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Thread: Lens decision

  1. #1
    New Member ALH's Avatar
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    Lens decision

    Hi,
    I'm just starting out and have had a few voluntary photog events suddenly come my way. Most are internal events so was going to purchase a 50mm prime lens to go with my 18-55 kit, but was then thinking maybe I should get a 70-200 instead...
    Any suggestions???
    Thanks

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Not enough information. Things like how large the room you are in, what are the light levels like, what camera body do you have, what lights do you have (speedlights. strobes), are you using backdrops, are the subjects posing for you are are they going to be candid photos where you have to capture the subject whilst they are possibly moving, etc.

    Also if you are taking on these jobs then you are not a beginner cause your photography must be up to at least a good standard for you to be taking on events, voluntary or otherwise, so we have upgraded you to intermediate level. Congratulations.
    Last edited by ricktas; 23-02-2015 at 7:04am.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    I'm still to have a look at the venues, but they will be award ceremonies so groups of people gathered on stage - won't know the lighting set up until the day unfortunately but they are in community halls during the day so lighting I assume will just be standard fluorescents- and then candid close ups of the recipients as they are accepting the awards.

    I will be able to get quite close to the stage.

    Also doing a charity sports day - outdoors in park/ beach.

    I'm definitely a beginner! Just doing these events for friends who run a charity organisation.

    I have a Nikon 3200 which I only purchased about 6 weeks ago. I've done a beginners course and still only have the standard kit lens that came with the camera!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALH View Post
    . . . voluntary photog events suddenly come my way. Most are internal events so was going to purchase a 50mm prime lens to go with my 18-55 kit, but was then thinking maybe I should get a 70-200 instead... I'm still to have a look at the venues, but they will be award ceremonies so groups of people gathered on stage - won't know the lighting set up until the day unfortunately but they are in community halls during the day so lighting I assume will just be standard fluorescents- and then candid close ups of the recipients as they are accepting the awards. I will be able to get quite close to the stage. . . I have a Nikon 3200 have the standard kit lens that came with the camera.
    Buying a 50mm F/1.8 or F/1.4 would be next to nil gain for the coverage of that event.

    Better to buy a dedicated Flash and a Light Modifier (or make one) and use your 18 to 55. For simplicity, I suggest a white bounce card.

    Better to be on the stage and at the side near the wings, than “close to the stage”: the awarder and awardee at a slight angle to the audience and you just pop out of the wings to get the handshake shot.

    Arranging a close camera viewpoint and using a standard zoom for awards presentation is much MUCH more preferable than having to use a telephoto zoom from a distance.

    Using Available Light for Awards Presentations is both a difficult task and also a poor technical choice: there is usually always the option to use Flash, if the establisment is serious about the Stills Photography at the event.

    ***

    Quote Originally Posted by ALH View Post
    Also doing a charity sports day - outdoors in park/ beach.
    Not enough information. Covering the sports’ action – if so what sport / what level / what age?; getting environmental portraiture for the club's web page?; a bit of both?

    In any case, a 50 Prime will add next to nothing in this shooting scenario except the ability to produce very shallow DoF - and then the question is why swap zoom flexibility for that?

    If you have the ability to move about then your 18 to 55 will probably do just fine – you just need to be quick.

    There is not all that much gain in having a longer zoom lens unless there is a field game that you what to cover and where you cannot enter the playing area. For example, Touch Football and other games played on about that size field, a zoom to 300mm or 400mm would be useful – and most are expensive. I think Nikon make a 55 to 250 or similar lens which is often sold in a two lens kit - that lens would be OK on sunny day for field sports, but you'd still have to run a bit.

    If you are not covering sports events which are on a field and you can roam about all day, then buying any other lens is probably a waste of money: just use your 18 to 55.

    WW

  5. #5
    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I agree with William the 18-55 kit lenses are a quite capable lens whereas the longer up to 300mm kit lenses leave a bit to be desired. I would suggest getting in as much practice as you can with what you've got before deciding on new lenses. The Sigma and Tamron 18-250/270 lenses aren't too bad for the price, I used the Sigma for football and motorsport successfully for a number of years, this replaced the 75-300 kit lens and was a huge improvement.
    Cheers
    Keith

    Canon 400D Gripped, Canon 7D LCD Timer Gripped, Canon 70-200 f2.8L is ii. Canon 2X iii Extender, Canon 50mm 1.8, Sigma 150-500, Sigma 18-250, Sigma 17-50 F2.8, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 90mm Macro, Yonguno YN460 & 460ii Speedlights and a Hanimax TZ 1 Flash, Wireless Triggers ,LED Macro Ringlight, Extension Tubes, 3 tripods, 2 monopods, PS Elements 5 & 10, PSP9 and canon s/ware, various filters and other photographic paraphernalia all packed in a computrecker backpack + 3 smaller bags and an aluminium case.

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    Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'll do some more research into the set up and go from there.

    Thanks again

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    For what it is worth, I agree that an off camera flash, stand and lightbox / umbrella would achieve much more than a different lens. And at a lower cost. I bought a YongNou 560 EXiii for about $80 delivered and two stands and umbrellas for less than $40. The remote controllers for the flash were about another $30. Using an off-camera flash delivers such a different and seemingly professional result that you just can not understand until you try it. As someone wise once said, "It's all about the light".

    Apologies to Kym (I think).
    Last edited by Hawthy; 23-02-2015 at 9:34pm.
    Andrew




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    Thanks Hawthy!

    Anyone know of anywhere to try all these bits and pieces out before purchasing them?

    I'd love a chance to have a go with them all!

  9. #9
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    ALH. Google "sydney city camera stores". Call a 2ple.
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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