What's In Your Lens Kit?

Discussion in 'Photo/Video Tips' started by SSenesy, Sep 3, 2012.

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  1. Sep 3, 2012 #1

    SSenesy

    SSenesy

    SSenesy

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    So...

    Another thread in this gallery has got me thinking/salivating about camera equipment (again). I'm curious what lenses other DSLR owners have found useful for rocketry photography. Please post your camera as well as lens specs, so if you have something like Sigma, Tamron, etc, so we'll know what it's compatible with.

    I'll start:

    My camera is a Canon EOS 7D

    Current Lenses
    Canon 28-135mm IS USM zoom (came with camera)
    Canon 17-40mm f/4L USM
    Canon 70-200mm f/4L USM

    I'm leaning towards the 300mm f/4L IS USM to give me a bit more reach. This was an issue shooting the away cells at LDRS this year. Cost is important, but not the defining issue.

    Your experiences, thoughts and recommendations are appreciated
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  2. Sep 3, 2012 #2

    cwbullet

    cwbullet

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    I have the same lenses.

    I am looking at the:

    Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
    or
    Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

    I am just not sure which would be better. I am still researching.
     
  3. Jan 6, 2013 #3

    JDcluster

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    I have the 7D as a primary and have a older 40D as a backup.

    The lens I use the most is the:

    70-200 mm f/2.8L IS MKI

    When I want close ups I switch to a:

    17-55 mm f/2.8 IS

    That's the only 2 I carry on a regular basis.

    I looked into the 100-400 mm but, it's a push-pull zoom instead of the twisty type like
    the 70-200 or 28-300 mm.

    With the 400 you need some really bright days other wise you'll have to crank up the ISO to 400 - 800 for good shots.
    All lenses have a sweet spot but rarely like to be wide open.


    JD
     
  4. Jan 8, 2013 #4

    r1dermon

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    for those with a 70-200 f2.8 IS MK2, a really good option is one of those extenders. 1.4xiii, 2.0...etc...your aperture will decrease by a stop, or 2 stops i the case of the 2x extender, but your focal length will double. it's a cheap way to get up close and personal, without having to plunk down all the skrilla for a 300mm prime.

    your contrast and sharpness will fall off, and on an aps-c cam like the 7d, your image quality will suffer measurable losses...but it's still acceptable, and it wont be that bad, since the 70-200 f2.8 is a monster IQ lens even wide open.

    alternatively you can rent a 300 or 400 prime online. google will help you out.

    i currently shoot a t3i, 18-55 kit lens, 50 f1.8, 70-200 f4l usm, tamron 70-200 f2.8 vc (the new version). and lightroom 4 for PP.

    probably a couple months, when i finally make my mind up, i'll grab either a 17-40 or a 24-105 to replace the kit lens for a walkaround. my main workhorse is the 70-200 f4 though. even without IS, the lens is superb.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2013 #5

    Zack Lau

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    A prime normally does a great job wide open, which is why they are worth the extra weight and cost. Especially if you are using them on camera with a small sensor--they are designed for full frame cameras.

    I have a Nikon 300mm f/4, which does a marvelous job with the matching 1.4 extender--but it isn't cheap. I'm sure the Canon does just as well (perhaps not the part about the extender), as it is a very popular lens.

    Zack Lau W1VT
     
  6. Jan 8, 2013 #6

    jadebox

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    I recently discovered that one of the online rental places is physically located near me and offers on-site pickup and return. So, I'm seriously considering renting a nice, big, expensive lens for special rocketry occassions in the future. I figure I can rent an expensive lens a couple of times a year for more than ten years and the total cost will be less than it costs to buy one.

    -- Roger
     
  7. Jan 8, 2013 #7

    SMR

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    +1 here. I also shoot with the Canon EOS 7D, and am very happy with it. Particularly with the 8 frames per second. For launch shots I just mash down on the button when the count gets to one, and there will be one usable shot in there somewhere. (Prior to this, I used an Elan, and either had the rocket sitting on the pad or a smoke trail with no rocket.)

    I only carry two lenses, neither with IS...

    Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM - for closer shots and Macro work.
    Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM - when at the away cell.

    Looking into better lighting for interior shots than using the built-in flash.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  8. Jan 8, 2013 #8

    r1dermon

    r1dermon

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    SMR, i can't recommend the 430ex ii highly enough. it's the flash i use. i contemplated the 580ex for a while when i made my purchase, however i figured i didn't need such a monster flash unless i was going to be shooting large function halls...etc...

    for fill lighting outside on bright sunny days, and even in large indoor spaces, the 430ex has been an absolute godsend. i recommend along with it, either a sto-fen cap diffuser, or a gary fong lightsphere.

    as for renting...its the way to go with those mega prime lenses. from borrowlenses.com a 400 f2.8, about an 11,000 dollar lens, would set you back 343 bucks for a week of usage. no brainer for me.
     
  9. Jan 9, 2013 #9

    JordanT

    JordanT

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    Wow, big Canon crowd amongst the rocketeers.

    I have a Nikon D3 for my body (though I have an F4s, I haven't shot film in years).

    Lens kit is:
    14-24f2.8
    35 f2.8 PC (MF, non-AI)
    50 f1.8
    85 f1.8
    35-105 f2.8 (tamron)
    120-300 f2.8 (sigma, optically stabilized)
    + matching 2x Apo tele converter
    28-300 f3.5-6.3 (tamron, vibration compensated)

    I have some other lenses, but they're all older and unused, and hang out in the closet with the F4s body. Everything above fits in a Gorilla backpack case with my net book/tablet, flash, adapters, extra batteries, and monopod.
     
  10. Jan 9, 2013 #10

    JordanT

    JordanT

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    A bounce flash head with one of these: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00009XW5J/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20 is pretty darned versatile, and easily stowed in even the smallest bag.

    Oh, and I couldn't live without this if I'm just out shooting: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002WR7VSS/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20 . I have a connector which doubles as a manfrotto quick release plate, so it's easy to put on my tripod or monopod. I have a second one on the handle of my 120-300.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018
  11. Jan 9, 2013 #11

    azzie

    azzie

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    I discovered that ring flash does wonders for smaller LPR items. Shots come out better than with macro box. Check out my albums - they were taken with 430ex and DIY ring.

    With larger rockets, two large enough softboxes or strips should work just fine.


    PS. Built-in is for remote flash control, not for taking pictures :-D

    -Alex
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  12. Jan 9, 2013 #12

    SSenesy

    SSenesy

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    Just my opinion, but I've found that the 17-40 is a bit short for a general walkabout lens. I find myself reverting back to my 28-135 kit lens just for the extra reach, especially when hiking and shooting nature/landscape/close wildlife. The 17-40 is a fine lens, but my opinion is that the 24-105 is more useful as an all-in-one.
     
  13. Jan 9, 2013 #13

    FredA

    FredA

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    I'm a camera junkie...
    Have lots of Nikon glass (Nikkors to be correct).
    What I bring to a rocket launch is either the 200-400/f4 or 600/f4... plus something for walk around like the 24-120.
    The 600 is a bit long for sub M launches where the pads are closer in....but for Balls it's still not enough...

    Do remember to turn off AF and VR for rocket launch shots -- so buying older lenses without these features might be a good deal.
    Of course, VR & AF are nice for all the other candid's around the launch site...
     
  14. Jan 10, 2013 #14

    CarVac

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    I am a manual-focus guy and have a lot of old primes adapted to my Canon 60D.

    I take more video than photos, and I use my kit 18-135 for that.

    I've rented the 100-400 for a safari, and man is the push-pull zoom the best for long telephoto zoom use. Acquire the target at 100mm, and just push to zoom to 400. Not exactly an issue for rocketry, but don't be turned off by the zoom action. Plus, you can adjust the friction between fairly fluid and completely locked at any given focal length. Built like a tank, works like a well-crafted tool.
     
  15. Jan 10, 2013 #15

    r1dermon

    r1dermon

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    i have an aps-c camera. so i really need the wide end. another option ive been mulling over is the 15-85. but its kind of slow, especially at the long end. ive got my eye on a 6d kit. lol...maybe if i can get gobs of overtime, ill just do that instead. lol.
     
  16. Jan 10, 2013 #16

    SMR

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    Thanks, guys. All good tips. I will definitely check in to all. Sather

    P.S. azzie... awesome shots in your albums. Well lit, perfectly focused, great depth of field. Should make some catalogs (or websites) hide in shame.

    :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018
  17. Feb 24, 2017 #17

    gdjsky01

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    ok ok I am REALLY late to this party! :)

    Just now... a new to me Canon 28-105 f/4 L IS USM

    Where I launch daylight is not lacking. Yes its great to be able to stop down and crank up the shutter. But for example f/2.8 is really overkill unless you are using the lens for 'other' reasons.

    This is my first modest 'L' lens. Tho I have paid DEARLY for APO telescopes, like my f/5.5 Televue 101, paying for an L lens has always been some sort of mental block.

    Looking at what I've done in the past with 1.6 crop APS-C sensors (using a 40D and now a 60D), the 28-105 range (45 to 168mm equivalent) should be fine for my rocketry work at ISO 250-400 using shutter priority in the 1/2500 to 1/4000 range.

    We'll see... post processing skill is still IMO THE most important thing you'll do. You have 10 to 25mp of data to work with. Crop the crap out of it!
    No one wants to see 80% sky or ground in your photos. They want to see the rocket. :)

    Photostream at
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffgortatowsky/



     
  18. Feb 24, 2017 #18

    FredA

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    Yes, you don't need f1.4 or f2.8 for rocket launches....f4 or slower will do unless you are photographing night launches.

    Appropriate reach and high frame rate are the key criteria.
    Manual focus is probably your best bet, although I find Nikon's "group AF" works pretty well on my D500 for tracking rockets.

    You need enough reach to fill a large portion of the frame with the rocket...how much depends on the set-back rules of the rocket you are photographing. Obviously almost anything will do for "A" impulse while "P" take quite a bit of lens.......
     

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