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04-14-2008, 10:33 AM   #16
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Hmm. That last message of mine did indeed appear instantly, so I guess the long one from yesterday is gone. So I will attempt to recreate it:

To the person who asked about my intended use: good question. Yes, I am an art historian by profession, and yes, if I need to publish something I can of course request permission to use a tripod and lights. However, it is expensive and time consuming to make a special trip for such a purpose, so when I travel I try to photograph just about everything on display at the museums I visit. That way I have an archive of photos on hand for teaching, for personal reference, for illustrating conference papers, and (ideally) even for publication. I can get away with projecting substandard images for students, but I'd rather not. I really would like the photos I take to to be good enough for publication. That's my optimistic goal, anyway.

I'm really thrilled with all of the great suggestions that I'm getting in this thread. I've done some quick research on some of these lenses and am getting frustrated with the mixed bag of reviews that I'm finding. I'm not sure which ones to believe. However, I am leaning toward a lens that is about as wide or wider than the one I have now (28mm at its widest). The Sigma 30mm f/1.4 sounds great, but only if it really is sharp at around f/2. Likewise with the Sigma 24mm f/1.8. Some of these museums that house ancient sculpture are very, very dark, and space is usually quite confined, especially the little provincial museums in Greece and Italy.

By the way, my budget is around $400, not including filters.

04-14-2008, 03:02 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Timarete Quote
By the way, my budget is around $400, not including filters.
Well, you won't be needing any filters is my guess, so that's all for a good lens.
04-14-2008, 03:45 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Well, you won't be needing any filters is my guess, so that's all for a good lens.
I'll need a polarizer for shooting objects behind glass. Can't really cut that expense, unfortunately.
04-14-2008, 04:16 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Timarete Quote
I'll need a polarizer for shooting objects behind glass. Can't really cut that expense, unfortunately.
Ah, right. Museums. Glass. A good multicoated circular polariser is actually a significant amount of cash. $50 anyway.

But won't the couple stops of light lost really work against you in this scenario?

04-14-2008, 05:11 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Timarete Quote
I'll need a polarizer for shooting objects behind glass. Can't really cut that expense, unfortunately.
All u need is another person holding a black cloth behind you or ask your girlfriend "Come look at this" and take the picture when she blocked the light.

That's what I did in ROM, located in Toronto. I used my FA 35, f2 all the way, except sometime use my DFA 100 macro for close up. ISO set to Auto with range 100-400.

Here are my pic: Victor Lam's Photos - 2008 TSC Team Day | Facebook
04-14-2008, 05:42 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Ah, right. Museums. Glass. A good multicoated circular polariser is actually a significant amount of cash. $50 anyway.

But won't the couple stops of light lost really work against you in this scenario?
Yup, sure does, hence the need (all the more) for a fast prime lens.

I have acquired a good piece of duvateen and will be working that technique as well. I've heard it's best to cut a hole in the center through which to shoot. Has anyone here tried that?
04-14-2008, 05:53 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by vizjerei Quote
All u need is another person holding a black cloth behind you or ask your girlfriend "Come look at this" and take the picture when she blocked the light.

That's what I did in ROM, located in Toronto. I used my FA 35, f2 all the way, except sometime use my DFA 100 macro for close up. ISO set to Auto with range 100-400.

Here are my pic: Victor Lam's Photos - 2008 TSC Team Day | Facebook
Looks as though you got some nice shots there, although that museum--like so many of them--seems to have very poor lighting. Are they really sharp at full resolution?

That lens (FA 35) sounds great, but it's probably not wide enough for me.
04-15-2008, 12:12 AM   #23
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I'd choose FA35 f2, or 21Ltd

04-15-2008, 12:45 AM   #24
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You can still try out the trick using a string to supplement a tripod. unfortunately I can't find the post but what you do is:

Find a screw that fits in the tripod mount underneath your camera.

Tie a string to it. The length of the string should be about the same length from your chin to the floor.

Tie another screw to the bottom of the string.

The idea is that while taking the photo you step on the bottom string (the screw in the bottom helps in getting a firmer hold) that is attached to the camera and stretch the string (that's why the string should be about the length from your chin to the floor). This should give you a couple of extra stops.

You need to practice with it though.

Also you don't need super expensive lenses. Just get an old manual focus 28 f/2.8 or something wider and faster. You don't need the fast af in those situations. That coupled with high iso.

What camera do you have? I'd be very comfortable using iso 3200 with the k100d as long as you overexpose the shot a bit. Well it also depends on how big you're going to print them.
04-15-2008, 12:51 AM   #25
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Very nice trick Deni. Gotta try that.
04-15-2008, 01:46 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
Very nice trick Deni. Gotta try that.
I can't take credit for that .

I saw it on youtube from one guy with a canon 400d I think.
04-15-2008, 03:30 AM   #27
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I believe this is the video you are looking for...

YouTube - image stabilizer

I haven't tried this, but maybe will one day when I am bored and have some string and a bolt lying around in front of me...until then, I will continue to enjoy the benefits of built in VR in my K10D!

Jas
04-15-2008, 08:13 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deni Quote
You can still try out the trick using a string to supplement a tripod. unfortunately I can't find the post but what you do is:

Find a screw that fits in the tripod mount underneath your camera.

Tie a string to it. The length of the string should be about the same length from your chin to the floor.

Tie another screw to the bottom of the string.

The idea is that while taking the photo you step on the bottom string (the screw in the bottom helps in getting a firmer hold) that is attached to the camera and stretch the string (that's why the string should be about the length from your chin to the floor). This should give you a couple of extra stops.

You need to practice with it though.

Also you don't need super expensive lenses. Just get an old manual focus 28 f/2.8 or something wider and faster. You don't need the fast af in those situations. That coupled with high iso.

What camera do you have? I'd be very comfortable using iso 3200 with the k100d as long as you overexpose the shot a bit. Well it also depends on how big you're going to print them.
I actually know an art historian who used that trick throughout the eighties and nineties. He said he mostly got away with it, but did have some museum guards object to it. I don't quite understand why; if the purpose of prohibiting tripods is to avoid accidents, then I don't see why a string should pose any threat. I think I will try my own luck at that trick.

To answer your question, I have a K100D. Maybe it's the lens I have, but ISO 3200 does not produce desirable results on it. You're right, I don't need fast AF and usually focus manually anyway. I'd really like something faster than 2.8, though. If it's true that the Sigma 20mm f/1.8 is only good after 2.8, then that's a real shame.
04-15-2008, 09:33 AM   #29
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What are you going to do with the photos? Print them? Because, as I said before, iso 3200 is not that bad if you overexpose a little.

Also, since you usually focus manually someone might advice you on an old, fast wide lens.

Forgot to add, all but the b&w shots I have uploaded are done using iso 3200.
04-15-2008, 12:06 PM   #30
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Yup, they are sharp in full resolution, I use manual focus most of the time in there also, with Split screen in K10D. Oh yes... tell me about the poor lighting in museum..

anyways another thing you should bring is a monopod. Usually museum don't allow tripod, but monopod is ok. However, if you use iso300~400 and f2, you shouldn't have any problem...just don't dream about using iso100


QuoteOriginally posted by Timarete Quote
Looks as though you got some nice shots there, although that museum--like so many of them--seems to have very poor lighting. Are they really sharp at full resolution?

That lens (FA 35) sounds great, but it's probably not wide enough for me.
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