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Old Apr 13, 2011, 12:53 PM   #1
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Default Which Lense Next ?

I have been invited to back up on 3 more Pro shoots (another Ball, an International Fencing event and an amateur golf event) weekend after next and then do one on my own (well, with his assistant helping me out) in June (fly up to some city in the North of China).

The main lenses I have are listed in my signature below. I have two bodies K7 & K5.

I think I'm OK for both the golf & the ball, however it's the fencing I'm worried about. Typically poorly lit indoor arena though as invited photographers we'll have piste side positions and, I guess, be quite close. Flash is out of course.

We get two days (day 1 is for national events and day 2 is the international) but Day 1 is the money day (selling shots on the spot to family, friends & parents of the competitors) with Day 2 being for the organisers, AP etc.

I was thinking about using 3 lenses I own : 43 Ltd, Tamron 17-50/2.8 and Sigma 50-150/2.8. Though now I'm also tempted by the price of the Sigma 30/1.4 (about $450 here which means my kitty stays about half way to the 150-500 too ! ) as I've heard a fast semi-WA could be valuable too if we are close to the piste. Do I need a great portrait lense ? A 70 / 77 or Sigma 85/1.4 ? I do have the Tamron 90/2.8 - good enough in that light ?

I'm was going to get a 70-200/2.8 (Sigma for the HSM) but since I have the 50-150 and think it may be long enough (backed up by the *300), I'm going off the idea now.

What do you think ? Is there a gap or something I'm really missing ? I'll be buying another SD card and another spare battery too.

Kitty currently stands at about US$1,000 - 1,200 but I'd really rather not use it all unless I have to ! And I was beginning to think about a 150-500 to match my DA*300 for birding too *sighs*

Thanks for your advice !
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Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC

Last edited by Frogfish; Apr 13, 2011 at 12:58 PM.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 8:38 PM   #2
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I have no idea how well lit the fencing venue will be, so there's no way to suggest whether the Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 would be fast enough. Given the excellent high ISO photos from the K5 that I've seen posted on this forum, I would guess that you'll probably be fine with that zoom. Otherwise I was going to suggest that you consider acquiring the Sigma 85 f/1.8. You already have the FA 50 1.4 so if you need a really fast lens you have it. Depending on how close you can get to the action, it might not be quite long enough, but unless you plan to make big enlargements, I would think you could shoot with the 50 and crop.

Please keep in mind that I do mostly nature photography, so I am not familiar with what you have been hired to do. I also have never done any professional photography, so I have no first-hand experience. Please take my suggestions for whatever they are worth -- probably not much.
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Old Apr 13, 2011, 11:51 PM   #3
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Hi Kevin,

I'm trying to imagine the coverage you'll need, and it's hard, not knowing the distance, but I'm thinking that you'll be shooting pretty wide most of the time since you'll probably want both fencers in the frame, and many times, one or both will be stretched horizontally as they lunge. If this is the type of shot you're visualizing, then the 50mm and even the 30mm will probably be too long.

I'd try to talk to someone who's running the event and try to find out how close you will be to the fencers. You can then try to simulate with a couple of people and some sticks how wide you'll have to go, but from what I'm imagining, at closer than 15 feet (5m) away, I'd expect to be shooting a lot at 17mm to get enough horizontal coverage to account for the quick movement. I'd probably use TAv on the K-5 with Ev comp as needed, and let ISO go where it may, up to whatever you're comfortable with. I'd probably set a focus point manually or practice how to disable AF with the AF button, or use the AF button to focus and limit its use.

Sounds like a demanding project. Maybe you could look for credited photos from previous fencing events and contact the photographers and see if they'd be willing to give you some tips.

Scott
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Old Apr 16, 2011, 12:51 AM   #4
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Thank you for your comments Mtnman - they are appreciated. Across 3 forums I had a very poor response to this question - I guess not many people have shot at a fencing event and people were reticent in hazarding a guess or offering an opinion !

I guess I should update my signature as I have in fact sold that FA50/1.4 (actually it was an F 50/1.4 so another mistake in my sig) ! I do have a lovely Takumar 50/1.4 but unless I pre-focus and pray, I don't see it being the ideal lense. I tried to buy a Sigma 30/1.4 from my preferred retailer yesterday but there is no stock due to the factory closedowns after the earthquake in Japan.

Thank you for your advice Scott. I'm afraid no chance of getting in pre-event. I was lucky enough to find a great site on the web though : http://www.fencingphotos.com/shootingfencing.htm

Probably for the angle I expect / hope to be shooting at (30 - 45 degrees) the 30 might have worked - but unless I get lucky this week it looks like I won't have it in time (I'm a little reticent in buying on-line as I like to try out multiple copies if buying new).

TAv is my standard mode so I'm very comfortable using it (I have set the max ISO to 6,400) and it is what I will be using as the lighting will be very variable but I need to keep the shutter speed up to capture the action. I currently have AF mapped to the AF button - it's a bit faster than half depressing the shutter button.

For Day 1 I've decided to take the 43 Ltd, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 50-150/2.8, Takumar 50/1.4 (on the K7 set to 800 ISO - unless I can get the Sigma 30/1.4 before then) and maybe also the DA*300/4 (I was thinking of trying shots from further back for low DoF and high background OOF bokeh as it seems that usually the backgrounds for these events are distracting). For Day 2 we'll see how Day 1 goes !
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Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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