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Old Sep 20, 2011, 5:01 PM   #1
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Default Friday night football

I'm thinking of buying a 200mm 2.8 pentax prime for my pentax K100D for shooting my son's Friday night football games. My current equipment isn't fast enough. The best I can do with a 70-210mm 3.5 is,

1. iso 3200 highest setting
2. f stop 3.5 widest aperture
3. 210 mm
4. 1/90 way too much blur
5. budget limit under $1000

I need to shoot at 1/500 and would like a response from anyone if a 200mm 2.8 prime would allow me to shoot with enough exposure?
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Old Sep 20, 2011, 7:23 PM   #2
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Well, if ISO 3200 and f3.5 gets you 1/90, an f2.8 lens won't buy you enough. F2.8 is only 2/3 stop faster. So that would only get you 1/150 or so. Still way too slow. The best option is an external flash. Now, I can't speak to the focus performance of the 70-210 lens you're using. And the K100d doesn't have the best focus system so you may still have difficulty getting decent shots. But, an f2.8 lens by itself is a waste. The best set-up is to mount the external flash on a monopod below the camera:

With a flash you don't need fast shutter speeds - the flash burst freezes the motion:
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Old Sep 21, 2011, 5:08 PM   #3
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John is correct, and, in fact, some organizations like MaxPrep require flash on all football shots. I'm definitely going flash in the next week or so, just have to get the rest of my gear. My hold up is finding a bracket like the one John is using to hold the strobe. Can't seem to find anything that works. Below is about the best I've been able to achieve without flash & still problems with shadows from the facemask, etc. The face-mask shadows are really noticeable in the second pic & flash would have eliminated them. By the way, shutter speed on this pic was 1/640.

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Old Sep 22, 2011, 6:16 PM   #4
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Default Entire monopod flash setup for $200

I went out shopping for a setup similar to John's in his post above & found everything I needed at Arlington Camera here in the D/FW area for $200. The items are:
Manfrotto 175F-1 spring clamp w/ shoeflash
Nissin SC-01 universal shoe cord
Pixel TD-381 External power pack (uses 8 NiMH or Alkaline AA batteries)

I don't know how well the Pixel battery pack will hold up, but it was only $60 & Arlington Camera said if it didn't work well, they'd take it back. Here is a pic of the setup on my Bogen 681B Monopod with my Nissin Di 866 Professional flash (already had the monopod & flash).
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