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01-13-2011, 07:17 PM   #1
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K5 and 135 f or a for some sports

I am switching from Canon to Pentax and am trying to decide what lenses to get initially. I used my Canon gear for weddings and have retired from that so the Pentax will be for my own personal use. Most of my personal photography will involve shooting some sports my grandchildren participate in and mostly portraits of family members.
The sports I will be shooting will be high school wrestling, girls backetball and girls softball. I initially planned to get the 50-135 to do both but after reading the reviews of the 77mm lens I really would like that and thought that I could use the manual focus 135 2.8 to do part of the sports. I won't be shooting a lot of sports but will be just trying to get a few photos of them in each event rather than shoot 500-600 shots of each game .
I thought in many cases I could use the 35 for the wrestling and prefocus on an area and be able to use it that way. The 77 could be used a lot for the basketball and would be a great portrait lens. I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Jim Olson

01-13-2011, 08:06 PM   #2
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Here are my golden rules:
-You really want a zoom for sports
->=F4 is too slow
-Manual focus is bad
-135mm is too short

Therefore, what I typically recommend is a 70-200mm or 80-200mm F2.8 lens:
-70-200mm Lenses - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database
-SMC Pentax-FA* 80-200mm F2.8 ED [IF] Lens Reviews - Pentax Lens Reviews & Pentax Lens Database

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01-13-2011, 08:25 PM   #3
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As focal lengths go, the 77 mm and 135 mm should be long enough for girls basketball and the wrestling. For the girls softball you might want a lens longer than 135 mm depending on how close you can get. The Pentax 55-300 mm might serve you well there.

If you want faster autofocus for sports, you might want to check out the 50-150 or 70-200 f/2.8 lenses from Sigma.
01-13-2011, 08:29 PM   #4
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For reference, here are a few girls basketball photos I took recently with the K-5 and the FA77. I usually switch between the FA77 and the DA* 200 to get a combo of different focal length shots.







01-13-2011, 08:54 PM   #5
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Don't a lot of people use primes for sports? I would guess a lot of people would have one body with a long prime and then another with something much shorter for other shots.
01-13-2011, 09:08 PM   #6
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thanks for all the suggestions and the links and photos. I think by the time softball season is here I will likely ad the 55-300 lens to my collection. I would get it now except I am afraid it might be to slow for the indoor sports , thats why I looked at the 135 2.8 lens as a compromise.
01-13-2011, 10:29 PM   #7
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I have the DA*50-135 2.8 which is a remarable lens, someone described it as having a pocket full of primes and I have to argee I also own the 77 ltd but do not really use it much now. Also you can buy the 50-135 from adorama very cheap it cost twice the price here in Australia
01-14-2011, 05:07 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jim Olson Quote
Most of my personal photography will involve shooting some sports my grandchildren participate in and mostly portraits of family members.
I would strongly suggest you rent the 50-135 lens from cameralensrentals.com and try it out for a few days. Their rates are pretty reasonable. About 44 dollars for a 4 day rental and includes shipping both ways.

I use the 50-135 for both these types of shots.

The only issue with this lens is whether 135mm lens is long enough. This will depend on how close you can be to the action. And your willingness to miss a few shots due to lack of reach. But you weigh this with the fact that the 70-200 obviously is longer and you can get more shots but it is larger and heavier.

01-14-2011, 10:32 AM   #9
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Well i do use the DA*55 and FA*85 for sports. Did that on my K-7 because of the light, but now also on my K-5. A zoom is a good idea, but you can do some pretty nice things with a prime in the range you mention. When you go to a large field, soccer or so, then you need 300mm. Basicly you can make a good sportspicture with every lens.

FA*85mm/f1.4


DA*55mm/f1.4


DA 21mm/f3.2 Ltd


DA*50-135mm/f2.8 at 123mm


Nikkor 300mm/f4.5 -> adaptor with 1,25 TC

Last edited by RonHendriks1966; 01-14-2011 at 11:18 AM.
01-14-2011, 11:08 AM   #10
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Do the math

You may wish to do just a little math here.

Remember Image Size = Subject Size x Focal Lenght / Distance

think about how far you are shooting, and the shots you will get.

A basket Ball Court, for example is (from memory) typically something in the range of 94 ft long 48 ft wide or about 28m x 14m

Wrestling areas are about 3-4 meters square.

Assume subjects are about 2 meters tall, I know this is a stretch - pun intended, but assume jumping and a little margin for error in framing etc it is a nice round number to work with.

Assuming you are free to move around but probably 2 meters off the sidelines, typical shots can be any where from 7-14 meters away for basketball and about 4 meters away for wrestling.

to fill the 16 mm high frame of the ASP-C sensor (24mm wide, 16mm high) from 4 meters will take a 35mm lens, from 7 meters will take a 56mm lens and from 14 meters will take a 112mm lens.

Now granted, this will allow for some cropping, but both combos yuou mention wont cover the whole range. In fact, what comes to mind, given the ISO performance of the newer bodies is something like the 18-135 perhaps, or two lenses, a 16-50F2.8 and a 50-135. the shorter for wrestling the longer for basketball.

I will be honest, I don;t own any of these lenses and have no vested interest in the recomendation.

My own use would be my 35mmF2 and 50mmF1.4 (both manual focus) or perhaps my tamron 28-75F2.8, but my experience with school level sports is that the lighting is really poor and F2.8 is not fast enough, at least when using an older camera like the K10D.

This is why the new body is so important, quality high ISO is a reality, and can be taken advantage of.,

p.s Ron, those are great shots, especially the 85F1.4 shots. where did you shoot from to get them. Looks like at the edge of the court, from floor level
01-14-2011, 11:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
p.s Ron, those are great shots, especially the 85F1.4 shots. where did you shoot from to get them. Looks like at the edge of the court, from floor level
I had an accreditation to walk around the floor. This was an international game between the Netherlands and Cuba. I only made pics from groundfloor, since K-7 dousn't bring image quality to use the zooms with smaller aperture.

K-5 can.

Red Bull Crashed Ice qualification, also accredited to be on the ice.

DA21mm/f3.2 Ltd


DA*55mm/f1.4


Basicly, when you know where you can move, you know what lens will give you oppertunity's.

Last edited by RonHendriks1966; 01-14-2011 at 12:50 PM.
01-14-2011, 11:39 AM   #12
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Ron , those are absolutly great photos. All of you have given me a lot to think
about. Thanks again for all the help

Jim
01-14-2011, 11:53 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I had an accreditation to walk around the floor. This was an international game between the Netherlands and Cuba. I only made pics from groundfloor, since K-7 dousn't bring image quality to use the zooms with smaller aperture.

K-5 can.

Red Bull Crashed Ice qualification, also accredited to be on the ice.

DA21mm/f3.2 Ltd


DA*55mm/f1.4


Basicly, when you where you can move you know what lens will give you oppertunity's.
I thought people said pentax can't do sports?
01-15-2011, 11:15 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I thought people said pentax can't do sports?
Those are for the inept who'd rather blame the equipment..
01-15-2011, 01:26 PM   #15
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I have used a K100D and 135M f3.5 for fast moving motorsports type photography and some youth soccer and as long as you adjust to the limitations I am sure you will get some decent photos with a K5. Focus is the biggest challenge. In some ways, I prefer manual focus. But my day job is in pro video and its exclusively manual focus in that domain.

With the benefit of the K5 resolution allowing some decent cropping, I think the camera/lens are well up to it.

Then again I used to do this with a K1000 so my expectations and technique may be different than many.

Here is an amateur sampling of some model car racing I took a few years back - many with the 135m. Keep in mind these are traveling at up to 50mph - much quicker than an athlete.







RC Pro Series Omaha Qualifying - a set on Flickr
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