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Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-05-2013, 07:31 AM  
FA 77/1.8 or Sigma 85/1.4?
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 34
Views: 9,208
I hope I am sending this response back out correctly...but I ended up returning the Sigma 85mm after using it once for my kids 4/5th grade basketball games. I found that since I was able to freely roam the baseline and sidelines I really did not need the extra length of an 85mm lens. I ended up using the Pentax 55mm/1.4. The shorter focal length gave me a wider focusing range when shooting wide open at f/1.4. My success rate of "pin sharply focused" images went up dramatically with the 55mm...and I would just crop the image if i wanted to "get in closer".
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-19-2012, 12:21 PM  
The one lens.... under 400.
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 6
Views: 1,070
Just read your note about picking up an AF lens to shoot at a friends wedding. I've shot a few weddings for my friends over the years....as an amateur, here is the one thing I learned about getting great wedding photos....you need a great flash! Before spending money on a new lens, I would make sure you have a great powerful flash...its best to have an off camera flash that is held by an assistant...but if you are working solo....the you need a flash bracket to get that flash beam off to the side of the lens....just so you don't end up with "harsh lit" and "flat" photograps. I'd recommend the old Pentax 400T flash....however, I am sure you can pick up a Metz or even Samsung flash that offers a powerfull burst of light. Next I'd recomend pickup up a battery pack for the flash...to get quicker recycle times...enabling you to catch those "natural moments" that come and go so quickly.

Overall, I think your existing lens inventory is sufficient....however, I would strongly advise to make sure your lighting equipment is up to snuff.
Forum: Sold Items 03-06-2012, 05:24 AM  
For Sale - Sold: 31mm Ltd, 77 Ltd MIJ
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 7
Views: 2,592
Is 77mm lens still available?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-19-2012, 01:17 PM  
Advice on zoom lens purchase
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 40
Views: 3,484
When i first started shooting...I always wondered why anyone would buy a prime lens, when a zoom offered so many more options that any one prime lens could ever provide...plus the zoom lenses tended to be less expensive!

It took me probably around 10 years to finally experiment with some prime lenses and that's when I found out what I had been missing all those years. The sharpness, greater control of depth of field when using the faster aperatures, etc)....I had some nice images with zooms, but I learned that a good image could become great if I properly utilized some of the innate advantages that a prime lens could offer.

I know that breaking away from the zoom lens can be a daunting prospect...you think you might miss that "perfect shot" because you can't use to zoom to frame the image the way you want....well, I would challenge you to pick a "point of view" for your images and select one focal length to "tell your story".

I know in my experience, shooting with a prime lens, made me a more thoughtful photographer. I had to become more choiceful from the distance and angle from which I would frame my subjects...I spent more time considering the impact of depth of field would have on my final image. My advice would be to buy a prime....you will see a noticeable improved sharpness in your images...I recommend looking into the FA 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.7 and the DA 70mm f/2.4 lens. These lenses won't break your bank...but give you an opportunity to really experience the added benefits of shooting with prime lenses.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 02-12-2012, 09:08 PM  
New York Institute of Photography
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 1
Views: 810
Does anyone have a POV on the quality of this photography course? Can anyone recommend a good correspondence course? I am not a "novice"
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-10-2012, 05:50 PM  
Should I replace FA 300mm f.4.5 with DA 300mm f.4?
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 25
Views: 4,185
Curious to get advice from this forum. I own the FA 300mm f/4.5 lens....as my kids are getting older and playing more sports, I find that I am starting to use some of my old long lenses. I used this lens with a film body (PZ-1p). Now I shoot exclsively with my digital bodies (K-5 and K-20D).

I know that the FA works with the digital bodies...but are there any advantages with me using the DA 300mm lens with the digital bodies?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-09-2012, 07:49 PM  
What to take on African safari - A little bit different
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 30
Views: 4,014
First, I think the advice that Ryanatta provided is spot on!
Don't worry about changing camera bodies...focus on getting a longer lens. I think the zoom to 300mm is OK...but if you can get even longer that would be better.

Least expensive way to extend your length is to add a tele-converter. Next choice is to purchase a 2nd hand 400mm or even 500mm lens. Consider some older manual focus lenses that can be had for a budget price.

Just checked B&H...there are some 500mm lenses for under $125 - Bower, Rokinon and there are a slew mirror lenses made by Vivitar, Bower, Phoenix, Rokinon that are under $175. I've used these inexpensive long lenses before (with film bodies) and my images came out surprisingly well. If on a budget, I would seriously consider these inexpensive options.

The last suggestion, is to purchase a 400mm or 500mm Sigma prime lens. Then resell it when you get back home. You can probably sell it for 80-90% of your original costs....and besides you will not likely ever use that long lens again.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 02-08-2012, 09:09 PM  
Hello from NY and FL
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 2
Views: 368
I have been a longtime Pentax owner but I only recently discovered this forum. Wow...what a wealth of information I have stumbled into!

Here's my Pentax story: Back when I was in jr. high...I thought it would be cool to take photographs of sports (primarily football)....I always loved the images in Sports Illustrated. I asked my parents to buy me a SLR camera but after they saw the prices in the ads located in the back of Modern Photography they told me to figure out how to buy it for myself. My $30/month salary as a newpaper delivery boy would take me over 6 months to save enough money to buy a camera which was just way too long....it was the start of summer break (June) and I wanted that camera in time for the fall football season. (We used to frequently go to Cal football games). So I sent fliers out to the surrounding neighborhood to announce my new landscaping business! I would charge $2/hr to cut hedges, grass, weed, etc. It took me 2 months, but by early August I had saved enough to buy a Pentax MX body and a 50mm f. 1.7 lens. I originally wanted either Nikon FM or Olympus OM-1...but these camera were nearly $300...the Pentax MX was about $200...So Pentax it was! Man that was a glorious body....the trial and error I experienced using a manual camera body was amazing! It was a durable camera as well....it was my workhorse for over 12 years. It aided me sneaking on the football field at Memorial stadium to take pictures of Cal football games (I just blended in with the pro photographers).....withstanding heavy use as a college newspaper photographer...surviving numerous collisions while I was on the sidelines shooting Georgetown Univ. basketball games...that camera saw snapped some amazing hoops back in the G'town glory days of the Patrick Ewing era....it helped me talk my way onto "Photographer's row at the US Open"...that camera saw some great sporting events through the years!

As time went by, I dabbled with other brands...I did eventually buy a Nikon (FM2)... and I tried using medium format (Kowa and Mamiya)...but I eventually came back to Pentax. I have loved the quality and value of the Pentax cameras and lenses. Even though most serious amateurs and professionals use either Nikon or Canon equipment...I have stuck by Pentax. Yes, there have been times in which Pentax was not putting out an extensive line of quality equipment to satisfy the serious amateur/professional photographer...but I stuck by them anyway. And when the move went to Auto Focus and then to Digital, Pentax was the only manufacturer to integrate the original camera mount to work with all of their lenses!

Today, I think Pentax still represents the best value in the marketplace for the serious photographer. I also think the Pentax owner is the type of person who does not follow the crowd i.e. Nikon and Canon owners. To be a Pentax owner suggests that you have an independence streak to go down a path less traveled!
Forum: Sold Items 02-05-2012, 01:20 AM  
For Sale - Sold: DA* 55mm f1.4
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 9
Views: 2,893
Has this lens been sold?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-02-2012, 09:19 PM  
FA 77/1.8 or Sigma 85/1.4?
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 34
Views: 9,208
Awesome responses! Based on the comments over the past 2 nights helped me decide to purchase the Sigma 85mm f/1.4. I bought the lens today and will use it at my sons games this weekend! Can't wait to see what I can do with this lens.

Because its just an elementary school team...I have access to kneel just outside the baseline...so the short tele is perfect for frame filling acation shots. It's been a while since I've shot hoops...but nearly 20 years ago, I was the photographer for my college newspaper and I had access to the floor of the old Capitol Center in DC. Back then, everything was pre-focus on a spot and anticipate where the action would be take. The pace on the 4th graders are a bit slower, but so are my reflexes :-).

Thanks again....I'm glad I found this forum!
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-01-2012, 08:26 PM  
FA 77/1.8 or Sigma 85/1.4?
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 34
Views: 9,208
Last night I asked the question on which lens was better for shooting basketball...I got some great advice...thank you all!

A couple of posters suggested I consider the Sigma 85mm/1.4. Citing the need for the f-stops below 2, would be important for shooting indoor hoops.

So, tonight, I would love to ask peoples opinion on whether they would recommend either the Sigma or Pentax...I am going to buy the lens tomorrow...so I can use it this weekend. thanks.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-31-2012, 08:13 PM  
FA 77/1.8 or DA 70/2.4?
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 32
Views: 5,264
Great advice and opinions so far thanks! For basketball, I will be shooting exclusively wide open....fast AF is very important.

In a perfect world, I would love to have a 35mm - 250mm zoom at a fixed f2.8!

I could shoot from the baseline most of the time....35 - 50mm range is great for when the plays are right near the baseline....50 - 100mm range is perfect from the 3pt line to foul line...and 200-250mm range is perfect for action down on the other side of the court. OK..I can stop dreaming now.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-31-2012, 07:31 PM  
FA 77/1.8 or DA 70/2.4?
Posted By Wilson1802
Replies: 32
Views: 5,264
I want a fast lens to shoot my sons' 4/5th grade basketball games. That's my immediate need...although long term this lens will probably be used for candid portraits.

Would anyone recommend one of these lenses over the other? Does one have faster AF? Do people think one of these lenses is better than the other?

I will be using it on either my K20D or K5 bodies. Thanks.
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