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Thread: Question for the elders

  1. #1

    Default Question for the elders

    Hey buddies

    If there were 2 lenses I should get for taking shots of children indoor/outdoor on a Nikon D70s, what recommendations would you make? Requirements:

    - Target: Children who move fast, both in daylight and under low light. Family/portraits.
    - Must take crackin' sharp pics
    - Budget less than $500 altogether. Will acquire from CS B&S.
    - Only onboard flash available (or could I squeeze an attachment within the $500)

    Reading from various forums on CS, would seem to point to a Nikkor 50mm/f1.8 for one of the lenses. This might fill the indoor/fast/no additional flash requirement.

    The other? Maybe a walkabout lens, but very uncertain what is tack sharp enough. Seems Nikkor can, but VR pricing outta range, or lenses get black blurry corners, or unwanted pincushion/barrel effect. I have no idea about 3rd party lenses.

    Any advice appreciate.

    Andrew

  2. #2

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    The 50mm 1.8, and a decent, high-powered flash unit is what you should be looking at. However, you will not have waide-angle coverage.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    50mm would not be wide enough.

    i will say, stick with the kit, and get a good speedlight.

  4. #4
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap_Dingo View Post
    Hey buddies

    If there were 2 lenses I should get for taking shots of children indoor/outdoor on a Nikon D70s, what recommendations would you make? Requirements:

    - Target: Children who move fast, both in daylight and under low light. Family/portraits.
    - Must take crackin' sharp pics
    - Budget less than $500 altogether. Will acquire from CS B&S.
    - Only onboard flash available (or could I squeeze an attachment within the $500)

    Reading from various forums on CS, would seem to point to a Nikkor 50mm/f1.8 for one of the lenses. This might fill the indoor/fast/no additional flash requirement.

    The other? Maybe a walkabout lens, but very uncertain what is tack sharp enough. Seems Nikkor can, but VR pricing outta range, or lenses get black blurry corners, or unwanted pincushion/barrel effect. I have no idea about 3rd party lenses.

    Any advice appreciate.

    Andrew
    With a D70s, you'd have a decent 18-70 kit lens. This coupled with a good flash like the SB-600 or SB-800 (depending on how much budget you have to spare) Pricing can be found in the Nikon sub-forum for brand new and in BnS for second hand.

    A 50mm f1.8 is good for decent portraiture but do remember that it's not really wide enough for group shots, you probably can squeeze in about 3 to 4 pax at 3 - 4 meters...

    Think about it first....
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  5. #5

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Any other advice?

  6. #6
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap_Dingo View Post
    Any other advice?
    Low light = you need flash
    shooting kid indoor = you need flash
    want sharp picture = you need higher shutter speed or use flash

    make pleasant lighting indoor = use bounce flash

    conclusion= get a hotshoe flash and learn how to use it.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    Low light = you need flash
    shooting kid indoor = you need flash
    want sharp picture = you need higher shutter speed or use flash

    make pleasant lighting indoor = use bounce flash

    conclusion= get a hotshoe flash and learn how to use it.
    Yup totally agree with that. Learn using bounce flash or remote flash. SB600 should be around $300 at BNS.
    Live to Ride, Ride to Live

  8. #8

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Have read the pointers that you guys have given on the flash. Noted. Prefer not to use flashes if possible. Personal reference for "natural".

    I didn't buy the kit lens that came with the D70s coz fear that it would not be sharp enough and would just sit there until I got rid of it. Any opinions? I really don't want to be stuck with a lens that is not sharp.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap_Dingo View Post
    Have read the pointers that you guys have given on the flash. Noted. Prefer not to use flashes if possible. Personal reference for "natural".

    I didn't buy the kit lens that came with the D70s coz fear that it would not be sharp enough and would just sit there until I got rid of it. Any opinions? I really don't want to be stuck with a lens that is not sharp.
    External flash if used correctly can be "natural". Personally I feel that with the correct flash technique, it will improve the quality of your pictures a lot indoors. I would recommend an external flash too, a SB600 with your budget.

    Actually the D70s is a pretty good lens. I'm using it a lot in my indoor shots with a SB800. If you are looking at "super sharp" lenses, you would be looking at the 85mm (or 50mm prime with your budget). However, like others have pointed out, it's really not wide enough for group shots. You will end up standing very far away just to get everyone into the frame, which might not be possible indoors. However, do take note that even though the 50mm prime is a very fast lens, shooting at f1.8 will give you a very shallow depth of field, which will require you to have very good focussing technique. Even with f1.8, you will need to up your ISO to about 800 to get a decent shutter speed under normal indoor lightings. So I'll say a fast prime is a good lens to have for indoor shots, but not a cure-all.

    My recommendations will be a 2nd hand 18-70 with SB600 (slightly above your budget) or a 50/1.8 with SB600.

    Just my 2 cents.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap_Dingo View Post
    Have read the pointers that you guys have given on the flash. Noted. Prefer not to use flashes if possible. Personal reference for "natural".

    I didn't buy the kit lens that came with the D70s coz fear that it would not be sharp enough and would just sit there until I got rid of it. Any opinions? I really don't want to be stuck with a lens that is not sharp.
    18-70mm is a pretty good lens ma. If you want a very sharp lens, you really gotta splash alot of money le. Unless you get yourself a 50mm f/1.8. But warn you first, you will definitely find it hard to use as it is not wide enuff.
    I agree with frenchbean that if you know how to use external flash, it can still be natural, especially when you know how to bouce and make it off the camera.
    Live to Ride, Ride to Live

  11. #11

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    You guys really have helped me. I was seriously thinking the 50mm f1.8 would solve all my problems but now I have 2nd thoughts.

    The light issue came about coz I have a Minolta A1 and using that with an onboard flash was errr, disappointing. Subject was lit and the whole background dark. Subjects were sometimes overexposed and timing of the shots with kids proved a problem. Moments were either overexplosed, missed or blurred. Yes, disappointing.

    So the D70s was the solution for me. Now I am considering whether I should get the standard kit lens with the D70s, something else, or whether getting "anything" will not make much difference - coz its a mighty NIKON!

    I'm quite particular on the sharp thing. Too many pics with the Minolta A1 which I produce are not sharp enough for me. I always go back to this pic (taken by another CSnapper) and compare it with mine, and hence the longing for sharp sharp pics.

    Do you really think that a 18-70 can do it? How does this compare with other Nikkor zooms (similar price category)... is one more sharp than another? I've read problems with barrel or pincusion on nearly all these kit lenses. Or how about good 3rd party lenses???

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Question for the elders

    I usually use only my 50mm & an ext flash for almost all my baby/kid photos. I think for indoor photos, the flash is a must, unless u wanna pump the ISO to the extreme.

  13. #13
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the elders

    18~70 is good enough, a best kit lens among the fews (18~55, 18~135).
    I use this lens shot lot of things, including weddings, and still keeping it.

    the next better lens is 17~55, which is $2000 away.

    shooting kids you need speed at 1/200sec and above for available light, unless they willing to hold still for you to shoot.

    get a hotshoe mount flash and learn how to bounce the light, this is what you need.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  14. #14

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap_Dingo View Post
    Have read the pointers that you guys have given on the flash. Noted. Prefer not to use flashes if possible. Personal reference for "natural".

    I didn't buy the kit lens that came with the D70s coz fear that it would not be sharp enough and would just sit there until I got rid of it. Any opinions? I really don't want to be stuck with a lens that is not sharp.
    Flash can look natural also. Just bounce it.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap_Dingo View Post
    I'm quite particular on the sharp thing. Too many pics with the Minolta A1 which I produce are not sharp enough for me. I always go back to this pic (taken by another CSnapper) and compare it with mine, and hence the longing for sharp sharp pics.
    Aiyoh..
    What makes you think yours is not sharp enough? Your lens already able to resolve the lines on the leaf and flower. The other image did not even resolve the button properly. You're probably looking for contrast and colour saturation rather than sharpness.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Hmmm you guys are legends! Thats why I posted this for "elders" only...

    18~70 is good enough, a best kit lens among the fews (18~55, 18~135). - Catchlights, yes, this is what I was looking for.

    Flash can look natural also. Just bounce it. - lsisaxon. Problem is my roof is 4 metres in the air.

    You're probably looking for contrast and colour saturation rather than sharpness. - Yes, that is a very important factor too.... so is it the lens that also influences the contract/saturation? I suspect that not all CSnapper photos are PS'ed.

    I have a Cokelight UV filter. Maybe its the filter on the A1?

  17. #17
    Member NeTHaCk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the elders

    the d70s should have a custom firmware to improve the contrast etc.. correct me if im wrong.

    your picture looks fine except for colour.

    a 2nd hand sb600 should be around the range of $250 and above.

    you're actually wrong about the 18-70. have you even tried it before ? You should. Its amazing. And like many bros and sis here will say, 18-70 is the BEST kit lens available out there. And thats one reason why you can see it selling for a nice $$ .

    if you got the $$ , a 2nd hand tokina 28-70 f2.8 would be good too. its kinda heavy but its built like a tank. i stopped using my 18-55 kit and used my 28-70, even though ive got loads of other lenses, this is one lens i carry around, if you dont mind the weight that is but its not that heavy..

    the 28-70 with the built in flash is not much of a problem. i have an sb-24 flash which does not TTL , which means ive gotta fire it manually. go for the sb-600 at least. no regrets.

    i think you need to surf some bit.. there's a "diffuser" for built in flashes so it wont fire till its over exposed

  18. #18

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Quote Originally Posted by NeTHaCk View Post
    the d70s should have a custom firmware to improve the contrast etc.. correct me if im wrong.

    your picture looks fine except for colour.

    a 2nd hand sb600 should be around the range of $250 and above.

    you're actually wrong about the 18-70. have you even tried it before ? You should. Its amazing. And like many bros and sis here will say, 18-70 is the BEST kit lens available out there. And thats one reason why you can see it selling for a nice $$ .

    if you got the $$ , a 2nd hand tokina 28-70 f2.8 would be good too. its kinda heavy but its built like a tank. i stopped using my 18-55 kit and used my 28-70, even though ive got loads of other lenses, this is one lens i carry around, if you dont mind the weight that is but its not that heavy..

    the 28-70 with the built in flash is not much of a problem. i have an sb-24 flash which does not TTL , which means ive gotta fire it manually. go for the sb-600 at least. no regrets.

    i think you need to surf some bit.. there's a "diffuser" for built in flashes so it wont fire till its over exposed
    You've given me a lot of good ideas and assurance. BTW, the pic which I posted (flower) was taken with Minolta A1 and not the D70s. I'm strongly leaning toward the 28-70 now... =) Giving it about another 24 hours before I decide. I've read too many commentaries and so now confused whether I should get 18-70 or 18-55. Your post has helped me.... thank you.
    Last edited by Cap_Dingo; 22nd August 2007 at 10:14 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Question for the elders

    Quote Originally Posted by Cap_Dingo View Post
    Flash can look natural also. Just bounce it. - lsisaxon. Problem is my roof is 4 metres in the air.
    Then you'll need a BIGGER flash! Just joking. Maybe use a softbox or a large bounce card? Place your flash off camera in the same direction of the natural light source is another option.

  20. #20
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question for the elders

    you can use higher ISO, for higher ceiling,
    if your kids is running around, use smaller bounce card is the best, soft yet enough illumination. the ceiling too high does not mean can't work, just that you can't get too close to your subject, cos the light will fall straight down from the top or behind the subject.

    you also can bounce the light off the wall, either left or right, even behind you, if the wall is white and not too far away.

    shooting kids, you have to keep your set up simple.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

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