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04-04-2009, 12:19 AM   #1
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DA* 16-50 AF performance at model shoot

I was asked to do a local modelling competition photoshoot recently and had a couple of ring-in amateur photographers (probably better than I am) join in on the action for the final heats: one with a Canon 40D and Tamron 17-50/2.8, the other with a Nikon D80 (don’t know what glass he had on). I had my humble K10D with DA* 16-50, with the *ist D and FA 77 ltd as backup. We each just used single strobes on hotshoe and shot away.

The venue was tight – little room to move, models barely stood still for a second and it was difficult to obtain control of DOF due to the small quarters. Lighting was mediocre, but manageable – actually a good opportunity to test the low-light capacity of each system (just practical, not scientific).

After each heat, they wanted to compare notes with me, interested to see what I could possibly have done with a Pentax. My friend with the Nikon had decently sharp, saturated and contrasty images most times but stuck with low ISO and thus fewer shots in total (battery refresh time dependent). The other friend with the Canon had his ISO like mine at 640-800 and got a mixed bag – more out of focus (relying on his strobe’s infrared beam) and many images a little dull in colour and contrast appearing on his screen. Perhaps a little PP is all that’s required for those.

I was pleasantly surprised with the DA 16-50’s AF speed and accuracy in low (distant spot) light. The *ist D did struggle somewhat more with the 77 ltd, but results were stellar when shot right. I had very few out of focus and managed reasonably well to get decent evenly exposed images with good ‘pop’ as one would expect with this set of glassware.

These two competitor friends wanted to send me some of their results and once I get them I will get even more of an idea of how each compares.

Yes, there are those who own other systems as well as Pentax and can certainly have something more substantial to say about all this – I just though to air out my own single observation between similar classed camera systems.

These are some of my results with no PP - straight out of Camera Raw with minor tweaking of exposure, brightness and contrast...








Last edited by Ash; 04-05-2009 at 05:15 PM.
04-04-2009, 04:09 AM   #2
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Pardon my ignorance, but what is a ring-in?
04-04-2009, 07:58 AM   #3
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Who cares??

Wonderful place to be - so much eye candy
04-04-2009, 08:28 AM   #4
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Hubala!

04-04-2009, 02:09 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dal1970 Quote
Who cares??

Wonderful place to be - so much eye candy
I do, or else I wouldn't have asked the question.
04-04-2009, 02:27 PM   #6
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He wasn't really trying to show us that Pentax did good.
He is just trying to make us jealous of what he shot..hehe
My shots would've been mostly out of focus with any camera, be it Canon, Nikon, or Pentax, if I shot those (too much shaking that the SR won't be able to counteract..hehe).
I must say good photos and good control (no shakes heh?).
Probably the other guy got the shakes from getting all excited!
04-04-2009, 03:12 PM   #7
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Sorry for the use of slang.

By 'ring ins' I meant those other photogs wishing to take advantage of the shoot for their own benefit despite someone already being hired to do the job. They both were keen to know how I 'scored' that gig and whether they could 'assist' me in taking photos.

Yep, there sure were lots to concentrate on other than camera settings, but it was demanding doing the shoot.
04-04-2009, 04:04 PM   #8
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your shots came out good IMHO, as you mentioned, the lighting condition was low and so I can't wait for the result from the other two guys. There is so much said about this Pentax AF in low light but your shots are right on, probably not all 100% but so the Canikon shooters as well. Thanks for sharing your experience Ash.

cheer,

rene

04-05-2009, 04:32 AM   #9
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Nice shots considering the conditions you describe.

I do have to add that I'd have told the "ring-ins" to buzz off. After all, as you say, you were hired to do the shoot and even under the best of conditions, you have a responsibility to your clients to get the best shots possible.

Having a couple of other photographers horning in does several things. It slows YOU down, it limits your movement in tight quarters, it impacts the models with 3 times the amount of flash blinding AND it can prevent YOU from getting the best shots. You should have asked event security to keep these guys off until you were done.

Mike
04-05-2009, 02:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
I do, or else I wouldn't have asked the question.
No offense meant, it was a tongue-in-cheek comment.


Dal
04-05-2009, 05:05 PM   #11
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Mike - I agree with you.

I did ask the guy who hired me what they were doing there, and was told I might have to put up with them as they were 'friends' of the models who wanted to take photos of them. I mentioned to him exactly as you'd said that it will affect results somewhat and he was happy with that.

In any case, this experience was more to serve as an encouragement to those worried about AF speed and accuracy of the DA* 16-50 in low light. The AF assist beam from my flash never went off, and AF was locked in less than half a second with moving models lit by a very modest pink spotlight shone from over 10 metres away.

And here are some of those results (with both the 16-50 and 77 ltd) with models on the move:


























Last edited by Ash; 04-05-2009 at 05:16 PM.
04-05-2009, 05:48 PM   #12
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.....Sigh..... I'm going back to my trees and bugs now...
04-05-2009, 06:07 PM   #13
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MM! MM! MM! Is that what my K10D can lead me to! I knew it was a great purchase!
ROOF!
04-05-2009, 06:14 PM   #14
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Our K10Ds/K20Ds can do anything the Canikkononys can do. hehe . . .
04-05-2009, 06:24 PM   #15
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Thanks for sharing your experience Ash. I really loved my K10D until I joined this forum...learning to use the features (thanks to the members here) opened my eyes to the camera's shortcomings. It's nice to see someone extol it's virtues.

Last edited by bogiesbad; 04-05-2009 at 06:34 PM.
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