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01-05-2007, 07:54 AM   #16
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As we are discussing tripod use I would say you can use any lens as long as you can focus properly!

Now shooting at night most often is related to wide angle lenses in my experience. You don't see many using hefty telephoto lenses in the dark. So, a reasonably fast normal to wide lens that is known not to flare easily. The FA35/2 is excellent for the normal range. The DA18-55 is not. What lenses do you have and why do you think you need something else?

imho,

01-05-2007, 07:57 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
What lenses do you have and why do you think you need something else?
Jonas,

I'm new to digital SLR and just bought a Pentax K110D w/DA 18-55mm kit lens, so I might be wrong but I think I may need something better for taking photos at night.
01-05-2007, 10:08 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cavan Quote
Jonas,

I'm new to digital SLR and just bought a Pentax K110D w/DA 18-55mm kit lens, so I might be wrong but I think I may need something better for taking photos at night.
Ok. Then I'm with LaRee and wonder what focal lengths you are intended to use. If you are not sure you can stick to the kit lens for a while just to find out what focal lengths you actually are interested in for shooting in the dark. That goes for all your pictures as well, btw.

I'm mostly interested in scenes like cityscapes and buildings for night pictures. That means wide angle lenses which in turn means increased risk of flare. But I guess you use the hood and try to compose in a way avoiding flood- and headlights pointing right into the lens. Here is my contibution to a recent DPR thread about Architecture pictures taken 2006:


© Jonas B 2006

Wides can be fun, for the picture above you need a SMCP DA14, DA12-24, a Zenitar, or something equivalent.

The mentioned FA50/1.4 is a great short tele and portrait lens but I don't see any special about it for night pictures. Most lenses will do as long as they don't flare heavily.

good luck,
01-05-2007, 10:40 AM   #19
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Jonas,

Thanks for the insight, I appreciate your help very much.

I don't live near a city so, at the moment, cityscapes and such aren't of interest, although I will focus on such when my wife and I return to Ireland next year (maybe some shots of Dublin, Ha'penny Bridge, etc). For the most part, I'll either be shooting here at home or venturing off to nearby parks or other places that pique my of interest. Due to my disabilities, I can't travel often or long so I'm generally stuck with shooting where I live.

I'm simply interested in doing some "general" night work, a la taking shots of family and friends, landscapes, my dogs (should get some good action shots there), etc. I live in a somewhat rural area in a town of about 17,000 and there's no architecture in the area much taller than 100 feet (at most); but, that doesn't mean there's nothing worth shooting here. There are several interesting buildings (and homes) in the area, many with historical importance; so, if I get a notion to shoot buildings I can always head "down town" (what there is of it).

As I mentioned previously, I'm new to digital SLR and it's been a very long time since I've even used a film SLR. Anyway, so what focal length? Well, for me I think mounting my camera on my tripod and using a lens with a minimum 70mm would suffice but since I'd like to take shots of the night sky I just don't know if that's good enough...or is it?


Last edited by Cavan; 01-06-2007 at 06:20 AM.
01-05-2007, 10:54 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cavan Quote
-snip-
As I mentioned previously, I'm new to digital SLR and it's been a very long time since I've even used a film SLR. Anyway, so what focal length? Well, for me I think mounting my camera on my tripod and using a lens with a minimum 70mm would suffice but since I'd like to take shots of the night sky I just don't know if that's good enough...or is it?

70mm is okey for a short tele and it seems as you could use that. But f/4 seems very slow. How can you focus in the dark with that? A 70mm needs to be focused pretty accurate as opposed to wides which are more forgiving (but should be focused as good as possibly of course).

The FA50/1.4 may be long enough, is a good allrounder for short teles and portraits and I don't think you can get a better lens for the money involved. I could live with a decent wide to normal zoom and the FA50/1.4.

But, try to find out what focal lengths you are using. You can take some houndred pictures with the kit lens and run them through one of those FL-analyzers that tells you where you usually ends up with the zoom. Buying a lens is in the best of cases a start of a long acquaintance and when on a tight budget it may pay off taking some time. For the FA50/1.4 you don't need to hesitate though. Just get it, and keep it. I don't know of anyone not needing it.

good luck,
01-05-2007, 11:03 AM   #21
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I think I'm actually leaning towards the Sigma 24-135mm F2.8-4.5 Aspherical IF lens. Any thoughts? I don't have a lot to spend right now but I think this will do fine.
01-05-2007, 12:39 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cavan Quote
Jon,

No need for apologies, but thank you.

I agree with you on that Sigma lens...I think I may get it anyway. FYI, I found it as a "buy it now" item on eBay here and here.
ah...not bad price..might actually order one later.....


as for the kit lens...i've had decent success w/ it on the low light end...*read decent* i'll post some up later
01-05-2007, 01:29 PM   #23
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joeles nice firework shots were taken at F13 and F8 so lets not get too carried away with the need for expensive fast glass..

trog

01-05-2007, 03:02 PM   #24
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Did you mean Roentarre's fireworks in this thread???

Anyway from past experience I have found fireworks work best at around F11 (give or take)... so yes with fireworks the 18-55 kit lens would probably do fine as you use a tripod and stop down...

I have often used my 35/2 handheld at night, walking around the southbank area.. I was using ISO 800 on the k100d and between f2 and f2.8, it worked very well for me... I will have to find the shots though I took them off my pbase as it keeps getting to clutterred ;-)

ALSO they are not that expensive, the FA35/2 costs less than the Tamron or Sigma 18-200, if you can justify US$389 for a daytime walk around lens that covers a wide range, why not US$299 for a nighttime and lowlight walkaround lens thats bright? (that said I use my 35/2 as my daytime walkaround at least 50% of the time too)..


CAVAN: I have heard good things about the 24-135 from a few different people if you want to spend <$200 it is probably a good starting point...

Last edited by joele; 01-05-2007 at 03:12 PM.
01-06-2007, 12:37 AM   #25
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As Jonas had mentioned, any focal lengths <100 mm will do with longer exposure on tripod for night scenery shots. Telephoto lenses sitting on tripod with long exposure usually result poorer image quality: Less available light (much longer exposure) and very prone to motion blurr (longer focal length).

The firework shots need the aperture set above f8 as longer exposure time are needed for more colour to be recorded in the image and avoidance of "colour flooding" are absolutely necessary
01-06-2007, 12:39 AM   #26
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Since you're using a tripod, the kit lens will work fairly well. Here are a couple of shots taken with the kit lens.

Kit lens


Kit lens


Kit lens


cheap Vivitar 28mm F/2.8 manual lens


Pentax FA50mm F/1.4


One option is to get a flash. Here's the similar shot taken with a Pentax flash.


Good luck with your new camera. Have fun! You can find larger versions of these shots on my Flickr site (link in signature).
01-06-2007, 06:28 AM   #27
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Mission accomplished...

QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
Since you're using a tripod, the kit lens will work fairly well. Here are a couple of shots taken with the kit lens...

Good luck with your new camera. Have fun! You can find larger versions of these shots on my Flickr site (link in signature).
Thanks for the photos, they look great!

I want to thank everyone for your understanding and guidance. I've decided to go with the Sigma 24-135mm F2.8-4.5 Aspherical IF (bought it online this morning). I'll post some shots later on, after I get the lens and get accustomed to it. In the meantime, I'll be doing the same with the 18-55mm kit lens.

Thanks again, I appreciate everyone's input!!

Last edited by Cavan; 01-06-2007 at 06:36 AM.
01-06-2007, 02:57 PM   #28
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"Did you mean Roentarre's fireworks in this thread???"

yes sorry about the name mix up..

even thow i have the 18 x 200 day time walk about.. i did go for the k100 as opposed to the k10 to give me a slight low light advantage..

but i think its impossible to have too many lenses i just cant afford them all.. i am not anti lens.. just anti having to carry too many about at once..

i was rather hopeing my old (ebay acquired) manual pentax smc 50mm 1.7 and my old petri 28mm 2. might be of some use for low light street stuff.. not actually used them for such as yet thow..

trog

ps.. i didnt justify US$389 for my walk around either i justified £270 which at todays exchange rates come to nearly US$540.. a slight difference.. living in the UK pentax glass is beyond my price point.. like a Pentax FA 24-90mm f/3.5-4.5 AL (IF) Black £400 or nerly 800 US dollars.. if i seem anti pentax glass at times i think i have good reason.. he he

Last edited by trog100; 01-06-2007 at 03:24 PM.
01-07-2007, 08:57 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cavan Quote
I decided to look at some of the Sigma lenses and found this:

24-135mm F2.8-4.5 Aspherical IF

Will this work for shooting at night or no?
Here's a review from Photodo: Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG

The review states that it's a bit soft wide open but really sharp one or two stops down. The samples look really good. Hope this helps.
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