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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old October 17th, 2013, 04:54 AM   #16
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

If I could maybe get this back on track a little...

Most people seem to believe that 1.4 is primarily used when low light requires it.

I must say that anyone working on a mk2 or mk3 or (like me) a 6D, you can most definatly use ISO 3200 and therefore you probably don't need to be as shallow as 1.4. And when shooting a dancefloor, you definitely shouldn't be any more shallow than you need to be since there is so much movement to capture.

For the rest of the day, I'm not sure there are many of my shots where 2.8 would dramatically reduce my creative abilities. Its still fairly shallow.

Are there any other factors I'm missing? Like does aperture have an impact on minimum focusing distance?

At the very least I would consider a 24.70mm for the bulk of the day up until dances.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 05:28 AM   #17
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

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Most people seem to believe that 1.4 is primarily used when low light requires it.
Actually it's pretty simple why one would use f1.4 and like I see it there are 2 reasons, the first reason is if you are shooting a very dark location and your camera is set to a max iso it can handle before it turns real ugly in terms of noise, in that case the difference between f2.8 and f1.4 can be big in terms of light gathering, so often f1.4 is a much better coice if you have a camera that can't handle very high ISO.

The second reason is if you want a very shallow dof.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 05:59 AM   #18
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

I guess my question is to myself - Would the shots I have previously used the shallow DOF of 1.4 on, really suffer THAT much if they had been 2.8.

In my head right now without a camera, I can't really tell how much difference in the depth there is between the two.

My gut is that for most of my creative/arty shots, 2.8 might still be adequate.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 06:07 AM   #19
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

f1.4 vs f2.8 does make up for quite some difference in shallow dof, I only use f1.4 for talking heads at reception of for some beauty shots of table details at the venue with my 85mm but I do have a 24mm f1.4 which on my nex-ea50 gives a nice blurry background when shooting from a normal distance which I can't achieve with a f2.8, so actually it's just a creative choice if you want to give your image that look your clients see as "cinematic" as that is something they see as well when they go see a movie. It doesn't make your movie any better, it just takes the "video" look out of it.
I also have to say I can get some very nice blurred background with my slow nex-ea50 stocklens if I zoom in, works well during brideprep if there is sufficient light.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 06:39 AM   #20
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

Surely the background is thrown out of focus at 2.8 with any foreground subject within 5/6 meters? Am I wrong? Is that not cinematic enough? And on the occasions when your subject might be further away, i.e. Vows or speeches, would you not be at 2.8 at least anyway? I know I would.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 07:04 AM   #21
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

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Sorry, I still don't see what the difference is when I shoot video with a 85mm f1.4 or a 85mm f3.5 when it comes to stabilization, so you are saying the f-stop makes a difference?
Was this addressed to me? Aperture makes no difference at all to the stabilisation but a stills photographer is able to use a faster shutter speed with F/1.4 than they can with the F/3.5 but could use the same shutter speed with the F/3.5 if that lens had stabilisation.

Stills photographers can adjust aperture, ISO & shutter speed. In general with video we only change aperture & ISO & are not able to use a very slow shutter speed in low light.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 07:24 AM   #22
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

The focal length isn't too big a fight for the rest of the time when we keep our distance (during the ceremony, we're never closer than 20 feet, except processional/recessional) but for dance floor shots, I walk around with the camera, amongst the guests. I get great footage (50mm/full frame), but my focal length is less than a foot when I'm that close. Then the difference between even f/1.8 and f/2.8 feels massive, even though we're talking about a matter of inches.

For the times like the vows, when we want some nice bokeh, we usually stay around f/2.8. It's pretty nice at that point, we're usually using 135mm lenses for a medium or tight shot. That's also (usually) not so bright that I have to put a filter on.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 08:12 AM   #23
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

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Was this addressed to me? Aperture makes no difference at all to the stabilisation but a stills photographer is able to use a faster shutter speed with F/1.4 than they can with the F/3.5 but could use the same shutter speed with the F/3.5 if that lens had stabilisation.
No, to Peter, sorry, should have used his quote, but you confirm what I have been thinking as well, aperture makes no difference to stabilisation at all but Peter claims otherwise.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 08:18 AM   #24
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

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Surely the background is thrown out of focus at 2.8 with any foreground subject within 5/6 meters?
Not that much but it all depends what focal length you use and what camera (depending on sensorsize, cropfactor etc) and the distance to your subject.

A 24mm on my ea50 gives a blurred backround at f1.4 if I shoot a person 3 meters from me, but it hardly blurred when I use it at f2.8. If I'd use a 85mm from the same distance you"d clearly see the difference between f1.4 (which would give a very blurred background if your subject is only 3m away) and f2.8 but at both f-stops you'd still get a nice out of focus background. The wider you go with your lenses it becomes an advantage shooting at f1.4 if you want to blur the background when shooting an object about 3 meters from you (on my ea50 with the 24mm at least) but the further that distance becomes with a wideangle, the less the blur will be noticeable.

Last edited by Noa Put; October 17th, 2013 at 09:34 AM.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 09:14 AM   #25
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

Cheers for the info Noa. Interesting. I guess I have to weigh up my options. The versatility of a 24-70 would no doubt improve many aspects of my wedding shooting. But do I really want to be switching lenses throughout the day if I want super shallow?
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Old October 17th, 2013, 09:30 AM   #26
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

I only put on a fast lens if I either need it because it's too dark or when I want to achieve a very shallow dof for creative purpose, for the rest of the day f2.8 is perfect and can get you blurred backgrounds depending on where you stand in relation to your subject and at what focal length you are at. I"m looking at a 35-100 f2.8 lens right now because my current 12-35mm f2.8 is great but I need some extra reach, wished though I had a 12-100 f2.8 lens.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 09:55 AM   #27
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I only put on a fast lens if I either need it because it's too dark or when I want to achieve a very shallow dof for creative purpose, for the rest of the day f2.8 is perfect and can get you blurred backgrounds depending on where you stand in relation to your subject and at what focal length you are at. I"m looking at a 35-100 f2.8 lens right now because my current 12-35mm f2.8 is great but I need some extra reach, wished though I had a 12-100 f2.8 lens.
You mean a 24-200mm FF equivalent? I just knew that you really wanted to buy that Sony RX10:-)
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Old October 17th, 2013, 10:01 AM   #28
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

Forget it, you are not convincing me! :) I"m savin up on some good m4/3 glass for my pana camera's so I might get the bmc pocketcam as well that I actually don't want either.
You only need to consider the rx10 has a smaller sensor then a m4/3 camera so shallow dof would be even more difficult to achieve if I"m not mistaken and then it just becomes a high end handicam with a videolook.
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Old October 17th, 2013, 11:59 AM   #29
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

Aperture and stabilisation are related in so far as if you are shooting with a wide aperture such as f2.8 f1.4 etc against a background with readily recognisable verticals and horizontals e.g. a book case would be an extreme example, then camera movement will be less noticeable than at a narrower aperture such as f5.6. At f5.6 f8 etc the background is much more noticeable because of the greater depth of field; in other words the illusion of stability can be better at f2.8 But thats about it.

However fast lenses can let in more light, making focusing much easier even if you are not going to shoot your Canon 50mm f1.2L at 1.2 I have the f1.2 but for me its only really an insurance policy to enable me to shoot in very low light. I dislike its restricted field of view compared to say the 24-70 f2.8L or the 24-105 F4L IS both of which are workhorses for me. I also have one of the ancient Canon 50mm f1.8 primes. Its the metal version rather than the newer plastic body version and its very lightweight and small - well worth picking up if you see one on offer.

I'm not a big fan of the shallow depth of field look anyway, especially for weddings. Often it looks just plain wrong as subjects other than the target can look unflattering, plus it can conflict with the clients wish to see details around them as well as of them.

Clive, its really not a big deal changing lenses mid-shoot. Try a Think Tank Lens Changer 50 on your belt.it will take the 24-70L or the 24-105L complete with the hood on. I also have a couple of the larger Think Tank Skin 75's. These can be extended downwards to take a 70-200 f2.8L IS complete with its hood on. Both types are skinny rather than the bulky Lowepro versions so don't restrict your movement in crowds. You don't need the official belt, any belt will do.

Pete
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Old October 18th, 2013, 03:16 AM   #30
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Re: f1.4 no longer vital?

I guess I'm one of those guys thats super cautious about exposing the camera internal. I'd rather not change lenses unless in a controlled environment. OTT?

But yea, I'm actually more tempted by the spider camera holsters. But my second camera is APS-C sensor and so a 24-70 2.8 wouldn't give me the wide I want.

Also, you say changing lens is no big deal, but in my head I'm thinking of cropping in tighter when the vows begin. At that point of a ceremony, I'd rather not stop rolling to change lens.

Does nobody else which they had the versatility of zoom?

As an aside, I've been tempted by the FZ200 we've been talking about on another thread. That would suit my desire for occasional cropped shots, whilst setup alongside my 6D with 50mm 1.4.
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