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04-06-2017, 05:58 AM   #1
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Going to a baseball game...

...will need to shoot mostly from my seats (pro stadium, mid way back, with an overhang above) got my K-1 but no appropriate lens for the occasion, so I'll need some advice there (*200m Ok / or do I need more?) <OR> I still do have my K-3 w/ the older 55-300mm. I would love to keep at it with the K-1 but the K-3 (faster shooting / larger buffer) w/ even the newer 55-300mm might be the better / cheaper way to go. Any thoughts / experience would be appreciated...

04-06-2017, 07:32 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by robr7 Quote
...will need to shoot mostly from my seats (pro stadium, mid way back, with an overhang above) got my K-1 but no appropriate lens for the occasion, so I'll need some advice there (*200m Ok / or do I need more?) <OR> I still do have my K-3 w/ the older 55-300mm. I would love to keep at it with the K-1 but the K-3 (faster shooting / larger buffer) w/ even the newer 55-300mm might be the better / cheaper way to go. Any thoughts / experience would be appreciated...
when are you going??

consider a rental of equipment - LensRental.com from Tennessee did a good job for me when I rented HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter and a HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW to try out before purchasing. They may sell stock as well with rental fees going toward purchase.

check the stadium's rules regarding size of camera and remember you will probably go through security to get in now.

I will be taking photos at a Cubs v Cardinals game in St. Louis in mid may, don't know if I will use K 3 + ? or my Nikon Coolpix P610

here is a photo with it from last May - Cubs beating Dodgers in Wrigley, the elongated white blur in the infield is the pitch being delivered to home
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Last edited by aslyfox; 04-06-2017 at 07:38 AM.
04-06-2017, 08:08 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Day game or night game? I'll assume day. If this isn't going to be a regular event for you, don't rush to buy equipment.

As already mentioned it's important to check stadium rules. Many have poorly-worded rules that only allow "small" or that ban "professional" cameras. Guards at different entrances interpret the rules differently.

Your K-3 or K-1 with 55-300 should be adequate. No need to upgrade to the newer 55-300 PLM for fast autofocus. You'll be far enough back that AF will only need to move through a small range, infinity through almost-infinity. Pre-focus and then switch to manual focus if you are worried about focus hunting on each shot. Even better, this is a good time to consider configuring your camera to use the rear AF button!

55mm is fairly long. Bring a 2nd lens or just use a cell phone for wider shots.
04-06-2017, 09:25 AM - 1 Like   #4
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No need to switch to manual focus, use back button focus to prefocus on the area where you expect action. Baseball cries out for back button focus.
Over the years I have used the 50-200mm, 18-55mm, 18-50mm, 50-135mm, manual focus 8mm, 85mm and 300mm. Not a problem if you use back button focus (or manual if that is the type of lens). It helps to know a bit about baseball so you can anticipate plays, such as focus on third base (when on the third base side) only if there is a chance for a play at third.
Unfortunately, the last three games I attended the home team lost - big time - as so far this year they have scored 3 runs - total. Another year in the basement - time to let all those high salaried players who can only hit in spring training go somewhere else.

04-06-2017, 10:27 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
No need to switch to manual focus, use back button focus to prefocus on the area where you expect action. Baseball cries out for back button focus.
Over the years I have used the 50-200mm, 18-55mm, 18-50mm, 50-135mm, manual focus 8mm, 85mm and 300mm. Not a problem if you use back button focus (or manual if that is the type of lens). It helps to know a bit about baseball so you can anticipate plays, such as focus on third base (when on the third base side) only if there is a chance for a play at third.
Unfortunately, the last three games I attended the home team lost - big time - as so far this year they have scored 3 runs - total. Another year in the basement - time to let all those high salaried players who can only hit in spring training go somewhere else.
other thoughts - very basic

1 make sure you bring extra batteries

2 something to clean your lenses.

3 protection: I bring a watertight plastic bag to put any extra lenses I might take to protect them from liquids if I have to put them under my seat.

4 extra memory cards

5 I have used cameras at several ball parks, all I have checked prohibit tripods, monopods ??, so be very aware of the weight of your equipment.

FYI: here are the posted rules for Wrigley Field, Busch Stadium and Kauffman Stadium:

Cameras/Video Equipment: Visitors are welcome to bring video and still cameras into the ballpark; however, tripods are not allowed in the seating areas. Recordings may be used for personal viewing only. Any other use, distribution or commercial use is prohibited. Fans may not distribute any copyrighted game information without permission of the Chicago Cubs

________________________

Cameras/Video Equipment

Both still and video cameras for personal use are allowed in Busch Stadium provided that they do not interfere with the game or obstruct another guest's view. Tripods and monopods are prohibited to non-credentialed guests. Per MLB restrictions, recording of any field activity is strictly prohibited. The team name, logos and player likenesses are copyrighted material, none of which may be published without prior written consent of the Cardinals, MLB and other applicable third party rights holders. Persons deemed to be violating these rules may be escorted from the ballpark. The Cardinals reserve the right to ask guests to put cameras and video equipment away.
___________________________________

CAMERAS/VIDEO EQUIPMENT
Still and hand-held video cameras are welcome into the stadium, but tripods cannot be set up or block the view of other guests. Monopods are permitted into the ballpark. Camera lenses 12 inches or smaller are permitted into the ballpark. Flash photography and video production is strictly prohibited.

Last edited by aslyfox; 04-06-2017 at 10:35 AM.
04-06-2017, 12:02 PM   #6
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Wow, lots of good stuff I didn't think of.

Just realized it is a night game. Will do w/ pre-set / manual and set up rear AF. Any other recommendations for settings?

Will double check stadium security, I read its getting raised / standardized across MLB. If size is a problem I'll stick with my K-3 w/ 55-300, its relatively compact and I assume I'll get speedier response w/ more MP than a cropped K-1. (BTW - I just looked through some old pics and I have used this combo before at a game and it did a pretty darn good job, so I guess I can trust this setup - just can't recall how many shots it took get some good ones. )

I am still tempted to go with the K-1 (even though they say its not a "sport" camera, I gotta see what it can do) and perhaps do my first rental. If you had a choice - would you go with the speedier(?) *55-200 or the longer range 150-450? I'm having doubts if a FF w/ a 200 will reach far out enough.
04-06-2017, 01:47 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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I've gone to a fair number of Orioles games at Camden Yards with some combination of K-30, K-3II, older 55-300, and even the 35mm plastic fantastic and the Rokinon 8mm fisheye. All of them did very reasonably, and I got a fair number of keepers. I certainly wouldn't go buy or rent new gear, go with what you have. FF and the 200mm won't be a ton of reach, but you might just change your subjects.
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04-06-2017, 02:13 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by robr7 Quote
Wow, lots of good stuff I didn't think of.

Just realized it is a night game. Will do w/ pre-set / manual and set up rear AF. Any other recommendations for settings?

Will double check stadium security, I read its getting raised / standardized across MLB. If size is a problem I'll stick with my K-3 w/ 55-300, its relatively compact and I assume I'll get speedier response w/ more MP than a cropped K-1. (BTW - I just looked through some old pics and I have used this combo before at a game and it did a pretty darn good job, so I guess I can trust this setup - just can't recall how many shots it took get some good ones. )

I am still tempted to go with the K-1 (even though they say its not a "sport" camera, I gotta see what it can do) and perhaps do my first rental. If you had a choice - would you go with the speedier(?) *55-200 or the longer range 150-450? I'm having doubts if a FF w/ a 200 will reach far out enough.
I would only do the rental if there is a lens you want to try out. check the price and see

still not sure which stadium you are going to doesn't really matter

To check the stadium guidelines, this is what I do

go to the team's web site, there should be a section for the ball park, check on that and go to the A-Z guide.

in the 3 I have checked, the info is under Camera

I would also check for security info as well.

good luck, enjoy the game, get some nice photos and show them to us please and unless the opponents are the Cubbies, I hope your team wins

since I am going to 3 games, I plan on scoring at least one (yeah I do an old fashion score card on ones I print at home - http://www.baseballscorecard.com/ ) and taking photos at the last game since that game has the best seats. Plans are subject to change of course.

[ BTW, the Cubs just came from behind and took the last two games of the 3 game opening series in St. Louis ]

Fly the "W" boys, Fly the "W"

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Last edited by aslyfox; 04-07-2017 at 05:48 AM. Reason: added link for web site about score cards, downloads and how to do scoring
04-07-2017, 11:24 PM   #9
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MLB rules allow for cameras, as long as you aren't thought to be disturbing the game experience for others.

It sounds like you want to be shooting the action. For a night game, you will need 1/800 at least - and the reach of the 300 zoom on the K-3. Yeah, it might be worth renting the 450 zoom for the K-1; pretty big and heavy for shooting from the seats. If you are more than 20 rows back, you'll be doing a lot of cropping. As for the AF experience, either camera can handle it for the normal base-running, pitching, hitting kinds of plays (linear action) from a distance. So, you are looking at 3200 ISO, or a little lower for the K-1 with the faster lens.

It helps a lot - if shooting neighborhood ballgames - to mount a monopod for shooting action. I'm pretty sure you aren't allowed to bring a monopod to MLB games, though.
04-08-2017, 02:22 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
MLB rules allow for cameras, as long as you aren't thought to be disturbing the game experience for others.

It sounds like you want to be shooting the action. For a night game, you will need 1/800 at least - and the reach of the 300 zoom on the K-3. Yeah, it might be worth renting the 450 zoom for the K-1; pretty big and heavy for shooting from the seats. If you are more than 20 rows back, you'll be doing a lot of cropping. As for the AF experience, either camera can handle it for the normal base-running, pitching, hitting kinds of plays (linear action) from a distance. So, you are looking at 3200 ISO, or a little lower for the K-1 with the faster lens.

It helps a lot - if shooting neighborhood ballgames - to mount a monopod for shooting action. I'm pretty sure you aren't allowed to bring a monopod to MLB games, though.
be aware that some parks might limit your choice based on size so the HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW at 95 x 241.5 mm (3.7 x 9.5 in.) + Weight
2000 g (70.5 oz.) + plus your camera body size and weight???

for example

the Kansas City Royals - Kauffman Stadium:

" Camera lenses 12 inches or smaller are permitted into the ballpark "

it is a great lens if you can handle the weight unsupported or can have some type of support system
04-08-2017, 08:44 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
be aware that some parks might limit your choice based on size so the HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW at 95 x 241.5 mm (3.7 x 9.5 in.) + Weight
2000 g (70.5 oz.) + plus your camera body size and weight???

for example

the Kansas City Royals - Kauffman Stadium:

" Camera lenses 12 inches or smaller are permitted into the ballpark "

it is a great lens if you can handle the weight unsupported or can have some type of support system
That's interesting to see. In my days of reporting on and shooting sports facilities years ago, I was aware that MLB had been trying to get matching rules - and thought they would be there by now. I think 12 inches is a reasonable standard that allows for some discretion (although bringing the lens in it will be compact, but in use it might expand beyond 12 inches - very tough to enforce). As I had said in the earlier post, the FF rig gets to be pretty large and could cause distraction. The K-3 rig probably is the better choice. Shooting from the stands can be fun and interesting, but you just have to be satisfied that you won't be getting stunning close-in results. My best shots were always the environmental ones, wide angle showing life in the stands.

If you are shooting a night game, the best shots can come in the early innings when you get a nice combination of sun and ballpark lighting - softer shadows than midday and enough light overall. June and early July games give you that added light, especially in the northern states.
04-26-2017, 03:58 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by robr7 Quote
...will need to shoot mostly from my seats (pro stadium, mid way back, with an overhang above) got my K-1 but no appropriate lens for the occasion, so I'll need some advice there (*200m Ok / or do I need more?) <OR> I still do have my K-3 w/ the older 55-300mm. I would love to keep at it with the K-1 but the K-3 (faster shooting / larger buffer) w/ even the newer 55-300mm might be the better / cheaper way to go. Any thoughts / experience would be appreciated...
not sure if the OP has gone to the ball game(s) yet or not

I, for one, would appreciate knowing what experiences the OP had in real life with all possible details relating to getting the equipment in, how it worked and what would be done differently if the OP was doing it again.

As I have said, we are going with a group for 2 games, one night, one mid afternoon in St. Louis on Mother's day weekend and we do not know where the seats will be and on Sunday early afternoon where we have decent lower infield seats.

I will be using my K 3 but haven't determined what lenses other than my new SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 XS,and perhaps my HD Pentax-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR as well. some type of longer lens will also make the trip

my choices would be chosen from

Tamron F 4-5.6 70 -300 macro zoom ld [1:2] af 62 f

smc Pentax dal F 4-5.6 50-200mm wr ed zoom

HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW


HD Pentax -DA af rear converter 1.4 AW

does anyone have any thoughts
04-26-2017, 07:02 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
That's interesting to see. In my days of reporting on and shooting sports facilities years ago, I was aware that MLB had been trying to get matching rules - and thought they would be there by now. I think 12 inches is a reasonable standard that allows for some discretion (although bringing the lens in it will be compact, but in use it might expand beyond 12 inches - very tough to enforce). . . .

as far as enforcement it only takes one person to complain to the usher and then what ??

I'm not surrendering my expensive lens to an usher nor do I think the usher would trust me if I said I would put that lens away and switch to another

MHO, YMMV


I would rather not take the chance and I would leave the "big guy" - HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW at home or the hotel and not take it to the ball park. I might match my HD Pentax-DA 1.4x AW AF Rear Converter with my smc Pentax dal F 4-5.6 50-200 mm wr ed zoom if I needed the length and it was a nice bright sunny day
04-29-2017, 07:43 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ScooterMaxi Jim Quote
If you are shooting a night game, the best shots can come in the early innings when you get a nice combination of sun and ballpark lighting - softer shadows than midday and enough light overall. June and early July games give you that added light, especially in the northern states.
Great advice, Thanks.

---------- Post added 04-29-17 at 10:50 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
not sure if the OP has gone to the ball game(s) yet or not. I, for one, would appreciate knowing what experiences the OP had in real life with all possible details relating to getting the equipment in, how it worked and what would be done differently if the OP was doing it again.

As I have said, we are going with a group for 2 games, one night, one mid afternoon in St. Louis on Mother's day weekend and we do not know where the seats will be and on Sunday early afternoon where we have decent lower infield seats.
Funny enough Mother's Day was supposed to be our first game but I ended up getting invited to an earlier game...

---------- Post added 04-29-17 at 11:06 ----------

...I am going to stick with the K-3 for most games and possibly the big game, here are my thoughts / reasoning thus far...

Got to go over some photos I had taken a couple years back at a game w/ my K-3 + HD DA 55-300. I was actually surprised at the amount of good shots I had and I thought they held up pretty well (I guess I am overly critical right after a shoot). I dug up the rig to mess with a bit and got a reminder of how much faster it seemed than the K-1 but I still was interested in trying out the K-1 in a game.

As luck would have it I ended up getting invited / going to an earlier game since the original post. I quickly put together the K-1, the F DA 24-70 and HD DA 55-300. I was surprised how much quicker the K-1 felt shooting in cropped with the APS-C lens (makes sense I guess). The images turned out good enough at the cropped 15mpx but obviously the K-3 at 24mpx would've been better. Regardless I screwed up and somehow shot everything at ISO 1600 so no post cropping / zooming was possible with decent results. Even at all out the 300 doesn't get to everything. I don't think the F DA 70-200 is going to cut it at a game, I'll have to do the math but it hurts my brain.

Even with using the "small" DA 55-300 zoom when I went into the box (lounge) I got a "Oh you're the guy with the camera" - as in I guess fellow fans were talking (that guy was never at the seats). So even though I knew I was being respectful and keeping to myself folks noticed and I was possibly distracting? I can only imagine if I had the 150-400. My regular seats though aren’t anywhere near a box and are actually in a last row of the section so maybe I can get away with a little more.

Maybe for just the one game I go all out and calm down for the rest of the season.

Last edited by robr7; 04-30-2017 at 11:31 AM.
04-30-2017, 01:32 PM   #15
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Related question (or is it really the question at this point) and maybe it should even get it's own thread...

Given the choice do you go with a FF 31mpx (K-1) + 70-200 and just crop for the "zoom"? Or an APS-C 24mpx (K-3) w/ >300?

Is there some sort of on-line calculator for this sort of thing?
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