what lens to use

sedwards

EOS RP
Mar 22, 2014
336
8
52
Iberville , Quebec
i was at an equine event recently and my daughter wanted a few pictures of her and her horse. i used my 7DII and 70-200 f4L @70mm-f4 . i think they came out alright but just wondering if you guys would have done it differently. i could have moved back and used 200mm or used my 24-105 and got closer .
0V8A9626 by Stuart Edwards, on Flickr
 

Valvebounce

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 3, 2013
4,556
444
54
Isle of Wight
Hi Stuart.
Nice shot,I like the framing and composition, looks like you knelt down, which is what I would have done, I might have tried the Tamron 17-50 2.8, or my 50 1.8 to try and loose the background a bit, but only after getting a guaranteed shot and if the horses (or people) would stand still long enough and not get bored whilst you were changing lenses.

Cheers, Graham.

sedwards said:
i was at an equine event recently and my daughter wanted a few pictures of her and her horse. i used my 7DII and 70-200 f4L @70mm-f4 . i think they came out alright but just wondering if you guys would have done it differently. i could have moved back and used 200mm or used my 24-105 and got closer .
 

scottkinfw

Wildlife photography is my passion
CR Pro
Hi Stuart.

I agree that the main issue is the background. If you don't have faster lens, maybe take pic from another angle, maybe higher?

Given what you were trying to do, nice result.

Sadly, we all tend to notice backgrounds in post, I have too many times with my own pics.

If you are good with ps, lift the background out.

See
 

distant.star

EOS 5D Mark IV
Jan 19, 2011
1,813
0
USA
wetracy.smugmug.com
.
Two problems:

1. Classic softness of that lens at f/4.0, exacerbated being on crop frame body. That's my experience at least.

2. You tried to take a picture of everything, hence you really have a picture of nothing. I don't know who the kids are, but the potential picture I see here is the horse on the right seeming to have his eyes closed blissfully leaning against (or seeming to) to rider. A tight shot on that would say something.

As for lenses, I'd have used one of the EF-S zooms, 15-85 or 17-55. And I'd have taken a lot of close-in shots of the kid and the horse's head. Anyway, at this point it's all moot. What's done is done.
 

chauncey

EOS RP
Jun 5, 2011
564
1
my daughter wanted a few pictures of her and her horse.
Aah...which one is your daughter as it's not clear...why include the other person?
Why cut off part of one horse?
 

RustyTheGeek

EOS 5D Mark IV
Apr 27, 2011
1,631
4
56
DFW
rustythegeek.zenfolio.com
First, I think there are a LOT of better photographers (esp portrait) on this forum than myself. Pookie, Pabst, Tabor, RL, Dustin, et al. That's a very abbreviated list. There are MANY more.) I'm looking forward to what they might say.

If it was me doing it... God help you!! I would have shot a LOT MORE images. Lens? Camera? In this case, if it's spur of the moment, it doesn't matter. Get shots. The quandary that you faced is exactly why I like to carry two bodies to some events, one with a wide and one with a long lens. Ie: One with a 70-200 f/2.8 II and the other with a 24-70 f/2.8 II. (Or some other lens variation depending on indoor, outdoor, light levels, etc.)

In this case, if you could have planned ahead of time, fine... fret over lenses, etc. In that case I would have likely used the same lens if it's what I had. (Now I use the 2.8 instead.) My first shots would have been up close. I like the shot you took but only as a one of many and it would have been the third or forth composition choice group of images. I agree with distant.star, you need close up images of your daughter's face with her horse. (A portrait.) Close ups of the two girls and their horses. Other angles. Maybe other apertures (depending on lens or if you are able to change lenses before they get tired of the process). You probably could have achieved all of that with the lens you had although obviously a 2.8 would have been better to blur the background. But then you risk other things being out of focus. Moving back further and using 170-200 mm @ 2.8 would have helped with the subjects being in focus and the background being less in focus. Ditto with f/4 for that matter.

My main goal in these situations is to get as many shots and as many DIFFERENT shots as I can so I can choose, pick, etc a few shots that work best later in post. Digital film is cheap! Esp if someone blinks a lot, etc. It's not as much about the lens as it is about the photographer making it work the best they can and getting all the shots they can in the time they are allowed.
 
P

Pookie

Guest
Thanks Rusty...

Nice memory caught, they look so happy. I would have gone a lot tighter on this image though and pulled your daughter and friend from behind the horses to in front. I understand wanting to get the classic side view of the horse but in this instance it minimized your daughter. If that were one of my sons up there I would want to highlight their proud faces, the horse would be a second priority. With this image though I would def crop a little tighter to contain only grass and no grey strip of asphalt? in the frame. It's pretty distracting. Either crop it or clone (content-aware fill) if needed. That is much easier when it's thrown out of focus. It also looks like an overcast day, I would normally warm this in WB to adjust for the conditions.

Composition wise I would have liked to have seen the horses head on, in a V with their rears almost touching (but not) and your daughter and friend in the center holding their respective reins. You'd get a tighter grouping and then be able to step in closer while, move them farther from an appropriate BG... that would give you the POV necessary to melt that BG. Even with the f/4 you used. On a side note... owning the f/4, never saw "classic wide open softness" with both copies I've had. If I'm strobing, I'd rather use the f4 than the f2.8 as they are (at least for me) ridiculously sharp. And your copy look good here but I haven't really pixel peeped.

The other lens I would def use for this type of shot with a little distance is the 135L... this would have been my first selection if I had it with me. Other equally awesome lenses if you have the room to play, 24-70 II/I or an 85 1.2.

If you wanted the classic side view of the horse and rider... I would have keep it to only one horse and rider per shot to minimize the spread and BG.

edit - Missed that it was the non-IS version. I've never used that lens, though it looks pretty good to me here.

Also, I like kneeling or getting low like this but in this particular situation, you could have come up to navel height or a little higher and strategically hid much of the fence in the BG behind the horses and girls. I often compose/recompose... specifically looking for the best possible angle to avoid these types of objects in the BG.
 

RustyTheGeek

EOS 5D Mark IV
Apr 27, 2011
1,631
4
56
DFW
rustythegeek.zenfolio.com
Pookie said:
Thanks Rusty...

Nice memory caught, they look so happy. I would have gone a lot tighter on this image though and pulled your daughter from behind and friend from behind the horses to in front. I understand wanting to get the classic side view of the horse but in this instance it minimized your daughter. If that were one of my sons up there I would want to highlight their proud faces, the horse would be a second priority. With this image though I would def crop a little tighter to contain only grass and no grey strip of asphalt? in the frame. It's pretty distracting. Either crop it or clone (content-aware fill) if needed. That is much easier when it's thrown out of focus.

I would have liked to have seen the horse head on or in a V with their rears almost touching (but not) and your daughter and friend in the centers holding their respective reins . You'd get a tighter grouping and then be able to step in closer while, move them farther from an appropriate BG... that would give you the POV necessary to melt that BG. Even with the f/4. On a side not... owning the f/4, never saw "classic wide open softness" with both copies I've had. If I'm strobing, I'd rather use the f4 than the f2.8 as they are (at least for me) ridiculously sharp.

The other lens I would def use for this type of shot with a little distance is the 135L... this would have been my first selection if I had it with me. Other equally awesome lenses if you have the room to play, 24-70 II/I or an 85 1.2.

If you wanted the classic side view of the horse and rider... I would have keep it to only one horse and rider per shot to minimize the spread and BG.

Great post Pookie. I may not be the OP but your post is a good example of why I am looking forward to reading more responses to this thread! Portrait photography is something I would like to improve on myself as well. I'm really glad sedwards put this post out for input!! Now we all win!
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
9,070
12,701
distant.star said:
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Two problems:

1. Classic softness of that lens at f/4.0, exacerbated being on crop frame body. That's my experience at least.

What! - that lens is famously sharp!! This is what photozone writes about it:

"Verdict

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L IS is an amazing lens. It is truly outstanding when used on APS-C DSLRs and it suffers only from a minor quality deteriorations on full format DSLRs. The resolution figures are easily on prime levels throughout the whole range and even at max. aperture. "

slrgear also raves about it being sharp at all focal lengths and as good as primes http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/999/cat/11
 

Ryan708

Less bickering, more shooting
Mar 1, 2012
250
0
New Hampshire
Yeah not sure anyone has ever reasonably argued that lens is not sharp. I have used the 2.8 mk ii as well and at f/4 on my 60d they are indistinguishable. I had the non IS version of the f/4L and it was 99% as sharp. Every review of the f/4L IS positive(with the exception of price)
 

chauncey

EOS RP
Jun 5, 2011
564
1
"What lens to use"...the very question indicates an inadequate knowledge of the value of MTF characteristics and how they lead to better images... http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resources/articles/2013/reading_MTF_charts.shtml
 

TominNJ

EOS M6 Mark II
Mar 14, 2015
73
62
Were you trying to capture the friendship of the two girls in their riding clothes? A tighter shot with the girls and the horses heads might have been better. Were you trying to capture the size difference between the girls and the horses and the beauty of the animals? A wider shot with both animals might have been better.

the answer is "it depends on what you were trying to say".