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10-20-2009, 09:49 PM   #1
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Long & Fast , Best Bang for the Buck?

My kid's Fall baseball team was in a tournament last weekend. They were the absolute under dogs yet took second place when it was all done. All the games were played either under the lights or in heavily overcast conditions so I wound up with no pictures. I use a Tamron 75-250 Adaptall f 3.8-4.5 or a Pentax FA 80-320for most of their games but I need something that I can use in adverse lighting conditions. Any Suggestions?


Last edited by seacapt; 10-20-2009 at 10:10 PM.
10-20-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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higher ISO
If you want LONG lenses they'll either be slow or very expensive. Even with fast lenses (I often use a 200mm f2.8) I still require a higher ISO than I'd like for such events.
10-21-2009, 12:00 AM   #3
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From cheap options I know 200mm F3.5 manual lenses and Tokina 100-300mm F/4.
I also suggest to use high ISO and reduce photos size afterwards.
10-21-2009, 03:32 AM   #4
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how fast and how cheap?

I think your answer is in need of more money. I have 2 intermediately fast solutions,

I consider intermediate something with a 77mm to 86 mm front element.

these solutions will run over $1200 new, but are essentally limited to things like the BIGMA, the sigma 170-500, or an older (i.e. used) sigma 70-200 F2.8 (non sdm hsm or what ever they call it) and a 2x sigma TC

You can also look for an older SMC 300mm F4 and the SMC-F 1.7x AF TC to give you 500mm F7 (approximately) this may be had for about $5-$700 depending on the price you pay for each individual part,

if you go pure MF there is the old SMC 500 F4.5, at about $500 also

Anything faster with AF will cost you over $3000 new

10-21-2009, 04:49 AM   #5
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Depends on what he plays

If you can get close (i.e. he plays in the infield, you should be OK with a 70-200mm 2.8 (I recommend the Tamron, as it can be used with teleconverts unlike the Sigma HSM which is apparently a real pain to find a converter that works).

You can also look for a Tamron 300mm 2.8 Adaptall-2. This is very nice and if you can find a 1.7x AFA you can get a 500mm 4.5 with autofocus for about $1,100ish. This gives you options.

You should be ok with manual focus if he is the pitcher/catcher or batting as the distance should be relatively constant. Or spend the big money.
10-21-2009, 05:29 AM   #6
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This is not an easy question; I'd go for:

- The maximum ISO level acceptable,
- A Sigma or Tamron 70-200 f2.8,
- Prefocus with the K20D, (AF with a K-7),
- Cropping if 200mm is not enough.

There is no real "cheap" solution, except of "getting as close as you can" to the subject.

- Bert
10-21-2009, 03:52 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by seacapt Quote
My kid's Fall baseball team was in a tournament last weekend. They were the absolute under dogs yet took second place when it was all done. All the games were played either under the lights or in heavily overcast conditions so I wound up with no pictures. I use a Tamron 75-250 Adaptall f 3.8-4.5 or a Pentax FA 80-320for most of their games but I need something that I can use in adverse lighting conditions. Any Suggestions?
This is not a easy answer. I would try your Tamron 75mm-250mm f/3.8-4.5 adaptall-2 (104A) and pre-focus and try to see what you can get out of it. Again, try high ISO and I frequently use TAv for action shots such as f/4.0 and speed 1/500 sec and set auto-iso from 200 to 3200. And adjust as necessary in TAv with shutter speed and apertures trying all combination f/4.5, f/5.0 to find the sweet spot. Find the shutter speed matching the game and the scene of lighting and pre-focus.

Also, I am no strobist, see if a strobe can help you instead of fast lens. If you have the Tamron p/k-a adaptall-2 adapter, your PTTL or auto flash will be your friend for the extra juice in the picture. I used bounced flash but for your game, I will blast it straight on when necessary at unfavorable dim night setting. For bounced flash needing an amplified reflector, I have used quite satisfactory with Spectra Flash Light Diffuser as reflector with silver coating for amplified reflection from strobe at a bounced angle.

For faster glass in Tamron adaptall-2, I see that you are in the similar boat like me who have sought after Tamron good adaptall-2 SP glasses, I highly recommend Tamron SP 80-200mm f/2.8 adaptall-2 (30A) and the Pentax F-1.7x AFA.


With Tamron SP 80-200mm f/2.8 adaptall-2 (30A)
in late afternoon around 5:30pm in dim lighting

1/100 sec, f/5.0, 180mm, iso 320, +0.3 Ev



1/125 sec, f/5.0, 180mm, iso 320, +0.3 Ev



1/100 sec, f/4.0, 135mm, iso 250, 0 Ev


I have not tried the combination with 1.7x AFA yet and I think it should work well together along with a good mono-pod for the weight support. But first thing first, try your long zooms with high ISO and TAv



Tamron 75mm-250mm f/3.8-4.5 adaptall-2 (104A)

75-250mm f/3.8-4.0 (104A) on right
35-80 f/2.8-3.8 (01A) on left


0.3 sec, f/4.0, 75mm, iso 640, 0 Ev
quite a bad sample to post but I don't have more test shots to convince you to try
give this zoom a chance to work at night


Thanks,
Hin
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