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05-27-2010, 07:26 AM   #16
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nobody recommending the 50-135 f2.8 sdm?

05-27-2010, 07:44 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
nobody recommending the 50-135 f2.8 sdm?
I am. Most of my theatre shooting is with the 16-50/2.8 and the 50-135/2.8. I only just recently added the Sigma 70-200/2.8.
05-27-2010, 10:49 AM   #18
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I think DA* 50-135/2.8 is the obvious choice if you can afford it. Otherwise, maybe the Tamron 28-75/2.8 if you don't mind giving up some of the long end in order to save a few hundred dollars, or even a manual (yes, manual) prime in whatever focal length seems most generally useful to you based on your experience with the 55-300. You can get 28mm, 50mm, 100mm, or 135mm primes for under $100, and with a lens designed for manual focus and a little practice, it isn't as hard as you might imagine. But if you can afford the AF zooms, by all means, they'll be easier to use and more flexible.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 05-27-2010 at 05:13 PM.
05-27-2010, 03:00 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
nobody recommending the 50-135 f2.8 sdm?
It was the first on my list of recommendations. It's also the next lens I'm going to buy, at least thats what I'm thinking this week

05-27-2010, 03:13 PM   #20
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for dance, or indoor stage performance where flash is not permitted, I rely on stage lights and my 70-200F2.8 sigma APO, usually shot wide open

K10D at 1600ISO



I have also used my SMC 135mmF2.5 for indoor sports, I can't recall if this was iso 1600 or 3200.

05-27-2010, 05:11 PM   #21
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I owned the 50-135 f/2.8 and used it for a year or two, for weddings, and also for some dance concerts. Beautiful lens. The problem that I personally had with it, is that when the light is really bad, it's just not fast enough. But I'm afraid I have not replaced it with anything that is significantly better. I have the 50 f/1.4, the 70 f/2.4 (little faster), and the Sigma 105 f/2.8 (wonderful lens but not any faster). What I really really want is the Sigma 85 f/1.4....

Will
05-28-2010, 07:54 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I owned the 50-135 f/2.8 and used it for a year or two, for weddings, and also for some dance concerts. Beautiful lens. The problem that I personally had with it, is that when the light is really bad, it's just not fast enough. But I'm afraid I have not replaced it with anything that is significantly better. I have the 50 f/1.4, the 70 f/2.4 (little faster), and the Sigma 105 f/2.8 (wonderful lens but not any faster). What I really really want is the Sigma 85 f/1.4....

Will
I would agree, an 85 F1.4 is ideal for low light. I did not have my vivitar 85F1.4 when I took the dancer shot (sigma 70-200F2.8 wide open at 70mm) the 85 F1,4 ould be perfect for these shots, but some others, depending on distance it might be a little short.

Also DOF might be a problem, as an F1.4 is very shallow DOF

At 135mm the 1/2 stop advantage of my K135F2.5 might not seem like much but it is the difference between 1/125 and 1/180 shutter, and that can help. Also, a brighter viewfinder is always a bonus in low light conditions
05-28-2010, 07:58 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Also DOF might be a problem, as an F1.4 is very shallow DOF......

Well, that's not absolutely true. Remember, depth of field is relative to distance from the subject, as well as aperture. An 85mm lens at f/2.0 from 25 ft away gives a couple feet of depth of field. Should be enough.

Will

05-29-2010, 07:49 PM   #24
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QuoteQuote:
Can't tell if I'm doing this right, but I finally was able to transfer the pictures from my camera, and here are the best of the photos I got out of about 100 that I took. Can someone instruct me on how to post images so they show up larger than pint sized?
05-29-2010, 09:01 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by PhotoFrk Quote

Can't tell if I'm doing this right, but I finally was able to transfer the pictures from my camera, and here are the best of the photos I got out of about 100 that I took. Can someone instruct me on how to post images so they show up larger than pint sized?
What I do is open an account with Photobucket (free) and upload file to that account, then copy the IMG Code of the uploaded picture(s) and paste into the reply in here .

Others may know better ways though .

Last edited by Ken T; 05-29-2010 at 11:01 PM.
05-30-2010, 12:52 PM   #26
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photobucket, flickr, picasaweb, facebook - plenty of placves you can upload pictures to and then include links here. just be sure you are linking to the *picture* and not to some web page that happens to *use* the picture. You get the url of the picture by right/control clicking it while viewing the page in your browser.
05-30-2010, 03:56 PM   #27
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Well this has already been answered but I'll chime in anyway -

One of my first photography challenges was getting good pics during indoor school events, sans flash.

I learned quickly that 1/60 is the right shutter speed for all but the most hectic movement - I was taking photos of chorus and violin performances.

So if photography is, mechanically speaking, a balance of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, you want lenses of f/2.8 or faster to have a high shutter and low ISO.

With your zoom lens at f/5.6 (rather than 2.8) you lose "two stops of light", so to keep the same shutter speed you have to go from 400 ISO to 1600.



At first I was using a zoom lens indoors and didn't understand the mechanics of photography, so rather than the needed 1/60 I was two stops off getting motion-blurred kids at 1/15

So two stops matters

The good news is, for Pentax users, our cameras can use the old manual focus lenses that have fast apertures of 2.8 and beyond.

135mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/1.8 and 28mm f/2.8 all work fantastic in tough situations like photographing indoor school events without flash.

Also know that depth in focus* increases with distance - for example, f/2.8 might not have much depth in focus at a distance of 4 feet - but taking photos o the stage that is 100 feet away will give it much more depth in focus. You can use this calculator to see :

Online Depth of Field Calculator

So with a 135mm lens at f/2.8 and the subject at only 4 feet, the depth in focus is slim at 0.03 feet, but at 100 feet away it becomes an amazing 19 feet. So don't be concerned about a shallow depth in focus.

(*technically called "depth of field", it means the amount of depth in focus)

So, just like others have found - use a fast aperture lens, set your shutter speed appropriately, and use "auto ISO" - you'll be all set

It's a lesson I learned the hard way

Have fun!
Craig
05-31-2010, 08:15 AM - 1 Like   #28
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My post may be considered a little OT (off-topic).

I shoot a lot of music in small clubs - some of the venues are also attended by local dancers - swing and lindy-hoppers - they like dancing to blues - which is my centric music - so over time I started to take photos of the dancers - enough that I have moved/copied most of the dance photos from the original albums of the band/artist they were dancing to - to a collection of their own.

Now the off-topic bit - in small clubs I shoot mostly with compact point & shoots - but which exposure control ability like Tv and with real optical viewfinder - the Canon PowerShot series - S80 and now the G10 for my dance photos.

The settings I developed are to use slow-synchronized flash and shutter speed of about 1/5sec - (flash compensation -2/3 stop) which freezes the main closer image but allows a certain amount of the ambient lighting to be exposed.

Some examples:






Most of it is timing - even though shutter lag is now pretty respectable - even when pre-focused and held there is still some "lag" due to both camera and human reaction time so the total is the region of about .2sec which means if one actually sees the pose/shot and press the shutter it is too late - unless it's a held pose....
so it's kind of predictive one has to see the move coming and press just slightly before the apex.....

Dance Album (link)
(for better viewing of pics - use the SlideShow or Full Screen link toward the top left corner)
05-31-2010, 08:54 AM   #29
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Nice pics

I think the OP is shooting with "no flash"

When it comes to flash shooting, aperture controls subject light (flash exposure) and shutter speed controls ambient light.

So shooting at 1/5 of a second let enough of the ambient light in so the background was not all black. That's a good idea

Setting the flash to "slow" will meter the ambient light and just add a little bit of fill flash, this puts catch lights in your subjects eyes and can be used all the time, even in good light. (when flash is not intrusive)

There is a good article about it here :

Ken Rockwell explains Fill Flash

Setting the flash to "rear curtain" can exaggerate motion and give dancers an interesting look.

Try them all

But not at a show where flash would distract the performers
05-31-2010, 09:08 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by spystyle Quote
Setting the flash to "rear curtain" can exaggerate motion and give dancers an interesting look.
Thank you for your advice -
perhaps you can please show us your examples?

I do realize that Ken Rockwell is an acknowledged expert and I am a nobody.

But I have a severe objection to rear curtain flash - especially for longer shutter speeds (and I have shot as slow as 1 sec slow-sync) -
think about it - if I already have to do predictive shutter tripping to catch the apex of motion since there is a total lag due to both camera and human response - what happens when one adds the end of shutter /rear curtain time of 1/5 (=0.2sec) to 1 sec slow-sync?
I cannot "predict" motion apex that may be 0.4 to 1.2 secs after I trip the shutter.

I know I am not an expert and my pics are far from "perfect" -
but I do have 118 pics posted in my album that show some modicum/degree of reasonable success -
it is true I developed this by trial and error and mostly error -
but I have actually done it to make the errors ......

Slow-sync and motion -




My apologies for remaining Off-Topic as I now see the OP probably shouldn't use flash - sorry .

Last edited by UnknownVT; 05-31-2010 at 09:25 AM.
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