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01-10-2019, 08:01 PM - 3 Likes   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
I'm always amused to see kids as a distinct benchmark for af performance. I guess it's more because many more photographers will want photos of their kids, than shoot more organized sports or wildlife, and skill level is across a broader spectrum. But it does create this idea that kids are somehow the fastest most random subject you could choose
I think mothers and fathers have collectively less photographic skill than people who shoot sports.

It's not as easy as just buying a camera and long lens and make a living from it, the guys doing the job now are actually better than us.

01-10-2019, 08:39 PM - 5 Likes   #17
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National Geographic must have had no photos of wildlife excepting turtles and sloths before the 1990s? Set aperture, set shutter speed, pre focus, pan the subject then click.
01-10-2019, 08:47 PM - 1 Like   #18
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I dunno about Pentax equipment not being able to take pix of active kids. I have a wonderful little grandson who I've taken plenty of pix of...indoors...no flash, just available light...and while a few are out of focus, most of them are dead on. My grandson is very active...full throttle all the way ....and I've got many a lovely picture of this little tornado in full whirlwind mode.

I've used my 40 Ltd., 70 Ltd....both with camera set on full frame...I've used my 50 F 1.4, 50 Macro F 2.8, my 28-105 and my newest addition my 100 Macro DFA F 2.8.

I'm able to nail the focus quite well (I always try for the eyes as my focal point) and quickly with the primes and the zoom is no slouch either.

A lot of it is practice...practice...and more practice. I lean heavily on my experience taking pix of wild birds in motion...using my 55-300 and 150-500 Sigma. I started taking pix of small, fast chickadees...at bird feeders...then graduated to raptors and American White Pelicans later on.

I figure if I can take a pix of a Chickadee doing some fancy acrobatic flying ...then catching my grandson's speedy excitement playing with a new toy...is child's play.

Whenever I read a test of a new product, I often wonder how well versed is the tester...who only has the new piece of equipment for a relatively brief time. I mean I think it would take me more than a couple of days of 'testing' any new equipment to determine it's full potential...considering also that within those few days I have the equipment I also have to write the article.

Having had Pentax digital SLR's and lenses since 2007 and using them under many, different situations...I think my expertise is greater than a typical tester who uses the equipment for a week or less, in most circumstances. I would say this is reflective of many Pentax long term users.

Last edited by lesmore49; 01-10-2019 at 09:09 PM.
01-10-2019, 09:23 PM - 1 Like   #19
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At least for me, using Back Button AF has the most impact on my hit rate. Next is acquisition before release (which takes some practice on grandchildren), then anticipation of movements and smiles rather than using burst mode and trashing 9 flies with eyes closed. KP is faster than K-1 but I prefer the K-1 VF

My son shoots a 7D / 24-70/2.8l and swears by the burst and trash method.

01-10-2019, 09:51 PM - 2 Likes   #20
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They're not kids, but THESE RUNNERS are all running towards me while I'm walking towards them. I reckon the K-1 Mark II copes pretty well, even with the humble DFA28-105 mounted.
01-10-2019, 10:06 PM - 3 Likes   #21
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As Brooke says.
And my daughter is a dancer, so strictly speaking, this is shooting kids

Even older technology: FA*24 on the K-3



01-11-2019, 01:58 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxt Quote
Pentax not for shooting kids
Any reason is valid when someone look for a reason to justify buying another camera system of another brand. I've seen this many times, and many times the reasons for switching as just made-up reason that don't hold true in practice. Pentax is also not for cooking french fries and riding bicycles, also works. When the photographer must rely on latest technological advances to take photos, it tells a lot about the photographer. People shot photos hanging off military aircrafts in flight during WWII using film roll cameras and manual focus only lenses, and in 2019, someone can't shoot kids with a Pentax digital camera: I'm puzzled. IMO, the problem of photographing kids doesn't come from the camera, it comes from how their are educated.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 01-11-2019 at 02:09 AM.
01-11-2019, 04:37 AM   #23
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So yes there's lot of applications where skilled photographers can use Pentax cameras to shoot action successfully.

the areas where I find it's a let down is shooting little kids when you're down low and they're close to the camera, and they move (lurch) towards you. Everyone knows that X-Y axis tracking (e.g. 2D tracking) is a lot easier than Z axis tracking.

So if one of the little guys or gals is moving towards you quickly and they're close up, then the Pentax K1 can waste time hunting, or it can miss focus entirely.

I've not yet upgraded my K1 to K1-M2 so maybe that will improve the AFC performance somewhat.

However the bottom line is that you can still get great photos of children in many situations, but you need to have the basic skill of being able to shoot with a Pentax well, and you also need to be a bit selective - go more for static portraits than trying to capture them up close running towards you.

Given that you can produce good photos with a Pentax, despite some blind spots, I doubt it's worth changing systems for.

That said, if I had a job taking professional photos of kids birthday parties I'd drop Pentax immediately and buy Sony for its Eye-AF or one of Nikon or Cannon.

My preferred lens for children is the DFA* 50mm, or the DFA 24-70mm. For the 50mm it'd be pretty easy to use manual focus if you already know how to do that.

EDIT:

Should also mention - the Pentax K1 also has face autofocus in the Live view mode, which can be worth using.

01-11-2019, 06:09 AM - 2 Likes   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxt Quote
1. Is really if you want take shots with kids playing in soccer, dancing, performing live art, playing art in school theatre and similar Pentax is not good for this?
DPReview has once been a wonderful website full of honest information. Nowadays it's become one of the least informative sites, I don't bother reading about it anymore.

You certainly can take kids oictures with the K-1 (or any Pentax cameras). You could take kids pictures in the days of manual focus. While some systems are faster than Pentax, or have more reliable AF-C, that doesn't make the Pentax system bad. An F-1 race car is fast, but a Ferrari is no slouch, if you get my meaning.

Here's what I do regularly with our "bad" system"















QuoteOriginally posted by pxt Quote
2. What tricks except high ISO, adding light to scene use to get in focus sharp photos from dynamic actions with kids can you advice?
The same as with any other camera : anticipate, practice, use burst mode if needed, accept that not all pictures will be keepers, control your aperture.
01-11-2019, 07:07 AM   #25
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Thank you for all yours response. I add this topic to forum, because taking kids photos is crucial for a lot of photographers. But I'm skip introduction and go on further.

As I start with Nikon F65 and has analog Pentax in hands I can only say that old manul body without digital feautures has a lot of adventages like split prism. Make photos sharp it was easier in manual mode for me than on newer cameras. I skip here subject change focusing screen, because you can not to it on all new bodies like K1 series. It is guarantee issue too. You can lost it after that.

For start I has only two lens 100 WR new Pentax and 77 limited for working with kids. It is not business, but more family documentation time. I like taking photos. I do not make it for living and I can spend more time to learn new techniques. SDM lens is good idea, but now I am out of budget. From other hand I am looking for the lightest lens, because when my kids will grow up I want go with them to mountains. At this situation all grams matters. My target is get the smallest possible number of lens and make them universal fx. use one len as tele on APS-C and portrait on FF body. I want the most specific job - get all stuff which I have on journey and taking photos without pain in my back. I hate on this scenario change lens too often. I tried it with old manual lens fx. 28mm, 50mm in mountain and it was nightmare. I spend more time with changing lens than taking shots.

After 2 thousand pictures with AFC I can say that AFS is better on K3 II for small children in dark rooms. It easier to get focus. I use SEL (one point only focus), but the most time I take photos with the most demanding situation - very low light and F1.8, F2. At this situation any mistake in focus and picture can be lost. On daylight I do not have a lot of troubles with 77. I start feeling it. Except small detail I'm not comfortable with my macro 100mm len. I am learning how use in out macro scenario.

My current plan is use 77 limited on K1 II and 100mm macro as backup fx. more distance shoots on APS-C. It is crazy idea, but I would try use them together at the same time (of course with changing body with lens for shots).

On my previous post I wrote about unfocus when I take photos with AF point SEL (one only) selected and targeted on eye and when light is low (it is my specific situation - when I go to home is night). From medic reason I can not use full light when I take shots my newbord kids, because of their specific health condition. In the future I expect that they will be more mobile and it is why I ask you dear Pentaxian!

At my 5c I think marketing is huge reason why people changing bodies. I know people which take photos in masses and get another system because they want new lens, AF and some fancy stuff. As I wrote before. It is really strange that bodies I splitted on categories for sport, landscape etc., because the most of them minus Live view modes like eye focusing is still old fashion design without nothing spectacular. Difference I see in buttons and sensors, but outside that I can not find any spectacular change. Using DSLR in Live mode it is outside specific situation when fx. you do not want lay down is like back to compact camera for me. Maybe I am old fashion by I am looking for in the future bodies with manual working comfort like in old film cameras without film, but with its dynamics and possibilities.

OK. I ended offtopic here.

After my two initial question how succefully take photos of kids and is it possible I will be add one to:


3. How 100 macro and 77 limited has adventage or disadventage on the field taking kids photo? Have you any experience?

My observations:
77 limited - not very good for small space in room and when you want document few people around kids on APS-C body (K3 II). It is too narrow. In low light in AFC likes missing. ISO above 3200 limited IQ on eyes and it is what you can see. It is good lens, but outside or in large space behind you. In other place you have to use very strange angles to get frame. It is more selectable in composition. Maybe troublesome in small space when kids crawling to you.

100 macro - good for detail. It is a pleasure take face with toys in small space. It is not limitation, but it is very narrow degree in composition. It is hard to use it for kids in home with another person. Without large space behind is that not possible. It is great choice for smile or eye details.
01-11-2019, 10:59 AM   #26
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I have a DFA100mm Macro but wouldn't try action with it.

Wrong choice IMHO.

It is setup to get extremely close to a static subject. It can rack back and forth if it detects the background on a more distant subject, and it has a long throw to support very precise manual focus, which is the opposite of what you want for autofocus.

Lens choice is very, very important.

The DFA*50 would take fast, silent, beautiful photos of your children playing, including indoors with lower light levels. But of course that's one you don't have.

01-11-2019, 01:54 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I have a DFA100mm Macro but wouldn't try action with it.
Yes, I tried this lens with my 4-year old twins athletics. Definitely not recommended. However, i mistakenly used the DA*55 and it was OK, the DFA*50 would have no problems I would imagine.

I use my K1 90% of the time since 2016 shooting my kids, sports and all sorts, using the DFA 28-105. My only complaint is the small buffer not the AFC.
01-11-2019, 02:02 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kiwipixter Quote
Yes, I tried this lens with my 4-year old twins athletics. Definitely not recommended. However, i mistakenly used the DA*55 and it was OK, the DFA*50 would have no problems I would imagine.

I use my K1 90% of the time since 2016 shooting my kids, sports and all sorts, using the DFA 28-105. My only complaint is the small buffer not the AFC.
Definitely. The DA*55 is one of my favourites, but it has first gen SDM and I wouldn't use it for action. The DFA 28-105 is very quick.

And yes, I'm perfectly fine with the AFC and tracking on the K-1, objective tests have shown Pentax AF is in fact similar to the other brands, but I can't be careless with spraying and praying, the buffer clearing means I have to be selective with bursts, starting just before the Decisive Moment and stopping soon after if I want to take advantage of some other bit of action happening afterwards. I will sometimes shoot in JPG only to get more leeway - this is something I know @biz-engineer does, too.
01-12-2019, 07:28 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxt Quote
3. How 100 macro and 77 limited has adventage or disadventage on the field taking kids photo? Have you any experience?
I can speak to the dfa100mm macro - it can definitely deliver vs kids but can also be frustrating as noted above. I use it with back-button focus and AF-C on my k5iis so I have immediate manual focus override whenever I like. It's focus throw from about 4 feet out to infinity is quite short and I find the AF in the range to be pretty speedy, it's only when it goes hunting down to the minimum focus distance that your focus is majorly screwed. To avoid this I:
  1. Make sure I'm pre-focused a bit behind the subject before hitting the AF-button. Even quickly manually racking the lens out to infinity does wonders.
  2. If the light is poor (say indoors) I stick to the centre focus point which is supposed to be sensitive to 2.8 on my k5iis and at least subjectively seems to work better in poor light.
  3. Don't use AF with an older camera - on my k100d AF with this macro is an exercise in futility in all but the best conditions.
  4. Back button AF as mentioned. If it does rack the focus to minimum, I can manually override to recover.
  5. Practice. The overwhelming majority of the time when the AF racks down to the minimum with my k5iis it's my fault, for example if I slip the AF point off the target. A faster focusing lens can help cover up my deficiency, but me not screwing up goes a long way.

Another tip - If you have the older non-WR dfa100mm, it has a focus lock which also puts the lens in Manual Focus mode so you can easily use it with catch-in-focus.

There are certainly better AF choices out there, but the rendering on the dfa100mm is quite nice, and it's small and unobtrusive to make a great candid lens indoors (head & shoulders) or a nice mid-telephoto that I can carry all day outside.
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