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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Performing Arts Talk 
Thread started 22 Sep 2013 (Sunday) 13:35
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Would the 40mm pancake help or hinder?

 
PMGphotog
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Sep 22, 2013 13:35 |  #1

I've had a look on here and also on my Flickr groups but still can't find an answer to my query. Currently I'm using a 50mm MK2 which stops down to f1.8 on my Canon 1000d so for live band stuff with no flash I find I might get a shot at f2.8 1/100 sec and ISO 1600 with my 50mm ( shooting in manual so that changes in stage lighting won't throw things off too much, sometimes if I time it right I can even get f2.8 1/100 sec and ISO 800 )

The main issue I have with my 50mm is how it can hunt for focus if the lighting is bad. Reading up on the 40mm 2.8 it seems it's AF is faster and maybe quieter too.

So if I used the 40mm I would lose Aperture under f2.8 and maybe have to shoot at my camera's max ISO of 1600 more. But would the slight gain on focal width along with the faster AF be a plus or will I find myself having to swap back to the 50mm? Also the quieter focus noise is an issue ( is it quieter ? ) as some of the gigs I've shot at are intimate acoustic shows and I hate the noise my 50mm makes when it's hunting for focus.

So basically, does anyone use the 40mm pancake for live bands at ISO 1600 or less with decent results?

p.s. I know I should be using a better camera and better lenses too, but I'm just a hobbyist trying to get into live band stuff and can't afford to buy new gear right now :)


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/patmcguire2011/ (external link)

  
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narlus
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Sep 22, 2013 15:43 |  #2

maybe take a look at the sigma 35 or 50? even used?


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PMGphotog
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Sep 22, 2013 16:16 |  #3

narlus wrote in post #16316745 (external link)
maybe take a look at the sigma 35 or 50? even used?

Even used, I don't know if they would fall into my current budget. But I am checking local listings.


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/patmcguire2011/ (external link)

  
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Echo63
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Sep 23, 2013 12:24 as a reply to  @ PMGphotog's post |  #4

It may help, but it may hinder too.

Your 50mm focuses wide open at 1.8
The 40mm can't open that far, so it has to focus at 2.8
The 50mm is letting in a bit over a stop more light in to help the camera focus accurately, and in low light stage show type conditions, you need all the help you can get.

EDIT - You said the 50 hunts sometimes, the 40 will too under the same conditions


The 40mm may wind up able to focus quicker, but you may be missing shots as there isn't enough light hitting the AF sensors to get good focus, and the lens just "hunts" back and forth.

(cameras focus with the aperture wide open, and don't stop the lens down till you take a shot, the lens stops down as the mirror is flipping out of the way)

Personally I would be saving a bit longer, and be getting a different, faster 50mm

I can't see people getting irritated at the 50mm noise, most gigs are loud enough to cover it unless they are right next to you (try it at your next gig, hold the camera out at arms length and see if you can hear it)


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white_aardvark
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Sep 23, 2013 14:24 |  #5

I think the big issue here is your camera body rather than the lens. You could probably pick up a used 50D for a good price and would be way happier, even using your 50mm 1.8.

Also, when I started out I was using a 400D and 50mm 1.8 and I ended up manually focusing a lot of the time. It was faster and more accurate than hoping for autofocus.

In all, I would advise against investing in the 40mm when looking at your current gear.


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PMGphotog
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Sep 24, 2013 15:57 |  #6

On consideration I think I'll forget about the pancake and keep the cash aside for now. Thanks for the input guys, appreciated as always. :)


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/patmcguire2011/ (external link)

  
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Andrushka
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Sep 24, 2013 16:06 |  #7

Buy a 40mm used and try it for a bit, sell it at the same price you bought it for... easiest way to give it a real world test. I have one and love it. I also have a 35L (for focal range comparison) and honestly if I am not shooting a wedding or something critical, I love me some 40mm STM - super small for easy carrying (on or off camera) and it auto focuses VERY accurately even in low light. Even a venue with almost non existent stage lighting should still be photograph-able at F/2.8 - 1/50 - 1600iso


I have owned the 50 1.8 and this 40mm 2.8 is far more functional due to the AF quality and close minimum focus distance IMO. The AF is much quieter as well.

Definitely worth checking out


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overstable
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Sep 24, 2013 23:14 |  #8

Pat McGuire wrote in post #16316532 (external link)
So basically, does anyone use the 40mm pancake for live bands at ISO 1600 or less with decent results?

I'm very much an enthusiastic amateur - just picked up a T3i less than six months ago. I added a 40mm pancake despite already owning a 50mm f/1.8 when one popped up on my local craigslist for $100. I figured the price wasn't a budget breaker and I could keep whichever lens I preferred and sell the other... Well, I still have them both ;)

It is definitely possible to get fine shots with the 40mm if the lighting isn't atrocious. This shot was taken at f/3.2, ISO800, 1/160, handheld :

IMAGE: http://i.imgur.com/WA9cFMa.jpg

That's Richard Fortus, guitarist for Guns & Roses, reuniting with his old band, Pale Divine. The show had a 'small cameras only' photo policy, so I brought my camera with just the 40mm attached. That's an advantage I hadn't really considered when I picked up the lens. Looking like a non-SLR has come in handy a couple of times...



  
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PMGphotog
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Oct 30, 2013 18:48 |  #9

Slight update, I bought a sigma 30mm 1.4 instead. more than double the price of the pancake and I've not been able to use it for live gigs yet. But for my street stuff it works well. I'll know if it will work out for live band shoots on Saturday night :)


Canon EOS 1000d /60d : 18-55mm IS kit lens. Canon 50mm 1.8 MK2. Tamron 55-200mm F4-5.6, battery grip to make my cam look pro..and 30mm Sigma F1.4 recently added
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/patmcguire2011/ (external link)

  
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narlus
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Nov 01, 2013 09:09 |  #10

i had that lens and it was really good. enjoy!


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Would the 40mm pancake help or hinder?
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