Lens for Museum

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Foto4x4 Senior Member • Posts: 2,669
Re: Lens for Museum

James Stirling wrote:

Although museums tend to be low light scenarios they are not pitch black . The "art" tends to be illuminated to facilitate folk viewing it the subjects are also typically static. So a combination of a wide { ish } field of view { such as your 24-105mm at 24mm } , which allows one to use slower shutter speeds { with IBIS } a static subject and very good ISO options , will allow for good results in most situations.

I so agree with you James. Of course there’s nothing wrong with having nice fast lens but when I reviewed a number of the couple thousand odd museum, gallery or historic interior images I’ve shot with all sorts of cameras over the past 10 or so years, I’ve been surprised how few are at f2.8 or below. In fact the dominant camera I seemed to have used in the past 4-5 years in museums such as MOMA, the Met, the M.of Nat History etc in NY or Chihuly, and a bunch of local museums when we did the BC, Alaska, WA and OR regions was either a RX100 M2 or M4. And they’re all quite acceptably sharp. If they’d been taken with FF I’d have needed around f4 or so for keeping DoF deep enough to keep many subjects fully in focus. In all these cases there is usually enough lighting to prevent the need for too high an ISO or too slow a shutter speed to miss the shot. And the focal lengths are all over the place to get framing just right.

I’m heading off for my first trip since getting my A7RII in a few weeks and I’m sure my 24-105 will dominate my shots, but will have my 35/f2.8 and 50/f2.8 Macro handy when indoors just in case. For me, f1.8 lenses are portrait lenses and unnecessary for general or travel photography except in extremely rare circumstances in which case I’ll make do with near enough. One stop is rarely a deal breaker with today’s cameras.

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Cheers, John
Quote: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”, Robert Capa

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