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11-21-2016, 05:01 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Pentax AF for Sports and Action

I'm still bemused by posts saying it can't be done.


I don't get it.


I'm an amateur casually pointing my handheld K-1 with a Tamron 70-200 (not some expensive sports lens) at a runner.


The ninth shot of the sequence was cropped and processed for my social media.












































Last edited by clackers; 11-21-2016 at 07:08 PM.
11-21-2016, 05:52 PM   #2
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Nice shooting. I also find Pentax AF efficient for sports/wildlife/action when proper settings are utilized.

Your shots look detailed and well lit.
11-21-2016, 05:58 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I think when people complain about AF it's more about things smaller and faster than a human running, but it can be done.
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11-21-2016, 07:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by KiloHotelphoto Quote
I think when people complain about AF it's more about things smaller and faster than a human running, but it can be done.
I've seen 'experts' say they could not do this to horses, KiloHotelphoto, or people riding bicycles


Love your eagle shot, BTW!

11-21-2016, 07:18 PM   #5
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Ian and I once got into it over dos running straight at the camera. I think I to 5-7 with the 3 or 4 closest to me out of focus, he got 12 in focus. It's not that you can't get it done, it's that cameras with AF designed for action increases your odds.

Ian was shooting a D750 if memory serves me well. For the difference in price, I was really happy with my K-3. After all, how many images of your dog running straight at you do you really want?
11-21-2016, 08:13 PM   #6
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100km race
11-21-2016, 08:50 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
100km race

Yep, Aaacb, she was actually one 25km runner of a team of four, but the main event is of course the remarkable solo runners.


I was in the 15km category, with absolutely no desire to go further than that, thank you very much, even though the course features running through very pretty shrubbed beachside tracks and along limestone cliff tops with the ocean below!
11-21-2016, 08:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Ian and I once got into it over dos running straight at the camera. I think I to 5-7 with the 3 or 4 closest to me out of focus, he got 12 in focus. It's not that you can't get it done, it's that cameras with AF designed for action increases your odds.

Ian was shooting a D750 if memory serves me well. For the difference in price, I was really happy with my K-3. After all, how many images of your dog running straight at you do you really want?

Yep, there's no difference with the Canon and Nikon shooters around me. Everyone shoots bursts to get a keeper. It's spray and pray.


The magazine editor or their Instagram followers don't need to see a second, very similar pic.


I only used #9 on my Facebook feed (her eyes are up), I simply present the unbroken sequence here as evidence.


Last edited by clackers; 11-21-2016 at 09:06 PM.
11-21-2016, 09:39 PM   #9
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I think the true test would be team sports like football or hockey where you're trying to maintain and track focus on a subject that is quickly changing direction amongst many other objects. Not saying that it can't be done with Pentax, but subjects with an easily calculated tracking path certainly makes the task easier.

I've been using a K3 for low light concert photography for ages and it works very well.
11-21-2016, 09:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MBT74 Quote
I think the true test would be team sports like football or hockey where you're trying to maintain and track focus on a subject that is quickly changing direction amongst many other objects. Not saying that it can't be done with Pentax, but subjects with an easily calculated tracking path certainly makes the task easier.

Doesn't sound like you've done much sports photography, MBT.


Here's Terrell Owens ducking and weaving through a defence, with the K-30 and Tammy 70-200.


As I said in another thread:


"My right thumb is constantly pressed down, the index finger is free to click, click, click, as needed. If I need to pan across an obstacle, the thumb comes up, and comes down again when out the other side and AF has not locked onto the tree or sign or whatever in between. If I press the AF button when the selected point is over the background or a spectator instead of the subject, that's *my* fault, not the camera's.

I'd love to be actually beside someone claiming to have trouble with action photography.

Settings and technique and practice are paramount for anyone who thinks it would be easy to shoot for Sports Illustrated. And those three things don't cost a cent."




Last edited by clackers; 11-21-2016 at 10:04 PM.
11-21-2016, 10:16 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MBT74 Quote
like football or hockey
There are at least two very long threads with sports shots showing many sports played at various levels. I am only an amateur but I also post every now and then.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/242969-sports-images-k-3-a.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/38-photographic-technique/275291-sports-p...le-images.html

Either way, I think you are overlooking the problem of photographing small children when you say that football or hockey are some of the toughest subjects to track
11-21-2016, 10:34 PM   #12
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Hahaha! Yeah you're right. Small kids would be right up there for tracking difficulty. I've done some sports shooting. Mainly cricket and tennis. I didn't mean that Pentax couldn't do it.
11-21-2016, 11:57 PM   #13
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There is a lot of variability of Pentax auto focus performance from user to user. The main issue if you are no familiar with camera multipoint AF , the Pentax manual isn't done in a practical way. That is why there are some many threads started for asking "what AF settings should I use on my camera?". Canon have done a much better job for the 7DII, they list a number of use cases and the best AF settings for each case. With Pentax you have to figure it out for yourself, a lot of people give up and say "this thing does not work".
11-22-2016, 03:24 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Canon have done a much better job for the 7DII, they list a number of use cases and the best AF settings for each case. With Pentax you have to figure it out for yourself, a lot of people give up and say "this thing does not work".
TBH, the Canon users I've spoken to - including 5D MkIII owners - haven't understood them, either! :-D

They make excuses like, 'Oh, I do landscapes' or whatever.



11-22-2016, 03:50 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
TBH, the Canon users I've spoken to - including 5D MkIII owners - haven't understood them, either! :-D
Yes. Watched this video here:
Look at minute 22:45 ; it's funny how he get out of focus shots with the 7DII supposed to be so good... (Pentaxians suppose it to be miraculous).
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