September 30, 2014, 08:46:18 AM

Author Topic: lens for a lightpainter  (Read 3174 times)

azezal

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lens for a lightpainter
« on: January 05, 2013, 03:03:14 AM »
Hmm,
 its Gotta be extremely sharp at apertures beyond f/5.6

Weather sealed coz I'm gonna be using it in snow,dust,sand and what not

Tilt and shift functions are welcome( I would love it but I doubt it'd be possible)

More realistically an ultrawide lens with a good zoom range

Ability to change aperture mid exposure

Easily available ,no hunting on eBay etc

 I will be using it on a 7d so it won't be ultra wide after all

Accepts filters

Well that's pretty much what my impossible list is no lens can be everything at once so sharpness, weather sealing and ability to change aperture gets preference pretty much in that order I hope you guys can bear with me

Thanks in advance

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lens for a lightpainter
« on: January 05, 2013, 03:03:14 AM »

Drizzt321

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 03:09:49 AM »
Well, if you are going to change aperture mid-exposure, you'll need a manual lens, so either something vintage (you can get plenty of cheap, simple metal adapters for things like m42, etc), or a new manual lens without electronic aperture control. The Samyang/Rokinon/Bower lenses comes to mind, they have a fairly good 14mm that will probably be quite good on a 7D, since you won't get quite the mustache lens distortion, while still being wide. Not really weather sealed, but I imagine you could simply enclose the camera + lens in a nearly air-tight home-made plastic system. If it has a front filter on it that you glue the plastic to the edge of the filter, it'd be pretty darn good.

Otherwise...I dunno. If you don't mind exposure stacking to change the aperture, you can probably go for a Canon 17-40 or 16-35 with front filter, or the 10-22 and do the similar plastic with front filter idea. I think there's a few OK 3rd party ultra-wides, but I haven't really looked at any of them otherwise since they are mostly for crop cameras.
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azezal

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2013, 03:30:42 AM »
I'll take a look at that for sure, seems  interesting even the prices seem favourable ,how's the sharpness???

Exposure stacking might not work for  lightpainting

Thanks for the reply!! I appreciate it
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wayno

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2013, 03:55:12 AM »
Weather sealed? 17-40 would be my pick with a filter. Shame in a way because that can potentially exacerbate flare but I think ultra wide is the way to go for night work... That's my preferred style anyway. Most things on my page are shot with a 17-40 although I rarely light paint.

azezal

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2013, 04:30:34 AM »
Weather sealed? 17-40 would be my pick with a filter. Shame in a way because that can potentially exacerbate flare but I think ultra wide is the way to go for night work... That's my preferred style anyway. Most things on my page are shot with a 17-40 although I rarely light paint.

 I checked out your work,pretty amazing stuff how do you go about shooting i mean settings gear,lights if any ,postprocessing etc
I guess you have shorter exposures ,under a minute.

P.S : how sharp would the 17-40 be on a 7d ??
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sandymandy

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2013, 05:16:19 AM »
P.S : how sharp would the 17-40 be on a 7d ??

as sharp as on any other camera.

wayno

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 05:44:01 AM »
Weather sealed? 17-40 would be my pick with a filter. Shame in a way because that can potentially exacerbate flare but I think ultra wide is the way to go for night work... That's my preferred style anyway. Most things on my page are shot with a 17-40 although I rarely light paint.

 I checked out your work,pretty amazing stuff how do you go about shooting i mean settings gear,lights if any ,postprocessing etc
I guess you have shorter exposures ,under a minute.

P.S : how sharp would the 17-40 be on a 7d ??

Thanks for that - most of my night photography is at least 2 minutes. Some exceed 6-7 minutes. Settings-wise:

ISO200 (normally), no filters at all, 2 minutes on average, F8. Post processing for colour and contrast etc - only levels and curves and some selective dodge and burn. Mostly just Lightroom workflow (99% of the time).

With regards to the lens, I think the 17-40 would arguably be sharper on crop given the edges are cropped away (which are the weak bits on FF) - but it would not have the dynamism of UWA on the 7D. I used a 10-22 for a few months on my 550D and I loved it for night work however the 17-40 on the 5D2 is a step up in IQ undoubtedly (for me). I have seen people here say the contrary but I just do not see it - the images are 'deeper', sharper and more contrasty. With regard to night photography, the 17-40 handles flare much better and starbursts are cleaner and punchier. 10-22 starbursts were always filled with untidy globules of light whereas the 17-40 ones are cleaner and just 'glow'.

So with regards to night work, I would thoroughly endorse the 17-40. A lot of people are critical of this lens and consider it inferior to the 16-35. For day work (and photojournalistic work) I suspect there might be something (vaguely) in it however for night work, this lens is a winner. Night photography makes most lenses look good
and this one is no exception.

Whilst I have a nice collection of primes and love using them for day/portrait work, I would be lost using them at night. The UWA zoom is an essential part of my work at night - as I do not have time/luxury to compose slowly and thoughtfully. The wide angle potential allows leeways, especially in tight spots.

I would be slightly wary of capping the 17-40 with a filter though, as you must to weatherproof/resist it as it may make it more prone to flare. I don't believe the 10-22 is weather resistant, regardless?

That said, the 17-40 is a great lens on FF but I feel it's a bit boring on crop. Which kind of defeats the purpose of having a flexible UWA lens for night work. I suppose it depends on what you plan to shoot (and how).

Hope this helps in some way!

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 05:44:01 AM »

Mantanuska

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 06:48:43 AM »
If you need a wide zoom for the 7D and you dont want to spend the $300 extra for the canon 10-22, then the Tamron 10-24 is a pretty good deal. You wont be able to change the aperture mid exposure (not too sure why you would need to either), but there may be a workaround depending on what you are doing. I do a lot of long exposures underground and one thing that I find to be very useful is screen stacking in photoshop. it allows you to combine multiple exposures as if they were all shot on the same frame. so if you had two 30 sec exposures, you would stack them and end up with the equivalent of a 60 second exposure with the content from both frames. if you needed two different aperture settings for the same photo you could shoot them to different files and stack them later in photoshop.

Just about any lens out there is going to be sharp at f/5.6. The Tamron is not weather sealed, but I have been pretty lucky with it so far. Most of the places I bring it to have really fine sand. I just do my best to avoid getting sand on my camera and I haven't had any problems in the 14 months that I have had the lens.

In my opinion, the 17-40 would not be wide enough for a lot of light painting situations, assuming any of that is going to take place in a tight space, such as underground or in a building. It is also not dust /sand proof without a UV filter on, so could on spending another $60 on a nice UV filter if you go that route.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 06:53:50 AM by Mantanuska »

agierke

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2013, 09:16:23 AM »
can you expand upon why you need to change aperture mid exposure? never heard of that happening or the need for it. it presents a host of problems not least of which would be camera shake and disrupting the composition slightly.

also, light painting to me always referred to using handheld continuous light (like a flashlight) to selectively illuminate parts of your scene. is this what you are trying to do or are you simply doing night shots?

need more info...maybe preferably an example shot.
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azezal

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2013, 09:19:26 AM »
Weather sealed? 17-40 would be my pick with a filter. Shame in a way because that can potentially exacerbate flare but I think ultra wide is the way to go for night work... That's my preferred style anyway. Most things on my page are shot with a 17-40 although I rarely light paint.

 I checked out your work,pretty amazing stuff how do you go about shooting i mean settings gear,lights if any ,postprocessing etc
I guess you have shorter exposures ,under a minute.

P.S : how sharp would the 17-40 be on a 7d ??

Thanks for that - most of my night photography is at least 2 minutes. Some exceed 6-7 minutes. Settings-wise:

ISO200 (normally), no filters at all, 2 minutes on average, F8. Post processing for colour and contrast etc - only levels and curves and some selective dodge and burn. Mostly just Lightroom workflow (99% of the time).

With regards to the lens, I think the 17-40 would arguably be sharper on crop given the edges are cropped away (which are the weak bits on FF) - but it would not have the dynamism of UWA on the 7D. I used a 10-22 for a few months on my 550D and I loved it for night work however the 17-40 on the 5D2 is a step up in IQ undoubtedly (for me). I have seen people here say the contrary but I just do not see it - the images are 'deeper', sharper and more contrasty. With regard to night photography, the 17-40 handles flare much better and starbursts are cleaner and punchier. 10-22 starbursts were always filled with untidy globules of light whereas the 17-40 ones are cleaner and just 'glow'.

So with regards to night work, I would thoroughly endorse the 17-40. A lot of people are critical of this lens and consider it inferior to the 16-35. For day work (and photojournalistic work) I suspect there might be something (vaguely) in it however for night work, this lens is a winner. Night photography makes most lenses look good
and this one is no exception.

Whilst I have a nice collection of primes and love using them for day/portrait work, I would be lost using them at night. The UWA zoom is an essential part of my work at night - as I do not have time/luxury to compose slowly and thoughtfully. The wide angle potential allows leeways, especially in tight spots.
 
I would be slightly wary of capping the 17-40 with a filter though, as you must to weatherproof/resist it as it may make it more prone to flare. I don't believe the 10-22 is weather resistant, regardless?

That said, the 17-40 is a great lens on FF but I feel it's a bit boring on crop. Which kind of defeats the purpose of having a flexible UWA lens for night work. I suppose it depends on what you plan to shoot (and how).

Hope this helps in some way!

wow your workflow is identical to mine!!:-)
I guess ill stick to the zoom for convenience the17-40 coz ill be upgrading to ff soon
I might neeed filters with exposures running to 10-20 minutes
Ill really miss the ability to change aperture mid exposure that way ill reduce significant time rather than letting the sky burn in

Thanks for the advice I'm almost convinced about the 17-40 but the aperture thing is still draining my attention towards it
Thanks again it was really helpful :-D

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azezal

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2013, 09:25:22 AM »
can you expand upon why you need to change aperture mid exposure? never heard of that happening or the need for it. it presents a host of problems not least of which would be camera shake and disrupting the composition slightly.

also, light painting to me always referred to using handheld continuous light (like a flashlight) to selectively illuminate parts of your scene. is this what you are trying to do or are you simply doing night shots?

need more info...maybe preferably an example shot.

It helps reduce the exposure time significantly,as in I do not wait hours letting the surroundings to burn in,my lights are of different  in terms of their intensity and it givese control over dof

I'm sorry I'm not at home right now will upload one when I get back :-)
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azezal

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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2013, 10:37:18 AM »
Samyang is the only one with an aperture ring,but I'd really buy one lens than an array of primes
Just a personal choice
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Re: lens for a lightpainter
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2013, 10:37:18 AM »