Higher ISO's and fast glass question ?

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Ken Piros Ken Piros   Post 1 of 6
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The question I have is with higher ISO available in today’s cameras are fast lenses still really needed for low light photography? Can you get good results with a f5.6 at ISO 3200 or 6400?

Were the lenses with f1.4 or f1.8 primarily designed for low light situations or for situations where the photographer wanted a very shallow DOF?
Holger Findling Holger Findling Post 2 of 6
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My advice is get the fastest lens you can afford and use a camera with a CMOS sensor. CCDs are too noisy, especially above ISO 400. Some images (action) become more interesting with a little noise, but in landscapes it is undesirable. If the lens is too slow then the autofocus either fails or takes too long focusing. It depends on what you are shooting, landscape versus action. There are three variables to consider, ISO, shutter speed and fstop. Action shots probably require a zoom to put some distance between you and the object. A typicall rule is to use a shutter speed equal to the zoom setting. 100 mm <= 1/120 shutter speed. So, 50 mm at 1/60 sec seems to be ideal. Shutter Speed is a problem at night since most zoom lenses are really slow (>f5.6) at higher zoom settings.
Vladimir Plugnikov Vladimir Plugnikov Post 3 of 6
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As for me lenses with f1,2, f1.4 or f1.8 primarily designed for situations where the photographer wanted a very shallow DOF (like this http://www.fotocommunity.com/pc/pc/mypi ... y/27431652).
And for night landscape photo will be better to use tripod, ISO100, long exposure at f8-f11 ( or even more like this : http://www.fotocommunity.com/pc/pc/mypi ... y/25858908)
As I know possible highest ISO is around 100 000 (!) in Canon 1D pro reportage cameras but I never see photos made with this ISO. In my Canon 550D and 650D highest ISO is 6400 and I use it for action, fotohunting an etc photos ( like this http://www.fotocommunity.com/pc/pc/mypi ... y/28878216)

So, as for acion photos I am agree with Holger Findling.

My best wishes for all for New Year !
Ruud van der Lubben Ruud van der Lubben   Post 4 of 6
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With the high iso values available nowadays one would incline to say that fast lenses are not needed anymore. BUT that is a wrong assumtion. Even with the high iso's it is still a fact that most lenses start to achieve their best results when stopping them down for 2 - 3 stops, then you come to what is often called the "sweet point" of the lens.

The good thing about a fast lens is that when stopped down 2 stops, it still remains a quite fast lens.
With the cheaper ( slower ) lenses when stopping them down, you will much faster come to a point where you loose too much light, and then you still have to start using higher iso's

On the other hand there is the fact that using a fast lens gives you the possibility to get a shallow dof, which is often very nice for certain effects.

So there is actually 3 reasons to go for fast glass. !!
Jeff Worsnop 1945 Jeff Worsnop 1945 Post 5 of 6
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Quote: Vladimir Plugnikov 31.12.12, 07:50To the cited postAs for me lenses with f1,2, f1.4 or f1.8 primarily designed for situations where the photographer wanted a very shallow DOF (like this http://www.fotocommunity.com/pc/pc/mypi ... y/27431652).


No. In the old days, when film speeds were very low, lenses with large apertures were needed to take photographs. For example I used Kodachrome film that had a speed of 10 iso and needed wide apertures to take handheld pictures in anything but good sunlight. When film speeds increased wide apertures were still needed to take photos of moving people or objects with high shutter speeds. Shallow depth of field was a byproduct of necessity and often a great nuisance.
Stefan Bar. ² Stefan Bar. ²   Post 6 of 6
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Quote: Ken Piros 27.12.12, 01:30To the cited post Can you get good results with a f5.6 at ISO 3200 or 6400?
Definatly yes. But as still in the past - the more money you invest, the more you get.
Surprisingly the new Canon 6D is even better than the 5D MIII in this section. May be this will change - rumors talk about a firmware update for the 5D MIII.
I had really nice results at a musical theater at ISO 12800 with the 5D MIII which were comparable approx with ISO 1600 or slightly below with my previous 5D.
The 650D does also a good job in higher ISO, though she's limited and I wouldn't recommend her for ISO 6400.

You may not forget that fast lenses often have their highest quality potential when stopped down. It also eases the autofocus' sensors works when the lens has a fast stop. So the answer to your question can't be just yes or no.
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