Twisted Betties Model Agency

Twisted Betties photoshoot – a new Sydney promotional models agency 

Lisa – the head Bettie, was looking for some sexy edgy glamourous photos.  

I had a big corporate shoot coming up so it gave me the opportunity to test out some new lighting setups and a new lens – you just can’t underestimate how important lighting is to creating the mood of the shot.

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Event Photography and the Best Lens for Shooting Video on a Canon 7D

I picked up a new corporate event photography gig (a new factory opening) this week (smiles) for a shoot in a couple of week – it’s a good step moving forward on this photographic journey but now comes making sure we deliver great results.

Apart from the actual shoot details the first things that come to mind are skills and equipment.  On my mind are lenses – my current lens kit is pretty limited (a EFS 15-85 and a EF 25-105 L) so I’m in immediate shopping mode. 

Current

The 15-85 (24-136mm equivalent with 7D 1.6x APS-C size sensor)  that came standard with my Canon 7D camera package is good but as my primary photography focus (excuse the pun) has been portrait work I wanted a great lens.  For portraits the 24-105mm L gives portrait focal range 80-100mm with great sharp optics [with the 7D 1.6 crop sensor that makes the lens an equivalent 38-168mm), but for events I’m thinking I need a good wide angle and also a telephoto at the other end of the spectrum.  

The key thing with photography is that a camera is only as good as the lens (and the person shooting) but budget is always a consideration.

Budget

I don’t have James Packers wallet so budget is decision will be based on immediate (within 3 months) return on investment versus the argument that a good lens should last at least 3-5 years.

Canon L series lens on a video cameraIn terms of any new kit I’m also increasingly thinking from a video production perspective – that any lens will work across both.  If you’re just shooting video then lens sharpness right now is less important – HD resolution is 1,920 pixels wide by 1,080 high – about a 2mb image) but a good “L” lens can/ will also step up to higher quality video eg RED Digital Cinema quality (not that we have to think about that now) http://www.birger.com/ – future of video.

So, what’s the best for events.

What are likely event scenarios?
Band gigs, corporate events, weddings.  In doors and low light (without having to shoot flash) will always be a consideration.  I’m thinking a 30mm fixed primed lens (1.6x = 50mm) around f1.4.  A good zoom mean I always  don’t have to be in someone’s face to get some of the shots.

Decisions

Three hours later and lots of reading I’ve opted for 

Sigma 30mm F/1.4 EX DC HSM  Canon EF Extender 2x III Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II + Hoya 52mm CPL Filter
This is my first foray into a non Canon lens and a prime lens – two sources that helped were Digital Picture and  a heap of Youtube clips.  The 30mm lens with 1.6 sensor will give me a 50mm lens equivalent that was the standard for decades. Without stabilisation then mostly tripod based shots.  For video work then an option will be post stabilisation software. 

This extender is optimised for the high end L series but it will give me 2x on my 25-105mm = 50-210mm and with the 1.6x sensor the framing of a 80-336mm.  A consequence is I’ll lose 2 f-stops in the process taking the lens from f4 to f8.  Having such a small aperture (small f-stop) at  f8 [Note: f-stops are fraction ie the numbers below are inversed] will mean lots of playing with ISO and shutter speed and, any nice blurring will have to be done in post production.  

 Typical one-third-stop f-number scale

f/# 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.5 2.8 3.2 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.6 6.3 7.1 8.0 9 10 11 13 14 16 18 20 22
Yes it’s plasticy and a bit of duplication on the Sigma but at $139 delivered it’s just worth having in the kit bag 

Will keep you posted on the results.

Until then happy shooting.