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08-01-2007, 01:05 PM   #1
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Lens Question

A week from this friday, my wife is graduation from Texas A&M in College Station, TX. The graduation is being held in Reed Arena. I want to take pictures as she crosses the stage, but will have to do so from a distance.

I have seen a post on the internet of a guy with a Nikon D80 with the 18-135mm lens, and he used it at 135mm to pull pretty close to the stage.

With that in mind I bought a Pentax 135MM F/2 Manual Focus Lens. I have played with it inside, and the barrel is rather small, it is all metal. When i can get the manual focus dead on, the images appear sharp, but it seems more often that not, the focus is not dead on.

Also, I am not terribly adept at the exposure manual focus thing. I use the green button, and outside I am okay, but indoors, not so much.

Anyway the question is, would buying a 28-200MM or a 28-250 or something like that, even a 70-300 be best for me? Or will it be too slow inside?

The advantage to such a large graduation is that I can take shots of other people to get the focus where I want it, before she gets there.

Also as a side question, what zoom on the preview LCD = 100% of the image?

Sorry for being long winded

08-01-2007, 01:39 PM   #2
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Hi

I am not sure which lens you have as I didnt think Pentax ever made a 135 f2.0 (not in K mount anyway. However that isnt the point. For what you want a fast lens is important and manual focus is the best way to achieve your desired result.

Pre focus on the point where your subject will appear and keep that focus point. Much easier on the old manual lenses. The camera will give you a green hexagon confirmation and you should try test shots first.

The 100% image is 16x on the screen on the K10D
08-01-2007, 01:53 PM   #3
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I have a pentax K100D. I photographed my granson's graduation with a manual focus Tamron 80<210 mm lemns. I used only the room lighting by setting my camera's ISO/ASA at 3200.
I took shots from my seat about 1/2 way back from the stage and also from the very rear of the hall which was a gym. In both instances I prefocussed.

Most built in flashes will not carry at the relatively long distances and high ceilings in a gym or auditorium

I also used the Pentax 18<55 mm kit lens for wide angle shots. The auto focus worked fine with this lens.

To sum up - I think it is important with a manual focus lens to: set your ISO/ASA speed high.
pre focus.

Mickey
08-01-2007, 02:25 PM   #4
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I aplogize, maybe it is a 135 f/2.5

This is a link to a review with this lens
Pentax SMC-K 135mm f/2.5 - Photozone Review / Quick Test Report

I will check when I get home to be sure, but mine has a lens hood that is built in, and slides out. kind of annoying when I have to pointed down.

08-02-2007, 07:54 AM   #5
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If the lights are dimmed, the longer lenses might be a bit too slow.

At my high school graduation a few years ago, I had a 28-105 attached it it was barely fast and sharp enough in the auditorium at f/4.5. 5x7s and 8x10s were good though. Manual focus would also be difficult under this kind of lighting although AF was quite OK. A fast prime would probably be a lot more useful.

That was also with a DS, so if you have shake reduction that will probably be helpful. So as the others suggested, just make sure your focus is perfect by practicing on others. Also, shoot at F/4 and see if that makes getting a focused shot easier.
08-04-2007, 12:55 PM   #6
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I did a College graduation this June and used a 200mm f/2.8 fixed focus lens and the photos came out great. A fast lens with at least ISO 400 film will do the job and you will get good images.

Tom
08-05-2007, 06:19 PM   #7
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Well, yes, your right, focus may never be dead on. But the great thing on digital is that you can see it beforehand. Why not try out a few on the people before her, and get the distance right?

The other thing that maybe be nice here is to stop down your lens. It will give you much more DoF, and so you will have a larger margin of error with your focusing.

With digital, you can raise your ISO pretty high now, and still get great prints. So dont hesitate to push up your ISO and stop down your lens.
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