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Old Jan 4, 2006, 5:50 PM   #11
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For portrate/party work I find the 28-135 to be a good set of focal lengths. It isn't "really wide" but it is fairly wide. For a person sitting 15" away I get part of their chest & face well. The problem is the lens I have isn't a low light lens. It's only f3.5-5.6. That is certainly not a good max aperture for low light.

That is why people suggest the 50mm f1.8. Its an amazingly good low light lens, its extremely cheap for a len (I got it new for around $60) and its small and light. Easy to use. The downsides is that its a fixed focal length (not a zoom) so you loose flexability... you have to "zoom with your feet" and its plastic, so it doesn't take abuse. But it is really cheap. 50mmx1.6 (Sensor crop) gives you 80mm which would still work for portrate work.

Lets see what the lens is on the SD400. It has a 35-105mm f/2.8-4.9. Fast and kinda wide (35mm isn't great) on the wide end but not very long or fast on the long end.

Getting more reach than that is easy, and the 70-200 f4 would easily give you that. And its just a great lens. But it really a 112-320mm on DSLR, which is even longer than what you had on the SD400.

Low light generally means expensive. For example the rebate covers the 24-70 f2.8. I don't know how expensive that lens would be, but it would work fairly well in low light. I have the 17-40 f4 which is very good (but expensive at over/around $600) and because it is f4 that is only ok in low light.

I'm not sure what else I can tell you.

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Old Jan 4, 2006, 8:49 PM   #12
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For low light photography, you would normally set your ISO (sensor's sensitivy) high, like at ISO800, ISO1600 or ISO3200.

So, you should be all set for low light situations.

Generally, I like to use an F2.8 (or faster) lens for low light.

For parties and indoor, 28mm is somewhat wide, but you might find yourself backed up against walls.

Try finding something 17mm at the wide end.

The Canon 17-85 F/4 with IS might do you all right. You have 17mm at the wide end, yet the 85mm at the far end is a nice reach.

The F4 may seem a bit slow, but the lens has IS (Image stabilization) so you can take hand held shots down to about 1/15th or 1/30th of a second.

I'd say you'd be a happy man with the 17-85 over the kit lens.

Beyond that, you could look at the 70-200 F4 lens which would be a nice, light, carryable telephoto.

Although the F4 seems slow, usually one would use a telephoto outdoors anyways.

Indoors, you could use your 17-85, even at a basketball game or a dimly lit gym or sports arena.

So, take a serious look at the 17-85 F4 IS, and the 70-200mm F4 (maybe later on), and you'll be laughing.

-- Terry

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