Serious Question for group photography with flash

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Kieron, Jul 12, 2016.

  1. Kieron

    Kieron Mu-43 Rookie

    May 28, 2015
    7-14 at 14mm or 14-40 at 14mm ?

    25 f1.4 PanLeica at f4 or 14-40 (at 25mm FL) at f4 ??

    Group shots with multiple flash.
  2. gpburdell

    gpburdell Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 16, 2014
    How large of a group and shooting from what distance?

    I'd be nervous of perspective effects at 14mm regardless of lens and would lean towards the using the zoom lens in the 20-25mm range.

    Any reason you're choosing f/4 instead of f/5.6?
  3. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    +1, but...

    ... it's not the "perspective effects" that would be the issue. Perspective is controlled solely by the relative distances to the forground, subject, and background. Focal length has no direct effect on perspective. It only effects perspective though its influence on the photographer's choice of distances.

    What happens with a wide angle lens is that object near the edges and corners become distorted due to the fact that the sensor is flat. Its a complex bit of geometry and a bit less of an issue with properly designed m4/3 lenses as they are supposed to be designed to be telecentric. With non-telecentric WA lenses the effect can be extreme.

    With group shots, you should use the longest focal length practical. if you are forced by a large group in a small room to use a WA, you should place the more heavy set people in the center and the thinner people towards the ends of the group. You should also have the front rows wider that the back rows to keep faces away from the extreme corners.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. gpburdell

    gpburdell Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 16, 2014
    Perhaps a clearer term would be "perspective distortion" if you wish to be specific about the matter. Same gist though, a 14mm lens can lead the photographer into taking the picture at a distortion-generating distance from the group as he or she frames the image.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016
  5. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    f4 / f5.6 whatever .... Its a small foyer area and groups will be as many as 8-12 ... an awards ceremony. Obviously, I'll use the absolute minimum zoom possible but I'd like thoughts on 25 f1.4 PanLeica at f4 or 14-40 (at 25mm FL) at f4 ?? .... not for the foyer shots.
  6. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Use the focal length which suits the room, The 7-14mm is only really going to be useful at the longer end unless it's a very large room (getting good lighting on wide group shots is a tricky proposal as it starts to get hard hiding the lights) so I would likely go for the 14-42mm. Depending on the lighting you're using (studio strobes or just speedlights?) consider stopping down more and dialing the power up a bit (studio lighting should have ample power, go for f5.6 or even f8).

    There's less reason to shoot at wider apertures if you're using flash, may as well stop down if the conditions allow (you can generally drag the shutter to get a good exposure for the rest of the scene while using flash to freeze any movement within the group).

    Unless someone personally knows the venue it's really hard to say what aperture or focal length will work. The aperture largely depends on the lighting (you can only drag the shutter so much) and the focal length depends on the size of the room (also people walking infront of you can be annoying if you go back too far, or a wall being in the way).
  7. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    I'll find out Friday .... Foyer will not be an issue but the actual awards will be ... black ceilings etc .... will be a mare I think :)
  8. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    both ... studio strobes in Foyer ans FL's in main roon
  9. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    I'm confused is ashburtononline the OP or kieron OP?
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012
    I'd rather stop down a zoom instead of shooting closer to wideopen. The 14-140mm is f/3.5 on the wide end of the FL.

    Stopping down a fast prime to f/4 should provide you a more sharper image.

    If your getting into f/5.6 or smaller aperture a zoom will be sharp enough with studio strobes. f/5.6 stop of light at iso 200 or 400 is effortless for most strobes.

    A group shot of 8-12 can be shot with a single strobe with a large light modifier above and behind your head. Light fall off shouldn't be bad at all.....
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. AlanU

    AlanU Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2012
    Another note:

    Do not over complicate group shot lighting. I'd rather keep it simple instead of using ratio's of different power of lights. You can purchase a 7 foot shoot through umbrella and have great success with that small group shot. Just feather the light and have beautiful fill. It should be nicer than bouncing flash (not recommended in that black room). If the room is small you can shoot even an external shoe mount to the rear wall and bounce(not recommended for your situation). If you use manual flash you can have consistent light throughout hundreds of shots.

    At this point any lens will be fine as long as you use f/5.6 or smaller.

    If you want to get fancy you can use a second flash and locate it behind the group. You'll get some unique back rim light. This all depends on the room and how ornate it is......

    For small group shots at a reception I have a spot where I use 2 speedlites. One behind the group and 1 on shoe for fill. That combo works extremely well.
  12. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    I have no issue with using a 7-14mm for group photos, if the purpose is for something where creative expression can be desirable. But for presentations I typically use something more traditional in the 25- 45mm range where the primary object is the whatever is being presented and the people that are involved.

    For flash- bounced if inside, and as a fill if outside.
  13. Antonio Correia

    Antonio Correia Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 19, 2016
    Setubal - Portugal
    Guys... why aren' you posting photographs in the threads ??

    This forum is about photography, right ?

    I would be delighted to see some shots of the group. Thanks
  14. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    I used the 14-40 with FL50 and they worked fine.
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