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Old Jan 19, 2008, 1:51 AM   #11
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Basketball is fun to shoot because there is always action. Getting the shots you want with a Pentax is a bit difficult because of a slight shutter lag. You have been able to get some great shots in spite of it. #2, 3 and 4 in the second setare really nice because of the ball being in aperfect position.

Glenn
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Old Jan 19, 2008, 7:34 AM   #12
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Rickst, there are some very nice elements in some of your shots. I really like shots 3,4, & 5 in the second sequence. All are very nicely taken, although I would have probably cropped much tighter to isolate focus on the faces and key elements of the play. I'm assuming from the background details that these shots are taken in a variety of gyms, at least one or two of which are fairly bright.

I use the k10d and one of two lenses to shoot basketball--the FA-50 or the DA* 50-135. The "home" gym in which I do most of my shooting is extremely dark. Either lens will give excellent shots, but I've found that neither will do it entirely on its own. Good post-processing is a must. To me, it's worth the extra few seconds to run noise reduction software to be able to shoot at a higher ISO, thus higher shutter speed, to get a crisper focus to start with. This shot was at ISO 1600, f1.8, and 1/500 (John, you might find this one familiar--it has been recropped in line with your suggestions to move the action more to the center of the frame)



I have even thought about getting a K100d body just for sports shooting, solely because of it has the capability of going to ISO 3200, even though I know it means every shot will have to run through Noiseware. I just think I would be starting with a much better exposed image to work with.

I understand the problem you run into with position, having to shoot from the side, but that forces you into a couple of difficulties. The first is the one that John points out. It's difficult to get focus at that distance with the FA 50 because of it's very shallow DOF. (Normally one of the reasons that I love the lens) When you do get sharp focus at longer ranges, that means that a distracting background will also be in focus, such as in the first shot of your second group. The other main problem is that it is hard to get the kind of sharp detail on faces that make shots of intense effort interesting. On #2 in the second group, for example, you have an excellent shot of the layup, but she's turned the wrong way.

You mention the difficulty of the speed of the Pentax at autofocusing. With the FA 50, focus speed has never been the problem for me. Instead, it's a matter of making sure that the lens is locked at the right place. Because of the shallow DOF, the FA 50 tends to lock on the wrong point if you're not careful, and it's not forgiving.

Harriet suggests the 77mm f1.8 limited lens. That's one I would love, but it has to go way down the list of priorities since I just bought the DA* 50-135 and I have placed an order for the Tamron 70-200 f2.8. With the high ISO possibilities of the K100, you can probably get away with an f2.8 lens in just about any gym. If you have one that has longer focal length and can still get decent light, I'd sure be tempted to see what you can do with it when you have to shoot from the side. It would definitely give you a much better shot at getting shots at the distance you're facing.

You're getting some really nice shots. These are just a few of the things I've run into with trying to learn the Pentax in older gyms.
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Old Jan 19, 2008, 7:35 AM   #13
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I'd love to get the 77, but it's a bit too pricey at this point.
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Old Jan 20, 2008, 2:16 PM   #14
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Rick - Nice series of pictures. Just curious, but how long ago and where (state) was the second series shot? My question has nothing to do with the quality of the pictures, but I noticed something on the official in the last picture of the second series. I am also a basketball/soccer official (high school level), and the official is wearing a shirt with a collar (refered to as a "Byron" collar), and I haven't seen one of those in at least 5 years. Just curious.
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Old Jan 21, 2008, 12:23 PM   #15
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The second serieswere all shot last year (I believe). You have to remember that this is 7th grade level and the Refs are probably volunteers. The school most likely had these old ref shirts because volunteers wouldn't be expected to have their own shirts.
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Old Jan 21, 2008, 5:48 PM   #16
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Rickst wrote:
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The second serieswere all shot last year (I believe). You have to remember that this is 7th grade level and the Refs are probably volunteers. The school most likely had these old ref shirts because volunteers wouldn't be expected to have their own shirts.
Thanks for the reply. I still have my "byron" collared shirts -- just don't wear them anymore. I have done lots and lots of games in those small gyms. They are somtimes some of thebest games.
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