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  #1  
Old 11-22-2006, 09:11 PM
IvarsU IvarsU is offline
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Default Which lens is the best for night shots?

I am planning to purchase new camera and lens for it. Camera will be Pentax d10 or Nikon D80, but my question is - which lens is the best for night shots? If someone has good experience in night photography, please give a help.
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2006, 11:43 PM
AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: Which lens is the best for night shots?

Totally depends on what you're doing. If you want handheld portraits of people, then you could do with something that has a relatively fast maximum aperture (f/2.8 or less).

An image stabilizer would be useful if you're shooting handheld. With handheld stuff the high-ISO performance of the camera can also be important.

If you're shooting static landscapes with a tripod then pretty much whatever lens you usually use will be fine :)

As for cameras, if you can wait until February I suspect Canon will have something you might like, but obviously I can't say that for certain - it's just that the 10/20/30d family will have reached 1.5yrs on the 30d, and they always seem to refresh at 1.5yrs. February is also when a major trade show happens...
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Old 11-23-2006, 07:20 AM
IvarsU IvarsU is offline
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Default Re: Which lens is the best for night shots?

Thanks, Adrian, I just intersting from sharpness point of view. I can compare nihgt landscape pictures here in TE - they are very different in sharpness and clarity.
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Old 11-23-2006, 04:01 PM
Darren Darren is offline
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Default Re: Which lens is the best for night shots?

For handheld night shots, I think that you would be best served with the Pentax, simply because of the SR built into the body of the camera, and coupled with the ability to use a faster tha f/2.8 shortish lens, such as the FA35/2, FA*31/1.8 (an expensive, but stunning lens), the FA*24/2 (hard to find now), FA 50/1.4 or even one of the Sigma EX 20, 24, 28 f/1.8 or 30/1.4. If you are going into the 1/10th of a second range, as night shots often require, having the shake reduction will give you many more keepers. Alternatively, I would consider the K100D, which with the 6mp sensor offers better high ISO performance, coupled with the shake reduction system. Nikon makes some great stuff, of course, but if you go Nikon, on wider angles, you will only get image stabalization on wider lenses with the very expensive 17-55/2.8, which I am sure is great, but it is also two stops slower at maximum aperture than what you can find in a prime. My opinion is that low light is made for primes and when you add the SR in the body, you are opening up a lot of new possibilities.

Sony's A100 also has the equivalent built into the body; I am sure it is good as well and that there are lots of very high quality Minolta lenses available for it. I just don't know much about what is out there. The reviews on the Sony are somewhat mixed I believe. You might also hunt down one of the older Konica/Minolta (purchased by Sony) 5Ds or 7Ds. Both are using more or less the same sensor as the Pentax K100D (and all previous Pentax DSLRs), Nikon D50, D70, 100 and the upcoming D40. It is a tested and true sensor which often gets overlooked due to the megapixel wars.
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Old 11-23-2006, 10:47 PM
IvarsU IvarsU is offline
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Default Re: Which lens is the best for night shots?

Thanks, Daren, for so deep answer. Anyway I need SLR camera, and good some reasonable lenses for it.
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  #6  
Old 11-23-2006, 10:51 PM
IvarsU IvarsU is offline
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Default Is it better to have 3 fixed lenses in bag or one good zoom

Thanks, Daren, for so deep answer. Anyway I need SLR camera, and some good reasonable lenses for it.
Fast lenses are always better, I like to made portraits on streets from far distance.
Is it better to have 3 fixed lenses in bag or one good zoom lens???
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2006, 11:53 AM
ben4321 ben4321 is offline
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Default Re: Which lens is the best for night shots?

If you have a decent tripod, any lens is good for night shots. If you want to shoot handheld, a fast prime lens is the way forward. 50mm F1.8 lenses can be picked up for next to nothing second-hand, and are just as sharp and twice as sensitive to light as the f2.8 pro zooms costing 1000+.
Cheers,
Ben
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2006, 03:08 PM
AdrianW AdrianW is offline
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Default Re: Which lens is the best for night shots?

> I can compare nihgt landscape pictures here in TE - they are very different in sharpness and clarity.

With digital the camera body plays a more significant part in that quality. Some cameras can't do more than a couple of seconds before being swamped by noise, even at ISO100. Others are pretty good. My 10d starts to show a few stuck pixels with exposures over 5 minutes, but it's otherwise clean.

Technique is the key, as has been mentioned twice in this thread now - a good tripod, and knowing how to use are probably the most important things for night landscapes.

Have a look at some of my photos, as I tend to shoot at night a fair amount. Then have a look around for other shots taken with the same equipment, and I'm sure you'll find some that don't look as good...
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2006, 11:13 PM
mlopes mlopes is offline
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Default Re: Which lens is the best for night shots?

Ivars,
You are aiming at night photography right?
Why don't you considere to buy a Canon Bodie instead of Pentax and Nikon? From what i know and i think it's universal accepted it that Canon is ages ahead in Noise features.

Noise is a major problem in night shots/long exposures and high ISO... i would definitivly buy canon for nightshots... the lens... well anything goes... depends on what you want.

Landscapes/cityscapes: Wide angle
Portraits (i don't think): Zoom with f2.8
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