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01-07-2014, 02:48 AM   #1
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Help with new K-30

Hi Everyone
New to Pentax having just bought the K-30 with 18-55 and 50-200 lenses that came with the camera.
Love taking photos of my grandchildren playing soccer and ice hockey. Currently hockey season.
I know the 55-200 is optimally not the best lens for this application so I will likely buy the DA 60-250 or Sigma 70-200.
Not sure which one would be better though I think I'm leaning toward the Pentax 60-260 for the WR factor though it is not 2.8 as suggested for sports photography. For now, as I use the 50-200 for ice hockey, I basically set the scene mode to moving subject and play with the ISO. My shots are o.k.anyone have suggestions on different settings using this lens that will give me even better results ? Lastly, can I expect seriously better results if I purchase one of the other two discussed lenses ? Sorry, Kind of a novice here but I really want to max out the cameras capabilities.

01-07-2014, 07:05 AM   #2
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Go for the Sigma 70-200/2.8 if you intend to shoot sports.
01-07-2014, 08:25 AM   #3
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I shoot my grand kids playing soccer and had a Tamron 70-300, I found the 300 end great for the long soccer field but the 70 was too long when they got close. When I got my Kr I got it in a kit with the DAL 55-300 and it was a sharper lens than the Tamron and better for sports because of the wider end when they got closer. For me 300 is a minimum for soccer. I was quite surprised at the sharpness of the DAL and I use if often. I know it is not WR and for that I use my K30 W/18-135. With the high ISO capabilities of the K30 I find I don't need a f2.8 lens and to me the 70-200 would be to short at the long end and to long at the wide end for sports. Enjoy your K30
01-07-2014, 09:47 AM   #4
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I don't shoot sports but I do have a 55-300 DA. I bought it just as the WR's were coming out and the prices on the old ones dropped. I find it a great lens that is very sharp at the 300 end. Since the usual complaints about this lens don't apply here, (noisy autofocus alerting wildlife) I would suggest you give this lens serious consideration. It is generally considered a very good lens for the price.

01-07-2014, 10:04 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jim Peszek Quote
Hi Everyone
New to Pentax having just bought the K-30 with 18-55 and 50-200 lenses that came with the camera.
Love taking photos of my grandchildren playing soccer and ice hockey. Currently hockey season.
I know the 55-200 is optimally not the best lens for this application so I will likely buy the DA 60-250 or Sigma 70-200.
Not sure which one would be better though I think I'm leaning toward the Pentax 60-260 for the WR factor though it is not 2.8 as suggested for sports photography. For now, as I use the 50-200 for ice hockey, I basically set the scene mode to moving subject and play with the ISO. My shots are o.k.anyone have suggestions on different settings using this lens that will give me even better results ? Lastly, can I expect seriously better results if I purchase one of the other two discussed lenses ? Sorry, Kind of a novice here but I really want to max out the cameras capabilities.
For indoor sports where the lighting is poor you will be better served with an f2.8 lens.
The Sigma is recommended because the HSM focus is very quick and will be able to keep up with the movements of the players.

With your current 50-200 lens you can try the following instead of scene mode:
Set your camera to TAv mode with aperture wide open (rear wheel) and shutter speed (front wheel) in the 1/300 or higher range.
Let your ISO float as high as possible.
This will introduce grain but you may start to see sharper shots.
Also, play with the White Balance to see if some other setting than AWB gives more accurate color based on the lighting used.

With an f2.8 lens you will use the same settings but the faster aperture will let the ISO run at lower numbers, so less noise.
If the lighting is even throughout the rink you can switch to full manual control and select ISO yourself.

Indoors sports are tough. For outdoor sports in daylight you can get away with other lenses.
If you are shooting outdoors at night you will want a 2.8 lens.

Last edited by crewl1; 01-07-2014 at 11:32 AM.
01-07-2014, 10:38 AM   #6
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There are a couple of secondary factors you might want to consider as well.

1) Size/weight: I think the Sigma 70-200 is almost twice as long (almost 8" vs about 4") and more than 3x (50 oz vs 16 oz) as heavy as the DA 55-300. Will a lens of that size be comfortable for you to handle? Will you lug it around when you're watching or playing with your grandkids?
2) Cost - this didn't seem to be a factor for you but of course the Sigma is quite a bit more expensive.
01-07-2014, 10:46 AM   #7
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Sigma 70-200 is a beautiful stack of glass. I would recommend it as well... unless you think you need more reach and that's where the 300 will be better!?
01-07-2014, 11:56 AM   #8
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The DA-L 55-300 was used for this shot. It isn't soccer, but works for me.

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01-07-2014, 03:23 PM   #9
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I think experimenting Tv mode and paying attention to the ISO setting is a great way for sports
01-08-2014, 02:45 AM   #10
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Help with K30

Crew 11

Thanks for responding to my inquiry.
I will use your suggestions this coming
weekend at my grandson's ice hockey game.
01-08-2014, 03:08 AM   #11
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Bump the shutter speed up to 1/500 or more when the players and puck are in motion. ie go for sharpness over graininess (which BTW can be addressed in software if you want to get the hang of it).
01-08-2014, 03:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jim Peszek Quote
Crew 11

Thanks for responding to my inquiry.
I will use your suggestions this coming
weekend at my grandson's ice hockey game.
I shoot my daughter's indoor volleyball with everything manually set. There are just too many things that mess up the exposure (overhead lights, high contrast uniforms) to leave it to the camera. Spot or weighted exposure all left varied results. Manual kept things consistent. However, 10 or so test shots were required to get things dialed.
01-08-2014, 09:21 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ziscwg Quote
I shoot my daughter's indoor volleyball with everything manually set. There are just too many things that mess up the exposure (overhead lights, high contrast uniforms) to leave it to the camera. Spot or weighted exposure all left varied results. Manual kept things consistent. However, 10 or so test shots were required to get things dialed.
You will get to learn the court, and then you will know. There is always a learning curve. I was a soccer player at the college level for years, and had been using Pentax for many years, but taking pictures of my daughter's soccer team good enough for the local paper to publish took a while to learn. Once I found out what the exposures would be, I was doing ok.
01-10-2014, 09:26 PM   #14
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Jim,

I have shot some of my son's hockey games, so I may be able to give some useful advice. I prefer action shots, taking photos of the players moving around, skating, shooting. I love trying to get shots of the players moving towards or away from me (like #1, 3, 4 above). This makes it a lot harder due to the horrible lighting in the rinks, though. It's a lot easier to take "static" hockey photos (for example, focus on the goal/net and wait for something to happen there), or to get some shots of a "scrum" along the boards since the players' distance from the camera doesn't change much and you can get consistent focus. But I find these photos uninteresting, and I don't normally take them.

I like to track the hockey players as they skate around (AF-C). It's difficult enough, so you want a fast focusing lens. I have found Sigma lenses with HSM to be about the fastest around. I use a 50-150mm in Pentax mount (I also have a 70-200mm for my Nikon DSLR). I think the 50-150mm is a bit short, so I prefer the 70-200mm. I have no experience with the 60-250mm; when first introduced, SDM had a reputation for being smooth, but slow; from what I've read, however, SDM lenses are faster on the K-3 so the AF algorithm seems to have been improved. But I can recommend the 70-200.

I much prefer the vantage point from the stands; some prefer shooting through the glass, or from the bench. I personally don't like the vantage point of shooting from ice-level. Someone on the other forum said "you get a lot of pictures of the players' backs", which sums it up for me. From the stands, you can see a lot more; however, the net is always there, and it may appear prominently in the photos. Since I'm not selling my photos, I don't care so much about the net as long as it's subtle (you can see it in the last two photos above).

If you prefer ice level, try to shoot from the bench (no glass), or if you shoot through the glass, bring your lens hood and put it against the glass to reduce/eliminate glare.

I think your 55-200mm may be fine for soccer on a bright day, but you definitely need a faster lens for ice hockey.

And another thing - as you know, not only is the lighting usually very dim, but it has a tungsten-like color cast. I set my white balance to tungsten, but I shoot in raw so I can fix it easily.

Good luck!
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