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07-06-2010, 04:01 PM   #1
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Greater reach than 200m for motorsports?

First post, hope this is the right section.

The main reason I bought my K-x was to shoot motorsports photograghy. So far I've used it for almost everything but. On the one occasion I did use it I found that my current zoom(the kit 50-200mm) lacks the reach I was looking for. Now I'm currently eyeing the DA/DA L 55-300mm(~$300) lenses and wanted to know if there are any other/better options in the $400 or less range.

Example:
Porsche

Not a great photo but one of the better shots I took that day. Camera was hand held, range was ~275ft, overcast sky.

07-06-2010, 05:21 PM   #2
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As you'll see if you browse the scores of previous threads on the subject of telephoto lenses, you can get cheaper, but you can't get better for the money.

Note while 300mm is longer than 200mm, it's only 1.5 times as long. Realistically, with or without that lens, you'll be wanting to get closer.
07-06-2010, 06:30 PM   #3
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300mm seems to be a good sweet spot for Motorsports. These are shot on my K200D with an old manual 75-300mm no name zoom lens I've had since my ME Super days. I would expect the DA 55-300mm to do better. One tip! For motorsports turn off SR. You'll get much better pictures. Panning and SR do not play well together.






Last edited by kkoether; 07-06-2010 at 06:40 PM. Reason: Changed first picture
07-06-2010, 06:36 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forums bjoneskx!
One way around your problem is getting a TC (teleconverter).
See if a 200mm via a 1.5X or 1.7X TC would be for the zoom you are looking for.
With a 1.5X TC, that would be 300mm or try to borrow one so you can test whether 300mm would be enough.
If that shows that it won't be enough then there is no use buying a 300mm glass.
If you can borrow a mirror lens..say around 500mm then try that one too and see if that reach is enough.
The higher you go on the magnification though, the higher would be the price for the lens (if you buy them), not unless you use the mirror kind.
In any case, it would also be worthy to invest in a TC if you are shooting in good light conditions.
This is the cheapest way to go.
I would not go as far as 2X TC's though as it would degrade your image.

07-06-2010, 06:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome and the helpful information. I hadn't thought of a TC before, I'll have to give that a shot. Also I apologize for the redundant thread, I had done a title search for motorsports and not much had popped up.
07-06-2010, 06:57 PM   #6
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Here is a thread/club about mirror lenses: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/71775-mirror-lens-club.html

With regards to TCs, there had been threads here too that pits one against the other like the Tamron 1.5X and the Pentax 1.7X and the Promaster 1.7X.
You might want to do a search of that too!
07-06-2010, 06:59 PM   #7
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I had great luck with the 55-300 at a recent drag race. 300mph at night and this is the result with the K-x. You can't beat it for the money. The K-x high Iso performance lets you stop down a bit for extra sharpness. I had great luck with this inexpensive combination. I'm constantly impressed by the K-x/55-300 combo.



And one during the daytime..

07-07-2010, 08:23 AM   #8
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..or if you want, just be like the guys in Vaughn's photos with the numbered vests (2, 45, 52) and just take photos near the track..one mistake of the driver and they are toast!
Specially the one on the first photo with I think number "20" vest who is leaning against the railing to get his hot..haha..dangerous!

07-07-2010, 09:03 AM   #9
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I don't think there exists a TC that would produce better results with the DA50-200 than you'd get by simply cropping. Of course, if you're not looking to make *super* large prints, there's your cheapest option right there. You've got over 12MP to play with. You could crop it to the equivalent of a 300mm FOV and still have around 6MP left. That's enough for great prints at 11x14". And if you're not printing that big - or are only viewing on screen - you aren't using all the resolution youve got anyhow.

But indeed, the DA55-300 would be better still if you've got the money to spend. You'd be able to print uncropped images at 11x14" with somewhat higher resulution (although you'd probably need a magnifying glass to see the difference), plus of course you could crop *that* too, giving you even closer-up images form the same vantage point.
07-07-2010, 12:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
..or if you want, just be like the guys in Vaughn's photos with the numbered vests (2, 45, 52) and just take photos near the track..one mistake of the driver and they are toast!
Specially the one on the first photo with I think number "20" vest who is leaning against the railing to get his hot..haha..dangerous!

If I could get a press pass I'd stand there in a heartbeat.
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