Pentax K10 low light lens

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by vincent_collins, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Hi folks I'm a amateur photographer,most of my pictures are low light.
    Bands in low lit clubs and the action tends to be fast.
    I try not to use a flash, I don't want to ruin the show for everyone else.
    I was looking at the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC.
    Any suggestions.
    Thanks
     
  2. Vincent, it doesn't really matter if the Sigma is a good choice or not, because it's the only choice for K-mount. Unless you want to spend a lot more on the outstanding Pentax 31mm f/1.8 Ltd. But for concert shooting (which I've done a bit of with the K10D), every photon counts and the f/1.4 of the Sigma will be very useful.
    What lenses are you using now?
     
  3. Like I said amateur all I have is a 10-17mm fisheye and a 18-55mm.
    But 2 bands have used my pictures for fliers so I did something right.
    Was also looking at the Sigma 50-200mm f/4-5.6 DC, since I don't have a zoom lens.
    And its cheap.
     
  4. I'm surprised you managed with the kit lens, which is very slow for small clubs.
    The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 gets good reviews, and a number of people on this forum own one. If I didn't have the 31 Ltd I would have bought the Sigma for sure.
    Another great lens is the Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4, although it's more for torso shots given the focal length. If you want something wide and fast, your only option is the Sigma 20mm f/1.8. You might find 30mm isn't wide enough in some situations.
     
  5. to much zoom on FA 50 , go with DA*55
     
  6. "to much zoom on FA 50"
    So go with a longer lens????
     
  7. Does anyone know anything about the Sigma 24f/1.8?
     
  8. I also recommend the 31mm f 1.8. I also own the 77mm f 1.8. In low light conditions I am often perplexed by the uncertain and sometimes unreliable focusing of the K10 and 77mm combo. Love it otherwise. Just sayin. You cant go wrong with the 31mm.
     
  9. No point looking at the 31mm - its price is now beyond anyone with less money than common sense. Try hunting around for an old SMCA 28mm f2. Yes, manual focus, but 98% of the 31mm's performance for less than a quarter of the price (this from my own experience of the little beauty).
     
  10. Vincent, we might try to define "low light" first. :) I've used my P 50/2 with mild frustrations in club settings, and concert photography ain't my thing. I still found myself shooting ISO1600 at f/2. Then again, my definition of low light was 3 100W bulbs with deflectors at a distance of 12-15 feet.... with colored gels. To say that the lighting was "abysmal" is an understatement.
    I'd love the Sigma30. Really. Go buy it. :) That extra stop would have let me shoot at ISO800... with AF.
    00XQlF-287751584.jpg
     
  11. stemked

    stemked Moderator

    Why not consider a 50mm A f1.4, f1.7, or even f2? They are all pretty good lenses. The f2 you can pick up for chunk-change, the f1.7 is an outstanding lens, and then f1.4 is a great lens. Since you don't like flash then maybe considering an SMC Super Takumar can be a lot of fun too.
     
  12. If you want autofiocus, consider a used Pentax SMC-F 28mm/2.8. Should be under $300 in good condition. If you're mostly shooting in low light you might want to manually focus anyway, and in that case you can save money and get an SMC-A lens and save some cash. Sigma offers a 28mm/1.8, I have it and like it, but some complain that it's big. It focuses a little slowly sometimes, but I can't say I blame the lens for that. I think the Sigma 30mm/1.4 is a little expensive for what you get, probably because there are no competing lenses in the sub-$500 range.
    If you're starting out, you should consider how razor thin the depth of field can be at f/1.4. You might find yourself shooting at f/2.8 ayway. The viewfinder is brighter with a f/1.4 lens, though, which might be valuable to you.
     
  13. Javier wrote:
    Does anyone know anything about the Sigma 24f/1.8?​
    I own it. I thought I'd given you my report at some point in the past... :)
    To those who are recommending f/2.8 lenses, I would ask you to go sit in a quiet place and think about what you've just said :p Seriously, if shooting in small club settings, even f/2 is usually a struggle at ISO 1600 (which is the max for the K10D). With a K-x, K-r or K-5 it's a different story, but with the K10D you need every third and half stop of light you can get your hands on.
     
  14. I own it. I thought I'd given you my report at some point in the past... :)
    To those who are recommending f/2.8 lenses, I would ask you to go sit in a quiet place and think about what you've just said :p Seriously, if shooting in small club settings, even f/2 is usually a struggle at ISO 1600 (which is the max for the K10D). With a K-x, K-r or K-5 it's a different story, but with the K10D you need every third and half stop of light you can get your hands on.​
    I thought you did and as I recall, you said it was rater soft? I am thinking about this lens in nikon mount.
     
  15. Likely if 24/1.8 is soft wide open for APS-C (Pentax), its even worse for Nikon DX.
    Sigma 30/1.4 is not as good overall as the FA31/1.8 Limited but:
    a) Costs less than 1/2 as much
    b) for your stated application, the relatively soft borders/corners may not be as high a priority.
    The other choice would be to track down a FA35/2 which is slightly slower but very sharp wide open--discontinued now so you'll likely need to buy used, prices are probably slightly less than a new Sigma 30/1.4.
    Pentax has announced a new 35/2.4 coming out this fall for probably less than half the price of the Sigma (probably ~$200) but it's obviously the slowest lens I've mentioned so maybe not the best for your application...even so, it's still ~1 1/2 stops faster than your kit lens at 35mm. Haven't seen any tests yet so hard to say much about performance yet.
     
  16. Likely if 24/1.8 is soft wide open for APS-C (Pentax), its even worse for Nikon DX.​
    I think you meant to write "FX", not "DX".
     
  17. I think you meant to write "FX", not "DX".
    Yes, referring to 24x36mm sensor. Hadn't had coffee yet. Was trying not to use the dreaded 'FF' term.
     
  18. To those who are recommending f/2.8 lenses..
    I mentioned the 28/2.8 because the OP had gotten usable shots using the kit lens. Anything faster than that would be an improvement.
     
  19. All what need is 80mm focal -DA*55 very good choice can be,unless we talk street photo all this time
     
  20. Yury, the bad part about the DA* is that the OP could buy a K-x for a similar price and just bump up the ISO. The choices can get muddled sometimes. I'd love a DA*, but I'd rather buy a body instead.
     
  21. I've gotten great results from my Pentax 50/1.7 "A" in very-low-light situations. If you can find the F or FA version, even better. They're still reasonably priced on the used market (compared to the various 1.4 lenses).
     
  22. Thank you all for your input.
    I think I will try the Sigma W/A 20,thinking that will be good also for roller derby shots.
    Most of my shots are fast action with low light.
    Not really low light just don't like using the flash.
    But it's a no stock in my area, so I have to wait a few weeks to try it out.
    I'll check out the 20mm and the 30mm.
     
  23. I've shot the 31mm f1.8 on a K20D and a 30mm f1.4 Sigma on a D90 on the same day. I've always maintained that the 31mm f1.8 is the best reason to get a Pentax. I'm almost the opposite of Jerimiah, the image quality of the 31 limited, center to corner, foreground to background, is worth more to me than the latest and greatest body. Give me a limited lens, not a limited body ;)
    That aside, for sheer low light ability, I'd say the 30mm f1.4 on a newer body is the only way to go. The lens is an acceptable performer. It looks better on a 1.5x crop camera than a conventional 50mm f1.8 does on FF. If you'd never shot the 31mm limited, you'd actually say "hey, this is one cool lens". The three biggest problems are touchy autofocus (complaints from C, N, P, and S users, and even from Sigma SD-14 users. If they can't get the AF right on their own dang camera...), reliability (mine's been in repair once), and the manaul focus being in the Canon direction (Pentax and Nikon focus in the same direction, opposite Canon).
    Vincent, I've shot all three "old school" Sigma wides, 20, 24, 28mm f1.8, and don't ever recall a trio of more disappointing lenses. Softer at f2.8 than pretty much any Pentax or Nikon f2.8. Almost unusable wide open. Really, to the point where I'd rather shoot something else at f2.8 with the ISO set higher and then let Lightroom 3 chew on the noise. It's still better looking than the Sigmas at f1.8, 2.0 or 2.8.
    Aside from the lack of image quality, they're heavy lenses with weird filter sizes, especially the 82mm on the 20mm f1.8.
     
  24. I shoot quite often in dimly lit clubs and similar places. In fact, I did some concert shooting at 3200ASA and higher last friday. My preferd choice for this sort of job are old manual focus lenses. These clubs are too dimly lit to rely on your AF. Especially if you use a fast lens wide-open. The lenses I use most often during concert shooting are the Zenitar 2.8/15, the Takumar M2.0/35, Pentax 1.7/50 (both A and FA), Jupiter J9 and Takumar 2.5/135. Most of them are available for around 100 Euro/piece, the A 1.7/50 for a lot less. M lenses I use in club settings in Tav or another semi-automatic setting. After all you have 2 stops you can correct so if you close the diafragm 1 or 2 stops you simply correct for that amount and have automatic light metering wide open.
     

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