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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Pentax owners please help on Pentax*IST DL AUTOFOCUS vs Nikon D50

    I have to decide between Nikon D50 and Pentax *IST DL. Price diffrence is $200.
    the Pentax has higher ISO, larger LCD and higher resolution

    I have read that the Pentax *IST DL has slow autofocus in action situations(autofocus hunts)
    i want to do action Photography.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member cyberlord's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    FWB, FL, USA

    Re: Pentax owners please help on Pentax*IST DL AUTOFOCUS vs Nikon D50

    I posted a reply in the viewfinder forum on the DL autofocus speed but since you brought up the D50 I'll elaborate a little more here.

    When I was deciding on which camera to go with, the DL beat out the D50 in my book. What I really wanted was the D70S. That was (at the time of purchase) $200 more for just a body where I was getting the DL and 2 lenses. I could not justify the cost difference for more continuous frames and more focus points.

    If you are serious about the sports focus speed I bet the D50 is still not going to meet your demands as I tried both bodies out in the camera store and didn't notice any difference in speed with the kit lenses. The kit lens speed has never bothered me at all.

    My problem with the focus speed is when I have the 75-300 on, it seems to want to go to min focus first before it has to travel back out to infinity. What actions sports does one shoot at 5 feet from the camera with a 300mm lens!? THAT is really the annoyance for me. I seriously hope there is a firmware upgrade soon that will remedy that little annoyance. Once focus has been obtained and shooting in continuous focus mode the camera has little problem keeping up with a moving object. The other thing I find that drives me bonkers is if the subject I am focusing on is small (bigger than the focus area on the camera) the camera has a hard time distinguishing between the subject and the surrounding area. Example would be a small bird sitting on the ground or in a tree surrounded by leaves.

    When I shot a recent tri athalon the camera had no problem keeping up with the bikes as the subject was bigger and was not lost in the background. Out of 600 frames I only deleted maybe 20 for focus problems ( I kept a few slightly fuzzy ones). I deleted way more than that (probably over 100) for compositional problems.

    Like I said, its not a PRO body and if your livelihood depends on having every frame in focus then you need to fork over the $$ for that ability.

    One last thing, go to a camera store and handle the cameras and test the focus speed yourself between the D50 and the DL. My bet is you will pick the DL for equal performance for the price.

    Good luck in any case

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  3. #3
    Member danag42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Re: Pentax owners please help on Pentax*IST DL AUTOFOCUS vs Nikon D50

    The DL is not a pro body, nor is the D50. The pro bodies are the D200 (Nikon) and the *st D (Pentax).

    You get what you pay for.

  4. #4
    Pentax Forum Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Platteville, WI, United States

    Re: Pentax owners please help on Pentax*IST DL AUTOFOCUS vs Nikon D50

    I was shooting some softball games last week with my DL. Although it "IS" slow, it is something that can be worked around. I was using my 50-200 ED and captured some nice action in low light, but I did have to rely mostly on manual focus. But I found that if I used spot focus, and made sure I was prepared for the action, then I usually got away with it on autofocus.
    I have nothing against the D50, but my daughter bought the kit and dropped it from a short distance onto a thick carpet and something plastic broke in the lense.
    As reviews moderator, I've read very good reviews on the D50, but if you can afford, I'd bump up to the Pentax D or the Nikon D70s or D200 or even the Canon 20D or 30D.
    If it's between the D50 and the DL, I'm prejudice, but I'd take the Pentax over the Nikon, the kit lens is sturdy and very sharp.

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