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Old Jun 30, 2006, 10:40 AM   #11
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if you're going to spend that kind of money I'd go with something like the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 or the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8. They're available as low as $400 and offer constant f/2.8 aperature, basicly 95% of the performance of a Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 for about 1/3 the price and half the weight. Just make sure you buy from somewhere you can return if you get a soft copy.
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Old Jun 30, 2006, 11:57 AM   #12
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Check the EXIF in your photos before deciding on a lens, to see what focal lengths you use indoors for most photos.

For example, in the image keith1200rs posted, a 50mm would have easily been a great choice (if you're interested in the bowl, not the wall behind it, not to mention that he said it was a crop). For that matter, a 100mm lens would have worked for that one. ;-)

Again, check the EXIF in your photos using something like Opanda IExif to see what focal lengths you use more often indoors. I do use my 28mm f/2 a lot (favorite in most indoor conditions). So, a wider lens can be nice to have. Chances are, I'll replace it with an even brighter Sigma 30mm f/1.4 soon though (sometimes f/2 just isn't bright enough for me, even with ISO 3200 and anti-shake).

But, I probably use my 100mm f/2 just as much indoors, as long as I'm not shooting in close quarters. 50mm is not too long for many subjects (it works out to the same angle of view you'd have with a 75mm lens on a 35mm camera).

I'm currently shooting with a Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, and I use my primes *much* more often than I use my zooms indoors (even though I've got some bright zooms with f/2.8 available). For example, I've got a Tamron SP 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5 that can maintain f/2.8 throughout most of it's focal range, only losing a half stop to f/3.5 on it's long end (and it's one of the sharpest wide zooms ever tested by http://www.photodo.com, with tests based on scientific MTF charts ).

I've also got a Tamron SP 35-105mm f/2.8 that can maintain f/2.8 throughout it's focal range, grading a 3.6 based on MTF charts at http://www.photodo.com (not bad for a zoom with it's focal range, and *much* better than the newer Tamron SP 28-105mm f/2.8 ). Yet, I go to primes more often indoors.

My Minolta 28mm f/2, 50mm f/1.7 and 100mm f/2 all get used a lot indoors in low light, because I get faster shutter speeds than I could get with an f/2.8 zoom, and if light permits, I can "stop down" a prime to f/2.8 and get sharper photos than I could using a zoom wide open at f/2.8


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Old Jun 30, 2006, 12:43 PM   #13
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P.S.

Don't forget the used market either.

You can buy a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF lens for around $79 at http://www.keh.com in excellent condition, or a Nikkor 35mm f/2 for $265 in Excellent+ condition (and a new one isn't much more).


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Old Jun 30, 2006, 1:49 PM   #14
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keith1200rs wrote:
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My suggestions, use ISO 1600 if necessary; if the shutter speed is till too slow set -1EV and boost it back in post processing. A fast lens would be good but I usually find in such circumstances you want a wide lens not a telephoto, so a 50mm f1.8 is probably not the answer.

Keith.
It depends on what you're shooting. Sometimes, a 50mm is a bit long in close quarters on a DSLR (thanks to the narrower angle of view from a smaller sensor compared to film). But, sometimes, a 50mm is not long enough indoors. I sometimes use a100mm f/2 indoors (for shooting live music in local restaurants), and even use a 135mm f/2.8 from time to time indoors.

My favorite low light lens for indoor use in closer quarters on my Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D is a 28mm f/2. But, I'm thinking about replacing it with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 EX DC (sometimes another stop would come in very handy in some of the restaurants in my area with live music, and if lighting permitted, I could stop one down to f/2 and still get shutter speeds twice as fast as an f/2.8 zoom, or 3 times as fast as a zoom starting out at f/3.5).

Even a tripod won't help withblur from subject movement, and I'm already underexposing ISO 3200 1/3 stop shooting wide open at f/2 just to get shutter speeds up to around 1/10 second in one restaurant in the area with live music (usually a guitar player or a piano player). I keep forgetting to ask if they'd mind moving a candle or two closer to the performer (which would bean improvement in lighting, since they're usually playing in a dark corner inshadows). :-)

To put how low this light is into perspective, you would need to use a 2 second shutter speed for proper exposure without "pushing it" in the same lighting, shooting at ISO 1600 at f/5.6 (where the Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens would be zoomed into 50mm) in the same lighting (proper exposure requires a 1/8 second shutter speed at ISO 3200 and f/2, which is 16 times as fast as you'd get at ISO 1600 and f/5.6)

As for underexposing a stop, basically, you're doing the exact thing most DSLR models do when you shoot at ISO 3200. Most models just multiply the values in the raw image in the processing pipeline to simulate a higher ISO Speed.

That's why ISO 3200 is usually referred to as "Extended" or "ISO Boost" on models that have it (because the amplification of the signal from the sensor is not happening prior to the analog to digital converter (where it's normally amplifed as ISO speeds are increased), and instead the values are being multiplied after the A/D converter to simulate a higher ISO speed.

So, even though the D50 doesn't have an ISO 3200 choice available on the camera, by underexposing a stop and pushing in post processing, you're accomplishing exactly the same thing. Of course, noise will be worse, just as if you used a higher ISO speed if you underexpose and push it back in Post Processing.

But, the D50 is clean enough at higher ISO speeds, that if I were shooting with one, I'd prefer a bit of noise to blur if shutter speeds needed warrant this technique.

However, IMO, a bright prime would be preferrable to ISO 3200 (or underexposing ISO 1600).


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Old Jun 30, 2006, 2:19 PM   #15
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A polarizer will cut 3 stops of light on an already slow lens.

Here is a shot of the Toronto Zoo's 45000(11887.74 US-gal) liter malawi tank with approx 4000 fish :?
The tank itself is lit with powerfull HID's simulating bright shafts sunlight through the tank right to its bottom in some places.


EOS 20D, ISO 800, Tamron 19mm @ F4, monopod


Billio wrote:
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Would a polarizing filter help in this situation? I purchased one for my 18-55mm kit lens for a trip to the Covington Aquarium.
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Old Jun 30, 2006, 5:50 PM   #16
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My crop was to demonstrate noise, not for a shot of the bowl! I used 18mm and if I had a wider angle I would have used it. For shots of items behind glass you really need to get close to the glass to avoid reflections, so as has been suggested already, a wide angle will be necessary.

Keith.

JimC wrote:
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For example, in the image keith1200rs posted, a 50mm would have easily been a great choice (if you're interested in the bowl, not the wall behind it, not to mention that he said it was a crop). For that matter, a 100mm lens would have worked for that one. ;-)
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Old Jun 30, 2006, 7:03 PM   #17
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:G The only rule is there are no rules :!:
I was almost 30 feet away from that tank with a 19mm so to be able to get the whole thing in.

Generally yes with glass you do have to watch for reflections and either kill or flag the offending source(s). That is what the view-finder is for :idea:

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