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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 31 Aug 2011 (Wednesday) 22:14
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Low light, moving target

 
snyder17315
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Location: Westfield, IN
     
Aug 31, 2011 22:14 |  #1

So tonight I had the opportunity to test out a new 24-105L on my T2i photographing my 22 month old son scurrying about our living room. No flash, just a corner floor lamp and 4 compact fluorescent blubs from the ceiling fan overhead (room is approximately 18x20).

I shot about 25 images, all at f/4 with ISO between 1600 and 3200 and shutter between 1/50 to 1/15 at varying focal lengths (mainly 60-100mm though). Almost all came out blurry as he was rapidly darting around the room, or standing up, looking around, etc.

A flash (probably 580ex II) is on the short list for the upcoming winter imposed indoor shooting months, but that aside; should I be looking at a different (faster) lens for this application? Most of what I was shooting was headshot/upper body shots with a few full bodies thrown in - so maybe a EF 85mm f/1.8 would make sense?

It was much easier shooting him with the kit 18-55 and built in flash last year when he was still a baby and not mobile and I didn't care about trying to actually learn how to take proper pictures! :)

This was the best I was able to get....

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5D MK II
EF 50mm 1.8 | EF 85mm 1.8 | EF 24-70L | EF 70-200L 2.8 IS II
www.jrobertsnyderphoto​graphy.com (external link)

  
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anthony11
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Aug 31, 2011 23:17 |  #2

The above is pretty good for 1/50. I rarely get keepers of my energetic son slower than 1/200, and even that is marginal. I find the 85 f/1.8 problematic on FF for my living room -- unless you have a biiig place you'll find yourself cramped with your cropper. Also note that the minimum focus distance distance is like 3 feet which is also a problem indoors. I have better luck with mine outdoors with a bit of distance.

Also note that at 85mm, f/1.8 at indoor distances has a pretty narrow DoF, which can be an issue for a subject who isn't posing with eyes square to the focal plane. F/2.8 does better for me.

With a flash in M mode you can select a lower ISO and stop down for DoF, with the result that the flash provides all the light, so you effectively get like a 1/1000 shutter for freezing subject motion. Flash is tricky and can be complex, with modifiers and bouncing, but for indoor shots of my (autistic) son it's the only viable option.


5D2, 24-105L, 85mm f/1.8, MP960, HG21, crumbling G6+R72, Brownian toddler

  
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snyder17315
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Aug 31, 2011 23:33 as a reply to  @ anthony11's post |  #3

After tonight's lens trial I'm seriously considering exchanging the 24-104L for a 17-55 (or possibly 15-85). I really hate losing the extra reach; but the f/2.8 may make up for it with pictures I can actually use/keep.


5D MK II
EF 50mm 1.8 | EF 85mm 1.8 | EF 24-70L | EF 70-200L 2.8 IS II
www.jrobertsnyderphoto​graphy.com (external link)

  
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Edwin ­ Herdman
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Aug 31, 2011 23:37 as a reply to  @ snyder17315's post |  #4

You could also look into a really fast lens like the 50mm f/1.4 - currently around $390 US won't break the bank and you won't lose any flexibility in being able to go back to the other lens. You might be tempted to leave it on all the time though, shooting it at f/8 outdoors...In practical terms I think the great low-light autofocusing ability of the lens should allow pretty quick captures with AI Servo AF mode on, and pretty decent in One-Shot mode as well. The DOF shouldn't be a big problem, but sharpness could be. But even if you stop that lens down, you'll get the benefit of better autofocus without breaking the bank. A 17-55mm f/2.8 would be a "do most everything" lens, though.




  
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snyder17315
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Sep 01, 2011 00:15 |  #5

It's a tough call. I really, really want to love the 24-105; but i'm not looking forward to December-March being cooped up inside with only it. I had also considered the 50mm f/1.4 as a possible solution since i'm not sure moving down a full stop will be enough to accomplish what I'm after (basically not having to use a flash inside all the time). Prime may be the best way to go!


5D MK II
EF 50mm 1.8 | EF 85mm 1.8 | EF 24-70L | EF 70-200L 2.8 IS II
www.jrobertsnyderphoto​graphy.com (external link)

  
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wunhang
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Sep 01, 2011 00:39 |  #6

snyder17315 wrote in post #13033917 (external link)
It's a tough call. I really, really want to love the 24-105; but i'm not looking forward to December-March being cooped up inside with only it. I had also considered the 50mm f/1.4 as a possible solution since i'm not sure moving down a full stop will be enough to accomplish what I'm after (basically not having to use a flash inside all the time). Prime may be the best way to go!

Your best bet is constant use of the flash. If you're getting 1/50sec right now, a f/2.8 will get you 1/100sec at the same conditions. At f/1.4, you'll get 1/200sec... is that fast enough? Will you have enough in focus at f/1.4?


Canon 5D IV | Canon 5D II | XSI (Infrared modified) | SL1 | 16-35mm L f/4.0 IS | 24-70mm L f/2.8 II | 40mm f/2.8 | 85mm f/1.8 | 70-200mm L f/4.0 IS | Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | C/Y 28mm f/2.8 | Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC | C/Y 50mm f/1.7 | Zeiss 100mm MP
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pitabread
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Sep 01, 2011 00:55 |  #7

I'd get a flash over a f/2.8 lens for indoor family shooting. I started with a 2.8 lens (24-70mm) before getting a flash and found the flash made the bigger difference.

Of course f/2.8 and a flash is best, but f/4 + flash would be good as well.


Bodies: EOS 7D, Rebel XT/350D
Lenses: 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6, 24-70mm f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.4, 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
Accessories: Speedlite 580EX II, Gitzo 1541T tripod, Markins Q3 Traveler ballhead

  
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kin2son
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Sep 01, 2011 00:56 |  #8
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snyder17315 wrote in post #13033917 (external link)
It's a tough call. I really, really want to love the 24-105; but i'm not looking forward to December-March being cooped up inside with only it. I had also considered the 50mm f/1.4 as a possible solution since i'm not sure moving down a full stop will be enough to accomplish what I'm after (basically not having to use a flash inside all the time). Prime may be the best way to go!

Prime is always better, regardless of indoor or outdoor:p Zoom is only good at one thing really - versatility. Nothing more than that.

Anyway, 85mm is too long for indoor in most cases, consider a fast prime within the 30-50mm range. 15-85 is also not the best choice for indoor as it's not 2.8.


5D3 Gripped / 17-40L / Σ35 / 40 Pancake / Zeiss 50 MP / Σ85 / 100L Macro / 70-200 f2.8L II IS / 430 EX II / 580 EX II / Canon 2xIII TC / Kenko Ext. Tubes
EOS M / EF-M 18-55 / EF-M 22f2 / Ricoh GR aka Ultimate street camera :p
Flickr (external link) | My Images on Getty®‎ (external link)

  
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anthony11
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Sep 01, 2011 01:13 |  #9

kin2son wrote in post #13034071 (external link)
Prime is always better, regardless of indoor or outdoor:p Zoom is only good at one thing really - versatility. Nothing more than that.

Right -- because shooting an unpredictable and active toddler totally doesn't need versatility.


5D2, 24-105L, 85mm f/1.8, MP960, HG21, crumbling G6+R72, Brownian toddler

  
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javig999
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Sep 01, 2011 01:41 as a reply to  @ anthony11's post |  #10

With kids moving all the time, I rarely shoot at wide apertures. IMO, when in comes to indoor snapshots, its f5.6 with flash (1/80 - 1/125s). Its nice to have natural light shots but it is unrealistic to think that all situations a child gets into can be shot with natural/ambient light. The 24-105 is a well regarded lens, and a nice range for general purpose. If you are going to invest, the flash will likely make the biggest difference for your snapshot type photography. Add a 50mm f1.4 of f1.8 for those more creative shots - the flash will help here too...

The 430EX can be had for $200 used, and a 50mm for $100 used. Two or three sets of eneloops and a smart charger and you are set. These will compliment your 24-105 and body, while allowing for and expanded range of styles.

Best of luck...


90D 7D SL1 | 8mm 3.5 FE | EF-S 10-22 | EF-S 17-55 | EF-S 24mm 2.8 | EX 30mm 1.4 | EF 85mm 1.8 | EF 100mm 2.8 Macro | EF 70-200 f2.8 IS MkI | 2 x YN 600EX/E3-RT | Manfrotto 293/SBH-250 | Dolica monopod/SBH-30

  
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GregoryF
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Sep 01, 2011 01:54 |  #11

javig999 wrote in post #13034202 (external link)
With kids moving all the time, I rarely shoot at wide apertures. IMO, when in comes to indoor snapshots, its f5.6 with flash (1/80 - 1/125s). Its nice to have natural light shots but it is unrealistic to think that all situations a child gets into can be shot with natural/ambient light. The 24-105 is a well regarded lens, and a nice range for general purpose. If you are going to invest, the flash will likely make the biggest difference for your snapshot type photography. Add a 50mm f1.4 of f1.8 for those more creative shots - the flash will help here too...

The 430EX can be had for $200 used, and a 50mm for $100 used. Two or three sets of eneloops and a smart charger and you are set. These will compliment your 24-105 and body, while allowing for and expanded range of styles.

Best of luck...

I agree. I could not have stated it better!


6D, 5D, 7D, Eos R and too many lenses, flashes and aux. gear to list!:cool:
A simple hobby gone horribily wrong

  
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raptor117
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Sep 01, 2011 01:57 as a reply to  @ javig999's post |  #12

I'm set to pull the trigger purchasing Canon 24-105. I've been using my Tamron 17-50 non vc for almost 2 years now... most pics are keepers especially shooting my toddler. At f2.8 is not fast enough without using flash indoors. I'm planning to buy 24-105 for versatility purpose without sacrificing IQ I think. I experiment shooting indoors set to f4 with my tammy with flash produces great results. Maybe you should use flash, with some technique, bounce flash works for me well. :)


Canon 6D | Canon 17-40L | Sigma 12-24ii | Canon 24-70 f/4L IS | Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 VC | Canon 70-300L | Sigma 35 1.4 Art | Canon 85 1.8 | Canon 85 1.2Lii | Canon 135L
Canon 7D | Sigma 50-150 OS

  
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wayne.robbins
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Sep 01, 2011 06:16 |  #13

GregoryF wrote in post #13034231 (external link)
I agree. I could not have stated it better!

+1. Get a good flash first, and bounce it. Nothing beats adding light..

You could also get the same increase, realistically, in any particular room by doubling the amount of light in that room as you would going to a f/2.8 zoom. You stated that you had 4 CF bulbs.. Add a second lamp on the other side of the room, similarly equipped with bulbs, and point them to the ceiling if it is white (bounce ?). I prefer the Daylight bulbs, and get the same brand with the same kelvin rating to keep the light more constant. watt per watt, the daylight type bulbs seem to be brighter than the yellow CF bulbs do. The daylight bulbs also tend to work better with flash as they are more similar in color cast.


EOS 5D III, EOS 7D,EOS Rebel T4i, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, Canon 24-105L, Canon 18-135 IS STM, 1.4x TC III, 2.0x TC III, Σ 50mm f/1.4, Σ 17-50 OS, Σ 70-200 OS, Σ 50-500 OS, Σ 1.4x TC, Σ 2.0x TC, 580EXII(3), Canon SX-40, Canon S100
Fond memories: Rebel T1i, Canon 18-55 IS, Canon 55-250 IS, 18-135 IS (Given to a good home)...

  
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lilkngster
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Sep 01, 2011 07:59 |  #14

My son is 28 mths and has added vertical scurrying in addition to all the running around. I probably have similar lighting as you and even with the 17-55 wide open, I still get alot of motion blur. Like your picture, watching TV shots tend to come out better, since he turns into a zombie, but compositionwise I find them boring with no emotion.

f/1.4-2.0 might get you enough shutter speed for more keepers, but you will see the most immediate results by adding a flash, learning how to use bounce it indoors, and figuring out how best to white balance. I would also recommend the 580exII rather than the 430exII because you will want 360 degrees of rotation, its my biggest complaint. When you first get it, put it in high speed sync mode, play around with the flash exposure compensation, play around with bouncing the flash, and shoot away. Your 24-105 will seem like a new lens for inside, unless you are looking for that think DOF. Once you feel up to it, you can start learning more about what the flash can do indoors and outside.


6dII/80d/1dIII|8mm to 400mm|Pro-10/100

  
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mntbikejack
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Sep 01, 2011 08:06 |  #15

snyder17315 wrote in post #13033764 (external link)
After tonight's lens trial I'm seriously considering exchanging the 24-104L for a 17-55 (or possibly 15-85). I really hate losing the extra reach; but the f/2.8 may make up for it with pictures I can actually use/keep.

I swapped the 24-105L out for the 17-55 2.8 IS. No regrets.


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Low light, moving target
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