Fast lenses vs flash for indoors


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Oct 25, 2009
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West coast
#1
I started this thread because I am of 3 minds - spend more hours trying to master flash photography or get a few fast prime lens or move on from DX to FX (already poisoned) and fast lenses (deep deep hole in pocket after this). Currently using D90 and N 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 and SB600 (and at moderate ISO) most often for indoor photos. But very unhappy with the quality of the pics. Also tried using my 35mm f1.8 w/o flash but not often I can get close enough to subject eg at events like performances in relatively low light. Really admire those who took clean sharp pics for indoor events like the recent Riverside Mid-Autumn shows and the Gundam shows. :(

Appreciate any advice fron my fellow CS'ers.
 

Diavonex

Senior Member
Sep 23, 2008
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#2
Pse. take note that fast lens when wide-open have very narrow DOF.
 

kenny888

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Oct 24, 2003
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#3
Yeah, too shallow DOP might not be suitable sometimes. Also, after if u compare two pics.. one using fast lens.. and one using normal one with flash.. the effect also different.

Whenever there's a flash used on the subject, its always different. There r some peeps will always shoot with flash and some do it really artistically!
 

Mar 27, 2009
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Jurong east
#4
started this thread because I am of 3 minds - spend more hours trying to master flash photography

u already got flash. why dont u do this.
 

Jan 27, 2010
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#5
TS, for your usage i certainly dont advise FX since you will lose the valuable crop factor (READ: more reach) if you do upgrade to FX. Rather than spending on the body, why not just invest in quality zoom lenses, or better yet primes if you know what you will be shooting. If you are on a budget, i recommend the sigma f2.8 70-200. Built quality is good, relatively sharp, and best of all, VALUE FOR MONEY. IIRC a 2nd hand one costs only 1.1k. but dont quote me on this im trying to recall off hand. I dont recommend flash as much as a fast lens as a fast lens gives you more flexibility and a flash can only give you harsh lighting under certain circumstances. My advice is get a basic flash, ie SB 600 or 800 and spend the rest on quality lenses. I dont recommend the Nikon 70-200 though as it can tear your pocket apart.
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#6
I started this thread because I am of 3 minds - spend more hours trying to master flash photography or get a few fast prime lens or move on from DX to FX (already poisoned) and fast lenses (deep deep hole in pocket after this). Currently using D90 and N 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 and SB600 (and at moderate ISO) most often for indoor photos. But very unhappy with the quality of the pics. Also tried using my 35mm f1.8 w/o flash but not often I can get close enough to subject eg at events like performances in relatively low light. Really admire those who took clean sharp pics for indoor events like the recent Riverside Mid-Autumn shows and the Gundam shows. :(

Appreciate any advice fron my fellow CS'ers.
Keep shooting flash and DON't be afraid to experiment. There are plenty of tricks when shooting flash. :)
 

Sep 17, 2008
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#7
flash is more powerfull than u think.

if ur indoor is decent lighting, flash can act as fill via ettl.

if ur indoor is horrendous, flash acts as main light.

why are u so urgent to buy new equipments when u havent reached the limits and master how to use ur equipments yet?
 

Sep 14, 2009
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#8
I say get both fast lenses and a good flash on a crop
 

Sep 17, 2008
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#13
i'm on a 6 year old camera, and i use ISO 1600/3200 when i have to.

what's important is about capturing the moment. not noise.
and i have to agree on that. if i cant help it i'll heck. but if i can help it, i'll help it:bsmilie:
 

Fapic

New Member
Apr 10, 2010
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#14
i have a prime with me,
yet to have a flash.

and true enough primes just arent enough for some events.

and with that poor lighting, we so need a flash.

leading on to me concluding on getting a flash the next month :)
plus, flash photography is so... amazing
 

limwhow

Senior Member
Jun 9, 2009
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#15
you can always bump ISO to 1600/3200/6400
I would be inclined to take this path.
I think, TS, there are many different types of shooters.
Some are Strobist. Some like pure ambient. Some are a mixture.
I happened to be one who uses very little flash because I enjoy the mood that ambient light brings.
Thus, you could say that I am an ISO man.
And ISO would be my choice together with a fast lens.

P.S. Not that I am against flash. I have three flashes. But I only use them under certain circumstances.
 

nixontkl

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Nov 12, 2007
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nixontang.multiply.com
#16
UP your ISO and use bounce flash to prevent those harsh light. higher ISO your flash will become more powerful and reach further. with proper light intensity high ISO shoots will not be noisy. noise come in when your picture is badly under expose.

TS your setup should be able to easily handle the gundam event at compass point, think u just yet to fully understand your equipment and max its potential.
 

nixontkl

New Member
Nov 12, 2007
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Punggol
nixontang.multiply.com
#17
bounce flash as in bounce card in the environment like the gundam event the ceiling is too high for upward bounce.

use a diffuser and bounce card to soften the lighting, throw at a 45-90deg angle, the bounce card would help in throwing the soften light forward to increase the ambient light, and with higher ISO, that little amount of light will be enough.

do explore abit more with flash. used to shoot poor lit event with D80 and SB600. sometimes need the reach even use 70-300mm, but at those reach i use direct flash. so your D90 surely can make it one.
 

Apr 6, 2010
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#18
TS: Both! Experiment with bounce flash. Use a gebo if you have to.
Here's a read for you: http://neilvn.com/tangents/

Oh and remember (impt): buy gels to correct for tungstun and flourescent ambient

for performances though...not easy to bounce if too far away.up ISO :) in print you can't really tell noise like you do on the screen..or... u get away clean with a D3s :)
 

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spentaz

New Member
Aug 13, 2010
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#19
TS: Both! Experiment with bounce flash. Use a gebo if you have to.
Here's a read for you: http://neilvn.com/tangents/

Oh and remember (impt): buy gels to correct for tungstun and flourescent ambient

for performances though...not easy to bounce if too far away.up ISO :) in print you can't really tell noise like you do on the screen..or... u get away clean with a D3s :)
Later wallet also clean-ed:p

Anyway to TS, fast lenses may not be useful in some situations, like group photos, even F1.4 also no use, the depth of field is too shallow unless you only want to keep one in two person in focus. 2nd, weight, the 70-200 I'm using is f4, there's a f2.8 one available but the weight is double, price also 1.2k plus more, bring to travel I think before I shoot photos die liao:p . invest in a flash, which I find it to be more useful for indoors. Of course, if got money, get good body, fast lens and flash:thumbsup:
 

Oct 25, 2009
103
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0
West coast
#20
Thanks everyone for your good advice. I know I can rely on fellow CS'ers on this.

After reading thru the replies, I come to understand,
(1) my option 3 (get FX and FX fast lens) is too rash ! (Just emo taking over)
(2) my option 1 (learn to use flash better) is very doable - thanks to the bro who sent me the link, (http://neilvn.com/tangents) will mark that and read that in more detail later
(3) my option 2 (fast primes) can be fined tuned to specific needs - eg might get a mid range f2.8 somewhere in the 24-135mm range (third party or nikon depending on price)

Any more advice to help me fine tune further are greatly welcome.
 

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