Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-23-2009, 05:44 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Pentax ist DL lens to be used for indoor speed photos

Hi, I'm new to this forum and haven't been able to find this question answered here before, or elsewhere, for that matter.

I am looking for a lens for my ist DL that can be used for indoor speed photos. Specifically, for taking pictures of dogs doing flyball. As the name suggests, the dogs are FLYING (over jumps) with a tennis ball in their mouth. I cannot use a flash as that could cause the dogs to stagger into the jumps instead of jumping them.

I found a Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens on Craig's List for $250. Is this a good price for this used lens and more importantly, will it allow me to take low light, speed photos? Right now I am trying to take photos with a 2.8 telephoto lens. Not only are the pictures somewhat blurry, but many times, I cannot take a photo at all without delay in shutter depression or it won't snap the photo at all.

Many thanks for advice or opinions!

08-24-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
The delay has nothing to do with the "speed" of the lens - that's all about how fast the focus system is. A "faster" lens won't help - that will just give you a faster shutter speed. You probably want to get better at manual focus, or use AF-C continuous focusing mode (maybe only available in Sports mode on that model? I forget.

Anyhow, sure, a faster lens will give a faster shutter speed, and with it, less blur. But in low light indoors, you're unlikely to ever get shutter speeds fast enough to stop fast motion. Turn ISO up as high as you can stand, open the aperture as wide as it can go. The 50/1.4 goes to f/1.4, which is better than f/2.8, but you might find the focal length isn't as long as you want, depending on what kind of picture you are trying to take. Maybe post some samples? But bottom line is, what you are trying to do is hard, period.
08-24-2009, 10:19 AM   #3
New Member




Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Original Poster
Hi, Marc,

Thanks for your reply! Even Penn Photo where I bought the camera hasn't been able to help with this.

Besides the flourescent lights and black mats on the floor, sometimes the dogs are black too. Here are pictures with the (VERY EXPEN$IVE) 2.8 telephoto lens shot in manual mode and I believe 1600 ISO. Here's the best picture of a friend's dog:




And one of my dog--she's the hardest to photograph because of her color and speed



I don't want to throw money into another lens if, in fact, I should just upgrade the camera body. I have taken some awesome photos with the istDL. My other "sport" is dressage riding and the horse pictures I get are professional quality and much appreciated by whomever I am photographing.

I definitely want to keep my 2.8 Pentax lens, so I am locked into a Pentax camera, right? That 2.8 lens cost 3x what the camera bodies now cost. UGH.
08-24-2009, 10:36 AM   #4
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,679
The money is in the lenses - they're for life.
Bodies come and go, and unfortunately the *ist DL isn't up for the task for moving targets as well as say the K-7 is.
You're probably at the stage where upgrading to a new body is warranted, particularly if you're going to do this sort of photography regularly. The K20D is a reasonable step-up, although the K-7 will be significantly better in those conditions.

08-24-2009, 10:56 AM   #5
Site Supporter
opiedog's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NC
Posts: 787
from a DL to k20 would be a HUGE step up and considering that the k20 is priced at around $620 these days.

i went from a DL to K10 to k2000 and used it to photograph my daughter's softball and basketball games. the basketball game was much more difficult because of the low lighting.
i had to crank up the iso to 1600 and use my sigma 50-150 f2.8 for the task.

try the km/k2000 first if money is tight. the AF is faster in low light than the k20. if money is no object, go for the k7.

my 2 cents
08-24-2009, 01:15 PM   #6
New Member




Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Original Poster
B&H, where I bought my uber-expensive telephoto lens, has the 20D for $620 including free shipping. Sounds like I could save my pennies and instead of buying the 1.4 lens, maybe I should upgrade the camera body to a 20D, and perhaps get the shots I want with my 2.8 lens? Hey, I might even be able to sell my *istDL on eBay for a few bucks...

Has anyone ever purchased the learning DVDs that B&H offers on their website? I would love to have an easier learning curve on a new camera than I had with the *istDL a few years back.

08-24-2009, 01:29 PM   #7
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by iamsrg Quote
I don't want to throw money into another lens if, in fact, I should just upgrade the camera body.
Like I said, this is hard stuff. I wouldn't expect magically better pictures no matter where you spend your money. A "better" camera isn't going to give you a faster shutter speed at f/2.8, and a "better" lens might give you a faster shutter speed but still struggle to lock focus that quickly and DOF will be extremely shallow (which is why I think you're better off focusing manually, pre-focusing on the area of the jump), and be a wider angle shot than you want. There's really so substitute for having better light. You can throw a lot of money at the camera or lens and get marginal improvement, but realistically, action shots in low light are just *hard*.

QuoteQuote:
I definitely want to keep my 2.8 Pentax lens, so I am locked into a Pentax camera, right?
Unless you sold the lens, yes. But again, it's not a problem that is magically solved with different hardware.

If I had a lot of money to spend on a potentially slight improvement in IQ, I'd probably get the FA77, which give you a reasonable focal length and an extra stop of speed. But - need I say it again? - it's still going to be a struggle.
08-24-2009, 06:35 PM   #8
Junior Member




Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE Connecticut
Posts: 38
TeleExtender?

If you're going to shoot in poor light, you need a good hunk of glass. I think sticking with the 50/1.4 is the way to go. Good bang for the buck for getting light into your sensor. Even if you add a 2x telextender, you're looking at 100/2.8.

Al

08-24-2009, 08:19 PM   #9
Kei
Senior Member




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 207
If improving AF is the only concern, the K-m will be a good choice as well. The size and weight is very close to the istDL.

Before putting money into a new lens/body, I would try to use a set of fully charged and good AA battery (ie: eneloop or energizer lithiums) to see if AF improves with the DL. From my own experience, I found the AF becomes sluggish especially in low light after a few hundred shots.
08-25-2009, 07:30 AM   #10
Junior Member
jantjooh's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Netherlands
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 36
Hello! I have the K-m which has improved Autofocus, however as Marc said, probably Manual focus is better in your case.
The Pentax 55/1.4 is not razor-sharp at 1.4
You might pre-focus on a gate where the dog is supposed to jump.
I have a legacy M-42 lens with K adapter: a Mamiya Sekor 55/1.8.
I already owned this lens, but these lenses are not difficult to come by for a few bucks.
The focus-assist light*) - and beep work well, with such lenses.
Also you can buy a new K-m for an incredible low price.
Regards, Jan

Edit: *) in the viewfinder
08-25-2009, 08:53 AM   #11
New Member




Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Original Poster
Hmmm, you all present such convincing arguments!! Too bad I can't decide which is the best plan for me.

This morning I am leaning towards buying the lens which I can use on any Pentax camera body I might buy in the future. I will try the 1.4 lens in Manual focus and see if that works better and report back.

Thanks so much for everyone's thoughts. What a great forum! I've been learning so much reading all the topics.
08-25-2009, 09:38 PM   #12
New Member




Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Original Poster
Here are some pictures taken with a Canon (not sure which model) with the 1.4 lens in 1600 ISO and manual focus. They were not taken by me, but they are my dog!

Doesn't Flyball look like FUN!!??

Abbey jumps higher than necessary:




Getting the ball:




Pushing off:




Yes, she ALWAYS does look this insane when getting the ball:




Coming back to Mom for some celebratory hot dogs and string cheese:

08-26-2009, 10:06 AM   #13
Inactive Account




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Peterborough UK
Posts: 37
Rather than more expensive camera/lens is there any way you could improve the lighting? Bounce flash or softbox or even a few photofloods. Just a thought.

Archie
08-26-2009, 10:56 AM   #14
Veteran Member
palmor's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA
Posts: 798
QuoteOriginally posted by iamsrg Quote
Hi, I'm new to this forum and haven't been able to find this question answered here before, or elsewhere, for that matter.

I am looking for a lens for my ist DL that can be used for indoor speed photos. Specifically, for taking pictures of dogs doing flyball. As the name suggests, the dogs are FLYING (over jumps) with a tennis ball in their mouth. I cannot use a flash as that could cause the dogs to stagger into the jumps instead of jumping them.

I found a Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4 Lens on Craig's List for $250. Is this a good price for this used lens and more importantly, will it allow me to take low light, speed photos? Right now I am trying to take photos with a 2.8 telephoto lens. Not only are the pictures somewhat blurry, but many times, I cannot take a photo at all without delay in shutter depression or it won't snap the photo at all.

Many thanks for advice or opinions!
So the problem with the 50 f/1.4 is that the DOF is SO narrow close to wide open that you'll never get very sharp photos, not to mention it doesn't have much reach. So you'll be shooting at f/2 or f/2.8 anyway to get back some of that DOF.

I shoot a lot of dog agility and the indoor places are really tough. To get anywhere near the shutter speed you need to freeze the dogs you need to use the highest ISO you can possible use (ISO 3200 hopefully) and an f/2.8 (or faster f/2) lens. This will get you shutter speeds around the 1/320th - 1/500th mark and with excellent technique can freeze the action. The catch is at 1/320 you want to limit the movement coming right towards you, instead you want to be in a position where you'll be panning a little bit.. that will compensate for the slow shutter speed and the dogs movement (if that makes sense)

Don't worry about the noise at high ISO, you can always PP some of it out and noise is preferable to blurry dogs

For newer AF lenses really the Sigma 70-200HSM is the lens you'd want (of course you'd need a new body to take advantage of it).

Here are some sample shots of what you should be able to get indoors:

One thing to mention is that this is going to take practice. This 1st one was my 1st time trying to take indoor agility shots with my K20 and DA*300 and it isn't all that great (I also just processed this quickly for this thread so it isn't the best PP job). I did run noise reduction on it and it is about a 50% crop from the original.
1/320s f/2.8 at 128.0mm iso3200



The rest of these were taken with a different brand kit but techniques hold true for any kit. These were all after a lot of practice and learning what works and doesn't work for me.




08-26-2009, 10:57 AM   #15
Veteran Member
palmor's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA
Posts: 798
QuoteOriginally posted by helios Quote
Rather than more expensive camera/lens is there any way you could improve the lighting? Bounce flash or softbox or even a few photofloods. Just a thought.

Archie

Most places won't let you come near a dog competition like this with a flash. I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask but from my experience it is a big NO NO



John
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, dl, dogs, dslr, jumps, lens, pentax, pentax ist dl, photo, photography, photos, pictures
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Indoor Lens? PHOTOCOP Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 01-26-2011 10:09 PM
Bad pics abound - K-x - taking photos of horses jumping indoor (can't use flash) abitofamoron Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 28 04-01-2010 03:43 AM
Sports 13 High ISO indoor dog agility photos (non Pentax) palmor Post Your Photos! 15 01-21-2010 05:11 AM
Indoor Lens?? Pioneer Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 21 09-04-2009 12:46 AM
Some indoor sports photos from Aviva Singapore Badminton Open art2d2 Post Your Photos! 9 06-18-2008 06:47 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:48 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top