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Old May 7, 2008, 8:16 PM   #1
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alright guys,

a friend has a local business and is willing to rent me a back room to set up a studio in. I have been doing sports photos recently.... I did purchase a light set which i have played with a few times and have improved a little bit... I am curious as to what lenses you would recommend.... I have an A700, sigma 70-200 2.8, sigma 24-70 2.8, and minolta 50mm 1.7... i also have a minolta 3600 flash... My light kit is an smith victor 3 light continuos burn kit... two lights have umbrellas and the other is just the light with no umbrella. This room is small so to save space i am going to attach the lights to poles and brackets on the walls so i can still move them but get the light stands out of the way... I will probably purchase another light set and position them to where i could cover most angles however i would need i.e. mount them high, low, pointing up and down and straight on... Any suggestions on anything is appreciated but most importantly i need to know what lenses would be good for tight spaces...

I am pretty proficient running the camera manual so i would have no problems buying an adapter and some inexpensive old manual lenses... the room is about 16x12...

I would set the backdrops up on the 16 foot part of the room to give you an idea of what i am working with... thanks for reading all this rambling and look forward to pointers, tips, lessons learned...Ecap
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Old May 8, 2008, 9:41 AM   #2
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I think you have enough room to use 24-70 or the 50. Not that zoom lenses can not be used for portraiture, but prime lenses (fixed focal length) like your 50 are usually sharper, faster and bokeh is better. At a focal length of about 80mm the Minolta 50 f/1.7 is a good lens for portraits in the studio. I believe using prime lenses can make us better photographers. Rather than standing in one spot zooming in and out for that composure you after, it requires us to zoom on our feet.

**The following is quoted from an article /digital-photography-school

Prime Lenses Combat Lazy Photographer Syndrome - when you have a zoom lens attached to your camera the temptation is to let your zoom do all the work and to leave your feet attached to the same piece of turf. This is what is attractive about zooms - however it can also lead to laziness and I've heard a few prime lens users argue that when they have a prime lens attached that it makes them more creative with their framing as they are forced to look more actively for the best shot.
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Old May 8, 2008, 5:23 PM   #3
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thanks for the info...

any other suggestions are appreciated....ecap
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Old May 8, 2008, 6:24 PM   #4
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I guess we are working in feet here not yards or meters. It is going to be tight for sure to get full length shots without using a lens wider than you would ideally like. Don't forget that in a lot of cases you will want to have a good few feet between the background and the subject and then quite a bit between you and the subject.

Just read your post again, are you thinking of the backdrops on the 16' wall, in other words youare only shooting across the 12' part? This is going to be far too tight for anything apart from head and shoulder work. The smallest I've shot in was about 20' and that still wasn't ideal.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying it can't work just to be aware of the limitations that you get with a small space needing wider angle lenses which will create a less than normal feel for full length.
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Old May 8, 2008, 6:42 PM   #5
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What are you going to do with your studio? head-and-shoulder portriats? High school seniors? Bride & Groom formals? A whole Rugby team? Coins? Babes in Bakinis? Product photography? ...

Whatever it is, ding about with your zoom lens(es) and figure out what focal length works for what you want to do. Then get a fixed focal length lens that is close to that. If it seems like you want something wide, do a whole bunch of experimenting with you zoom set wide until you really apreciate the "big nose" problem.
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