Because You're Worth It


the_drewster

Link Posted 23/11/2008 - 18:27
Hi,

I want a lens that will catch hair being flung in mid motion. A lens that will catch my daughter flinging her baked beans across the room. A fast lens that will catch a gymnastic tripping over a millisecond before flight. That kind of thing. Now, my understanding is that a fast lens such as a prime 50mm 1.4 should do the trick, but here's the thing, I can't find *any* mid motion pictures on the net that demonstrate a momentary mid action shot taken by a prime 50mm 1.4/1.7 lens. They're all taken with rediculous monster zoom lenses. Am I missing something?

If this is achievable with such a lens, anyone know of one going.

Many thanks

Drew
Last Edited by the_drewster on 23/11/2008 - 18:28

Mac

Link Posted 23/11/2008 - 18:49
Hi Drew,

Use a flash.

It will freeze motion and you don't really need a super fast lens - though that would be the ideal.

A flash only provides light in the thousanths of a second, and you'd probably be shooting at f8 or smaller apertures ensuring more Depth of Field.

If your camera has a built in flash - start with that.

Cheers
Mac from Montreal

SP, SPII, SPF, PZ-10, P30, SFX, K110D, istDS, Optio 60, Z-10, H90, RZ10, I-10, f3.5 28mm, f1.8 55mm, f1.4 50mm, f3.5 135mm, f2.5 135mm, f4 50mm Macro, f4.5 80-200 F, f4 35-70, f3.5 28-80, f3.5 35-135, f3.5 18-55, f1.8 31mm Ltd., two Auto 110's, Auto 110 lenses and filters, tubes, bellows, Manfrottos and a sore back.

the_drewster

Link Posted 23/11/2008 - 19:09
Thanks for the reply Mac. Will a flash achieve this outdoors though? I tried using the flash, but it didn't help too much. This picture was take in a brightly lit conservatory, with flash, 800 iso and still turned out crap. Anything below 800 was too dark.




So, do you reckon a fast prime wouldn't work for these type photos?
Last Edited by the_drewster on 23/11/2008 - 19:10

iceblinker

Link Posted 23/11/2008 - 19:19
A fast prime would work, but won't be essential if you want to use flash or when the available light is bright enough to allow a fast shutter speed even with a relatively slow lens. Try Tv mode and a high ISO setting.

It's nice to have a fast prime anyway, though. The Pentax-A 50mm f1.7 is commonly and cheaply available via eBay. That's manual focus and second-hand. For auto-focus, you can buy a new Pentax-FA 50mm f1.4.
~Pete

iceblinker

Link Posted 23/11/2008 - 19:25
the_drewster wrote:
but here's the thing, I can't find *any* mid motion pictures on the net that demonstrate a momentary mid action shot taken by a prime 50mm 1.4/1.7 lens.

I don't know why that is. It's not due to any technical reason with the lens. Certainly you culd use one to freeze your baby with, so to speak.
~Pete

the_drewster

Link Posted 23/11/2008 - 19:36
iceblinker wrote:
the_drewster wrote:
but here's the thing, I can't find *any* mid motion pictures on the net that demonstrate a momentary mid action shot taken by a prime 50mm 1.4/1.7 lens.

I don't know why that is. It's not due to any technical reason with the lens. Certainly you culd use one to freeze your baby with, so to speak.

That's wonderful. Many, thanks, Pete.

nathanever82

Link Posted 23/11/2008 - 21:30
I have an issue understanding your question, and also the answers given.

Your question has very little to do with lens choice, or at least there are many other parameters that you might wish to consider.

If you want to freeze action you will need a fast shutter speed. Now, it is obvious that a fast lens will give you an advantage, but this will only be a partial advantage of 2/3/4 stops.

Any type of photograph you wish to take, you have to know what shutter speeds you will need in order to freeze the action. So if you shoot a walker it will be 1/30 sec, if you shoot a runner it will be 1/100 sec, if a motor race 1/250 to 1/2000 sec. - This is the choice you have to make, and different equipment will allow you to change various parameters around your choice, but ultimately, only make a certain difference.

Say you decide that you need to shoot at 1/500 of a second, you will need enough light to illuminate the scene, and you have many options.


- Flashgun with High Speed setting, which allows you to shoot at any shutter speed.
- Higher ISO - With compromise on noise, and IQ
- A faster lens will only give you 2/3/4 stops advantage, which might be enough, but not surely
-Studio lights will work
- Outdoor shooting on a bright day - and on a not so bright day
- Good timing, and maybe a remote shutter, so that you can catch the right moment without having to look through the viewfinder.


Please let me know if you have more specific queries, and many here will be happy to help you!

Regards,
Nathan
'Between the lights there is always a shadow'

www.nathanservi.com & PPG

womble

Link Posted 23/11/2008 - 21:57
Just to add one extra point to Nathan's excellent post. The trade off with fast lenses is the narrow depth of field. You might get an extra couple of stops using f/1.4 BUT, if you are relatively close to your subject (e.g. the baby photograph) you may well find that such a narrow area is in focus that you still are not getting what you would like.

I recently got a SMC-A 50mm f/1.4 but have mainly used it when I deliberately want selective focus.

Best wishes, Kris.
Kris Lockyear
It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head. Henri Cartier-Bresson
Lots of film bodies, a couple of digital ones, too many lenses (mainly older glass) and a Horseman LE 5x4.

My website

McBrian

Link Posted 23/11/2008 - 22:23
These were done using studio lights, note the slowish shutter speed (K10D Sync speed --> ), however the action is stopped by the flash duration of the studio lights which is approx 1/800sec, exposure is controlled by varying the flash output and aperture.



1/180s f/9.0 at 45.0mm iso100



1/160s f/10.0 at 19.0mm iso100

Experiment with the body and flash set on manual (set shutter speed to max sync speed) and use the aperture or flash power or a combination of both to control the exposure. IIRC HSS won't work very well as the flash, AF360 or AF540 emit’s a series of low power bursts while the shutter is open.

Have fun
Cheers
Brian.
LBA is good for you, a Lens a day helps you work, rest and play.

gartmore

Link Posted 24/11/2008 - 06:58
As has been said, the issue is nothing at all to do with lens choice. The only way to freeze motion is by the use of powerful flash.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

MattMatic

Link Posted 24/11/2008 - 09:24
Just to add another little twist...

You could use a faster lens to achieve a higher shutter speed. However, the flip side is that opening up the lens (e.g. to f/1.4) gives you an unbelievably shallow depth of field. If your subject is moving as well that will almost certainly yield out-of-focus shots (frozen, but out of focus).

As has been said, to freeze the action you need to have either a high shutter speed and/or the "freezing" effect of studio flash. To get the shot in-focus when there's movement you want to also be shooting around f/5.6 to f/11. That means either you shoot in bright sunlight, or you use a high power studio flash in controlled indoor conditions

Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

iceblinker

Link Posted 24/11/2008 - 09:45
With some luck and skill, sometimes f2.8 will be enough to get enough depth-of-field and the moving subject in focus. It will allow a faster shutter speed - and that is what you need if you don't want to (or can't) use flash, and the available light is not bright enough otherwise.

The subject may just being tossed up and down, for example, rather than running all over the place. You don't necessarily need f5.6 to f11 for that.

At least the fast 50mm lens would be some fun to use, even if it's not the ideal solution for this problem for the professional. I'm guessing that Drew doesn't wasn't to setup a professional studio at home, and may be satisfied with just sharper images rather than the absolute sharpest possible.
~Pete
Last Edited by iceblinker on 24/11/2008 - 09:50

the_drewster

Link Posted 24/11/2008 - 10:52
Thanks for the replies.

I understand now that the problem would be the narrow depth of field. I suppose that's where the larger expensive lenses come in, as they allow alot of light capture at f4.5 and above, and so allow for a greater depth of field ?

I assumed that the nature of the question would have clarified this, but I'm not a pro photographer and so don't have access to a studio, reflectors, varying flashes etc. However with the like of cameras such as the K10, people like me in their spare time can play and experiment with the limited non-pro resources we have. But Pete seems to have sussed what I meant, so many thanks. With patience (a lot of), I may be able to get a few nice fast pictures on a bright day with the 1.4 lens.

That said, I do have a 50mm macro lens, that I have only ever used for macro shots. It doesn't stop down to 1.4, but if 2.8 is the realistic minimum for a manageable depth of field, maybe that will work without the need to purchase a 1.4

Many thanks

Drew

hefty1

Link Posted 24/11/2008 - 10:58
the_drewster wrote:
I understand now that the problem would be the narrow depth of field. I suppose that's where the larger expensive lenses come in, as they allow alot of light capture at f4.5 and above, and so allow for a greater depth of field ?

If only they could! Unfortunately a large expensive lens at f4.5 will let in exactly the same amount of light as a cheap and nasty lens at f4.5 - the difference is that people who can afford large expensive lenses are the same ones who can also afford some nice expensive flash equipment and/or a studio.
Joining the Q

the_drewster

Link Posted 24/11/2008 - 11:08
I'm confused again now. So are you saying that a Flash makes a difference when taking that quick snap of a King Fisher or Eagle swooping in for the kill 50 metres away?
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