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07-20-2009, 08:21 AM   #1
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Indoor happiness??

If you had to pick ONE lens to use for museums and indoor family gatherings and parties, what would you suggest? I'm looking to keep it under $400.

I've considered the DA 40mm prime - compact and light, but would the focal range be too limiting??

I'm also considering the Tamron 28-75mm (f/2.8) and the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. Big and heavier, but a flexible ranges.

Advice? Thoughts? other ideas?


Last edited by Sew-Classic; 07-23-2009 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Edited to ad the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 into the possibilities.
07-20-2009, 09:16 AM   #2
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FA35/2 without hesitation.
07-20-2009, 09:25 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
FA35/2 without hesitation.

Yeah, I have to say the same too... and with the <$400 tag i dont think you can find anything faster and wider.
07-20-2009, 09:32 AM   #4
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Well, if you want a fixed AF prime the FA 35 as mentioned is a great option. I would choose it over the Da40. The extra 5mm will come in handy in a small room.

But hands down, if you dont mind the size the tamron 28-75 is a great range and is my favorite AF family shooter by far. Being able to back it up to 28 in tight conditions or to get a couple of folks in a shot, and then zoom in for tight head and shoulders shot...

You cant go wrong with either IMHO

07-20-2009, 04:14 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone!

One more question - would you be comfortable buying a factory refurbished Tamron 28-75 (f/2.8) from a reputable dealer, or would you spend more to get a new one?
07-20-2009, 05:09 PM   #6
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I would buy one factory refurbished. I bought one second hand (non-refurbished) in the marketplace here and it's perfect. That lens is on my camera 90% of the time. Indoors...outdoors...great lens!
07-20-2009, 06:51 PM   #7
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I really like my FA 20-35mm for indoor work, parties, family stuff. I got it randomly, but like it a lot, much more than the DA 18-55mm. In fact I used it as the "photographer" at my Grandmothers 80th birthdayu shindig, and the pictures came out great minus a few technical glitches of my own. And it works on film too. If I didn't already have it I would go with the DA16-45. I know f/4 doesn't seem impressive, but an old cheap bounce flash goes a long way too.
07-22-2009, 06:20 AM   #8
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Hmmm... do you think the range of the Tamron 17-50 would be well suited to museums, parties and family gatherings?? Or, would the 28-75 be more appropriate??

thanks AGAIN!

07-22-2009, 07:52 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sew-Classic Quote
Hmmm... do you think the range of the Tamron 17-50 would be well suited to museums, parties and family gatherings?? Or, would the 28-75 be more appropriate??

thanks AGAIN!
Good question and tough call. Hopefully I can be of some help to you as I have both of those Tamron zooms, as well as the FA 35 and DA 40. I have two young kids, so I do a lot of shooting indoors, whether inside the house, at birthday parties, museums, etc.

In general, I choose my 28-75 more often than my 17-50. In most instances, I find 28mm wide enough, and the ability to zoom to 75mm does definitely come in handy sometimes. Though I did recently choose my 17-50 over the 28-75 when I took my son to the Museum of Natural History, and it was definitely the better option of the two. Being able to go wide out to 17mm was great for shooting the dinosaurs and what not. And I didn't need a great deal of zoom length inside the museum. Bear in mind that you can avoid the quandary of choosing one of these two Tamrons by going with the Pentax or Sigma 17-70, sacrificing the higher aperture of the Tamrons. But all in all, I love my Tamron zooms and either of them would be a great indoor lens.

As to the primes, I have shot entire birthday parties with just my FA 35 and DA 70 with me, and it worked out ok. Obviously it was less convenient than using one of my zooms, but lugging around the 28-75 for a 2-hour party can get tiring. Bottom line, the FA 35 is a very light and compact indoor lens, in a very useful and "normal" focal length, and the f2 aperture is great to have available.

My DA 70 is my go-to lens if I will be out at a playground or something like that, as it allows a nice distance from the subject without being too far away, and the IQ of the DA 70 is exceptional. I used the DA 70 alone this past weekend inside a club and at the pool, and it was great for shooting across the table, or someone in the pool, etc.

And of course the DA 40 is another outstanding lens, and great for walk-arounds outdoors (and obviously fine for indoors as well), but as between the DA 40 and FA 35 for indoors use, I would choose the FA 35 for the more versatile focal length and higher aperture. Of course, the FA 35 seems to have gone the way of the dodo, so it may be tough to find.

Hope this helps--good luck.
07-23-2009, 01:27 AM   #10
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from my personal experience:
I have DA40 and as much as I love this lens, usualy it's not wide enough for indoors, especialy for tighter rooms. It's fine for 1-2 folks but group shots would be muuuuuuuuch harder.
I haven't tried 31ltd yet for this kind of aplication yet.
I'd say, go with 28-75. It's wide enough for groups, long enough for head shots, and constant f2.8.

BR
Peter
07-23-2009, 03:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sew-Classic Quote
If you had to pick ONE lens to use for museums and indoor family gatherings and parties, what would you suggest? I'm looking to keep it under $400...
Well, there is the budget of course and I would take another approach to museums than I would to family gatherings / parties.
Within your parameters, I think the zoom you suggest is the better option than the DA 40mm Ltd for versatility.
I have used a 28-70 2.8 zoom in a church as well.

@ Peter: I did use the 31 for churches and museums. I like it.
If you are interested, I have a gallery from my trip to Austria last year.
Just snapshots, of course and some are not with the 31 (you can see the Info).
07-23-2009, 06:05 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bart Quote
.....
@ Peter: I did use the 31 for churches and museums. I like it.
If you are interested, I have a gallery from my trip to Austria last year.
Just snapshots, of course and some are not with the 31 (you can see the Info).
thanks Bart,
I used 31 for similar shots, but I haven't tried it yet on parties or family gatherings, otherwise yes, 31ltd is excellent for indoors like churches and museums, but question remains if it's wide enough for family meetings...

BR
Peter
07-23-2009, 10:20 AM   #13
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For this use case, my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 spends a lot of time on my K200. They can be had for under $400 brand new. Very near a "standard" focal length with a digital SLR, and if you have enough light to see, the you should be able to get enough light to the sensor with a 1.4 aperture.
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