Indoor sports and K-3: an attempt at judo

Started Nov 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
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tcom
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Indoor sports and K-3: an attempt at judo
Nov 18, 2013

Hi

Over the past years, I always covered once a year a judo competition as photographer. Apart from the main camera, first a D3s then a D4, I always took the most actual Pentax and gave it a try.

With K10D, K20D, K-7 and K-5, one really needed quite a bit of luck to get focus confirmation before the movement was over. The DA*50-135 is too slow as well, so I tried faster focusing lenses, like the FA*85. But well, it was quite frustrating to see the movements through the viewfinder, fully pressing the shutter and wait on the focus confirmation not happening before the movement was over. So, in the past years, it was in general a pretty short attempt trying the Pentax.

On Sunday, I covered a judo event, this time with the K-3. I was not even supposed to take photos at the competition, so, I did not have the pressure of having to deliver, I tried the Pentax K-3, mainly with FA*85 and FA31.

To my surprise, the new focus tracking performed better than expected. When the fights were close to me, the camera had problems to adjust the focus. Also, quite often, the camera prefered to set focus on the background on the other side. The AF-Lock function seems not to be implemented like on Nikon. On Nikon, the AF-Lock defines the time after which the camera will focus on a new target if it lost track of the subject within the given/active AF points. On the K-3, it simply seems to set a delay to refresh the AF. With AF-Lock OFF, the AF is very reactive but ends quite often on the public behind, with longer delays, the AF is not as reactive and misses moves of the competitors, but ends up on the public behind as well.

In short:

1. The new AFC is a good step in the right direction, but not good enough to compete with the big twos.

2. The AFC can only be as good as the speed of the lens on the camera. The DA*50-135 is too slow, the FA*85 is not really fast neither. There is unfortunately no bright (at least f/2.8) lenses from Pentax to offer a fast enough focusing speed in the range of the 50-135.

Anyway, here a few photos:

1

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5

6

These and more photos taken with the K-3 are under http://www.flickr.com/photos/dschreckling/sets/72157637476791173

 tcom's gear list:tcom's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Pentax 645D Nikon D4 Leica M Typ 240 Pentax K-3 +24 more
Pentax K-3
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