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07-16-2009, 10:54 AM   #1
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Upgrade Advice: Upgrade Lenses or Camera

Sorry for another thread on upgrades, but not sorry enough!

I have a K10D (and a K100D) along with a few lenses (FA50mm, Sigma 28-80/2.8, Tamron 70-200/2.8, etc).

I shoot a fair amount indoors with lower light/action (Basketball, Tae Kwon Do).

I have been thinking about going for the 31mm/1.8, and maybe the 77mm/1.8 after that, gaining the aperture improvements along with the better IQ.

Alternatively, I could go for the K-7 with the better AF, improved frames per second, and apparent better shots at higher ISO...

Thoughts?

07-16-2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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Well, glass is forever*

However, 1.8 is barely a stop faster than 2.8. Yoiu would have to check your shots to see if they would improve with a stop faster shutter.

Also, basketball is difficult to shoot with a 50mm. It just doesnt have the reach you need for the far end of the court, or the width for the near basket. If you are shooting from mid-court sideline most of your shots will have the back of the player with the ball. This might be ok if you are capturing the defense...

Your Sigma 28-80/2.8 should be a pretty good compromise for shooting hoops from court level.
07-16-2009, 11:54 AM   #3
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I generally would recommend getting the FA Limiteds over a new camera, as the price of the limiteds will likely only go up, while the price of the camera will only go down.

However, you seem to have some pretty good glass already, and from what you said you are going to use it for (indoor sports) I believe the K7 would be much more helpful than the FA31 or FA77, neither of which are really optimized for shooting sports. For example, in March I tried to use the FA77 to photograph an indoor high school basketball playoff game in terrible high school gymnasium lighting, and while the aperture was wide enough to get good pictures, the autofocus and frame rate of my K20D just could not keep up with the action. Testing the FA77 with the K-7, the lens seems to lock much more quickly and more accurately in challenging lighting than it did on the K20D or K10D, and this is true of my other screw driven lenses as well.

I think this fact, in addition to the fact that the K-7 has useable ISO 1600 whereas the K10D struggles (but can take some decent shots) past ISO 800, means that the new camera would improve things a great deal for indoor sports shooting with all of the lenses you already own.

I hope that helps.
07-16-2009, 12:05 PM   #4
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Conventional wisdom is always for the best glass possible and I find the 77ltd to be a magic lens.

That said, for your use I would say the K7 would make you a much happier camper. Better response indoors on all levels.

07-16-2009, 12:13 PM   #5
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I'd definitely go for a new camera. The reason is that it gives you "all new glass"

I upgraded from my K10 to the K20 about 2 months ago. My Tamron 18-250 felt like a whole new lens when i got the K20. AF was faster, prints and images came out looking sharper, etc. I recently was asked to photo a local playhouse dress rehearsal. Although not as challenging as your sports work, it was quite doable with the K20, would have been tougher with the K10. I found i could shoot at 800 iso if i used a few of my f2.8 primes, but if i used the slower Tamron zoom, f.5.6, f6.3, i was up at 1600 iso and 3200, i think.

The hard choice for you is to whether to go for the K20 or the K7. K7 offering much improved tungsten light focusing, and other features would be hard to ignore. If you wanted to wait for lower prices or K30, whatever, then go with the K20. I'm very happy with it. It really will feel like you have all new glass, without buying any

BTW, i'm thinking of buying a faster zoom for the playhouse work, how do you like your two zooms???
07-16-2009, 12:22 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by krs Quote
Sorry for another thread on upgrades, but not sorry enough!

I have a K10D (and a K100D) along with a few lenses (FA50mm, Sigma 28-80/2.8, Tamron 70-200/2.8, etc).

I shoot a fair amount indoors with lower light/action (Basketball, Tae Kwon Do).

I have been thinking about going for the 31mm/1.8, and maybe the 77mm/1.8 after that, gaining the aperture improvements along with the better IQ.

Alternatively, I could go for the K-7 with the better AF, improved frames per second, and apparent better shots at higher ISO...

Thoughts?
how about going multisystem, see if you can get a good deal on 2nd hand D300 or 40D. That way you can rent fast lenses when needed to complement the pentax system you already have.
07-16-2009, 01:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
BTW, i'm thinking of buying a faster zoom for the playhouse work, how do you like your two zooms???
For both basketball and Tae Kwon Do, I have generally found that the FA50mm at an aperture of 2.0 does great (ISO 800) on the K10D. This is giving me a shutter speed of 1/125 to 1/200 sec, which is enough to get good shots. Sometimes i could position myself for an appropriate framing.

The Tammy in some gyms would give me enough light to use, but I have had some back-focus issues. Doing a test shows the lens is fine, so maybe it is a camera or contrast issue - not sure...

I have also done some inside "drama" type work, where both the Sigma and Tamron 2.8s have done very well.

I recently shot a Tae Kwon Do demo outside at night with the Sigma 2.8 with a big flash, and got some very good pictures there...
07-16-2009, 06:25 PM   #8
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get the lenses now, (31,43,77), they are only going up in price. The camera will go down in price.

07-16-2009, 06:58 PM   #9
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Lens(es) now, camera later - sounds like a plan.

I have been watching both here an on ebay for the 31mm - seems like they go for only $100 or so less than retail at adorama. Any other suggestions as to where to look?
07-17-2009, 01:12 AM   #10
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Give me another hit for the LBA

To get a fix for that never ending LBA:

froogle.google.com
froogle.google.co.uk
ebay.com(.co.uk, etc)
07-17-2009, 05:24 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by krs Quote
Lens(es) now, camera later - sounds like a plan.

I have been watching both here an on ebay for the 31mm - seems like they go for only $100 or so less than retail at adorama. Any other suggestions as to where to look?
It's a classic lens that keeps value very well - owners won't be parting with it for cheap. Same as any other limited out there.

If you don't need anything telephoto, either the 31 or 77 are absolutely stellar options.
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