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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Wedding Photographers- What Lens do you use?
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10/09/2009 05:05:20 PM · #1
Most wedding photographers I know carry two bodies with them- each with a single lens- since there is no time to stop and change- so thats my question- if you have only 2 lenses- which ones do you carry?

What if you had an extra 1,500 to buy a new one?
10/09/2009 05:08:34 PM · #2
I'd suggest getting the Nikon 18-200 VR. That should do it and it will cost you under $1000.
10/09/2009 05:08:55 PM · #3
well Im not sure about the Nikon equivalent, but if I was limited to 2 lenses Id take my 17-40 F4L and the 24-70 F2.8L...

Something wide enough for group shots and one long enough for closer shots with out getting in their faces..
10/09/2009 05:17:40 PM · #4
I'd really love the range of the 18-200, sounds awesome but in a perfect world this new lens would be for the D700 (not the D200 I currently have). If I understand FX vs DX... this lens would not utilize the full power of the D700... right?
10/09/2009 05:24:14 PM · #5
Originally posted by WickedB:

I'd really love the range of the 18-200, sounds awesome but in a perfect world this new lens would be for the D700 (not the D200 I currently have). If I understand FX vs DX... this lens would not utilize the full power of the D700... right?


The DX is perfect for the D200. Consider renting one if possible?
10/09/2009 05:28:12 PM · #6
All I meant was that I'm hoping in the next couple of months to upgrade to the D700 and don't want to buy a lens specifically for the D200.

Nikon offers a (non DX) Nikon 24-120mm VR but it received horrible reviews
Ken Rockwell Review

10/09/2009 05:32:54 PM · #7
Originally posted by WickedB:

All I meant was that I'm hoping in the next couple of months to upgrade to the D700 and don't want to buy a lens specifically for the D200.

Nikon offers a (non DX) Nikon 24-120mm VR but it received horrible reviews
Ken Rockwell Review


Up until the point where they concentrate more heartily on proven and robust lens solutions for the full sized sensors, a rental may be the most sensible. In the meantime, I'd carry the 80-400 and the 18-70. I've used this combo quite successfully.
10/09/2009 05:33:14 PM · #8
...There's no answer for this hu?
What the hell Nikon? Why the gap??
10/09/2009 05:33:18 PM · #9
PhotoZone has some great reviews as well...
10/09/2009 05:38:42 PM · #10
Well this is why I'm asking what others use...
Although I suppose I would only be asking Nikon FX uses (so D700, D3, and D3x)
10/09/2009 05:40:49 PM · #11
I personally would stay away from the Nikon 18-200 and the 80-400 for weddings. They are both good lenses for their intended purpose but are way to slow for wedding photography. I have them both but do not use them for weddings, parties or portraits. For your under $1,500 budget you would be much better off buying a two fast prime lenses. Something like the 35mm or 50mm f 1.8ís and the 85mm f1.8. have more dollars to spend then look at the faster Nikon zooms like the f2.8 24-70 and the 70-200. They will also grow with you if you move to a D700.

edit: I noticed you had the 50mm f1.4 so you have that base covered. You might want to look at spending the whole wad on a wide zoom like the Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED (2.1x) or the AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED (2.9x) or a longer lens like the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II (2.9x)

Message edited by author 2009-10-09 17:48:52.
10/09/2009 05:49:45 PM · #12
Originally posted by jbsmithana:

I personally would stay away from the Nikon 18-200 and the 80-400 for weddings. They are both good lenses for their intended purpose but are way to slow for wedding photography. I have them both but do not use them for weddings, parties or portraits. For your under $1,500 budget you would be much better off buying a two fast prime lenses. Something like the 35mm or 50mm f 1.8ís and the 85mm f1.8. have more dollars to spend then look at the faster Nikon zooms like the f2.8 24-70 and the 70-200. They will also grow with you if you move to a D700.


Didn't even think of the 70-200 VR. Does it accommodate a full size sensor as well? I've also used my Tokina 80-200 with great success. Its an older lens but about as sharp as you can get also having the ability to knock over buildings without getting damaged. ;-)
10/09/2009 05:51:42 PM · #13
Originally posted by Ivo:

Originally posted by jbsmithana:

I personally would stay away from the Nikon 18-200 and the 80-400 for weddings. They are both good lenses for their intended purpose but are way to slow for wedding photography. I have them both but do not use them for weddings, parties or portraits. For your under $1,500 budget you would be much better off buying a two fast prime lenses. Something like the 35mm or 50mm f 1.8ís and the 85mm f1.8. have more dollars to spend then look at the faster Nikon zooms like the f2.8 24-70 and the 70-200. They will also grow with you if you move to a D700.


Didn't even think of the 70-200 VR. Does it accommodate a full size sensor as well? I've also used my Tokina 80-200 with great success. Its an older lens but about as sharp as you can get also having the ability to knock over buildings without getting damaged. ;-)


Yes it is a full frame lens and I used to own the older version and it was one of the sharpest and fastest lenses I have ever owned. The older version is still for sale as the new one was just introduced.
10/09/2009 05:53:33 PM · #14
Tokina

Just found this. Buy it and repair it, Well worth it. Tokina has a great repair shop in the states.
10/09/2009 06:51:13 PM · #15
I use (Canon, of course) the 17-55 f2.8 on my main camera and the 70-200mm on the second body. The 2nd is where I will also use the 85mm when I need it. I carry a 50 and lensbaby as well, but neither of those see much use most days.

10/09/2009 07:01:27 PM · #16
Originally posted by idnic:

I use (Canon, of course) the 17-55 f2.8 on my main camera and the 70-200mm on the second body. The 2nd is where I will also use the 85mm when I need it. I carry a 50 and lensbaby as well, but neither of those see much use most days.


Do you use your 2.8 on 2.8 for the actually ceremony or do you stop it down between 4-8?
I have a wedding tomorrow and I think I may shoot it on f4 just to give me some more depth but I'll need to do some test shots to really see how it will look.
10/09/2009 07:04:30 PM · #17
Originally posted by Ivo:

I'd suggest getting the Nikon 18-200 VR. That should do it and it will cost you under $1000.


Any aperture above f2.8 will be too slow for weddings. Even 2.8 in churches illuminated by candle light type of light woun't cut it, unless you're using flash and slow sync rear curtain flash (I would practice with this extensively).

For 2 lenses in two bodies I would ( and I do use it like this) take: D700 with Nikon 24.70 f2.8 and D300 with Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR. You will need a lot more than 70mm for portraits. Even 200mm sometimes fall short if you want to be dissimulated between the gests.

For special low light moments I have also Sigma 30mm f1.4 and Nikon 50mm f1.8. when you start to use big appertures you get spoiled by the DOF control and the low light avaiability. If I could I would only shoot natural light with fast primes.
10/09/2009 07:07:24 PM · #18
Originally posted by Dirt_Diver:

Originally posted by idnic:

I use (Canon, of course) the 17-55 f2.8 on my main camera and the 70-200mm on the second body. The 2nd is where I will also use the 85mm when I need it. I carry a 50 and lensbaby as well, but neither of those see much use most days.


Do you use your 2.8 on 2.8 for the actually ceremony or do you stop it down between 4-8?
I have a wedding tomorrow and I think I may shoot it on f4 just to give me some more depth but I'll need to do some test shots to really see how it will look.


I would only do this if I would be shooting a ceremony outside in the sun. Otherwise it's not wise. Even then what you gain with a stop of apperture is almout unnoticeable.
10/09/2009 08:14:46 PM · #19
Originally posted by WickedB:

I'd really love the range of the 18-200, sounds awesome but in a perfect world this new lens would be for the D700 (not the D200 I currently have). If I understand FX vs DX... this lens would not utilize the full power of the D700... right?

I was at a wedding about half a year ago, and saw a pro with d700 using Tamron 28-300 (which is roughly equivalent to 18-200 on a APS-C sensor, but it is an FX lens), and he was pretty happy with it, especially outdoors. Since then I got myself a d700, and also bought this Tamron, and you know.. it ain't bad. Not bad at all, especially considering the price and convenience (and you can win a ribbon with it :)). Of course it'd be nice to have a wide aperture solution for indoor shots, but with the incredible high-ISO performance and low-light focussing of d700 you can get away with a slow lens, at least until you get the dough for a golden pair of 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 (you'd need roughly $4K for that).

ETA: since I am not a pro, I can't really justify for myself the price and the size of the f/2.8 Niikors, so I am waiting and hoping Nikon releases pro-grade f/4 lenses similar to Canon's. I think with the advent of relatively inexpensive full-frame DSLRs they will have to do that for the huge market of semi-pros and serious amateurs.

Message edited by author 2009-10-09 20:48:46.
10/09/2009 08:31:58 PM · #20
Originally posted by LevT:

golden pair of 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8

I would get this pair if you plan to be serious about wedding photography. I own both plus the Nikon 18-200 -- and although the 18-200 is nice in many respects (and served me very well on DPC for two years, and got me some ribbons), a) it is too slow for low light situations like you will find at weddings, b) the image quality is a step below that of the 24-70 and 70-200 (important when there are expectations for top-notch professional images), and c) it really won't work well on a full-frame camera. Thus buy one of the golden pair now (probably the 24-70) and get the other in the future.
10/09/2009 10:41:25 PM · #21
I have the 18-200vr and while it is a good lens, I can't imagine using it for weddings. Too slow and it tends to go very soft around 130mm. It might be okay for second shooter candida at a sunny outdoor reception.

The 24-70 2.8 is a fantastic lens. Also the 50 & 85 1.4 primes. I got to use the 70-200 2.8 and it is sweet. And all of these will follow you to your d700. :-)
10/09/2009 11:29:13 PM · #22
You guys are amazing! and I love that it's pretty much been boiled down to 3 lenses!


I'm pretty much a 'nikionian' but thrifty when it's worth it (have a decent sigma lens) Most of your suggestions have been for Nikon lenses... Are the other brands really so subpar?

BTW I'm watching that Tokina, at that price it may be worth it just to play with :)
anyone have an idea how much a helicoid is to replace?

10/12/2009 04:41:12 PM · #23
i'd say switch to canon and get the 35mm f/1.4L and the 85mm f/1.2L
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