Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 16, 2005, 7:21 PM   #21
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,371

WannabePro wrote:
So its really 2 lenses I am buying prime and 17-85mm. Prime for indoor low light and 17-85 for landscapes and portraits. Will that work? i should be able to take low light bday pics with the prime right? as for the other party stuff, I am going to try this prime with existing flash before I buy an external flash.
It depends on the conditions. ;-) You may need something wider for*many* indoor rooms compared to something like a 50mm prime.. Otherwise, you may not be able toback up enough to get everyone in a photo.

Likewise, you may need more Depth of Field than you'll get atlarger apertures, depending on your subject.

Ok I probably should recap the requirements ( these probably changed along the way :roll: )for my sake at least:

1. be able to take pictures indoor like bday parties etc with the natural colors and not like the one you get with p/s- bright shiny face with black background. I would to get details of things alongwith natural skin tone.
Again, it's probably easier to use a flash at parties, etc.. Even with a reasonably bright lens, when shooting without a flash, you'll need to make sure ISO speeds are set high enough to reduce motion blur. This adds noise. A flashreduces these types ofproblems.

As for darker backgrounds using a flash, this is due to the limited dynamic range you have with a camera. When using a built in flash, the camera has to make sure it is not overexposing your subject.So, it must throttle down the flash strength at closer ranges. This can lead to underexposed backgrounds, depending on camera settings and lighting.

But, you can control the backgrounds to some extent, even when using a flash. Use of larger apertures and/or slower shutter speeds and/or higher ISO speeds willallow more ambient light into a photo.

You do need to be careful using this technique. Otherwise, you can get enough ambient light exposure to cause some motion blur (even when using a flash) if shutter speeds are not fast enough.

Balance is the key (fast enough shutter speeds to prevent motion blur from ambient light exposure, yet slow enough shutter speeds (and/or wide enough apertures, high enough ISO speeds), so that the backgrounds are not as dark. Bouncing the light from ceilings, etc. and also help to insure more even exposure using flash (as can the use of diffusers, etc.).

2. Kids playing indoor and outdoor and be able to freeze their motion ( not sport just regular play for now). I should be at a reasonable distance to get candid shots hence the zoom requirement.
In most outdoor conditions in good light. shutter speeds is not a problem. Autofocus speeds can be, depending on your subject. This can also be impacted by your lens choice (for example, lenses with USM tend to focus faster than those without it). Likewise, lenses with larger apertures can "see" better to focus, and generally focus faster.

In good light, if your subjects are not moving much, most lenses should work fine. In lower light (or with more rapid movement), lens choice becomes more critical in getting a higher percentage of "keepers".

3. Posed portraits- individual / small groups
A brighter lens is usually a better idea for portraits. A bright lens allows you to shoot at larger apertures to get a shallower depth of field (which helps your subjects stand out from distracting backgrounds).

Focal Length can also come into play. For example, with alens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of around 75-85mm, you tend to get better proportions with facial features compared to a wide angle lens (i.e., you don't want the nose to look larger than it should, like you can getwhen using a wider focal lenght lens at closer ranges).

Perspective (which is determined by your distance to subject) comes into play with various types of subjects, with Portraits being an important areas to use specific lenses with -- depending on what you are trying to achieve.

For group shots, Depth of Field can become more critical (since subjects towards the edges or backs ofa group photo tend to be further from the focus point). So, sometimes using larger apertures doesn't work as well in these conditions (where a good flashmay be a much better option to insure the entire group is in focus, since you could shoot at smaller apertures for increased depth of field).

4. landscapes so need wide ( 28mm equivalent of 35mm)

1, 3- I was going to do with the prime. 2, 4 - with 17-85.

Will this work?
For me it would. But, others may want something even wider. ;-)

If i have a tough time deciding still, I might just go with the kit lens ( 17-55mm) and prime for now per your suggestion. It will only be $100 mistake if at all.
I wouldn't call it a mistake. You could sell it on Ebay later, and it would give you a better idea of what your real needs are, once you've used it for a while. Spending a lot of money on lenses you may not really need would be the bigger mistake (IMO), since you don't really appear to have a good understanding of some of the concepts with lens design yet.

Things like Depth of Field become much more critical when switching from a Consumer Model to a DSLR (because depth of field is much shallower for any given 35mm equivalent focal length, distance to subject, and aperture compared to a non-DSLR model).

Likewise, you'll want to get a better idea of how noise impacts your images when higher ISO speeds are needed (and the ISO speed needed in a given condition to reduce motion blur will vary based on lens brightness).

Make sure to vist the Canon Lenses Forum[/quote] for tips and advise on lens selection if you go with a Canon DSLR. You'll find lots of forum members that are far more knowledgable on lens selection than I am.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:49 PM.