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01-16-2012, 03:03 PM   #1
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Some friendly advise ...

Hi all,

I'm a long time Pentax loyalist and currently shoot a K20d with a kit 18-55 II, a 55-300 and m50 2.0. Like anyone, I have my wish list of lenses and other accessories that I dream about daily, but again like most, I have a family and many other responsibilities that tend to come first.

My son plays Jr High basketball and I've been doing most of the teams photography and have pretty much been exclusive with the 55-300 which has been adequately sharp, but obviously slow to in both aperture and focus speed. I use my 360 flash and monopod to help, but I can only take this combination so far.

I would love nothing more than to add a fast lens and the K5 to up my ability to follow and capture the action. But, budget just won't allow it.

So ... here is the question. Given the more efficient focusing ability along with the improved low noise performance of the K5, would it be a better first addition or going with faster glass on my K20d be the more prudent move?

Any and all suggestions would be very appreciated ... thanks in advance.

01-16-2012, 03:22 PM   #2
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Given your body and lenses, I'm inclined to advise you to get faster glass before a new body. The fast glass will always be fast glass, but the K-5 will soon be replaced.

I actually recently followed that path. I started with a Km, added an assortment of lenses, and just last year I upgraded to a K-5. If I had to do it all again, I'd still go with lenses first.

What focal length do you favor when shooting the 55-300 indoors? That would give you a clue as to what lens to get.
01-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #3
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I've been taking photos of my children at the indoor gym for both basketball and volleyball. I went with faster glass first with an FA50/1.4 and was happy with that upgrade for my K-x. I only later bought the K5. At this point in the life-cycle of the cameras I'd go with faster glass and wait for the introduction of the K5 replacement. When that happens K5's will be less expensive.
01-16-2012, 03:48 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by wasser Quote
Given your body and lenses, I'm inclined to advise you to get faster glass before a new body. The fast glass will always be fast glass, but the K-5 will soon be replaced.
+1 on this... A faster better lens (and yes the 55-300 is a great lens, just not fast) will make your K20 feel like a new camera!

QuoteOriginally posted by wasser Quote
What focal length do you favor when shooting the 55-300 indoors? That would give you a clue as to what lens to get
Something with a constant f2.8 would most likely do the trick! (bare in mind I'm British and know f**K all about basketball)

01-16-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
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Thanks guys for the quick responses. I was leaning that way and have always wanted to add glass, but thought asking would be prudent since the evolution from the 20d to the 5 was pretty drastic in terms of focus and noise performance.

I'm seriously leaning towards the DA*200 since that's in the ballpark of where I tend to be in most of my shots. The constant f2.8 sure would be a luxury over what I'm relegated to now.

I unfortunately live a couple of hundred miles from any store that actually stocks Pentax gear, so I really don't have much of a chance to try out equipment and see how much of a difference it's going to make. Your input is therefore really appreciated ... thanks again.
01-16-2012, 04:39 PM   #6
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There is always the option of renting before buying,Camera Lens Rentals - Rent Canon, Nikon and Pentax..
01-16-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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I have been surprised how some of my retired lenses improve on the K5. Suggest you borrow a K5. there must be a member close by who would be happy to help out. It is a very interesting question.

Can anyone compare a K5 with a 60-250 zoom with a K20 with a 50-300?
01-16-2012, 05:14 PM   #8
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maybe the sigma or tamron 70-200 F/2.8 would make sense for basketball? all reports suggest the tammie has better IQ wide open, the Sig somewhat better and faster AF.

01-16-2012, 05:22 PM   #9
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Thanks Ex Finn, I had heard of LensRentals but not CameraLensRentals.com. The DA*200 is only $45 for 4 days insured ... that would cover one of the tournaments and give me a chance to see how it works on my K20d. Great idea ... thanks.
01-16-2012, 05:32 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hawki Quote
I'm seriously leaning towards the DA*200
I handled one briefly, a nice lens. In my opinion you need to look at a zoom lens for sports.

p.s.(60-250 is pretty nice when combined with K5 and AFC in TaV).
01-16-2012, 05:35 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hawki Quote
Thanks Ex Finn, I had heard of LensRentals but not CameraLensRentals.com. The DA*200 is only $45 for 4 days insured ... that would cover one of the tournaments and give me a chance to see how it works on my K20d. Great idea ... thanks.
I have been thinking about renting from them myself, tamron and sigma 2.8`s to do a comparison. Yeah, the rates are not bad.
01-16-2012, 05:36 PM   #12
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While you're at it, can you rent a K-5 at the same time? Then you see how much improvement you get from the better high-ISO performance of the K-5 vs. the extra two stops from the DA*200. I have the DA* 200 and think it's a great lens, definitely a good general-purpose sports lens, but you may get more than 2 stops improvement from the K-5. Also the DOF of 200mm @ f/2.8 is quite thin...
01-16-2012, 05:40 PM   #13
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I agree that for sports a 2.8-zoom will give you more flexibility... Guess it depends on other uses outside sport too though...
01-16-2012, 05:53 PM   #14
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This is one case where newer body might be the better choice.
For indoor dance competitions I prefer an F4 or smaller setting for better depth of field, with a higher shutter speed to stop the action.
I think this would be similar to HS basketball in terms of lighting and action.
For that, a cleaner high ISO capable sensor like in the K-x, K-r or K-5 may be the ticket.
You could probably shoot your 55-300 at f5.8 and still use a fast shutter.
This shot is with a K-x at ISO 3200, F4, 1/400. (Lens is Sigma 70-200 2.8 but DOF at 2.8 was too thin for the teams)


Last edited by crewl1; 01-16-2012 at 11:18 PM.
01-16-2012, 06:18 PM   #15
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Go and read about this thread and the guy who use a lens for basketball.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/134848-convinc...0-200mm-2.html
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