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View Full Version : is a 1.4 lens fast enough for a typical ceremony?


rightaway
9th of March 2006 (Thu), 17:28
Hi,

I am thinking of getting a prime lens 1.4 mostly for indoor shot and maybe avoid to use a flash.
Does anyone here has experience with such a lens (i am thinking about the sigma 30mm 1.4). Would it work for a normal daytime church lighting without a flash?

thanks

stephan

cdifoto
9th of March 2006 (Thu), 17:32
1.4 is the fastest you can get besides the 85 f/1.2L. It would HAVE to be fast enough even if it wasnt due to lack of alternatives. heh.

Assuming you could get proper DOF for the shots I'd say it'd work fine unless you were in a dungeon. Nail your exposures and even ISO1600 is usable on a lowly XT.

jamiewexler
9th of March 2006 (Thu), 17:55
My typical church wedding setup includes one body with an 85 f1.8 and no flash (flash and 17-40L on the other body). I can usually pull off 1/125, f1.8, ISO800.

With a 30f1.4 you have 2/3 stop more light, plus the ability to handhold down to 1/50 or slower. It will be fine for all but the darkest of churches. The FL, on the other hand, will require you to be pretty close to what's going on to fill the frame...

NickSimcheck
9th of March 2006 (Thu), 18:37
Hi,

I am thinking of getting a prime lens 1.4 mostly for indoor shot and maybe avoid to use a flash.
Does anyone here has experience with such a lens (i am thinking about the sigma 30mm 1.4). Would it work for a normal daytime church lighting without a flash?

thanks

stephan


Yes, but with a couple of catches...

At 1.4 it's a little soft, but mostly because you need to get the focus spot on - and with the XT it's hard cause the viewfinder sucks. If you or the subject moves a eek closer or a little farther, you're SOL. You need to keep hitting the shutter button fast and when the moment you are looking for is right, hit it and pray. I usually use 1.8-2.8 and if I need to I bump the ISO to 1600. It's better to have a slightly noisey photo then to have an out of focus one, at least to the people that you are taking the photos for. If the subject is moving at all do not go below 1.8, you'll vary rarely get it right...

An example... Shot at this last New Years party, notice how her face is sharp but right arm is soft? That's how shallow the DOF is when at a usable distance. No PP other then Noise Ninja. f/1.4 1/200;

NickSimcheck
9th of March 2006 (Thu), 18:40
Oh and it doesn't look that good because it's highly compressed - Only 28 Kbits!

tim
9th of March 2006 (Thu), 18:41
Yes, 1.4 is enough, partly because that's about as good as you can get. Like Nick said the 50mm 1.4 is a bit soft at F1.4, not just because of DOF I think, partly because it is a little soft. I also prefer to close it down to F1.8 or F2, but i'll use it happily at F1.4 if that's what I need to get the shot. I've taken shots at F1.4/ISO3200 that are practically in the dark!

DocFrankenstein
9th of March 2006 (Thu), 20:29
You might end up with pretty bad photos that way.

With f/1.4 all you're going to get is one eye out of four in focus and everything else blurred.

There's a reason why classical wedding photography is shot with a monolight at f/8-f/11

kawter2
10th of March 2006 (Fri), 01:45
There's a reason why classical wedding photography is shot with a monolight at f/8-f/11


YUCK!!!

cdifoto
10th of March 2006 (Fri), 03:18
There's a reason why classical wedding photography is shot with a monolight at f/8-f/11

Yeah....the reason being that particular photographer didn't know what he/she was doing and played it safe to get every dang thing in focus.

DocFrankenstein
10th of March 2006 (Fri), 05:28
Yeah....the reason being that particular photographer didn't know what he/she was doing and played it safe to get every dang thing in focus.
There is about 30 of them
They all charged more than 2 grand for the wedding
And been shooting weddings full time for longer than both you and I have been into photography ;)

cdifoto
10th of March 2006 (Fri), 05:30
There is about 30 of them
They all charged more than 2 grand for the wedding
And been shooting weddings full time for longer than both you and I have been into photography ;)

I wouldn't pay anything for a whole wedding shot at f/8 unless it was in medium format. There's something to be said for selective focus when used appropriately. I wouldn't want Auntie Mae picking her nose in sharp focus behind me while I'm kissing my new pride and joy.

PineCone
10th of March 2006 (Fri), 05:51
whew... i've much to learn.. much to learn indeed

jamiewexler
10th of March 2006 (Fri), 05:58
With f/1.4 all you're going to get is one eye out of four in focus and everything else blurred.

Maybe... if you're standing 3 feet away! "F8 and be there" is so old school...

DocFrankenstein
10th of March 2006 (Fri), 08:12
Maybe... if you're standing 3 feet away! "F8 and be there" is so old school...
How far away are you planning to be with a 1.4 lens?

CyberPet
10th of March 2006 (Fri), 08:15
I'm a bit curious as why you use Noise Ninja at 200 ISO? I don't bring out NN until I shoot in 800 or 1600 ISO :D

jamiewexler
10th of March 2006 (Fri), 08:59
How far away are you planning to be with a 1.4 lens?

Depends on the situation. It also depends on the focal length of the lens.

The original poster asked about a Sigma 30 f1.4. I use the Canon version, but the DOF should be similar. When I'm shooting at f1.4, I know that at 6 feet away, I have about 6 inches of DOF. 6 inches puts an entire face in focus. Anywhere from 6 feet back just increases my DOF. So I know that with a 35mm lens on my 20D at f1.4 I should stay at least 6 feet from my subject unless I want to play around with shorter DOF.

Now my 85 f1.8 is a different story. At 6 feet away, my 85 at f1.8 only gives me about an inch of DOF. That means the eyes are in focus, but the tip of the nose is not. I have to move back to 13 feet to get the same DOF as my 35 at f1.4.

I can also handhold my 35 at a fraction of the SS's I can handhold my 85, making the 35 a very useful lens for low light...even at f1.4!

If you want to calculate distances for your own lenses, this is a very useful tool: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

kawter2
10th of March 2006 (Fri), 18:09
There is about 30 of them
They all charged more than 2 grand for the wedding
And been shooting weddings full time for longer than both you and I have been into photography ;)

I fail to see your point,

There are a LOT of Olan Mills and Sear's making a #$#$ load of money and they have doing it for a long time, IMO that has nothing to do with me.. Just because someone does something for $$ and does it for a long time, does not validate their method of photography

tim
10th of March 2006 (Fri), 19:05
I don't bring out noise ninja unless it's an 8x12 or larger print at ISO 800 or above, even then i'd look at using masks so I only process areas with smooth surfaces or shadow, so it didn't lose detail.

NickSimcheck
17th of March 2006 (Fri), 21:13
I'm a bit curious as why you use Noise Ninja at 200 ISO? I don't bring out NN until I shoot in 800 or 1600 ISO :D

I think you were refering to my picture above?

That was shot at ISO 1600. Shutter speed was 1/200.

tim
19th of March 2006 (Sun), 01:00
I've recently started doing a lot more sharpening, and I find even at ISO200 (properly exposed) the sharpening software beings out noise. I often use noise ninja to do noise reduction and sharpening in one step.