Amateur Photojournalist.. Lenses and Light

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by benstewart, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. benstewart

    benstewart TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    I believe this is my first post!

    I will begin "Advanced Photojournalism" next semester - in roughly ten days.

    I currently have a Canon Digital Rebel XT, a Tamron 28-300, and a 580EX speedlight -once it gets back from repair! I also have a smaller, slightly less capable flash that I am going to use anyway, simply because I need it.

    I also have the problem of not really knowing where or when I will be shooting. My college does not have the best lighting in many of it's rooms and I will have to take sports photos and portraits during the course.

    I have tested, albeit possibly unnecessary, a Tamron 17-85 f/2.8 lens and successfully spoiled myself with a Canon 17-85 IS.

    Do you think a low fixed aperture or image stabilization are necessart to get great pictures indoors? The optical quality, of course, also needs to be good.

    What does everyone recommend? Feel free to recommend anything BUT an L lens - including the kit lens, whatever YOU think works.
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    *cough* 50mm f/1.8 *cough*
     
  3. castrol

    castrol TPF Noob!

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    Ditto.
     
  4. benstewart

    benstewart TPF Noob!

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    *Cough*Imnotinfavorofafixedlens*Cough* man that was a long breath.

    I will seriously consider a fixed lens .. any other suggestions though?

    By the way, much thanks for your quick replies :D
     
  5. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    If you want a high quality lens that will perform well in low light, and you are not willing to spend on L glass (in that case I would recommend the 24-70 f/2.8 L), then the 50mm is your best bet. You might try a 35mm f/2, which will more approximate the field of view of a 50mm lens full frame.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you don't want a fixed (prime) lens...then I suggest you get something like the EF-S 18-55 F2.8 IS or the 24-70 F2.8 L....either one will cost you well over $1000.

    Is that too expensive? Then I suggest the *cough* 50mm f/1.8 *cough* ;)

    Notice a trend? A lot of photography, including photo journalism really benefits from fast lenses (big maximum aperture).
     
  7. benstewart

    benstewart TPF Noob!

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    Indeed Mike.

    I have read several photojournalist blogs and many mention that half the task is being in the right place in the right time, then having a fast enough lens to capture the moment regardless of available light.

    Things I like about a fixed lens:
    1) Makes me think about where I have to be.
    2) I tried one. LIGHT.
    3) I don't have to worry about the aperture at low light.

    Lastly, instead of spending 500+, the 50mm looks to be around 100 bucks or so!

    Thanks again, any more suggestions are welcome.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Reasons we all like to recommend the 50mm F1.8...

    1) Makes you think about where you have to be.
    2) LIGHT.
    3) You have more options with the aperture at low light.
    4) the 50mm is $70 US at B&H

    I think that it's more common for pro photo journalists to use zoom lenses these days...but they use pro lenses that are fast and designed to take a beating...and they are expensive. If you do look for a zoom...get one with a constant max aperture of F2.8. There are some good ones from Sigma and Tamron that are cheaper than the Canon lenses.
     
  9. benstewart

    benstewart TPF Noob!

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    I am reading reviews for the 50mm right now and I am greatly impressed.

    It's not an expensive lens, so if I don't like it, too bad :D

    I'll jump into the arena of f/2.8 zooms when I'm not a full-time college student with a full-time job.
     
  10. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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  11. castrol

    castrol TPF Noob!

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    My favorite thing about lenses so far...when you buy them and you take care
    of them, theoretically, you are only renting them because you can get almost
    every dollar back when you decide to sell it.

    :)
     
  12. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey I wouldn't put it past students to have high quality gear when I was in school a few people had (and this will date me) the top of the line Nikon F-4 and when I worked at Ritz someone I knew who was an student had daddy buy her a Hasselblad H2.
     

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