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08-03-2011, 08:34 AM   #1
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Gear for Convention

Hey guys!

I'm going to FanExpo in a few short weeks and was wondering what my fellow pentaxians recommend to bring along? I plan on taking pictures of people in costumes, autograph sessions, Q&A's, etc.

Here's what I have for my K-r:
  • 18-55 mm DA-L
  • 50-200mm DA-L
  • 35mm f/2.4 DA-L
  • Pentax-A 50mm f/2.0
  • Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7
  • 28mm f/2.8
I'm considering bringing the A 50mm, DA-L 35mm, and DA-L 50-200mm along with a monopod.

What do you think?

08-03-2011, 08:42 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by drei3 Quote
Hey guys!

I'm going to FanExpo in a few short weeks and was wondering what my fellow pentaxians recommend to bring along? I plan on taking pictures of people in costumes, autograph sessions, Q&A's, etc.

Here's what I have for my K-r:
  • 18-55 mm DA-L
  • 50-200mm DA-L
  • 35mm f/2.4 DA-L
  • Pentax-A 50mm f/2.0
  • Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7
  • 28mm f/2.8
I'm considering bringing the A 50mm, DA-L 35mm, and DA-L 50-200mm along with a monopod.

What do you think?
Given your assortment that's likely the best mix, though I doubt you'll use the 50-200 alot aside from shots of speakers on stages. it would probably be nice to have something wider than the 35 so you may consider the 28 since it's your widest (I was thinking more 24 and below, I would probably have my DA14 for an event like this)
I'd probably leave the monopod at home, to much hassle to use in a crowd, and your camera has SR and excellent high iso capability
you might consider taking a decent flash along the built in flash is hopeless for bigger venues
08-03-2011, 08:45 AM   #3
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When I'm shooting events where there's not a lot of control of the lighting, subjects, or my distance to them, I bring the F2.8 zooms, a flash, and lots of spare batteries.

Your kit zooms aren't particularly fast, but that's not a huge problem. I typically don't shoot at F2.8 in these situations because I want some added depth of field for insurance. I'm often at F3.2 and F4.0 with the ISO cranked up to ISO1600 and ISO3200 on the K-x/K-r.

Having a flash with a focus assist light helps a lot indoors as well.

So, with your lenses, I'd probably bring the zooms and maybe the 35 F2.4 for those situations where you need speed. Manual focus lenses don't work for me in these situations, but others may differ.
08-03-2011, 09:11 AM   #4
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I may bring the A 50mm f/2.0 just in case. It's fairly small and I got the hang of CIF now.

08-03-2011, 09:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by drei3 Quote
Hey guys!

I'm going to FanExpo in a few short weeks and was wondering what my fellow pentaxians recommend to bring along? I plan on taking pictures of people in costumes, autograph sessions, Q&A's, etc.

Here's what I have for my K-r:
  • 18-55 mm DA-L
  • 50-200mm DA-L
  • 35mm f/2.4 DA-L
  • Pentax-A 50mm f/2.0
  • Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7
  • 28mm f/2.8
I'm considering bringing the A 50mm, DA-L 35mm, and DA-L 50-200mm along with a monopod.

What do you think?
Awesome, a fellow congoer. I just went to Otakon in Baltimore and I started processing my photos.

For cosplay photos I've used a wide variety of lenses, some easier to use than others. Most of the time I stick to one or two prime lenses for "hallway cosplay" photos. My primary lens is the 31mm f1.8, so I think you could do just fine with that 35mm lens the whole time. However at Otakon I decided on the 40mm f2.8 and 85mm f1.4 to mix things up. It's really dependent on your style of photography though...

I've used my K-5 with the 50-200mm lens with much success for events. I'm sure the K-r would be similar. Just remember to use exposure compensation to properly expose the people on stage. The camera will overexpose in all metering modes as I've found out in the past.

I've grown into using external flash at conventions. It can be extremely helpful in producing those vivid subjects in indoors and outdoors photos. Some guys carry around light stands with gigantic diffusers and wireless flash, but I haven't had the effort to go that extreme.

I even wrote a book on the subject, so it's one of my favorite types of photography.

EDIT: Keep in mind that photographing guests of the convention is generally a no-no. So make sure you get permission if you are going to take photos at autograph sessions and such.
08-03-2011, 01:37 PM   #6
hcc
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I would add to the previous posts:
- do you need permisison to shoot at the convention? Check and ask for permission if needed.

- what will be the lighting? If the lighting is poor can you use a flash?

In poor lighting when you cannot/don't want to use the flash, you need some fast lenses with large aperture and low f (f1.8 or f1.4). Your only fast lenses are MF. You need to consider some AF fast primes (FA31mm f1.8, FA50mm f1.4).

If you may use the flash, the built-in flash is not powerful. You should invest in a decent flash. See Pentax Flash Reviews | Pentax in-depth reviews | PentaxForums.com for a start.

Hope that the comment will help.
08-03-2011, 01:56 PM   #7
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drei, your fastest lens is an M lens, which is OK if you're happy with the method of stopping it down on your camera, and your next fastest is a reasonably OK A lens for the purpose, but it is a fixed focal length lens and is manual focus which will significantly limit your photography.

Low lighting is the biggest concern for such events and hence fast zooms are the way to go. I always bring a Tamron 28-75 and 70-200 for the people/performance shots, as well as an ultrawide zoom (DA 12-24) for the setting shoots and even the FA limiteds for specific people shots. I appreciate you may be on a budget and so these may not be a consideration to you, but you'll have to work with what you've got and just bring your autofocus lenses anyway for the ability to autofocus in those situations where manual focusing is just too difficult.

All the best with that.
08-03-2011, 02:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnmflores Quote
Manual focus lenses don't work for me in these situations, but others may differ.
Well, these days, I don't differ with you at all:

While I enjoy the nostalgia and "sexiness" of my manual lenses, in situations where you have to shoot fast and do it right the first time, you need AF, especially in low light. Proper exposure is another story, though irrelevant with the proper flashes.

And it is this thinking which has me drooling over the Pentax 18-135. While not the best lens in their stable, it's the best fully auto lens for the most appropriate zoom range for this kind of work.

Because if you can't do it from 18 to 135, it can't be done at all.

08-03-2011, 06:59 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I would add to the previous posts:
- do you need permisison to shoot at the convention? Check and ask for permission if needed.
For the vast majority of convention aspects he doesn't need permission. Famous guests that are hosted by the convention are another story though. So besides guests (autograph sessions or whatever), live music concerts if applicable are another one where they don't want cameras.
08-04-2011, 04:13 AM   #10
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Unfortunately I'm on a budget so as much as I would love some faster lenses, it's not really feasible right now. A flash is a great idea however and I need one anyway.

As far as taking pictures of the guests, last year the majority of them were okay with it. Except Adam West.
08-04-2011, 11:24 PM   #11
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I say the 18-55, 50mm and 35mm. I don't think you will need anything in the 200mm range so stick to the wider end. Just my opinion.
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