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05-20-2009, 01:30 PM   #1
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Best lens for night city scapes

Hello,

I will be going to Vancouver between the 8th and the 12th of June for training purpose. So my nights will be available to go look around. I do not want to bring too many lens, but which one should I bring?
I will visit museums and parks but I will also go visit an old friend of mine. I know I need a fast lens since I do not want to bring a tripod... though I might take my Gorillapod (here is a good reason for it!).

Thank you for your help.
Also, any advice on bring my camera as a carry-on would be welcome.

05-20-2009, 01:52 PM   #2
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You could probably get away with the 50/1.4 but if you are in the city, I would suggest going wider and maybe more versatile depending on your skillset with a zoom like the Tamron 28-75mm/2.8.
05-20-2009, 02:07 PM   #3
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I wanted to take my 50 anyway, but I'm not planning to buy a new lens for the trip... except if you're planning send me a little gift .

How about my 18-55 or my 28-105, if I use 400 or more like 800 iso?
05-20-2009, 02:08 PM   #4
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In Vancouver the sun will set much later that most cities is the States. So you will have good lighting until 9 or 10 o'clock. From your list of lenses I would take the 18-55 for wide angle shots. If your're sooting in the evening I would keep it wide to be able to user a wider aperture. But do not shoot wide open. Stop down a little bit to get good sharpness. For people shots with the kit lens in the evenings don't hesitate to use the flash. I would also take the 50mm lens that you have for low light but you can't shoot too wide with that one. If you have access to a vehicle you can go to West Vancour and drive up the hills of British Properties to get some spectacular shots of the city in the evenings.

05-20-2009, 02:11 PM   #5
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I received my 28-105... is that one really bad for late evening, night shoots? I'm really love that lens, but haven't done any test in low light... maybe I should try that tonight.
05-20-2009, 04:44 PM   #6
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The kit lens is a decent choice for shooting at night if you can support it for longer exposures. If I don't have a tripod with me I'll brace my camera against light posts or buildings, set it on railings, or use other found objects to help with long exposure shots. With shake reduction on shooting wider angle lenses handheld at 1/6 or 1/8 of a second is still pretty reasonable.
05-20-2009, 05:34 PM   #7
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I live in Vancouver - and you are in for a treat (as long as the weather holds out!!). Your 50 1.4 should do the trick at night. Just bring a small tripod, and you should be fine!

Great night photograhpy can be had almost anywhere in the city - but make sure to check out Granville Island. Great night shots there. Also, you can take awesome, jaw dropping panorama's from Stanley Park. Yaletown, Main Street, Hastings (just don't get mugged!!) are equally awesome (well especially main street). When on Main Street, make sure to take a tour of China Town - it something to for your eyes, ears and tastebuds to feast on!!

From the pics on your blog you seem to be into nature photography, you should also check out Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Classical Chinese Garden. Also Van Dussen Gardens. Both are world class affairs. Also, the North Shore Mountains will give you no shortage of nature. Then again, this is VanCity, so just walk around, nature is everywhere!!

Good luck, i'm sure you'll agree there ain't alot of cities like this one!!
05-20-2009, 06:08 PM   #8
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Out of your current lens, I will recommend these three

Even after I get two manual lenses that can have replaced FA 50mm f/1.4, I decided to keep my FA 50mm f/1.4 in my gear. I do long shutter shots with the FA lens









with cosina 1:1 adapter
like a 1:3 close up



with cosina 1:1 adapter
like a 1:3 close up










Last edited by hinman; 05-20-2009 at 06:46 PM.
05-20-2009, 06:16 PM   #9
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when I shot film, my 50mm F1.4 was my night lens. Ran B&W at ISO 3200. Still use it but also think you might want something shorter. Lately, I have used a 35mm F2 (SMC Takumar M42 screw mount), and a 28mm F2.5 vivitar (also screw mount). I have found my 24mm is a little too hard to focus.

When I travel it usually is my 28-75 Tamron F2.8 although I still prefer faster, but limit what I take, especially if I fly.

I like fast primes for night shots because they are better for focus, and give options you otherwise don't have in terms of shutter speed.
05-20-2009, 06:22 PM   #10
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The fifty without a doubt. Using it at f1,8 or f2 will allow you to hand-hold your shots. I managed to do it with a SMC-A 50 f1,4 at the top of the Empire State building.
05-20-2009, 06:36 PM   #11
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These are bad and blurry sample shots but I love to push SR and my hand-holding into test in night time shooting -- I can be silly. I was using my K100D back then with FA 50mm f/1.4. I probably got some bracing for the shots.




4/5 sec, f/8.0, 50mm, iso 1600, 0 Ev, hand-held, K100D




3/5 sec, f/8.0, 50mm, iso 1600, 0 Ev, hand-held, K100D



Thanks,
Hin
05-20-2009, 06:58 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by spun Quote
From the pics on your blog you seem to be into nature photography, you should also check out Dr. Sun Yat-Sen's Classical Chinese Garden. Also Van Dussen Gardens.
Thanks for the advice Spun, but the reason I'm in nature is because of where I live. I like architecture and would like to try street photography.
05-20-2009, 07:13 PM   #13
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For street photography, I love my Cosina 24mm f/2.8 with 'A' very much. It is a manual lens. It is a small and lightweight lens with good close up. All test shots hand-held wide open in f/2.8 with K100D











Last edited by hinman; 05-20-2009 at 07:18 PM.
05-20-2009, 07:21 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Thanks Hinman, always to hear from you. I might bring my Raynox, that should do the trick as well.

I was hoping to bring one or 2 lens and not more since once I'll be out of the Hotel, I would like to carry the camera and one lens according to what my plans are.
05-20-2009, 07:21 PM   #15
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The FA 50 for sure and the 18-55 for wide angle. If you want to take 3 I'd go with the Sears 135, just because I like that focal length. How is it wide open? It might make a good street lens, and I've used my Pentax K 135 very effectively for architecture.

NaCl(just my 2 cents and maybe worth all of that)H2O
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