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06-02-2013, 02:48 AM   #1
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What lens to buy?

Good day,

Soon I will be a photographer to a christening and I need a lens for dark churches. A wide angle would be the best, I guess. Or a zoom?

I stopped at the following:

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro - Pentax - Contemporary (2013)

Tamron AF SP 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD IF

Sigma 28mm f/1.8 EX-DG Aspherical Macro or non- macro 24mm



Any advices please?


Thank you!


Last edited by urssu; 06-02-2013 at 03:16 AM.
06-02-2013, 03:01 AM   #2
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A fast zoom will be your safest bet.
The Tamron is a good lens, but its AF is screw drive, which will be pretty noisy in a quiet church. Consider the Sigma EX 17-50/2.8 HSM (or DA*16-50 if price is no object).

Last edited by Sandy Hancock; 06-02-2013 at 04:35 AM.
06-02-2013, 03:40 AM   #3
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Should I get the 18-135mm? I' ve seen a few threads where people chose this lens over the Sigma?
06-02-2013, 03:59 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by urssu Quote
Should I get the 18-135mm? I' ve seen a few threads where people chose this lens over the Sigma?
Quieter and more versatile than the Tamron but not as sharp or as fast as the Sigma mentioned.

06-02-2013, 04:15 AM   #5
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Good day,

The sigma isn' t in stock anywhere in my country. Thus I am just waiting, with only 3 more days to spare.

Thanks Sigma!
06-02-2013, 04:20 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by urssu Quote
Should I get the 18-135mm? I' ve seen a few threads where people chose this lens over the Sigma?
What body (or bodies) are you shooting with ... the WR of the 18-135 lens would be nice to have with a WR body ... J
06-02-2013, 04:28 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jean Poitiers Quote
What body (or bodies) are you shooting with ... the WR of the 18-135 lens would be nice to have with a WR body ... J
Good day,

Pentax K5 body.

Thank you!
06-02-2013, 04:32 AM   #8
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With a K-5 you could push the ISO when needed and use the DA18-135WR, but it will still be noisy.

06-02-2013, 04:44 AM   #9
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I have the 18-135 and I love it, but it wouldn't be my first choice for a christening inside a church unless it was quite light indoors. I'd be looking at a fast prime - something around 30-35mm, as I imagine most of your shots will be of 2-3 people from a few metres away. However, takes some practice using just one lens so the fast zooms you suggest would probably be a good option.

Last edited by ikershaw; 06-02-2013 at 04:45 AM. Reason: Remove quote.
06-02-2013, 04:55 AM   #10
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Big Day

Hello Urssu,
I took some photos in Saint John's recently, and you're right, it is very dark. Also, like most churches, NO Flash allowed.
Even with my fastest lenses and 3200 ISO, the shutter speeds were 1/30s to 1/60s, barely hand-holdable. A monopod or tripod (which is allowed, I later found out) would have been great.
My slowest lens was an f/2.8 135mm. The others were prime lenses of f/1.7, f/2.0 and f/2.4.
My point is that an f/2.8-f4.0 zoom or f/3.5-f/5,6 zoom won't be useful. Your shutter speeds will be so slow that even if you don't have camera shake, you'll still have subject movement. Either one will mean a useless photo.
The best shots and most useful lens during the shoot was the DA 35mm f/2.4 AL. Fast, accurate auto-focus in low light, sharp and beautiful color rendering.
If you can't get an f/2.8 zoom (f/2.8 throughout the entire zoom range) the DA35 is a good option. If you have any auto or manual focus primes between 24mm and 100mm, bring them also. And a monopod and cable release.
Take your time, have a plan for what shots you want, take two or three of every pose and stay in control and calm.
Good Luck!
Ron
06-02-2013, 05:05 AM   #11
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Will you be able (and comfortable to) to move around a lot? If you can move around, I would definitely suggest prime lenses, like the Sigma 28mm you mentioned or the Pentax DA 50mm f1.8. Feel free to use manual focus, too, so it will be quiet. Just have some practice with it before you go.
If you can't walk around much, then a zoom would be a better choice, because it offers flexibility. But the fastest a zoom lens will be is f2.8, and it will probably be pretty expensive. With a K-5 and monopod (or small tripod) you can raise the ISO and use slower shutter speeds. So, one of those 17-50mm or 17-70mm
But even a 28mm would be great, you would just need to get very close. Remember that even if you are annoying during the ceremony, if the photos turn out great, you will be forgiven If you are annoying and photos turn bad.. not so good
06-02-2013, 05:33 AM   #12
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I also have a K5 and I had a Tamron 17-50, but I sold it and bought Sigma 17-50 f2.8 HSM (with optical stabilisation) instead of it. I wasn't extremely happy about Tamron - I constantly had backfocus issues with it, even in good light. Plus, at f2.8, one side of the picture was softer than the other. And yes, it has a screwdrive mechanism (a bit noisy). So I bought the Sigma. Focusing is better, but not perfect. In low light, it can't focus correctly, no matter what focus compensation I set (it really drives me nuts and for that reason I'm currently considering getting some split prism/microprism focusing screen, to help with manual focusing. I've even bought the O-ME53 magnifying viewfinder, which helps a little with manual focus, but not much.). It only focuses correctly (even in low light) via Liveview, but not through the viewfinder. Sharpness is very good even at f2.8. The optical stabilisation is redundant and as mentioned elsewhere on this forum, it does draw power from the battery even when it's off! Took me a while to get used to it - you have to think ahead and make sure your battery is full, or that you have spare one(s). But I'm still not happy about it and eventually, because of all these reasons, plus the weather sealing, I might give a go to the Pentax 16-50.
06-02-2013, 05:54 AM   #13
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The low light, especially in yellow to red lighting temperature, issue is most likely the K-5 itself, not the lenses. Sadly it's a bad design in the AF system that Pentax fixed in the later models. Changing lenses won't solve it.
06-02-2013, 05:56 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
... The best shots and most useful lens during the shoot was the DA 35mm f/2.4 AL. Fast, accurate auto-focus in low light, sharp and beautiful color rendering. ...
This is a great lens for the money and I almost mentioned it as a possible prime ... good luck, J
06-02-2013, 06:18 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
The low light, especially in yellow to red lighting temperature, issue is most likely the K-5 itself, not the lenses. Sadly it's a bad design in the AF system that Pentax fixed in the later models. Changing lenses won't solve it.
Well, I didn't know that! Not that it makes me happier now that I know... Hasn't this issue been addressed in software updates for the original K5? Can it be addressed that way, actually? (since it is, as you say, a design problem?)
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