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Lens rental suggestions?
Old 03-10-2005, 12:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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One of my wife's clients has asked me to photograph her belly dancing troupe at a group performance. It's going to be dark in there and strobes are not an option. (Other than on-camera Speedlite, possibly with diffuser.) Lenswise, I have the 18-55 f3.5-4 kit lens and an f1.8 50mm prime (and some other stuff that would not be useful.) Calumet Photo is just a hop and a skip from me and they will rent me a 17-35mm f2.5 L-series lens for $30. Even with the crop factor, that's a pretty wide (as in, it doesn't allow for much on the tight end) zoom range, so I'm not sure it would be helpful. Any thoughts on that lens or suggestions on another lens to rent? I tried to get one of the new 18-70 IS EF-S lenses but they don't rent them, as they claim they are too slow for pros to be interested in.

M
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Re: Lens rental suggestions?
Old 03-10-2005, 03:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Personally, I would not consider a 17-35mm lens for that sort of gig. Even with the built in lens factor of digital, you're likely to end up with with lots of big elbows and such, along with having to block the view of the audience to shoot the performance. I would be more inclined to look for a fixed 85/f1.8 lens. That will give a bit of distance and a more 'normal' perspective.

Since the available lighting is unknown, you might also consider a bracket mounted flash, to get the flash away from the lens, with a small 'softbox' or reflector device to soften the flash.
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Re: Lens rental suggestions?
Old 03-10-2005, 09:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Good thinking. I had a flash bracket for one of my other digicams and it was really great. I keep meaning to look into one for this camera and now I have an excuse. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

I thought that sounded sort of wide, I'm glad somebody who knows what he's talking about agrees, that's always gratifying. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

As far as softening the flash, I have a Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce which I was going to try. I had a bounce attachment for my other camera and I liked it, but it was a pain to deal with. I need to fool with this Omni-Bounce some more (the shoot's not until late April) and get used to it. I think it'll work.

M
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Re: Lens rental suggestions?
Old 03-10-2005, 11:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Get one of those big honkin lenses! The ones you see that have their own stand.

Marty
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Um...
Old 03-10-2005, 12:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It might be sort of hard to follow the belly dancers around with one of those on the camera. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

M
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Re: Um...
Old 03-10-2005, 01:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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hehehe
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Re: Lens rental suggestions?
Old 03-10-2005, 03:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's my choices from this particular rental place:

Prime:

85mm f/1.8 USM $25.00
135mm f/2.0 USM $22.00
200mm f/1.8L USM $55.00
300mm f/2.8L USM $60.00
400mm f/2.8L USM $80.00
600mm f/4.0L USM IS $120.00

Zoom:

16-35mm f/2.8 LUSM $30.00
17-35mm f/2.8 $23.00
28-70 f/2.8 LUSM $30.00
35-135mm f/4.0-.5.6 $25.00
70-200mm f/2.0 LISUSM $35.00
75-300mm f/4-5.6 $25.00

It seems to me like either the 28-70mm or the 85mm would be the way to go. Since the latter is in accord with your suggestion, I think I'll go that way unless somebody has a good reason that one of the others is better.

M
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Re: Lens rental suggestions?
Old 03-10-2005, 06:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Without knowing the sizw and layout of the location, it's really impossible make a solid recomendation. If it's in a restaurnat type location, I would be inclined to think seriously about the 85mm and the 135mm, the difference between f1.8 and f2 is negligable, But if they will be in a location with a raised stage, the 300mm f2.8 might be a good choice; that lens gives some very nice compresion.
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Re: Lens rental suggestions?
Old 03-10-2005, 06:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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First question is how close are you going to be to them? What kind of images do you want to get?

You may want to get something to cover all ranges. Then test them. if you are 20ft away is your speedlight really going to help.

Bump up the ISO and get the fastest lenses you can.
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The question ...
Old 03-10-2005, 09:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well you've got lots of choices, but we don't really have any facts to base a recommendation on. For example, what Camera are you using. If its digital with a crop factor then that will introduce a different metric into the equation. If you are going to be at a fixed location from the dancers, then zoom might be better than fixed. But if you can move around, certainly the faster fixed lens would be a better choice. If you need group shots, then you most likely will have to go with the zoom, but if digital, then a crop factor is going to be a concern.
Cheers,
rfs
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