Home News Buyers Guide About Advertising
 
 
 
   
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    6

    Pentax Body vs Pentax Lens Choices

    I want to shoot volleyball and basketball in dimly lit grade school gyms and all-purpose arenas (no flash). I know I'll need 50mm/f1.8 and 85mm/f1.8 lenses to start, maybe even a 3rd 70-200mm f/2.8.

    I'm intrigued by the Pentax K-x and K-r (built in IS, good high ISO performance) but I don't want to be locked into a brand that doesn't have the lenses I need, or has them at premium prices.

    I know Sigma and Tamron are options too, but it doesn't seem to me that Pentax has the lens offerings that Canon and Nikon do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    756
    Pentax has a smaller lens lineup, and it's *different* from what the others offer, but it should be able to fit your needs depending on what you mean by "premium prices". Both Canon and Nikon offer about two-dozen lenses that cost over $1000, going up to over $10,000.

    Pentax's most expensive current lenses are the DA★ 60-250mm f/4 ED and the DA★ 300mm f/4, both of which come in at $1200.

    Having calibrated expectations thusly , take a look at the DA Limited series of lenses. These are stellar in quality but moderately priced ($340 for the 40mm f/2.8; $550 for the 70mm f/2.4, for example). f/2.4 is less than a stop slower than f/1.8, and the lens is great wide-open (something you won't necessarily see in cheaper lenses).

    They're also very compact, and of course, you get shake reduction built in, so it works with the prime lenses.

    You might also be interested in the DA★ 50-135mm f/2.8, which is quite well-regarded. Weather-sealed and under a grand.

    If these things don't appeal to you, Pentax probably isn't the right choice. If they do seem intriguing, it's the opposite of your original concern: Canon and Nikon just don't have lens offerings like this.
    Looking to buy a Pentax flash? Check out my Definitive Guide to Pentax P-TTL Flash Options.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Livin in a redneck paradise
    Posts
    1,874
    Agreed. As long as you are only interested in lenses that cost less than $1500, I'd easily choose Pentax over Canon or Nikon. With 2 or 3 exceptions.

    There is also a Sigma (I think) 50-150mm f/2.8 that is pretty small and cheap, but should work very well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    6
    Thanks for the great ideas. My concern would be how well the 70mm f/2.4 would perform vs a Nikon or Canon 85mm f/1.8. Yes, it's less than a stop slower, but that's an important stop. I've been renting a variety of prime and zoom lenses to use on a borrowed Rebel XTI, and depending on the lighting f/2.8 often won't work well enough and f/1.8 is the only option. I've used a Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 with mixed results. Loved the zoom, but thought it needed to be half a stop faster. These gyms are dark and lit unevenly. If she only played soccer (futbol to some of you) I wouldn't have these expensive fast glass problems (just a different set of problems!)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    756
    f/2.4 is half a stop faster than f/2.8. Also, keep in mind that the low-light/high ISO performance of the new sensors is amazing compared to the older XTI — giving you several more stops to work with.

    I hear you about always wanting more light, though. (Pentax does also have the FA Limited 77mm f/1.8, although that's more pricey.)
    Looking to buy a Pentax flash? Check out my Definitive Guide to Pentax P-TTL Flash Options.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    6
    Do you think the Pentax DA Limited 70mm f/2.4 is better all around than the Canon 85mm f/1.8 for Volleyball? That Canon lens seems to get high praise from users. I agree the Pentax DA★ 50-135mm f/2.8 may be better than a standard Sigma/Canon/Nikon/Tamron 70-200-300mm f/2.8. The trend I'm picking up on is users ditching their primes for the zooms at f/2.8 because they believe the newer bodies/sensors show significant performance in high ISO shooting, allowing for f/2.8.
    I would say from everything I've read you can't just go by f stop - it's the combination of f stop, ISO, focus speed, DOF, how well the lens performs wide open, Image Stabilization . . . plus and about a million other things.

    Disappointed the K-r doesn't have a battery grip since most volleyabll is portrait.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    So Calif
    Posts
    3,226
    If you are shooting at f1.8 you are going to frequently have focus issues. The Pentax K-x has just been discontinued but has really good hi-ISO performance. You should be able to still get one before they disappear. The K-r is the replacement. I recently got a few of the Limited lenses including the 70mm, and though they are very nice, I would probably go with a Tamron 28-75 or similar for the flexibility...
    Pentax K20D/K5/15/21/40/70/10-17/12-24, Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5/150-500, Tamron 90 Macro/70-200 2.8, Canon SX20 IS/Elph 500HS
    (formerly Pentax 50 1.4/50-200/55-300/K100D, Sigma 18-50 2.8/70-300 APO, Tamron 28-75, Viv 800, Tele-Tokina 800, Canon S3 IS, Samsung L210)
    http://s133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •