Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-22-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
Site Supporter
HockeyDad's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 474
Another DSLR Newbie

Hello all! First off, let me say thank you to all that have posted responses to the questions on these forums. All of the insights, no matter what the bias, have been invaluable in helping me reach my decision to purchase a K-r. Before you flame me for mentioning bias, I just meant that while even though some reviews or comments showed bias, I balanced those opinions with many others from other forums. I was looking for all things during my research: specs, insights, and opinions. There were also, many many unbiased, hints, tips, and suggestions offered by some very knowledgeable folks... so once again, thank you all!!

Now, a little about me. I started this journey by waking up one recent morning absolutely convinced that I needed a DSLR camera. I enjoy taking snapshots with our various point-n-shoots and even own an old Canon AE-1 (although I haven't used it in over 15 years). I wanted to be able to take better photos of our kids and family vacations etc... So I needed a camera that would be able to get some neat outdoor scenery shots when we go camping/hiking along with something that could keep up with 6 & 10 year old boys playing hockey. When I began my research, it was that last one that threw me for a loop. To read the forums (pretty much everywhere) the consensus opinion is that hockey is hard, if not impossible with kit lenses and the gold standard is a 70-200mm f/2.8. Since, based on budget, it boiled down to a choice of a lens without a camera or a camera kit without the f/2.8, I decided to press on and choose the best camera I could that would fit my budget and might offer me a chance. I chose the K-r because of it's reportedly fast autofocus and superior low light/high ISO performance in the mid-range DSLR arena.

I am extremely excited and cannot wait until my K-r is delivered. I am optimistic that by choosing the K-r kit with the 55-300mm lens, I might be able to pull off some decent shots at 1600 or 3200 ISO by staying in the lower range of the zoom in order to allow a wider aperture. I could be way off on that and if I am, don't tell me now because the money is already spent

I am writing today because I wanted to capture my baseline for any other point-n-shoot folks out there that may be entering DSLR and Hockey into their google searches only to get instant sticker shock. I promise to return with first impressions and sample photos. Hopefully with some critique and advice from these forums, I'll be able to get hockey shots that are better than the "that little fuzzy dot there is my kid" kind of shots you get with point-n-shoots. I'm really not looking for the cover of Sport Illustrated, but perhaps a photo card at the holidays and some shots on the net for family to look at. I doubt many in my situation ever do anything larger than a 5x7 and probably make more mouse mats, photo mugs, and keychains than they do wall posters.

So here we go.... my quest for sub $1000 kids hockey pictures begins! Stay tuned.

03-22-2011, 03:02 PM   #2
Moderator PEG Judges
Kerrowdown's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Highlands of Scotland.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 30,593
Welcome to the forum, good luck with your venture, keep us posted as to how you get over the coming months.
03-24-2011, 12:20 PM   #3
Site Supporter
HockeyDad's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 474
Original Poster
Update:

My K-r arrived yesterday (of course I was at hockey with the boys so I wasn't able to get to it until after they were in bed). After all my careful consideration, I must say that so far I am blown away! I won't get a chance to experiment with hockey shots much in the next two weeks because we are now between fall and spring seasons but I will use the time to take lots of photos and start to learn the camera.

First Impressions:

Coming from a point-n-shoot world I have to say that this camera is awesome! I know experienced DSLR users would reserve that word for cameras costing three times as much but for us newbies, it applies. The menus have TONS of options to play with but there's more than one way to get to what you need. As a software designer, I can appreciate that Pentax spent some effort making the things you need accessible when you need them. Pressing the info button in shooting mode to access all the common settings is just one example. Sure there's a lot there, especially for a new DSLR user, but it seems to have a knack for putting what I need in front of my face before I know what I'm looking for.

Since I've been taking tons of what could only be called snapshots with the K-r so far, I'll say that it does a great job in all the different Auto and Scene modes. Since I've been researching hockey photography, I had some ideas of how to play around with the Manual mode too, and it's so easy to get shots that aren't terrible when you have no real idea what you're doing. I would go so far as to say the camera starts to train the point-n-shoot user with only rudimentary knowledge of things like aperture, exposure and ISO. You'll quickly start to understand their impact.

I do have one important piece of advice so far for folks looking at the K-r: Order the AA adapter and 4 pre-charged AAs with a charger when you order your camera (check the forum for brand recomendations). I say this for two reasons: 1. You know you're gonna get them eventually. and 2. You're gonna want to play with your K-r when you open it... not 2 hours later.

I'm sure as I learn more I may grow more critical, but there's plenty of reviews by experts that cover that ground... for now, IMHO, the Pentax K-r is the greatest thing since sliced bread... strike that... I don't mind slicing bread but since I can't draw what I see, the K-r is better than sliced bread! :-)

I'll be sure to post back photos as soon as we get back to the rink, because the real reason for the purchase is those elusive sub $1000 hockey shots.
03-24-2011, 12:53 PM   #4
Site Supporter
BigDave's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,439
HockeyDad:

I noticed your post and one thing you stated struck me...

QuoteOriginally posted by HockeyDad Quote
I started this journey by waking up one recent morning absolutely convinced that I needed a DSLR camera.
As many of us will attest, this is usually due to mental stress and possible instability. Although never being a Pnt & Sht type of person, I do know that the DSLR will lead you down a road of always needing another/better lens/flash/accessory. We're there for ya guy! I hope you have an understanding wife and family!

Enjoy the camera and the forum! Pictures please!

03-25-2011, 05:17 AM   #5
Forum Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 71
QuoteOriginally posted by BigDave Quote
HockeyDad:

I noticed your post and one thing you stated struck me...



As many of us will attest, this is usually due to mental stress and possible instability. Although never being a Pnt & Sht type of person, I do know that the DSLR will lead you down a road of always needing another/better lens/flash/accessory. We're there for ya guy! I hope you have an understanding wife and family!

Enjoy the camera and the forum! Pictures please!
ain this the truth, lol.

HckyDad, any luck? My main focus is baseball, my equipment I mainly us is my K10D and and 80-320mm f4.5-5.6. I am now being contacted to shoot on contract paid semi-pro hockey (college level/farm system). I am curious to know if you are having difficulty shooting or where most of your research fell. Most of my research leans me towards a brand switch to cannon... will be very expensive for me and something I WANT TO AVOID.
03-25-2011, 06:33 AM   #6
Site Supporter
HockeyDad's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 474
Original Poster
ChallengedOne,

I too found much more information and examples on Cannon/Nikon when it came to hockey. That's kinda why I'm writing this sequence, to offer a different perspective for anyone in my shoes trying to find info. However, 80% of the info I found was from pro photographers. At the risk of stepping on some toes, I think many pros opt for systems with a larger variety of available expensive lenses. I suppose if you're earning a living from your photos, then investing in your business make sense. I, on the other hand, was not prepared to shell out that kind of cash on what BigDave pointed out could very well be an impulsive purchase rooted in my stress-based instability .

So as I really took a look at things like low light noise performance, fps, aperture ranges vs. focal lengths on kit lenses and auto-focus speed, the Pentax started to bubble to the top of the list among the mid-range DSLRs. Things like HD movies, higher Megapixels and lens availability didn't matter as much to me. Besides, the lens everyone says I need is a 70-200mm f/2.8 and Pentax has one. So if I do stick with it, I'll step up and buy that "fast glass" eventually.

So far, I haven't had the chance to shoot hockey. Give me a couple weeks and I'll start posting images and looking for advice. In the meantime, go to a rink and shoot. Most have open skate or better yet "sticks-n-pucks" sessions on the weekends. Con someone you know into skating so you have an excuse to be snapping pics and see what you can get. I have to believe that for the cost of switching systems you should be able to grab a faster lens for your Pentax.
03-25-2011, 12:33 PM   #7
Site Supporter
BigDave's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,439
HD:

What ever lens you have/get, I would invest in a nice UV filter AND a metal lens hood. If hockey pucks are hard on faces, I can't imagine the pain they will cause when they hit your nice new 70-200 f2.8 (most of the pain will be felt in your right hip pocket I assume)!

Regards,
03-25-2011, 09:59 PM   #8
Forum Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 64
Welcome, H-dad! I also suffered from the same one day and, after doing some research, settled on the K-r. I have had it for less than a month and I am really in love with it. I already got a bad case of LBA but my husband is OK with it since he likes my hobby. Please keep us posted on the lens and the pictures!

03-26-2011, 12:49 PM   #9
Forum Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 71
HD:

I will await examples patiently, I have gone to some of their games and once I figured my iso and aperture and wb for the rink. Which I had to adjust frequently due to the florescent light cycles reflections etc.. My 80-320 captured still just fine but any action shots arms legs sticks and pucks were blured. I actualy had one shot where my camera went through the players like they were ghosts. They were there faintly but the backside of the rink, I wish now I would have kept it. F stop for said lense is 4.5-5.6. I am researching the sigma and tamron 70-200mm 2.8's. I thank you for your response and will also share my results with you.
03-27-2011, 06:45 PM   #10
Site Supporter
HockeyDad's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 474
Original Poster
Update:

Well they're not hockey pics but they are at the rink. Took the boys to open skate to start to get a feel for what lies ahead. I must repeat my earlier THANK YOU!! to everyone that posted advice to other previously. I feel I was able to jump in with a slight head start on little things like expecting the white balance to be different when shooting through the glass as opposed to shooting from the bench. I took a ridiculous amount of shots and learned a lot. I am extremely optimistic that I will be able to get many photos that meet my standards of better than point-n-shoot, general use, not the cover of a magazine style photos. I say this without much to show yet because a lot of was unusable. However, it's after contrasting what went wrong in the unusable vs. what went right in some of the nice shots that makes me think I have a chance. It seems that if I keep a sharp eye on the aperture in the viewfinder and stay @ f/4 or below, the results are ok. Using the 55-300mm kit lens that let's me shoot the width of the rink but not as close in where the goalies would be. More to come when I have actual hockey shots.

In the meantime, I did have a couple shots that illustrate the difference the glass makes. It's funny, you never notice how "blue" the glass is until you're really looking at it. Also, the glass at our rink is a mess... you'd be lucky to find a 12" square without a puck mark or something on it. So what follows are 4 shots. Resized to 1024x680. The first two are from the bench (no glass) and the second two are through the glass, smudges and all. I welcome your input. These aren't my best from the day, but they are all of my 6 year old, in motion, at realistic distances for a dad taking "snaps" during a game.

Also, if anyone cares, there's some other stuff here that shows what a newbie can do with zero SLR experience and K-r: Flickr: HockeyDad77's Photostream. I love this camera!
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-r  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-r  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-r  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-r  Photo 
03-27-2011, 07:12 PM   #11
Forum Member




Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 71
The last two are through glass and dirty glass at that???? Just to clarify the Shots with his back turned and one where he is coming at the camera are through glass? Maybe I don't see it on my iPhone but... Can't tell in fact they look crisper than the first two. Other than that I won't critique because I am on my phone.
03-27-2011, 07:54 PM   #12
Site Supporter
HockeyDad's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 474
Original Poster
Yes, those last two are through the glass. In the 3rd one you can definitely see the little blurs where there's puck marks on the glass. Maybe not on your phone but it's there. In fact, if you look at the boards and the uprights between the panes of glass in the shots from the bench, you'll get an idea of how marked up the glass is. I think the only way the glass gets cleaned is when someone is checked into it.

I see what you mean about them appearing sharper though. The one with his back turned he's coming to a stop and you can even see some "snow" trailing behind his front skate. He was also furthest away in the 1st shot (without glass but clear across the ice).

Last edited by HockeyDad; 03-27-2011 at 08:41 PM.
03-27-2011, 08:41 PM   #13
Forum Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Diego, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 64
Wow! Thank you for posting them! I think you did well!
03-28-2011, 02:12 AM   #14
Loyal Site Supporter
RichardS's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Nelson Bay, NSW, Australia
Posts: 2,051
Smart choice of team, BTW

Richard.
03-28-2011, 10:49 AM   #15
Arn
Loyal Site Supporter
Arn's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Vancouver
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,595
Hi, Hockeydad. Those are nice shots. I haven't used my 55-300 for any action shots, just landscapes. Glad to see it work that well.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bias, camera, dslr, f/2.8, forums, hockey, k-r, kit, lens, shots
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hi from Melbourne, newbie to DSLR terrimac Welcomes and Introductions 8 07-29-2010 07:51 PM
Just a newbie to DSLR S7umpy Welcomes and Introductions 3 12-26-2009 03:55 AM
DSLR Newbie Nostar Welcomes and Introductions 3 08-28-2009 11:19 AM
DSLR newbie with GX10 grunty Welcomes and Introductions 5 08-11-2009 11:28 AM
DSLR Newbie Needs Help (K100D Super) PortieOwner Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 18 06-03-2009 01:26 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:52 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top