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Since I mostly want to photograph the venues that I run sound and lighting at this is a must. I was trying to shoot at ISO400 with the stock Canon lens without flash and I can't hold it for the couple of seconds that it takes. I tried doing some shots at ISO800 but they are way to grainy and I totally forgot to change it back so the entire FGFC820 show's pictures came out pretty spotty. I had one really good shot of the stage and lights (well all of the moving lights integrated into one long shot) since I put the camera on the table. I also got some interesting light texture shots from the lights interacting with the fog. I'll post them to my flikr account soon.

I'm looking at the 50 prime lense that is going for under a 100 bucks. I'm pretty sure it was a f/1.8 and that would get the exposure into the range that I could hope to hand hold for the fancy lights. Anyone had good luck using this lense? What do other people shot with when they do fire spinning events?


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 3rd, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
The Nifty Fifty (50mm f/1.8) is the best value for money you're going to find in a lens. It works, and works well. Just keep in mind that if you're shooting with an ultra-wide aperture, you're depth-of-field is going to rather small, so if you need more than a small bit of the picture in focus, make sure to get enough distance between you and your subject.

When I shoot firespinning, I'm shooting with a 17-55 f/2.8. It's a fast lens, but realistically the more important thing is that I have a camera with a sensor that does decent work at ISO1600 (this being the Canon 40D). "Getting a new sensor" may or may not be an option for you, but you may want to look at the most recent array of DSLRs.

Nov. 3rd, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)
I have an EOS Rebel XT and that's going to be it for a while. I have afford to drop around another 100 bucks and that's all for photography until I can guarantee a lot more gigs first :)
Nov. 3rd, 2008 01:49 am (UTC)
yup, what he said.
love love love my 50mm. but it's "longer" than you might expect for indoors (you may not be able to see everything you want in field unless you get far away) and also, DOF at 1.8 is very very small.
Nov. 3rd, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
A unipod makes a huge difference.

Be sure to check total height vs. minimum; many of them are pretty short, or else don't fold up small enough (for my backpack). I use a four-section one, which is less stable than three sections, but the portability and height win for me. Of course if a tripod isn't too unwieldy, that's even better. There are also various clamps (and easy to make one yourself) if the venue is likely to have something you can fasten to.

If you are shooting indoors, you may also want something wider than a 50. There are some sigma 24/1.8 and 28/1.8's that might be affordable used.

For firespinners, many of the best shots use flash plus an exposure around 1/3-3 seconds. That gets you a nice crisp foreground of the spinner, but lets the lighting effect of the fire trails happen, too. I'm not sure if this would be adaptable to your club lighting setups or not (it would seriously interact with fog, probably in unappealing ways, but maybe could make something interesting), or if flash would be ok in those environments. You would probably want to diffuse or bounce it.
Nov. 4th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, if shooting 1.8, get yourself some depth of field tables if the lens doesn't have a scale on it, and remember that max sharpness is about 1/3 of the way in, not halfway. And a wider lens will buy you more DOF.

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )