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08-06-2009, 03:37 PM   #1
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Best lens for the PUB!!

Hello...

First post....also first thread. Nice forum!

Looking for advice on the best low light lens that is cheap enough to bring to the pub and take shots of friends when they come to visit London.

So I know everything in photography is a compromise, so important factors for me are low light/fast sharpness (thinking one of the 1.4 line), fast auto focus, relatively small and relatively cheep. Focal length is also a consideration - would the 50mm range be too long to shoot small groups of friends that are only a few meters away? Which one of the Pentax 1.4s is my best bet (I'd guess the FA), or does Sigma have something I should seek out? Doesn't Sigma make like a 30mm f1.4? I think that would be perfect!

Thanks for the advice,
Mugs

08-06-2009, 04:10 PM   #2
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IF f/1.4 is a requirement then the FA 50mm is the cheapest option I can think of and it is a very good lens. Also, I have heard mixed things about the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. Basically it is sharp in the center, but the edges are softer. I have seen great stuff from it though.

I have the FA 50mm f1/4 and the Sigma 28mm f/1.8. The Sigma is awesome, but big. Hope this helps.
08-06-2009, 06:21 PM   #3
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FA 35/f2? If you can get it. Small, light, f2!
08-06-2009, 06:48 PM   #4
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Welcome mate. Apart from a fast lens, you might want to think about weather sealing as well. A lot is going to depend on what pubs and how pissed your friends get.

I'm surprised the 40 LTD hasn't been mentioned yet.

08-06-2009, 07:56 PM   #5
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Depends on how dark it is. If you don't use flash, most pubs I've been I shoot at f1.4 (ISO1600, 1/20) pretty much all the time. Therefore my vote for Sigma 30mm/1.4. the 50mm/1.4 would do fine too if you don't require it to be very sharp and can walk back so that not all the shots are heads and shoulders. If you use flash any good prime lens or fast aperture zoom would be up for the job.

However I do think that if you don't want to use flash, Canon 5D/40D/50D or Nikon D90/D300 might be better suited for the job since you'll actually have DOF control and not constrained to f1.4

This is just the pubs around me of course, your pub might be better lit

Last edited by Andi Lo; 08-06-2009 at 11:45 PM.
08-06-2009, 10:40 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by StephenMerola Quote
I have heard mixed things about the Sigma 30mm f/1.4. Basically it is sharp in the center, but the edges are softer. I have seen great stuff from it though.
The images I've seen from the Sigma 30mm f1.4 have been pretty good. So I'd almost recommend it.

However the lens is designed for a small sensor, and in my honest opinion, all SLR manufactures will eventually be forced to make a full frame camera, or be left behind.

It's just something to think about, while buying lenses.


Oh, I think that the FA 35 f2.0 Arpe mentioned would be a good choice. I have the screwmount version, and although I rarely use it, it's a wonderful lens.
08-07-2009, 07:39 AM   #7
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43 Limited, Program Plus, BW400CN + yellow filter.

But then, this is film... I've never used one, but the 35/2 has a good rep for low light shooting and will give you a wider view.

The Sigmas are nice, but they are large.
08-07-2009, 08:38 AM   #8
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That Sigma 28 1.8 is pretty much what I'd like for the purpose, big and heavy as it is. (Did some shopping, myself, having had an intention to be shooting some band stuff in small venues.) A good copy of that 30 1.4 would be nice, (not quite so big, either,) but for that purpose I'd generally rather have more edge-to-edge sharpness and just that extra little bit of wideishness that the 28 gives. (I believe they cover full-frame as well, which is a potential help with all the film I shoot)

In general, you'll want to try to stay off that widest stop if you can, anyway, though as someone mentioned, that's not always possible.

The 50 1.4 is a nice lens to have on general principle, though a bit tight for a lot of social stuff in pubs and the like.

I wonder if anyone has a pic of that 28 on a K20 or K10, it's hard for me to gauge just how much of a beast it is, though.

08-07-2009, 01:23 PM   #9
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Whatever helps you focus on the scotch

It really depends on what you want to spend... you need to consider what other uses you can make of the lens to justify the purchase of fast glass.


Neil
08-07-2009, 03:55 PM   #10
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If it is just for friends and you would not do large prints then you could get any affordable wide fast lens and just rack up the ISO setting.
If it is just for memory sake, then you don't need to win contests with the print.
I'm not saying it would look muddy or look like crap but you should get pretty decent pictures even with high ISO and a wide aperture setting.
08-08-2009, 05:54 AM   #11
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Thanks... good stuff. I don't usually bring the camera out to many evening/night social situations because it's often low lit and tough to get a sharp capture with my 12-24 or the kit lens. I hate using the in camera flash too. So I concluded that I'll need a fairly wide fast lens if I want to start capturing all the great shenanigans, hootenannies, pow wows, etc...

FYI - shooting with a K200D, and although I'm not entering any contests, I do print A3 & A3+ on my Epson R2400 - so I am trying to keep ISO as low as possible. I don't I'm ready to completely swap to Nikon yet either... I'll probably keep the K200D and eventually get a full frame a few years down the road if/when they become attainable for us mere mortals.

Is there anything faster than 2.0 that is wider than say 24mm?

Last edited by Muggins; 08-08-2009 at 05:59 AM.
08-08-2009, 07:25 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Muggins Quote
Thanks... good stuff. I don't usually bring the camera out to many evening/night social situations because it's often low lit and tough to get a sharp capture with my 12-24 or the kit lens. I hate using the in camera flash too. So I concluded that I'll need a fairly wide fast lens if I want to start capturing all the great shenanigans, hootenannies, pow wows, etc...

FYI - shooting with a K200D, and although I'm not entering any contests, I do print A3 & A3+ on my Epson R2400 - so I am trying to keep ISO as low as possible.
Even a wide fast lens won't suddenly make it "easy" - just a bit "easier". My vote would be a cheap manual focus 28/2.8 - you could easily spend hundreds on something a little wider or faster and still struggle almost as much, trading issues with shutter speed for issues with DOF.

But in situations like this, you've got to give up on the "keep ISO as low as possible". It's simply not possible to shoot in low light at low ISO and capture action.
08-08-2009, 11:06 AM   #13
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I'm guessing the correct answer is a lens that stands its round.
08-08-2009, 02:33 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Even a wide fast lens won't suddenly make it "easy" - just a bit "easier". My vote would be a cheap manual focus 28/2.8 - you could easily spend hundreds on something a little wider or faster and still struggle almost as much, trading issues with shutter speed for issues with DOF.

But in situations like this, you've got to give up on the "keep ISO as low as possible". It's simply not possible to shoot in low light at low ISO and capture action.
Marc should know what is the highest acceptable ISO to print in A3 with the K200D as he uses one. He shoots pubs too!
Maybe ISO 800?
08-08-2009, 03:50 PM   #15
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31ltd

Interesting that noboyd mentions 31ltd. At f1.8 it's no slouch, and it's FOV gives you near normal. I'd say it's smack dab in the middle between 43 and 50 on film. Very usable for smaller groups, single people still with great IQ.
Downside? let me think.... $$$

BR
Peter
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