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Old May 28, 2009, 11:34 AM   #1
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Default lense recommendation for indoor action shots

I take a lot of pictures at my son's basketball games with less than satisfactory results and I want to get a good, fast tele-photo lens. I currently have a new K10D and my old ist Ds. Any suggestions?
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Jerry
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Old May 28, 2009, 11:47 AM   #2
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Your best bet is probably going to be the Pentax 77mm f/1.8 Limited, shooting from the floor.

In a typical high school gym, you'll probably need to shoot at f/2 or brighter apertures to get shutter speeds up to around 1/400 second or so at ISO 1600 (where you'll still have a bit of motion blur, but should be able to get some nice keepers if you take lots of photos).
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Old May 28, 2009, 12:08 PM   #3
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That is very helpful. Oh my, (cough, choke, gag) I just saw the price of the 77mm f/1.8 Limited! If I choose that one, I will DEFINITELY need to save my nickels! ;-) I'll definitely have to hid the key to the gun safe my wife safe if I buy this Lens.
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Old May 28, 2009, 12:20 PM   #4
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If you're on a tight budget, then I'd look at a Pentax 50mm f/1.4 AF lens instead.

Just keep in mind that when using a shorter prime, your ability to get accurate focus is going to be limited to relatively short subject distances. But, if you can shoot from near the basket, you can probably get some nice keepers from the end of the court you're shooting from.

If you want the flexibility of a zoom (for example, a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM), I'd consider upgrading to a newer body like the K-7 instead (which should have higher usable ISO speeds, allowing you to shoot at ISO 3200 with an f/2.8 zoom, versus shooting at ISO 1600 with a brighter prime).
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Old May 28, 2009, 12:35 PM   #5
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I might go ahead and consider the upgrade of the camera as well. I recently bought 2 K10D's, brand new old stock from a store going out of business. I also bought 15 K110d's, K100D's & K100D Supers for about $175-200 each. I should be able to sell all for enough profit to get the new K7 and maybe even the lense as well. I was kind of thinking about getting the K7 anyway.
Thanks!
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Old May 28, 2009, 2:00 PM   #6
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The 77 Limited is worth every penny it costs - an outstanding lens for more than just indoor sports. If you upgrade to the K7, you might also want to look at the DA*50-135. It isn't as good focal length-wise as a 70-200 f2.8 for indoor sports, but it's an excellent lens.
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Old May 28, 2009, 2:29 PM   #7
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If you're considering a body upgrade now, wait for the K-7 and see how it does in real world. The K20D still has suspect focus performance in low light. So if indoor basketball is what you're after, keep your eye on the K-7 rather than getting drawn in by dropping prices on the K20 (I know you didn't mention the K20 but figured someone would eventually). Without a doubt you'll appreciate the flexibility of being able to use a zoom for basketball rather than using an 85mm on an aps-c sensor camera.
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Old May 28, 2009, 2:40 PM   #8
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wow,
sounds like you wiped out their pentax shelf..
3 things about lenses..
price,speed,quality
you get 2 choices
seriously tho, a fast 200mm will be your best bet.. next option is a fast 3-400 mm but you'll have to sell all you bought plus at least a 1/2 leg or arm..
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Old May 28, 2009, 5:01 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the good input. I now have a lot to consider for a lense choice. I'll keep on selling the Pentax cameras as I research this more and see what happens between now and when the K7 is readily available. I'm sure I'll go ahead and go with one of the lens recomendations and start experimenting. I love this forum, by the way! Everyone seems very kind and willing to offer help and advice, just what a DSLR novice like me likes: a lot of input to help me with my learning curve.

Jerry
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Old May 28, 2009, 9:09 PM   #10
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Currently I use a DA* 50-135 f2.8 for shooting basketball indoors in poor light.

This equates to a 70-200mm f2.8 on a full frame DSLR such as the king of sports cameras the Nikon D3.


The SDM autofocus is an improvement but still,as Johng says, the overall autofocus perforamance is a little bit slow.

Particularly the K10D is a poor performer in low light high ISO compared the Nikon D3.


However both these areas have been adressed by Pentax in the K7, it just reamins for photographers to try the K7 out in the real world and see how much of an improvement Pentax made.
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