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Thread: 24-105 okay for Low Light or buy a prime as well?

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    Member Matto's Avatar
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    Question 24-105 okay for Low Light or buy a prime as well?

    Hi all,

    New here to the forum.

    I am about to purchase a New 5D MkIII Kit with 24-105L, and will be heading to Japan shortly.

    My question is, do you think this combo will be enough to handle shooting inside the low light of temples in Japan?

    Or should I add a prime such as the 28mm F1.8 or 50mm F1.4, and if so which size prime would be recommended.

    For those in the know, an example of images I would be looking to take would be the Great Buddha Statue inside the Todai-Ji Temple Nara.

    Really appreciate all advise and suggestions.

    Thanks

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    Ok so think about it this way, you're inside a building and want to capture the space. So you'll want a fair bit of depth of field, so you'll probably stop down to at least f/4 if not f/8. The DOF at 1.4 or f/1.8 isn't useful for this type of work.

    You'll be using a body that is well capable of shooting at 1600 ISO, I've only got a MKII and I'd be happy to punch over 1600. The 24-105 also has good IS which will help when hand handling shots of static scenes, such as the inside of a temple.

    I think at times we see people talk about fast lenses but half the time that "speed" isn't actually able to be taken advantage of because of the subject matter.

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    First up, Welcome to AP

    Photography is not permitted inside the Daibutsuden. You have to remember this is a place of worship, not a tourist attraction. Though alongside the signs saying photography is not allowed, there are signs that tell people to not use flash inside the buildings, so I think the Monks have resigned themselves to the fact that tourists generally do not take any notice of the rules. Sadly! I personally find it extremely rude to see people taking photos where signs etc tell them not to.

    Shooting in low light is a skill that requires knowledge of your gear and its limitations. Any photographer with decent skills could can get quite reasonable results in darker light using a combination of tools, including the right ISO, aperture and shutter speed and possibly some stabilising of the camera. I think what you need to do is learn more about how your camera works and put that knowledge to good use, rather than seeking out more gear. a 1.8 or 1.4 lens will not give you any advantage at all, when taking shots at f8, the advantage comes at the wider apertures, but then you also get softer images (lenses are not sharpest wide open) and less depth of field (thus possible out of focus parts of your subject).
    Last edited by ricktas; 05-11-2012 at 7:39am.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    I am about to purchase a New 5D MkIII Kit with 24-105L, and will be heading to Japan shortly.

    My question is, do you think this combo will be enough to handle shooting inside the low light of temples in Japan?
    That depends on a lot of factors.

    Firstly, are you shooting hand-held, or mounting the camera on a tripod?

    Secondly, how dark is the interior of the places you'll be photographing?

    Thirdly, architectural photography typically requires a deep depth of field, meaning you'll need a narrow aperture to achieve image sharpness throughout the image, so even an f/1 lens wouldn't help you there.

    I typically shoot interiors at f/8 or f/11, and always use a tripod. While I use an f/2.8 lens for that kind of photography, I'm clearly not using the light-gathering capability that lens provides.

    If you're shooting hand-held, the stabilisation of the lens you're considering may allow you to achieve much slower shutter speeds than you could normally achieve, but depending on the available light, you may still need a shutter speed that's realistically too slow for sharp results, even with increasing the ISO rating or opening the aperture to f/4.

    Best results are achieved with a narrower aperture and a tripod, but that may not be possible, depending on where you are and what rules apply re photography.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    Hi all,

    New here to the forum.

    I am about to purchase a New 5D MkIII Kit with 24-105L, and will be heading to Japan shortly.

    My question is, do you think this combo will be enough to handle shooting inside the low light of temples in Japan?

    Or should I add a prime such as the 28mm F1.8 or 50mm F1.4, and if so which size prime would be recommended.

    For those in the know, an example of images I would be looking to take would be the Great Buddha Statue inside the Todai-Ji Temple Nara.

    Really appreciate all advise and suggestions.

    Thanks
    Having a 50 1.4 or 28 1.8 would complement your lens, and you might find you keep the prime on most of the time as well.
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    I have done quite a lot of photography indoors with my 5D3, 24-105 and no flash.
    The combo works really well and the IS in the lens helps quite a bit.

    Up to around 6400 ISO gives good results as long as you are not printing larger than 16" X 9", and any slight noise you might get in the darker areas is easily fixed in Lightroom or Adobe RAW.

    Give it a try at home and experiment with the ISO to see what is acceptable to you, the 5D3 is very good at high ISO's.
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    My thinking on this is....
    Will the 24-105 be wide enough for what you will need, if you are looking at getting all of the internals in frame?
    Great lens, especially on the full frame body and it gives you great reach for detail shots etc.
    If you are thinking of getting another lens then maybe consider getting something that will render the widest possible view short of fisheye.
    CC always welcome and appreciated.
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    Hey Matto,

    I'd definitely bring a prime with me to those places, its very dim in there and i had to push my ISO up on my 40D to 3200 even on my 50 1.4 (i wish i had my 30 1.4 during this time [bought in hong kong same trip]) - but managed to shoot a few with my uwa (including below).

    As for photography in the Daibutsuden pavillion, its allowed (well i didn't see otherwise - just no group photos) its a major tourist spot (for the locals) - but you'll need to jostle for a decent spot . Its very dim in there, and with the 50 it was a bit long (mind you it was a crop factor 1.6 for me) so i which i had the 30 for ease. Heck i even saw flash photography in there...

    The below is with the 10-22 @ 22mm . inside the pavillion. can get you EXIF data if you like too.



    So to answer your question. Go a prime, if budget is an issue - grab a 50 1.8 and get some lovely low light shots, or even the 40 pancake.
    Last edited by tannyboy; 08-11-2012 at 11:37am. Reason: Wrong photo - edited the lens used.
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    Having owned the 24-105 for some time and the 5D3 more recently, I find the two practically joined in holy matrimony. In kit form makes perfect sense and as far as travel goes, is simply a great combination, covering a versatile zoom range. The excellent ISO qualities of the 5D3 should afford you some effective low light shooting. Good luck with whatever you choose & have a wonderful trip

    Roy

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    I also have the 5D3 and the 24-105 as my walk around. I never bother to bring a prime when travelling. As said before you nrmally want decent depth of field which means that you cannot shoot wide open anyway. The 5D3 got excellent low light capabilities and I regularly shoot with ISDO 6400 in low light situations and get decent shots. Usually "expose to the right" a bit to limit the amount of noise in the darker areas - especially when there are no overly bright spots in the scene (limited dynamic range).
    Shot with the 24-105 at ISO 6400 with a 5D2 (so not even the advantage of the better low light) - have a look at this one (and some others before and after), shot in the Vatican in Rome where it was really dark...

    I support what was said about the IS advantage of the 24-105. Works great even the morning after the night before...

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    You really should get a prime lens on top.

    Anyone that thinks an F4 is good for low light due to IS is either kidding themselves or havent had much opportunity to shoot low light work, anything at f1.8 and wider.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    . . .5D MkIII Kit with 24-105L,and will be heading to Japan shortly . . . do you think this combo will be enough to handle shooting inside the low light oft emples in Japan? . . . Or should I add a prime such as the 28mm F1.8 or 50mm F1.4, and if so which size prime would be recommended.


    For holiday travelling, I quite like the 24 to 105 on any ofthe 5D Series Cameras.
    The IS is indeed a great advantage for shooting STATIC Subjects in low light, hand held.
    Here is an example using a 5D you could crib a fraction more ISO using a MkIII

    (JPEG – SOOC, cropped 7x5 and resized for web):
    F/5.6 @ 1/10s @ ISO800; FL = 28mm; Hand Held; IS-on; AWB; Manual Mode


    Crop A:


    Crop B:


    ***

    I also take a Prime Lens travelling, sometimes two. If Iwere travelling on Holiday to Japan I would take a fast 35mm lens (with a 5D Series Camera), mainly because I like that FL lens for street photography - AND if a very fast aperture is required for indoor architecture, a 35mm is usually still OK – one can stitch in post production, if necessary.

    But the choice of FL is a personal to address all YOUR needs - for example I would use a fast 35mm for indoor portraiture, also; but you might not want that ,so a fast 50 might be better suited for you . . .


    In any case I am not particularly fond of the 28/1.8 on a 5D Series Camera - the 24/1.4LMkii; the 35/1.4L and the 50/1.4 are all better choices, apropos Image Quality.

    I also take a 15/2.8 Fisheye.

    I would travel on holiday with those three lenses - one zoom (24 to 105) and one fast Prime and the fisheye.


    WW

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    The new 35f2IS?

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