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08-13-2011, 08:12 PM   #1
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New Photography and K-5 owner

I would like to share my excitement with the Pentax community on my new purchase. I've been seriously considering a new camera for the past month or so. Naturally I ask my seasoned photography friends for advise. No surprise here, they all suggest either Cannon or Nikon. I have nothing against either models but after a good amount of reading I've decided to go with Pentax. So why'd I ask their advice in the first place right?? Anyway...

I read some suggestions from a thread where another person needed help with getting equipment. She got a free lens from Wheatfield!!! woot, lucky her. A bit of good advice I read was to use a free tool to figure out at what range you normally shoot before you go and plop your $$ on a bunch of lenses. So I bought a used 18-55 kit lens for a little under $100. I plan on getting a wide angle eventually. That saves me a little money compared to buying the K-5 with lens but I end up getting the same thing. Woot!

I'm an avid Salsa dancer and plan on taking plenty of pics of people spinning and grooving in the dim lit dance halls (in fact im going dancing after I post this) so I ordered a FA50 f1.4 too. I read this is the most fabulous fast 50 around! I have no idea how to manually focus but I'll figure it out eventually right =)

Well, thats all. Hope I'm on the right trail. Wish me luck

08-13-2011, 11:28 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and congrat for the new camera.

The FA50mm is a AF lens. If you wan to use it MF for salsa shooting, I would encourage you to use the focal distances on the lens ring. Check first the accuracy and afterwards they will be your friend to pre-focus the lens.

Hope that the comment will help.
08-14-2011, 03:51 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SgtSmurf Quote
I would like to share my excitement with the Pentax community on my new purchase. I've been seriously considering a new camera for the past month or so. Naturally I ask my seasoned photography friends for advise. No surprise here, they all suggest either Cannon or Nikon. I have nothing against either models but after a good amount of reading I've decided to go with Pentax. So why'd I ask their advice in the first place right?? Anyway...

I read some suggestions from a thread where another person needed help with getting equipment. She got a free lens from Wheatfield!!! woot, lucky her. A bit of good advice I read was to use a free tool to figure out at what range you normally shoot before you go and plop your $$ on a bunch of lenses. So I bought a used 18-55 kit lens for a little under $100. I plan on getting a wide angle eventually. That saves me a little money compared to buying the K-5 with lens but I end up getting the same thing. Woot!

I'm an avid Salsa dancer and plan on taking plenty of pics of people spinning and grooving in the dim lit dance halls (in fact im going dancing after I post this) so I ordered a FA50 f1.4 too. I read this is the most fabulous fast 50 around! I have no idea how to manually focus but I'll figure it out eventually right =)

Well, thats all. Hope I'm on the right trail. Wish me luck
Hi,

Welcome to the Pentax community and congrats with your new K-5.
An excellent choice!

Perhaps you should think and read some more before buying the FA50 f 1.4.
I have that lens (its a very good lens by the way), and while it is f1.4, there are 2 things to consider:

1) Using a lens a f1.4 will give you *very* shallow depth of field (everything that is sharp in front of/behind the focus area). Lots will be blurred.
2) F50 has a small angle to work with. It depends what the distance to the subject is if that will work for you or not.

I don't know if flash is permitted and if you can get close, but with light and camera angles differently composed to the subject, you can get very nice effects.
Also a zoom is more versatile and working with smaller apertures (higher f numbvers) will give you sharper pictures.

Your K-5 is capable of making good picture in very low light conditions, so flash is not necessary in many occasions.
I know a bar is not the same as a dance floor, still have a look at this:

Chris shows in this video bar photography techniques which you might be able to apply to dancing situations as well.

My choice for dancing photography would be: DA*16-50mm f2.8 (or the Sigma/Tamron 17-50mm f.2.8) and a DA* 50-135mm f 2.8. Or some primes (15mm, 50mm, 77mm, 90mm) covering that range.
And a flash for specific action effects.

Have fun with the camera!

Bert
08-14-2011, 04:38 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum.
The beauty of AF lenses such as the FA 50 is that you can choose to use it as a manual focus lens as well as an auto focus lens. It's very good as an AF lens, but it's also quite user friendly as a manual focus lens as well.
Enjoy and hope you stick around.

08-14-2011, 05:13 AM   #5
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You've bought a superb camera, as good or better than any other APS-C camera available today - Congrats !

re.

Check out these shots I took under what may be similar circumstances to those you encounter (lots of movement / low light / spot lights) : Stavros Flatley - Frogfish's Photos

Move your mouse over the right hand side of the shots and from the pop-up select the i : this will show you all the Exif and take a look at the focal lengths and apertures used (I was between 2 and 7 metres from the subject, no flash was used). I used the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and 43/1.9 Ltd for those shots. Conclusion : I agree with bymy141 - the 50/1.4 is too long. I actually think the Tamron 17-50/2.8 could be perfect for you but a great alternative would be the Sigma 30/1.4, currently my favourite lens (incredibly sharp, super fast and a great very usable focal length - for me).
08-14-2011, 08:37 AM   #6
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Welcome to the club

08-14-2011, 11:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SgtSmurf Quote

I'm an avid Salsa dancer and plan on taking plenty of pics of people spinning and grooving in the dim lit dance halls (in fact im going dancing after I post this) so I ordered a FA50 f1.4 too. I read this is the most fabulous fast 50 around! I have no idea how to manually focus but I'll figure it out eventually right =)

Well, thats all. Hope I'm on the right trail. Wish me luck
Congratulations on getting yourself a fabulous camera and a nice lens, and I don't want to break your euphoric mood but I don't think a 50mm lens will be good for taking pictures of people dancing. If you want to shoot an average height couple dancing and want to show their entire bodies plus some head and foot space, you will end up shooting from a distance of 15-20 feet (landscape mode), 10-15 feet (portrait mode). You should think about getting a better, faster replacement for your kit lens, that will allow you to get much closer to the dancers you are shooting.

Thanks,
08-14-2011, 06:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SgtSmurf Quote
I'm an avid Salsa dancer and plan on taking plenty of pics of people spinning and grooving in the dim lit dance halls (in fact im going dancing after I post this) so I ordered a FA50 f1.4 too. I read this is the most fabulous fast 50 around! I have no idea how to manually focus but I'll figure it out eventually right =)
I use the FA50 1.4 frequently and love it... However... It probably would not be my 1st choice for your suggested usage... I think you may find it fairly narrow (in terms of your field of view)... I agree that a 'fast' lens would be a bonus though so I'd consider the Sigma 30mm f1.4...
Saying that... I also agree that
QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
a zoom is more versatile
and with the K5's high ISO performance I wouldn't hesitate in bolting on the Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 or even stopping down to 5.6 (or smaller) for such events...

You have a lot of options...

Either way... The K5 (I love my K-x but still wish) and the FA50 will take some beautiful images and you'll have a blast!

Welcome to the forum!

08-14-2011, 07:00 PM   #9
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I spent some time with the K-5 this weekend using a M-50mm F/2 lens and mostly using Catch-in-Focus. I was honestly surprised how easy and fun it was to go manual again... And the pictures speak for themselves.

50mm F/2 shots identified in the captions.
Flickr: TER-OR's Photostream
08-15-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
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Hmmm, I counted 3 recommendations for the Tamron 17-50 and 2 For the sigma 30. I will definetely put those two on my shortlist of future lenses to get after spending some time with what i've ordered thusfar. Maybe by then ill have read Understanding Exposure and be able to do right by Mimo (my Pentax's name), pronounced mee-moh as in the mee-moh-rees she'll capture for me to reflect upon years from now when i lay on my deathbed.

So I didnt know the fa50 had a narrow depth of field; actually i didnt even understand the term but i think i get it now from the context of this thread and your awesome advice.

Anyway, Mimo's memory card arrived today...Mimo wont be here for another week or two i'll make sure to introduce her to y'all when she gets here.

P.s. I missed the meteor shower this weekend! Ugh, bad planning on my part. Anyone see it?
08-16-2011, 06:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SgtSmurf Quote
Hmmm, I counted 3 recommendations for the Tamron 17-50 and 2 For the sigma 30.

So I didnt know the fa50 had a narrow depth of field;
You should also consider the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8, it has a silent and fast AF motor.
Makes much less noise and works very smooth.
Many people also believe the Sigma optical quality is better than the Tamron.
I have none of these, I so have a Pentax DA* 16-50mm f2.8, more expensive, but it has seals against dust and moisture (if that is of any concern to you).

The Fa50 does not have a narrow Depth of Field (DOF) by itself, f1.4 has.
Of course you can close the Fa 50 aperture to (for instance) f5.6, f8, f11 or f16.
Depth of Field is a function of the opening of the lens (diafragma, expressed in f..), subject distance and the focal length (50mm in this case).

If 50mm is the right focal length for the circumstances you are working in (size of the subject, distance to the subject), a 50mm lens could still be the right choice.

Please read this: Depth of field - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It may all sound very technical and complicated, but try the calculator for different f stops at 50mm, here: Online Depth of Field Calculator

Of course you cannot have this program with you all the time. That would be impossible.
Just try a few different f numbers and subject distances, and you will develop a feel for the aperture you'd need to use.

Bert
08-16-2011, 06:55 AM   #12
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If you have an iPhone you can however have a DoF calculator with you all the time

There are two or three you can buy, I paid I think US$1 or maybe US$2 for TrueDoF (by George Douvos).
08-16-2011, 01:16 PM   #13
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Welcome and congrats on the great purchase!
08-17-2011, 06:07 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SgtSmurf Quote
Maybe by then ill have read Understanding Exposure and be able to do right by Mimo (my Pentax's name), pronounced mee-moh as in the mee-moh-rees she'll capture for me to reflect upon years from now when i lay on my deathbed.
Welcome! I love that you named your K-5! Have fun with your new gear.
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