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05-13-2010, 08:07 PM   #1
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Graduation Lens Suggestion

Hey all!

So my little brother is graduating from High School in about a month and I'd like to do my best to grab some great shots. I'm looking for a tele-zoom for the event and I was wondering your guy's thoughts.

Event details:
Location- Los Angeles, CA
Date- Late June
Time- begins at 6:30
Venue- Football stadium (outdoors)
Shooting Location- Unknown

Basically I'm trying to decide between the Bigma (50-500), Sigma 70-200 f2.8, and Pentax 50-250 f4. Although, I'm hesitant on the Bigma just because i don't want to carry it around.

I don't know where I'll be forced to be positioned, so I don't know how long of a lens I'll need. But it does take place on a football field. If the action gets close I'll be relying on my 15, 31 and 77 primes.

Don't think i'd need a 2.8 aperture at the start of the ceremony (unless it's a cloudy day), but i have no idea how long it'll last, and sunset is around 8pm.

Thoughts, suggestions, comments? Any suggestions on shooting a graduation are very welcome too!

thanks a bunch in advance

05-13-2010, 08:27 PM   #2
Ari
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I would go for the Sigma or Tammy 70-200. A good, fast zoom for changing lighting situations.
05-14-2010, 07:45 PM   #3
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Most graduations have an area near stage the where you can take photos so you may not need to bring the monster lens. Find out if they have an area set asaide for family members to take photos and you might just save yourself a trip to the chiropracter. My daughter graduates this weekend from college and they have a photo area for parents.
05-14-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by scathontiphat Quote
Hey all!

Basically I'm trying to decide between the Bigma (50-500), Sigma 70-200 f2.8, and Pentax 50-250 f4. Although, I'm hesitant on the Bigma just because i don't want to carry it around.

I don't know where I'll be forced to be positioned, so I don't know how long of a lens I'll need. But it does take place on a football field. If the action gets close I'll be relying on my 15, 31 and 77 primes.

Don't think i'd need a 2.8 aperture at the start of the ceremony (unless it's a cloudy day), but i have no idea how long it'll last, and sunset is around 8pm.
Personally I think you'll want 2.8 as late afternoon is not "sunny", exposure-wise :-)

The Bigma is slow, and now extra expensive ($1,600). The 150-500 is also slow but not quite as expensive ($1,000).
The Sigma 70-200 f2.8 seems to be out of stock until August at B&H and if Adorama has, I did not see it. That is 48 oz and $800.
Tamron 70-200 f2.8 is 46 oz and $730. I just got one - yay!
Pentax 60-250 f4 is 40 oz and $1210.
Sigma 100-300 f4 is 51 oz and $1100.

I suppose the question is "what else will you use the lens for, later".

All are bulky, and I'd use a monopod for any of them, too.

05-15-2010, 05:06 AM   #5
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Definitely bring the f2.8. Apart from making your job easier, it will allow a better subject isolation, thus more creativity in composition and technique.
05-15-2010, 06:34 AM   #6
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I shot my sisters grad from university. Where we were stuck I managed OK with a 105mm 2.8 and was shooting wide open and at ISO 1200 most of the time to freeze motion. You should have seen the number of mad parents, there was a predatory photographer there on the universities behalf who was offering photos to people.

Problem is she was running up to the students and blasting a Metz flash in their face with little balancing for ambient. They looked like they were from a POS on full auto, and they were trying to sell these photos

Being able to go to 200mm would have been very welcome, so I recommend the 70-200mm.

You need speed to freeze motion. The students are nervous and move quickly.
05-16-2010, 09:29 AM   #7
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Original Poster
Thanks a bunch for the replies guys I think i'll look into sourcing a 70-200 f2.8
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