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View Full Version : Best Indoor Action Lens on a Budget



Erwin
05-03-2005, 07:06 PM
Hi Everyone. Well, I've just come from taking about 150 shots at a ballroom dance competition using my Pentax *istDS with a Sigma 18-200mm lens. I took about 50 shots in a previous competition using the kit lens (18-55mm). From that first experience with the kit lens, I knew I needed a better zoom, so I purchased the Sigma 18-200mm. With the Sigma I have the needed zoom, and good enough speed on focus - but now it looks like I need a lens with better low-light sensitivity for indoor events. Basically, my pictures came out noisy - but with software noise reduction, it becomes acceptable.

The more I use my Pentax, the more I discover some of it's strength and weaknesses. I've discovered that the Sport mode on the *istDS is no good for Action shots. I get better results when I use the Auto Pic mode. Unless, I'm doing something wrong with Sports mode, my pictures have an very orange tint which appears to be from poor lighting (I discovered this from trial and error). I've fiddled with auto-white balance and ISO settings. If anyone has any tips regarding action shots indoors - I sure could use some.

Getting back to the real topic, can anyone suggest a lens for action shots with better light sensitivity than the Sigma 18-200mm?

jeisner
05-10-2005, 09:59 PM
Sorry for the delay... How much do you want to spend?

Erwin
05-12-2005, 01:52 PM
Perhaps I shouldn't have said on a budget. I suppose just give me a list of good indoor action lenses and I'll figure the rest out :)

jeisner
05-13-2005, 12:23 AM
If you want something that is bright and goes to 200mm then the best value for money (bright) lens would be the Sigma 70-200 2.8 EX

Rex914
05-13-2005, 12:50 AM
If your photos are tinted, just use a quick pre-set custom WB. Orange/red comes from tungsten usually, so if there's a setting for that, use it.

As for the lens, you want a fast telephoto as you have already suggested yourself. The Sigma mentioned above is a good choice and sets you back $800. That's really the only f/2.8 telephoto I can think of that's even affordable. The rest shoot into the thousands. Your other option is using a prime telephoto, but I'm not familiar at all with Pentax's line, so jeisner's going to have to take this one if you want more choices.

jeisner
05-13-2005, 12:58 AM
If your photos are tinted, just use a quick pre-set custom WB. Orange/red comes from tungsten usually, so if there's a setting for that, use it.

Yeah there are preset settings for tungsten, or take a white card with you and use the manual WB to set the white balance exactly for the particular environment.


so jeisner's going to have to take this one if you want more choices.

Your looking at a lot of money for original Pentax bright telephoto, honestly you would be better off with the Sigma, unless money is easy to come by? ;)

Erwin
05-16-2005, 06:57 PM
I saw this Sigma lens on ebay. From the reviews on the internet, 50% say this is a very good lens (sharp, and fast) for the price and the other 50% say it's soft and noisy. Well this tells me, the quality control is bad, but if you get a good one - then what a bargain. I read the reviews of the lenses that were recommended, but I can't afford $700 and besides, the 28-200mm EX looks big and heavy.

By the way, my initial post was incorrect in saying I used a Sigma 18-200mm, the lens I used is a Sigma 18-125mm.

Wish me luck when it arrives - I'll keep you posted.

speaklightly
05-16-2005, 09:36 PM
I saw this Sigma lens on ebay. From the reviews on the internet, 50% say this is a very good lens (sharp, and fast) for the price and the other 50% say it's soft and noisy. Well this tells me, the quality control is bad, but if you get a good one - then what a bargain. I read the reviews of the lenses that were recommended, but I can't afford $700 and besides, the 28-200mm EX looks big and heavy.

By the way, my initial post was incorrect in saying I used a Sigma 18-200mm, the lens I used is a Sigma 18-125mm.

Wish me luck when it arrives - I'll keep you posted.

Frankly Erwin-

After dealing with another fraud who had posted on not one but two, or probably three websites about his so called digital camera problem, I have begun to wonder about your posts, no offence intended, and the real facts.
may indeed be quite different, but I am at least suspect!

Sarah Weber

Rex914
05-16-2005, 09:52 PM
I saw this Sigma lens on ebay. From the reviews on the internet, 50% say this is a very good lens (sharp, and fast) for the price and the other 50% say it's soft and noisy. Well this tells me, the quality control is bad, but if you get a good one - then what a bargain. I read the reviews of the lenses that were recommended, but I can't afford $700 and besides, the 28-200mm EX looks big and heavy.

By the way, my initial post was incorrect in saying I used a Sigma 18-200mm, the lens I used is a Sigma 18-125mm.

Wish me luck when it arrives - I'll keep you posted.

This particular lens has had some major QC issues hence the $120 price tag. Even if you are lucky, don't you think it's a tad bit short for an indoor action lens? I keep thinking that indoor action = sports = distance, so a fast telephoto would be required. Correct me if I'm wrong though since you're the only one who knows what your own needs are.

jeisner
05-16-2005, 10:03 PM
I saw this Sigma lens on ebay. From the reviews on the internet, 50% say this is a very good lens (sharp, and fast) for the price and the other 50% say it's soft and noisy. Well this tells me, the quality control is bad, but if you get a good one - then what a bargain. I read the reviews of the lenses that were recommended, but I can't afford $700 and besides, the 28-200mm EX looks big and heavy.

By the way, my initial post was incorrect in saying I used a Sigma 18-200mm, the lens I used is a Sigma 18-125mm.

Wish me luck when it arrives - I'll keep you posted.

Sorry I didn't know you wanted this price range... (and not constant 2.8)... If it turns out to be no good and you return it... (and for others) Pentax have a 28-105 3.2-4.5 which is $209 new (from bhphoto) and is very good quality...

Erwin
05-19-2005, 11:22 PM
I just got the lens yesterday and performed some tests, comparing it with my sigma 18-125mm f3.5-5.6 lens.

Initially, I thought the lens was broken because I would get a flashing "F--" when I tried to use it. It turns out, the diaphram ring must be set to the A position for it to work ( a newbie mistake ). The kit Pentax lens and the Sigma 18-125mm does not have a diaphram ring, so this was my first experience with Film lens.

Anyway, the 28-105 appears to perform better in low light situations than the 18-125. The pictures turn out brighter. The AF noise is about equal (doesn't bother me), however, the zoom ring on the 28-105 is very stiff. I believe the 18-125 is a tad sharper, but not by much. All in all, I think the purchase was worth it. I'll miss the zoom range of the 18-125, but I believe the majority of the pictures I took in the ballroom competitions were not in full zoom, so hopefully, it won't be so bad. I guess I'll find out when I use this lens in the next competition.

speaklightly
05-21-2005, 06:43 PM
Erwin-

Can you use flash at dance competitions? If you can, then by adding the F-500 flash to your Pentax1stDS, you could improve measurably improve your photos.

Sarah Joyce

Rhys
05-21-2005, 08:42 PM
SpeakLightly - if you have the *ist Ds, how well does it focus compared to say a Canon D350/XT? I'm thinking of focus speed and of low-light performance.

speaklightly
05-22-2005, 09:58 AM
Rhys-

The Pentax 1stDS and the Canon 350 XT both focus rapidly, and about equally as fast. After fininding some excellent comments on the Sigma 28-300mm F 3.5, I went ahead and ordered it for the 1stDS.

Give me some time and I will have samples to show you.

Sarah Joyce

Rhys
05-22-2005, 10:09 AM
Rhys-

The Pentax 1stDS and the Canon 350 XT both focus rapidly, and about equally as fast. After fininding some excellent comments on the Sigma 28-300mm F 3.5, I went ahead and ordered it for the 1stDS.

Give me some time and I will have samples to show you.

Sarah Joyce

Thanks. I'm trying to work out which camera is "best". All seem to offer different things. Based on my recent Nikon/Amazon experience, I've confirmed my dislike of funky batteries. This leaves in the DSLR world only the Pentax *ist Ds and Fuji S2/3 pro or the Canon with an extra battery grip. Now it's all about focussing, low-light focussing and overall photo performance.

Erwin
05-22-2005, 11:55 PM
Erwin-

Can you use flash at dance competitions? If you can, then by adding the F-500 flash to your Pentax1stDS, you could improve measurably improve your photos.

Sarah Joyce


Yes you can. I've thought about getting a external flash - I just don't want to carry too much equipment. I'm just doing this for fun - I'm not getting paid. However, I did get an offer from one of the dancers to pay for one of the pictures I took of them - it was a nice complement.

speaklightly
05-23-2005, 10:10 AM
Erwin

An external flash will be a very worthwhile addition to your kit because it could really improve your shots. What camera are you using? Is it the Pentax 1stDS?

I have noticed recently that E-Bay has had several AF-500's (the top external flash for the 1stDS) for sale at between $160 and $180, which is about half of what would cost new

Sarah Joyce