What's a good lens for a car show?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by brian_m.|1, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. I will be going to the Philly car show this weekend. Indoor car shows are pretty challenging. You have to cope with harsh lights, dim lights or just bad lighting. Sometime there is no room to back off to take pictures. Flash is of course out of the question. It has never worked for me. I have a wide variety of lenses on my film EOS. From wide angle, to the 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 75-300 etc. I suppose I could just take one of my fast rangefinders, like the Hi Matic or Canonet but manual focusing sometimes is too slow. I have been to this show before but never hurts to ask.
  2. My go to lens for car shows is 28mm on film 35mm camera. Using strobe with diffuser since it is indoor, I like f8 using 3/4 view up close so show goers don't walk in front of you, and try for somewhat low angle shots to be dramatic. If lighting is great forget the strobe and adjust exposure settings accordingly. Have fun!
  3. IMO longer lens is better because it flattens the picture, but it can be difficult to have a clear view with a lot of people walking around. I waited for almost 10 minutes to take this picture.
    Manual focus does not seem to be an issue because most of the time you are hyperfocusing.
  4. I agree that people swarming around cars is a problem so you really have to be quick and can't afford fumbling with the focus ring. Longer lenses do allow you to frame what you want but I don't have a fast long lens and without flash it is challenging. I suppose I could use faster film but 200 is all I have right now.
  5. I found I use my 10-22 a lot (Canon APS-C). That's the equivalent FOV of a 16-35 on full frame.
  6. Take the 50 or a fast 35mm and some ISO800 film. Don't expect miracles, just enjoy the show.
  7. +1 C Watson
    Pick up the 800 on the way.
  8. Brian,
    Take your widest lens for sure. In looking through many of mine, I seem to shoot alot in the 24 to 28mm range. And as I recall, when I was shooting film I usually kept my 28-105mm mounted.
    Also, I'd advise you take your 50mm f/1.8, and possibly your 85mm f/1.8 also.
    As an example, the attached was shot with the 50mm but, on a 1.6X crop giving an approximate 80mm equivalent.
    And, yes as C Watson and others have indicated. Get some fast film and just enjoy the show!
  9. I had fun at an auto show some years ago with a 17mm, a 15mm full-frame fisheye, and a 7.5mm circular fisheye, all on a 35mm film camera (Canon T90). No, the shots were not free of distortion but then distortion was the point. I recommend the VW beetle taken with a full-frame fisheye- the curves are very nicely enhanced, better than with a circular fisheye. Too bad the slides aren't scanned in (and I don't have a working scanner that'll do slides) or I'd share a couple here.
  10. I belong to a hot rod club in PGH PA and travel spring and summer to all the car cruises. I didn't want to carry a DSLR and lens and bought a Nikon P500 bridge camera. The wide angle 22mm to the huge 880mm zoom equivalents give me a lightweight package. My images are excellent and I have experimented with different focal lengths and use flash only when required. I assume you are using a DSLR so I would recommend using a wide angle lens. People are the biggest problem when shooting and I try and stay clear of car shows. Hit some car cruises in your area and check out the schedules at carcruises.com - one other note is practicing early am and mid eve on images of your car in different angles. Get a tripod or monopod and have fun.

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