Lenses for sports


icemanneo

Link Posted 14/07/2015 - 14:26
Hi all,

I am new to the forum but would like to pick some of your more experienced brains when it comes to lenses.

Currently I have a Pentax K-3 and the main lens it is used with is a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8. The primary reason for this set-up is to take pictures of sports, more specifically tennis.

Can any of you recommend another good zoom lens to use? Myself and my friend often go to tennis matches and when i look at the pictures on his Canon 7d, they seem much sharper and cleaner (especially when going to the o2 where I am going from dark to light).

I never have it on the auto setting and will always use the manual setting and adjust the iso and shutter speed accordingly but i can't seem to get to his detail. Maybe i need to experiment more but the lens i believe he uses is a canon that extends up to 500mm.

Would getting a sigma 100-300 f4 help (i know they are gold dust now!) or maybe a 1.4x converter?

As I said at the beginning, any help or assistance would be great!

Thanks in advance

fritzthedog

Link Posted 14/07/2015 - 15:23
Hi

Before chasing new lenses - there are many things to explore. On the face of it you are using a very credible camera and lens combination.

Obviously using the right settings for the shots you are taking is important and using manual settings - always to be encouraged - but it is worth firing some shots on auto to compare with yours - just to sense check how the settings and results compare to what you would manually have dialed in in the same circumstances

You do not mention which version of the Sigma 70-200 you have - assuming it is the HSM or HSM II - these do tend to be slightly soft at the 200mm end but much sharper if you just pull them back a bit.

Take some test shots through the focal range (especially from 150-200) of the same subject - how do they compare for sharpness?

Do all images look slightly soft? If so - it may be a poor example of the lens

You mention your friends images look sharper. What length is he shooting at? If he is at mid distance on a max 500mm lens while you are at max focal distance - this again could explain the difference. Also - what lens is he using - If it is a 500mm tele zoom - chances are it is a Sigma or Tamron (I don't think canon make a long telephoto zoom but may be wrong). Yours should compare well to these - except perhaps if you are at max focal length vs mid length.

This is just a basic 'none technical' start point - many more things to explore before giving up on your camera/ lens combo and I am sure many other members will add valuable advice

Regards
Carl
No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more

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Blythman

Link Posted 14/07/2015 - 16:27
And do some tests to see if you need AF adjustment on that lens.
Alan


PPG
Flickr

icemanneo

Link Posted 14/07/2015 - 16:50
fritzthedog wrote:
Hi

Before chasing new lenses - there are many things to explore. On the face of it you are using a very credible camera and lens combination.

Obviously using the right settings for the shots you are taking is important and using manual settings - always to be encouraged - but it is worth firing some shots on auto to compare with yours - just to sense check how the settings and results compare to what you would manually have dialed in in the same circumstances

You do not mention which version of the Sigma 70-200 you have - assuming it is the HSM or HSM II - these do tend to be slightly soft at the 200mm end but much sharper if you just pull them back a bit.

Take some test shots through the focal range (especially from 150-200) of the same subject - how do they compare for sharpness?

Do all images look slightly soft? If so - it may be a poor example of the lens

You mention your friends images look sharper. What length is he shooting at? If he is at mid distance on a max 500mm lens while you are at max focal distance - this again could explain the difference. Also - what lens is he using - If it is a 500mm tele zoom - chances are it is a Sigma or Tamron (I don't think canon make a long telephoto zoom but may be wrong). Yours should compare well to these - except perhaps if you are at max focal length vs mid length.

This is just a basic 'none technical' start point - many more things to explore before giving up on your camera/ lens combo and I am sure many other members will add valuable advice

Regards
Carl

Hi Carl,

Many thanks for the above suggestions. For the life of me I can't remember which version of the Sigma lens i purchased (if it's the HSM or HSM II), will have to double check when i get back from my holiday.

As you described, I am, most of the time, at the max length but will start to take it back a little bit. I always tried to get as close to the action as possible so would zoom all the way in. Maybe i should take it back and then i could zoom / crop after. I never really thought of using the auto on the camera and then comparing it to my manual settings or using the auto as the guidline asi always saw this as cheating!

I had been doing quite a bit of reading up and was very close to selling the above combo and switching to the canon 7d ii but after seeing the reviews, it was mentioned that the pentax k3 was better in quite a few areas (especially in low level lighting).

I will also need to look at making further adjustments within the menu to help assist / aid in the low lighting arena that i have currently been using.

Maybe i am being too impatient and wanting the best shot straight away as opposed to perservering and learning the camera.

I really thank you for your patience and i will post some sample photos for you all to see (maybe it's me being paranoid whilst comparing with my friends results).

Regards,

Mike

icemanneo

Link Posted 14/07/2015 - 16:52
Blythman wrote:
And do some tests to see if you need AF adjustment on that lens.

Probably a silly question, how would i do this test? I have never done anything like that before (or if i did....it was by accident!)

fritzthedog

Link Posted 14/07/2015 - 17:30
icemanneo wrote:
Blythman wrote:
And do some tests to see if you need AF adjustment on that lens.

Probably a silly question, how would i do this test? I have never done anything like that before (or if i did....it was by accident!)

As a start point - read page 47 of the K3 user manual - take a test shot - make minor adjustments (and note the changes you make) -compare results until you get the best and if needed change the setting accordingly and if you get stuck - ask here. Personally I have been lucky and never had to do a fine adjustment

If you have not done so already - you may also find it useful to switch focus peaking on and use live view to focus. This option can be found in menu 3 - live view on the camera

Carl
No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more
Last Edited by fritzthedog on 14/07/2015 - 17:31

icemanneo

Link Posted 14/07/2015 - 18:57
fritzthedog wrote:
icemanneo wrote:
Quote:
And do some tests to see if you need AF adjustment on that lens.

Probably a silly question, how would i do this test? I have never done anything like that before (or if i did....it was by accident!)

As a start point - read page 47 of the K3 user manual - take a test shot - make minor adjustments (and note the changes you make) -compare results until you get the best and if needed change the setting accordingly and if you get stuck - ask here. Personally I have been lucky and never had to do a fine adjustment

If you have not done so already - you may also find it useful to switch focus peaking on and use live view to focus. This option can be found in menu 3 - live view on the camera

Carl

Thanks again Carl!

I didn't think men read instruction manuals

As a side note, the lens my friend has is the Canon 100-400mm f4.5 from the EF range.

Will give that a go and let you know how it goes.

Regards,

Mike

fritzthedog

Link Posted 14/07/2015 - 20:21
Mike

That lens your friend is using is 1,500 of well regarded Canon glass. If you want to spend that sort of money - you can buy a longer and sharper lens for your K3 than the one you have.

Check out the Pentax HD 150-450 or DA* 300

That said - most people who own the Sigma you have rate it very highly

Carl
No matter how many lenses I have owned - I have always needed just one more

Helpful

percy

Link Posted 14/07/2015 - 20:24
I had a Sigma 70-200 and found it to be a very sharp lens ideally suited to action shots.

One thought is the Shake Reduction. I had problems with that when panning before I realised that the SR doesn't really work for panning shots! Turning it off and using higher shutter speeds improved things straight away.

Have you got it turned on both on the lens and in the camera? That could be one cause of not very sharp images, as the two systems would be working against each other.

Are you waiting long enough for the Shake Reduction to stabilise?

For panning shots the Sigma lens (or at least the one I had) does have a panning position on the SR which seemed to work quite well for motor sport pictures.

Irek

Link Posted 14/07/2015 - 22:32
Sigma is a brilliant to sport
https://www.pentaxuser.com/news/awesome-action-shot-wins-pentax-user-plus-compet... https://www.flickr.com/photos/128922221@N08/albums/72157654827104526/page1
Pentax ME-F, MZ-3 RIP, MZ-S, K-1
Irix 15mm F2.4, Pentax D-FA 24-70mm F2.8, FA 31mm F1.8 Ltd, FA 43mm F1.9 Ltd, FA 77mm F1.8 Ltd, Sigma 100-300 F4 + TC 1.4x, AF 540 FGZ
Ricoh GR III
Hitech-Formatt 10% off all filters code - CIEJ10

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Puggy

Link Posted 14/07/2015 - 22:58
Hi

I haven't used one but the 7Dmk ii is pretty much a camera built with one purpose in mind and that is to "out auto focus" anything else on the market. From all I've read it's not much cop as an all round camera but in that environment with that lens it's going to track moving subjects better than a Pentax of any flavour.

Where you can equal or exceed your friend is better high iso performance and your lens' faster aperture should allow you to shoot shorter exposures. I'd suggest trying a middle ground and using AV with auto iso set say 100-1600 ?

You may find you have less keepers than the canon shooter but the keepers you do have will outshine the IQ by a margin.

As an aside are you shooting raw as plenty of opportunity to freshen up the images, How are you using auto focus? Pick an AF point and stick to it, there's a guide here somewhere to best settings for continuous AF

I'm in a similar dilemma, hoping to have some rare money soon and don't know whether to stick with Pentax or jump ship for something more suitable to shooting motorsport at the price point

HTH
My Photos link
Me link

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icemanneo

Link Posted 15/07/2015 - 09:45
fritzthedog wrote:
Mike

That lens your friend is using is 1,500 of well regarded Canon glass. If you want to spend that sort of money - you can buy a longer and sharper lens for your K3 than the one you have.

Check out the Pentax HD 150-450 or DA* 300

That said - most people who own the Sigma you have rate it very highly

Carl

Hi Carl,

I really appreciate your feedback on the question I posed and I did look at the new Pentax lens (150-450mm) but feel I will wait, not only for the price to possibly drop but also try to get to grips with the set-up I currently have to see where i might be going wrong.

My friend did tell me that the lens he has was a fair amount of change when he bought it several years ago and it has been used quite a bit.

I guess to make the next step up then you would have to look at spending upwards of GBP1,500 for a good lens.

I never knew photography could be quite an expensive hobby

Mike

icemanneo

Link Posted 15/07/2015 - 09:48
percy wrote:
I had a Sigma 70-200 and found it to be a very sharp lens ideally suited to action shots.

One thought is the Shake Reduction. I had problems with that when panning before I realised that the SR doesn't really work for panning shots! Turning it off and using higher shutter speeds improved things straight away.

Have you got it turned on both on the lens and in the camera? That could be one cause of not very sharp images, as the two systems would be working against each other.

Are you waiting long enough for the Shake Reduction to stabilise?

For panning shots the Sigma lens (or at least the one I had) does have a panning position on the SR which seemed to work quite well for motor sport pictures.

Hi Percy,

I think i have both set to on so will make some tweaks in order to stop them from cancelling each other out!

As for the waiting part, I try and focus on the subject matter but as you might guess, tennis is quite a dynamic sport so at times, when i think the subject matter is in focus (as the f2.8 uses a single point) i have reviewed the picture and the crowd or ball girl/boy are the ones in focus!

Will let you know when i take it on a test run taking on board all your comments.

Mike

icemanneo

Link Posted 15/07/2015 - 09:55
Puggy wrote:
Hi

I haven't used one but the 7Dmk ii is pretty much a camera built with one purpose in mind and that is to "out auto focus" anything else on the market. From all I've read it's not much cop as an all round camera but in that environment with that lens it's going to track moving subjects better than a Pentax of any flavour.

Where you can equal or exceed your friend is better high iso performance and your lens' faster aperture should allow you to shoot shorter exposures. I'd suggest trying a middle ground and using AV with auto iso set say 100-1600 ?

You may find you have less keepers than the canon shooter but the keepers you do have will outshine the IQ by a margin.

As an aside are you shooting raw as plenty of opportunity to freshen up the images, How are you using auto focus? Pick an AF point and stick to it, there's a guide here somewhere to best settings for continuous AF

I'm in a similar dilemma, hoping to have some rare money soon and don't know whether to stick with Pentax or jump ship for something more suitable to shooting motorsport at the price point

HTH

Hi HTH,

Thanks again for your comments.

I will try the AV setting as I have only used the manual one and tried to tinker around with the ISO and shutter speed settings. From memory, the IS's i used recently at Wimbledon during the day, were between 200-400 and when the shadows came, it was a bit of a nightmare I think i always try to keep the faster shutter speed to try and 'capture' the moment.

I don't believe i am using RAW but will change that as I have it on the default setting JPEG.

As I have said, i will stick and learn more about the camera before making a drastic switch! Hopefully I won't have too but we shall see Do you know what you may switch too? i believe of all the camera's out there the one perfect one does not exist, if it does, it will cost a bundle I am sure!

Mike

icemanneo

Link Posted 15/07/2015 - 09:55

Will have a look at the above links and take in as much as I can

Awesome pictures! Dare i ask the set-up you were using to take those pictures?
Last Edited by icemanneo on 15/07/2015 - 09:57
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