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01-24-2008, 11:38 AM   #1
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Low Light Lens Options

Hi All,

I was put in a situation where I'm required to shoot indoors, no flash. I do have the Sigma 24-70 f2.8, Sigma 70-200 f2.8 and the F50 f1.4 lens.

Having tried all those options, I learned that f2.8 still just won't cut it. My question to you all is what lenses should I get? I have a budget that's around $1000, and would preferably like to get something for the wider end and tele end if possible.

The lenses that I'm aware of currently, are the Sigma 28mm f1.8, FA 31 LTD, FA 77 LTD. What other options are there? And also, would it be worthwhile to sell the F50 to get a FA50?

Thanks!

01-24-2008, 11:55 AM   #2
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I have the Sigma 20/1.8, wich is top-notch after adjustment of the AF at Sigma (well, the typical AF problem with Sigma lenses).
Or you could take the very good Pentax FA35/2, still available new.

For tele there are currently no choices new.
I would recommend to get a FA85/1.4 one of the best Pentax lenses ever.

It should be possible to get these for roughly $1000.
01-24-2008, 12:04 PM   #3
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people misunderstand when it comes to low light lenses

a fast lens will give you a bright viewfinder so you can work better in the dark

but actualy SHOOTING at a wide open aperture requires lots of skill and thinking ahead since your depth of field will be razor thin

using any normal prime below 2.8 will give you half-blured images, or in the case of shooting 1.4 you can go so far as to have the persons nose seem out of focus and their eyes in focus if they are facing you at an angle.


once you actualy buy a fast lens you will realize that to get the proper shot you will bump your aperture up to 3 or 4 atleast for most "normal" things


this is a fair warning.
01-24-2008, 12:11 PM   #4
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With your budget, I'd probably spring for the Pentax FA 35mm f/2 *and* the Sigma 24mm f/1.8. You'll probably have cash leftover for a flash

I own the FA35, and I absolutely love it. Gooshin has a point about the thin DOF at wide apertures, but f/2.0 at 35mm is not super-thin.

01-24-2008, 12:17 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
people misunderstand when it comes to low light lenses

a fast lens will give you a bright viewfinder so you can work better in the dark

but actualy SHOOTING at a wide open aperture requires lots of skill and thinking ahead since your depth of field will be razor thin

using any normal prime below 2.8 will give you half-blured images, or in the case of shooting 1.4 you can go so far as to have the persons nose seem out of focus and their eyes in focus if they are facing you at an angle.


once you actualy buy a fast lens you will realize that to get the proper shot you will bump your aperture up to 3 or 4 atleast for most "normal" things


this is a fair warning.
Thanks for a warning, and I have experienced this while shooting with the 50mm. I agree the DOF is difficult to work with, but it can be done

Thanks for the suggestions so far, and I already own 3 flashes, so springing for another would be silly, unless I sell the 2 AF360s and get another 540
01-24-2008, 12:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by qdoan Quote
Thanks for the suggestions so far, and I already own 3 flashes, so springing for another would be silly, unless I sell the 2 AF360s and get another 540
LOL, I should have paid more attention to your signature... In that case, go for the 31mm f/1.8 Ltd instead of the FA35.
01-24-2008, 12:40 PM   #7
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Hrm.. Now I'm thinking about 2 packages... Each slight over the 1000 mark, but are similar cost wise. Here goes:

Package 1: FA 31 LTD and FA 77 LTD

Package 2: Sigma 20mm f1.8, FA 35 f2.0, and FA 77LTD

So many decisions! Darn LBA...
01-24-2008, 03:37 PM   #8
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Which packages would you guys rather take and why? I'm just having a tough time making a decision, and on top of that, is there a different package you guys would make?

01-25-2008, 06:50 AM   #9
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That's a hard decision .... I do like both packages that you mention though.
Package 2 seems good value as there's 3 decent lenses in that line up.
Package 1 is tempting too ... as the FA31 is in it ... and that's meant to be once beautiful lens.
01-25-2008, 07:05 AM   #10
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Package 1, that would be a great prime package! I wouldn't want 31mm to be my widest lens.
I'm very tempted by the Sigma 20mm f/1.8 as my Sigma 10-20mm is an awful f/5.6 at 20mm.
01-25-2008, 07:11 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
Package 1, that would be a great prime package! I wouldn't want 31mm to be my widest lens.
I'm very tempted by the Sigma 20mm f/1.8 as my Sigma 10-20mm is an awful f/5.6 at 20mm.
i'll buy your sigma off of you
01-25-2008, 07:39 AM   #12
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I have several fast primes as well as fast zooms.

primes are 24mm F2.4, 50mm f1.4 135mm f2.5 all MF
zooms are 38-75 f2.8 and 70-200f2.8 both AF

In many instances I shoot wide open even with ISO 1600 or 3200, and although DOF is an issue, it is usually the only way to get the shot. Most of my low light shots are involving action, and while shake reduction is good for some things, it cannot freeze the subject.

The basic approach is that fast primes are great if you can control shooting distance fast zooms are more useful for general solutions.
01-25-2008, 07:41 AM   #13
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You'd have to pry it out of my cold dead hands!







Just wish it was faster at the long end....
01-25-2008, 08:14 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote

Just wish it was faster at the long end....
well.. i have a DA21 for those type of shots..

i just need the sigma for the 10-15mm range
01-25-2008, 08:56 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have several fast primes as well as fast zooms.

primes are 24mm F2.4, 50mm f1.4 135mm f2.5 all MF
zooms are 38-75 f2.8 and 70-200f2.8 both AF
I have the fast zooms (from 24-200mm f2.8) and the only prime I have is the 50mm 1.4.

I feel that the 2nd package would more less 'complete' my prime package, but the 1st package would just be better quality wise as it seems as though everyone is drooling over the FA31
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