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Thread: Nikon 35mm f1.8

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    Member Adrian Fischer's Avatar
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    Nikon 35mm f1.8

    Greetings all,

    I have the opportunity to shoot at a outdoor dance display this weekend and my lense choices are Nikon 18-200 vr, 50mm f1.5, 35mm f1.8. The display starts around 4pm and goes to 9 so most of it this time of year will be under stadium flood lighting (Its ANZ stadium in Brisbane) I have access to the main arena where they will be performing and can walk freely around amongst them (its not that formal). Ideally I would like to hire a 80-200 f2.8 so I could get out of the way but that may not happen.

    So my question is, will the 35mm f1.8 be ok for what I want under the lighting conditions. I know the f1.8 will give me enough ambient light but I wll also be using an sb600 with diffuser to throw some light but I may need to set my shutter speed to 4-500 to capture movement (lots of arm and leg action as it is dance after all). I am using a Nikon D80 so can use the AP feature to still use flash and a decent shutter speed. I doubt I could get away without using a flash and a high shutter speed. I dont thing f1.8 would be enough.

    So many questions....any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks

    Adrian

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    35mm would be too wide I think, really depends on what sort of shots you want.
    Darren
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    Agree with Darren, the 70-200 option (if you can hire one) or the 18-200 if not. Your distance from the action would determine the use of the 35/50mm lenses. A longer lens also lets you get more candid shots, the shorter focal lengths will mean the subject may react to your presence (which can be either good or bad).
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    I can be on the field with the dancers (within 3-5 metres) with the 35/50 options. Is the nikon 80-200 f2.8 capable of f2.8 across the whole zoom range? Ive read some lense reviews on other lenses that specifically mention that feature which I think would be a good thing to have under these circumstances (or at least the option of using it should the lighting require it)

    Thanks again.

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    You probably should not get too close I would think, especially with a flash

    The 70-200 or 80-200 can be a fixed apperture 2.8 across the zoom range

    Im not sure about ANZ, I have not shot there, but, you will be expecting maybe S/S 1/500s, ISO2000 at 2.8 without flash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Fischer View Post
    I wll also be using an sb600 with diffuser to throw some light
    Since others have answered the lens question, I'll add, that if you mean the little plastic cup (stofen style) diffuser that comes with the SB-600, don't. It won't diffuse the light outside, it'll just eat about two stops of flash. You still end up with a point source with hard shadows.
    Those little stofen diffusers are meant for indoor use with (preferably) white walls and ceiling, where the softening is coming from the bounce not from the diffuser. Outdoor they don't do didley squat.
    Dave

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    Thanks Kiwi

    One of the things I want to do with imgages is make available a cropped shot of just head and shoulders as well as the full length image. I was intending to take the one shot and were appropriate just crop it down to head and shoulders at either 5 x9 or 8 x10. Would ISO @ 2000 give me lots of unusable graininess on the croped head and shoulders?

    DAdeGroot, not that type of diffuser. More like a big card bounce diffuser to bounce the light forward onto the subject. Im sure theres a proper name for it?? It velcrose around the flash and the flash is point up into the curve of the diffuser which bounces the light forward.
    Last edited by Adrian Fischer; 02-09-2009 at 10:37am.

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    what body do you have

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    Nikon D80 (blushes)

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    Plan B, use flash if you have to.

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    Kiwi, is that because the D80 even with an 80-200 lense at f2.8 wont allow enough light? Is the camera not sensitive enough?

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    I havent used a D80, but, bet that anything over iso800 will be not that great

    You have one though, so, do yourself a test, take your 50 1.8, change the apperture to 2.8 and the iso to 800, then 1600, then 2000 and see whether you can live with the results.

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    Ok..I can do the testing.

    Did your reference to plan b mean to use the 35 mm up close with the sb600 or to use the 80-200 at f2.8 with the flash and keep the iso under 800 but get some seperation from the subject?

    Sorry to be a pain with all these questions.

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    I just dont think you should be getting close, I think the 80-200 at f/2.8 with flash at 1/250s will be OK

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    Ok thanks...will 250 be fast enough to capture movement though?

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    Yes, the flash stops the movement, not the shutter speed if you have enough power to overcome the ambient light

    You'll seriously just need to try a few settings to see what works best for you on the day

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    The other thing to keep in mind is that the SB600 has a max sync speed of 1/125 (maybe 1/250 at best).
    I got some great shots at Suncorp last year at the Andre Reiu concert using the Nikon 18/200VR lens at 800 ISO, no flash of course. This was from grandstand to grandstand across the field of play using available lighting. Don't discount this lens as a versatile workhorse.
    If you're going to hire a lens then consider the newer 70/200VR f2.8. It works much better in low light than the older 80/200, particularly with AF.
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    I have the 18-200 but didnt think it would like the low light levels? I will have it with me so Ill try it. TThe max sync speed is 1/200 but can be overidden in AP mode. I can always take the flash off camer and use wireless hotshoe tranmsitter and recievers to operate the flash. Which is how I operate in my home studio (read spare room). There wil some trial and error on the night no doubt.

    I have only found the 8-200 for hire at RGBDigital at yerongpilly Qld.
    Last edited by Adrian Fischer; 03-09-2009 at 1:21pm.

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    I used a combination of my Nikon 80-200 f2.8 and Tamron 28-75 f2.8 for a belly dancing show last year with very good results. The Tamron was good for wide views of all dancers at once and the 80-200 extra good for close up of faces and couples. I was positioned mostly about 30 feet from performers in fairly dim stage lights. Most of my images came out very well and have been asked to do same again this year in October.

    I had one more advantage though in the lowish light and that was I was able to use a chair back much of the time to help hold the camera steady. If I were you I would try to hire the 80-200 f.2.8 as it is V good wide open all through it's focal range, but sadly no VR function so hand holding will require some skill. Use the *0-200 in combination with you 35mm f2.8 and I think you could cover a good range. ISO up if you can although the D80 likely wont handle the higher ISO above say 500 ISO as wellas newer Nikon models do. You could probably off set this though by using a good Photo Shop program with a good noise reduction program as well to eliminate ISO noise, something like "Noise Ninja " or " Neat Image". A good Noise reduction program may be your biggest need I think.

    You 18-200 VR may suffice quite well too I think, it is of reasonable quality and certainly the VR function will assist a lot in low light....but still get that noise reduction software for after processing of images. If you find it difficult to swap lenses often then this may be the only lens to use, the 18-200 VR should be quite capable, have a few memory cards, use your camera burst mode fully to maximise image quality on moving subjects, preferably stationary ones, and shoot in RAW to maximise PS editing

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    Just to finish out this thread. I hired th 80-200 f2.8 and it was great. Had sore arms the next day, thats one heavy sucker!!!

    The lighting in the ANZ stadium was fantastic. I only needed iso500 so the shots arent too grainy and when I run them through a noise remover they come up ok. Bit soft but ok. I used the flash initially as I thought I would need it then noticed that everything behind the subject was in darkness so thought Id give it go with out flash and voila....excellent shots. I took over 1200 on the night in four hours. Havent looked at them all yet but the ones I have looked at are ok. Probably only half will be any good in the long run.

    Thanks to everyone for you patience in this thread. I learned a lot. I am saving my pennies now for a 70-200 vr but I dont think I can justify the VII yet.

    Thanks again.
    ______________________________________________

    Adrian Fischer
    Brisbane, Australia

    Gear: Nikon D80, D300, Nikon 35mm f1.8, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 105mm f2.5, 18-200 VR, 70-200 VR, Sigma 28-70mm f2.8, Sigma 50-500, Tonkina 12-24 f4, SB-600, various YongNuo Strobes, various umbrellas, 6 x 300w studio flashes, various softboxes, reflectors, stands, transmitters and receivers.

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