indoor lens for kid photos, how wide can I go on a crop sensor?

Started May 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
Steve Balcombe
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Re: indoor lens for kid photos, how wide can I go on a crop sensor?
In reply to dr567, May 14, 2012

dr567 wrote:

At what focal length on a crop does perspective become distorted?

There is a gradual transition all the way from longer lenses where the distortion is so slight it can't be seen, all the way to ultrawide where it's obvious. The point where it becomes unacceptable depends on the subject matter, the photographer's skill in composing for a wider lens, and the viewer's taste.

I've read about the 15-85 and I think that would be a great walkaround lens, but I've read that it's got barrel distortion at the wide end

All wide zooms have barrel distortion at the wide end. The 15-85 (a crop lens on a crop camera) has barrel distortion of 3.15%; the 24-70L (a professional full frame lens on a full frame camera) has almost as much at 2.6%. And the 24-105L (arguably not as high calibre but still an L) has a whopping 4.3%. Numbers from http://www.photozone.de .

Barrel distortion is a bad thing, for sure, but if you don't accept at least some you'll never buy a wide-standard zoom.

... and hope to find something faster than f3.5.

The fastest zooms you can buy are f/2.8 which is only 2/3 stop faster at the wide end. A lens like the 17-55/2.8 IS gives you a big advantage at the long end, but if you mostly use it at the wide end you have much less to gain.

Your stats say you are bumping against the wide end of the zoom 61% of the time. Why is that? Do you just happen to have small rooms? Do you tend to photograph groups (always a problem)? Do you simply like the 'wide angle' style?

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