Which lens/focal length to use for large groups?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by linpelk, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. linpelk

    linpelk TPF Noob!

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    Hi!
    I am shooting an outdoor Vacation Bible Camp next week and they want me to take group photos. I'm assuming that these "groups" are going to be fairly large since they have about 600 kids attending. I have a Canon 30D (so we're talking a crop body) and will have a 10-22, 24-70, and a 70-200 (and a nifty fifty). Could you please advise me on which lens and focal length is best for this situation? Thanks so much!
     
  2. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    For a group that large you won't need the 70-200, that's for sure. I imagine either the 10-22 on the long end or the 24-70 on the short end should work well.
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Generally a "normal" lens. On a crop sensor, that would be 24-35mm lens.

    When shooting groups, wider lenses seem handy but there is too much distortion for good results. Even after you apply the conventional correction for barrel distortion, there is a left over radial elongation resulting from the image plane (sensor or film) being flat.
     
  4. linpelk

    linpelk TPF Noob!

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    Thanks so much!
     
  5. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Based on your what you are saying, to which I agree with your discussion of wider lenses, I would recommend around a 50 mm lens. While a 24-35mm lens on a crop body provides the same field of view of a 50mm lens on a FF body, the 24-35mm focal length is still on the wide side and will cause the same distortion and radial elongation. If the group is large enough it will not be noticeable, but it will still be present.
     
  6. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    If by "same distortion and radial elongation" you mean the same on a crop sensor as they do on FF you would be guite incorrect.

    The elongation, or raidial elongation, is a factor of the angle from the exit pupil of the lens to the edge of the image (edge of sensor for film gate). It is not an absolute properly of the focal length along.

    A 30mm lens on the common 1.5x crop sensor and a 45mm on FF would yield the same amount of elongation. A 30mm lens on FF would exhibit more elongation than a 30mm on a crop sensor.
     
  7. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    Another option: I used to go to some band camps back in high school that would have a few hundred people. We took our group pictures in bleachers in a stadium. The photographer would actually do a panorama in order to get everyone in the shot.
     
  8. linpelk

    linpelk TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't even know where to begin to do a panorama. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that the groups are manageable sizes. Ok, now you've made me nervous :pale:.
     
  9. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For a group of that size I'd prolly be shooting 35mm or 50mm...I would say go with the 24-70 you are toating with you and shoot at/or around 35mm or 40mm.
     
  10. linpelk

    linpelk TPF Noob!

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    Thanks!
     

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