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11-17-2010, 07:00 PM   #1
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Help with telephoto lens selection

I am very new to DSLR photography and need some recommendations for an automatic telephoto lens. My son is playing sports, football, basketball, and baseball, specifically. I want a lense that will allow me to be in the action. Here is my setup: K200D, Pentax Lens DA 1:3.5-5.6 18-55mm AL, Rokinon Lens 1:2.8 28mm
, Vivatar Lens 1:5.6 300mm Telephoto 58mm. Any recommendations will be very appreciated!

11-17-2010, 07:15 PM   #2
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For about $350 the DA 55-300mm f4-5.8 is an excellent option and would suit the purpose of shooting outdoor sports. I have one and it's terrific. For indoors it's pretty marginal though (and for a K200D probably not workable), I use my K-x + DA*50-135 f2.8 indoors due to it's faster aperture. Indoors even at f2.8, I'm shooting at 1600ISO and even 3200ISO at times. A K-x can do this though and still produce acceptable images.
11-17-2010, 07:36 PM   #3
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I also have the DA 55-300 lens - great! But at f4-5.8 it's not really suited for indoor sports - unless the court is VERY well lit. I'd say you problably don't want a lens that's slower than f2.8 for the indoor stuff.

You might think about getting one of the 135mm f2.8 (or f2.5) lenses - there's a ton of 'em and fairly cheap. There's various Pentax/Takumar versions - complete with the "A" aperture setting.

The field opens up considerably if you don't need the "A" setting (pretty easy to take a test photo or 2 to get the exposure set) - there's some pretty decent Vivitar models, and surprisingly the Sears ones are, in general, pretty decent.

Check the lens review sections - Pentax and/or 3rd party - that'll give you a pretty good idea what folks on the forum think of various lenses.

Good luck.
11-17-2010, 07:45 PM   #4
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I agree with the other posters. The DA 55-300 will be great for the baseball and football and can be had used for around $300 or even less for the DAL version.

But for basketball you will definitely need something faster. If you can afford it then the DA* 50-135 would be very good. The cheaper route would be some manual primes of greater then 100mm. Those are all over the place and are less than $200, some much less.

11-18-2010, 10:04 AM   #5
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given your present camera, the K200D which uses the 10MP CCD sensor, you are limited in ISO so for indoor sports, or outdoor on a cloudy day you will be challenged by the relitively poor High ISO capability of the camera.

Not that I would suggest changing cameras here because the K200 is still a capable camera, But.....

to use your existing camera, and get good indoor shots, you should be looking at a 70-200F2.8 lens.

Ideally one that you can mate up with a 1.4x or 2x TC to use for all indoor and outdoor shots.

If you don't mind getting a used lens, look at a sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX but not the HSM model, a screw drive one, and the 1.4x and / or 2x teleconverter.

These lenses usually sell for about $600 used, and are excellent, I have the Non DG version, and it is reputed to be the best overall.

I use it for wild life but the same challenges exist
11-18-2010, 10:19 AM   #6
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Since you will need to shoot indoor for basketball get lens with f2.8,
The choices are:

pentax 50-135 f2.8 [I use this; somewhat short for outdoor for some but fits my needs; less bulky too]. Takes SUPERB pictures.

Sigma or tamron 70-200 f2.8 [longer]
11-24-2010, 01:19 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
given your present camera, the K200D which uses the 10MP CCD sensor, you are limited in ISO so for indoor sports, or outdoor on a cloudy day you will be challenged by the relitively poor High ISO capability of the camera.
That's exactly right. I don't shoot sports with my K200D, but I do use it to shoot wildlife (almost always on cloudy days) with a DA* 300, and even at ISO 400, if the animal is moving, forget it, there will be blur. I was shooting elk jumping over a fence last weekend, but none of them came out. Longer lenses require faster shutter speeds; and if the light is not there and you don't have a camera that will let you dial up the ISO, it can be a real challenge to photograph moving objects.

The other problem with the K200D is the mediocre autofocus. If I were shooting sports with my K200D, I would be tempted to use manual focus primes. It does take a bit of skill to manual focus on moving objects, but it's not the like the K200D's autofocus is going to do a heck of a lot better. Moreover, relatively fast (i.e., f2.8) manual focus telephoto primes can usually be found for under $200, and some of them a very good lenses.

If AF is absolutely necessary, the best one lens solution is either a Tamron or Sigma 70-200/2.8; but those lenses don't come cheap.
11-24-2010, 02:42 PM   #8
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The K-x's excellent high ISO (3200-6400) may let you get by with a lens slower than F:2.8
see: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/107773-pentax-...so-6400-a.html
See: Ubuntu https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/120036-theatre-photography.html
See: dpreview . com review of K-x p.15.

F5.6@ISO 6400 is equivalent to F2.8@1600 (2 times f-stop is equivalent to 4 times the ISO at constant shutter speed.)

That's not to say that F:2.8 wouldn't be nice, but there's few affordable long ones out there.

Dave


Last edited by newarts; 11-24-2010 at 02:52 PM.
11-25-2010, 08:17 AM   #9
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Crop your image

While your K200D presents a challenge with its sensor, I would tell you to find a medium long lens that is as fast as your can afford and then CROP your image to finish off the tele-effect.

The 50-135 comes to mind as a really beautiful, fast lens that would allow you to crop a bit to give a feeling of a longer lens. It's speed will allow you to shoot indoors as your describe.

While not an AF lens, I might suggest getting a Takumar 135mm f2.5 lens. This is MANUAL focus, but this lens is legendary for its image quality and is a very fast lens indeed. Copies can be found in the 180-210 range. You can surely crop to give yourself the view afforded by a much longer lens.
11-25-2010, 01:06 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
The K-x's excellent high ISO (3200-6400) may let you get by with a lens slower than F:2.8
see: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/107773-pentax-...so-6400-a.html
See: Ubuntu https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/120036-theatre-photography.html
See: dpreview . com review of K-x p.15.

F5.6@ISO 6400 is equivalent to F2.8@1600 (2 times f-stop is equivalent to 4 times the ISO at constant shutter speed.)

That's not to say that F:2.8 wouldn't be nice, but there's few affordable long ones out there.

Dave
The point of this apparently non-responsive comment was to consider buying a K-x.

If that's not practical, I agree with the others that a 2.8 lens or faster is required for the K200D.

KEH has some lenses listed that might suffice. I'd look for a 100-135mm lens; a 135mm lens, 54' (mid-court seat) from the basket will provide a portrait mode image that includes basket and floor.

Here's a link to some good screwmount lenses (I find them easy to use with an inexpensive adapter.... use catch-in-focus or the green hexagon to detect focus.)

Pentax Screwmount Fixed Focal Length Lenses - KEH.com
The Super-Tak 105:2.8 at $79 and the Super- Tak 135:2.5 at $84 are good buys. Keh's BGN grade lenses are of good optical quality.

Keh also lists some k-mount lenses of interest to you:
Pentax Manual Focus Fixed Focal Length Lenses - KEH.com
SMC 100:2.8 at $89
Takumar Bayonet 135:2.5 at $49 (has a reputation for being quite soft wide open -just where you care- and subject to flare).

Of the lenses above I'd probably go for the Super-Tak 135:2.5 screwmount because of its superior sharpness.

Dave

Last edited by newarts; 11-25-2010 at 03:57 PM.
11-26-2010, 08:09 PM   #11
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I guess a lot depends on what you are willing to pay. A 70-200 f2.8 (either Sigma or Tamron) would be a nice lens for most situations. The DA * 60-250 seems to have really amazing image quality wide open. I would hesitate to recommend the DA * 50-135 because, while its image quality is great, its auto focus is quite slow and it seems much more suited for portraiture.

I guess the other thing that I would recommend is a monopod. Others have mentioned that with longer lenses you are much more likely to get camera shake and this can really reduce that (most places won't let you take a tripod in, even if you wanted to).

I'm sure you'll get some great photos.
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