what lens should I use at an art museum?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by wmmk, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #1
    OK, so I'm going to be shooting two hours today at the Chicago Art Institute, and admission happens to be free. I thought they wouldn't let you shoot, but as long as you do all stills, use no flash or tripod, and only shoot permanent collections, you're OK. They do make you check large bags, and I'm not sure if I'll have to check my camera bad. If I do, I'm wondering if I should take my 28-200mm f/4-5.6 or 18-55 f/3.5-5.6? FWIW, the 28-200 is actually not that big and bulky, so I don't mind lugging it.
     
  2. jlcharles macrumors 6502

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    #2
    You'll probably have a hard time getting shots with those lenses. You might be best taking the 18-55 and keeping to the wide end for the larger f/stop. I would have suggested using a 50mm f/1.8, but you don't have one.
     
  3. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #3
    Take the lens with the widest aperture and crank up the ISO. Dim lighting is a tough problem for museums.
     
  4. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #4
    A tripod, if you can, will of course make the best photos in a museum setting, except for sculpture, for that youd need a handheld positioning.
     
  5. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #5
    Too bad it's today, I was going to suggest renting a lens with a large aperture and IS. Great for low light situations
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #6
    Yeah crank up your ISO and go with something that offers a small wide zoom range that way if you're cramped you can work with it. A tripod in there may not be possible.
     
  7. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #7
    yeah, tripod aren't allowed, which sucks. my K100D does have IS built in, which is a plus. of course that's not as good as anything in a lens. well, I'll do my best. I'm off to go shoot.
     
  8. 4np macrumors 6502a

    4np

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    #8
    I just got the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II and it is really good in lower light situations. Have a look at it... :)
     
  9. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #9
    They said they don't allow tripods, but did they say anything about mono pods? (i.e. 'camera on a stick'.)

    If not, then go get yourself a cheap telescoping monopod, and get good at bracing it real fast. Use the largest aperture lens you've got, preferably a 50mm. Use low ISO film to maximize detail, but you will have to be good at bracing your monopod still fast.

    Other than that, go for high ISO film.

    Also, if you are just going to be taking pictures of the actual artwork, just do yourself a favor and buy a book at the giftshop. Only if you want to get 'artsy-fartsy' with different compositions in the gallery should you bother with taking your own photos. (Like getting pictures of a sculpture from new angles or with, say, only one point in focus and the rest totally out of focus, etc.)
     
  10. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #10
    Seeing that the OP has a Pentax, it's going to be pretty hard to use that lens ;) But wmmk it's great you have in-body IS. That should give you up to 2 extra stops!
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    Just bring the 18-55 mm and shoot at f/3.5. It's not that slow, although it's definitely not fast. The great thing about shooting at 18 mm is that slight camera shake doesn't affect your shot as much as it would when shooting at 55 mm, so stick to 18 mm. With your built-in OS, your photos will still look great if you shoot at 1/10th of a second and faster, although you can technically get another 3 stops with the OS turned on. I say "3" stops because CCD-shift works better at shorter focal lengths, while it doesn't work as well at longer telephoto lengths.

    That's just semantics. I'm sure they imply that monopods are banned as well, just like "No flash photography" doesn't mean you can bring 20 flashlights and point it at the subject while taking a photo.
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    Not necessarily, tripods take lots of room, where monopods really don't. The light rule is about damage to the artwork and other's enjoyment while the tripod rule is about space and mobility- One of those stringy things might work too, but I'd seriously look at one of the walking sticks that conveniently has a camera-sized screw under the ball. Limping on your way in while walking with it is probably a little dishonest though.
     
  13. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #13
    As your dentist says: "open wiiiiide...."

    You need a really fast lens for any sort of shooting in museums. Also it usually should be a fairly wide lens as well.
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #14
    I also thought it was about making it harder for you to get professional level shots of an artwork/building? Well, I assumed this is the same reason why you can't shoot with a tripod at Uluru, outside the Taj Mahal, and many other places.

    I've also carried a monopod while in Japan, and they told me in the Tokyo Museum that I wasn't allowed to use it. I wasn't using it. All I had was my tiny Canon SD/IXUS point and shoot! I was carrying the monopod because I had just bought it.

    I guess it's better to check. You might be able to take a monopod, but I think it may depend on (1) Who you ask. (2) The security guard who sees you using it. Some may let you go, and some may say "no tripods" even though it has one leg.
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #15
    Take the 50mm f/1.4 All of the above are a bit slow for hand held interior lighting. THe 50mm f/1.8 is ok too and a lot cheaper.
     
  16. javabear90 macrumors 6502a

    javabear90

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    #16
    You can try using a bean bag for support. They are very cheap and you can get them from many different places. They work very well and are great for things in low light where a tri-pod is not a good option. You can place them on a banister or benches or things like that.
    Mine is actually a gun rest. It actually is very nice becuase there is a place where the lens fits in nicely. Although just about any bag filled with sand, rice or somthing similar would do great.
    I would also recommend the 18-55 lens
    -Ted
     
  17. motherduce macrumors 6502

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    Houston, TX
    #17
    GorillaPod?

    Might be too late for this, since you went yesterday, I think...but the gorillapod might have been an option.

    http://www.joby.com/
     
  18. wmmk thread starter macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #18
    hey all, the photos didn't turn out terrible, but I didn't always have tons of room to shoot or time to set up before some people would walk into my field of view. anyway, I posted some of my shoot at flickr. use the link in my sig if you'd like to see.

    oh, and I suppose I should look at a gorillapod for when I can't have my tripod.
     
  19. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #19
    I'm pretty sure the "no tripods" rule pre-dates the current intellectual property mess, and it's just a bonus for the post-Mickey Mouse copyright era.

    (I'm not against copyright, I just think the current system a la WIPO sucks, and I detest Disney's driving of US copyright law.)
     

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