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01-03-2012, 09:11 AM   #1
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K-5 for soccer and baseball + lens recommendation

I am in the process of evaluatingnew equipment and believe the K-5is leading at the moment. I am an amateur regarding photography skill but hope to change that status in the near future. At the momentI am focusing on taking sports pictures, specifically soccer and basketball. I like what I have read about the K-5 andespecially the indoor abilities (ISO range). Unfortunately I do have a budget so I am trying to purchase the necessary equipment for$1,500 - $2,000 range. I would really appreciate hearing from members who haveused the K-5 for sporting events, especially soccer and basketball. In addition, thelens you would recommend for such events.
Adam was kind enough to share the following recommendation regarding the lens:
Tamron70-200mm F2.8 lens would be an excellent choice for sports:




01-03-2012, 09:53 AM   #2
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Skill > gear any day for getting good shots. with that being said, i tend to use an old Canon FD 300mm f/4L that has been adapted to k mount as my primary lens for soccer. If you got the budget, check out the Sigma, FA* and DA* equivalents, as you get autofocus with those lenses as well. As much as i'd love to have any of those for myself, i just don't have the funds On my second body, usually my roommate's k-x, i have an M135mm f/3.5 for when action gets close. this setup i use is fairly affordable, but requires a bit more skill as it requires that you know how to use fully manual lenses.

as for the tamron 70-200, i havent had a chance yet to shoot with that lens. i have, however, shot with the sigma hsmii and found it quite the competent lens for sports. With that being said, i'd still only use the 70-200 as a backup for the 300 when shooting soccer. For basketball, you can get quite a bit closer than soccer, so you can most likely make do with the 70-200.
01-03-2012, 10:04 AM   #3
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I think that combo would be a fine starting point. You might want a little longer reach for the soccer but the Tamron is very sharp and you will be able to produce some quality crops. It will keep you within your budget. Find room for a tripod and monopod in your budget also.
01-03-2012, 10:04 AM   #4
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Is it outdoor or indoor soccer?

I have the 70-200 and it's good enough for sports in my opinion. The focus should be pretty quick on the K-5, and no one is gonna care about the screwdrive noise. As far as reach goes, I imagine 70-200 range should be good from a spectator's position. You aren't going to get portrait shots of their heads and shoulders at 200, but you should be able to get a full body shot depending on how far you are exactly.

IQ-wise, the Tamron's better than the Sigma (and almost anything else in the telephoto range except for exceptional 200mm and 300mm primes). You could shoot wide open if you need to (just be wary of the depth of field) and still make out hair detail from a good distance away.

As far as weight, it's heavier than 200mm and 300mm primes (I don't imagine you can bring tripod or monopod into a game) so that may be important, but it is lighter than the Sigma 70-200 and the FA*80-200.

01-03-2012, 10:38 AM   #5
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With K-5, that Tamron and a monopod you can start off.
01-03-2012, 11:54 AM   #6
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I've used K-5 and Tamron 70-200 2.8 for that purpose for a few months now and that's not a bad combination. What the Tamron lacks in reach it compensates by its sharpness. Prior to the Tamron I used the Sigma 150-500, which lacks in speed and sharpness. One other good thing about the Tamron is that it can also be used for indoor sports and in much worse lighting than my Sigma. I haven't had any major difficulties with AF speed or accuracy. Furthermore, I always shoot handheld even with the Sigma, because the shutter speed must be at least 640 or faster, which pretty much takes care of blurred images anyway. And what I've noticed is that it's maybe better not to use SR when there's significant camera movement like panning etc, either. I don't have any hard facts to back that up, but I must try to investigate that a bit more.

To sum this up, the Tamron 70-200 is quite good value for money. However, at some point I will want to get more reach without compromising the speed. I just need to get rich first.
01-03-2012, 12:16 PM   #7
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I use my K-5 and that Tamron for indoor basketball, indoor volleyball, football, soccer, softball and swimming (US High School). When sitting at indoor events, I shoot handheld; outdoor sports, I use a monopod (with the exception of swimming). It's a heavy piece of glass. The high ISO capabilities of the K-5 make taking photos in high school gyms (poor lighting) pleasant and combined with that glass, improved my keeper rate dramatically. I also tend to move to the baseline and shoot with my 50mm f1.4 and 35 f2.8 about half of the basketball game.

Outdoors shooting softball, it's a great piece of glass, when shooting from center field I do find that 200 isn't enough and do usually have to crop or switch to my Tamron 100-300.

I'm just an amateur but fwiw, the k-5 + tamron help produce some great images for me. The K-5 is a very capable camera.
01-03-2012, 12:25 PM   #8
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If photography is only a hobby, another option is the Pentax DA* 50-135.
Advantage- much smaller, less weight.
Disadvg- less reach than 70-200; AF speed is not that fast.
You could rent both lenses from cameralensrentals.com and try it out yourself.

With soccer, I find games played in mid-day sun and too much contrast.

With basketball, there is too little light. At least in the school gyms. Shooting sports is pretty tough for me, even with a K5. Some amateur 50-135 shots below.


Last edited by psychdoc; 11-14-2015 at 03:39 PM.
01-03-2012, 12:40 PM   #9
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For basketball I use my DA* 50-135 a good bit when I want to shoot without a flash. I am considering the Tamron 70-200 to increase the range but I find myself shooting a good bit at the 50mm end of the DA* so 70 is a tighter than I would like. I would like to use it for football and soccer under the lights. I also use my DA 55-300 lens for both basketball and soccer and it works very well. I generally shoot from the side behind the basket and use a AF540 flash. I usually shoot manual and set the flash on Manual to 1/8th or 1/16th power so I can shoot quicker. I also use my Sigma 170-500 lens for soccer and other outdoor sports when it is sunny. Most often I use either the DA 55-300 or Quantaray 70-300 for soccer, baseball, softball and football. I've been using the K20D but just got a K5 and am able to shoot at 3200 easily and even 6400 where with the K20D I hated to go above 1600.
01-03-2012, 01:17 PM   #10
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I only just got a K5, but have shot a lot of soccer with the K20D and Tamron 70-200/2.8 combo. I can highly recommend it.

01-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #11
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You want to go pro in the near future and you want to shoot mainly sport? I'd be looking at a D7000 to be honest. K-5 is an awesome camera, but you've chosen the 2 areas where it's weakest.
01-03-2012, 08:35 PM   #12
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Evaluating K-5 and Lens for Soccer and Basketball

Thank you so much for all the feedback. I really appreciate the comments regarding the 300mm lens for soccer. I wasn't sure if the 200mm lens had the focal length for soccer. The responses have provided me with some great ideas for where to start. I agree with the skill versus equipment comment - I'll have to acquire the skill though. Should be fun. Thanks again

Last edited by faworange; 01-03-2012 at 09:10 PM. Reason: Incomplete
01-04-2012, 10:07 AM   #13
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Assuming you can get close to a soccer field - full scale. In 35 mm days you would use a 300 mm from the side line, a 200 mm if you stand next to the penalty box on the goal line and a 100 mm for action inside the penalty box taken from the goal line. Only sitting at center field you would use a 400 mm lens.
Convert that to APS-C format makes: 200 mm, 135 mm, 70 mm, 300 mm. A 70-200 would cover almost all the action from any position.

Assuming you can get close to baseball field, you can actually use longer lenses as for soccer action as the place of the action is more predictable. You know where the pitcher is, you know where the batter is and you have a pretty godd idea that action takes place at the bases - use at least a 70 mm lens to stay away from too much action. For long balls a 200 or 300 mm lens may be useful, again a 70-200 would cover most of everything.

Don't use the longest possible lens for chasing a single player around the field. Think where you want to cover action, position yourself and wait for the action to come towards you - this implies that you understand the game.
01-04-2012, 01:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I think that combo would be a fine starting point. You might want a little longer reach for the soccer but the Tamron is very sharp and you will be able to produce some quality crops. It will keep you within your budget. Find room for a tripod and monopod in your budget also.
Thank you for the Post - I am uncertain about the 200mm for soccer so thanks for pointing that out. I wanted to respond earlier but had problems learning how to respond to individual posts.
01-04-2012, 01:07 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jppp Quote
I've used K-5 and Tamron 70-200 2.8 for that purpose for a few months now and that's not a bad combination. What the Tamron lacks in reach it compensates by its sharpness. Prior to the Tamron I used the Sigma 150-500, which lacks in speed and sharpness. One other good thing about the Tamron is that it can also be used for indoor sports and in much worse lighting than my Sigma. I haven't had any major difficulties with AF speed or accuracy. Furthermore, I always shoot handheld even with the Sigma, because the shutter speed must be at least 640 or faster, which pretty much takes care of blurred images anyway. And what I've noticed is that it's maybe better not to use SR when there's significant camera movement like panning etc, either. I don't have any hard facts to back that up, but I must try to investigate that a bit more.

To sum this up, the Tamron 70-200 is quite good value for money. However, at some point I will want to get more reach without compromising the speed. I just need to get rich first.
Thank you very much for the Post. Information like this is invaluable when trying to do an evaluation. The AF comments are very much appreciated.
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