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Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by airfrancisco, Jun 4, 2009.
Sorry, but a beginner's camera with the kit lens hardly will make you a "pro."
You're going to have to put some real effort into learning how to get the best from your camera and lens....and eventually will realize that whatever you shoot, however good the images are, will still be vastly different from the professional images that you will see presented about this convention.
No, the kit lens will not be sufficient for indoor shots of moving subjects. You'll need something long and fast, like a 100mm f/2 lens. If that's too expensive, at least go for the "nifty fifty" (50mm f/1.8), which costs only about $100. You need something with a wide (i.e. "fast") aperture, and your kit lens is very slow (it begins at f/3.5, which is already slow, and it slows down even further to f/5.6 at the long end).
Thanks for advice
You will need fast lenses to shoot indoors. I would buy the 50mm as suggested & also rent the Tokina 11-12mm 2.8 & the Canon 70-200mm 2.8.
You're not going to be a pro by the time of the Comic Con, so hang that up right now.
The most you can do is learn the DSLR cam and go practice shooting and learn the settings. If fact, go to an indoor place with similar lighting to what you think you'll have in comic con and practice. You're going to need a 50mm f/1.8 II.
Comic Con SD is in the convention center with ceiling heights at least 3 stores high. There is flourescent lighting throughout and you see far more camera flashes that not.
The OP will do just fine with his kit lens but will have to use his flash often. You're all thinking flash photography is not allowed which is not the case.
I am certain you all jumped down his throat because of his idea that he'll be a pro in 4 weeks, but let's be real and answer him appropriately.
The above posters are correct in that you'll need a fast lens if you don't intend to use a flash. That grimy kit lens with a flash will work but you'd be best suited to understand your camera first then start taking pictures. You'll need a long (100mm) and a wide (10-18mm) because the convention is very cramped at times but other times you're standing in the back trying to catch something good.
Bottom line is no one is a pro in 4 weeks, hell I know people who have been shooting for years and they have tons to learn.
I asuume you are not serious. Buying a low end SLR will not make you a pro. Even if you bought the high end equipment with a fast f/2.8 or f/1.4 lens you'd still just be a beginner with expensive gear.
That said, anyone can learn. Do two things: (1) read some books. You need book lenght information not advice from forum posts and (2) Shoot a lot of images near and around your home. Make up an assignment Shoot 50 to 100 images them run them through your work flow even if that is just iPhoto. (part of that workflow is so aggressively cull you shots. Toss out 90% or more.) Critically judge your processed work and then do another batch. get in as many cycles of this as you can. After shooting 1,000 frames you will know a lot. And do read up on both technical and artistic ends of photography.
As for equipment for indoor conventions. (1) any SLR body you like, (2) A "fast" lens that you can afford and (3) lighting, a good external flash and a defuser or "bounce thing" Just about anything except directly aimed flash.
Jeez, I didn't mean to say that I will be Pro as in professional. What I meant is that in 2 months I can be ready to make quality pictures.
I didn't take it as you are saying you will be a pro, but as you will be as proficient as possible in the time allotted .
Not knowing what you remaining budget is... I would rent some of the lenses mentioned in this thread, a fast wide angle & a fast telephoto & possibly a off camera flash for a few days, asap. Read as much about your camera, photo composition & indoor photography as you can find. Go out & shoot as much as you can in as close to the same lighting conditions as possible. Shoot a ton of pix (in RAW) & go through them, see what worked & what didn't, post some here & ask others for CC.
By the time of the Comic Con you can rent the lens again. Shoot TONS of pix at the con, even if it's luck at 1st the more images you take the greater chance of capture something cool, even if it's only by accident at this point.
Thanks so much.
I would make sure you practice with whatever lens you end up with. Especially with the same "type" of environment (like at a place with public speaking, etc.)
Try renting - may be more cost effective for the very expensive lenses.
For the Stargate Con in August, I'm going to rent the 70-300 IS, and use my Canon 20D as it shoots quality shots in higher ISO. It's one of the hidden "L" lenses and is smaller than a true L lens. Has also IS.
I already have it reserved...
The Wyndam in Chicago where it's at has okay lighting - I just don't like flash.
Coo, I will try that. Thanks
I'll also be going to the San Diego Comic Con. Will be bringing along a Canon 400D and 17-55mm.
My advice will be to get extra memory cards and batteries if possible. There will be tons of things to shoot.
Here are some pictures I took at a local anime exhibition.
I only took a few pictures of cosplayers because my batteries ran out. My backup camera the Canon G10 wasn't performing as well as I wished. I had to dial up the ISO and the resulting images colours are just not as nice, not to mention there's no bokeh also making generic PnS shots.
While getting and investing in a some new lenses (ones that are faster due to a wider aperture; a wide-angle and telephoto to have their unique perspectives, advantages, and disadvantages; possibly choosing fixed length lenses over zoom) and other equipment is a good idea for the long-run, when starting out, it can be advantageous to keep it simple. Are you already good at metering and focusing, or will you shoot mainly in automatic modes? If you plan to do most everything manually, and you still need to practice those skills, having to do that and choose to switch between multiple lenses may just make things more confusing. And while changing lenses, you may miss any spontaneous action that can take place at a live event (I'm not big in the con scene, so I don't know how rowdy it can get). The same thing applies to having to think about focusing and metering in fast-paced situations--even professionals will use a camera's automatic features when timing is critical.
About the focal length of the lens: you need to know what the basic 3 categories are good for or else you're just blindly using them and not choosing them for their applications. What you have now gives you perspective about in the range of the human eye. Not a bad thing. Most pictures you'll take will have less distortion in relation to how we humans normally view things. When you use a telephoto lens, depth of field appears compressed, and it seems deeper with wide angle lenses. Both should be used for stylistic and technical reasons. Any good kit should have one of each in my opinion. But build your kit as your budget and experience permit. You also will need to decide if you want fixed lengths or zooms. A lot of people (especially ones who want to think they know what they're talking about) will deride zooms and swear by fixed (or only recommend them). The truth is, zooms have very practical applications. They also give you a variety lengths without having to change yours lens when moving forward or back isn't an option (these situations do exist!). The problem is that you sacrifice quality--more so when the zoom covers a broad selections of lengths. Many times, and with good photographers, the quality doesn't suffer. They know how to work around the limitations of their equipment and take advantage of what their tools offer. Forget pro or not, what matters is if your photos look good. Do you like them? Too many people get stuck in superficial technicalities without really understanding how they effect aesthetics. If you don't know jack about composition, color, and showing something worth seeing, then having expensive stuff won't change that.
In my opinion, as someone who takes lots of photos in the field, I don't want to be bogged down by too much weight and bulky stuff to carry. If you can't justify using it, you shouldn't take it along. When learning to master your equipment, it may not make sense to tote around all this stuff you haven't worked with yet.
A detachable flash is great for any kit, but I wouldn't recommend getting one till you know you understand the basics of light. For all I know, you already know a lot about of lighting. Light, of course, effects your ability to represent what is happening. Without adequate lighting, you can't take a photograph. That's why everyone is stressing the wide aperture, so you can have a fast lens that captures in-focus photos under lower lighting conditions. Also important with lighting is the color temperature of the light. Will you like the color that fluorescent lighting gives you? Or will you want to change the white balance? When you take many photos without a flash and see what you can and can't capture, you'll start to build a foundation to understand why flash can be good for future use.
There are other things to consider for your kit as well. What about a tripod? Having something to steady your camera can compensate for a smaller aperture. But good tripods and heads are expensive. And they can be bulky as well. Just using a basic one (if you have no problem bringing it along or into the convention) might be worth while. Or it can be cumbersome. Get a polarizer if you don't already have one. And if you don't have a uv filter either, get one. A lot of people keep them on their lenses at all times for the added protection from scratches. Like another poster said, having more cf cards and battery is always a good idea.
My suggestion is to consider bringing minimal equipment along and seeing what you can and can't capture/represent as you desire to give you an idea of what you will need to buy to get the results you want in the future. There's no reason why you can't just use the kit lens for now.
That guy didn't say anything about taking so-called pro shots. He just wanted better quality pictures. Not everyone wants to drop 10k on camera equipment so that they can go out to the zoo and shoot lions, or take mugs of their homely kids.
50mm won't give him the versatility of the kit lens. He's not gonna take the time to change lenses every time he goes into a new room or out side, and the comic con is a harsh environment. Some stuff is close, some far away and you can't get closer. It's ambient, then pitch black, then bright. Some ceilings are too high, some are low, and the crowd is like a packed bus. Don't give advise if you don't know the environment.
Is this your post here? (000http://www.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1029&message=32050180)
Thanks for being human Jessica.
I asked a similar question in the Canon forums a few months ago. I'll be attending Comic-Con this year as well, after a coworker kept pestering me to go. First time I'll attend (ironic since I've been out of comics since 1996 or so).
Anyway, the replies on the Canon forums basically stated that you'll want a wide to normal perspective lens due to the crowded convention floor. A telephoto would be useless, and not much use in a panel since the layout of a panel wouldn't lend itself for decent photos anyway (won't be able to move around the panel room to take a shot).
I shoot a crop body myself (40D and XTi), and I have a 17-40 f/4L for my wide to standard zoom lens, as opposed to the more widely accepted 17-55 f/2.8 IS. I question whether or not I should shell out the $1K for the 17-55, but I doubt I will just for Comic-Con. My 17-40 is mainly used for outdoor use and in the rare cases I use it indoors, it's always in controlled conditions where I can use my 580 EX II flash unit. So... I'd rather not get the faster 17-55 just for this one event.
So I plan on bringing my 17-40 f/4L with the 580 flash unit for my primary. If after the first day I think the 17-40 isn't working and/or the flash is useless, I will switch to the 35 f/1.4L which I plan on bringing anyway for the evenings in Gaslamp. As far as a telephoto, I'll either bring my 70-200 f/4L (non-IS) or my 200 f/2.8L and keep that in my backpack in the event I actually can use it during a panel.
As far as not using flash, I don't think you should discount it for this type of event. If the goal of the photograph is to document the moment, use flash if it's necessary, direct or indirect. Even if you have to use direct flash (can't bounce due to environment), it's better to get a photo than none at all. There are ways to minimize the poor effects of flash when you take the shot and in post-production anyway, to make the photo at least useful for looking back on.
I can't freaking wait to go to comic con........
Best thing I can say is learn your camera. So you are not messing around figuring out what the buttons do instead of taking a picture.
Any Stargate Fans going to those panels?
Can you post the pics?
Wish I can afford to go...
(we do have a Stargate Con here in Chicago, though...)
Now I heard that most conventioneers at this event are very sensitive to bright light, (you know, living in Mom's basement, staring at a computer screen 20 hours a day playing WOW, etc.) so a fast lens would be essential. Try and limit the use of flash photography and remember, geeks can be shy and adverse to having their photos taken. Offering a candy bar or large mountain dew in a sippee mug can go a long ways toward establishing their trust. This allows the photographer to catch some wonderful candid photos of geeks in their native habitat.
Good job, way to be helpful. I find it funny how when people buy an XSi or something else that is "entry level", some people ASSume that you will only get worthless photos from it. Sure it isnt going to have the pixel density as a IDSMKIII or a 5D MKII, but it will be as good as any crop sensor. Sure it wont shoot 7 fps or have lightning fast AF, but 4 fps is decent, it will have MLU, probably atleast 10 CF's (custom functions), etc etc.
Right now, i think we are at a point with crop sensor DLSRs, that it comes down to features, just like in the film days. 2 MP isnt going to make a world of difference, unless you are printing 20x30. how many people actually blow up their images? MP count is more of a gimmick now a days...
As far as a lens that would be good and fast, i would go with either a 17-55IS, or a 24-105L. A prime would be alright, but you are stuck with a fixed focal length. The two lenses i stated (and someone else said they are going to use the 17-55) are very close in price, but are quite different from each other. The 17-55 is one stop faster than the 24-105, both have IS (eats battery power, however). I would say go to a local camera shop (samy's is great if you are in so. cal) and try them out and see what works for you.
Also, the kit lens gets a bad rep. I have seen some absolutely amazing photos from it (far and few between, but still ) and it also has IS, but i have never used the IS version...
I know your thread's intent was on DSLR accessories but if you decide you want to carry a compact, I'd ponder over some of the fuji superccd compacts. They suck in auto mode, but in manual mode they can do wonders without a flash.
But back to the point, hrmm.. try to go for the no-flash route. It does a lot of disjustice to the cosplayers (who are usually sweaty and wearing shiny fabric that .. makes them sweaty rofl), and well.. yeah. everyone uses a flash!
I don't know what more to say since I'm not a pro photographer. I have a feeling that getting really familiar with your camera in dark situations would help you out a LOT more than any piece of kit could. If all else, get a monopod or tripod - stability is a big thing for getting a great dark picture!
airfrancisco I've got another piece of advice, if you are using the stock 'pop-up' flash with your XSi be sure to set the white balance to the flash setting... for some reason the auto mode does not take the flash into consideration (even though the camera knows it will fire).
I'm certainly no pro with the camera but I'm learning while you can learn a lot from books it's really best to shoot the hell out of a subject and delete all but maybe the best 3. Learning why those three are the best is the key to better pictures in the future.
Oh and IMHO, the kit lens (with IS) is semi-decent. Yeah sure there are better lenses out there, but if you are just starting out the limiting factor behind the pictures you will take is probably the one pressing the shutter button.
This is not going to be feasible. In a crowded convention, you won't be able to setup a tripod. A monopod might work, but even then, it still takes several seconds to get set with a monopod.
If the OP is going to go against my advice of not using flash, it's not going to be fun with the 18-55 kit lens which only 3.5-5.6 maximum aperture. Even at 1600 ISO, shooting 18mm @ f/3.5 indoors without flash might not be enough. If it is, ISO 1600 on the XSi sensor is going to be very noisy.
Again, flash is not the end of the world, even direct flash. I will repeat my last statement. If the goal is to document something with a photo, it's best to get a flash photo than no photo at all (something too dark or too blurry). Even wedding photographers will resort to direct flash in churches or venues with high ceilings and far walls in order to get a shot.
OP: Shoot RAW. Unless you absolutely need maximum speed in burst mode, then you can shoot jpeg. Otherwise, RAW is the only way to go.
Ha I was just thinking about this today. I own a D90 with the new 35 F1.8 and have borrowed my dad's 12-24 Wide Angle. Don't own a flash, but I guess I could have borrowed his SB-600.
We are going on a road trip, hitting Carlsbad, Vegas, Grand Canyon, Disney and finally Comic-Con! This will be my third. Yes, big Nerd. Now I expect I will be in Hall H watching the movie panels most of the time. I don't really give a crap about taking pictures of actors or directors, I just want to hear about their work and see the previews. So not worried about my lack of a zoom.
Anyway, I'm planning to walk around the con maybe take some pictures of some of the guys in costume with the new 35mm just for fun.
I'm not opposed to spending a bit for another lens before the trip, just haven't decided what. I'd much rather have something for the rest of the trip, than just Comic-con. 70-200 F2.8 is out of the question.
With all the Macrumors guys on here going we should have a meet-up!