help! trying to pick out a nikon lens, night portrait photography

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by chrissyelle, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. chrissyelle

    chrissyelle TPF Noob!

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    hi all. i work for a company doing nightlife photography, meaning i go to various events and shoot portraits of couples or single people, and sometimes red carpet shots.. usually at night. i was using a canon rebel xsi which is ok (loaned it from a friend) but i wanted to kick things up a notch and get a Nikon D90... i'm currently taking classes and will be doing all kinds of photography...not just portraits.

    i want a good all around lens, and i was considering the 18-200mm VR since i will be using this lens for more than just my job (building portfolio in other areas) but i know it's more for landscape/outdoor/farther range shots and it will be heavy to lug around all night when i don't really need it.

    i'd love some suggestions of lenses, preferably under $1000, for me to consider.
     
  2. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Good low light performance? Good portraits with nice thick bokeh? Lightweight? Under $1000? You need a nifty fifty. In case you don't know, that's a 50mm prime lens and they usually go for about $200 - $400. It does all of those things with two arms tied behind its back and one eye closed. And with generally terrific optical quality.

    It doesn't matter what brand you shoot or what style you shoot, EVERYONE should own at least one nifty fifty.

    The only downside: You can't zoom; you have to instead move yourself into the shot. I say: so what.
     
  3. Easy_Target

    Easy_Target TPF Noob!

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    From what I've seen in the clubs, 18-200 is common, but I don't understand why they'd need 200mm zoom in a club. Keep that as a separate lens from your job lens.

    Most of the shots are closeups of people anyway so maybe something with a max zoom of 70 or 80. The faster the lens is, the better since you're doing nightlife. You'll be mostly indoors, although you may want to invest in a speedlight as well.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lol doesn't say much. In the clubs in Australia the photographers wouldn't know the shutter button from their DoF preview button. :D
     
  5. ThornleyGroves

    ThornleyGroves TPF Noob!

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    ive done a few club shots, unlessits like a concert club venue then u dont need 200mm lenses, if you ask me you should get a nice 18-105mm lens... Maybe get the nikon lens vr kit and buy a flash aswell possibly an old sb-600 as the 800 and 900 could be a bit over budget.. but yeah hope that helps
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    These two statements are mutually exclusive. For the former, low-light performance is key; either a 50mm 1.2 or 85mm 1.4. The 18-200 is a decent all-around lens, but like a Swiss Army knife with too many attachments, while it does a lot, it doesn't do any of it REALLY well. Can you live with that compromise? Probably, in which case it's a good, inexpensive solution. If not, then look toward a two lens 'combo pack' such as the 24-70 2.8 and the 80-200 2.8
     
  7. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would suggest a prime lens (or 2 or 3) with anything less than f/2 max aperture. A large zoom may get in the way in crowded venues. The 35mm f/2 would give a decent portrait focal length on a cropped body (D90). If you're doing primarily portraits, I can't see where anything over 85mm is necessary.
     
  8. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I use a 50mm f/1.8 that I picked up for about $100 that works just fine. You can also get a 50mm f/1.4 for about $200. Both are great for low light situations.
     

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