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12-30-2011, 02:12 PM   #31
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I just don't know that any system is going to give you good "action shots" at f1.4 and close range. That's the biggest problem. By the time the camera locks focus, kid has moved just a little forward or back and your focus is off. DA *55 locks quite a bit faster on K5 than on the K7, but it still is a fairly slow to focus portrait lens. Putting on AF C gives you a little better chance of getting in focus shots when kids are moving, but it still is a struggle. I just find it better to stop down a little and push the iso some.

(not an action shot by any means)

12-30-2011, 02:35 PM   #32
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I don't have experience with other brands, but the K5 AF does seem to be better than my K20D, though I didn't have too much trouble with the K20D.

I'd recommend finding a place to rent the K5, plus a Nikon kit for comparison. Or, maybe this is the time to pay a little more and buy from a local shop so you can try them out. Even if you choose to stick with Pentax, that's still $1100 or more if you buy from them. If you switch brands, they'll get even more of your money.
12-30-2011, 02:56 PM   #33
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Peter, the K-5 will make a difference. I've stepped from most generations of Pentax dSLRs and have found the most impressive improvements from K20D/K-7 to K-5. High ISO performance and AF speed does make a difference. But one of the good reasons to stay with Pentax is its * and Limited lenses. I also can't comment on comparisons with Nikon and Canon other than to relay my experience with the 5DMkII and D300, both of which I tried with their ultrasonic lenses, which are both fast and accurate. Nevertheless, the K-5 performs comparably with the Limited lenses (by virtue of their speed). It's when you have f/2.8 and slower lenses that the difficulties in low light focusing become apparent. The K-5 does do well with the LED light AF assist, but if using flash on camera, we are still compelled to use the flash's slow AF assist.
12-30-2011, 04:57 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Simon, I didn't say all, but most. And that's still true...
Out of those shots you posted above there are perhaps 3 that I'd consider dificult (the swing, tennis and the boy in walking under the trees with rays coming through). The rest would most probably be doable even with K10D.

Besides, those are not the scenarios I'm concerned about. But up close with longer, faster lenses. So we're talking uop to 2 meters in dim light (not out door on sunny ausie day) shooting at f1.4 or 1.8...
What lenses do you own that are longer and faster than 55mm f/1.4 and 77mm f/1.8?

Heres a couple of up close indoor shots in low light

They may appear "static" but I can assure you they move about when sitting still just as much as a baby if not more.

QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote

Simon, that shot of your boy under the trees with the sunbeams is a smasher! (Even better that he's carrying your tripod for you?)
Thanks! Yeah thats my tripod too

QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
In the picture of my kid I posted, he wasn't moving, he was staring straight into the camera, yet the camera managed to miss the focus
When I read that Im confused, are you having problems with "static" shots? I thought it was the moving shots you had the problems with??

Last edited by TOUGEFC; 12-31-2011 at 05:43 PM.
12-30-2011, 05:31 PM   #35
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you need a Nikon D3s nothing less
12-30-2011, 07:47 PM   #36
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Looking through my photos, they are relatively sharp. I don't have much "action" photography, although a lot of photos of my kids doing stuff -- sometimes in pretty low light. Camera seems to lock on pretty well -- issue if anything seems to be that the camera tends to want to use a lower shutter speed than what really will capture the situation.

The focus is on on this photo, but there is blur because shutter speed is 1/90 second.

This is f1.4 on Sigma 30mm. Not an action photo, but plenty sharp and focus right where I intended it.
12-30-2011, 09:06 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
focus point would have been on his face, so the dark hat would provide enough contrast wherever the focus point would reach out of the face
yet, it's his right hand that's sharp, and that hand is another 5-10cm closer to me than his face.
You might be hitting the Pentax "AF sensors are bigger than the dots on the screen" quirk. I'm still puzzled why Pentax hasn't shrunk these.
Looks like it locked on the front of the hat which looks sharper than his face.
I'm guessing the edge of the sensor found more contrast there than on the baby's face.

If that's true, you indeed might find a D7000 a better fit because it has AF sensors that are a lot smaller. Borrow/rent one w/ a 1.4 lens and try it. Do the same w/ a K-5 body (hopefully you have some rental shops in the UK). That's the only way you'll know for sure...
12-31-2011, 05:58 AM   #38
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Some action taken with K-7 and DA70 .... i haven't much trouble focusing with that combo, but of course DA70 is only f2.4 lens so not a 'bokeh machine'. Anyway focuses very fast on k-7 and even faster on k-5. If fast lenses needed I would probably have a thought about Sigma 50/1.4 HSM (not sure if HSM is available to Pentax version) for indoor shots and Sigma 85/1.4 HSM for outdoor shots.
I only wish that AF tracking was better on K-5....

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12-31-2011, 06:51 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by vrrattko Quote
Sigma 50/1.4 HSM (not sure if HSM is available to Pentax version)
It is HSM....

An awesome lens...
12-31-2011, 07:31 PM   #40
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Hi Peter
I moved between different systems (Sony to Olympus to Canon to Pentax) What I learned was that all the selling up and moving to new systems was not needed. Let me explain, you just swap one problem for the other. A year from now a better AF system or a new sensor system will take the headlines on the camera forums. Like currently the Sony A77 does or the new Canon dx

My advise by fast lenses and stick with Pentax. Next year you will have the next Pentax Dslr and than you will ask on a Nikon forum.
"so I want to upgrade, D700 vs competition?"

Ps if you really want fast autofocus and heaps of fun. buy film and not megapixals. The Pentax Mz-s is cheap as chips.
12-31-2011, 08:39 PM   #41
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after reading through all these i think i can give axl some suggestion.

when shooting a child this up close and with such a big aperture, the dof is very narrow and a little back/ford movement of the child/your hand may result in out of focus shots.
also, if you use center point focus and use the "re-composite" technique it may also result in out of focus.
for example, if you use center point focus to lock focus on the child's shirt, and re-composite to the child's eye. since the shirt has a slightly different distance than the eyes, it may make the face blur.

i would recommend try using af-c mode instead of af-s to track the eyes, step backward a bit to guarantee easier focus, and try using spot focus instead of center point focus.
or use center focus but only composite the child in the center of the frame.

can't guarantee this method though, but it doesn't hurt to give it a try.
12-31-2011, 08:46 PM   #42
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back to the original topic.

both the d7k and the k5 are great camera, i don't think you can go wrong on either of these.
a few k5 suffers af problem, but if you look through d7k forum, there is also oil stain sensor and other problems on the d7k.
no cameras are perfect, only you as photographer can discover the advantage and work around with the defeats.
01-01-2012, 03:36 AM   #43
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Thanks for the opinions.
I understand that shooting child at such large aperture so close is a problem. This problem gets agravated by limited high ISO capability of K-7, too large cross AF points on Safox and it's inconsistency, and by the fact the ligh in my living room is too weak in day or night..
K-5 would solve most of the problem, but I wanted to find out if other brands wouldn't do the trick better in very specific conditions...
01-01-2012, 08:09 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
K-5 would solve most of the problem, but I wanted to find out if other brands wouldn't do the trick better in very specific conditions...
Since they're *your* specific conditions, there's really only one way to find out.
You surely have friends w/ Nikon gear that's similar to what you'd want to use? Find a K-5 rental, invite them over and do a real test in *your* conditions. Seems like the obvious thing to do...
01-01-2012, 10:55 AM   #45
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All I can say after a year with my Nikon D7000 any shot taken has just become simplicity with a keeper rate easily in the 97% range regardless of what I throw at it.

I shoot extensively the 35mm 1.8G and I never have a problem getting correct exposure/focus in any light where 1/40 @ 3200 is required - this is the same for the zooms I own too, namely the 16-85 and 70-300 VR's.

Also the flash exposure is just simply mind blowing accurate - period

The high iso ability is just as incredible.

Shots like these are simply "ho-hum an easy day at the office at ISO 3200" - the 70-300 was used here wide open.

ISO 400 F2 1/20s (handheld no vr), pop up flash - 35mm 1.8G

35MM @ 2.8

ISO 800 16-85VR (no nr needed) - FILL IN FLASH from pop up

Native ISO 2800 F5.6 wide open 70-300 VR - no NR - Reunion Bouldering World Cup which I covered

This is what the D7000 churns out day after day - very little effort required and rarely misses the mark

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