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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 13 Nov 2017 (Monday) 14:06
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135 f2 for family pics and portraits

 
James ­ Crockett
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Nov 13, 2017 14:06 |  #1

Those who use the 135 f2, since it doesn't have image stabilization do majority of you use a tripod or freehand shooting when taking family pictures and portraits? Does image stabilization make a huge difference? Thank you and hope all is well!




  
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TeamSpeed
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Nov 13, 2017 14:11 |  #2

If you are pretty steady, and your shutter speed is 1/200th or faster, you should be fine. You will want to be around that speed anyways to stop the subject from any motion. Stabilization is ONLY there to stop you from moving, and the general rule is that if you can get your shutter over the 1/<focal length> speed, and you are pretty stable in holding the gear, you are fine without IS.

If you want a very compact way to hold your camera steady, you can easily and cheaply construct a "rope pod".


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James ­ Crockett
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Nov 13, 2017 14:17 |  #3

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18495578 (external link)
If you are pretty steady, and your shutter speed is 1/200th or faster, you should be fine. You will want to be around that speed anyways to stop the subject from any motion. Stabilization is ONLY there to stop you from moving, and the general rule is that if you can get your shutter over the 1/<focal length> speed, and you are pretty stable in holding the gear, you are fine without IS.

If you want a very compact way to hold your camera steady, you can easily and cheaply construct a "rope pod".

thank you!!




  
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davidmtml
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Nov 13, 2017 14:18 |  #4

I use my 135 a lot for these types of shots. I typically need to shoot at 1/320 at a minimum to get a decent amount of sharp shots. Typically I can shoot most lenses at 1/focal length, but for some reason I need a lot faster shutter speed for the 135.




  
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DaviSto
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Nov 13, 2017 14:39 |  #5

davidmtml wrote in post #18495584 (external link)
I use my 135 a lot for these types of shots. I typically need to shoot at 1/320 at a minimum to get a decent amount of sharp shots. Typically I can shoot most lenses at 1/focal length, but for some reason I need a lot faster shutter speed for the 135.

It's strange. My experience is pretty much exactly the same. With the 135 f/2L, I have to shoot around 1/320 to be confident that I avoid softness due to camera shake. It's the only lens where I have that issue.

My guess would be that it's something to do with narrow depth of field at open apertures. But I don't have the same issue with the 85mm f/1.2L.


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MBB89
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Nov 13, 2017 15:02 |  #6

Lens technique is important for this lens handheld but I frequently shoot it around 1/125 with good results.

Position the hood on your left palm and this should help stabilize things immensely.




  
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Nov 13, 2017 15:11 |  #7

MBB89 wrote in post #18495635 (external link)
Lens technique is important for this lens handheld but I frequently shoot it around 1/125 with good results.

Position the hood on your left palm and this should help stabilize things immensely.

My typical usage has been photographing a two-year old moving target. That means I just don't get the opportunity to steady myself in the way I might if I were shooting a static subject ... for a posed portrait, for example. I think 1/125, and pretty certainly 1/200, would be enough to deal with subject movement. But I just don't seem to be able to steady the camera quite stably enough when the opportunity to grab a shot opens up.

I suppose that if I adopted more of a lie in wait, then ambush, technique I should be able to get around this. But it's not so easy when the photographer is playing football too. ;-)a


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MalVeauX
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Post edited 6 months ago by MalVeauX.
     
Nov 13, 2017 15:18 |  #8

James Crockett wrote in post #18495572 (external link)
Those who use the 135 f2, since it doesn't have image stabilization do majority of you use a tripod or freehand shooting when taking family pictures and portraits? Does image stabilization make a huge difference? Thank you and hope all is well!

Image stabilization would help a lot I'm sure for more interesting options with dragging a shutter in lower light.

However, I don't find there to be an issue with shutter speed limitations, regardless of being used outdoors in natural light, or indoors in a studio situation. Outdoors, it's often shot wide open, or at least near wide open, and it's F2, so unless you're in total canopy cover shaded out or similar, you probably need very little ISO and your shutter could easily be capped out at max threshold or floating in the 1/hundreds. Even then, ISO 200, ISO 400, etc. I've yet to need more than ISO 1600, but I'm sure someone may need more in a very dark situation to keep shutter speed fast enough (and not using lighting). In a studio, one stops down often and is using lighting, so it's not an issue at all there regardless of shutter speed.

We do a lot of family portrait and the last thing I worry about is having enough shutter speed. I will take ISO to whatever it takes to keep a fast shutter, I can fix noise, I can't fix blur. But, I'm also often using lighting (even outdoor), so I'm not worried about it there either. My main grip about my 135L is the working distance. I love the lens, but I hate standing over 20 feet away and trying to issue commands, etc. I much prefer the 85mm working range, as I can talk to the subjects without screaming (especially outside with any wind at all). I'm always far more concerned with working distance and environment selection than I am with worrying about shutter speed. With a modern camera as old as 10 years, you shouldn't be hard pressed to get clean images at ISO 800~1600.

I only use a tripod when I'm in the photo. Otherwise, it's always handheld. But my shutter speeds are often 1/2000 or faster, as I'm usually using it outdoor in Florida with lighting. Here in Florida, under oak canopy cover, I often meter around 1/200s, F2, ISO 100. So I know I can always get away with a fast shutter speed, with a modest ISO 200 even.

Very best,


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FTb
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Nov 13, 2017 17:18 |  #9

I actually prefer using a tripod for group, family-type shots. That way I can get my composition down pat, then look up and be making eye contact and talking with the subjects as I'm snapping the shutter.

Plus when the framing remaining the same, it's easy to take a bunch of photos and then make a composite shot to ensure that everyone has a good expression on their face.

Much different than when taking individual photos where I'm constantly moving around and recomposing for almost every shot.



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Bassat
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Nov 13, 2017 17:41 |  #10

The only thing I use a tripod for is product/macro work.

I think the 135L on a full frame body is just perfect for around-the-house candids at family gatherings. I keep it at 1/250 as a minimum.


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Post edited 6 months ago by TeamSpeed.
     
Nov 13, 2017 17:59 |  #11

DaviSto wrote in post #18495642 (external link)
My typical usage has been photographing a two-year old moving target. That means I just don't get the opportunity to steady myself in the way I might if I were shooting a static subject ... for a posed portrait, for example. I think 1/125, and pretty certainly 1/200, would be enough to deal with subject movement. But I just don't seem to be able to steady the camera quite stably enough when the opportunity to grab a shot opens up.

I suppose that if I adopted more of a lie in wait, then ambush, technique I should be able to get around this. But it's not so easy when the photographer is playing football too. ;-)a

If the subject material is moving, then yes you will need faster shutter speeds. Image stabilization discussions only work when talking about static subjects and hand-holding. As soon as one moves to shooting moving objects, then IS discussions have to switch over to using appropriate shutter speeds to stop the motion of the subject, not the shooter. To stop kids, typically I shoot at 1/500th or faster. Kids are deceptively fast where you might think speeds between 1/200th and 1/500th would be fast enough, but they seem to move their extremities very fast. :)


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Nov 13, 2017 18:07 |  #12

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18495726 (external link)
If the subject material is moving, then yes you will need faster shutter speeds.

The challenge I face is not so much dealing with subject movement as managing the fact that I am not still, braced and well-balanced when I take the shot. I'm not usually looking to track and capture a moving target. Usually, what I am trying to do is capture those very fleeting moments when something catches a child's eye or they are working out what crazy thing to do next ... at that instant they are pretty much still ... but I'm not!


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Nov 13, 2017 18:15 |  #13

DaviSto wrote in post #18495728 (external link)
The challenge I face is not so much dealing with subject movement as managing the fact that I am not still, braced and well-balanced when I take the shot. I'm not usually looking to track and capture a moving target. Usually, what I am trying to do is capture those very fleeting moments when something catches a child's eye or they are working out what crazy thing to do next ... at that instant they are pretty much still ... but I'm not!

The only advice I can give is to get your feet apart, and hold the lens with one hand with the elbow braced against your chest/side. That seems to work for me, but depending on age, infirmities, or body geometry, this doesn't work for everyone.

I was a glutton for punishment and once tried to see how long I could hold a shutter speed handheld standing unbraced in the open. This was the best I could do at 5sec. That is hard, because the viewfinder blacks out for 5 sec and you have no idea if you are holding the target or not.

IMAGE: https://photos.smugmug.com/Electronics/Miscellaneous-Items/i-Bcv7wV2/0/f54b2408/O/attachment.jpg

Looks decent at this size, but any larger, and you can make out the shake.

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Nov 13, 2017 18:21 as a reply to  @ TeamSpeed's post |  #14

Impressive ... but I think I'll maybe stick with shooting at 1/320 ... as long as you don't mind, of course ;-)a


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James ­ Crockett
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Nov 13, 2017 19:52 |  #15

I know you guys could help me out. I can't thank everyone of you enough for the comments. Theirs times where I'm shooting and while on autofocus, where the autofocus points are it will be really sharp but the faces will have a slight blur.. the couple won't be razor sharp. I'm thinking strictly use manual focus unless shooting moving subjects. I tried to get some walking shots and wasn't razor sharp and noticed my shutter speed under 500 so I read on here to keep a higher shutter speed..thanks everybody!




  
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135 f2 for family pics and portraits
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