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Old May 22, 2009, 2:54 PM   #11
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In complete honesty would you have responded at all, or even looked at the post if it was titled "...my daughter yesterday"? Or did the title "Can't be Pentax" trigger a "can't resist taking a shot" response?

I agree with your "face not in focus" assessment, however I'm not quite sure what material evidence there can be in the photo that it is back focused, other than the assumption that Pentax gear isn't fast enough to capture in focus,
In answer to your first question: it's unlikely I would have responded at all because the photo did not appeal to me. I would have looked, but not commented on it as a sports shot because I have stopped doing that. I comment in various forums here when I see a photo that jumps out at me or when I can provide constructive feedback about the topic. I don't think every photo posted is "a good shot" and given most of us aren't 4th graders I don't believe in telling someone a shot is good even if I think it isn't. I believe in honest feedback - good critique is about pointing out the good AND the bad. IMO (and others may feel differently) this is a photography forum - not a social network forum in that when a photo is posted in photography forum it should be considered for it's photographic merit. I would never critique a photo on someone's myspace page but this isn't myspace.

As to your second notion - I based my opinion by looking at the ground - the track appears to be in decent focus. So it wasn't based on an assumption the tracking failed to keep up. In my experience focus failures aren't necessarily TRAILING focus - focus is just off. I can't make a conclusion on whether the gear in use ALWAYS back focuses but because I see elements behind the jumper that appear in focus it was my observation the shot appeared back focused.
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Old May 22, 2009, 3:06 PM   #12
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Nice shot Rick, you brought out the best in your gear.

Jim
Jim - let me ask you - since we're having the discussion - do you believe this statement? If you believe an OOF shot is the best the gear can achieve, haven't you made the same point I'm making?
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If someone's happy with their gear, and their photos, be it Pentax, Canon, Nikon, why not let them be happy with their gear?
I agree with you. BUT, if a person is going to post in a PUBLIC PHOTOGRAPHY forum (not social network forum) a photo is a quality representation of the technical achievement of that gear, they should accept the potential for debate that follows.

If I post a shot saying - ""who said camera X can't do high ISO photography" and the photo I posted has noise or is washed-out - isn't it fair for another member to point out it isn't a good high ISO shot?

If you just want to be happy and don't want conflicting opinions on quality then don't make posts with assertions like Rick made. As jelpee stated "if you don't like the answer you shouldn't have asked the question".
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Old May 22, 2009, 4:21 PM   #13
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...... and given most of us aren't 4th graders....


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...... this is a photography forum - not a social network forum....
Oh, I'm sorry.


By the way, what are all these little icons for??
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Old May 22, 2009, 4:39 PM   #14
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I'm not intentionally trying to change the tone of the conversation... But if I'm shooting with an auto focus DSLR and I'm shooting fast action like the original shot. What settings do I use?

My guess is:
al servo
iso 800
tv 1/1250
av f/13
continuous shooting
Steady hands and hope for the best??
What am I messing up this time?
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Old May 22, 2009, 4:59 PM   #15
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Thanks for your advice in advance!!
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Old May 22, 2009, 5:01 PM   #16
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Lesmore49,

I'm glad you are happy. I guess I just haven't seen many of your bird in flight shots That's true. I haven't posted any shots of any kind, primarily because I'm an old timer who is so challenged ..computer wise...by any more than using a word processor. I have tried a couple of times on different websites with other's instructions and my grizzled old head doesn't seem to get it.so I can't comment on how they compare to what the Nikon (NHL) and Canon (Wacky Roger)My understanding is that Roger uses a Canon and originally used, maybe still does (don't know) a Pentax K10D. His K10D is/was linked to a Sigma 50-500 and his photography. I agree whether static or action...his photography is wonderful with both systems that he has used over the past couple of years.folks are getting on this site. I've seen some wonderful STILL wildlife images in the Pentax forum from people using their gear properly which demonstrates the IQ (with proper lens and technique) is good. But on this site and other sites I haven't seen a lot of ACTION - be it wildlife or sports that impresses me compared to what the competition does. But as jelpee pointed out - a lot of that has to do with the available lenses to. The Bigma is the first legitimate autofocus lens I've seen people in this forum use for Pentax. But not any BIF yet. I will admit though - I pay much more attention to sports photos as it is more of an interest to me than wildlife.

Again - not saying you can't be happy and can't get good shots. I'm just saying from viewing posts here and on other sites for the past 5 years I haven't seen much impressive from Pentax. It's especially an issue in sports because of using shallower DOF. Shooting 200mm and 300mm at f2.8 or 85mm at 1.8 focusing errors are much more pronounced.Agreed that in fast moving, limited light situations (indoor, dark skies outdoors, etc.)Canon, then Nikon probably has the best array of fast and long lenses...which of course are the thing to have for fast action sports.But in very good, bright light situations (outdoors) Pentax or other lenses that are somewhat slower (F4, 5.6) can do an excellent job. But I understand that a pro who is primarily into sports photography for their livlihood, need to use a fast lens...they have to produce fair weather or foul and when it's foul the fast lens does the trick.


So, again, sorry for making a blanket statement - let me re-state that based on the photos I personally have seen I don't see that Pentax produces action photos on par with the competition. In this thread I attempted to point out what I looked at to come to that conclusion.
What I was pointing out and not too clearly (when I reread my post) was in reference to that specific shot of the poster's daughter . Although the picture wasn't bad , I was suggesting some methods that that the orig. poster could improve the DOF ...overall focus of the action shot.

Another suggestion I didn't make is that in some difficult to focus situations I use manual focus and judge from experience where the moving subject will be...kind of leading as one does in shooting (rifles / shotguns..which I don't do anymore)..I find my Pentax lenses also click in well on manual. The viewfinder is bright and contrasty and the lens responds well to fast and accurate focus.

Last edited by lesmore49; May 22, 2009 at 5:04 PM.
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Old May 22, 2009, 5:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by FaithfulPastor View Post
I'm not intentionally trying to change the tone of the conversation... But if I'm shooting with an auto focus DSLR and I'm shooting fast action like the original shot. What settings do I use?

My guess is:
al servo
iso 800
tv 1/1250
av f/13
continuous shooting
Steady hands and hope for the best??
What am I messing up this time?
When shooting sports like this you dont want narrow apertures (f/13) - you want to isolate your subject from distracting backgrounds. That isn't the case for all sports - dirt bike racing off course and other sports the participants like the backgrounds in focus to an extent. So you want to shoot with a wide aperture to blur the background.
ISO and shutter speed depend on the amount of light. If you can get 1/1000 that's great. My minimum is 1/400. You up the ISO to ensure a minimum shutter speed. But the exposure settings you pick should be chosen to expose the FACE not necessarily the overall scene. Bright daylight and white uniforms you have to accept you're going to blow highlights to get the skin tones the right exposure. There is no magic value - experience will tell you how much to adjust the exposure in a given situation.

AI Servo is correct for your camera but you only want to use a single focus point so the proper subject (and at shallow DOF the proper PART of your subject) is in focus.
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Old May 22, 2009, 5:54 PM   #18
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If you didn't understand my comment about 4th graders I'll explain a bit further. My point was as adults most of us can handle constructive feedback. We can handle being told there is room for improvement. Again, that's just my opinion.


Lesmore49 - thanks for your posts. I'm glad you didn't get your feathers ruffled by my comments. I post because I enjoy good honest communication with fellow photographers. We don't have to agree 100% with each other to respect each others' opinions. Thank you for respecting mine - as I do yours.
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Old May 22, 2009, 6:33 PM   #19
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Because John specifically, and correctly, referenced my frustration with Pentax's AF system, I feel compelled to comment about the ability to shoot moving objects. For sports shooting the K10/K20 have been less than would want....particularly trying to fast focus in conditions where lighting is less than perfect (i.e. stadiums at night)

However, given enough light, I have seen some outstanding BIF shots from Pentax...witness some of the great shots danieltchong has posted. This is one I took with the K20 and the Bigma of a Red-Tailed Hawk flying at speed.



The second is of a gull taking off...also with the Bigma under more favorable light



Given sufficient light, the K20 will focus well on sports and with reasonable speed, even with a less-than-perfect lens. One of my student managers took this shot with the K20 and the Tamron 70-300 during my team's recent state tournament loss.



It is the frustration with AF (and burst speed) that make me lick my lips in anticipation that Pentax has addressed this weakness in the K-7.

Paul
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Old May 22, 2009, 9:43 PM   #20
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The shot of someone else's legs between hers does not make for a good shot in my opinion, no matter what the make of the camera.

I remember how it seems I started all of this when I mentioned how disappointed I was in my missing sports shots and that the DS or K100D just wasn't up to the task. They still aren't. A shot here or there can be done with any camera. The amount of useable keepers is decidedly low, very low with Pentax. The only credible sports shooter using Pentax is Mark Dimalanta. Surfing shots to be exact. He also has the absolute largest and best Pentax glass collection there is to boot.

I still have Pentax but not for sports shooting. Just doesn't cut it for me.
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