Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...

Started Apr 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP mark dimo Senior Member • Posts: 1,962
Re: Shooting sports and other things with the K5IIs...

Joseph Tainter wrote:

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.



Hi Joe,

I had a well thought out reply, then my ipad died  and was lost.  I hope I can remember what I previously said.

I use DA* 200 and 300 for Soccer and DA*50-135 with Basketball.

Perhaps the perceived sluggish nature of the 50-135 coupled with the archaic pentax 11pt AF array is a serendipitous blessing in disguise. The speed of the SDM motors, and the AF-c tracking ability tend to work harmoniously for the pace and speed of a transition offense coming down court.  I often recall shooting and wondering... "could it be that the lack of sophistication yielded a better result, by accident?"

When I shot a Canon Mark III with 70-200 f2.8L, I felt all my focus woes were going to be solved.  That the machine would perform like a RED and I'd be able to grab tack sharp stills off every frame. AS if the AF-servo was so sophisticated it would shoot stills like a HD cam reels off video.  From my observations, the grass wasn't always greener.

Canon,  has this user definable ability to adjust the cameras degree of sensitivity with regard to AF point selection and priority of FPS vs focus lock.  If I remember correctly,  you can adjust a percentage and tailor make which points in the field you wanted to utilize.  The K5 has this but its over simplified,  with Canon,  it was so intuitive, it often confused me because the range of combinations was almost infinite.  You would need a lab, and utilize the scientific method to figure out which combination of parameters worked best under diverse settings.  Anyone who has shot Canon Mark series knows what I meant.

Often that cutting technology was its own downfall,  having too many points and dialed overly sensitive might actually trick the AF logic into picking the wrong target.  A Mark III can shoot at 10FPS,  so although there were "oof" mid sequence,  there was enough frames for the AF to recover and lock on something.

Basically, the acute technology of the "now" in what was then for me a Mark III,  but now in these modern times a Mark IV, or 1Dx is essentially what you are paying for.  The maker has to recover their R&D money, and always needs a sentimental flagship to hang their laurels on. Hence the very steep price tag. The question is... "Can a good photographer get the decisive moment without having to spend a fortune on gear?"

Technology reaches a plateau, where patents expire and the cost of technology becomes affordable until the next latest and greatest.  My point about the K5II is that it has the AF ability and its other inherent features that offer a really Big Bang for your buck.  Since Pentax seems to be the tortoise vs. the hare,  I always knew they would catch up and we wouldnt have to pay for it.  I guess we paid with our patience.

Final point is that the performance ability of the K5II is a nice foreshadowing of what is coming down the pike.

Happy Shooting!

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Managing Director Alon Philippines Surf & Travel
Photographer / Features Writer for Lonely Planet Magazine, Digital Photographer & Mabuhay Magazine
Life is too short, surf waves, own a convertible, and marry for love!

 mark dimo's gear list:mark dimo's gear list
Pentax K-3 HD Pentax-DA 20-40mm F2.8-4 ED Limited DC WR
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