Art and Photography

What Canon lens to get for wide group photo shots

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  • Feb 9th, 2010 2:22 am
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Sep 21, 2007
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What Canon lens to get for wide group photo shots

I'll be taking a lot of group photo shots in the next few months.. I need a good lens to do this.

Suggestions please
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May 6, 2005
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Price range? Obviously kit 18-55 is a start. Wider zooms are expensive or you could go with a wider prime lens...
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For full frame I'd use 17-40L, for a crop I'd use a 10-20 Sigma or a 10-22 Canon. Only you know how far away you will be and how many people will be there and how much of the venue you want in the shot.
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Feb 2, 2007
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Just get a normal zoom.

I see you're using a Nikon D60.

Why not get the Sigma 18-50 F/2.8 Nikon mount?
It's about $350 on craigslist.

It's my workhorse, and walk around lens. Works fine for group shots.
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Nov 19, 2005
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You could always step back a bit? What lens do you have right now already?

The 24L is nice but it's WIDE and distorts at a close enough range to fill your frame with a group.

What are you shooting? I've shot group photos with 85/50/24mm lens and they're all useful for different things.
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AudiDude wrote:
Feb 7th, 2010 7:00 pm
For full frame I'd use 17-40L, for a crop I'd use a 10-20 Sigma or a 10-22 Canon.
Wouldn't those APS-C ultrawides distort faces and bodies a little too much?
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faken wrote:
Feb 7th, 2010 6:44 pm
I'll be taking a lot of group photo shots in the next few months.. I need a good lens to do this.

Suggestions please
I guess the most important question:
How many in your group? 3? 15? 50? 250?
Where will the pics be taken and how much room do you have to play with?

I have seen many photogs use a 70-200 to take groups of up to 30 people with the right amount of space to work with.

Next question:
What body will you be shooting with?
What lenses do you have now? You actually may have something in your arsenal already that you don't realize you can use...
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KorruptioN wrote:
Feb 7th, 2010 9:57 pm
Wouldn't those APS-C ultrawides distort faces and bodies a little too much?
Actually, it's not too bad unless you are shooting at 13-10mm and filling the frame. The secret is to not tilt up or down to avoid the distortions in the corners. I would expect that the 17-40L would be great, but then again as I said, I don't know how many people we are talking about and will the venue need to be included in the shot. So the wider lens might be needed.
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kay188 - D60 is sold.. I have an XTi right now. I'm really looking into that Sigma 10-20. My friend sold me it with the NON IS kit lens.. it's a POS lens.

I have the 50mm 1.8.. (80mm on crop) and the really crappy kit lens.. I'll probably shooting around 6+ people each time with it. Mainly indoor too!
I cheaped out on the 50mm 1.4 to use that money for a good wide angle..

Post some of the lens and what body you guys used it on. Indoor and outdoor pictures please.
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faken wrote:
Feb 8th, 2010 12:21 am
kay188 - D60 is sold.. I have an XTi right now. I'm really looking into that Sigma 10-20. My friend sold me it with the NON IS kit lens.. it's a POS lens.

I have the 50mm 1.8.. (80mm on crop) and the really crappy kit lens.. I'll probably shooting around 6+ people each time with it. Mainly indoor too!
I cheaped out on the 50mm 1.4 to use that money for a good wide angle..

Post some of the lens and what body you guys used it on. Indoor and outdoor pictures please.

Let me ask you this...what about the kit lens makes you think it is not capable to take the shots you want...other than the fact it is a "kit lens?"

The reason I am asking is that even if you go and buy a $1500L lens, if not used properly, may not help you at all?

Honestly, in the right hands, a kit lens can be just a effective as an L lens given the right situations. Have you considered what kind of lighting you'll be shooting in? What your subjects will be doing?

All I'm saying is that for group shots of 6+, you'll want to be shooting AT LEAST f/5.6 or smaller, that when the kit lens is sharpest...why not think about a tripod and flash instead...

Having a wide or ultra-wide zoom will be useless unless you have the right lighting...
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+1 SENSEI. Except you don't NEED to stop down for group shots. Not everything has to be tack sharp. :D

Anyways, you can seriously get group photos with any lens if you'd like. Where will you be shooting these group shots in?

In the below examples you can see how the choice of lens affects the bokeh, distortion, compression, and depth of field of each image.

Examples of group shots with various lens outdoors:

24mm
[IMG]http://spencerfu.com/photos/blog/yasmin ... web-52.jpg[/IMG]

50mm
[IMG]http://spencerfu.com/photos/blog/yasmin ... web-49.jpg[/IMG]

85mm
[IMG]http://spencerfu.com/photos/blog/yasmin ... web-51.jpg[/IMG]

135mm
[IMG]http://spencerfu.com/photos/blog/yasmin ... web-50.jpg[/IMG]
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