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01-01-2009, 10:12 AM   #1
Raylonn
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Museum Shooting

Hey guys! First thread here on the Pentax Forums. I did quite a bit of searching but couldn't come up with anythings, so I decided to make a thread. I am planning a trip to the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio. Right now I have a K200D with the kit lens and a Sears 135mm f2.8 lens. I am looking at getting a Pentax FA 1.4 for low light but I think I may be limited in the museum with a prime.

I have been there two times before, and P&S cameras just don't do the planes justice, and the low light is a problem for them. In the hangars, the lighting is up high, and very soft, almost dark in the place. It creates a great atmosphere but is horrible for photography.

So, what suggestions for lenses do you guys have for museum shooting? I would like some zoom capability, but I also need low light performance. So I know this means $$$. I have a $300 budget. What do you guys think?

01-01-2009, 10:15 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raylonn Quote
I have a $300 budget. What do you guys think?
I think you'll be hard pressed to get a more competent, faster, or less expensive option than an FA 50mm f/1.4 is what I think.

Regards,
Mike
01-01-2009, 10:35 AM   #3
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PENTAX Camera Lens Rentals (dot com)

QuoteOriginally posted by Raylonn Quote
Hey guys! First thread here on the Pentax Forums. I did quite a bit of searching but couldn't come up with anythings, so I decided to make a thread. I am planning a trip to the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio. Right now I have a K200D with the kit lens and a Sears 135mm f2.8 lens. I am looking at getting a Pentax FA 1.4 for low light but I think I may be limited in the museum with a prime.

I have been there two times before, and P&S cameras just don't do the planes justice, and the low light is a problem for them. In the hangars, the lighting is up high, and very soft, almost dark in the place. It creates a great atmosphere but is horrible for photography.

So, what suggestions for lenses do you guys have for museum shooting? I would like some zoom capability, but I also need low light performance. So I know this means $$$. I have a $300 budget. What do you guys think?
If someone suggests a specialty lens that you can't (or don't want to) purchase just for this trip you might consider Camera Lens Rentals . com.

CameraLensRentals.com - Camera Lens Rental for Canon, Nikon, and PENTAX Cameras

A few here have tried them and there are threads archived. Search threads for Camera Lens Rentals. Here are a few.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/24688-finally-...xs-lenses.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-pentax-photography/39531-pentax-rentals.html
01-01-2009, 10:57 AM   #4
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From personal experience I can say Camera Lens Rental's customer service and their Pentax lenses are top notch. Definitely recommended.

I've been to that museum and lighting will be an issue, but so is the size of your subjects.

A 50mm will be OK for up-close shots (like of the airplane art on the big WWII planes), but there isn't much room there to back up far enough to take a wide shot of the nose cone or full cannopy of a bomber. You definitely need a wide lens in there. Maybe a 16-50 or the like.

I seem to remember flash photography was allowed back then, so I think if you don't have an external flash, you might want to consider that and a diffuser as a purchase.

01-01-2009, 11:22 AM   #5
Raylonn
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The lens rental looks interesting. But the link doesn't work in the first post. I eventually got to cameralensrentals.com. The ones there that look interesting are the 16-45mm f/4 ED AL and the 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL. I may have to check one of those out when I decide to go to Dayton. I am considering getting the FA 1.4 anyways, just because I would like the low light capabilities. I may go to eBay though and pick up a cheap one though.
01-01-2009, 11:56 AM   #6
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If the 50 isn't quite wide enough, then there's always the FA35/2--not quite as fast as the 50, but still in your budget for around $300 brand new.

22190 Pentax SMCP-FA 35mm f/2.0 AL Wide Angle Auto Focus Lens

HTH,
Heather
01-01-2009, 01:43 PM   #7
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This is a pretty good zoom and about as fast as you will find within your budget.

Amazon.com: Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8 EX DC Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo

The 12-24 seems a better focal length for museums, but it is 2X cost and -1 stop.

Invest $10 in a mini tripod as it may be useful in some situations (and won't violate no-tripod rules). Sometimes you can brace it on a post such as the type they use to rope off areas.
01-01-2009, 01:49 PM   #8
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Get a monopod. You likely won't be able or allowed to use a tripod in the museum, but a monopod should be OK. As far as flash is concerned, my advice would be to forget it for most large objects due to overexposed foreground/underexposed background. If you try to take a picture of a plane with the flash, the part of the plane closest to you will be overexposed, and the other end of the plane would be underexposed. For smaller objects, it might be handy. Don't be afraid to bring the ISO up. You wont get too much noise IF you don't underexpose. Have fun and take some nice shots back with you.

01-01-2009, 09:12 PM   #9
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Sigma 18-50mm f2.8, Sigma AF 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC or Pentax 16-45mm f4 all fit your budget. The 16-45 is the sharpest of the 3 and i would probably go with that plus a good monopod and bump up the iso when necessary. A prime alternative is the Pentax 21mm F/3.2 AL Limited which can be had for about $400 (includes shipping) on ebay.
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