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10-13-2007, 08:26 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Those are really lovely images. Can i ask again what lens you use for those outstanding b&w images?

Is the zenitar a manual lens? I have heard about the Zenitar a lot of times from others, is f/2.8 fast enough for night shots and zenitar seems to be a favorite of many people? What exact model of Sigma that you recommend for the f/2.8 fisheye? Many suggests the the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 and I see the price of the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 and Zenitar matching my budget better. Your thoughts welcome, apology that I have many questions after seeing your night shots in wide angle.
f
Thanks for your inputs,
Hin
Thanks for the kind words!

Those images were shot with the Sigma 15mm f2.8 EX (non-DG) diagonal fisheye on my Minolta 7D. The telephone shot was f2.8, ISO200, 1/40s and the railing was 0.6s, ISO800 at f4, both hand held.

There is a lot of flexibility with a lens like that. The Zenitar is manual, yes, and very cheap. Do a search in the forum for some examples, but as I mentioned I think it's a little bit soft wide open. I know the sigma fisheye is relatively expensive, but used copies can be found cheaper. f2.8 is a good option to have at night, but as you can see, longer shutter speeds are possible with a steady hand even at smaller apertures.

Also, for night shots, B&W works very well. Shooting with B&W in mind, don't hesitate to turn up the ISO to 800-3200, because in B&W conversion you will be getting more of a grain feel than a the ugly noise associated with colour images.

Personally, I think its the length that should be your first priority. In that series of Sigmas, I have heard that the 24/1.8 is superb as well, outperforming both the 20 and 28mm lenses. But as I said length should be priority, wide to keep those long shutter speeds sharp, I would take the 20/1.8 or try a zenitar. Both should re-sell relatively easily, so if you buy used you won't take too much of a loss if you decide a particular lens isn't for you!

Best of luck! Enjoy handheld, wide night shooting...it's a wonderful, often overlooked segment of photography

10-13-2007, 08:58 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by vinceloc Quote
My 2 cents worth..... for great nightshots and flexibility on DOF, I recommend bringing and using a tripod, rather than just relying on shooting wide open. Also, choose a good prime or wide angle zoom that is flare resistant. This combination will give you very satisfactory results.....




Two very nice photos!!!

And allow me to echo vinceloc's advice on using a tripod for low-light/night photography.

Tripods can be a bit of a pain to carry around with you, but they will improve everyone's images in two ways:

1.) They force you to compose a better picture by slowing you down, and making you really see what you're photographing.
2.) Most of the rules about slow shutter speeds go right out the window. And such that it brings joy!

Mike
10-13-2007, 05:47 PM   #33
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Thanks for your comments Mike! Night shooting is one of my favorites, but is also one of the more difficult to practice, since it means spending time on the streets during a time when you are expected to be home with your family. Hehehe
10-18-2007, 12:21 PM   #34
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Pictures posted in blog posts

I have posted my night shots in few of my journal (blog post) in my photo blogs

Late Espresso 1
Hin's Photo Blog... .../abc-wednesday-late-espresso-cafe.html

Late Espresso 2
Hin's Photo Blog... .../wordless-wednesday-late-espresso.html

Blue Night
Thursday Challenge -- Light - Hin's Photo Blog

Studying
Hin's Tech Corner... .../10/wordless-wednesday-studying.html

Panning the Moon without tripod
Wordless Wednesday -- Panning The Moon - Hin's Photo Blog

And I did night shooting with a p&s in Fuji F30 while traveling back to my home town in Macau with all hand held shots in Fuji F30

ABC Wednesday -- Macau - Hin's Photo Blog

Thanks to all for the valuable inputs, I will soon document my findings and learnings from you all on lens, tripod and some shared experience for night shooting in my learning blog

Hin's Tech Corner

Thanks,
Hin

10-18-2007, 12:25 PM   #35
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Some error and repost

I have posted my night shots in few of my journal (blog post) in my photo blogs

Late Espresso 1
Hin's Photo Blog... .../abc-wednesday-late-espresso-cafe.html

Late Espresso 2
Hin's Photo Blog... .../wordless-wednesday-late-espresso.html

Blue Night
Thursday Challenge -- Light - Hin's Photo Blog

Studying
Hin's Tech Corner... .../10/wordless-wednesday-studying.html

And I did night shooting with a p&s in Fuji F30 while traveling back to my home town in Macau with all hand held shots in Fuji F30

ABC Wednesday -- Macau - Hin's Photo Blog

Thanks to all for the valuable inputs, I will soon document my findings and learnings from you all on lens, tripod and some shared experience for night shooting in my learning blog

Hin's Tech Corner

Thanks,
Hin
10-29-2007, 07:33 PM   #36
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Got Dynatran AT 992CF from ebay & ultrapod II from REI

I finally managed to get this tripod from eBay on the store of Amvona with

AT CF992 Carbon Fiber and Magnesium Alloy Tripod by DynaTran™

Ebay ended link
PRO CARBON FIBER MAGNESIUM ALLOY CAMERA TRIPOD KIT 992 - (eBay item 200165718940 end time Oct-29-07 14:30:00 PDT)

I bid it for 81 and with shipping, it adds up to $94. I will update in my inexpensive gear for this tripod and my thoughts when I get it in about a week

Inexpensive gear with Pentax - Hin's Tech Corner

I like it for the price, I am hoping for a good starter tripod which is not too bad as it is not too heavy at 4.75 lb weight with supporting weight for 8.8 lb Max, three leveling indicators on the
ball head, and the ball head, though a bit small, seems good enough for my work in using it for portrait at home and assistance for my slow lens for outdoor and night scenes with kit's lens and DA 50-200.

And I have the ultrapod 2 from REI for $15, few pictures below, I may add the $10.95 additional quick release to the ultrapod II tripod to make it even more versatile. The mounting can be improved if a quick release is available.











My next milestone is to get the external flash which I am down to
three choices a the moment:

Flash thoughts:
Flash after Pentax FA 50 f/1.4 - Hin's Tech Corner

1. Pentax AF 540 (~ $300 after rebate)

2. Vivatar 285HV (~ $85 with a great review in strobist, bounce but
no swivel, but it has zoom)

3. Sunpack 383 (~ $73 with both bounce and swivel but no zoom)

Thoughts on Sunpack 383 in particular are much appreciated as I plan to get Sunpack 383 first and later add Pentax 540 and use the Sunpack 383 as a slave with wireless remote trigger that I need to research on. By default, K100D don't support the pc sync. Comments and corrections are welcome.

Thanks,
Hin
11-06-2007, 09:07 AM   #37
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I got a cheap flash instead $48

QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I finally managed to get this tripod from eBay on the store of Amvona with

AT CF992 Carbon Fiber and Magnesium Alloy Tripod by DynaTran™

Ebay ended link
PRO CARBON FIBER MAGNESIUM ALLOY CAMERA TRIPOD KIT 992 - (eBay item 200165718940 end time Oct-29-07 14:30:00 PDT)

I bid it for 81 and with shipping, it adds up to $94. I will update in my inexpensive gear for this tripod and my thoughts when I get it in about a week

Inexpensive gear with Pentax - Hin's Tech Corner

I like it for the price, I am hoping for a good starter tripod which is not too bad as it is not too heavy at 4.75 lb weight with supporting weight for 8.8 lb Max, three leveling indicators on the
ball head, and the ball head, though a bit small, seems good enough for my work in using it for portrait at home and assistance for my slow lens for outdoor and night scenes with kit's lens and DA 50-200.

Flash thoughts:
Flash after Pentax FA 50 f/1.4 - Hin's Tech Corner

1. Pentax AF 540 (~ $300 after rebate)

2. Vivatar 285HV (~ $85 with a great review in strobist, bounce but
no swivel, but it has zoom)

3. Sunpack 383 (~ $73 with both bounce and swivel but no zoom)

Thoughts on Sunpack 383 in particular are much appreciated as I plan to get Sunpack 383 first and later add Pentax 540 and use the Sunpack 383 as a slave with wireless remote trigger that I need to research on. By default, K100D don't support the pc sync. Comments and corrections are welcome.

Thanks,
Hin
I have recently added both an inexpensive tripod from eBay on Dynatran AT 992CF ($81) and a somewhat risky autoflash called Eyetek digital ($48).





ebay link of ended item:
FLASH GUN -Pentax *ist DS2/DL/DS2/D ZX-60/50/5N/L/7/D/M - (eBay item 200166472780 end time Oct-31-07 09:50:24 PDT)

When they come, I will document my thoughts in the gear list:

Inexpensive gear with Pentax - Hin's Tech Corner

I have confidence in the tripod but I am not so sure on the flash.

Thank you,
Hin
11-06-2007, 09:41 AM   #38
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Sigma 24 f/1.8

I have one of those 24's - it's ok but not stellar. It's kind of slow to focus, but the ring is nice and big and decent for manual. If you can find a good price get it, as it's very versatile (I mostly use it at f/5.6 in pre-set hyperfocal and snap away at the street, and it also has some macro ability and a surprinsingly good bokeh). Here's some samples.

Now, although it sounds like a more-than-decent lens, I don't use it a lot. It's quite big, and during the day you cand use the 21 limited with (moderately) better results, but vastly improved size and focusing speed, and during the night the open apertures leave quite a bit to be desired (as it is normal) in image quality. That issue aside though, mount it on a K100 and at ISO 3200 f/1.7 (as the camera reads) and going up to 1/10s exposure, and you can photograph in pitch black conditions (see the concert shots) .

Attached Images
       

Last edited by countzero; 11-06-2007 at 09:48 AM.
11-06-2007, 05:38 PM   #39
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Similar shots from a p&s at 36mm with tripod

Here are few pictures that I use my Fuji F30 along with joby tripod to try out night scenes at 35mm wider angle than my Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4.

I have a lot of liking in the wider angle shots and hence I am more interested in the 21mm and perhaps the 35mm or the 30mm.

The colors from my fuji f30 are not as vivid as in my pentax dslr but the shots come out quite clean in iso400. I did the snapshots in a rush and pp is done also in a rush to get a feel for the 35mm wide angle shots so that I am informed on my liking for Pentax FA 35 f/2.0

#1 I like this among others done with Fuji F30


#2 f30 & picasa for pp


#3 f30 & picasa for pp


#4 f30 & picasa for pp


#5 f30 & picasa for pp


#6 f30 & picasa for pp


All pp are done in Picasa focal b&w, sharpen, and cropping:

Picasa Tutorials - Hin's Tech Corner
Picasa Focal B&W Demo - Hin's Tech Corner

C&C welcome for pp suggestions and cropping to get my p&s fuji f30
version of the Late Espresso night shootings previously done with
Pentax FA 50 f/1.4

Late Espresso 1 with Pentax FA 50 f/1.4
ABC Wednesday -- Late Espresso - Hin's Photo Blog

Late Espresso 2 with Pentax FA 50 f/1.4
Wordless Wednesday -- Late Espresso in Fremont - Hin's Photo Blog

Thanks,
Hin
>
11-06-2007, 05:44 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by countzero Quote
I have one of those 24's - it's ok but not stellar. It's kind of slow to focus, but the ring is nice and big and decent for manual. If you can find a good price get it, as it's very versatile (I mostly use it at f/5.6 in pre-set hyperfocal and snap away at the street, and it also has some macro ability and a surprinsingly good bokeh). Here's some samples.

Now, although it sounds like a more-than-decent lens, I don't use it a lot. It's quite big, and during the day you cand use the 21 limited with (moderately) better results, but vastly improved size and focusing speed, and during the night the open apertures leave quite a bit to be desired (as it is normal) in image quality. That issue aside though, mount it on a K100 and at ISO 3200 f/1.7 (as the camera reads) and going up to 1/10s exposure, and you can photograph in pitch black conditions (see the concert shots) .
Very pretty and I like the lower two especially the night street scene. There is also the Sigma 28mm f/1.8 and I certainly get interested in that inexpensive lens for about $250. How does the Sigma 24mm f/1.8 compare to Sigma 28mm f/1.8. The two seem to differ by about $80 bucks.

Thanks,
Hin
11-06-2007, 05:56 PM   #41
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Some night street shots taken during a recent trip to Hong Kong. All were taken with a DS+FA 20-35 f/4 AL, with aperture setting anywhere between f/5.6-8. I used street posts as tripods for these shots. Being a light lens, the FA 20-35mm proved very easy to keep frozen even under these conditions...........................

















11-06-2007, 06:58 PM   #42
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totally amazing shots

QuoteOriginally posted by vinceloc Quote
Some night street shots taken during a recent trip to Hong Kong. All were taken with a DS+FA 20-35 f/4 AL, with aperture setting anywhere between f/5.6-8. I used street posts as tripods for these shots. Being a light lens, the FA 20-35mm proved very easy to keep frozen even under these conditions...........................
Totally amazing shots from your FA 20-35 and I certainly have not looked into that lens as I thought f/4.0 is not likely to make it to night scenes. You have proven the opposites. Great shots. I would have thought you used a tripod and bracing with post yield results such as yours are amazing. What ISO setting are you using?

Much thanks for the inputs, very interesting.....

Thanks,
Hin
11-06-2007, 07:06 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Totally amazing shots from your FA 20-35 and I certainly have not looked into that lens as I thought f/4.0 is not likely to make it to night scenes. You have proven the opposites. Great shots. I would have thought you used a tripod and bracing with post yield results such as yours are amazing. What ISO setting are you using?

Much thanks for the inputs, very interesting.....

Thanks,
Hin

Used ISO 200 for all shots. You'll be amazed how good street posts can be as tripods, and your hands as tape
11-09-2007, 12:35 AM   #44
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Got two tripods for night time shooting

I get two tripods

1. DynaTran AT CF992 from Amvona.com in eBay ($81)
2. Ultrapod 2 from REI ($15)

My initial impressions are all positive. It is my first tripod after mini-tripod with joby gorillapod and utlrapod 2 so I don't have others to compare but for $81 that the tripod is carbon fiber and
aluminum type with 3 leveling indicators, nice bag, extra shoulder hanging belt, a mesh net to hang across the three legs, a reasonable sized ball head, weight of 4.75lb, support max of 8.8lbs, and the
look of professional with light weight, I am very thrilled for this. It is likely the best value gear for the money sitting next in the top spot with my DA 50-200 and DA 18-55 in terms of best bang for the
bucks.

k100D on ultrapod 2 from REI ($15)


Fuji F30 on ultrapod 2


DynaTran AT CF992 from ebay on Amvona store ($81)




Thanks,
Hin
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