Best Nikon lens for weddings (and portraits)?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Kristie, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Kristie

    Kristie TPF Noob!

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    What is considered the best Nikkor lens for wedding photographers (and portraits photographers)?
    Why?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That's kind of like asking what hammer is best for carpenters....there is no correct answer. What is best for one person, may not be best for another.

    Basically you have to look at what wedding photography entails. There is a good chance of low light shooting...sometimes flash is allowed and sometimes not...but even if flash is allowed...the wider your aperture, the faster the shutter speed you can use. A wider aperture also allows for a shallower DOF, if that is something you want to utilize.

    So a wedding photographer should have 'fast' lenses (large maximum aperture).

    Next; a wedding photographer is probably getting paid a good amount of money to create great looking images. It would stand to reason that they should use lenses that are of high optical quality. For the most part, lenses that have large maximum apertures, are also of high optical quality.

    Build quality and durability should be a consideration.

    If I were to recommend two lenses...it would be the 17-55 F2.8 and the 70-200 F2.8 VR. Plus, it would be handy to have a prime lens that is even faster, for when you have to shoot in low light...something in the F1.2 to F1.8 range.
     
  3. Kristie

    Kristie TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike,

    I know it's an "out-there" question, but it seems like the more I read up on Canon's users, a favorite for alot seems to be the 24-70 F2.8, so i thought there had to be a favourite for the Nikon users.
    I'm shooting a wedding next summer for the first time.
    I only have a 18-200mm VR and a 50mm 1.8. I know the prime would be a better choice for low-lights but I want something with a zoom.
    But I'm not sure if the 18-200 F3.5-5.6 is a large enough aperture.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Trust me, it's not.

    The Canon 24-70 F2.8 is/was the workhorse lens for Canon shooters. It's a fantastic lens...as is the Nikon equivelent. The problem is that with most digital SLR camera these days, 24-70mm is not an ideal range for a lot of photographers. The smaller sensors reduce the field of view and 24mm just isn't wide enough.

    So now, a Canon using photographer either goes with a full frame camera like the 5D or they get a wider lens like the 17-55 F2.8 IS. That's why I recommended the equivelent Nikon lens to you.

    Your 50mm F1.8 will be very hand for shooting a wedding. Your 18-200 may even be able to do a good job, if there is lots of light...but it's not ideal.

    You may even consider renting a lens. I rented a 70-200 F2.8 L IS for a wedding this summer, it was great.

    Also, don't forget that if you are being relied upon to shoot a wedding...you will need backup (Camera, flash, lens etc.)
     
  5. Kristie

    Kristie TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike,

    So I guess I either deal with shooting a prime only or invest in another lens.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, I don't want to say that it's can't be done...because it is perfectly possible to shoot a wedding just fine, with what you have. If you want to get into the business of wedding photography, that's a different story.

    You could use your 18-200 and just keep the shutter speed fast enough to freeze movement (at least 1/60 to 1/200)...and use your flash to light them up. You may end up with some shots that look like they are in a dark cave...but that's better than a blurry image.

    So in part, I guess you have to decide if you want to do as good a job as possible, with what you have...or do you want to upgrade, so that you won't be as limited by your gear?

    On the other hand, plenty of photographers have shoot plenty of weddings with just one prime lens.
     
  7. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    if you dont have two cameras you'll want something like the 18 to 200 that way your not going to have to constantly change lenses, personally though I would suggest two cameras. Two reason, what if your primary cameramal functions,you cant just tell a client "my camera broke" and expect them to understand, when you pay a photographer thousands of dollars you expect results also Ilike to carry two cameras one with a something like an 18 to 200 or at least an 18 to 70 and the other with my 10-20mm. Thia way I dont have to change lenses and miss a good shot.
     

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