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04-17-2008, 07:31 PM   #46
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I still don't understand why he can't just buy a flash. That would solve the DOF, no-tripod, and all these pricey, fast WA lenses.

04-17-2008, 07:49 PM   #47
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Flash isn't allowed in a lot of museums.
04-17-2008, 08:20 PM   #48
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I see. I guess they think it would "blind" other people.

Back to the subject, we need to have a fast WA. DOF will not be much of an issue if subject distance is far enough using a WA lens. With WA, movement is also less of an issue, especially with SR. You already have quite a list of suggestions.
04-17-2008, 09:32 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Flash isn't allowed in a lot of museums.
[neither flash] nor tripods (considered trip & navagational hazards), nor even mono-pods (?) are allowed at most indoor museums here.

Its like they don't want us to take photos at all. Grrr.

Perhaps they think we'll sell the photos?

If you could squeeze just another $19 into your budget, I'd suggest the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8. A constant f/2.8 ability with the advantage of a zoom should be of great value in the complex perspectives and angles needed to capture the various displays in a museum. Naturally f/2.8 will have a narrow DOF, but at 18mm you'll be able to get shots you would only have a crop of otherwise, and 50mm will easily give you 'portraits' of statuary and vases.

If not the extra $20 for the Sigma 18-50mm then I'd suggest a M-28mm f/2.8 (~$15-$30 via the marketplace/ebay/craigslist) and the FA-50mm f/1.4. They make an inexpensive, but very capable low light combo.

Discussion, links, and some sample images from the M-28mm f/2.8 are here:

And while the minuscule DOF of any lens at 1.4 might be better suited towards portraits than statuary, the value of being able to shoot at f/1.4 should not be dismissed.

I find that the FA-50mm f/1.4 has good IQ, a very pleasing bokeh (desirable for imaging statuary and other 3D objects), and is a great all around value. It has allowed me to get many shots in ambient light that I would have missed otherwise.

The portrait desirable "soft and creamy, very dreamy" effect of my FA-50 1.4 sharps up considerably by 2.8+ (and DOF increases of course).

If you have the light, you can always exchange trade it for DOF. But if hand-held ambient light is the only way to get the photo... f/1.4 will get you the image more often than slower glass. And you always have the option of more DOF (and sharpness) if you have the light to trade for it.

I believe it was Ansel Adams who blogged in Popular Photography that "A slightly soft image at f/1.4 in the camera is worth 1,000 super sharp, yet totally dark images taken at f/4".

I'll be sure to take them both along next time I sneak my camera into a museum.

- Outlaw

Last edited by Cedar; 04-18-2008 at 02:05 PM.
04-18-2008, 07:56 AM   #50
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which give me a thought about.. well Camera Flash is not allow.. but what if you bring/hide a normal flash light, which give u continus light :P no flashing, light go on narrow one direction so less ppl will notice...

Well they usually can't stop mono-pods, since people can say they are just walking stick. You can act walking like 85 years old, and they will let you pass.
05-02-2009, 06:54 PM   #51
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I just realized that I never reported back on what I did and what worked. Everything Cedar said two posts above turned out to be spot-on. I went with the Sigma 24mm f/1.8 and the FA-50mm f/1.4. The Sigma is a superb lens. It has served me very well for full-sized statues, sarcophagi, and large reliefs. However, the perspective distortion of a 24mm lens is no good for the portraits and smaller objects. The FA-50mm f/1.4 is perfect for portraits, has produced some lovely photographs for me, and will remain in the museum kit. A 17-50mm f/2.8 would have been a more versatile option, and the Tamron model is at the top of my "to buy" list. It will serve alongside the other two.

Thanks to everyone for your help!
05-02-2009, 07:28 PM   #52
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This is the 1st I'm seeing this thread. I'm glad to read your report, especially of the 24/1.8 which I don't own but is tops on my "must buy" list (looking for a good price). When you'd mentioned you'd read reviews were mixed on the 1st page I immediately thought "BAAAHHH... don't let the dissenters sway you... my money's on that being the lens you're looking for". Glad to hear it's working out and thanx for reinforcing my desire to get one as the right decision. And owning a Tammi 28-75/2.8 and knowing the wider variant is cut of the same cloth, you're spot on there as well.
05-02-2009, 10:48 PM   #53

This is a very interesting thread. I like the string trick, had never heard of it. What are the exact measurements for the standard tripod screw - size and thread?

05-02-2009, 11:26 PM   #54
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I understand that flash is not allowed in most museums and art galleries is because numerous flashes are cumulative and will damage paintings in the same way that constant exposure to light will.

Quit your griping. Just use a faster film or increase the ASA/ISO setting on your digital camera.

05-03-2009, 12:26 AM   #55
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DA35mm limited is one excellent lens for this purpose. I posted few pics from museum (handheld, low shutterspeeds, no flash) here:

It allows you to get close and is extremely sharp with reasonably fast aperture. Stuff a CL-Polarizer to it to be able to shoot thru glass effectively.
05-03-2009, 01:13 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
This is a very interesting thread. I like the string trick, had never heard of it. What are the exact measurements for the standard tripod screw - size and thread?
1/4"-20 threads per inch.

Iowa Dave
05-03-2009, 01:27 AM   #57

Thanks, Dave. Got to try that trick one day.

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