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04-21-2013, 12:51 AM   #1
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help needed

Hi all. I've been asked to take an indoor group shot of 50 friends. I have a k-30 which works brilliantlyin low light but I normally don't do large group shots. I really need some advice on a good wide angle lens as this shot needs to be sharp. The widest I have at the no is the smc fa 35mm but I don't think this is in anyway wide enough.
Any ideas?
Thanks

04-21-2013, 12:57 AM   #2
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I agree that the 35mm is too long. You need 20mm or wider.

Do you have the kit lens 18-55mm? At 18mm it may be useful with a flash.

Food for thoughts...
04-21-2013, 01:52 AM   #3
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seems like this is a good time for a 16-50.
04-21-2013, 01:59 AM   #4
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Zoom in and zoom out with your feet. I for example prefer for group shots my 50mm.

04-21-2013, 02:28 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
I agree that the 35mm is too long. You need 20mm or wider.

Do you have the kit lens 18-55mm? At 18mm it may be useful with a flash.

Food for thoughts...
thanks for replying, I got rid of the kit lens after I used it at a wedding and the 35mm shots came out better
04-21-2013, 02:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by xanis Quote
seems like this is a good time for a 16-50.
thanks for replying, the 16-50 is a bit steep for me
04-21-2013, 02:35 AM   #7
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Top candidates are the FA*24, DA21, FA20, and DA15, as well as the Sigma 8-16 (which may be wider than needed, but is quite sharp at ~f/6.3 with manual focus set right at infinity (not over)). The DA*16-50 is another candidate - not quite as good as the others, but very versatile for all kinds of other shots in the future.

I have all of these (except for the DA21). I like to use the FA*24 when I can fit everyone in. It's true that your FA35 would work well if you can get far enough back.

However, I think your biggest challenges are going to be lighting (try bouncing off the ceiling or walls) making sure the back row is lit nearly as brightly as the front row, and making sure people's faces aren't hiding behind some else's head.


A good copy of the Tamron 17-50 should also work well on a constrained budget, as will the A24/2.8. Practice with the flash ahead of time if possible.

Last edited by DSims; 04-21-2013 at 02:41 AM.
04-21-2013, 02:37 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by i83N Quote
Zoom in and zoom out with your feet. I for example prefer for group shots my 50mm.
that's what I usually do, I took one a few weeks ago with the 35mm, that was 35 friends I'm not sure I can get 50 in unless I'm way back, I wish that Pentax would bring out a fullframe then we wouldnt have this problem!

04-21-2013, 03:21 AM   #9
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Also try to tier and stack up the group of folk, i.e. three rows, kneeling, sitting and standing, only the third of the width then.

Also if you can get some good height above them and have them looking up at you , gives an interesting viewpoint, and reduces width requirements.
04-21-2013, 03:26 AM   #10
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Fill in some numbers in a focal length calculator like Lens focal length calculator . If your group is about 7.5 meters wide and you are 5 meters away from them, you need a 16mm lens.

Also take into account the DOF; you don't want the people in the back to be out of focus.
04-21-2013, 04:43 AM - 1 Like   #11
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If you go wider remember to keep the outside friends away from the extreme border or they will look too distorted. Or put your distorted friends at the extreme borders and it'll be fine..
04-21-2013, 06:17 AM   #12
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Have you been to the location at all to check it out? Are there pictures on line with other groups at the local? Inside, it is possible to borrow a stepladder from the location for you to stand on? Do they have a staircase, that you can put folks on? How about steps outside?

04-21-2013, 08:46 AM   #13
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You can also rent the lens from borrowlenses.com. as mentioned by DSims, a good copy of tamron 17-50 will do it too. Good luck.
04-21-2013, 11:25 PM   #14
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Thank you everyone your advice has given me much food for thought :-)
04-22-2013, 09:00 AM   #15
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The shooting location will be important for the choice of lens. For a group shot of an orchestra band of about 50 people, I managed well with my DA 35mm Ltd and a K-5. I arranged three rows of 15 people each, using a small auditorium stage - one row standing in front, one row sitting on the stage and the 3rd row standing. I think I was situated about 8-10m from the front row.
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