Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D

Started Dec 28, 2012 | Discussions
linzybel
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Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
Dec 28, 2012

I've got a 60D, which I like, but I own only legacy primes.  Manual exposure, no image stabilization.  Focus on moving targets is tough...  One of my daughters shows dogs frequently, and this is the sole reason for getting the best lens for these conditions.

Does anyone have a lens which works particularly well?  My criteria:

1) poor light, no flash allowed

2) moving targets, so quick focus

3) how important is IS?

Canon EOS 60D
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amosf
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to linzybel, Dec 28, 2012

70-200 2.8 IS ?  I tend to do daylight outdoor dog sports, so can get away with a slower lens...

I'd think you would need IS, and it depends how close you can get. Although most dog events you can get ringside (unless it's something huge).

You might also get away with an 85 1.8 if you don't need to fill the frame with the dog at a distance. Would be better in that light.

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linzybel
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to amosf, Dec 29, 2012

Silly (or stupid, or sleepy) me... After posting I realized that my main interest is catching my daughter while trotting with her dog.

Because they're in motion, IS won't help.  The questions remains, though, what lens people recommend with a crop sensor at poorly lit indoor shows.  (We're not talking Westminster with TV lights!)

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amosf
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to linzybel, Dec 29, 2012

Ringside and catching a full shot of handler and dog moving... I think I would look at the 85 1.8 as the cheapest option. I've used a Tamron 90mm macro for similar shots. It's not as fast, but I likely had more light... You may have to move a bit for framing.

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jbjones
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to amosf, Dec 29, 2012

amosf wrote:

Ringside and catching a full shot of handler and dog moving... I think I would look at the 85 1.8 as the cheapest option. I've used a Tamron 90mm macro for similar shots. It's not as fast, but I likely had more light... You may have to move a bit for framing.

I agree, and be prepared to crank up your ISO setting to get a respectable shutter speed.

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jbjones
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to jbjones, Dec 29, 2012

You could also rent a few options and let us know what worked best I assume for a Dog show you should have time to plan for that.

Use lensrentals.com and let me know what you think, I've never rented from there but it's on my list to use when I have a need for a lens I don't have.

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iRobotUK
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to linzybel, Jan 2, 2013

I do shot quite a lot dog shows including indoors.

As someone mentioned earlier 70-200 f/2.8 would be my default choice but 70-200 f/4 should do as well for half the money. In both cases you would need tripod anyway, at least for static shots.

85mm f/1.8 is a great lens but it would be too short even on DX. Im using Tokina 50-135 f/2.8 which is stellar lens, super sharp and very well build but sometimes I wish I had 70-200. Said that I shoot some shows with my 50mm f/1.4 but as you would expect, I had to crop a lot.

Another budget option might be Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 (older one). Its good value, fast autofocus and rather compact in size.

High ISO in this type of environment is a norm. I often end up at ISO6400 especially when dogs are moving. Topaz DeNoise is your friend here

The biggest problem though is white balance and colour shift, nearly impossible to get right straight out of camera. X-Rite ColorChecker Passport would help you in PP.

Hope it helps a little. Good luck!

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elfroggio
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to linzybel, Jan 3, 2013

linzybel wrote:

I've got a 60D, which I like, but I own only legacy primes. Manual exposure, no image stabilization. Focus on moving targets is tough... One of my daughters shows dogs frequently, and this is the sole reason for getting the best lens for these conditions.

Does anyone have a lens which works particularly well? My criteria:

1) poor light, no flash allowed

2) moving targets, so quick focus

3) how important is IS?

IS is "useless". The dogs are so quick, that you either need extremely high ISO, 3200+ to get the speed or you need fantastic reflexes.

Almost all dogs have "instantaneous" stop for split seconds and you can catch the dogs there. Not easy, takes a lot of practice.

With indoors, you get along the fence and support the camera/lens with the fence, then pick a couple of spots, take your photos from one, then from the next one. It's basically impossible for one person to follow one dog over the whole course, you will need 2 or 3 people.

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linzybel
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Elfroggio: Question
In reply to elfroggio, Jan 4, 2013

Elfroggio, Thank you for the suggestions. I realized the folly of asking about IS shortly after my original post -- and admitted it in post #3. As far as employing multiple shooters, alas, I'm only one guy: the dad.

But I'm curious about focusing. Will I probably need to pre-focus on a spot, or will it be possible to get good results using autofocus? I've been using prefocus with my all-manual legacy glass. I'm curious whether a new lens will help .

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nikkorwatcher
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Re: Elfroggio: Question
In reply to linzybel, Jan 4, 2013

Sounds a bit like gymnastics, shot in artificial light where they alternate between static work and moving around a lot. Since Canon lenses come with their own motor a non-budget lens should follow these subjects well enough, but I expect you will want full time manual focus override capability on the lens to pick spots as well. A Sigma 70-200 f2.8 would cope. I find the idea of lowering the ISO and using OS for isolated shots when the subjects are static too fiddly in practice, unless you get to mix with the dogs & handlers.

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Peter Galbavy
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to linzybel, Jan 4, 2013

3) how important is IS?

IS is not wholly useless - most of the newer versions auto-detect panning and will only compensate in the other plane. The older versions have a "mode" switch, like my 100-400 IS, where you can choose dual axis or vertical only IS.

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Steve Balcombe
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to Peter Galbavy, Jan 4, 2013

Peter Galbavy wrote:

3) how important is IS?

IS is not wholly useless - most of the newer versions auto-detect panning and will only compensate in the other plane. The older versions have a "mode" switch, like my 100-400 IS, where you can choose dual axis or vertical only IS.

Actually very few lenses auto-detect panning. The EF-S 55-250 IS does, and the 15-85 IS. I think they may be the only ones.

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Peter Galbavy
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to Steve Balcombe, Jan 4, 2013

This page shows which lenses support which panning modes:

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/standard_display/Lens_Advantage_IS

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willvan
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to Peter Galbavy, Jan 4, 2013

Here are a few shots form three years ago with 40D and 70-200 f/2.8L IS. Not the greatest and I would like to think I might do a bit better with 60D which I have together with additional practise. One of the difficult things is getting and keeping focus on a the moving target when you want both the dog and the handler in focus and at the same time keeping them both in frame. You need to position yourself so that the dog and handler are in the same plane of focus but at f2.8 your DOF is not large.

http://www.pbase.com/willvan/image/125536267/original.jpg

1/160s f/2.8 at 70.0mm iso1600

http://www.pbase.com/willvan/image/125536268/original.jpg

1/200s f/2.8 at 70.0mm iso1600



http://www.pbase.com/willvan/image/148160767.jpg

1/200s f/2.8 at 75.0mm iso1600

I hope this helps.

Bill

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Steve Balcombe
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to Peter Galbavy, Jan 4, 2013

Peter Galbavy wrote:

This page shows which lenses support which panning modes:

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/standard_display/Lens_Advantage_IS

Thank you. And where does it say anything about automatic panning detection?

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linzybel
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Willvan and others: A couple of my shots
In reply to willvan, Jan 4, 2013

As you can see from these, my settings were similar to Willvans.  I'm guessing I was shooting the 50mm (on a 60D) at about 2.8.  With everything being done manually, I need more practice - or perhaps a quick autofocus lens.

With a 60D I should experiment pushing the ISO to 6400.

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willvan
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Re: Willvan and others: A couple of my shots
In reply to linzybel, Jan 4, 2013

linzybel wrote:

As you can see from these, my settings were similar to Willvans. I'm guessing I was shooting the 50mm (on a 60D) at about 2.8. With everything being done manually, I need more practice - or perhaps a quick autofocus lens.

With a 60D I should experiment pushing the ISO to 6400.

I think you did very well, especially considering you used manual focus and single shot.  With an A/F lens, at least f2.8, AI Servo and perhaps back button focus, you could probably do really well as ISO 3200.

Bill

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Schwany
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Tough gig
In reply to linzybel, Jan 4, 2013

I did one dog show for about 2 hours. Was not as easy as I had hoped.

Anybody ever get any shots with the handler and the dog facing the camera while they are going around the ring? I suspect not many. The handler is invariably looking at the dog the entire time they are strutting around the ring.

Anyway, I'm tossing in another vote for the 70-200f/2.8L. Focus is quick enough and accurate.  I did the show I attended with a 135f/2. It worked, but I think I'd rather use a fast zoom with more range in both directions.

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The Mad Kiwi
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Re: Indoor dog shows: lens advice for my 60D
In reply to linzybel, Jan 5, 2013

linzybel wrote:

Silly (or stupid, or sleepy) me... After posting I realized that my main interest is catching my daughter while trotting with her dog.

Because they're in motion, IS won't help. The questions remains, though, what lens people recommend with a crop sensor at poorly lit indoor shows. (We're not talking Westminster with TV lights!)

IS will help, use the panning mode 2.

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linzybel
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Re: Tough gig
In reply to Schwany, Jan 5, 2013

Tough gig indeed.  It's one of the hardest situations for making a good and interesting image, and almost every show is the same.  I guess I'll have to start taking up a collection for the glass...

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