2016 reference...
How to Light a Huge Basketball Arena with Strobes, a Step-by-Step Guide

Last edited by UncleVanya; 09-19-2016 at 09:13 PM.
09-19-2016, 09:13 PM   #8
Pentaxian
johnyates's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Saskatoon, SK
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,199
QuoteOriginally posted by AggieDad Quote
How important is lens speed
Depends what you're shooting, Myself, I never shoot wide open. For me, the only advantage to a fast lens is that it may be easier to focus.

09-19-2016, 09:23 PM   #9
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: South Bend, IN, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,061
QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
On a FF camera, f5.6 allows two opposing players to be in reasonably sharp focus. F2.8 means the photographer (or the camera) has to focus on the player's face or jersey at the expense of getting other body parts in sharp focus and the other player involved will out of focus in most situations. The player benches and fans seated on the floor are going to be very out of focus (which is a good thing) at f5.6, so a shallower DOF isn't needed for subject isolation.

I would be curious to know what typical shutter speeds were. A while back I waited longer than normal at the dentist and checked out the basketball pictures in a couple of Sports Illustrated magazines, most of the pictures wouldn't have needed faster than 1/250 (player lining up to take a free throw, player on the sidelines, etc.)
I checked my notes {this was a Canon 1DX ii}

For one particular image, values in the EXIF were

shutter speed = 1/1000
f/6.3
ISO = 8000
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Many professional magazines like sports illustrated use to use strobes... I can confirm they still do...
with that ISO, I seriously doubt he needed strobe
09-19-2016, 09:32 PM   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
UncleVanya's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2014
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,554
QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
I checked my notes {this was a Canon 1DX ii}

For one particular image, values in the EXIF were

shutter speed = 1/1000
f/6.3
ISO = 8000

with that ISO, I seriously doubt he needed strobe
Read the article, only three sets of strobes are permitted, one set goes to sports illustrated, one set goes to associated press, and one set is USA today's to allocate based on location. My guess is that shot came from a second shooter for si. The primary shooter would not be using ISO 8000 per the article, more likely 160.

---------- Post added 09-20-16 at 12:34 AM ----------

SI also uses some freelancers, which would probably not have access to the strobes.
09-19-2016, 09:51 PM   #11
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,928
At some point (depending on the sensor) you lose enough dynamic range at high ISOs to make your shots look bad. This looks worse to me than noise. You can figure this point out yourself by taking some shots in low light at varying ISOs on a tripod.

You get other advantages from fast lenses, except probably size and weight. If you will use the lens a lot, it's probably worth the extra cost, but you don't need to have every focal length at f1.4.
09-20-2016, 02:36 AM   #12
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Nov 2015
Photos: Albums
Posts: 390
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Many professional magazines like sports illustrated use to use strobes... I can confirm they still do...

2016 reference...
How to Light a Huge Basketball Arena with Strobes, a Step-by-Step Guide
I remember being appalled at how good some shots from a professional at a competing college looked compared to my work (25 years ago).
I was shooting TMAX 3200 pushed a couple of stops for the college paper (which looked like gravel taped to a page at that point). He had brilliant color work.

I asked him what he shot with -- Fuji Press (100 or 400 I think), at about f8.

I did the math in my head and realized how many extra stops he had and was baffled. He just laughed...

"Well, I just use the radio slave to the strobes in the ceiling"

I then walked off mumbling about cheaters who had strobes in the ceiling while trying to figure out how to get the newspaper to pay for that...

Sometimes the easiest solution is to just bring more light...

-Eric
09-20-2016, 07:25 AM - 1 Like   #13
Pentaxian
Na Horuk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Slovenia, probably
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 11,096
QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
I see large aperture lenses this way:
I think the points you listed pretty much cover everything. Main uses of fast aperture these days is a) You can take photos in low low light (and AF will work, as well), b) you can take photos with really really shallow DoF (which can be artistic, or it can be gimmicky)
Another problem is that really fast lenses have such shallow DoF that AF might struggle. This is why Nikon is not producing f1.2 AF lenses, and even Canon's f1.2 are really rare. Pentax barely makes a couple f1.4 lenses. But Pentax' f1.4 lenses are generally still quite compact, which lots of people appreciate.
What point is buying an expensive Sigma Art, with its high optical correction and fast aperture, if you always leave it at home, because it is too heavy to carry around on trips? Better to have an FA 50mm f1.4, which still delivers decently sharp photos and good brightness, but can fit into a camera bag easily.
09-20-2016, 07:41 AM   #14
Pentaxian
photoptimist's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2016
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,627
QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I think the points you listed pretty much cover everything. Main uses of fast aperture these days is a) You can take photos in low low light (and AF will work, as well), b) you can take photos with really really shallow DoF (which can be artistic, or it can be gimmicky)
Another problem is that really fast lenses have such shallow DoF that AF might struggle. This is why Nikon is not producing f1.2 AF lenses, and even Canon's f1.2 are really rare. Pentax barely makes a couple f1.4 lenses. But Pentax' f1.4 lenses are generally still quite compact, which lots of people appreciate.
What point is buying an expensive Sigma Art, with its high optical correction and fast aperture, if you always leave it at home, because it is too heavy to carry around on trips? Better to have an FA 50mm f1.4, which still delivers decently sharp photos and good brightness, but can fit into a camera bag easily.
Good points!

One of the design limits of PDAF is that it only looks at central f/2.8 to f/5.6 of the lens aperture. At best, that limits PDAF accuracy with fast lenses (PDAF is like trying to focus with the lens stopped down). At worst, if the lens has some uncorrected spherical aberration, PDAF will be consistently off when the lens is used wide-open (which is why some people switch to focusing with live view for faster lenses).
09-20-2016, 07:57 AM   #15
Pentaxian




Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: South Bend, IN, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,061
QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Read the article, only three sets of strobes are permitted, one set goes to sports illustrated, one set goes to associated press, and one set is USA today's to allocate based on location. My guess is that shot came from a second shooter for si. The primary shooter would not be using ISO 8000 per the article, more likely 160.
The article is irrelevant. My point is that nearly every player in nearly every (*) gym {most without strobe} has at least one relative with a camera. High ISO makes a lot more sense than does $$$$ lens - and that is the direction camera makers, including Pentax with the K-70, seem to be going in.


(*) and there are a lot of gyms just in Indiana, to say nothing of the rest of the U.S., to say nothing of the rest of the world
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!
article, basketball, camera, da, dof, f5.6, focus, iso, k-mount, pentax lens, pictures, player, post, shooter, si, slr lens, speeds, strobes
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Recent threads mention AF Fine Adjustment and I am curious how to use it SteveD Pentax K-1 2 06-28-2016 09:20 PM
I Am Curious... AggieDad General Talk 34 05-11-2016 11:09 PM
HI,I am with K5ii, I am just new here fuenqing Welcomes and Introductions 14 03-30-2015 08:24 AM
I am curious.. why so many people is selling their FA 77mm henryjing Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 65 05-01-2010 11:25 AM
Pentax K7 Price Watch? Or I am waiting because I am a cheap, errr, frugal SOB thread brecklundin Pentax DSLR Discussion 240 03-26-2010 10:01 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:33 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