Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...

Started Apr 1, 2013 | Discussions
mark dimo
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Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
Apr 1, 2013

The arrival of the K5II made what was already a near perfect camera (K5) into the best handling Pentax to date.

I'm usually the oddball who shoots professional sports with a Pentax.  In the USA,  I know Ed Jay does a lot of work for the NFL; and across the globe, other sports photographers who use Pentax have reached out to say hello over the years.

The number of shooters (for professional sports) has typically been low, but with the new K5II and IIs,  that could possibly change because Pentax has finally offered a body that can meet the expectations of sports photographers and editors of the sports journalism world.

I collected my thoughts and organized them here in a blog entry at my personal blog:

As far as performance is concerned the K5II is the fastest, most accurate performing K to date.

http://surfdoc.blogspot.com/2013/03/shooting-sports-low-light-and-mixed-wb.html

These are my opinions and wanted share my experiences with the K5II.

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jm_mac
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to mark dimo, Apr 1, 2013

Great post and blog, Mark!  I love hearing about your adventures in the surfing world and beyond.  I have a question - you have found that the K5II has much better AF than the K5.  Did your K5 have the latest firmware?  I have heard from a couple of folks here on the forum that the latest K5 firmware is better with respect to AF.  I have two K5's - if I can get a significant AF improvement, I may trade one in for a K5II.

jm_mac

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Donald B
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to mark dimo, Apr 1, 2013

Nice read Mark, prices are very good here in aus also $800 body only.

cheers don

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mark dimo
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to jm_mac, Apr 1, 2013

jm_mac wrote:

Great post and blog, Mark!  I love hearing about your adventures in the surfing world and beyond.  I have a question - you have found that the K5II has much better AF than the K5.  Did your K5 have the latest firmware?  I have heard from a couple of folks here on the forum that the latest K5 firmware is better with respect to AF.

The joy of the K5II is that AF is more accurate in those backlit poorly contrasted scenarios that might make the original K5 and before get fooled into front or back focusing.

The very first thing I observed about the II/IIs is that it was able to lock focus during sceanrios where my past bodies might get fooled into spinning the AF barrel from close to infinity and back.  With the new II, it is a quick and dead accurate lock.

The AF-C is greatly improved as well.  I mentioned in the blog that it wasnt as accurate as the Mark IV, but that in no way relegates it to the bottom of the barrel.  I wouldnt imagine it any worse than the 7d, D7000 or D300s from those respective competitors,  which translates to this...  Cameras  within the class or price range of the II/IIs have a hard time competing with the benefits the new II offers.

Now if you measure it against a Mark III or beyond,  the marginal gain in performance by those monstrous bodies isn't as easily justified when you consider the Mark series cams are 4-5X the base price of the K5II. Hence,  a set of K5II's with pro caliber DA*'s can keep up with the efficiency and performance of any competitors best considering its durabiliity and weather sealing.  We all know the mind blowing High ISO performance the K5 possesses so need to keep reinforcing that facet.

Happy shooting.  you can follow my new football blog here: www.phootballworld.wordpress.com

It will showcase alot of lowlight photography and really pushing the K5II to its limits.

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mark dimo
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to Donald B, Apr 1, 2013

Donald B wrote:

Nice read Mark, prices are very good here in aus also $800 body only.

cheers don

WOW!!! the new II is only 800 aussie dollar??  I need to check B&H for their current price on the II and pick up a second body.

*just checked at it still runs about 1000 USD, so you guys down under are getting a great deal

Cheers!

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ozdean
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to Donald B, Apr 1, 2013

Don where are you getting a II for $800?

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Donald B
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to ozdean, Apr 1, 2013

ozdean wrote:

Don where are you getting a II for $800?

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perfect mission, here in hervey bay. ebay store ive purchased many an item from them. next day delivery. i nearly fell over myself Dean. $795

cheers don

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Pentax-K-5-II-K5-Body-Black-Warranty-Australia-/121086973783?pt=AU_Digital_Cameras&hash=item1c31589757

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HozicEmir
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to mark dimo, Apr 1, 2013

You will be prosecuted, will have to make repentance, than You will be burned for heresy :)))

Pentax and sports, pure heresy.

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ozdean
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to Donald B, Apr 1, 2013

Don they are saying K5II K5 - I think they must mean a K5 - Picture is a II though

Did you buy one?

If it only was a IIs under 1g.

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Donald B
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to ozdean, Apr 1, 2013

ozdean wrote:

Don they are saying K5II K5 - I think they must mean a K5 - Picture is a II though

Did you buy one?

If it only was a IIs under 1g.

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if you look at all the kits they all show k511, if i had the money i woulld ring them and ask for a price on the 11s maybe 850 ? and delivery.

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mark dimo
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to HozicEmir, Apr 1, 2013

HozicEmir wrote:

You will be prosecuted, will have to make repentance, than You will be burned for heresy :)))

Pentax and sports, pure heresy.

Ahhh,  I must confess.  You caught me in my April Fools joke.  In all fairness,  I shot all those images with my iphone 6. -Wink

Cheers!

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HozicEmir
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to mark dimo, Apr 1, 2013

Iphone 6 I can accept, pentax and sports can not

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solarider
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How indeed?
In reply to mark dimo, Apr 1, 2013

Definitely good photo work - and knowing where to be at the right moment.

On browsing your blog I found this to bring up a chuckle in the comments:

"Anonymous8:54 AM    hi mark,im using a pentax k5 because you are my idol.hehehe,im planning to buy *DA200mm,my lense kit now was 18to135m DA and DA*55.i want to know how you manage to used ISO 4000 to 5000 with still a good quality picture."

How indeed? 

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mark dimo
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Re: How indeed?
In reply to solarider, Apr 1, 2013

solarider wrote:

Definitely good photo work - and knowing where to be at the right moment.

On browsing your blog I found this to bring up a chuckle in the comments:

"Anonymous8:54 AM    hi mark,im using a pentax k5 because you are my idol.hehehe,im planning to buy *DA200mm,my lense kit now was 18to135m DA and DA*55.i want to know how you manage to used ISO 4000 to 5000 with still a good quality picture."

I know this may seem like blasphemy to the purist, but I have been shooting mostly JPG.  The Pentax 4star JPEG fulfills my spot journalism needs and I really appreciate Pentax's current .jpg algorithms.

I tend to dwell in the 4000-5000 ISO range for most of our night (or indoor sports) assignments. Working here for the Philippines' Media,  we can't always expect brightly lit venues.  Throughout my shooting career, the Pyramid  (sports venue for Long Beach State University) still remains to be one of the brightest lit shooting venues ever.

I currently had the setting for noise reduction on default: Auto. I plan to experiment and turn those down to "Low"  to see if I can preserve more detail.  The Pentax output at extremely high ISO above 3200 is very clean, without any need for noise reduction software.

It seems Pentax ISO 4000+ is besting yesterday's ISO 800.  It allows users the ability to stop down and use f4 at night, or poor lighting conditions.

Thanks for browsing.

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Jim in Hudson
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Re: How indeed?
In reply to mark dimo, Apr 1, 2013

mark dimo wrote:

solarider wrote:

Definitely good photo work - and knowing where to be at the right moment.

On browsing your blog I found this to bring up a chuckle in the comments:

"Anonymous8:54 AM    hi mark,im using a pentax k5 because you are my idol.hehehe,im planning to buy *DA200mm,my lense kit now was 18to135m DA and DA*55.i want to know how you manage to used ISO 4000 to 5000 with still a good quality picture."

I know this may seem like blasphemy to the purist, but I have been shooting mostly JPG.  The Pentax 4star JPEG fulfills my spot journalism needs and I really appreciate Pentax's current .jpg algorithms.

I tend to dwell in the 4000-5000 ISO range for most of our night (or indoor sports) assignments. Working here for the Philippines' Media,  we can't always expect brightly lit venues.  Throughout my shooting career, the Pyramid  (sports venue for Long Beach State University) still remains to be one of the brightest lit shooting venues ever.

I currently had the setting for noise reduction on default: Auto. I plan to experiment and turn those down to "Low"  to see if I can preserve more detail.  The Pentax output at extremely high ISO above 3200 is very clean, without any need for noise reduction software.

It seems Pentax ISO 4000+ is besting yesterday's ISO 800.  It allows users the ability to stop down and use f4 at night, or poor lighting conditions.

Thanks for browsing.

Curious.... what do you use for your JPG image defaults (and modifications)?  I know the camera comes with "Bright" selected but is that what you use?  Thanks.

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mark dimo
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Re: How indeed?
In reply to Jim in Hudson, Apr 1, 2013

Jim in Hudson wrote:

Curious.... what do you use for your JPG image defaults (and modifications)?  I know the camera comes with "Bright" selected but is that what you use?  Thanks.

Hi Jim,

I use bright,  but i turn down the saturation one notch.

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Mr Jam
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What other lenses?
In reply to mark dimo, Apr 1, 2013

Mark,

Fantastic blog.  I do runway fashion shows using Pentax.  Runway shows are almost like sport photography since you get lots of movements.

I use the K5 original and it is wonderful in terms of color and high ISO.  My "runway zooms" are Tamron 28-75, f2.8 and DA*50-135, f2.8.  However, unlike your experience, 50-135 is slow in focus tracking when the subject is moving toward me.  Tamron also gets frequent soft focus images in lower light with even stationary subjects despite the focus confirmation.

What other lenses besides 50-135 works for you for sports photography?

Thanks in advance

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Joseph Tainter
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Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...
In reply to mark dimo, Apr 1, 2013

Mark, nice blog and very nice photos.

I'm just wondering how you do sports shooting using the DA* 50-135. It is the slowest autofocusing lens I own.

Thanks,

Joe

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lock
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Equal to the 7D and d300s ?
In reply to mark dimo, Apr 1, 2013

That would be interesting ?How did you get to that conclusion /

lock

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mark dimo
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Re: Equal to the 7D and d300s ?
In reply to lock, Apr 1, 2013

lock wrote:

That would be interesting ?How did you get to that conclusion /

lock

Hi Lock,

During my career,  I have shot with All three systems (Canon, Nikon, and Pentax).   During my days with boxer Manny Pacquiao I used Nikon and Pentax.  The Nikon D300 was fantastic and their AF had the edge on what Pentax offered at the time (K7) but wasn't leaps and bounds ahead.

Working with Billabong Asia, I used a whole arsenal of Canon and Pentax; and the 7d's build wasnt up to par with the K5 or the Mark III.  Many friends lost 7d's to weather that a K5 could eat for breakfast.  Back then, the 7d had a minor edge on the old K5 for AF performance.

In hindsight,  and comparing with how the new K5II feels.  It is my best opinion that the K5II has caught up to the performance expectations similar to the 7D and D300. The way that it can lock focus in really dim light before the AF assist beam kicks in.  Also,  the keepers I'm getting with AF-C are increased in frequency.

It's the improvement in AF, coupled with the inherent feature unique to pentax (in body SR, solid weather sealed build quality, smallest form factor) that justify the K5II's ability to stand above the older 7D and 300D.  It's all things considered and how these factors synergize with my workflow that I make these opionins.

Afterall,  these are simply my opinions and anyone who has grown comfortable with their system of choice can make an opposing argument. But, I did venture to the other side when curiosity got the best of me,  and the Grass was not greener... just heavier.

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