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04-20-2012, 04:55 AM   #1
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Which lens for levitation photography

Hi,

I'm a beginner and I will receive my first DSLR in a few days (K-r + 18-55 Kit)

My point is to learn different aspects of photography, and one of the first project I would like to do is "levitation photography"

I've been inspired by the blog of one asian photographer, who's work has been discussed in this thread

But I'm wondering what kind of lens(es) I should buy and use for this kind of photography.

I'm on a low budget, around 300-400 , and cheaper would be even better.

Any advices ?

04-20-2012, 05:31 AM   #2
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You can use any lens you want, just depends on what kind of view you want.
04-20-2012, 06:15 AM   #3
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anything - as long as it is f/2 or faster, especially for indoors.
04-20-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
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I don't find so many lenses at F2 or faster, especially in my price range.

(Most of them are F2.4 or even F2.8)

Which one should I choose between this two ?

- Pentax 50mm 1.4 smc FA

or

- Samyang 85mm f/1.4 IF MC Aspherical

04-20-2012, 08:49 AM   #5
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Actually, I'm pretty sure you could use the DA 35mm f2.4. You just need to get the shutter speed fast enough. I didn't read the article so I'm not exactly sure how she achieved the stop action, but I'm fairly certain you could go with that one. Besides, it is a very good lens in it's own right. I own both it and the MUCH more expensive FA 35mm f2.0 and I like the DA a lot better. Your other option is to rent a FA 43mm ltd, that would certainly work.

NaCl(hope that helps)H2O
04-20-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jilune Quote
I don't find so many lenses at F2 or faster, especially in my price range.

(Most of them are F2.4 or even F2.8)

Which one should I choose between this two ?

- Pentax 50mm 1.4 smc FA

or

- Samyang 85mm f/1.4 IF MC Aspherical

It's a point of view thing. Your minimum shutter time won't really change much between those two lenses.

That said I'd probably say the 50 mm would be better - the 85mm would mean you'd probably end up walking further away from the camera.

If you're doing it outdoors you don't need the 1.4, but the 1.4 will allow you more control over what's in focus and out of focus.
04-20-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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If you boost the ISO a bit, f/2 isn't necessary, you can get away with f/2.8, even slower outside.

I hope you are in good shape, because you will be getting a lot of exercise!

Hard to choose between the 2 lenses you mention, because the FOV is so different.

If you work this project outdoors, the kit 18-55 will be good enough until you decide on which focal length(s) are best for you, then you'll know how to best spend you money on your next lens.
04-20-2012, 09:52 AM   #8
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Use the kit lens and onboard flash. Get a tripod. No fancy|fast lens is needed. For further-distant shots, get a stronger flash, but your onboard flash will be fine if you shoot in the 18-30mm range.

The advice for faster lenses is good; I go nowhere without my FA50/1.4, my gotta-get-the-shot lens. It's great for action, low-light, and DOF.control / image.isolation. But you can get your jump shots with what you have. Flash solves the low-light and action problems, and the slowness of the kit.lens solves the too-thin-DOF problem. Have fun!

04-20-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
anything - as long as it is f/2 or faster, especially for indoors.
Depends on the amount of light and you could always use a flash
04-20-2012, 02:38 PM   #10
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Do not use the 50mm f/1.4 or the Samyang 85mm.
Use either the kit lens or something like the DA 16-45mm f/4, which should be in your price range.

From my experience, you are going to be shooting at the wide end of these lenses. What makes levitation photography interesting is the background and context. That's why I don't use a huge aperture either. I don't want to blur the background out.

I assume you are going to make the model "levitate" in post-processing, not by jumping or something. That's why you don't need a fast lens to freeze the action.
04-20-2012, 02:49 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shamwow Quote
Do not use the 50mm f/1.4 or the Samyang 85mm.
Use either the kit lens or something like the DA 16-45mm f/4, which should be in your price range.

From my experience, you are going to be shooting at the wide end of these lenses. What makes levitation photography interesting is the background and context. That's why I don't use a huge aperture either. I don't want to blur the background out.

I assume you are going to make the model "levitate" in post-processing, not by jumping or something. That's why you don't need a fast lens to freeze the action.
I think you've completely missed the objective, there's no PP involved, best to look at the thread cited in the OP.
04-20-2012, 03:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
I think you've completely missed the objective, there's no PP involved, best to look at the thread cited in the OP.
You are right, I did miss the objective.

If you want to simulate levitation by jumping, I think you need a fast lens.

If you want to do it through post-processing, you have many more options.
04-20-2012, 05:36 PM   #13
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Consider sigma 30mm 1.4
That lens is quite exceptional at rendering '3D' effect for its subject, it'll help with the levitation illusion better than most.
Look up images taken with that lens on this board.
04-20-2012, 06:10 PM   #14
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you could just get a 50mm f/1.4 Takumar - faster than f/2 and they are simply brilliant lenses considering their low cost these days.
04-23-2012, 01:02 AM   #15
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Thank you so much everybody for all your advices.

There is so many different possibilities that I'm quite confused now.

I guess a smart idea would be first to try with my kit 18-55, so I can find out which focal length I prefer.

Then I'll look for the fastest lens for this focal length, in my budget.

My K-r will arrive thursday morning ..... I can't wait anymore, I'm thinking about it all the time
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