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Old May 14, 2010, 12:51 PM   #21
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I would go with a prime, allot less money, and you get 1.8 or 1.4 over 2.8
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Old May 14, 2010, 2:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTZ470 View Post
Canon 17-55 USM IS f/2.8...sharp and fast enough for indoors easily...may eat up your budget quickly though...
Definitely sharp and fast. Not sure I agree that it's necessarily "fast enough" for indoor use. f2.8 is fast enough for indoor use when you have a lot of sunlight coming in windows. When you dont have that sunlight and your subject moves a bit you can find f2.8 isn't nearly fast enough.
Here's a shot of my son's first steps. you can see motion blur because shutter speed was only 1/125. I wanted some blur, but in the 2nd shot I'm posting the blur is too much:
shot 1:

shot 2:


You can see there's a lot of sunlight behind him but he didn't see fit to take his steps in front of the window.
Now, this shot was at f2.8, 1/125. AND there was a decent amount of light. The shot was taken at ISO 6400 on a Canon 1dmkIII which has better high ISO performance than your camera. I don't think you want to be taking your family snaps at ISO 6400 often.
And, of course, sometimes you actually want to have a couple people in focus. That's difficult or impossible to do when you have to use wide apertures.
Even on this shot I didn't have enough DOF but wasn't fast enough to change the aperture:

Again - more wanting to get multiple people in focus and not show motion blur:




And, here's a shot - it's at night so no sun. Only light source is a lamp behind the subject. No way you're going to see those eyes, much less catch a frozen moment of a 3 year old at 1/15 because you don't have flash:


F2.8 lenses are great - I have and use a 70-200 2.8, 120-300 2.8, 85mm 1.8. But when it comes to family photos those lenses take a back seat - they're too limited. Flash and a decent quality zoom (I use 24-105 f4) are much more beneficial.

F2.8 lenses are great, but for family photos and non sport work they're a luxury. If you can afford such a lens on top of everything else - great. Do it. But I think stating that an f2.8 lens is fast enough for indoor family work is overstating the capability of f2.8 (or even 1.8).
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Old May 14, 2010, 3:17 PM   #23
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Yes, I forgot the 17-55 gets lens shadow wide open also is you use in-camera flash I have the 270EX and it works great with the 17-55 indoors bouncing the flash...the 24-105 doesn't get lens shadow at wide open using flash?

I retracted the 17-55 suggestion because you do need a External Flash, but it is a great lens for our family and is wide enough when needed especially on a Crop Camera the 70-200 can get long as well as the 24-105 at times...

Buy from Amazon or Adorama as they will allow you to return lens after you have tried them out...I agree with the 70-200mm f/4 IS it will serve you well, but the 24-105 f/4 is a great walk around lens also for Disney World, Sea World, Etc....

Last edited by LTZ470; May 14, 2010 at 3:34 PM.
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Old May 14, 2010, 3:27 PM   #24
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Also in very low light in doors, I have used 1.4 with 6400 iso at time. So depending on the lighting without a flash, my money will still be a fast prime over 2.8.
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Old May 14, 2010, 4:13 PM   #25
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johnG--what is IS and OP???? i think OP refers to me, right?? i'm a newbie-forgive me!!!
you talk about needing a flash... i plan on getting the 430ex speedlite, if that makes a difference in your advice...
I think the Canon 17-55 USM IS with a 430ex would go hand in hand for some great indoor shots? It would do as well as any other I see suggested and is as sharp as any suggested IMHO...to me this would be a great family setup and also a walk-around lens to boot?
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Old May 15, 2010, 12:21 AM   #26
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JohnG, thank you very much for posting the pictures with explinations, etc. I found it very helpful! It was nice to see the comparison AND an explination as to why something would or wouldn't work.
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Old May 15, 2010, 12:25 AM   #27
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allright... so here's what i'm going to get.
t1i w/ kit lens
430 ex speedlight
canon 55-250
canon 50mm f/1.8

that should be sufficient to get started, right?????
now.... to learn how to use it all!

Aside from the Speedlight (I have a 270ex I used for my G11 and am considering upgrading as Shoturtle suggested) I bought the same things and am very happy with the selection/range this set offers. To begin with I think most of the basis are covered in playing around for a while and then determining what you want to do from there when you upgrade/buy more lenses.....which for me will be a while
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Old May 15, 2010, 9:08 AM   #28
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Just bear in mind that the 50mm 1.8 II does not have IS and if you are moving or shaking at all you will see blur indoors with no flash...of course you may be steadier than this ole chap by far...it is a great lens though and gives a lot of bang for the buck no doubt...
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Old May 15, 2010, 1:00 PM   #29
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The IS is not that effective with the short range of the 50mm, you may only pick up 1/3 of a stop at that distance. Also in dim light not taking movement, if you get you shutter speed to 1/60 or better with the larger aperture, you will negate any advantage IS will have. At below 1/30 of a sec, IS would help a bit.
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Old May 15, 2010, 1:22 PM   #30
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Quote:
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The IS is not that effective with the short range of the 50mm, you may only pick up 1/3 of a stop at that distance. Also in dim light not taking movement, if you get you shutter speed to 1/60 or better with the larger aperture, you will negate any advantage IS will have. At below 1/30 of a sec, IS would help a bit.
So effectively the 17-55 f/2.8 USM IS would be no better than the 50mm f/1.8 non IS other than the ability to zoom?

I have both, but have gotten good indoor shots with both, of my 5 yr old and the 50mm 1.8 doesn't do any better than the 17-55mm as far as I can tell and I get more keepers with 17-55 as the stabilization works awesome. I blurred quite a few of the 50mm shots as I was shaking too much...

I thought the USM IS was good for at least 1 stop? I am still learning also...
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