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10-17-2016, 06:01 AM   #1
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Indoor sports: upgrade to K-70 or new lens?

The general subject of photographing indoor sports with a DSLR has been covered extensively in this forum.

However, I have a specific question : I'm the happy owner of a K-50 with about 30K shutter count. I've taken photos of my son's indoor soccer match this weekend with a 50mm 1.8 and my trusty Tamron 17-50/2.8...but I'm pretty unhappy with the results. I also have a Tamron 70-300 that is just too dark for the purpose with a K-50.

Should I upgrade to a K-70 and keep my lens or get a brighter telephoto like the Tamron 70-200 2.8?

Thanks,

10-17-2016, 06:07 AM   #2
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What is the shot coming of your set at this point? That might give you the answer to where to go.
10-17-2016, 07:19 AM   #3
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Well, with my current set, I need to crank up the ISO at more than 6400 to get acceptable speed for indoor soccer (at least 1/500, ideally 1/1000 because these kids move really fast). I then get grainy and blurry shots.

Can a K-70 owner tell me if the high ISO capabilities of the sensor can compensate for a slower lens? For instance keep my Tamron 70-300 and get good results with f/5.6 and 1/1000 at ISO 12800+?

Thanks,
10-17-2016, 08:04 AM   #4
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Are you upping the ISO to 6400 with which lens, the DA 50 1.8 or the 70-300?

The Tamron 70-300 just isn't built for this kind of application, I would get the Tammy 70-200 instead of upgrading the K50 if that is your issue. The 50 1.8 should work fine (in its focal length of course).


Last edited by ChristianRock; 10-17-2016 at 08:18 AM.
10-17-2016, 09:25 AM   #5
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In the past I've shot indoor soccer with a K-3. I used a DA 70mm at f2.4 & a FA 50mm at f1.8. If I recall correctly I was at ISO 6400. That worked OK.. My issue was the tracking AF capability of the K-3. But that was years ago and I assume that the newer K-70 has both better AF and better ISO performance.
I would never dream of using the Tamron 70-300mm for outdoor team sports let alone indoor soccer which is not easy to shoot. For indoor I try to shoot from the coaching box and find that 50-85mm is the right focal range. The only zoom that ever served me well for indoor was a Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS on my 5D Mk3.

M
10-17-2016, 11:18 AM   #6
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A couple of 50-150 Sigmas have shown in the Marketplace, that would be a fine option unless you're at the farthest end of the gymnasium.
10-17-2016, 12:24 PM   #7
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Basicly you need both. K-70 and the 70-200.
10-17-2016, 12:53 PM   #8
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Sounds like he needs a 5Dmk3 and a canon 70-200, as that's all that we know will work. I'm a little surprised no one has ever done this with Pentax gear. It would seem like a pretty common application.

QuoteQuote:
My issue was the tracking AF capability of the K-3.

Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/193-pentax-k-70/331964-indoor-sports-upgr...#ixzz4NNGKS0ZV
What settings were you using?

10-17-2016, 01:17 PM   #9
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Using DXO labs OpticsPro software with it's Prime DeNoising made a huge difference in mitigating high ISO graininess with my old K30. I would recommend downloading the 30 day evaluation to see if it helps. Much cheaper than a new camera or lens.
My K-70 handles high ISO noise better than the k30 but it's not miraculous. In particular, the graininess is there but the colours remain true. However, the lack of AA filter and increased resolution mean it's much more 'cropable' if you are looking for web images or small prints. If so, you could get away with a shorter, faster prime such as a 70/2.4 or 100/2.8.
10-17-2016, 01:26 PM   #10
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The issue isn't just that the 70-300 is slow... It also focuses slowly and hunts more than Elmer Fudd during rabbit season.
So I would suggest starting with the lens.
10-17-2016, 02:16 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dminstrel Quote
Well, with my current set, I need to crank up the ISO at more than 6400 to get acceptable speed for indoor soccer (at least 1/500, ideally 1/1000 because these kids move really fast). I then get grainy and blurry shots.

Can a K-70 owner tell me if the high ISO capabilities of the sensor can compensate for a slower lens? For instance keep my Tamron 70-300 and get good results with f/5.6 and 1/1000 at ISO 12800+?

Thanks,
The K-70 will exhibit lower noise and the AF is more sensitive in low light. That said, I'm not sure how much better it would be with a slow screwdrive lens. A little, for sure, thanks to the faster AF motor, but if you really want to see a benefit, I'd also grab the 55-300mm PLM, or the Tamron if it's within reach.

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10-17-2016, 02:41 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dminstrel Quote
For instance keep my Tamron 70-300 and get good results with f/5.6 and 1/1000 at ISO 12800+?
You can get an extra stop of light (so ISO 6400) by setting your shutter to 1/500. Actually, you could go to 1/250 and ISO 3200, no one runs that fast with a ball and frankly, pictures of players running by themselves without the ball aren't that interesting and if their feet are blurry, but their jerseys are sharp, no one will complain. The problem is timing your shot and getting the good parts in focus. To keep a player in focus you need to pan with the player, which is another reason why you don't need such fast shutter speeds. F5.6 isn't a bad thing, either. The deeper DOF compared to a faster lens means that getting the right parts in focus isn't as critical.

Photo below was taken at 1/160 sec. with a manual focus 70-210mm lens at ISO 8000 on my K-30.

10-17-2016, 02:58 PM   #13
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Indoor venues are very dark, Dminstrel, and in indoor soccer the players are very close to your lens so freezing motion is much harder than the football pic above.

You already have an f2.8 lens and a good camera. Keep the shutter speed high, shoot in RAW, crank up the ISO, process in B&W where necessary if there's too much grain, and just accept it ... your shots will *never* be as good as if your son played outdoor soccer. :-)
10-17-2016, 03:37 PM   #14
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I should add that I don't recommend trying to take pictures for the entire match. I was a very intense parent spectator and there isn't time to adjust zoom, track players in the viewfinder and follow the game. If you want to know how well your son is playing, you have to put the camera down. The other problem is that not only do you have to anticipate the play quick enough to frame your shot and push the shutter button before the moment is over, but you can't tell the other players to move so they don't block your view of your son. Is your son a forward, defender or keeper? Depending on his role, he will be expected to be in the same general location most of the time. Putting yourself in a location that allows you an unobstructed view of your son (or at least his face) when the play comes to him will give you a head start on setting focal length and timing your pictures. Based on pictures of high school basketball games taken by students and teachers with a 5D and me with the DA 18-135, getting almost all of the pictures in focus compared to maybe 25% isn't that much of an advantage when no one can figure out who was involved or what was happening a week later, because of poorly composed pictures.
10-17-2016, 06:07 PM   #15
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First, thanks all for the detailed answers. I agree with the previous poster that you gotta put the camera down sometimes and enjoy the game. However, getting a few good shots of my son's games are priceless memories.

I need to add that the way the indoor stadiums are setup here, it's impossible to go on the sidelines. It's bleachers only. So my Tammy 17-50 lacks reach. I also have the 18-135 WR in my collection, but didn't even try it as I thought it's not bright enough.

The new HD 55-300 PLM seems intriguing (and is a lot cheaper than a 70-200 2.8). This means a body upgrade because of KAF4. Not many reviews online of this lens as it's so new.

Budget-wise, there's not that big a difference between a new Tammy 70-200 2.8 (keeping my K-50) and a K-70 + 55-300 PLM combo.

What do you guys think?
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