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04-18-2015, 05:54 AM   #1
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Panning action shots - SR off?

So I'm on a quest to get a sharp photo of my dog running at full tilt, at 1/500 or faster shutter speed. This often involves panning shots with a telephoto lens as I'm tracking him strafing by me at a dog park. I was wondering whether I should try turning off SR for these shots as the camera might try to "fight" the panning motion, plus at such shutter speeds the SR probably isn't doing that much. Thoughts?

Photo from last night - I think that a higher shutter speed would have helped here, but I've found that even with a high shutter speed, sometimes the images come out a little fuzzy.


04-18-2015, 05:59 AM   #2
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Yes, it is best to have SR turned off for panning shots and also try using AF-C continuous mode for focus.
04-18-2015, 06:57 AM   #3
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I've also considered using this mysterious "catch in focus" feature mentioned in the manual. I just tried it now in my back yard. Turned on the feature in the camera menu, set the AF mode to manual, I couldn't get the camera to take a photo without using the shutter button. This was with an auto focus capable lens... what setting am I missing?
04-18-2015, 07:02 AM   #4
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I think the "catch mode" only works with manual lenses. Maybe I'm wrong.

04-18-2015, 07:05 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by acoufap Quote
I think the "catch mode" only works with manual lenses. Maybe I'm wrong.
Was just doing a little more reading - looks to be the case.
04-18-2015, 07:28 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by acoufap Quote
I think the "catch mode" only works with manual lenses. Maybe I'm wrong.
I think you are wrong. It is more complicated than that.

For CiF to work, some prerequisites need to be met.
-You need to choose the right camera AF mode in the Info menu (depends on camera, check manual. AF.S, AF.C, AF.A, not all three work with CiF). A problem is if you use a manual lens and the camera doesn't let you choose the AF mode you want (the box is greyed out). So make sure you chose the right AF mode while you have a regular AF lens mounted. This is basically a mistake that Pentax never figured out. They expect you to use modern lenses and regular AF
-The camera AF/MF button has to be set to AF.
-The lens has to have a mount that shorts the AF contacts (so older plastic lenses, lenses/adapters with painted non-conducting mounts, or adapted lenses that are too narrow to cover the contacts won't work)
-The lens' AF/MF button needs to be set to MF! This is the big one. Most modern lenses don't have an AF/MF switch, so you can't choose MF, its always in AF, and so CiF won't work. This is why the DA kit lenses, DA 35mm and similar won't let you use CiF.

From here comes the confusion that CiF only works with manual lenses. They are preferred - they are always in MF mode and people actually would like some type of AF. And the lenses usually have a big enough metal mount to short the contacts. Modern Samyang primes work as well, as should any Pentax, Sigma lenses with AF/MF switch on them. One other weakness of CiF are ultra wide lenses (like Samyang 14mm) because the DoF tricks the camera to think things are in focus. With those lenses, CiF only works for really close subjects. And really slow lenses (with minimum aperture of 5.6 and higher) might be problematic as well

Once you have those settings and everything, you need to hold the shutter button for the whole duration. You hold the shutter button, but the camera won't actually take a shot until focus is confirmed in the centre AF point. This can happen if something walks into frame or if you twist the focus ring until something becomes in-focus. You can couple this with burst mode.

OH, and regarding SR and panning - yes, SR should be turned off. Feel free to use burst mode and AF.C to maximize your chances. Often for panning a relatively slow shutter speed is used to blur the background more, but with a fast moving subject you might want a fast shutter speed to freeze its movement. With a fast shutter speed, you don't need SR anyway. I generally only turn on SR when taking photos with a slow shutter speed. Otherwise, it can't really help much anyway, but it can cause problems. Good luck, and that photo you posted seems to be on the right track. Panning takes practice and usually works best if the subject is moving parallel to you, not running towards you

Last edited by Na Horuk; 04-18-2015 at 08:46 AM.
04-18-2015, 07:32 AM   #7
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I did some shots at 1/1000s with the SR on and I was not so pleased. I am thinking to turn if off when I have enough light. For 1/20s maybe is very useful.
By the way...I don't know how to set the camera to AFS to use CIF when using manual lenses (camera in Manual mode).
04-18-2015, 07:38 AM   #8
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SR is for slow shutter speeds.................catch in focus 'mysterious' I like that!! haven't tried it and I shall now

04-18-2015, 10:15 AM   #9
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This is exactly why I want a SR on/off button when shooting sports.
04-18-2015, 10:39 AM   #10
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SR shuts off automatically during panning.
04-18-2015, 10:48 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
SR shuts off automatically during panning.
Firstly I haven't seen Pentax claim their SR "detects panning".
Secondly I've never been successful panning with SR done. How would it know the difference between a sudden short pan and a jerky shake?
04-18-2015, 12:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Firstly I haven't seen Pentax claim their SR "detects panning".
Secondly I've never been successful panning with SR done. How would it know the difference between a sudden short pan and a jerky shake?
Well, the IS indicator in the viewfinder (on my K-3) turns off when I'm panning. This is not revolutionary technology. Olympus has used it for years and in fact on Olys it can be selected for only shutting off horizontal IS if panning horizontally, etc.
04-18-2015, 12:23 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Well, the IS indicator in the viewfinder (on my K-3) turns off when I'm panning. This is not revolutionary technology. Olympus has used it for years and in fact on Olys it can be selected for only shutting off horizontal IS if panning horizontally, etc.
Yes, but Pentax got a very unsophisticated approach to it with zero options for the SR.
My K-5's are way too stupid to guarantee that the SR don't counteract panning when shooting sports. Maybe it works for more static subjects like race cars but no when it comes to more sudden panning opportunities as with icehockey.
04-18-2015, 12:47 PM   #14
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Pentax bodies previous to the K-3 allow SR when panning. The K-3 shuts it down. Some people are annoyed by this, but I prefer it. It has been my experience that SR causes blur when panning. A down side to the camera shutting SR off, is that it can also spool up again while you're shooting, guaranteeing a blurry image.

I have User1 Mode set up for action shooting; TAv mode, AF-C, hi-speed burst, expandable center-point, AF Hold, SR off. There's no way CIF can shoot an extended sequence like these settings can.
04-18-2015, 01:18 PM   #15
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I would love a switch that said:
SR A (auto)
SR H (horizontal panning)
SR V (Vertical panning)
SR Off
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