Hey, heres a new subject...Lens Recommendation

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by soylentgreen, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    So I got me this question and wanted to get your take on it. As you can see from my list below, all of my lenses are geared towards the telephoto end for wildlife and nature photograpghy that I enjoy doing. I want to get more into portraiture/ life/ photojournalistic stuff.
    I brought my 24-105 f/4 L out to South Beach last night to have a go at it knowing it was not large enough for the lighting conditions I was going to shoot in. But hey, it's my only lens. The flash helped, but blew out the subject (and drew too much attention) for what I intended. Jacked up the ISO to 1600 and got better shutter speed. AF was non existent in the low-light. I want to be able to take more candid, natural photos of people with the available ambient light, not artificial. Very low-light, candlelight situation in most places. I was trying to take pictures of my girlfriend using her cell phone and it was the main source of lighting in the piece to give you an idea. Needless to say people are dancing all around so a tripod/ monopod is out of the question.
    Is there a lens suited for this? I was thinking the EF 50 f/1.4, but that might be too long. Just not sure what lens is best suited for this less than ideal lighting situation. Besides the fact that I need to pack a firearm the next time I venture to Sobe to fend off potential muggers staring at my gear, what lens do you recommend for shooting in bars, clubs and cafes that will not require a flash or minimal use of one. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    soylentgreen-

    Just like you have many lenses for nature photos ... not just one lens is perfect for low light street stuff. The 50mm will certainly work for the cell phone shot ... if you're steady ... but will probably be too long for bars, dancing, et cetera. There are so many options that you just need to explore to see what best works for you. Here some basic minimum requirements: F/2.8, MM for a 20D .... in the teens, IS would be handy for static scenes ... but IS won't stop action (dancing), ISO 1600.
    For focusing look for an edge w/ some contrast ... you will have many more OOF than in focus .... but as your skills improve so will this ration.

    I shoot a lot at night-
    http://garyayala.smugmug.com/gallery/895389#40637704
    http://garyayala.smugmug.com/gallery/999430#46215186
    http://garyayala.smugmug.com/gallery/1994648#101849033

    EXIF info is available
     
  3. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Wow, those were some great images in your link. How come your images are not as grainy in ISO 1600. I see you were shooting with a 20D also and my images are crazy nosiy at that ISO. Unfortunately, some the the places I will shoot in will be near dark, though Lincoln Road will offer a lot of lighting like in your thread of the Citywalk.
    I was afraid f/2.8 was not wide enough. But I will test with my 60mm Macro, though I know its too long for the shooting environment. Can I get away with a lower ISO if I go to a faster f/1.2 -1.8? ISO 1600 on the D20 is just too grainy for my taste as all of my images from last night are a testament to. ISO 800 is pushing my limits of acceptablilty. Would prefer ISO 400 or am I dreaming? Is noise just a limitation of the camera? Would I have better high ISO results with say a 5D or 30D? Going to upgrade soon anyway. Seriously considering the 24 or 35mm L glass option if this is something I intend to do more often otherwise just might get the "lower" grade models.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    It really depends on the light you have to work with. If it's too dark, the best lens on a great camera still won't be much help.

    The Canon 35mm F1.4 L, is a very very good lens, but it's also very expensive. The Sigma 30mm F1.4 is almost as good as the Canon, but about 1/4 of the price.

    The 5D (or the 1Ds mkII or 1D mk III) would probably be better in terms of noise, than the 20D...but would that improvement be worth the extra money? I don't know.

    There are ways of dealing with noise in post production. Yes, it's better to use a lower ISO have have less to start with...but that's not always a viable option.
     
  5. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses guys. Big Mike, I was looking into the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 but it is a lens dedicated to crop sensors. I am hesitant because I would eventually upgrade to the 5D in about 5-6 months and the lens is not compatible. I will probably get the Canon 28 f/1.8 or 50 f/1.4 since the 35mm f/2 they have does not have a USM motor. Is there a big speed difference between the f/1.8 & f/1.4? If so, can anyone equate that into real world terms for me.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    The difference is just about one stop...which would give you the ability to get a shutter speed just almost twice as fast, when shooting wide open.

    If you are upgrading to the 5D (or the new full frame model, whenever it comes out), then I'd suggest the 50mm F1.4...great lens for the price. Of course, if you have the funds, the 35mm F1.4 is pure gold.
     
  7. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike. I will get the 50 f/1.4 when I get paid this week.
     

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