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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 19 Jan 2009 (Monday) 14:24
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Fast lenses are overrated

 
Nick_b
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Jan 19, 2009 14:24 |  #1

Just though I'd let everyone know....


I love my fast lenses, but I think I've grown up a bit after buying and using the kit lens a month ago. Just like it's often recommended that primes are used to focus the mind to compose I'd say using small apertures focuses the mind to consider composing using lots of DOF. blurring out a distracting background is fairly easy with the right equipment but learning to compose a scene with lots of DOF isn't appreciated enough imo.

Oh, and just because you have a lens that does 1.4-1.2 doesn't mean you don't need to use flash.


50D, 2 x 20D, Elan 7E, 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 IS, 30mm 1.4 , 85mm 1.8, 200mm 2.8 II, flash 430EX, 580 EX
Canon G10
Pentax P30, 50mm 2.0

  
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JeffreyG
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Jan 19, 2009 14:32 |  #2

Nick_b wrote in post #7111250 (external link)
Just though I'd let everyone know....

I love my fast lenses, but I think I've grown up a bit after buying and using the kit lens a month ago. Just like it's often recommended that primes are used to focus the mind to compose I'd say using small apertures focuses the mind to consider composing using lots of DOF. blurring out a distracting background is fairly easy with the right equipment but learning to compose a scene with lots of DOF isn't appreciated enough imo.

Oh, and just because you have a lens that does 1.4-1.2 doesn't mean you don't need to use flash.

I agree with your general sentiment if not with your specific statement.

Fast lenses are not an excuse for not learning to use flash. Flash gives more control to put the light where you want it and to shoot with the DOF you need. Using fast lenses to avoid flash means putting up with shallow DOF whether you want it or not. Also, ambient light is not always good looking, and flash well done often looks better.

And secondarily, I think use of shallow DOF can be overused. It's nice for some things, but putting people in their environment can also be nice.


My personal stuff:http://www.flickr.com/​photos/jngirbach/sets/ (external link)
I use a Canon 5DIII and a Sony A7rIII

  
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tempest68
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Jan 19, 2009 14:34 |  #3

To each, his own, I guess.

I'm finding I prefer to get the fastest lens I can in whatever focal length I want from this point going forward. Why? Because a fast lens can be stopped down, but a slow lens cannot be stopped up! And reading reviews of various lenses, it seems there are plenty of lenses that are not "perfect" wide open (CA, etc.), but get better stopping down 1 or two steps. So I'd rather have an F2.8 stopped down to F4 with good results than a lens that starts at F4 and is marginal at F4.

I think a persons wants/needs are also dictated by what they shoot. If I only shot landscapes, then I would be happy with F4 lenses. But shooting a variety of subjects, I like having options.


Jim
Canon: EOS 3, 40mm f2.8 STM, 85mm f1.8 USM. Voigtlander: R3A, 28mm F2.8 SL II, Nokton 40mm f1.4, 50mm f2 Heliar.
Nikon: SB-25. Yongnuo: YN565EX, YN-622C transceiver (x2)
Sony: A7S, a6000, 24-240mm f3.5-6.3 G, Nissin i40.

  
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joeseph
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Jan 19, 2009 14:39 |  #4

Having tried, I cannot tell the difference between 50mm f/1.2 and 24-70 f/2.8 when shooting at f/8


some fairly old canon camera stuff, canon lenses, Manfrotto "thingy", 1D MK II converted for IR, and now an M5
TF posting: here :-)

  
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ed ­ rader
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Jan 19, 2009 14:46 |  #5

tempest68 wrote in post #7111329 (external link)
To each, his own, I guess.

I'm finding I prefer to get the fastest lens I can in whatever focal length I want from this point going forward. Why? Because a fast lens can be stopped down, but a slow lens cannot be stopped up! And reading reviews of various lenses, it seems there are plenty of lenses that are not "perfect" wide open (CA, etc.), but get better stopping down 1 or two steps. So I'd rather have an F2.8 stopped down to F4 with good results than a lens that starts at F4 and is marginal at F4.

I think a persons wants/needs are also dictated by what they shoot. If I only shot landscapes, then I would be happy with F4 lenses. But shooting a variety of subjects, I like having options.

judging from your sig this practice is still in the theory stage :D?

ed rader


http://instagram.com/e​draderphotography/ (external link)
5D4, 80d, 16-35L F4 IS, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS II, 100-400L II, sigma 15 FE, sigma 14 f1.8, tc 1.4 III, 430exII, gitzo 3542L + markins Q20, gitzo GT 1545T + markins Q3T, gitzo GM4562

  
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twoshadows
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Jan 19, 2009 14:47 |  #6

JeffreyG wrote in post #7111308 (external link)
I agree with your general sentiment if not with your specific statement.

Fast lenses are not an excuse for not learning to use flash. Flash gives more control to put the light where you want it and to shoot with the DOF you need. Using fast lenses to avoid flash means putting up with shallow DOF whether you want it or not. Also, ambient light is not always good looking, and flash well done often looks better.

And secondarily, I think use of shallow DOF can be overused. It's nice for some things, but putting people in their environment can also be nice.

I was guilty of that. In an effort to build my reputation as a low light photographer I would simply refuse to use flash. Had I thought it out, like I do now, I would have opted for it a lot more.


Apprentice sought (Las Vegas)
xgender.net (external link) Miss Julia Grey (she/her/Miss)
Bodies: Canon 5DII-x2, 5D, 20D-x2
Lenses: 12-24 24tse II, 28/2, 28-80, 28-85, 28-105 II, 28-210, 35 pc, sweet35, edge50, 50/1.8, 50/1.8, 50/2.8, 55 macro, 55/1.2, 60-300, 75-150/4, 85/1.8, 135/2.5, 200/4, 300/5.6, SP 2X TC.

  
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timnosenzo
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Jan 19, 2009 14:49 |  #7

If you look at everything available to you as a way to compose your photo, then a fast lens can just be another option. Sometimes I use flash, sometimes I use available light, sometimes I use shallow DOF, and sometimes I use a deep DOF. It's just a matter of how I see it, and what I want to convey to the viewer.

The thing is, if you're using a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4, then it's going to limit your options with DOF control. Some may be OK with that, and some may not.


connecticut wedding photographer (external link)

  
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form
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Jan 19, 2009 14:49 |  #8

Yes of course, and while we're at it let's ignore some of the rules of art and photography and just buy point & shoot cameras to do paid work.


Las Vegas Wedding Photographer: http://www.joeyallenph​oto.com (external link)

  
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twoshadows
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Jan 19, 2009 14:52 |  #9

Nick_b wrote in post #7111250 (external link)
Just though I'd let everyone know....

I love my fast lenses, but I think I've grown up a bit after buying and using the kit lens a month ago. Just like it's often recommended that primes are used to focus the mind to compose I'd say using small apertures focuses the mind to consider composing using lots of DOF. blurring out a distracting background is fairly easy with the right equipment but learning to compose a scene with lots of DOF isn't appreciated enough imo.

Oh, and just because you have a lens that does 1.4-1.2 doesn't mean you don't need to use flash.

I came from a sports bg, so shooting tight and wide open was my "style". Little by little it is being etched into my brain that there are other f-stops to be used and bg's to compose.

Good post, Nick.


Apprentice sought (Las Vegas)
xgender.net (external link) Miss Julia Grey (she/her/Miss)
Bodies: Canon 5DII-x2, 5D, 20D-x2
Lenses: 12-24 24tse II, 28/2, 28-80, 28-85, 28-105 II, 28-210, 35 pc, sweet35, edge50, 50/1.8, 50/1.8, 50/2.8, 55 macro, 55/1.2, 60-300, 75-150/4, 85/1.8, 135/2.5, 200/4, 300/5.6, SP 2X TC.

  
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ed ­ rader
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Jan 19, 2009 14:53 |  #10

timnosenzo wrote in post #7111449 (external link)
If you look at everything available to you as a way to compose your photo, then a fast lens can just be another option. Sometimes I use flash, sometimes I use available light, sometimes I use shallow DOF, and sometimes I use a deep DOF. It's just a matter of how I see it, and what I want to convey to the viewer.

The thing is, if you're using a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4, then it's going to limit your options with DOF control. Some may be OK with that, and some may not.

there are a few who do low light without flash very well and then there's the rest of us.

i agree with what you are saying completely but i think many (vast majority) would be better off stopping down a tad and getting a flashgun :D.

ed rader


http://instagram.com/e​draderphotography/ (external link)
5D4, 80d, 16-35L F4 IS, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS II, 100-400L II, sigma 15 FE, sigma 14 f1.8, tc 1.4 III, 430exII, gitzo 3542L + markins Q20, gitzo GT 1545T + markins Q3T, gitzo GM4562

  
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Bill ­ Roberts
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Jan 19, 2009 14:54 |  #11

joeseph wrote in post #7111367 (external link)
Having tried, I cannot tell the difference between 50mm f/1.2 and 24-70 f/2.8 when shooting at f/8

LOL :lol: :lol:
There may well be some truth in that observation...

cheers


BiLL

  
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gooble
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Jan 19, 2009 14:58 |  #12

joeseph wrote in post #7111367 (external link)
Having tried, I cannot tell the difference between 50mm f/1.2 and 24-70 f/2.8 when shooting at f/8

Is this sarcasm? I assume it must be.




  
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Nick_b
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Jan 19, 2009 14:59 |  #13

form wrote in post #7111452 (external link)
Yes of course, and while we're at it let's ignore some of the rules of art and photography and just buy point & shoot cameras to do paid work.

rules?!? we don't need no stinking rules. hehe.

I'm using an extreme statement like "fast lenses are overrated" to articulate something much less drastic....

In an effort to build my reputation as a low light photographer I would simply refuse to use flash. Had I thought it out, like I do now, I would have opted for it a lot more.

I was the same way as twoshadows.


50D, 2 x 20D, Elan 7E, 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 IS, 30mm 1.4 , 85mm 1.8, 200mm 2.8 II, flash 430EX, 580 EX
Canon G10
Pentax P30, 50mm 2.0

  
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tempest68
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Jan 19, 2009 15:00 |  #14

ed rader wrote in post #7111430 (external link)
judging from your sig this practice is still in the theory stage :D?

ed rader

The Tamron was the first step in executing this practice. Before it, I had the 18-55 and still have (but do not use) the 17-85. I also sold the 75-300 because it was too slow and lacked IS (my hands are shaky, and it showed on the telephoto lens). Will begin saving for 70-200 F2.8 IS as my next lens.


Jim
Canon: EOS 3, 40mm f2.8 STM, 85mm f1.8 USM. Voigtlander: R3A, 28mm F2.8 SL II, Nokton 40mm f1.4, 50mm f2 Heliar.
Nikon: SB-25. Yongnuo: YN565EX, YN-622C transceiver (x2)
Sony: A7S, a6000, 24-240mm f3.5-6.3 G, Nissin i40.

  
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joeseph
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Jan 19, 2009 15:04 |  #15

gooble wrote in post #7111519 (external link)
Is this sarcasm? I assume it must be.

it wasn't meant to be.


some fairly old canon camera stuff, canon lenses, Manfrotto "thingy", 1D MK II converted for IR, and now an M5
TF posting: here :-)

  
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