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02-04-2014, 11:51 AM   #1
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K-3 focus tracking

Hi all,

I do lots of pet photography and even make some money doing so. I was hired by a client to photograph her 2 - 3.5 year old Boxers. Boxers are very high energy dogs and I know the client whats lots of fun goofy pics of her dogs running. I currently shoot with a K-5 classic. In the past I have gotten by using this for dog photo shoots, but I am worried the K-5 autofocus wont be able to keep up with these dogs.

I am considering buying the K-3 but the shoot is 3 weeks away, so I imagine there would be a learning curve. My plan was to buy the K-3 later in the year when the price goes down. How much better is the K-3 over the K-5 when it comes to autofocus and tracking. I would like someone that has used both to share their real world expericence.

Thanks so much.

Deb
Check out my website at Yellow Mutt Pet Photography - Cat and Dog Photographer in Seattle

02-04-2014, 11:54 AM   #2
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The K-3 is a deal more sophisticated than the K-5. I wouldn't call the difference night and day, but the leap is comparable to what you'd get going from the K-5 to the K-7.

The two most significant improvements in my opinion are (a) the faster screwdrive motor, which improves AF speed with screwdrive lenses and (b) the improved live view autofocus which is even better than what's in the K-30/K-50. For tracking you get more focus points but I think the other improvements are more important.

Adam
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02-04-2014, 12:13 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The K-3 is a deal more sophisticated than the K-5. I wouldn't call the difference night and day, but the leap is comparable to what you'd get going from the K-5 to the K-7.

The two most significant improvements in my opinion are (a) the faster screwdrive motor, which improves AF speed with screwdrive lenses and (b) the improved live view autofocus which is even better than what's in the K-30/K-50. For tracking you get more focus points but I think the other improvements are more important.
Thanks for the reply Adam. The lens I would be using most is the DA* 50-135mm 2.8 which is not a screw drive of course. I do have the FA 77mm 1.8 but dont think that would be long enough.
02-04-2014, 12:37 PM   #4
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The DA* 50-135, while a great lens optically, is not the ideal lens for action photography as the SDM is quite slow, even on the K3.

Dale

02-04-2014, 12:45 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by DDoram Quote
The DA* 50-135, while a great lens optically, is not the ideal lens for action photography as the SDM is quite slow, even on the K3.

Dale
Then what lens would you suggest?
02-04-2014, 01:25 PM   #6
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Pentax smc Pentax-DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 ED SDM Lens
Pentax SMCP-DA* 300mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM Autofocus Lens
Pentax Zoom Telephoto 60-250mm f/4 ED DA* SDM

K-3 has a new, much faster processing engine-that is the big diference !!!!!!!!!!!!
practicaly k-3 is wery similar to canon 6d,canon70d.
it is essencial to upgrade for sport photography
02-04-2014, 06:20 PM   #7
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scratchpaddy has had great results by using a wide angle. Here is a thread where some pictures are posted by scratchpaddy. They are quite impressive in my opinion.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/250011-pets-super-wide-fun.html
02-04-2014, 07:00 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by j2photos Quote
scratchpaddy has had great results by using a wide angle. Here is a thread where some pictures are posted by scratchpaddy. They are quite impressive in my opinion.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/250011-pets-super-wide-fun.html
Those are fun pics, thanks for sharing. I have the DA* 16-50mm 2.8 for wide angle, and the FA 31mm 1.8

02-04-2014, 07:02 PM   #9
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If I had to choose I would be all over using that FA 31. Like the others stated the DA* lenses are not the best performers when it comes to fast focus.
02-04-2014, 07:44 PM   #10
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Also look at Sigma's HSM lenses. E.g., the 70-200. Too bad they haven't released the latest version for Pentax..
02-04-2014, 07:46 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SashasMom Quote
Hi all,

I do lots of pet photography and even make some money doing so. I was hired by a client to photograph her 2 - 3.5 year old Boxers. Boxers are very high energy dogs and I know the client whats lots of fun goofy pics of her dogs running. I currently shoot with a K-5 classic. In the past I have gotten by using this for dog photo shoots, but I am worried the K-5 autofocus wont be able to keep up with these dogs.

I am considering buying the K-3 but the shoot is 3 weeks away, so I imagine there would be a learning curve. My plan was to buy the K-3 later in the year when the price goes down. How much better is the K-3 over the K-5 when it comes to autofocus and tracking. I would like someone that has used both to share their real world expericence.

Thanks so much.

Deb
Check out my website at Yellow Mutt Pet Photography - Cat and Dog Photographer in Seattle
Nice work, SashasMom - I really like the way you've captured the action (and pleasure) that dogs feel when romping outside.

I've just started experimenting with photography in the past year (as an amateur), but pets (and other animals) are my favourite subjects.

frogoutofwater
02-04-2014, 08:18 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by frogoutofwater Quote
Nice work, SashasMom - I really like the way you've captured the action (and pleasure) that dogs feel when romping outside.

I've just started experimenting with photography in the past year (as an amateur), but pets (and other animals) are my favourite subjects.

frogoutofwater

Thank you very much. Pets are definitely not easy, but super fun and when you nail a shot, there is nothing like it.
02-04-2014, 11:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SashasMom Quote
Then what lens would you suggest?
I've heard the FA77 is pretty fast (I sold mine before AF speed was a priority for me). I'd try it unless you want to invest in more glass.


I use the FA*85, FA135, and F*300. My DA*50-135 is a great lens, but the AF speed is way too slow for many action shots.

These lenses show a noticeable improvement on the K-5 IIs compared to the K-5. From what I've read the K-3 gives even more of an improvement.
02-04-2014, 11:44 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Also look at Sigma's HSM lenses. E.g., the 70-200. Too bad they haven't released the latest version for Pentax..
Are you sure about this? It's a regular topic on the forum that the latest version is available for Pentax, and it's better in AF performance than the older versions. In fact, the general consensus is it's the fastest focusing zoom anywhere near this zoom range.

Unless there's some more recent version I'm unaware of, this is it:

Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG APO OS HSM for Pentax 589109 B&H
02-05-2014, 12:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Also look at Sigma's HSM lenses. E.g., the 70-200. Too bad they haven't released the latest version for Pentax..
Really ? they have in my world.
Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Lens - Pentax Fit - SPECIAL! - Only 749.00 - SRS Microsystems

As to HSM/SDM and Screw

Screwdrive is in general a total waste of time for Sport shorting the screw latency reduces tracking ability below both SDM and HSM for all but the most 'sport' tuned glass are better.

As to HSM Vs SDM in sports optics

The da* 300 SDM is about 2x faster than the Sigma 70-200 HSM but the Pentax has about 3X more turns end to end

The results of this is the da*300 is better at tracking slow to medium targets (walking to cycling) at medium distance, But the SIgma is more assured for faster targets or close in work.

For non tracking sports where you flicking target to target (beach volley ball , Football ,Hockey etc) the Sigma is superior being able to swing end to end in around 1sec compared to about 1.5 for the da* 300

I've seen no issue with either lens re-focus accuracy both are superb and very sharp.

On a separate note the Sigma OS is about a stop better @200mm but in-body is superior @70mm. Also Sigma's mode 2 (panning) OS adds another option for shooting in non-ideal conditions that in-body doesn't offer.
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