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10-27-2009, 09:03 PM   #16
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Your welcome. Only too happy to help if I can. (plus its a quiet day in the office).
The reach of the 50-135 is adequate in my humble opinion. Sure 200 is better, but with the megapixels your operating with you can crop a bit without losing image quality, thus giving you the same end result.
Plus, focus etc will be a tad easier with 135mm as against 200mm. Remember that when you zoom in, you zoom in on everything, so shake/movement etc is magnified also. A monpod may be worth considering. (take a look at pro photog's on the boundary line of any sports event....they will all have a mono pod).
My original kit lens was the Sigma 18-125 and I found the 125mm quite ok.

Second hand stuff.....is exactly that...second hand. So buyer beware! There is a vast range of K mount lenses out there in all shapes & sizes, so you need to do your homework and know exactly what you are looking for.

Cheers.

10-27-2009, 09:21 PM   #17
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I started shooting lots of U7 Soccer this year with a K20D & a DA 55-300/F4-5.8. I use a tripod & AF.C and pan-follow the action until something interesting happens.

I found TAv exposure mode works best for me. It enables me to keep the aperture fixed (I set it for F6.7 or F8 to get most of the players in a group in focus), shutter speed fixed (1/500s, 1/750s or 1/1000 to get fast movement with minimum blur) and lets the camera vary the ISO between my set limits. I let it roam between ISO 100-1600 with the K20D.

I try to get a shot of every player on both sides (sometimes it's difficult because some players don't do much) & try not to concentrate as much on our side as I first did, because I appreciate the efforts of the kids in the opposing team. (In fact, if I was not reviewing photos after the game, I would have missed so much that I did not notice whilst shooting. For me, that's probably the main benefit of shooting). I hand out slips of paper to the parents of the opposing team giving them the address of the website where the photos will be and giving them an email that they can contact if they want any removed. (No requests yet.) I shoot the after-game best-player presentations for both sides.

The biggest problem I found is when I don't have the sun behind me. I often can't shoot from the other side because, with mini-fields, the fields are crammed side-by-side without much of a space between for a photographer. (And if you choose to setup yourself up in this narrow space, there is no clearance between you and the sideline, so the chances of getting hit by a ball or players chasing after it, are pretty high.) This lighting situation can dull the colours or require mucking about in post-production with curves.

Also, in Brisbane, we've had a long drought and this has made the playing field grass pale and sparse. Not particularly attractive.

I love the drama & the action. Some of my favourites are in the Gallery:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/gallery/user-album-4692.html


See also this post: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/589496-post6.html


The results are here:

Picasa Web Albums - Dan Bridges


Dan.

Last edited by dosdan; 10-27-2009 at 11:50 PM.
10-28-2009, 05:14 AM   #18
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I disagree on 135mm being enough. You'll end up cropping almost every image (a lot more work at home), and some of them quite a bit (reduced quality even though high resolution). Not knocking the 50-135, I just don't think it's got the reach you'll end up wanting. But that's what you'll need to figure out.

If you decide 200mm is enough, your choice here really comes down to cost and size. Yes, the 70-200 is faster and of better IQ, but either are capable of getting the job done (night and dusk games excluded). If you've got the cash and are willing to spend it, by all means, get the 70, just realize it is big and heavy. If you're not interested in lugging a hefty setup around, especially on a lightweight body, this is not for you. Personally, it wouldn't bother me one bit (I'm a big guy, and it would better balance on my K10D w/grip), but I've seen many people get these big setups and then not use them because they were too much hassle. One other advantage to the Pentax here, is the 50mm. It didn't happen often, but I missed more shots because I couldn't zoom out wide enough than because Pentax's AF wasn't fast enough. But between these 2 lenses, it's not a big deal because of the other differences in the lenses. Not the case for the next group.

If you think 300mm is the way to go, the 3 choices are the Pentax 55-300 or the Sigma and Tamron 70-300's. I have the Sigma and love it, but even though it's a bit more and doesn't seem to handle fringing quite as well, the Pentax is the way to go here. Very good IQ, PF and CA control is very good, and it goes wider than the other two. I would have never given up the extra 100mm on the long end to get an extra 20 on the short end, but for the extra $150 on lenses that are roughly equal, it's well worth it given everything else. Any of the 3 will work, but I think the Pentax is the best of the bunch here.

If you want to go all out, just get the Sigma 50-500. Honestly, if I'd had the cash for it, I would have.

Last edited by Jodokast96; 10-28-2009 at 05:23 AM.
10-28-2009, 06:18 PM   #19
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I'd go ahead and get the two kit package with the kx (the 18-55/55-300 one) and start with that. The K2000 has pretty fast auto focus (faster than the K20) and I would expect the Kx to follow in the same line. With this two lens package, you will have plenty of reach to start with. I would then decide if you need a faster lens. The reality is that with the kx, you can push your iso up to the point that you will be able to keep decent shutter speeds on the field -- looks to me like iso 6400 isn't out of the question.

I would definitely get a monopod. It is tough to shoot at 200 mm/300 mm, even with shake reduction. The monopod will steady you considerably. Looking at your shots from the 55-300 you'll be able to tell a lot better what focal length you prefer to shoot and decide on further lens purchases based on that.

10-29-2009, 09:50 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I'd go ahead and get the two kit package with the kx (the 18-55/55-300 one) and start with that. The K2000 has pretty fast auto focus (faster than the K20) and I would expect the Kx to follow in the same line. With this two lens package, you will have plenty of reach to start with. I would then decide if you need a faster lens. The reality is that with the kx, you can push your iso up to the point that you will be able to keep decent shutter speeds on the field -- looks to me like iso 6400 isn't out of the question.

I would definitely get a monopod. It is tough to shoot at 200 mm/300 mm, even with shake reduction. The monopod will steady you considerably. Looking at your shots from the 55-300 you'll be able to tell a lot better what focal length you prefer to shoot and decide on further lens purchases based on that.
Getting both a 18-55 and 55-300 DA (even the cheaper L version) for $750 shipped is a steal in my opinion. I'm planning on learning camera techniques with the kit lenses then probably adding a DA 50-135 later. The camera will have far more capabilities than me for quite a while.

What do you recommend for a good value monopod, say in the <$150 range?

Thanks for all the advice.
Jon.
10-29-2009, 09:56 AM   #21
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The best value monopod IMO is the Canon Monopod 100 at ~$35. Has ball head. Light, collapses pretty small at 21.3", Extends to 64.5". Worked with a K10D w/ grip and Sigma 70-200/2.8, but you have to screw the ball head pretty tight or it may move around on you. The rest of the monopod held up well to this combo- have no complaints except the word CANON on it . Not sure about more expensive pods, though! This one was just so cheap!
10-29-2009, 01:28 PM   #22
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For kids sports, I'd recommend a tripod, rather than a monopod. The reason is that setting up the tripod correctly will prevent or reduce having to correct afterwards for tilted backgrounds. I find this very distracting and it takes extra time to correct it in PP, when you've been panning from on end of the field to the other and have 100-300 shots to process.

Last edited by dosdan; 10-29-2009 at 01:39 PM.
10-29-2009, 02:09 PM   #23
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I've tried both, and ended up ditching them for handheld and being able to move a little with the action. If I had a 70-200 or larger though, I may have gone back to the monopod, at least for soccer, football, etc. Baseball and maybe volleyball I may have given a tripod a shot.

10-29-2009, 02:46 PM   #24
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Ah well, might as well totally confuse you with options.

I have a manfrotto 680B monopod and it is very good. Solid, strong and collapses down to small size for transport. I have the Manfrotto 222 head on it and this combination works really well, gives you maximum flexibility. I also have Manfrotto's dedicated monopod head and wouldn't reccommend that.

What would I do differently if I had my time over again?: same type of solid monopod, but would look for a Carbon Fibre version, and a pistol grip head. My wife has just bought the Tristar PG01 head( a Slik copy), it is a fraction of the price of the Manfrotto. Looks ok, but time will tell if its a good buy or a cheap buy. (Adorama have them).

Looking forward to seeing some of these shots.
Cheers.
PS: Explanation: 222 head is a pistol grip.

Last edited by Mallee Boy; 10-29-2009 at 02:54 PM. Reason: PS
10-29-2009, 03:02 PM   #25
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i will repeat what i have been saying lately: i cannot be convinced that faster af will improve my action photography, i have yet to try a "sports machine" like the top end canons or nikons, but i am not ready to buy one either, so what would be the point? i have shot anything from fully manual 35mm cameras (loved them, i still do), and even 6x6 on occasion, to nikon d50, pentax k100d, k10d (gx10), k20d, and honestly i don't get what the fuss is all about. i don't see that big a difference, at the end of the day, the difference will be made by the light, my scouting and attention i commit to the shoot, and the mood i am in. i dont recall ever having had an overall bad or good day because of af. i wish i could say i did, it would make it so much easier . my immediate conclusion would be that, unless you spend considerably more money (think nikon d300/canon 1ds or whatever the hell it's called these days), you won't see a huge difference. of course some people will tell you otherwise, so take this with a grain of salt.

to put things into perspective (or, to give shape to the said grain of salt): i shoot mostly rally (so quite different from what you intend), and i have been known to lately shoot old manual focus lenses at that, so perhaps my advice is not entirely what you are looking for.

finaly, here are some examples from most everything i used mentioned above, except the film ones:

rally

ps: that deal for k-x, double kit, sounds sweet. i would miss the weather sealing, but still, it sounds like a steal. many of my shots are made with the 50-200, very capable lens, and they say the 55-300 is even better. and cheap. what's not to like about it than?

ps2: what's "a-ef-sea?" :P
10-29-2009, 03:02 PM   #26
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Off topic, but how do you like that head? I'm looking at a probable tripod upgrade soon, and am considering that head (322 doesn't seem to interest me) with either the 055xproB legs or a set of Feisols.
10-29-2009, 04:44 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanok Quote
i will repeat what i have been saying lately: i cannot be convinced that faster af will improve my action photography,
Moving from the K20D to the K-7 has increased my number of keepers for rugby. Rallying is a bit different as you know where the cars are going to go, more or less, they don't side-step to often.

I like to hand hold if I there is enough light to keep the shutter fast, otherwise I fall back to a monopod. I couldn't possibly do it with a tripod, and I've never seen one used at a game yet.
10-29-2009, 05:54 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
I like to hand hold if I there is enough light to keep the shutter fast, otherwise I fall back to a monopod. I couldn't possibly do it with a tripod, and I've never seen one used at a game yet.
Kids soccer is played on small fields (1/4-size I think) & they can't kick very far so the panning does not need to be as wild as in adult soccer or rugby. The first time I shot a U7 soccer match, it was hand-held, but from then on I used a tripod.

Last edited by dosdan; 10-29-2009 at 08:06 PM.
10-30-2009, 02:21 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jodokast96 Quote
Off topic, but how do you like that head? I'm looking at a probable tripod upgrade soon, and am considering that head (322 doesn't seem to interest me) with either the 055xproB legs or a set of Feisols.
Guess you are referring to the Manfrotto 222?

Simply....love it. Have had it for 2 or 3 years now. The one thing I am noticing is a little movement developing where the quick release plate locks in. I guess this is from wear, as the lock mechanism is metal on metal (and alloy at that which is soft). It just means I have to make sure the lever is pushed in firmly. Yes, I have fitted a new plate, and there was some improvement, but for any wear on the old plate there will be an equal amount on the lever....which isnt so easily replaced.

The only downside to it is its weight, but you soon get used to that.

Cheers
10-30-2009, 07:52 PM   #30
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when I use a monopod I don't use the head that's on it, I just tilt/swivel it this way and that. It's just there to support the weight of the lens, mostly when I'm not actually taking a pic!
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