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11-28-2011, 12:49 PM   #1
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What lens should i use?

Hello All,
I asked my neighbor if I could take a picture of him and his dog and he said yes. I was going to take a picture of them in the hallway of our building (the walls are a cream color and the ceiling is off white). I was wondering what lens should I use. Some of the lenses I have are: Pentax fa 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4, da 70 f/2.4, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4. I was trying not to use flash so I would not spook the dog.

11-28-2011, 01:11 PM   #2
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Hi V'cuz!

About the lens...it depends on quantity of light u have in the hallway, but all of the lenses you have are pretty fast so that should not be a problem unless it has no windows or it has poor light. The other thing you should consider is the size of the hallway - if it's a small one then you should not use telephoto lens (70mm & 85mm)...

Anyway, try it out a little before bringing in the neigbour and the dog.
11-29-2011, 01:19 AM   #3
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Agreed. Depending on the size of the hall, your working space, you'll probably want to use the 30, maybe the 35. Try some test setups to determine the best camera-subject and subject-background distances, how to exploit existing light, etc. Can doors or window-shades be opened for side lighting? You might want to use a tripod at shutter speeds slower than 1/100 second.
11-29-2011, 10:35 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by V'cuz Quote
Hello All,
I asked my neighbor if I could take a picture of him and his dog and he said yes. I was going to take a picture of them in the hallway of our building (the walls are a cream color and the ceiling is off white). I was wondering what lens should I use. Some of the lenses I have are: Pentax fa 35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.4, da 70 f/2.4, Sigma 30mm f/1.4 and the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4. I was trying not to use flash so I would not spook the dog.
look at it this way, I assume you willhave a vertical frame, so, let's do a little math.

Image size (24mm for vertical frame) = Subject size (assume 2 meters standing 1 meter kneeling) x focal length / distance.

therefore , depending on the size of the hall way, your focal length will be determined for you.

Focal length = distance X 0.024 / (image height between 1-2 meters)


If you can get 3 meters away, then about 70-75 mm kneeling, 35 mm standing.

the closer you move the shorter the lens, the further back the longer

11-29-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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A further comment: You may be tempted to use a fast lens wide-open, especially your 30/1.4 or 35/2. I find such to be usable in GOOD light, not necessarily LOW light, because of the thin DOF. Thin DOF in low light can mean difficulty focusing. I often use a Kiron 24/2 or Komine 28/2 CF and in a brightly-lit room they're fairly easy. In dimmer light, I'll more likely set them to f/4, to ensure that subjects *are* in focus.

That thicker DOF has other implications. I must make sure the subject is far enough from the background that they're well-separated visually. That's why I earlier suggested testing to get the right camera-to-subject and subject-to-BG distances. If you can have the subjects illuminated while the BG is obscured, all the better.
12-01-2011, 08:37 AM   #6
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First of all, put the camera on a good tripod if you aren't using flash. Since you include the dog, my guess is it will be a full length portrait (unless the owner kneels down with the dog or picks it up), but there are so many factors: perspective?...relationship of subject to background?...shallow depth of field? If you have the space to work longer lenses tend to produce more pleasing portraits and reduces background detail. I'd probably start with the 70 and go from there.
12-01-2011, 11:16 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeverettfine Quote
First of all, put the camera on a good tripod if you aren't using flash. Since you include the dog, my guess is it will be a full length portrait (unless the owner kneels down with the dog or picks it up), but there are so many factors: perspective?...relationship of subject to background?...shallow depth of field? If you have the space to work longer lenses tend to produce more pleasing portraits and reduces background detail. I'd probably start with the 70 and go from there.
just a quick point, full length portrait, with a 70mm needs 6 meters shooting distance. That is a long way away.
12-01-2011, 12:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
just a quick point, full length portrait, with a 70mm needs 6 meters shooting distance. That is a long way away.
I think in terms of focal length on film (full frame), so yes, 70 might be too long. Something like 30 or 40 might be better for starters if you are doing a full length portrait.

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