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Author Topic: Fast lens for indoor use  (Read 5330 times)

killswitch

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Fast lens for indoor use
« on: January 17, 2013, 08:42:27 AM »
Looking for a fast lens, mainly for indoor(with low light) use. It will be used in family events, indoor parties at night and its usage will range from single to group portraits. Most of the time I will have external flash attached. Right now I take my 24-70 f2.8L in such events but I am looking for something lightweight and fast. It will be paired with a 5d3 and at times 60d. Oh, I use the 50mm 1.8 II at times and it often hunts for focus in dim lighting conditions where the 24-70 snaps on to the target almost instantly. I am on the verge of selling the 50mm 1.8 II.

Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 09:06:05 AM by killswitch »

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Fast lens for indoor use
« on: January 17, 2013, 08:42:27 AM »

tphillips63

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 10:40:03 AM »
You should look at the 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake and the 35mm f/1.4L and either of the other 35mm f/2.
Just depends on your budget.  Also consider whether you like the 35mm or 24mm for indoors shooting or even more towards 50mm.
What do you not like about your current 50?
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 10:41:34 AM »
Looking for a fast lens, mainly for indoor(with low light) use. It will be used in family events, indoor parties at night and its usage will range from single to group portraits.

In those situations, I almost always reach for my 35mm f/1.4L
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bjornjd

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JerryKnight

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 11:22:22 AM »
In rough order of price and less emphasis on exact focal lengths, I consider these to be the "wide guys."

~$500 Canon 28mm/1.8
~$900 Sigma 35mm/1.4 - hard to argue with the reviews and price
~$1300 Canon 35mm/1.4L
~$1400 Canon 16-35mm/2.8L - not as "fast" as the primes, but versatile and fairly light
~$1500 Canon 24mm/1.4L - my favorite wide prime

(I don't keep track of lens revision numbers; just look at the latest versions.)

You can look at the newer lenses I call the "slow primes" like the 24mm/2.8 IS, but I'm skeptical about their usefulness. Being able to hand-hold the shot isn't always the most important thing - sometimes you need wider aperture and faster shutter speeds in low light to prevent subject motion blur. I'm guessing those slower stabilized lenses are better suited for video.

Looking for a fast lens, mainly for indoor(with low light) use. It will be used in family events, indoor parties at night and its usage will range from single to group portraits.

My favorite is definitely the 24mm/1.4L, but I don't think it's the best focal length for portraits, except for large groups. 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm works better for individuals. Given your intended usage, I have to agree with the recommendations for the new Sigma 35mm/1.4. It's fast, sharp, affordable, wide on the 5D3, and normal on the 60D.

And definitely sell your thrifty fifty and get its USM brother. Nothing wrong with the 50mm/1.8 but when you start reaching its limits, it's time to upgrade.

killswitch

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 11:31:25 AM »
You should look at the 40mm f/2.8 STM pancake and the 35mm f/1.4L and either of the other 35mm f/2.
Just depends on your budget.  Also consider whether you like the 35mm or 24mm for indoors shooting or even more towards 50mm.
What do you not like about your current 50?

I really like the 50mm 1.8 minus the hunting issue it seems to exhibit, as it goes back and forth quite a bit before locking on, it's noisy but that's expected as it does not have USM. But for the price it still is a great lens imho, but I am looking at other options. At times it's hard to squeeze in 4 people in the shot when space limitation is a factor. Would love to see some portraits taken with a 35mil. ^_^

killswitch

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 11:45:51 AM »
In rough order of price and less emphasis on exact focal lengths, I consider these to be the "wide guys."

~$500 Canon 28mm/1.8
~$900 Sigma 35mm/1.4 - hard to argue with the reviews and price
~$1300 Canon 35mm/1.4L
~$1400 Canon 16-35mm/2.8L - not as "fast" as the primes, but versatile and fairly light
~$1500 Canon 24mm/1.4L - my favorite wide prime

(I don't keep track of lens revision numbers; just look at the latest versions.)

You can look at the newer lenses I call the "slow primes" like the 24mm/2.8 IS, but I'm skeptical about their usefulness. Being able to hand-hold the shot isn't always the most important thing - sometimes you need wider aperture and faster shutter speeds in low light to prevent subject motion blur. I'm guessing those slower stabilized lenses are better suited for video.

Looking for a fast lens, mainly for indoor(with low light) use. It will be used in family events, indoor parties at night and its usage will range from single to group portraits.

My favorite is definitely the 24mm/1.4L, but I don't think it's the best focal length for portraits, except for large groups. 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm works better for individuals. Given your intended usage, I have to agree with the recommendations for the new Sigma 35mm/1.4. It's fast, sharp, affordable, wide on the 5D3, and normal on the 60D.

And definitely sell your thrifty fifty and get its USM brother. Nothing wrong with the 50mm/1.8 but when you start reaching its limits, it's time to upgrade.

Really helpful JerryKnight, thanks. Hmm, hearing a lot of good things about the new Sigma 35mil. Gonna have to check out some reviews, the only thing that bugged me was the onion bokeh property. I might have confused it with some other lens. Please correct me if I am wrong about the onion bokeh part.

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 11:45:51 AM »

JerryKnight

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 12:09:42 PM »
Really helpful JerryKnight, thanks. Hmm, hearing a lot of good things about the new Sigma 35mil. Gonna have to check out some reviews, the only thing that bugged me was the onion bokeh property. I might have confused it with some other lens. Please correct me if I am wrong about the onion bokeh part.

No, it looks like there have been some complaints about it on the Sigma 35mm/1.4, but it's not universal. Many people seem to be okay with its bokeh quality, and I've seen example photos that have decently smooth bokeh. Not sure if it's a problem with some copies of the lens or specific circumstances. Just find as many reviews as you can and maybe rent it from one of the lens rental places.

EDIT: Looks like some cases, it might be related to sharpening, and it only seems to show up with out-of-focus point lights. I'm not sure it's enough to avoid the lens.

EDIT #2: Neuro beat me to it.. It's a specific artifact with point lights, and there are methods to avoid it.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 12:26:20 PM by JerryKnight »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 12:15:51 PM »
Gonna have to check out some reviews, the only thing that bugged me was the onion bokeh property. I might have confused it with some other lens. Please correct me if I am wrong about the onion bokeh part.

The Canon 35L has enough onions to make me cry.   ;)   But they only show up in very rare circumstances (point light sources at a reasonable distance from the focal plane, and usually those light sources are overexposed which masks the pattern).
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agierke

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 01:04:53 PM »
Quote
Would love to see some portraits taken with a 35mil. ^_^

granted that these are not indoor shots but here are a few portraits done with the canon 35mm 1.4L all at F2.0.

i generally use the 24-70 F2.8L for indoor use as i usually using for an event where i can incorporate my own lighting mixed with available and i like the convenience of the zoom. typically i need the versatility of the zoom in these situations where the 35mm may prove not to be wide enough. but the 35L is a fantastic lens...i highly recommend it.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 01:08:50 PM by agierke »
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RMC33

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 01:17:55 PM »
I like my 50 1.4 quite  a bit. It does not have very many hunting issues with my MKII/III. The one thing about a 50 that I love is WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) in relation personal FOV vs. Viewfinder FOV. I have yet to use a 35 or 24 but can vouch for the 16-35 as a good group lens.

dswatson83

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 02:28:04 PM »
I love the 35mm f/1.4 by Sigma. It's not quite light but it is sharp as crap. The problem with other lenses is even though you can shoot at f/1.8 or more, the pictures just are not very sharp. I'm telling you, the Sigma is sharp! There are sharpness results in the review: http://learningcameras.com/reviews/7-lenses/86-sigma-35mm-f14-review

And a comparison with the Canon 35mm f/1.4 : http://learningcameras.com/reviews/7-lenses/87-sigma-35mm-f14-vs-canon-35mm-f14

I would prefer a good 50mm for indoor but I just don't love any of them right now. I'm hoping that Sigma puts out an awesome 50 soon based on the new design

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 02:46:47 PM »
Sigma 35mm 1.4 or Canon 24L II

Either would be great.

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 02:46:47 PM »

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 03:59:20 PM »
Quote
...Oh, I use the 50mm 1.8 II at times and it often hunts for focus in dim lighting conditions where the 24-70 snaps on to the target almost instantly.

This may have more to do with the way you shoot and focus or the way you set up the AF area selection modes with your 5DM3. How are you focusing and what AF selection mode are you using? I rarely have hunting issues with any of my lenses in lowlight situations, especially with the 24L II or 50L.

brad-man

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 04:16:55 PM »
+1 for the Sigma 1.4. It is an awesome lens, but it is not light weight. The only other lens suitable that I have experience with is the ef28 f/1.8. It's well built, very light considering its focal length and speed, but it's not very sharp at wide apertures and is somewhat lacking in contrast. I almost never use it, but it's so utilitarian, I don't seem to be able to get rid of it. If you can get past the weight, the Siggy would be perfect for your uses...

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Re: Fast lens for indoor use
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 04:16:55 PM »