Are Pentax really that bad for sport ?


mille19

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 17:33
I've just read the review for the K3 on the other forum and spotted this comment

"With that said, the new 27-point autofocus system is certainly a step in the right direction for Pentax, and we think that it is already more than enough for anyone that isn't a sports shooter."

I'm club photographer for Barrow Raiders RLFC and cover quite a lot of sport using a K5 and K30, I've had sports photos published in my local paper and the national Rugby League Express.

Why is it Pentax are thought to be so bad for sports photography?

Here's a gallery of photos from a local football match I covered this weekend Football K5

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 18:20
Well, what are the features and performance qualities needed for sports? If anyone feels Pentax is 'so bad for sports photography', presumably it is because they believe the cameras or lenses lack something of these features and qualities. Whether that is true or justified is another matter.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 04/11/2013 - 18:21

johnriley

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 18:21
Well, there will no doubt be a vociferous response, but I don't think it is so bad. I see lots of superb Pentax shots of all sorts of sports.

People shot sports before autofocus and autoexposure or even motor drives and they did very well at it. It was a matter of practice and skill. Modern cameras take a lot of the difficulty away in some ways, but there's still no substitute for the skill.
Best regards, John

dcweather

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 18:43
I'd have thought they are ok, especially as there is a degree of predictability. The case against I guess is related to the slowness (relative to other makes) of AF especially when tracking.
With relativeley large objects moving in a predictable direction I'm sure Pentax can now cope. Where it struggles is trying to pick up a small object moving more unpredictably and quite fast. Especially if the distance change is large, there is a lot of hunting. Of course I am referring to birds in flight and a very stretching scenario for any camera. But it is easier with other makes, I can vouch for that.
Dave

mille19

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 18:55
dcweather wrote:
But it is easier with other makes, I can vouch for that.
Dave

Hopefully not now we've got the K3

JAK

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 19:02
johnriley wrote:
Well, there will no doubt be a vociferous response, but I don't think it is so bad. I see lots of superb Pentax shots of all sorts of sports.

People shot sports before autofocus and autoexposure or even motor drives and they did very well at it. It was a matter of practice and skill. Modern cameras take a lot of the difficulty away in some ways, but there's still no substitute for the skill.

Completely agree. There can never be any certainty that an autofocus system will choose the intended subject and that applies to all brands of camera. Some seem to expect too much from their camera and expect it to think for them.

John K
John K

richandfleur

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 19:05
Yeah surely this is around the AF abilities. Any camera can set the shutter speed up high to capture sharp images during fast action, (well on a nice bright day at least). Not every camera can adjust the focus to track that motion.

It's a broad statement, but if you're talking team sports the focus is harder than say a motor sport event where you know a car will be at that spot sooner or later,so you can use manual focus.

Maybe the K3 will prove to be better at this.

Fletcher8

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 19:11
Ironically despite all the improvements in AF systems regardless of which brand of camera a photographer shoots with, the key to photographing sports is understanding and anticipating the action before it happens. Knowing where and when to prefocus can provide some stunning images.

Before I was even born people were shooting sports and action and doing it with manual lenses and taking images that have become iconic. Of course lenses play a vital part in sports photography and there are good and not so good lenses in all manufactures line ups.

Personally I shoot a fair amount of action and use different lenses both new and old, when people and businesses have purchased my images they don't care what camera or lens I shoot with, they just want images that meet their needs and requirements.

With the K3 now available, with improved AF and metering, it will make my life a little easier, but at the end of the day when it comes to action and photography, its still the same as it has been for years, practice, dedication, technique and being in the right place at the right time.
Fletcher8.

DrOrloff

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 19:26
It's a very good point that great sports photography predates auto this and that. However, if I were primarily interested in shooting sports then I could see very little reason to choose Pentax over Canon or Nikon. In fact none whatsoever. It's not just the automation it's the limitation of suitable lenses. I like manual modes but this is the one area where I would take most advantage of automation and the initial impressions on even the K3's autofocus seem rather underwhelmed. It is an Achilles heel, Pentax simply have to get more serious to win market share. My impression of Pentaxians' sports/action shots is that motorsports and airshows make up the bulk of these and outside of these then the overall level is distinctly average by comparison.

Is Pentax bad for sport? In some ways yes but I think the level is just a reflection that there are better options.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined
Last Edited by DrOrloff on 04/11/2013 - 19:27

jules

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 19:38
JAK wrote:
johnriley wrote:
Well, there will no doubt be a vociferous response, but I don't think it is so bad. I see lots of superb Pentax shots of all sorts of sports.

People shot sports before autofocus and autoexposure or even motor drives and they did very well at it. It was a matter of practice and skill. Modern cameras take a lot of the difficulty away in some ways, but there's still no substitute for the skill.

Completely agree. There can never be any certainty that an autofocus system will choose the intended subject and that applies to all brands of camera. Some seem to expect too much from their camera and expect it to think for them.

John K

I've owned Nikon D3/700/300/300s and Canon 1D MkII/50D/5D MkII/7D.
Now then, all of these appear to focus fazter and track better than Pentax K5/IIs, I say appear becsuse I've never been totally convinced by any of em!
They are all capable of getting it very very wrong. The Pro bodies have loads of AF options, invariably you are in the wrong one when you really need it!
On balance the Canon 7D gets it about right, enough points to catch a subject but not too many to confuse the poor operator in a pinch. I had accuracy issues with that one too however! The BIggie is speed of acquisition belped along by shorter throw lenses, Pentax has none of these and so the K3 will no doubt be pulled up for something which is not the bodies fault! I firmly believe however that longer throw lenses are far more accurate than short throw, and therefore are actually more sensitive to movement. The second biggie is having enough focus points to track the subject across the frame, they need to be in a fairly tight group to be able to lay off focus to one a other, something avain pentax has been lacking... Until Now
Cheers Jules...

My viewfinder is 576,000,000 pixels.
My other viewfinder is 5.76,000,000.

www.exaggeratedperspectives.com
Last Edited by jules on 04/11/2013 - 19:41

johnriley

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 19:39
If other marques are so good, how come they don't seem so when handled? The Nikon D700 with 70-200mm lens I was handling was positively lethargic in situations where the K-5 would have snapped right in.

There's much more to this I think than the preconceived notions that are quite widespread.

Obviously the K-3 can't be commented on yet until I have a go with it.
Best regards, John

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 19:44
Jules, what do you mean by 'shorter throw' and 'longer throw' lenses? Are you just meaning focal length?
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver

Epithet Man

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 20:00
McGregNi wrote:
Jules, what do you mean by 'shorter throw' and 'longer throw' lenses? Are you just meaning focal length?

Jules means the distance from one extreme of focus to the other. The shorter this is, the quicker the AF motor can cover the entire focus range (and the quicker, in principle, it can focus).

Although a short throw is great for autofocus, it can make manual focus trickier.

EM
Last Edited by Epithet Man on 04/11/2013 - 20:01

McGregNi

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 20:07
Ah OK, you mean like how much the focus ring rotates to go from one extreme to the other? Yes, I see - I know my DA 18-55 would have a 'shorter' throw then - and yes, it is tricky in manual. But the Samyang 14mm just keeps on turning and turning - and not much seems to happen! Its so 'long' that its hard to imagine any camera would be able to autofocus it at all!
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 04/11/2013 - 20:09

Mongoose

Link Posted 04/11/2013 - 20:07
Epithet Man wrote:
McGregNi wrote:
Jules, what do you mean by 'shorter throw' and 'longer throw' lenses? Are you just meaning focal length?

Jules means the distance from one extreme of focus to the other. The shorter this is, the quicker the AF motor can cover the entire focus range (and the quicker, in principle, it can focus).

Although a short throw is great for autofocus, it can make manual focus trickier.

EM

for an example of this in K mount, compare the F 70-210 to the DA 55-300. The F lens is blazing fast in AF, but the short throw and loose action make it a pain to focus manually. The DA has the opposite problem, with the long throw making hunting a real problem in difficult situations.
you don't have to be mad to post here



but it does help
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