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04-03-2011, 08:17 PM   #1
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k5 and older sigma 170-500mm

I have couple old but good telephoto lenses. Just wondering if the high ISO on the k5 could bring new life into these lenses. I find shooting with my sigma 170-500 with the k200d at 800iso is great but grainy. I am wondering if I step up to a k5 could I use a k5 at 1200 with the sigma for sports shots.

04-04-2011, 01:45 AM   #2
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I have used a K200D extensively at work, and have a K-5 at home, and let me assure you they are worlds apart. Where I hesitate to use ISO 800 on the K200D, I have auto ISO on the K-5 set to 80-3200, no problem. 6400 on the K-5 is kind of like 1600 on the K200D. I would say you would have more success with long teles on the K-5, just beware that the 16MP sensor is pretty unforgiving with its super-high resolution, you might find that your Sigma suddenly doesn't appear as sharp as it used to
04-04-2011, 04:25 AM   #3
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I'm not familiar with that Sigma but I can testify that the high ISO performance of the K-5 took my sports photos shooting to a much higher level.

I was particularly pleased with the rendering of dark-skinned subjects, btw. Disfiguring noise had been a real embarrassment to me until I started shooting with the K-5.

K-5 & Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 @ ISO 4500
04-04-2011, 08:47 AM   #4
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Good point Erik. The 16mp sensor may prove too much for my old lenses.
Just wondering if anybody has this problem with there K5 and the old telephoto lenses?
If anyone has tried this combo please post some pics.

04-04-2011, 09:02 AM   #5
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I've read about this "sensor out-resolving old lenses" thing but I have a hard time understanding how a high-resolution sensor could actually make (uncropped) photos look worse. Could you take a crack at explaining that to someone like me who is not technically astute, Erik?

Whether I understand it or not, btw, I suspect that may be happening with my K 1000mm f8: so far, the shots with the K-5 are not as sharp as those I got with the K20D.
04-04-2011, 02:26 PM   #6
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Hi djayvo,

I don't put much stock in the higher res sensors "outresolving older glass" as a problem. We have the ability to choose to shoot at a lower resolution if we want, so how would this make any lens that produced good results with lower res sensors obsolete? Good results are good results.

I've come to look at this from a different perspective. The K-5 allows you to throw out a lot of photographic paradigms -- like "consumer" zooms with their slower max apertures aren't suitable for indoor available light shooting. With maybe an extra stop of AF sensitivity and up to 3 stops of usable ISO sensitivity depending on your starting point camera model and noise tolerance, the K-5 allows the use of lower spec lenses in situations that would have been impractical or at least inconvenient with previous models.

For example, In the winter time, I find that shooting my cats indoors with available light keeps me in practice for my warmer weather wildlife and bird shooting. Previously, I'd use fast zooms (Tokina 80-200/2.8 AT-X Pro AF2, DA*50-135/2.8, and a Sigma 17-70 /2.8-4.5) just to have a chance to get AF lock and reasonable shutter speeds. This last winter once I received my K-5, I found myself using a DA 18-250 f3.5-6.3 almost exclusively, and have gotten consistently better shots and more opportunities to shoot the little buggers. The 18-250 has the advantage of focusing to 18" through the full range of FLs, achieves focus lock, even at under Ev5 or so with a little extra help, and is considerably smaller and lighter than all but the Sigma.

I find this lens is extremely convenient and usable for shooting indoor family functions, everything from table shots to head shot candids from a distance. . . without any lens changes, intimidatingly large (to the subjects, and for me just heavy) lenses, flash or even the need to bring a bag. I just grab the camera, a spare memory card and battery, and go. I shoot with Auto ISO set to 80-10000, and no longer feel like a photographer working an event, but a part of the family again, taking snapshots to record the occasion and not obsessing about gear. It's a revelation.

I shoot jpegs, set to Natural, high ISO NR OFF, Sharpness -4, and noise is easily handled in post with Topaz Denoise with good retention of detail. Actually, the loss of subtle detail at very high ISO has been generally well received by family members who always complained that my photos were "too sharp" revealing every small flaw. . .

Okay, I'm now off-topic and rambling. . .

For birds, I usually limited myself to ISO 320 for the K10, and 1000 with the K20/K-7. Beyond that, I found the noise was too destructive to fine feather detail. The jury's still out for the K-5, and I'm now using a superior NR program, Topaz Denoise, but I think that ISO 5000 might end up as my primary limit. If you're now shooting at 1/100, a 3 stop increase in usable ISO would have you shooting at 1/800 or at 1/400 stopped down 1 stop for greater DOF which can help keeping critical focus for moving subjects. The K-5 also shows considerably less chroma noise than even the K20, and it's just easier to handle in any NR program.

Two more things will factor in with sports shooting, IMO. Focusing speed is significantly faster from the K200 generation, and the higher continuous frame rate not only gives you more FPS, but the faster mirror flip and shutter actuation needed for the faster frame rate cuts down on the viewfinder blackout periods, so it makes following action considerably easier. I think you'd be shocked by the differences.

Bottom line, the K-5 allows a totally different shooting experience as others have noted. IMO, the improvements are only downplayed by those who haven't shot one, or have one and are stuck in the "I only shoot at base ISO and only shoot MF lenses" paradigm. I like to take advantage of the technology as it evolves, and the K-5 is in a whole new league from the previous "flagship" models (which, BTW aren't bad by any measure). The K-5 is just that much better (even with some unresolved faults) for my use.

BTW, the Kr shares the new SAFOX IX AF sensor, and the 12MP Sony Exmoor sensor only gives up maybe 1 stop of ISO sensitivity according to most reports, and there's only a 1 FPS difference in frame rate, so you'd likely see an impressive improvement in performance for your sports shooting even with the lower level model. . .

Scott
04-04-2011, 03:08 PM   #7
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For the record, I'm the one who raised the out-resolving question--not djayvo. I pretty much agree with everything you wrote regarding the K-5 (even down to shooting kittens for practice ;~) Can't get my head around the out-resolving thing though.
04-04-2011, 05:09 PM   #8
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Thanks Snostorm for your input. Very interesting and one I totally agree with. If good glass is good glass then a camera can only enhance what you have. For example up tell this sigma 170-500 I have been using a Hanimax 300mm with excellent results. Even the photo club I belong to can’t believe some of the pics I pull out of this lens. The only thing I can think of is I bought it new back in the 60’s and have used it as my prime telephoto lens and have got very use to it. In my mind this camera or even the k20/k7 could only make them faster with higher ISO. I understand a bad lens is a bad lens and nothing including PP work is not going to make it better. Thanks to the three of you in helping me make up my mind and go for broke (at least that’s what my bank statement will say next week  ) and buy a K5 and get back into nature and game photography for the summer.

04-04-2011, 05:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by djayvo Quote
helping me make up my mind and go for broke (at least thatís what my bank statement will say next week  ) and buy a K5 and get back into nature and game photography for the summer.
I think you will be pleased at the results you get. I made a point to upgrade before the 'dim-gym' basketball season started and am very glad I did.
04-05-2011, 07:15 AM   #10
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Well that is a nice lens. I owned one for a short time and used it on K-7. Sold it to fund my FA*. So if you have no use for it, I will give you my adress to mail it
04-05-2011, 11:29 AM   #11
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couple of pics

Taken out of camer K200d DNG, just cropped in Picasa. I took about 25 Ten came out sharp. I think if I had the K5 set at around 1200 ISO they would have all came out. It was cloudy and windy so tried to shoot only when sun was shining on subject.
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