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02-10-2010, 10:41 AM   #1
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A Better FL for this?

The famous (?) Gibson St. Stairs in Miami, AZ. A former mining town, Miami has fallen on hard times and the stairs show it.

I tried to bring up some of the shadow detail at the bottom without losing the top. This was my first use of a friend's DA 50-200 and I was surprised to see the "best" FL to capture the near-to-far range for this shot was 50mm; anything more and I lost either the foreground or the top of the stairs. I assumed something around 125-150mm would be needed, but I obviously have a lot of learn about this range of zooms.

Is a "standard" zoom in the 18-55 range more flexible for this kind of urban capture?
Brian



02-10-2010, 10:55 AM   #2
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note that on a zoom focal lenghts are only accurate at infinity focus. the internal focusing of many zooms causes a change in focal lenght. Not sure how this lens performs.

Also, you might be thinking in the film world, where 50mm would be 75mm for a film camera , closer to your guess.

as for what is flexible for urban shots, I generally go out with a sigma 10-20 and tamron 28-75 F2.8, and then either my 135F2.5 or 85mmF1.4 plus 1.7x AF TC.

the idea is that I use the two zooms as the principle lenses, and either the 84 for special effects playing on the very shallow DOF, or eithe r135 or 85+TC to get a little reach, but I usually don't need it.

For me, if I was put into an urban setting and told to only take 2 lenses, it would be my 10-20 and 28-85.
02-10-2010, 10:59 AM   #3
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I don't think it has much to do with FL. Given the the way you framed it stepping back would have required a longer FL and stepping forward a shorter FL.

Just guessing but I would have probably used a 35mm and cropped it down to exactly what I wanted.

There is no "standard" FL only an appropriate one.

Last edited by wildman; 02-10-2010 at 11:10 AM.
02-10-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FHPhotographer Quote
Is a "standard" zoom in the 18-55 range more flexible for this kind of urban capture?
Absolutely, no question. Telephoto lenses are for things you can't get close enough to shoot with a wide or normal focal length, and the resulting perspective is rarely as dramatic. Except of course, when the perspective you get shooting telephoto from farther away is precisely the effect you want - but that's going to be mroe the exception that then rule.

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