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12mm or 25mm for fireworks?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by rogergu, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. rogergu

    rogergu Mu-43 Regular

    94
    Feb 11, 2013
    I guess this may be a dump question and it may depend on the distance. Anyway, any suggestion is appreciated.
     
  2. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    It largely is a question of distance. You probably want the fireworks field to fill as much of your frame as possible most times, unless you're trying to catch the fireworks highlighting some interesting landscape elements. Usually you'll want to shoot at F4 - F5.6 so lens speed isn't an issue. I often tend to the longer lenses as you can get closer-up, more detailed shots of the fireworks which I prefer to the fireworks-in-the-distance shots. A lot of my favourite shots have been at 200mm on full frame. I think I'm going to shoot at 50mm on ยต4/3 this year, though I'm curious what could be done with the 7.5mm fisheye. No matter what you choose, if you pick the right place to be fireworks are always fun :)
     
  3. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    931
    Nov 16, 2010
    Finland
    If you have normal zoom, take that. You will be shooting at f4-f11 anyway. Probably the only question is how high will the fireworks go in relation to your shooting position. Usually you get the answer during the show, so no time for changing lenses.
     
  4. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I don't think it's a dumb question. While you are correct that it certainly is a matter of distance, I would also consider how much of the image you want to fill and whether you are going to want to do any cropping after the fact to recompose the final image. Fireworks can be a bit tricky because (1) you generally want to manually focus in advance on an empty sky (I do anyway) and the trajectory may not be what you expect, and (2) the wind may take them where you are not expecting them to go (especially the lighted smoke at the end). Thus having the latitude to crop and recompose later may be a consideration that is easier with the wider lens.

    As opposed to the prior respondents, I would suggest f/11 - 16, but that's me and I can't make a good argument for that opinion.

    It's not a dumb question because preparation and planning is important and having to change lenses in the dark when you realize an incorrect assumption can be challenging. And by the way, take a flashlight!

    D7A_5572b2-1.

    Have fun!
     
  5. 350duser

    350duser Mu-43 Veteran

    313
    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, QLD
    It's not a dumb question because preparation and planning is important and having to change lenses in the dark when you realize an incorrect assumption can be challenging. And by the way, take a flashlight!

    Could not agree more but........why the flashlight??? For some foreground or some thing else???

    Please shed more light....
     
  6. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    So he can see what he is doing if needed in the dark?
     
  7. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    I did some fireworks with my old e-pl1. I usually don't post from my Flickr but wanted to include exif data for this one

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/4jones/5924279096/" title="PDMV20110704_0077 by swampduck, on Flickr"> 5924279096_71a86b5e28. "500" height="375" alt="PDMV20110704_0077"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/4jones/5923718849/" title="PDMV20110704_0078 by swampduck, on Flickr"> 5923718849_f61150f0dc. "500" height="375" alt="PDMV20110704_0078"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/4jones/5924283338/" title="PDMV20110704_0079 by swampduck, on Flickr"> 5924283338_aa480a25ee. "500" height="375" alt="PDMV20110704_0079"></a>
     
  8. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Yep, Dan got it right.
     
  9. CarlG

    CarlG Mu-43 Regular

    131
    Jun 6, 2013
    Tampa, FL
    Carl
    Like mentioned before, it all depends upon distance. It's also nice to incorporate a part of the environment in the image with the fireworks, providing both scale and better composition and elements of interest. The environment included in the foreground make the images more personal and recognizable by folks from the same area.

    These were shot last year here in Tampa, FL. My focal lengths varied but generally around 70mm. Again, that was strictly dictated by my distance and the composition I was after. Be prepared to shoot many, many images....just to wind up with many fewer keepers. It's tough timing the bursts while dealing with smoke from previous bursts.

    BTW, you can normally shoot fireworks nearly wide open on your lens, or maybe one-two stops down from wide open. Two reasons for this - allows you to keep ISO down, avoiding additional noise and allows shutter speeds that may aid in freezing the bursts....too much blur on the streaks is not optimal. Second, you are usually so far away from the bursts themselves, it does not make sense to shoot at f/11 or higher to maintain focus.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    Steven
    Yes I agree the FL to use depends on your location, I shot fireworks before and only had my 28-75mm(FF) with me and I was kinda in a tight spot so I ended up not getting any background shots.

    Besides that I find it way easier to have a remote shutter and use bulb mode when shooting fireworks so I don't have to use delay shutters etc and I can time my shot perfectly, and oh I turned off my AF too.

    5362782967_bb17bdac10_b.
     
  11. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    For where we go every year the 20mm is just about perfect. I find the built in Fireworks Scene Mode to be quite useful.
    [​IMG]
    E-PL1 with PL 20mm, f/10, 4 sec, ISO 100
     
  12. DWhite

    DWhite Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Jun 23, 2013
    David
    I took my first fireworks photos with a "real" camera last night (i.e. not a point and shoot). These were shot from my front lawn of a nearby show. The trees in the neighborhood blocked much of the show, so I used a Oly 40-150 lens. Focal lengths ended up between 40 and 58mm.

    Since I was new to this, I used the Fireworks Scene mode (I normally use A mode probably 95%+ of the time).

    _________________________________
    David White

    photos.dwhite.org c&c welcome!

    Olympus OM-D E-M5
    P20/1.7, O45/1.8, O12-50, O40-150, P14-140
     

    Attached Files:

  13. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    A worthwhile quick-read can be found here.
     
  14. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    609
    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    rpamparo
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I had good luck at Disneyworld with the 45.
     
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Distance of course has a lot to do with it, but also how picturesque your city is. My city is "nothing special" so I don't need to go too wide, but if you live in an iconic city or even just a pretty one, then you'll want to go wider and show the landscape around the fireworks.

    These were shot last night at 50mm (Konica Hexanon 50mm f/1.4):

    canada_day2013_1_web.
    canada_day2013_2_web.
    canada_day2013_3_web.
    canada_day2013_4_web.
     
  17. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Hey!! Your city is beautiful! :smile:

    P7010022.

    P7010041.

    P7010051.

    :tongue:
     
  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Hehe. :D Naw, we're just a bunch of twitchy-eyed machete wielding savages. lol.

    (As a fellow Edmontonian, I'm sure you get the reference... ;) Before you ask, I think Mandel is an idiot for that fiasco.)