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03-25-2010, 07:20 AM   #1
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Newbie - need help with Lens selection, specific use

I have been reading through this forum over the past two weeks and it seems that everyone here is very helpful and a great community. This was party the reason I chose to start in the DSLR world with the Pentax KX camera, price (value) also helped!

I bought the camera in order to take better pictures of my new son. Now that I have it and have been spending a lot of time learning all the new features, I am excited to take it on our boat. We spend a lot of time in the summer wakeboarding and surfing, I can't wait to capture that!

My question is, we wakeboard at 80 feet behind the boat. I want to get a lense suited to that distance that will perform well. I have read a lot of posts that the Pentax DA 55-300 is a widely liked lense. I am leaning this way, but wonder if it offers more zoom than I need. I am also a bit concerned about camera shake, since the shots will be taken from the boat.
So - IYO, do you recomend the DA 55-300 or DA 50-200?

I truly appreciate your help and thank you in advance!

03-25-2010, 07:40 AM   #2
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I own both the DA 50-200 and 55-300. They are both very good lenses. With telephotos, one always wants more distance. However, as your stated interest is one involving water sports, it occurs to me that you might be better with the DA 50-200WR lens. Also 200mm can be hand held and 300mm is a bit more problematic hand held. I think there are arguments to be made for either of these two lenses. Personally, I'd go with the DA 50-200WR lens. I think it will deliver for you in your application. Some one else might do the math on the optical distance but I think you'd be fine. If your needs grow, you might want more reach but wait until then to spend the extra money.

Personally, I used my 50-200 lens for quite awhile and was very pleased with it. It doesn't get much use now (I'm considering selling it actually), because my 55-300 is THE tele I take when I need that extra reach. But then I'm not using it in a speed boat either (sea kayaking yes).

Honestly if what you have is the kit lens, the DA 50-200WR would make a very respectible pair, IMHO.

Good luck.
03-25-2010, 07:51 AM   #3
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Thank you for your quick responce BlackCloudBrew!

So, the 50-200 may provide a more stable shot and offer sufficient zoom. Seems to make sense!
I imagine if the camera is shaking at all while tring to capture a moving object (wakeboarder) the subject will likely be blurred......

In my inexperience, I have researched these two lenses. Are there any others I should consider?
03-25-2010, 08:05 AM   #4
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What do you want to do with the final shots? Print? Or mostly for the web?

Depending on the resolution you'll need, you might be better off shooting video and extracting individual images.

03-25-2010, 09:40 AM   #5
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Ira,

A lot of the images will be shared online. A few (favorites) may get printed and some blown up to a larger print for framing. We spend a lot of time on the water so I will have ample opportunity to 'mess up' and shoot again....

are you saying that shooting in video mode might be a better solution for this? in this case - which lense would be better?
03-25-2010, 10:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nboard10 Quote
Ira,

A lot of the images will be shared online. A few (favorites) may get printed and some blown up to a larger print for framing. We spend a lot of time on the water so I will have ample opportunity to 'mess up' and shoot again....

are you saying that shooting in video mode might be a better solution for this? in this case - which lense would be better?
Your focal length is gonna vary so I can't really recommend a lens, but as far as video mode, I haven't even tried mine AT ALL on the KX, let alone extract individual images, but it's in the manual.

The idea came to me when reading the manual, because when you're doing sports stuff like that, and if you don't need the high res, you could have a choice of thousands of images to select from.
03-25-2010, 11:02 AM   #7
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It is no more difficult to hand hold 300mm than it is 200mm. The issue is that at 300mm the image fills so much of the frame that Any movement will seem amplified. This is of course unless the 300mm weighs 5 pounds (as some do). The DA55-300 would be the way I would go given the 2 lenses mentioned. You can always stick it at 200mm for your shots but in my experience, 200 on a zoom is never quite enough.

Your boating is one situation where I would suggest a protective filter such as a UV (A good one, not a cheapo $3 piece of window glass) and get yourself one of those raincoats for your camera/lens. Neither the camera or lens is weather sealed and you would want Some protection. Keep the camera strapped so it doesn't slip from your hands and end up in the lake . At the very least, a Wrist strap (which I actually find better than a neck strap).

RE Shake reduction... No amount will compensate for a bouncing boat. If you're on the water the assumption would be that you have a good sunny day to shoot. Boost your ISO a little, set for a fast shutter speed, and try using burst shooting (if the Kx has it). There is bound to be some printable keepers in there. Remember that digital space is cheap and don't be afraid to fill the card with your action shots to get good ones.

Welcome to the forums and enjoy your new camera..

03-25-2010, 11:42 AM   #8
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I know you ain't got no ocean in Ohio, so we're talking lakes on possibly very crystal calm days.

So depending on your boat, you might not be bouncing that much at all.

03-25-2010, 11:52 AM   #9
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You asked about considering other lenses...that unfortunately is a very broad topic. If money is not a consideration (somehow I suspect that it is), you could consider at the top end the DA*60-250 f4 SDM. Or a step down from that would be either the Tamron 70-200 or Sigma 70-200 lenses. I'm sure there are others in there like an older 100-300 lens too. Then again you could get the 50-200 and slap a teleconverter on it.

Again, my choice would be to start small.
03-25-2010, 11:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by nboard10 Quote
...We spend a lot of time on the water...
It may or may not be too late now. But I think a K7 body and a DA* 60-250mm would be awesome for your application.
03-25-2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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One consideration is that you K-x isn't weather sealed. While I've harped on the WR lens, you body isn't. So...you may want to consider one of these.

Pelican® Case 1150 with Foam - Black from Pelican-Case.com

I use one for my K10/k20 cameras when I go sea kayaking. It was more to assure that it wouldn't sink to the bottom if I flip but it also keeps it dry. Just a thought.
03-25-2010, 01:21 PM   #12
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I'm chming in late, but here goes.

I've shot wakeboard scenes for some time with my K20D and 17-70 lens. I'd say anything between 70-135 would be a good focal length. Conditions are pretty easy, a lot of light and constant distance between you and your subject.

What I recommend is to make sure to get a polarizer, to cut most of the reflection from the water. And check your exposure.

Good luck!
03-25-2010, 02:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Conditions are pretty easy, a lot of light and constant distance between you and your subject.
Exactly what I was thinking. Since focusing wouldn't be much of a problem, maybe even a cheap manual focus 135/3.5 or 100/2.8 would fit your bill.
03-25-2010, 03:27 PM   #14
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Now that I reread the original post, 80 feet behind the boat is pretty far, right? Aren't these the types of shots you would want full body at the widest length, which on these boards is very compact (not a person standing), and SOME background?

In other words, if you do the math with the length of the rope, to really get in there, aren't we talking 200?

No one gives a crap about the people barbecuing on the shoreline--just the subject on the board.
03-25-2010, 03:36 PM   #15
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Better late than never !!!!

I ve been looking for an all around lens for my Kx amd i ended up with a Tamron 18-200mm di II xr ld it the type of lens that you use all around. Compact yet still gives me range!!!!!!!! and for 200 buck you cant beat it.You'll find your self changing lenes less often..... and for a newb like me that works !!!!!!!
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