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Archive 2012 · fast lenses, anyone?
  
 
nugeny
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p.1 #1 · fast lenses, anyone?


fast lenses cost a lot. And we do know, landscape photographers shot at f 7,8 and up.
S:o why do you buy fast lenses: f1.4, 2.8...? if not what do you use to get good IQ?



Dec 24, 2012 at 04:32 AM
myam203
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p.1 #2 · fast lenses, anyone?


For everyday shooting, I try to avoid using flash as much as possible, and I need fast lenses in order to do that (indoors, low light, night). I don't like being the designated photographer or "guy with a camera", and a flash just screams that, so I only pull one out when necessary or when I'm getting paid. On the other hand, in a studio using strobes or shooting landscapes on a tripod, I could get by with a lens stuck at f/11 if I had to.


Dec 24, 2012 at 04:50 AM
nugeny
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p.1 #3 · fast lenses, anyone?


Mike Yamin wrote:
For everyday shooting, I try to avoid using flash as much as possible, and I need fast lenses in order to do that (indoors, low light, night). I don't like being the designated photographer or "guy with a camera", and a flash just screams that, so I only pull one out when necessary or when I'm getting paid. On the other hand, in a studio using strobes or shooting landscapes on a tripod, I could get by with a lens stuck at f/11 if I had to.


That is right. But for the pure landscape-photogs, no flshes, why does any one spend money to buy fast lenses?



Dec 24, 2012 at 05:05 AM
brockwhittaker
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p.1 #4 · fast lenses, anyone?


I shoot the milky way and a lot of night shots, and that requires a lens that is good at f/2 or better.

Now that I'm getting a D600, and don't have my 5Dc anymore, I don't think it will be as bad anymore though.



Dec 24, 2012 at 05:08 AM
taemo
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p.1 #5 · fast lenses, anyone?


like TSE, fast lenses are able to give you the shot without sacrificing your exposure.
you may want to shoot f8 or f11 but you may not want to expose over 1s or even 30s



Dec 24, 2012 at 05:13 AM
nugeny
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p.1 #6 · fast lenses, anyone?


brockwhittaker wrote:
I shoot the milky way and a lot of night shots, and that requires a lens that is good at f/2 or better.

Now that I'm getting a D600, and don't have my 5Dc anymore, I don't think it will be as bad anymore though.


I used to shoot the stars with ISO !!! Well now we can shoot the sky with ISO 1200 ---a factor of 250?---Heck, one can shot the sky with ISO 6400 easily/



Dec 24, 2012 at 05:24 AM
myam203
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p.1 #7 · fast lenses, anyone?


Oh I see... I misunderstood your question. The simplest answer I can give is that fast lenses also tend to be the best lenses. I can't think of many professional grade, sharp from corner-to-corner lenses that are slower than, say, f/4 or even f/2.8. There's a few perhaps, but not many.


Dec 24, 2012 at 05:37 AM
nugeny
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p.1 #8 · fast lenses, anyone?


Mike Yamin wrote:
Oh I see... I misunderstood your question. The simplest answer I can give is that fast lenses also tend to be the best lenses. I can't think of many professional grade, sharp from corner-to-corner lenses that are slower than, say, f/4 or even f/2.8. There's a few perhaps, but not many.


now that is what I want to hear. But then the next question: who is looking at the corners of your pictures. I myself and all the people I know, we look at a nice picture and all that matters is some where around the center and around it but at the corners?



Dec 24, 2012 at 05:52 AM
myam203
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p.1 #9 · fast lenses, anyone?


The photographer is the one looking at the corners. Most viewers don't care, but the kind of photographer who cares about technical things like sharp corners is trying to satisfy himself before he even thinks about how the viewer will react.


Dec 24, 2012 at 06:26 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · fast lenses, anyone?


As to "whose looking" ... publishers & editors of National Geographic and Arizona Highways probably don't get too enthused when they receive landscape images with soft corners that could be shot with a kit lens. My grandmother couldn't care less and will get excited at anything I did. Kinda depends on your audience ... be that yourself, or others.

However, while DOF has some bearing on that, the design of the lens can also have impact on it. Optics are always a series of tradeoffs ... particularly more challenging / noticeable in the WA/UWA ranges. Some lenses are intentionally designed to favor sharper centers (zone A) than corners (zone C), while others are designed to be equally sharp in all zones (A, B, C).

Just because a lens is faster or slower won't necessarily dictate whether or not it has sharp corners. Other issues in lens design such as distortion, vignetting, CA etc. also factor into the cost of "expensive" lenses.

Buying a fast lens (1.4, 1.2) is kinda like buying a dump truck ... if you don't need it, don't buy it. But if you do need one, a wheel barrow just won't do. Many lens designs perform at their optimum @ 2-3 stops from wide open. So from that alone, a 1.4 lens may be at its best around 2.8 or 4. Thus, if you shoot a lot @ 2.8, doing so with a faster lens can put you in a better "sweet spot" of a lens, rather than a 2.8 lens that is on it's "ragged edge" of performance. In that regard, fast glass, isn't always just about shooting it wide open for ultra-low light or uber-skinny dof.

If you are planning on shooting landscapes @ f8 or f11 for DOF purposes ... such fast glass can actually be counterproductive as you may be shooting outside of the "sweet spot" for such a lens. Alternatively, a lens that starts @ 2.8 or 3.5 may have its "sweet spot" around 5.6-8 or 8-11. While this is a general rule of thumb ... a given lens may or may not adhere to it, depending on how the engineers decided to design its drawing style / IQ. BTW, (iirc) noted photographer Galen Rowell shot much with the Nikon 20/4 AIS ... likely to hit the "sweet spot" around f8 (just guessing).

As to your question @ what I buy to get good IQ ... I buy well corrected lenses with minimal distortion, vignetting, CA, etc. that have good resolution and good contrast, and even sharpness through all zones A,B,C. Some lenses are designed to have greater central resolution ... and I have a few of those as well, but note them as such. As to transitions, I have a mix of glass that have slow transitions and rapid ones ... transition rate being a rather subjective matter (as is much of IQ/drawing style).










Dec 24, 2012 at 01:32 PM
 

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BenV
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p.1 #11 · fast lenses, anyone?


why do I get the feeling this thread was just created to always find an issue with prime lenses? I shoot with them because I want to. End of story.


Dec 25, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Jamesbjenkins
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p.1 #12 · fast lenses, anyone?


Mike Yamin wrote:
The photographer is the one looking at the corners. Most viewers don't care, but the kind of photographer who cares about technical things like sharp corners is trying to satisfy himself before he even thinks about how the viewer will react.


^^ this sums up my view on this subject perfectly. I guarantee you my clients don't ever notice corner sharpness, vignetting and edge barrel distortion... But I do. I know if I'm happy, my clients are probably over the moon.



Dec 26, 2012 at 12:31 AM
nugeny
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p.1 #13 · fast lenses, anyone?


Jamesbjenkins wrote:
^^ this sums up my view on this subject perfectly. I guarantee you my clients don't ever notice corner sharpness, vignetting and edge barrel distortion... But I do. I know if I'm happy, my clients are probably over the moon.


Now you confirm what I thought ---not that it was necessary. The important location of a picture is the center. In the real world, I want my picture to be really sharp on the main location--that is mostly around the center, that where people look at first and last. The corner and the far distant location: I purposely make them less sharp TO ACCENTUATE THE IMPORTANT AREA. Some times vignetting helps.

I do landscapes and now wildlife, both don;t need to be sharp every where. Quite often, it is not good arstistically to be sharp every where.



Dec 26, 2012 at 01:49 AM
rhyder
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p.1 #14 · fast lenses, anyone?


nugeny wrote:
Now you confirm what I thought ---not that it was necessary. The important location of a picture is the center. In the real world, I want my picture to be really sharp on the main location--that is mostly around the center, that where people look at first and last. The corner and the far distant location: I purposely make them less sharp TO ACCENTUATE THE IMPORTANT AREA. Some times vignetting helps.

I do landscapes and now wildlife, both don;t need to be sharp every where. Quite often, it is not good arstistically to be sharp every where.


This is one of the funniest statements (about art or photography) I've heard in years....literally years. If you would like...I could recommend some good books on aesthetics......



Dec 26, 2012 at 09:25 PM
nugeny
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p.1 #15 · fast lenses, anyone?


rhyder wrote:
This is one of the funniest statements (about art or photography) I've heard in years....literally years. If you would like...I could recommend some good books on aesthetics......


Is there a "rule" in esthetics that is dictated by an almighty being? if not, if the good book written by a famous author diagrees with me, so what?



Dec 26, 2012 at 10:03 PM
nugeny
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p.1 #16 · fast lenses, anyone?


Years ago when I was still green in photography, I gave one of my picture for critics in a group of photographer, lead by a well known one. This leader of the workshop looked at my picture, analyzed it in depth, some not so flattering, and finally he asked:"why do you it "this"way?" Right away, I answered:"I like it that way".
I continue to see this photographer, he always a leader, on many more occasions on many different settings. At the end of the critic of any picture, he repeats what I told him: what you yourself like is the most important and only thing that counts in an art work. If you try to please others in doing your work, the result would be not an art work.



Dec 26, 2012 at 10:18 PM
rhyder
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p.1 #17 · fast lenses, anyone?


I also ask this..."why do you it "this"way?"...and when someone answers.."I like it that way"...I write them off in my mind as a fool that doesn't want to learn anything and pretty much ignore anything else this person says. The only person that one can't teach something to is someone who thinks they know it all. Your "well known one" is being polite, he knows not to waste any time or effort trying to teach you anything.


Dec 26, 2012 at 10:38 PM
nugeny
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p.1 #18 · fast lenses, anyone?


rhyder wrote:
I also ask this..."why do you it "this"way?"...and when someone answers.."I like it that way"...I write them off in my mind as a fool that doesn't want to learn anything and pretty much ignore anything else this person says. The only person that one can't teach something to is someone who thinks they know it all. Your "well known one" is being polite, he knows not to waste any time or effort trying to teach you anything.


Oh, really? so for you it is my way or hiway? more power to you and you will not be my friend with open mind. You may keep your way, and I will keep mine and I won't say your way is wrong.



Dec 26, 2012 at 10:54 PM
rhyder
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p.1 #19 · fast lenses, anyone?


This is me being POLITE............


Dec 26, 2012 at 11:01 PM
jefferies1
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p.1 #20 · fast lenses, anyone?


All depends on what you shoot and your style. Most of my work requires a shallow DOF. I don't do landscapes so I could not tell you what a good DOF would be for shooting one. The only thing I might shoot that comes close to a landscape would be a small plant for an landscaper and with that I want to seperate it from the background so again a shallow DOF. Same for my people shots and for my events I need to shoot in very low light, usually without flash.


Dec 27, 2012 at 06:51 PM
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