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02-11-2014, 03:36 PM   #1
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Best lens for museums and car shows?

I have a new k3 with a 18-135 and a 50mm 1.8. Would like a nice lens for shooting in museums. Also like to go to car shows and car museums so would like something to shoot there as well as be able to do close ups on the cars.

Thanks for your advice.

Steve

02-11-2014, 03:41 PM   #2
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Tamron 17-50 f/2.8.

Or if looking for wideness get the Sigma 8-16. That sucker is WIDE, but not so low light friendly.
02-11-2014, 03:50 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bigdomino Quote
I have a new k3 with a 18-135 and a 50mm 1.8. Would like a nice lens for shooting in museums. Also like to go to car shows and car museums so would like something to shoot there as well as be able to do close ups on the cars.

Thanks for your advice.

Steve
You'll probably be in the 20-25mm range a lot indoors, so the Tamron 17-50mm (or Pentax 16-50mm, or Sigma 17-50mm) sounds like a great suggestion. The faster aperture will also allow you to do a bit more with bokeh compared to your 18-135mm.

Adam
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02-11-2014, 03:51 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Budget? If you have 600 dollars to spare, the FA* 24mm f/2 would be perfect for those uses.

I find my DA 35mm f/2.4 perfect for indoor use. If you want wider and new, you will probably be looking at the FA 31 or the DA 21. Or, KEH has a couple Sigma 24mm f/1.8 for sale in the 300+ dollar range. It's a very good lens in the center, but gets soft in the extreme corners. Which shouldn't be too big a deal for museums and cars, where your subjects will not be in the extreme corners.

02-11-2014, 03:52 PM   #5
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I shoot lots of cars, and I use the DA15 most of the time. It is wide enough to get it all in without having people walk in front of you, and gives a nice bit of perspective distortion.


The 12-24 provides a bit more flexibility.

For museums with smaller items, I've been using the Sigma 30 f1.4.
02-11-2014, 03:56 PM   #6
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+1 on the Tammie 17-50 f/2.8 for museums. It's been my museum-ing lens for years.

For closeups on cars, I'd lean towards an Ultra-Wide like a Sigma 10-20 or (my current favorite) the DA 15 Ltd. Of course, you will have lots of opportunities for self-portraits in the chrome.
02-11-2014, 03:59 PM   #7
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Wouldn't a small zoom be best? Might be more difficult with a fixed lens.

Steve
02-11-2014, 04:13 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bigdomino Quote
Wouldn't a small zoom be best? Might be more difficult with a fixed lens.

Steve
Probably (especially indoors), but there's a reason why the DA 15 lens club thread is named "The 15mm Limited controls my mind"...

02-11-2014, 04:17 PM   #9
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I think you'll probably find that your 18-135 is more than adequate for most situations, especially where the lighting is reasonably good. I used just that lens in the Science Museum in London, recently, and it was generally very useful. You need to practice your steady-shooting technique for when the lighting gets low, though. On our own Museum of Old and New Art, here, the lighting is very low, and I use my FA31/1.8 Ltd for that situation.

On the other hand, if the lighting is reasonably good, I find that the Sigma 10-20/3.5 is very useful in tight spaces or for that creative wide view, but it isn't a lightweight and you may need to think about how many lenses you want to carry with you on a long visit (and most big museums are worth a long visit, especially if you don't have much time in one place).

However, in low light, which some museums favour, you'll need a lens with a greater maximum aperture than the 18-135, and those don't come cheap in wide-angles, and there's currently only one fast wide zoom (the Sigma 18-35/1.8). Before you start splashing your money out on a variety of lenses that may not suit your style, I suggest you have a look through some of the threads and image postings here.
02-11-2014, 04:20 PM   #10
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Samyang 16mm f/2 is a good choice for both of these applications.
02-11-2014, 04:49 PM   #11
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Cars are shiny and, when lit correctly, can produce some very attractive sparkle. The SMC DA 15mm Ltd. would probably be ideal - I struggle to think of a more appropriate case for starbusts. It's slow, of course, but it can be handheld at reasonably long exposures. The focal length also lends itself well to closeups, and the minimum focusing distance lets you come quite close.

Museums tend to be dark; I've had good results with the old Sigma 30mm F1.4. It's essential to keep the subject near the centre with this specialty lens. The new one seems to have much more uniform sharpness.

Zooms might be more convenient, but the exhibits won't be going anywhere in a hurry, so you can generally finish shooting whatever fits your current lens, then change and have another go.
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02-11-2014, 05:03 PM   #12
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I've settled on a 16-45 and the D FA 100 WR for going to auto shows.

With the 16-45 I usually keep it at F/4 or F/5.6, so I would think your 18-135 would work fine for car shows.
02-11-2014, 05:06 PM   #13
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15 limited, without a question.
No problem to hand hold 15mm focal length in museum light either and I'm on a 'lowly' K-7. Pretty much the only lens I used on a recent holiday.
02-11-2014, 05:15 PM   #14
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How well will my 50mm 1.8 do in a museum?

Steve
02-11-2014, 05:20 PM   #15
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Not that I have one, but I think it would do fine.

It might be a little too telephoto, so you'd have to back up (if you can) and risk people getting in the way.

That's probably why people are suggesting a normal to wide angle lens with a fast aperture.
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