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12-24-2008, 10:54 AM   #1
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Anybody used Nikon D80? How does AF compares to K10D?

I have K10D with Sigma 17-70mm /2.8-4.5 lens that I use most of the time. K10D is great camera but it is simply not up to the task catching my two year old. Because of the autofocus I miss about 60% of the shots. With 50mm f/1.7 lens AF is better but I really need zoom (can't run around the playground after the kid and move back and forth trying to zoom in and out).

So I got a crazy idea of switching brands and going for Nikon D80. I know that this is Pentax forum but I thought that somebody may have used D80 and knows how does this camera compares to K10D in terms of AF.

Thanks.

12-24-2008, 11:21 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by drabina Quote
I have K10D with Sigma 17-70mm /2.8-4.5 lens that I use most of the time. K10D is great camera but it is simply not up to the task catching my two year old. Because of the autofocus I miss about 60% of the shots. With 50mm f/1.7 lens AF is better but I really need zoom (can't run around the playground after the kid and move back and forth trying to zoom in and out).

So I got a crazy idea of switching brands and going for Nikon D80. I know that this is Pentax forum but I thought that somebody may have used D80 and knows how does this camera compares to K10D in terms of AF.

Thanks.
Why not Nikon D90 instead of D80? It is a better Nikon camera overall. I thought about upgrading but I abandon the plan and move to K20D. The AF is about the same between K10D and K20D, but I find AF less hunting in K20D especially in dim lighting. And I am counting on use of flash with Pentax AF540 and Sunpak 422D and the perseverance to keep trying with different lens and lighting condition. Have you sold your K10D yet? Or have you bought the D80 already?

With a 2 year old, I would suggest more shots in the outdoor where light is ample and for indoor, I choose location close to window. A bounce flash will help in poor lighting. Also, I like to play with longer range focal length where I can hide from a farther distance where my son play less hide and seek with me. My Tamron 90mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro prime does well in portrait. And I recently get your Sigma and it works well when my son is close to the window. Another 2 best lens that I have used on kid's portraits are Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and Pentax FA 77mm f/1.8


Last edited by hinman; 12-24-2008 at 11:47 AM.
12-24-2008, 11:32 AM   #3
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I still have my K10D and I haven't purchased D80 yet. Unfortunately D90 is out of my price range plus the live view and movie mode do not appeal to me.

I usually take pictures of my son outdoors so I get fairly good light. Unfortunately, K10D is still hunting like crazy. Plus with f/2.8-4.5 I am below the f/5.6 limit for AF so I would expect the camera to be able to focus more quickly. I have only one AF point (center) set in my camera which helps a bit. I have also tried AF-C but that sometimes does not work if you need to use selective focus point.

Nice pictures hinman. I can also manage to take pictures of my son at the table. It is the playground action that's causing all the problems
12-24-2008, 11:41 AM   #4
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Not being a 'brand loyalist' I'd suggest you look at the fuji finepix s5 pro. basically a nikon d200 with enhanced sensor for portraits, uses many nikon lenses, cheaper than d90. I like the K20D, but if it ever fails to meet my needs, it will be replaced.

review: http://www.steves-digicams.com/2007_reviews/fuji_s5pro.html

12-24-2008, 11:46 AM   #5
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The best zoom that I have used with kids is the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and it is a better portrait lens to use on kids as compared to your Sigma.

You can argue that the two lens overlap. When it comes to kid's pictures, all LBA and overlap are allowed. And I bought your Sigma 17-70 over the purchase of Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 for the sole reason of getting the extra 50mm to 70mm in outing with kids. And I have the ultimate overlap with Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 that is my one lens to go to for best pictures from zoom on my two boys.

I helped out with my company Halloween Kids Parade event and 2 separate elementary school events for my older boy and the Tamron zoom lens is dependable and I shoot wide open with the Tamron zoom to get the best shutter on kids along with higher iso. You can see some of the results in this Halloween Parade 2008 flickr set, most are shot in wide open aperture due to cloudy day and my curiosity in shooting wide open in f/2.8 with the zoom to gain shutter speed to compensate kids movement.
12-24-2008, 11:53 AM   #6
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I can compare my old D40 with kit lenses and my new K20D with a non-HSM Sigma prime... In good light, I haven't noticed any difference. In bad light, the K20D is slower, but is okay if you point it at something with enough contrast. In no light, the Nikon wins because it has an AF assist lamp :P

Granted I haven't tried taking any action shots.
12-24-2008, 12:01 PM   #7
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Two suggestions: manual focus or get a good point and shoot where the extra dof will help with moving kids. Frankly many who have a dslr would be better served with a good p&s. Maybe a g10? I take a lot of my best photos with leica dlux3/4 (panasonic lx2/3). Have printed huge and they look great.
12-24-2008, 12:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by drabina Quote
So I got a crazy idea of switching brands and going for Nikon D80. I know that this is Pentax forum but I thought that somebody may have used D80 and knows how does this camera compares to K10D in terms of AF.
Even though the Nikon D80 AF is faster than the K10D (mainly at lower light levels, at bright levels the K10D is faster) -
it is still not instantaneous,
or even faster than human reaction time (<0.2sec).

Lots of photographers manage to catch fast action and fleeting expressions with manual focus lenses - long before any AF
(and AF is MUCH faster than we can focus manually) -
how? because they do not try to focus only when they see the shot.....

What they did was to pre-focus their lens and wait for the shot - then trip the shutter - then it's down to only the shutter delay/lag itself, which is normally about 0.1sec.

With AF the technique remains basically the same -
Pre-Focus (half depression of shutter button and hold the focus) on a spot where the action/expression is likely to occur -
and when you see the shot fully depress the shutter -
then the delay is only about 0.1 sec -
which faster than human reaction time -
and certainly faster than ANY known AF Nikon, Canon or otherwise......

FWIW - Popular Photography is one of the few places where they actually test AF speed over a range of light levels -

from: Camera Test: Pentax K10D

from: Camera Test: Nikon D80 ... from: Camera Test: Pentax K20D
...
note: scale of horizontal axis of the K20D is misaligned - it should be the same as the Nikon D80


Last edited by UnknownVT; 12-24-2008 at 01:25 PM. Reason: added AF speeds for K20D
12-24-2008, 12:39 PM   #9
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My friend shoots with a D80 and I find his AF to be faster and more accurate than my K10D

But I have a K20D coming to me in the mail so I hope that it improves a bit in the AF department.
12-24-2008, 02:28 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeedub Quote
My friend shoots with a D80 and I find his AF to be faster and more accurate than my K10D
Ditto my experience w/ a friend's D80 (though w/ the 70-200/2.8 on it). Both in a park on a sunny day. The D80 had less missed focus shots. Some of the K10D shots (using a Sigma 17-70 which is supposed to be very fast) were focus locked on the background, but none of the D80 shots were...I'm fairly sure this is because of the relatively large focusing spot sizes on the K10D whereas the D80's focusing spots actually are under the spots in the viewfinder.

The D80 did blow out a *lot* more highlights though. I think every camera has quirks...
12-24-2008, 03:23 PM   #11
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Another option in fast zoom could be the sigma 24-60 2.8. Can probably still be found cheap (I got one for 200us$ a couple of month ago.

Yet another option is a flash with Focus assist. Bounce it of the ceiling when you are indoor and it can give quite nice pictures. Read Strobist. If you are close enough, the flash is powerfull enough, you can even close down your aparture giving you more DOF, making exact focus less important.


12-24-2008, 03:58 PM   #12
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I've tried both with their relative kit lens. Frankly, the D80 is much faster in my opinion.
12-24-2008, 07:42 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
ivoire
Not being a 'brand loyalist' I'd suggest you look at the fuji finepix s5 pro. basically a nikon d200 with enhanced sensor for portraits, uses many nikon lenses, cheaper than d90. I like the K20D, but if it ever fails to meet my needs, it will be replaced.

Ivoire: Thanks for this post. I was not aware of the special niche the S5 served the photographic community. I read some of Steve's review and was struck by level of sophistication achieved in this camera.

I am also happy our forum has evolved to a level where you can freely speak of other companies' products. So often camera forums degenerate into a childish, no-holds-barred game of my camera is better than your camera.

Obviously, like the people that create and use the cameras themselves, each excels in its own niche--superiority is truly relative.
12-24-2008, 09:30 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies.

I could probably go for the f/2.8 lens but I really like the range of my Sigma zoom. It is almost perfect for my needs and with this range I keep it mounted most of the time without changing to another lens.

Price of used D80 is about $400-450 so I guess I could give it a try and if I do not like it, I could sell it.
12-25-2008, 04:02 PM   #15
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AF slow?

I like to shoot pictures of our 2 1/2 year old indoors at family gatherings. I use either my 18-55 kit lens or my 50mm 1.4 Pentax. I always make sure to set the focus point to center focus so that what I point at is in focus. I find the camera does pretty well when doing a single focus in the center. Not too much lag. Heck, last night I took well over 100 pictures (we open Christmas Eve) and had 4 grand children doing the present thing. It was action packed! Lot's of good pics using my old K10d!
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