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07-20-2011, 05:36 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Thanks for citing that. It's a couple years old but still quite true.
It is indeed. Could be a sticky.....[hint].....

07-20-2011, 05:54 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I'm sure there are valid reasons about that zoom gets complained about and it has been tackled numerous times in other threads. but as a summary, personally, the lens just didn't perform the way I expected and wanted it to be.
The funny thing is, I used to feel this way. I went and bought a whole bunch of lenses (some of them top-notch quality), and sold almost all of them. I'm no pro, but I've played with the good glass and learned a thing or two about how to get the best out of each lens.

Now, the kit actually looks pretty damn good. I know what it is, and what it is not, and I can get shots out of it that look fantastic. I'm the one who has changed... the kits still the same (or if anything, worse for wear).

I'm not a pixel peeper anymore, but I seriously doubt that the kit lens is anywhere as bad as people make it out to be. I think most people who own a lot of lenses just don't use it so often anymore.

Let's just say this, it's not 24mm f2, but at f8, it can play with the best of them. It sucks at 18mm and 55mm, but it's a fantastic normal lens (and there are few affordable alternatives in the 24mm - 40mm range that give you meaningful DOF control over the kit). For 50 - 75 dollars I'm not sure what anyone has to complain about.
07-20-2011, 06:22 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
It is indeed. Could be a sticky.....[hint].....
Actually it's already in the LENS ARTICLES section, along with my cheap guides to macro and pawnshop lenses, hint hint...
07-20-2011, 06:24 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Actually it's already in the LENS ARTICLES section, along with my cheap guides to macro and pawnshop lenses, hint hint...
I have read all three myself and recommend them to others. Just did not know it was an article......

07-23-2011, 01:58 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Except low light photography is the equivalent of drag racing, not of commuting.
no way, not even close. Drag racing is probably practiced by well 1% of the population who own cars Low light photography is probably performed by well over 99% of the people who own cameras.

QuoteQuote:
It's an example of light condition, not of subject. Just use your imagination to put a kid in the place of those toys and think of what settings you would use to capture the kid - do you really think 1/30 would cut it?
Yes, of course, most of the time. And the few times it doesn't, you can bump up ISO further.

QuoteQuote:
Or that you would capture much detail at ISO 3200?
How much do you need? Well over 99% of photographs are never printed, but only viewed on screen, and when they are printed, well over 99% aren't printed big enough to matter. And the larger you print, the more the thin DOF becomes obvious.

So for the tiny percentage of users who are like drag racers and have needs that exceed those of 99% of photographers, then indeed, you need appropriate equipment. But there's no reason to assume that the average person asking about low light photography is in that category.

And it has nothing to do with pro versus amateur either. Many, many, many pros do most of their low light shooting with f/2.8 zooms.
07-23-2011, 02:02 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I just crunched the numbers through the DOF calculator, and a FA31 wide open at just 2 meters has 29cm DOF. That is plenty to play with and adequate for many situations (OK not group portraits but you know what I mean ).
That's misleading, though. The number you quote is for small prints and small web viewing. And in those cases, the slower shutter speeds and higher ISO's you need to shoot f/2.8 are also not problems. People who think that the amount of blur or noise one would get at f/2.8 would be a problem are obviously talking about wall-sized posters. At that size, it would be plainly obvious you don't have even a single face fully in focus, much less two faces. So it's not just large group shots.

I'm not saying apertures below f/2.8 are useless, just that they are not necessary for most people most of the time, as results just as good if not better can be obtained at f/2.8.
07-23-2011, 02:08 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I would believe that most of the people that complain about the DOF shallowness of fast lenses have no knowledge of the photography history and use of fast lenses.
Name one such person.

Or are you perhaps conveniently forgetting that once upon a time, one was limited in practice to ISO 400? Or that SR didn't exist until recently? I'm not saying faster lenses wouldn't have been more necessary years ago; I'm saying they don't tend to be *today*. Not that they don't have their uses - obviously, they do. But anyone who claims you can't shoot in low light well with at f/2.8 might know something about the *history* of photography but clearly doesn't understand much about the *present*, because there are millions of counterexamples to this claim.

QuoteQuote:
fast lenses are well adored or sought after because of their shallow effect
Indeed, like I said, they have their uses. Thankfully, photographers are no longer forced to make that tradeoff if they don't wish it.
07-23-2011, 02:43 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Name one such person.

Or are you perhaps conveniently forgetting that once upon a time, one was limited in practice to ISO 400? Or that SR didn't exist until recently? I'm not saying faster lenses wouldn't have been more necessary years ago; I'm saying they don't tend to be *today*. Not that they don't have their uses - obviously, they do. But anyone who claims you can't shoot in low light well with at f/2.8 might know something about the *history* of photography but clearly doesn't understand much about the *present*, because there are millions of counterexamples to this claim.
Marc, you have to read the statement that you quoted, and I specifically said people nowadays complaining about DOF shallowness of fast lenses, not lowlight usage. I had to reiterate statement made by some saying that f1.2 or f.14 is unnecessary since the DOF is just too shallow for their comfort and people are much better off with lenses with with slower apertures or makes sense stopping down. I see this rather as a shortcoming of the user not being able to use or live with the shallow DOF of fast lenses and warrant slow-apertured lenses as sensible? I see that as a weak attempt on disregarding such validity of existence of fast lenses. as a matter of fact, why would other brands still continue to build f1.4 or f1.2 lenses on modern day dslrs if such lenses are only for light transmission purposes? not to mention that such lenses are made for full-frame. the point is, fast lenses have their place in modern day photography and it is laughable to think that certain people would say they are not feasible just to validate focusing capacity.

it is true that is focusing is easier at smaller apertures, but that is the point of using or having ILC cameras. otherwise, just use a P&S camera if they are concerned about their images not being in focus. in other words, if you buy a car, make sure you know how to drive it.


Last edited by Pentaxor; 07-23-2011 at 11:29 PM.
07-23-2011, 11:00 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
no way, not even close. Drag racing is probably practiced by well 1% of the population who own cars Low light photography is probably performed by well over 99% of the people who own cameras.
Now we're talking about attempts versus successes. It doesn't cost anyone anything to take a poor shot in low light - 99% of people may very well do it. But those that take good images in poor light - I think the percentage is quite low and closer to 1% than to 99%.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Yes, of course, most of the time. And the few times it doesn't, you can bump up ISO further.
How much you can bump the ISO depends on the camera. A faster lens will always give you more freedom.

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
So for the tiny percentage of users who are like drag racers and have needs that exceed those of 99% of photographers, then indeed, you need appropriate equipment. But there's no reason to assume that the average person asking about low light photography is in that category.
There's no need to shoot in low light either. You can get a flash or just get better lighting. There are very few people that *need* to shoot in low light. And once it becomes a matter of subjective choice, our conversation becomes useless - there is no "right" way to approach this - it is all about personal preference. You, for example, may feel good to bump ISO so that you don't have to open aperture wider than 2.8. I, on the other hand, am happy to open the aperture, to keep the ISO low. Who's to say one approach is better than other?

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
And it has nothing to do with pro versus amateur either. Many, many, many pros do most of their low light shooting with f/2.8 zooms.
I never mentioned pros - you're probably answering someone else here.
07-25-2011, 05:11 PM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
That's misleading, though. The number you quote is for small prints and small web viewing. And in those cases, the slower shutter speeds and higher ISO's you need to shoot f/2.8 are also not problems. People who think that the amount of blur or noise one would get at f/2.8 would be a problem are obviously talking about wall-sized posters. At that size, it would be plainly obvious you don't have even a single face fully in focus, much less two faces. So it's not just large group shots.

I'm not saying apertures below f/2.8 are useless, just that they are not necessary for most people most of the time, as results just as good if not better can be obtained at f/2.8.
I could be wrong, but I thought DOF is not dependant on print size. Blowing up pictures is challenging for sharpness regardless of DOF. 29cm is plenty to get one person in focus. The other advantage of wide apertures is increased blurring of the backgrounds, which for wide angles is difficult and IMHO very desirable at times.

At times even f/1.8 is not enough and I wish for faster. I've changed my view on f2.8 being fast enough since I bought and shoot with my FA limiteds, from my experience <f2.8 is extremely helpful, creates very nice images, and not too difficult to use. Also once you get into ISO1600+ territory then a stop or so of aperture can make a big difference in how clean the photo is.

Last edited by twitch; 07-25-2011 at 06:57 PM.
07-25-2011, 05:29 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
I could be wrong, but I thought DOF is not dependant on print size.
Yes, you are wrong. DOF is a complex product of photography, presentation, and perception. Photography: Frame size, focal length, aperture, subject distance, light. Presentation: Size and manner of display, framing, viewing distance, light. Perception: the eyes and mind of the viewer. DOF defines a range of acceptable sharpness in a picture. All the above factors influence that range. Any image looks less sharp when enlarged, or viewed closer, and its DOF range shrinks.

QuoteQuote:
I actually wish Pentax made faster lenses; a 24 f/2 for instance, then I could ditch my DA21 which has nice IQ at the apertures it allows for, but is frustratingly slow for a prime and is very difficult to get subject isoloation from.
I use Tokina 21/3.8 and Kiron 24/2 lenses on my K20D. The wider Tokina is great stopped-down for thick DOF. The Kiron is great -- but NOT at subject isolation, except at very close distances. Its DOF is equivalent to a 50/4 or 35/2.8. Relative DOF of various lenses can be compared via the DOF INDEX or FL/AP: divide focal length by aperture. The larger the FL/AP product, the thinner the DOF. For subject isolation you need a longer lens.

Last edited by RioRico; 07-25-2011 at 05:46 PM.
07-25-2011, 07:00 PM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
For subject isolation you need a longer lens.
What if I don't like longer lenses but like subject isolation? One of these in a PK mount would do me

07-25-2011, 10:55 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
What if I don't like longer lenses but like subject isolation? One of these in a PK mount would do me
Do the FL/AP math. 24/1.4 = ~35/2 = ~50/2.8 = ~77/4.5 = 100/5.6. DOF is nearly the same in each case. To get the thin DOF of a 50/1.4 in that region, you'd need a 24/0.7. Better yet, an 18/0.5. Be sure to call me when you find those, eh?

Actually, there are much cheaper ways to get subject isolation at wide focal lengths: Close in on the subject. Move the background further away. Use lights right. Get a fog machine. Smear the edges of a filter. Cheat in PP -- that's my favorite. Have fun!
________________________________________________________

Edit -- BTW, I've built a superfast wide-ish lens. You can too; it's easy and cheap. The ingredients: A cheap flanged M42-PK adapter; a 42-49mm step ring; the cheapest (non-auto) M42 macro tube set; three +10 dioptre 49mm closeup lenses. The stacked lenses are +30dpt with a focal length of 33.33mm. The M42's have an inner diameter of 39mm. Calculating f-stop, 33.33/39= f/0.85. Try to beat THAT!! And guess what the images look like. [Hint: Sh!tty.]

For slightly better results, stack two of those +10dpt strap-ons onto a +8dpt Raynox DCR-250 corrected adapter, which has a minimum diameter of 36mm. Oh yeah, you'll also need a 42-41mm step ring for the Raynox. The stacked lenses are +28dpt with a focal length of 35.7mm. That makes it about f/1. Yes, a 35/1 lens for under US$100! Guess what the images look like. [Hint: Still sh!tty.]

But maybe 33-35mm are too long for you. Ya want 25mm?? Okay, stack FOUR of those +10dpt strap-ons. The f-stop: 25/39= f/0.64. OMFG I'm getting dizzy! Pass the smelling salts under my nose! Oooh, the vapors, the vapors...

For subject isolation, smearing a clear filter is a lot easier, eh?

Last edited by RioRico; 07-25-2011 at 11:22 PM.
07-30-2011, 12:23 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
Marc, you have to read the statement that you quoted, and I specifically said people nowadays complaining about DOF shallowness of fast lenses, not lowlight usage.
I don't understand what you're talking about. This thread is about low light usage and nothing else. The claim made by some that you absolutely positively need f/1.4 or you will fail because you can't get a fast enough shutter speed without turning ISO higher than, oh, I guess higher than you used to be limited to with film. My observation about DOF is directly related to this. if your goal is low light photography, you have a choice to make: you can either have a shutter speed slower than you want, ISO higher than you want, or DOF shallower than you want. And the latter is not necessarily the best choice for most situations.

QuoteQuote:
I see this rather as a shortcoming of the user not being able to use or live with the shallow DOF of fast lenses and warrant slow-apertured lenses as sensible?
It's not a shortcoming of the user if you want to take candid shots of people but DOF is too shallow to get more than half of one person in focus.

QuoteQuote:
I see that as a weak attempt on disregarding such validity of existence of fast lenses.
Not at all. They have their purposes, such as when you specifically *want* shallow DOF. But that has nothing whatsoever to do with this discussion, which is about low light photography, not shallow DOF photography.

QuoteQuote:
the point is, fast lenses have their place in modern day photography and it is laughable to think that certain people would say they are not feasible just to validate focusing capacity.
Again, name one such person. No one has ever claimed any such thing. Just that the shallow DOF might make f/1.4 not the best choice *for this particular application*, as compared to raising ISO and shooting f/2.4 or f/2.8.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 07-30-2011 at 12:35 PM.
07-30-2011, 12:35 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
How much you can bump the ISO depends on the camera.
Yes, but every DSLR made in the last 6-7 years does well enough for the context being discussed here.

QuoteQuote:
A faster lens will always give you more freedom.
Obviously. The user just has to decide if that extra freedom is worth the cost in money, size, and weight. Saying it is *necessary* to pay that cost is flat out wrong, and there are billions of pictures out there (tens of thousands on my own hard drive) that prove this beyond the slightest possible shadow of a doubt. There is no way you can convince me that f/2.8 isn't good enough, because as someone who successfully uses it, I know for an absolutely incontrovertible fact that it is.

QuoteQuote:
There's no need to shoot in low light either.
Perhaps not in some situations, but low light shooting is the subject of this thread, and it's something a lot of people are interested in. If you're interested in discussing a totally different topic, there are other threads for that. But in any case, the fact that you may be able to change the lighting in no way strengthens the case that one "needs" f/1.4; in fact, it weakens that case.

QuoteQuote:
You, for example, may feel good to bump ISO so that you don't have to open aperture wider than 2.8. I, on the other hand, am happy to open the aperture, to keep the ISO low. Who's to say one approach is better than other?
Precisely my point. You were the one who claimed they *needed* f/1.4 or whatever. Sounds like you are now admitting that is not true, so that's good enough for me.
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