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07-08-2015, 01:43 PM   #1
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Which lens to take?

I've just discovered that a Comic Con is coming to my town. I've got my ticket now I just need to know what lens to take. Should it be the SMC Pentax DA 35mm F/2.4 AL, the Auto Chinon 50mm F/1.7 (Manual) or the Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 1:1? Or should I take the Panasonic FZ200 that should arrive tomorrow? All those people in costume, I don't want to get it wrong.

If you've been to one of these things, help me out, please. Oh, I'll be sticking it on my K-r, whatever it is.

Thanks
Ray

07-08-2015, 01:50 PM   #2
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35mm, or wider if you can manage it. When I've done this kind of event I used to take my 16-45, which seemed a good range. The DA21 or 18-135 now is what I'll use.

50mm or higher is probably too tight, and manual focus would be a bit slow for me in these situations. The Lumix would also do fine, I'm sure. Those are nice bridge cameras.

I guess it depends on how comfortable you are in a crowd with the 35mm lens. The Lumix has a 25mm wide end, a little better but the 35 is a nice sharp lens.
07-08-2015, 01:55 PM   #3
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I'd take the 35, it should be fine. I think will do just fine for full body portraits, and will be good in low light too.
07-08-2015, 01:59 PM   #4
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If I were you, I would pick the 35: wider field of view and autofocus make life easier. 50mm sounds not wide enough to me. But if you really like to shoot portaits with shallow DOF, stick the 35mm on the K-r and put the 50mm in your pocket, just in case!

07-08-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
35mm, or wider if you can manage it.
Yeah. From yours, I would take DA 35mm and Tamron 90mm. 35mm for general stuff, group photos, 90mm for portraits, closeups.
07-08-2015, 02:52 PM   #6
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I've also got a kit 18-55 lens but I thought one of the primes would be better. Now I'm not so sure. I did a search on Flickr using "Comic Con K-r" and most of the shots were taken at18mm. It didn't say which lens but I suspect it was a kit lens.

QuoteQuote:
I guess it depends on how comfortable you are in a crowd with the 35mm lens.
Now that I don't know as I've only just got the 35mm and I've never taken photos in this type of situation before.

It looks like it might be the 35mm then, unless others come along and confuse me even more.

Thanks for the advice folks, it's really appreciated.

Ray
07-08-2015, 03:00 PM   #7
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Take the kit lens. Flexibility is the key here. If taking a second lens is not impossible, take the 35mm.
07-08-2015, 03:07 PM   #8
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If only one the 35. I have a pile of pics from that lens that are fantastic ( similar circumstances)

07-08-2015, 03:50 PM   #9
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I'd agree, take the kit lens with you, so in case you decide you need wider than 35mm, you got it. Yeah, kit lens is not as sharp or bright, but the Pentax kit lens is not that bad.

Btw, there are some posts on this forum from people visiting cons (Comicon and others), you might want to search for them to see the gear they used, and the results it gave them
07-08-2015, 04:03 PM   #10
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The speed of the 35 will help too, I assume you'll be inside most of the time
07-08-2015, 04:30 PM   #11
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The 35 can be your normal lens for shots when you have good access to your subject.

In portrait orientation it can do the 3/4 and full length shots demonstrating the costume e.g. de facto fashion photography.

Sideways it can do head and chest shots that also show the venue and other people e.g. journalistic stuff.

But bring the 90mm because the crowds will mean at times it's the only way of getting some more reach e.g candids when the subjects are posing for someone else!

Flash is de rigeur for event photography but it doesn't sound like you're well equipped for that.

Have fun.

Last edited by clackers; 07-08-2015 at 04:48 PM.
07-08-2015, 04:33 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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When I first got my camera, I despised the kit lens and promised myself I would be a "real photographer" and shoot primes. Then I spent about 3 months working for a local paper that died soon thereafter (not related to my "photography").

I've not been to a Comic Con, but I covered several indoor events as part of my job. I learned to love zooms. I also learned that flashes ARE NOT cheating, and if you cover events, you learn to use flashes properly. People who "hate flash" or like to "shoot with natural light" typically don't understand flash or how to use it. I'm no good at anything related to fine photography, but I sure learned to use zooms and flashes for people shots at events.

If I'm to cover ANY event, I take a zoom. Maybe two, but preferably one flexible one. Indoors, if it covers at least 20-40 with a crop body, you're fine. (Yes, I bought the 20-40 Limited as soon as I could. It was just about made for covering indoor events at close range.) You can switch to something long-range (I used a $60 M135) for stage stuff from the audience. No lens sold today is so slow that you can't compensate with a relatively recent body, a decent flash, and a flash toy (box, reflector, scoop). You can easily find ways to build decent ones on-line for a few $ if you don't want to shell out for something expensive, and the home-made ones typically work well.

I'm not saying you can't make a fixed-focal-length work. But you'll be doing a lot of herding people while looking around for a place to shoot, whereas with a zoom, you can usually make it fit.

Last edited by fredralphfred; 07-08-2015 at 04:35 PM. Reason: Clarity on 2nd reread
07-08-2015, 07:30 PM   #13
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Take the kit and the 35. If you have the $$ later get the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 or the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 Art.
07-09-2015, 12:11 AM   #14
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Wow, great response all, I appreciate it. There seems to be a good consensus on the 35mm, although both the 90mm and the kit lenses have their fans. I've got a couple of weeks so I'm going to play with them all indoors and annoy the family. Although I've been getting into primes recently my favourite lens is my Pentax 35-70 but the innards are starting to get dirty and it doesn't come out to play now. I did have a look on Flickr for "Comic Con K-r" photos and did find one member using a K-r. It looks like they used either a wide lens or the kit lens as most of the shots were taken at 18mm. I'm going to have to put my brain in gear and decide just how much I want to carry around. One final bit for now, I do have a couple of manual flashes and the Sigma EF610 DG Super P-TTL flash, although I've been reading recently that the TTL isn't very good.

Scotty, If I ever sell my house I might be able to afford those lenses you recommend.

Thanks again all

Ray

Last edited by Ray Hines; 07-09-2015 at 01:03 AM.
07-09-2015, 02:34 AM   #15
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The 18-55 just doesn't perform in indoor events imo. My best shots with the lens have been outdoors with high f-stops, I'd avoid it unless you intend to be in a situation where you can use that.
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