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Old Sep 15, 2006, 5:19 PM   #1
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I recently purchased a Pentax *ist DL and have been trying to take some indoor volleyball pictures. I've been told that using a monopod would help in a low light situation but that seems terribly inconvenient when you want some vertical shots. Will a 50mm F1.4 lens allow me to take handheld pictures? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Karen
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Old Sep 16, 2006, 8:58 AM   #2
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Karen,

When dealing with sports, a monopod is generally helpful when you have a heavy lens. I wouldn't recommend it as necessary for a fast prime (under 200mm) unless you personally have a very difficult time keeping your hands steady.

will a 1.4x lens work? Yes, but I don't recommend using it at 1.4. Typically you want to use the lens no wider than 2.0-2.2. At 1.8 it's very difficult to keep your subject in focus - the focus plane is VERY thin. At 1.4, it's too thin.

Also remember with a prime, you need to zoom with your feet. If using a 50mm lens you need to be right at the court - not in the stands.

Truth be told, I think an 85mm 1.8 ($370) is a better solution than a 50mm 1.4 ($320). The added reach will be of more use than the added aperture gain. With either lens, there is really no need for a monopod.
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Old Sep 16, 2006, 10:34 AM   #3
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Thank you for the info. Unfortunately,I ordered the 50mm F1.4 lens before I posted my question. Now, I'll have to try that one first and see how it works. Hopefully, there will be an improvement over the 18-55mm, F3.5-5.6 lens?? I'll soon find out.

Karen
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Old Sep 16, 2006, 12:12 PM   #4
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There will be a huge improvement. But, you have to be patient as well - shooting at wider apertures requires more accuracy in focusing. I'll suggest you use a single focus point only (and of course AI Servo). You'll likely get a lot of mis-focuses at first but keep at it - you'll be stunned with how good the shots will eventually get.
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