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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Pets Talk
Thread started 29 Sep 2008 (Monday) 09:19
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Pet Photography - what lenses

 
mineymole
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Sep 29, 2008 09:19 |  #1
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I have a Rebel XSi. What lenses do you all recommend for shooting pets - natural light, candid.



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TheHoff
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Sep 29, 2008 09:23 |  #2

If you have a helper managing the pet you can get further back like 50mm or 85mm on your crop but if it is mostly just you, you need to be fairly wide so you can also keep their attention and manage the location. You already have like 4 or 5 lenses that could be used for it; are you looking for another?

85mm on full frame (since I wanted a thin depth of field):

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mineymole
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Sep 29, 2008 09:25 |  #3
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TheHoff wrote in post #6402292 (external link)
If you have a helper managing the pet you can get further back like 50mm or 85mm on your crop but if it is mostly just you, you need to be fairly wide so you can also keep their attention and manage the location. You already have like 4 or 5 lenses that could be used for it; are you looking for another?

85mm on full frame (since I wanted a thin depth of field):

QUOTED IMAGE
[IMAGE'S LINK: http://flickr.com ...s/alexfirmani/23074​02827/] (external link)

Fantastic shot!

I have used my 50 1.4 and 85 1.4.... I am wondering if a zoom would be better - but obviously one that focuses fast!

One question - forgive me because I am NEW to this - is your dog shot done with natural light or was it lit? If so, what was your setup? Thanks in advance for the info.



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TheHoff
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Sep 29, 2008 09:32 |  #4

mineymole wrote in post #6402306external link
Fantastic shot!

I have used my 50 1.4 and 85 1.4.... I am wondering if a zoom would be better - but obviously one that focuses fast!

One question - forgive me because I am NEW to this - is your dog shot done with natural light or was it lit? If so, what was your setup? Thanks in advance for the info.

Thanks; it was some natural light plus a bounced flash. There is a big window to my left, I had a 580 on the hotshoe, bounced back and to the left to accentuate it and then I had a modeling lamp on the background... really pretty simple, this was done before I bought more lighting gear.

I would say a zoom would be better assuming you have enough light and are going to stop it down or use f/4+. If, however, you're aiming for natural light photos with thin depth of field, you'll need something faster in aperture and quick focusing. That can be a zoom... my 16-35 is super fast in focus and sharp at all apertures and would make a good lens for it, but for less depth of field you'll want a longer focal length and a larger aperture.

And then you're going to have focus issues because pets just don't stay put... so you're asking for a tough setup. Using flash and stopping down the lens will get you more keepers.. so if you do use the natural light and wide apertures you'll need to shoot a lot of frames.


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gasrocks
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Sep 29, 2008 09:38 |  #5

I get the best results when I stay back a ways and give them space and freedom to do their thing. 200mm or 300mm.


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TheHoff
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Sep 29, 2008 09:40 |  #6

Yup, that is a good point, too (assuming you're outside and not meaning window light).


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egordon99
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Philly 'burbs
Sep 29, 2008 10:50 |  #7

You already have some excellent lenses. How do you find them lacking? What a zoom would give you is more flexibility in framing/composition and keep you from having to change lenses as often.

I do most of my "people" shooting with my 30mm and 85mm f/1.8, and I'm totally spoiled by the image quality, that it's worth it for me to deal with "zooming with my feet" and more lens changes. From my research, the Canon 24-70L might approach the quality of these two primes (albeit a bit slower @f/2.8) so that would probably be MY only choice if I were to switch to a zoom for the 24-85 range.

mineymole wrote in post #6402306external link
I have used my 50 1.4 and 85 1.4.... I am wondering if a zoom would be better - but obviously one that focuses fast!




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Jon
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Sep 29, 2008 11:00 |  #8

Indoors, usually the 24-70 and 70-200. Outdoors, more the 70-200.

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mineymole
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Sep 29, 2008 11:23 |  #9
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egordon99 wrote in post #6402799external link
You already have some excellent lenses. How do you find them lacking? What a zoom would give you is more flexibility in framing/composition and keep you from having to change lenses as often.

I do most of my "people" shooting with my 30mm and 85mm f/1.8, and I'm totally spoiled by the image quality, that it's worth it for me to deal with "zooming with my feet" and more lens changes. From my research, the Canon 24-70L might approach the quality of these two primes (albeit a bit slower @f/2.8) so that would probably be MY only choice if I were to switch to a zoom for the 24-85 range.

None lacking. Just wondering if the 17-55 IS or the 24-80 would be better.
I'm very grateful for all the advice.



Canon XSi • Canon 30D -- for sale
Canon EFS 17-55 f/2.8, 35L, 85 1.8, 135L, Speedlight 580ex II

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mineymole
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Rhinebeck, New York
Sep 29, 2008 11:23 |  #10
banned

TheHoff wrote in post #6402344external link
Thanks; it was some natural light plus a bounced flash. There is a big window to my left, I had a 580 on the hotshoe, bounced back and to the left to accentuate it and then I had a modeling lamp on the background... really pretty simple, this was done before I bought more lighting gear.

I would say a zoom would be better assuming you have enough light and are going to stop it down or use f/4+. If, however, you're aiming for natural light photos with thin depth of field, you'll need something faster in aperture and quick focusing. That can be a zoom... my 16-35 is super fast in focus and sharp at all apertures and would make a good lens for it, but for less depth of field you'll want a longer focal length and a larger aperture.

And then you're going to have focus issues because pets just don't stay put... so you're asking for a tough setup. Using flash and stopping down the lens will get you more keepers.. so if you do use the natural light and wide apertures you'll need to shoot a lot of frames.

Thank you so much for your advice.



Canon XSi • Canon 30D -- for sale
Canon EFS 17-55 f/2.8, 35L, 85 1.8, 135L, Speedlight 580ex II

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egordon99
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Sep 29, 2008 11:49 |  #11

I'm going to assume you mean the 24-70L.....

I've been debating this in my mind - I'd LOVE a 24-70L for event work, and one way to fund it would be to sell my two primes. I'd lose about two stops of light, but it would be more versatile. I've yet to see someone offer a definete opinion on the IMAGE QUALITY of the L vs. the two excellent primes. But everytime I snap a shot of my five month old son with my 85mm f/1.8, I give up the idea.

mineymole wrote in post #6402992external link
None lacking. Just wondering if the 17-55 IS or the 24-80 would be better.
I'm very grateful for all the advice.




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mineymole
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Sep 29, 2008 11:52 |  #12
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egordon99 wrote in post #6403148external link
I'm going to assume you mean the 24-70L.....

I've been debating this in my mind - I'd LOVE a 24-70L for event work, and one way to fund it would be to sell my two primes. I'd lose about two stops of light, but it would be more versatile. I've yet to see someone offer a definete opinion on the IMAGE QUALITY of the L vs. the two excellent primes. But everytime I snap a shot of my five month old son with my 85mm f/1.8, I give up the idea.

Yes I have been giving some thought to the 24-70L or the Sigma 24-70.



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rushnp774
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Oct 11, 2008 18:41 |  #13

By far, my best pet portraits are from my "nifty fifty" f/1.8 lens. Check out my pics on Flickr if you'd like to see them. I only have that lens and a crappy Sigma 28-105, so I tend to leave the 50mm on there most of the time.


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Ultimate ­ CC
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Oct 25, 2008 22:11 |  #14

70-200 2.8IS outdoors is my go to lens now but i used to love the 100-400L

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mineymole
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Oct 26, 2008 08:23 |  #15
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rushnp774 wrote in post #6478886external link
By far, my best pet portraits are from my "nifty fifty" f/1.8 lens. Check out my pics on Flickr if you'd like to see them. I only have that lens and a crappy Sigma 28-105, so I tend to leave the 50mm on there most of the time.

How do I find you on flickr?



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Pet Photography - what lenses
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