Lens for Graduation


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Mar 6, 2007
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#1
Hi,

My friend wants me to help her take some pictures on her graduation day. I do not wish to disappoint her on her memorable day. Can recommend me what lens is good to use if I wan to take her receiving the cert from the GOH? I guess I will be sitting duck in the hall with the audience and the distance will be kind of far.

I'm using a Canon 30D and thinking of renting a 70-200mm f2.8 lens. Do you think thats good enough?

Thanks.
 

boyboy

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Oct 15, 2007
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#2
do you have decent external flash? couple ur 2.8 zoom with a flash, should be adequate.

i just shot my wife's commencement with my nikon D40x and 18-200mm lens. it's a slow zoom but i cranked up the (external) flash to the max and my iso to 800 or 1600. noisy but oh well =P.

result was usable la..
 

Mar 6, 2007
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#4
i dun tink flash could reach tat far. i dunno where im sitting but the size of the hall is about those in esplande theatres. (one and a half size of normal sch hall?)
 

glenncain

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May 23, 2006
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#5
been there done that. a nikkor 18-200 will barely suffice. nothing beats a 70-200 2.8 if you are sitting far. thats if you have the mojo, or you decide to rent. its 5.6 vs 2.8. big diff. you need all the shutter speed you can get and the low light compensation too. you better try to dig for a closer seat, coz it will help by a mile, so come early if you have to, coz nothings beats getting close up too.
 

Maltese

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Mar 21, 2005
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#6
depending on your sitting position, if you are within like 5-10 rows of seats, then you can use a 70-200 with ISO 400 and above. If you are further away, you need a longer lens. I usually shoot with more than 400mm either with a TC on a 200 f2.8 or 400mm at f5.6.

Flash diffuser wise, unless u go the biggest flash head, else most of the time u either can only use FP flash if not you rely on the stage lightings.

Also to recommend you to go with a sturdy monopod if you are seated down. If you can move around then practise your BMT live firing technique i.e to hold your breath alot ;)
 

Mar 6, 2007
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#7
Wow.. I am pretty sure that I will be siting more than 15 seats away from the stage. In tat case, renting a 400mm will be a better choice.. Hmm.. first time use such high end lens, wonder will it be complicated to use?
 

GadgetGod

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Jan 27, 2007
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#8
If ur renting you could try to rent a 400mm F2.8 or a 500mm F4 with VR!
 

moodyfly

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Jun 25, 2008
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#11
think there will be professional photographer station near to stage to take photo? so maybe u can save up the rental and concentrate on taking group photo/snapshot when your friend come out from hall?
 

khtee

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Dec 18, 2007
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#12
Lol.. Using a Canon mount here.. I should be renting a 100-400mm..
100-400mm on body and hand held? You will be disappointed with the result. A monipod may work for you here to minimize the shake. Remember, if you are far away, the shutter speed will be longer as it is low light in the graduation ceremony. get a F2.8 or if better F2 lens at least. IS would be better.
 

Maltese

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Mar 21, 2005
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#13
100-400 is useful for the IS...which if u use a monopod, you will have increased stability.

Nevertheless this lens is catered to the outdoor action targets like moving objects which is why their max aperture at 400 is at 5.6. At this aperture, if you are in a lousy lightning hall, you will really bang since you hardly can see your target for off-stage aims.

I usually start shooting from the time the person went upstage, take the scroll, move down the ladder then back to the seats. Also when the person is leaving or entering the halls, you do not have as good lighting as the stage. So if your lens have a small biggest aperture to start with like the 100-400, your viewfinder tends to be black, even more if you are not using the 100% view finder type. If you use the live view which some cams have, at 400mm, unless you are experience in tracking your subjects, if not they get out of the view easily. Try the lens before you actually goes for the shoot for a feel. At 400mm and at a distance away, you need to have a bit of focusing skills to get them right.;)
 

Maltese

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Mar 21, 2005
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#14
think there will be professional photographer station near to stage to take photo? so maybe u can save up the rental and concentrate on taking group photo/snapshot when your friend come out from hall?
Yes, moodyfly gives you a lead. If there are official photogs around, then you may not be able to move around. If you can, try not to block them also. In a hall, the angle of taking is about the same area so if you can move around, you might be blocking the official photogs as well.

Another tip, if you dunno where to get the best angle and lighting situation, try to follow the photog behind and see their setup, settings but stay behind them so that they can work properly. When I first started learning to shoot stage, I used to tag along them and pose as the official photogs so that I can go to very hard to reach areas such as understage or within 1st few rows without getting stop.
 

chanxj

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Sep 4, 2006
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Singapore......
www.xjavprod.com
#15
Just don't get too close to the official photogs as they are concentrating hard as they need to keep track of shots. My advice is to pay for the stage photos which will
1.) lessen ur responsibility
2.) allow you to enjoy the ceremony
 

Raied

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Jun 13, 2007
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Clementi
www.krasnajaphoto.com
#16
its better u rent an IS lens than a low aperature one cause for distance i think its better for IS to compensate rather than shutter plus bigger DOF

rangewise, must see where u sit. if very far i doubt 200mm will be enough

better to have a flash also, just point it direct and play with the power output, most likely its gonna reach.

and pray for stage lights and spotlights. if got any, then you can relax abit alr

good luck in anyways
 

Mar 6, 2007
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#17
wow.. so many replies over lunch time.. lol.. some give suggestions to rent, some suggests to rely on official phtgers..

Arrgh.. though i knw it still depends on my choice but i agree with both ends. now in a dilemma, headache sia..
 

Mar 6, 2007
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#18
I never tried a monopod before.. but it looks pretty unstable also.. can use tripod instead? or monopod have the same stability?
 

Jul 11, 2008
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In Your Heart
#19
Sorry for crossing on your topic Mr/Mrs Nicholasoh as i
have quite a same qn here.

My qn is whats the best iso,aperture,shutter and white balance
for you guys as i'm still new in this line. What i mean is usually
what do you use for a graduation 'modes'.

And i have 17-50mm f2.8, 50mm f1.8 and 70-200mm f2.8G IF-ED.
Best one to use? It is for my wonderful sis wedding so i really need
your help. Thank you guys. :)
 

mrchua

New Member
Feb 10, 2008
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Sydney/Singapore
#20
you might want a moderate wide angle to short telephoto lens for those group portraits and mug shots.
 

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