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01-27-2014, 01:46 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Sports photography update

Looked at a few Guardian soccer photos yesterday. Taken by different professionals at English Premier League matches. Checked the EXIF data, and found that they were ALL taken at 1/1000 second... with high end full-frame Nikon & Canon cameras. One photographer used f/4, aperture priority... another, on a darker day, used f/2.8 on manual. Almost all photos were taken with telephotos, except for a few 28mm wide-angles from behind the nets.

Surprisingly, most of the telephoto pics were taken at 150 to 200mm. Longest was 400mm. What? No giant 1000mm lenses? Well, these guys, from England's best newspaper, have field-level passes. As close as you can get. And, the picture editor back at the paper can crop to get that killer picture. The Guardian website slideshow images are only 750 x 480. Crop away!

This is inspiring me -- and I hope you -- to start messing around with sports action. We're not pros, so we might need a bit more daylight than some of those dreary cloudy rainy days over in England. As for getting close to the field, how about high school or jr. college sports? Or, in just a few months -- US college baseball games, where you can get VERY close since there rarely are any other fans to get in the way.

And you don't need that mega-expensive f/2.8 telephoto lens. The Pentax 55-300mm is excellent and inexpensive -- and in normal daylight, its f/5.8 at 300mm is no problem at all... you can use it at f/8, 1/1000 sec in sunlight. Really tight budget? There's the 50-200mm kit lens -- and again, if you use 1/1000 second, you'll eliminate any handheld blurring and get great action pictures -- without having to go to England and work for the Guardian!

01-27-2014, 02:10 AM   #2
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Ahh, but their AF tracking cannot be matched by our Pentax DSLRs
01-27-2014, 02:39 AM   #3
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Oops, didn't think of that. Maybe we're OK in bright daylight? Must confess, I've never used continuous auto-focus. Will find some kids playing ball and experiment with my K-30.
Also, the Canikon pros can probably blast off a ton of Burst Mode pictures, sort of like throwing stucco at a wall and hoping something sticks. But I'll bet our K-3 owners can do that too.
What I've found, in the little amateur sports photography I've done, is that you can overcome camera limitations by pre-focusing on a predictable action spot -- like home plate in baseball. Here, from a day game in San Diego... K-30 with 55-300mm lens... but my shutter speed was nowhere near 1/1000; won't make that mistake again. But this is easier than a free-flowing game like soccer, where you never know where the ball will be next!
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Last edited by jon404; 01-27-2014 at 02:44 AM.
01-27-2014, 02:54 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Well sportsphotograhy is very exciting to do. Yes you can do that with a lens like the DA55-300mm, but Pentax also has two very interesting lenses for this with the DA*60-250mm and DA*300mm that both are faster in aperture and focusing. Having access to a good spot and light to work with is also very essential for good images:

Startgame for the BeNe League with DA*300mm


Teamphoto (FA31mm) for start off the game, for this you need access to the playground prior to the start off the game. That is again a different accreditation then having field-level access.


So enjoy your sportsphotography. For indoorsports mostly a shorter lens will do.

Muay Tahi with FA31mm


01-27-2014, 02:54 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
but their AF tracking cannot be matched by our Pentax DSLRs
You assume too much. Not all of those shots were likely taken with AF tracking. Just operator skill and experience.

Plus new Pentax bodies like the K-3 are also truly capable of 'carrying the fight' up to Canikon when it comes to AF tracking. Overcome your brand anxiety.
01-30-2014, 10:22 PM   #6
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These were all shot in Manual Mode using an old 75-300mm manual zoom. It's not that hard to do. Just takes a bit of practice.



The above picture is a crop from this shot.





















01-30-2014, 11:00 PM   #7
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@Keith -- great photos! If you remember, what shutter speed were you using? Did you get to 1/1000, since it was daylight? Or less, as the boat photos show considerable depth-of-field?
01-30-2014, 11:22 PM   #8
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Its worth getting good glass, even if you have to get it used. Dog with a 50-135, surfers with 50-135 + 1.5 TC ( vacation) , dancers with 50-135 from rear of theater. From two well worn K-5s ( 110k+ exposures) each. All tracked with with rear AF. My new K5-IIs's are better in very low light but I had no excuse to miss the shot with K-5.


Last edited by Brooke Meyer; 12-03-2014 at 09:18 PM.
01-30-2014, 11:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
@Keith -- great photos! If you remember, what shutter speed were you using? Did you get to 1/1000, since it was daylight? Or less, as the boat photos show considerable depth-of-field?


Jon,


Thanks!


The first shot was ISO 200 Shutter 1/1000


The second was also ISO 200 1/1000


The last 2 boat shots were shot at ISO 800 1/3000.


Those 2 were somewhat underexposed. I only shoot RAW so I was easily able to rescue them. That old lens I usually tried to shot between F8 and F11. That gave the sharpest shots.
01-31-2014, 12:22 AM   #10
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Thanks Keith. That fast shutter speed really works. But those race cars are suspiciously alike! Was there only one, and did you send it back between shots for a repaint and new sponsor stickers?

Brooke -- really impressed by the ballet picture -- what a trade-off, 1/320 at ISO 3200 -- you really had to anticipate the high point of that jump to get it so sharp! And on Manual, too. Re surf -- if you're ever in San Diego, check out Windansea beach near La Jolla.

Also interesting -- that we can go to high ISOs without problems -- at least for images that will be reduced and then displayed on our PC and device screens. Will have to stop being afraid of ISOs over 800!

Last edited by jon404; 01-31-2014 at 12:32 AM.
01-31-2014, 12:27 AM   #11
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Jon, That's Indy car racing these days. They only allow 1 make of car to compete. This was the old Dallara chassis. They are now running a newer Dallara.. It's really taken a lot of the soul out of Indy car!!!
01-31-2014, 12:45 AM   #12
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Keith -- my dream is that sooner rather than later we'll see electric Indy cars -- either with hot-swapable batteries or on-the-fly induction charging. Before retiring, I worked for Qualcomm in San Diego, and they are all over this one -- see Qualcomm News and Events .

There's nothing faster than an electric car off the line -- pure torque, pure power. So fast! We'll need 1/8000 second to keep up! Zap!
01-31-2014, 01:12 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote

Also interesting -- that we can go to high ISOs without problems -- at least for images that will be reduced and then displayed on our PC and device screens. Will have to stop being afraid of ISOs over 800!
With experience, I'd have no problem with a 16x20 or 16x24 print. I've done it of often. After a 150 thousand or so dance photographs, I expect to get that shot and do.
01-31-2014, 06:52 AM   #14
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When I've shot school sports, my lens of choice is my old MF Tamron 23A 60-300. I prefer to manually focus when shooting sports anyway.
01-31-2014, 09:38 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
Keith -- my dream is that sooner rather than later we'll see electric Indy cars -- either with hot-swapable batteries or on-the-fly induction charging. Before retiring, I worked for Qualcomm in San Diego, and they are all over this one -- see Qualcomm News and Events .

There's nothing faster than an electric car off the line -- pure torque, pure power. So fast! We'll need 1/8000 second to keep up! Zap!

Jon, I know what you mean on the acceleration with an electric motor. I repair CNC Machine Tools for a living. I work with electric motors all the time. Hopefully there will be more breakthroughs in charging and battery technology in the next few years. That's the biggest roadblock right now that I can see.
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