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09-20-2015, 04:18 PM   #1
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Pentax K3 lenses

Dear everyone,

My first thread here in the pentax forum. I have been reading and following few threads in this forum and everyones response, suggestions and advice has been very genuine and hence I thought I could get some advice for me.

Just a short intro about me...

I am a beginner when it comes to DSLR photography but I always wanted to learn and enjoy. Sadly I didnt put enough efforts into it. Day before yesterday was my birthday and my girlfriend suddenly told me that she was buying me a DSLR camera and she fixed her mind on the Canon 70D. When it comes to buying things especially technology I always do a lot of research and thats when I came across Pentax K3. I found pentax K3 to be a better option than Canon 70D and hence the next day we bought a Pentax K3...Im so happy that I finally have a DSLR in my hands. It came with a kit lens 18-55mm WR.

I now would like to add a good lens to this. My girlfriend does play a lot of badmintion tournaments and hence would be pleased and benefitted if you guys could advice me on buying a good lens for sports photography.

I am bit tight on budget at the moment and hence can't afford very expensive lenses. I was initially thinking of buying a prime lens Pentax 50mm f/1.8 SMC DA Lens and Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1:2 for Pentax (A17). I have a budget of 200 and I can get these both within that. But is this a good buy or should I invest 200 in a single better lens? Hope you guys could kindly advice me. I dont mind buying second lenses too.

I would mainly shoot sports (badminton) and wildlife (birds, squirrels, pets) etc. I do also like macro.

any advice would be much appreciated.

Many thanks

Tikku

09-20-2015, 05:02 PM   #2
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What distance will you be from the action in general.
What is the lighting - indoor/outdoor?
09-20-2015, 05:16 PM   #3
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If the lighting is decent, an f/4 or slower lens should work fine. I shoot photos in a gym with my HD DA 55-300 f/4-5.8, at ISO 1600, and shutter speeds of about 1/400th or 1/500th.
Perhaps invest in the HD DA 55-300, skip the 50 1.8 for the moment? You could get an M 50 1.7 for relatively inexpensive, if you just want something that is fast but don't mind loosing AF.
09-20-2015, 05:58 PM   #4
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I do lots of events, I would suggest getting a short-medium range focal length, 43 or 55... but you need a fast lens (f2 or better), especially for indoor courts where you can get close to the action. Shutter speed is important to get clean shots, you can use TAv or manual mode on the camera. Therefore, I would recommend that you check out 43/f1.8 or 55f1.4.

09-20-2015, 10:51 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imp Quote
If the lighting is decent, an f/4 or slower lens should work fine. I shoot photos in a gym with my HD DA 55-300 f/4-5.8, at ISO 1600, and shutter speeds of about 1/400th or 1/500th.
Perhaps invest in the HD DA 55-300, skip the 50 1.8 for the moment? You could get an M 50 1.7 for relatively inexpensive, if you just want something that is fast but don't mind loosing AF.
Don't you think that the outdated focusing motor on the DA 55-300 HD is a bit challenging for indoor sports shooting? Seems to me that frustration would come pretty quickly with that option...
In fact, does Pentax even have an inexpensive budget option for the OP's objective? Perhaps the pixel count and cropping potential of the K3 would indeed allow the DA 50 1,8 to do the job depending on how close he can get to the action.
09-20-2015, 11:04 PM   #6
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I reckon the DA50/1.8 would be a great choice. Fast aperture, sharp, a useful focal length if you can get reasonably close, and pretty quick focussing. The DA55-300 might be a bit slow (both aperture and focus) for indoor sports.

So I think your original plan is pretty sound!
09-21-2015, 02:02 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Therefore, I would recommend that you check out 43/f1.8 or 55f1.4
Er, on the OP's budget of 200 quid?

Agree with the idea to get the DA50 F1.8, as this would add an inexpensive yet quite capable prime lens to your kit. Which would double as a portrait lens for shots of your girlfriend and who knows. (Consider her for marriage, sympathetic to your photo hobby as she is. ) Be prepared for some noise from the screwdrive AF, but optically it should be way above your kit lens.

The smc DA55-300mm F4-5.8 would be a nicer follow-up lens than the Tamron you had in mind, I'd say: lacks the new HD coatings and WR of the HD version, but still has better coatings, IQ at the long end, and build quality than the Tamron, although that comes at a slight premium. Also, I get the impression that some of the early HDs were IQ-wise less consistent than their tried smc cousins (sample variation?). It is not so much a sports lens, but in good light you should be pretty pleased with it. As far as AF speed is concerned, I don't see why the Tamron should be faster, given that both are screw-driven.
09-21-2015, 02:19 AM   #8
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my first upgrade to the Pentax kit lens was Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 DC Macro non HSM, had three of them, now just one next to the Contemporary version,
great performer and you could get it used for under $200

09-21-2015, 04:26 AM   #9
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Hello everyone

Just woke up to see all your wonderful responses and advice.

Unclewanya - The distance would be normally a 20ft from action and the lighting is not that great indoors unless we get to go high end tournaments where its quite good.

Imp - I did think about the DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR Lens but its just little more than my budget. It comes around 320. Also I couldn't find the M 50mm 1.7. I dont mind manual focussing. i tried both in amazon and ebay :-(

aleonx3 - 43/f1.8 or 55f1.4..great lenses but may be in the future mate. They are definitely in my wish lists including this Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM ;-).

David Paris, Sandy Hancock - Thanks for your advice guys. Thats exactly what I thought too.

Madaboutpix - Thanks for your advice and yes we are getting married next year ;-) and thanks for suggesting smc DA55-300mm F4-5.8. I just found one on ebay for 180. Is that a good deal? its a used one though but seems to be in good condition.

i-trax - thanks for your input. Finding some good reviews here Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database. Will look into it. Thanks


So, what I get so far is that its better to go with the Pentax 50mm f/1.8 SMC DA Lens first and then the follow up lens should be the DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8. The other follow-up lens i thought was the Pentax smc DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED WR Zoom Lens. it hasn't got the range but still within my budget. please let me know if that would be a good addition to the prime lens before i get the DA 55-300mm f/4.0-5.8.
I will take your advice guys thanks very much for all your time and inputs.

many thanks

Tikku
09-21-2015, 05:46 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Imp Quote
You could get an M 50 1.7 for relatively inexpensive
Thanks Imp..I just found one from ebay and is only 39.
09-21-2015, 05:48 AM   #11
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Tikku, at those distances you can get great shots with the 50 f1.8, I'm not sure if the 55-300 is needed in that type of situation. I own the older F 50 f1.7 and I have used it from much father away to shoot dance performances with great success. You may have to shoot a while before you learn if the 55-300 is even a future need. The DA* 50-135 is another lens I might have suggested for the future but it is expensive and slow to focus. Honestly the FA 77 f1.8 might be what you find you want if you need to be "closer" or an FA 31 f1.8 if you need to be farther. These are both quite expensive relative to your budget.
The one screaming downside to all of these fast lenses is narrow depth of field. As you take shots you may find that freezing the action and getting adequate depth of field requires high ISO and a higher f/stop than the f1.8 wide open setting - try some shots and then report back with pictures.
09-21-2015, 05:54 AM   #12
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If you are that close I would consider the DA35/2.4 to compliment the DA50/1.8. It's cheap, pretty fast and also gives excellent IQ.
09-21-2015, 06:09 AM   #13
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Tikku,

while your plan of going with the 50/1.8 first and then switching to a longer zoom is quite good, let me still give you some more advice

If you buy the 50mm 1.8, keep in mind that it is a prime and you won't be able to zoom. Especially for beginners, this can be frustrating. Pros use prime lenses to get the last bit of sharpness and they usually carry a collection of primes of different focal length.
As a beginner, sharpness should not be your primary concern - ease of use should be. You now own the best APSC DSLR currently the market (according to DPReview), the learning curve will be quite steep. By the way, you should maybe stick to AF lenses, especially for sports manual focus can be overwhelming when you still struggle with the rest.
Next pitfall is the fastness of your 50mm 1.8. As a beginner, you will be tempted to shoot wide open - however, the faster the lens is, the more complicated it becomes to get a sharp picture for both you and your camera This can be the cause for a lot of frustration.
So, if you buy the 50mm, keep in mind that you will need a lot of practise and inside knowledge of your camera to get sharp pictures. Best beginner's advice is to switch to the center AF point (or center 9) and never use f1.8, better to go to something like f2.8ish.

My advice for you would be the Tamron AF 28-75mm 2,8 XR. It's fast enough and it gives you a little bit more reach. I also think it's more forgiving to a beginner since it's a bit slower and (in my opinion) has more reliable AF than the 50mm.
If you're lucky, you can get one for around 200 pounds
You can sell the kit lens on ebay after you got a good copy of the tamron.
You may want to wait with the fast primes until after you have some experience and really need that extra sharpness and speed for your creativity, but that's just my 2 cents.

Yes, and the thing that sucks most about photography as a hobby is that the biggest money sink are not the cameras, but the lenses. Better get used to that

Anyways, wish you all the best for your future hobby, you have a great camera, there's no such thing as a "bad" lens and whatever decision you take, it can't be a wrong one
09-21-2015, 06:13 AM   #14
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If you are considering lenses other than your new M50/1.7, go out and shoot one of her games (or a 'scratch' game at practice) with your kit zoom, crank the ISO as high as necessary, or go to TAv mode and let the camera handle it while you pick shutter and aperture as needed. Don't worry about image quality (or at least graininess/high ISO "noise") for the time being; just concentrate on composition. See if you run out of room at the "long" end (i.e. do you really need more zoom?), and what focal lengths (and ISO if you use TAv mode) you end up taking the compositionally best "keepers" at. That will give you a guide as to what to buy next.

At that range you could consider flash if you are allowed to use it (given the potential for distraction, you probably won't be, though).
09-21-2015, 06:59 AM   #15
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Great advice in these other posts. Particularly the advice to shoot a game on scary high ISO and see what focal length your framing required and if you bump up against the top of the zoom range.
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