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08-07-2019, 10:26 AM - 1 Like   #31
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The K-r is a nice little camera. I had one as my lightweight alternative for years before I gave it to friends after getting a great deal on a new K-S2, which was a major update. It is now my extra-compact alternative to my K-5 IIs and my top-notch KP. I now have 3 Pentax DSLR models at 3 different levels weight and size. Without the K-S2 deal, I would still have the K-r. I have not heard of it being subject to aperture failure, perhaps the part that sometimes fails was from the older non-failure supply.

For my premium fast glass, I use a trio- the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 which I've had for some 10 years, the DA* 200mm f/2.8, and an older but excellent FA* 300mm f/4.5 as the two primes combined with the zoom gives me versatility for some zooming, but keeps the on-camera weight down. But these are very expensive lenses.

For lightweight use, I also have the DA HD 55-300mm WR lens, which is surprisingly good for its price range, and very versatile. No doubt you have the same lens with the HD coatings, since yours is rated as having WR construction. The HD coatings, I found, improved overall image quality compared to the older non-HD non-WR lens having the same optics, which I gave to my friends along with the K-r. With it I get quite good results, even at longer FLs. I found this to be most noticeable when used on my KP. One thing to keep in mind, from 55-up to 200mm, that lens can keep to f/4-4.5 while maintaining very good IQ. That is only one stop off from a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, yet is much smaller, lighter and easier to manage (both physically and financially). I use it quite a lot, especially when I need more reach than my DA* 50-135mm can provide, yet also needing more compact carrying.

For longer FLs, a 70-200mm would require a teleconverter, usually 1.4x to minimize loss of aperture, but would give up some compromise of IQ in the process, and would come up still short of 300mm. Your present lens would still be just one stop off from that combo.

This is why adding a K-70 or better yet a KP would be such an upgrade, and an upgrade for your lens as well, both in IQ and in speed. The camera will give you that one-stop difference and more comparable to the 70-200mm f/2.8 on your K-r, because you can increase the ISO without loss of quality that much more than with the K-r.

A 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is not cheap, especially one in top condition with no issues. Using the money to get a KP for instance, in addition to the above benefits, has an upgraded 5-axis SR system for better handheld shots, which is more critical with telephoto shooting. Its AF system has been upgraded as well, which I've found benefits even my screw-driven lenses.


Last edited by mikesbike; 08-07-2019 at 12:38 PM.
08-07-2019, 05:02 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
As an example if you are photographing some action from say 70 feet away. You are using 300mm FL. At f5.6 you will have depth of field of about 4 feet. At f2.8 it is less than two feet. Can make the difference between a good shot and a great one
l
Good point and to add to this.
Kr 300 f/5.6=dof of 3.7ft at 70ft
K70 150 f/4.5 cropped to 12Mb=dof of 11.9ft at 70ft.
That's hard to completely miss focus, gain 2/3 stop. Just motion blur left.
08-07-2019, 09:21 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
If the lighting is just good enough to play night games and not good enough for television cameras, ISO 12,800 is probably needed for f5.6 and 1/250 second. I can't remember at what focal length maximum aperture goes from f5 to f5.6 on this lens, but it is shorter than 200mm.
Bingo. That’s what I have to fall to. 1\500 maybe or maybe not, and can blur action. 250 good but blur - though at times it looks cool. I was wondering about the fall to 5.6 when I had it out and I believe it’s just before 200, maybe 180

---------- Post added 08-07-19 at 09:26 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
If you are not averse to buying used, look for an older sigma 70-200/2.8. Either EX or EX DG. But not macro,

Very sharp and works well with either the 1.4x or 2x TC. I have used mine in dark theatres when my daughter prerformed in hwper school recitals, the extra bright image helps the af quite a bit as well as the additional speed

Just a side note, for me good glass is always better than new camera. The glass you will keep almost forever, the cameras will eventually get upgraded
Thanks. Your thinking is where I was headed, but the jury says “upgrade camera”. Eventually I’ll get both anyway.
08-08-2019, 03:22 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rexlawyer Quote
Thanks. Your thinking is where I was headed, but the jury says “upgrade camera”. Eventually I’ll get both anyway.
Agreed you’ll get both eventually, but regardless of what “the jury” says, what do you really want / need?

08-08-2019, 01:13 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rexlawyer Quote
Your thinking is where I was headed, but the jury says “upgrade camera”. Eventually I’ll get both anyway.
In truth, either solution will yield significant benefits. Usually I'd be leaning toward the same recommendation as Lowell in that better (in this case, faster) glass is typically the way to go. But in your specific situation - as @mikesbike has nicely explained - the jump in image quality and overall performance from the K-r to K-70 or KP will (IMHO, at least) equal or better the advantage of a 70-200 f/2.8 lens, whilst being a lighter kit and retaining greater reach from your existing 55-300mm at the long end. I don't know whether you've shot with a 70-200 f/2.8 before, but it's a lot heavier and more bulky than the 55-300. I have the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 USD for my Sony A-mount kit, and it's a wonderful lens - but I find it just a little tiring to use for longer shoots. Similarly, I have the DA*60-250 f/4 in K-mount, and it's also a great lens - but I increasingly find myself using my HD DA 55-300 instead, because it's so much lighter and the image quality is "good enough"...
08-08-2019, 01:21 PM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
The K-r is a nice little camera. I had one as my lightweight alternative for years before I gave it to friends after getting a great deal on a new K-S2, which was a major update. It is now my extra-compact alternative to my K-5 IIs and my top-notch KP. I now have 3 Pentax DSLR models at 3 different levels weight and size. Without the K-S2 deal, I would still have the K-r. I have not heard of it being subject to aperture failure, perhaps the part that sometimes fails was from the older non-failure supply.

For my premium fast glass, I use a trio- the DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 which I've had for some 10 years, the DA* 200mm f/2.8, and an older but excellent FA* 300mm f/4.5 as the two primes combined with the zoom gives me versatility for some zooming, but keeps the on-camera weight down. But these are very expensive lenses.

For lightweight use, I also have the DA HD 55-300mm WR lens, which is surprisingly good for its price range, and very versatile. No doubt you have the same lens with the HD coatings, since yours is rated as having WR construction. The HD coatings, I found, improved overall image quality compared to the older non-HD non-WR lens having the same optics, which I gave to my friends along with the K-r. With it I get quite good results, even at longer FLs. I found this to be most noticeable when used on my KP. One thing to keep in mind, from 55-up to 200mm, that lens can keep to f/4-4.5 while maintaining very good IQ. That is only one stop off from a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, yet is much smaller, lighter and easier to manage (both physically and financially). I use it quite a lot, especially when I need more reach than my DA* 50-135mm can provide, yet also needing more compact carrying.

For longer FLs, a 70-200mm would require a teleconverter, usually 1.4x to minimize loss of aperture, but would give up some compromise of IQ in the process, and would come up still short of 300mm. Your present lens would still be just one stop off from that combo.

This is why adding a K-70 or better yet a KP would be such an upgrade, and an upgrade for your lens as well, both in IQ and in speed. The camera will give you that one-stop difference and more comparable to the 70-200mm f/2.8 on your K-r, because you can increase the ISO without loss of quality that much more than with the K-r.

A 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is not cheap, especially one in top condition with no issues. Using the money to get a KP for instance, in addition to the above benefits, has an upgraded 5-axis SR system for better handheld shots, which is more critical with telephoto shooting. Its AF system has been upgraded as well, which I've found benefits even my screw-driven lenses.
Thanks bud! Some very good points, and well explained.

---------- Post added 08-08-19 at 01:39 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
In truth, either solution will yield significant benefits. Usually I'd be leaning toward the same recommendation as Lowell in that better (in this case, faster) glass is typically the way to go. But in your specific situation - as @mikesbike has nicely explained - the jump in image quality and overall performance from the K-r to K-70 or KP will (IMHO, at least) equal or better the advantage of a 70-200 f/2.8 lens, whilst being a lighter kit and retaining greater reach from your existing 55-300mm at the long end. I don't know whether you've shot with a 70-200 f/2.8 before, but it's a lot heavier and more bulky than the 55-300. I have the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 USD for my Sony A-mount kit, and it's a wonderful lens - but I find it just a little tiring to use for longer shoots. Similarly, I have the DA*60-250 f/4 in K-mount, and it's also a great lens - but I increasingly find myself using my HD DA 55-300 instead, because it's so much lighter and the image quality is "good enough"...
Thanks Mike for your thoughtful summation. It really is true that either could do the job. The mobility, weight factor, is a concern. When I am allowed to be up close to the touch line and goal line, I will occasionally get up and move about trying to get a nice angle on the action. So, a heavy lens would not be good. Reminds me of one game where the apparently professional guy hired by the very pricey prep school on the other side, who was using a monster lens from one location, saw me admiring his lens and admitted to me that what I had was more practical. On the other hand, I would like to take pictures with that nice "pop" focus effect using a very low fs, but that I believe is best done close to the action for those games where I am allowed in that area. Thus, I'd want to have two cameras set up. So, maybe I'll get the K70 and the lens (sooner or later). I'd put my DA HD 55-300 on the K70 and put the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 on the Kr. Since the reason then for getting the f2.8 is more artistic, I am switching my thinking to buying the K70 first.

Last edited by Rexlawyer; 08-08-2019 at 01:43 PM.
08-08-2019, 08:16 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rexlawyer Quote
I would like to take pictures with that nice "pop" focus effect using a very low fs, but that I believe is best done close to the action for those games where I am allowed in that area. Thus, I'd want to have two cameras set
In this case, once you figure the FL you will actually require for the circumstances, you might possibly instead wind up adding a shorter f/2.8 zoom lens, such as the Sigma 17-50mm EX DC, which can be had new for well under $400 US.

While a low DOF is great for singling out an action of one individual, separating that action from the background, it is sort of like an action portrait effect. It would be good as a magazine cover shot featuring a special athlete, or making an outstanding winning catch, or a knockout punch, etc. Dramatic, but at the same time, such a shot will often not be that meaningful, and most often the isolation will lose the drama of the game itself. Having some recognizable context but emphasizing a certain individual may very well be the more effective shot.

About 8 years ago, I did use my K-r together with my DA* 200mm f/2.8 to shoot a stage event at some distance. (Being a prime lens and not a zoom, it is of course optimized for 200mm, while a zoom usually begins to lose quality at the longest extreme FL) The stage lighting was strong enough so I did not need to shoot wide open- around f/4.5 I think, and ISO kept down to around 800, or so which is fine with the K-r. Results were quite fine. However, there was no faster action than normal walking, so it was easy to obtain adequate shutter speed for such an event. What you are dealing with, however, is literally a whole other ball game.

Last edited by mikesbike; 08-08-2019 at 08:26 PM.
08-08-2019, 08:47 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
In this case, once you figure the FL you will actually require for the circumstances, you might possibly instead wind up adding a shorter f/2.8 zoom lens, such as the Sigma 17-50mm EX DC, which can be had new for well under $400 US.

While a low DOF is great for singling out an action of one individual, separating that action from the background, it is sort of like an action portrait effect. It would be good as a magazine cover shot featuring a special athlete, or making an outstanding winning catch, or a knockout punch, etc. Dramatic, but at the same time, such a shot will often not be that meaningful, and most often the isolation will lose the drama of the game itself. Having some recognizable context but emphasizing a certain individual may very well be the more effective shot.

About 8 years ago, I did use my K-r together with my DA* 200mm f/2.8 to shoot a stage event at some distance. (Being a prime lens and not a zoom, it is of course optimized for 200mm, while a zoom usually begins to lose quality at the longest extreme FL) The stage lighting was strong enough so I did not need to shoot wide open- around f/4.5 I think, and ISO kept down to around 800, or so which is fine with the K-r. Results were quite fine. However, there was no faster action than normal walking, so it was easy to obtain adequate shutter speed for such an event. What you are dealing with, however, is literally a whole other ball game.
I like your take about the difference of only super highlighting complete focus on 1 player versus only accenting focus on the key player with enough perception of players around for context. Makes lots of sense to me.

08-16-2019, 09:38 PM   #39
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My daughter's final year of college cross country I decided to upgrade lenses to capture the end of her sports career -- and it was like a light turned on for her (not for my photography) -- she had a great year after an average first three years.

I didn't have a great deal of money to pour into lenses.I bought a used Tokina 70-200mm f/2.8. I used it two meets, but the autofocus hunts with my K-5, making it very difficult to use for sports. Perhaps a more modern camera could have driven the autofocus.

I also acquired a Tamron 90mm f/2.8. It is very soft at infinity. But, it became my go-to lens for cross country and road races. At 15-25 yards it is really sharp, with great color rendition.
08-16-2019, 11:14 PM   #40
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I recommend picking up a KP. The autofocus is on another level compared to the rest of the pentax lineup, especially with AF.C. That's not even mentioning its insane ISO performance.

It also has an extra axis of stabilization, optional grip as a future upgrade, far more rugged design, etc. If you intend to use a camera for years the KP, despite the bump in price, is the obvious choice.
08-17-2019, 01:09 AM   #41
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Lots of good advice given already here, my thoughts are more simple than most.

In answer to the lens question... "long and fast", i.e. the longest focal length at the fast possible aperture you can afford and then borrow a bit more cash.

Remember this is an investment in good glass we're talking here, so buy it right once. Bodies do come and go, but glass is forever... my "Ladies" are a true testament to that.

Last edited by Kerrowdown; 08-17-2019 at 02:51 AM.
08-17-2019, 09:21 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
I recommend picking up a KP. The autofocus is on another level compared to the rest of the pentax lineup, especially with AF.C. That's not even mentioning its insane ISO performance.

It also has an extra axis of stabilization, optional grip as a future upgrade, far more rugged design, etc. If you intend to use a camera for years the KP, despite the bump in price, is the obvious choice.
Thanks Amy. When I recycled into photography, the KP was recommended. I wasn’t willing to make that price jump then, and not sure I could justify it now. It does seem to be a workhorse.

---------- Post added 08-17-19 at 09:24 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
Lots of good advice given already here, my thoughts are more simple than most.

In answer to the lens question... "long and fast", i.e. the longest focal length at the fast possible aperture you can afford and then borrow a bit more cash.

Remember this is an investment in good glass we're talking here, so buy it right once. Bodies do come and go, but glass is forever... my "Ladies" are a true testament to that.
Definitely where my thoughts started. It’s go8ng to come down to either a better short term solution (newer model camera) or the long term better investment in glass. I can see both in my future. Still pondering which is first. ThNks for your input.
08-18-2019, 09:10 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
I recommend picking up a KP. The autofocus is on another level compared to the rest of the pentax lineup, especially with AF.C. That's not even mentioning its insane ISO performance.

It also has an extra axis of stabilization, optional grip as a future upgrade, far more rugged design, etc. If you intend to use a camera for years the KP, despite the bump in price, is the obvious choice.
Great comments on the K-P.

I have a K-5. It has a helpful LCD screen atop, instead of the dials I see atop the K-P, which LCD I rely upon for manual settings. I am getting old. Those dials look difficult and no LCD. Can I transition?
08-18-2019, 09:14 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by mroeder75 Quote
Great comments on the K-P.

I have a K-5. It has a helpful LCD screen atop, instead of the dials I see atop the K-P, which LCD I rely upon for manual settings. I am getting old. Those dials look difficult and no LCD. Can I transition?
The dials are a dream! Especially the user programmable dial, which let you switch to predefined settings for the situation at hand. Less fiddling, more shooting!
I also really like the physical switch between viewfinder, live view and movie mode so you can start the camera in any desired mode.

Plus with all the dials you can set them all to different parts of the exposure triangle, making adjustments easy on the fly.

In my opinion it's very intuitive.

Hell even if you don't want to mess with any of that it's still super easy out of the box.

Last edited by ZombieArmy; 08-18-2019 at 09:20 PM.
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