best reportage lens?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by pawel_baranski, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. What would be the best reportage lens? I'm considering tokina 11-16 2.8 but I'm afraid it may be too wide.
    I'm talking about dx body, please keep that in mind before you recommend lens that is used for reportage on FX and would offer much narrower angle on DX.
  2. Not only is 11-16 still quite wide on DX, the range of focal lengths is much, much too limited.

    On a DX body, for daily use out there as a PJ, I'd get a 17-55/2.8, and would look for a 70-200/2.8 as a companion for it. Something like a 30/1.4 for poor light and DoF control would appeal, too. But if I had to have one, it would be the 17-55/2.8.
  3. What would be the best reportage lens?​
    The one you have with you when you need to record an image. That said, If I could only have one lens, I might opt for the 24-120 f/4.
  4. A lot depends on your shooting style. The image below is at 85mm focal length and fits in with my person style. The second is at 65mm. The 24-120mm would, therefore, probably be my ideal lens with maybe a 35mm f1.8 for low light.
  5. And the second one.
  6. The Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 DX has a great reputation as a photojournalist lens. This would be my first choice.
    However, even though they may not be “the best” reportage lens, here are a few others I would consider:
    Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 FX (if I need a lens that also worked well on an FX body)
    Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 (a lot less expensive than the Nikon version)
    Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5 to f/5.6 DX (if I need an inexpensive lens that was likely to get lost, stolen, or damaged)
  7. Another vote for the Nikon 17-55mm F2.8 DX. If you can't afford the Nikon 17-50mm f2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX, you might consider the Tamron AF 17-50mm f2.8 XR Di-II VC which gets pretty good reviews, though, is not nearly as well made as the Nikon lens.
  8. I would never attempt to cover all photo journal assignments with only one lens.
    I would, however, carry the following lenses:
    14-24mm f/2.8
    20-35mm f/2.8
    35-70mm f/2.8
    80-200mm f/2.8
    optional 35mm f/1.4 or 50mm f/1.4 for low light situations
    In my case, all are FX lenses because I need my lenses to also work on film bodies.
  9. I have the Nikon 24-70 2.8 on my D7000. I use the 24-70 most of the time and I never find my range lacking in the wide end, just on the long end. These lenses are big and heavy and everyone warns of that, but you just don't understand until you have one of them. I personally would find 11-16 way way too wide if I were taking photos of people doing things, but it really depends on your shooting style and subject matter.
    That said for daily reportage type use I would not recommend the 24-70. It lacks VR and could use just a bit more range on the long end. It's fantastic and perfect for what I do, but I personally think 24-120 is a sweet spot of focal ranges even on DX.
    The VR of the 24-120 would be more useful for reporting type things because you most likely want more depth of field vs wide aperture. You won't be able to get as low light in terms of motion blur, but you'll be able to get more "average" type shots with F4 and VR than with 2.8 and no VR since you'll most likely have to shoot at F4 and above anyway if you have more than one person in focus.
    Constant aperture is also well worth it because you set it and it can stay the same regarless of focal length. Couple all that with a lens thats a lot lighter and you'll be able to carry it all day.
    If all that doesn't quite match with what you want, top shelf glass like the 17-55 f2.8 DX is also a great choice smaller than a 24-70 and wider, but again, for my usage I would get a 24-120 f4 for reporting.
  10. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    If by "reportage," you mean what typical pjs do when working for news outlets, then what is almost always used is a 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 regardless of camera brand.
  11. From the current line of Nikkors, and
    on DX, I'd probably go for a 24/2.8 for a
    "single lens solution". Buy then again,
    I'm a "small prime" kind of guy... And
    my preferred style is wide-ish angle
    (normally 28-35-45-50mm on FX)
  12. If I'm working a job that I'm unsure of what I'll need I carry the following (on FX):
    24-70mm f/2.8 - Body #1
    70-200mm f/2.8 - Body #2
    35mm f/1.4 - Swap for low light/DOF wide - usually body #2, but this can vary
    85mm f/1.4 - Swap for low light/DOF short tele - usually body #1, but this can vary
    I rarely shoot wider than 24mm or longer than 200mm unless it's a sporting event and I can't get sideline access.
  13. In Nikkors for FX dSLRs, pairing up the 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 VR would be best.
    For DX dSLRs, there isn't an ideal combination in the current Nikkor lineup. The closest would be the 17-55/2.8 DX and 70-200/2.8 VR. But that leaves a significant gap. While I would have found the equivalent 28mm wide end wide enough, I'm judging by 1980s standards. But an ideal pairing for the DX format would be something like 16-50/2.8 and a 50-150/2.8. That's never going to happen in the Nikkor lineup because the professional world has moved on. Fortunately there are good alternatives among the better third party zooms.
    There are very limited situations where something like a 11-16/2.8 might be enough: crowded urban areas such as demonstrations; following law enforcement on patrol or raids; some street fairs, parades; some indoor events.
  14. 17-50 and 50-150mm f2.8 on dx
  15. the OP is specifically asking about DX. 11-16 is too wide, although 12-24 could work if you also have a tele lens. when i shoot PJ assignments it's 17-50/50-150 on DX and 24-70/70-200 on FX unless i know i will specifically want to go wide. the 12-24/50-150 combo is pretty wicked actually. sometimes i use the 70-200 on DX for the extra reach.
    it's possible to shoot PJ with just a prime but almost no one ever does it as their sole lens. if you can only get one lens i would get the 17-55 if u need the faster focussing speed for sports or fashion and the sigma 17-50/2.8 OS for everything else, especially stealthier shoots or all-day carry. in practical field use the 17-50 OS's HSM is 'fast enough' for news/editorial (with a D300s) although not as fast as the 50-150's HSM, or the 24-70 or 70-200's AF-S.
  16. Yeah, 12-24mm f4 or 17-50mm f2.8 depending on your style...17mm may not be wide enough on occasions.
  17. Depending on your definition of "reportage", I'd go for a 17-55. Or, if you think you may go FX in the future, 24-70.
  18. For event and photojournalist type work I use two D300s bodies, one with a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC, the other with a Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 (wish it was OS). Great combination on Dx and easy to carry around.
  19. As John N mentioned the 18-55mm 'in case of accidents', then I guess the 18-200mm is on the books for that extra 'reach' for the fleeing suspect or inconspicuous/candid portrait.
    It's a slow (aperture) lens with questionable IQ (for some) but that's a-lot of range in one piece of glass.... Just bump up the ISO for that reportage look.... ;-)
    You don't mention WHICH DX you're using? One of the more modern or semi-pro ones ie D300s/D7000 etc. shouldn't be too noisy and be able to focus OK.
  20. 35mm, the all time classic
  21. Well... i'm talking about pictures that take viewer inside, and also require me to get *inside*.
    I rather be part of the action than taking pictures from distance, so i'm talking about lenses wider than 35mm.
    I though that nikkor 12-24 2.8 is typical reportage lens for FX, which is almost equal to 11-16 on dx.
  22. Now Ty, are you stirring? :)
    Do you mean lenses that have the same FOV as a 35mm lens on a 35mm camera, aka FX or a 24mm lens on a DX camera?
    or maybe a 35mm lens on a DX having the same FOV as a Classic Standard Lens of ~ 50mm
  23. I mean 35 on dx camera, so 50 on fx.
    I'm going to buy 35 1.8, 85 1.8 (this one for portrait), and one more wide angle lens. The only reasonable options seems 11-16 2.8 - which may be too wide, or 12-24 4.0 - which may be too dark.
  24. I too have the 11-16 Tokina, and it is too wide for reportage. May I recommend the Voigtlander 20mm f3.5 manual focus lens? I have it and it spends a lot of time mated to the front of my Nikon cameras.
  25. The only reasonable options seems 11-16 2.8 - which may be too wide, or 12-24 4.0 - which may be too dark.​
    BINGO! The peril of DX imo
  26. 17-55/2.8.
  27. Not sure what the definition of "reportage" is. But if you mean what does a working newspaper/wire service/magazine reporter use on a daily basis, I can tell you what is done here in Washington, one of the news capitals of the world. Pretty much every single news photographer carries a 24-70 2.8 and a 70-200 2.8, and most have a superwide in the range of a 14-24 2.8. Those cover 90 percent of news assignments. Add a 400 2.8 or 600 4.0 for sports. I don't see primes used much any more -- news photographers need to travel light and (no pun intended) if light is too low for a 2.8 they usually pull out a flash.
  28. Try to locate a Nikon AF-S 16-85mm ED VR lens. It has the wide-range and the mild-telephoto ranges covered.
  29. “Pretty much every single news photographer carries a 24-70 2.8 and a 70-200 2.8, and most have a superwide in the range of a 14-24 2.8. Those cover 90 percent of news assignments.”
    Craig Shearman,
    I agree!
    The “Three Digital Kings” (also called the Holy Trinity or Magic Three) are very popular lenses used by news reporters.
  30. My practical choice is 17-55mm. A second choice could be 16-85mm if I can use flash and it wouldn't kill the mood. Having said that I'd hate to go out without my 12-24mm. So straying from your actual parameters, ideally I'd carry 12-24mm on one body, and a 50-150mm VC/OS, which nobody makes, on the other body, with a 35mm f/2 in the bag, which probably wouldn't come out.
  31. I though that nikkor 12-24 2.8 is typical reportage lens for FX, which is almost equal to 11-16 on dx.​
    no. 17-35/2.8 is the w/a PJ lens on FX. 14 is too wide for many subjects and 24 is not long enough. 14-24 is more specialized, like after you have the other two.
  32. The 24-70 & 70-200 is the common pro choice for Fx, that's why I use 17-50 & 50-150 on a Dx (equal to 25.5 to 225), supplimented by a 11-16 and 120-400, then for completeness, a 60mm f/2 for macro.

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