do i really need the 24-70 lens if i have these ?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by brittany_marshall, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. so i shoot weddings and have been renting the lenses i need for each event, so i have used all of these and am now ready to purchase the ones i really need. Although i have rented the 24-70 for almost every wedding and everyone swears it is a must have for wedding photography I feel like i like the results of every other lens much better. my favorite lens by far is the 85mm 1.4, so this is my question. If i have the 24mm 1.4 the 50mm 1.4 , the 70-200 2.8, and the 85mm 1.4 along with two bodies (to decrease the time of changing lenses) do you think i will regret not purchasing the 24-70 ? Im thinking during getting ready photos i would be fine with the 50 and the 24, and for portraits i would obviously use the 85 or 70-200, and during the ceremony i would have the 70-200 on one camera, take my wide church shot with the 24 and have a 50 on the second camera, and then for reception photos im thinking i could get away with the 24 for most of the reception along with the 50 on the second camera. like i said i haven't shot a wedding before without the 24-70, but if i purchase it i will have to give up one of the others that i really want (probably the 24) because i cant afford both. any advice would be appreciated. Thanks !
     
  2. i forgot to mention i have the d700
     
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Are your two bodies both FX?
    You have some nice lenses already, but if you should weddings professionally, I would add the 24-70mm/f2.8 AF-S. Sometimes for wedding photography, it is a matter of getting the shot, and a mid-range zoom at f2.8 helps. Frequently there is no time to change lenses, and you also don't seem to have a 35mm, which IMO is more useful than the 24mm/f1.4 at least for me, but your style could well be different.
     
  4. i only own one body right now and yes its fx d700 but i would just rent a second body when i shoot weddings. i shot one wedding with two bodies and i really liked the convenience of not having to change lenses (especially during the ceremony) although all those straps around my neck did end up getting tangled and choking me the whole time lol (but its worth it) and i do have a 35 but i dont like the results with it on my d700 its a dx lens
     
  5. Often, during a wedding, you have to shoot fast, don't have time to switch lenses and can't zoom "with your feet", so having a high quality zoom can be a life-saver. In addition, the DoF of lenses at f/1.4 is often paper thin, so the probability of poorly focused shots is much higher at such a wide aperture and so you'll tend to stop down to somewhere around f/2.8 anyway.
    It's a *very* useful lens.
    Tom M
    PS - Shun posted as I was typing. We are saying similar things.
     
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    For whatever reason, in the US, DSLR rental is very expensive. If that is indeed the case for you, perhaps buying a second body should be a higher priority. As a wedding photographer, having a backup body is critical. A used D700 is a possibility; the cost should be no more than renting the D700 for 10 days. There is of course the D800 and potentially more on the horizon.
    Besides back up body/bodies, I think another 24-70mm/f2.8 helps. And there are flashes and backup flashes.
    I am sure others will have a lot more ideas.
     
  7. yes i agree that its useful, i guess i am just letting my lust get in the way of practicality. i love the 24mm 1.4 SOOO much, so much fun to shoot ! :) I am pretty sure though that whenever i am shooting the 24-70 i forget to zoom anyways, thats the main reason i was thinking i might not miss it, because i am so used to prime lenses that i forget to zoom , therefore i usually keep it at 24 anyways . also i usually shoot at 1.6 or 1.8 haven't had a problem with focusing
     
  8. the rental isnt bad actually its $100 for 3 days for the d700, but i will definitely get a second one. i have many flashes and dont need any more of those
     
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    $100 for 3 days for the d700​
    That is not bad at all. Maybe I haven't checked prices recently, in my area (San Francisco), it is more like $100 to $150 per day.
     
  10. Two cameras on the neck seem to me an awkward way of working. Too much weight for me (I like to have the battery grip attached, and of course, flash head).
    As said, there are moments where you need to change the focal settings several times in a couple seconds to get the shot. Even with two cameras, you have to be very experienced, or to be used to a certain priest/ceremony to avoid the risk of losing an image.
    I know this by experience; when I have to submit a reportage, I try to run the lesser risks. Few weeks ago I had some difficult scenes during a ceremony, thanks God I had the 24-70. No problems.
    About the 24mm, It`s matter of room, I think. If I had to shoot in the conditions you mention, I`d have a 24, 35, 50 and 85. Personally, no need of the 70-200. During the ceremony, 35 and 85 in two cameras (for sure I`d miss the 50... ). Portraits with the 85, and if the dinner is packed (as it`s usual around here) a 24 or 28 could be a must.
    I use to work in two reportages; one is that boring, conventional, typical images, and another, usually without flash, where I shoot everything that calls my attention. Nothing unusual, but works.
    If you are the steady photographer, unexpected situations will be minimized, so you can shoot with whatever. Not my case.
     
  11. i use borrow lenses they have great prices, and since the d800 came out the rental price on the d700 dropped
     
  12. Here is my wedding photography contribution.
    I only shot one wedding, and it was about 10 years ago for friends at our family church. The bride knew I was a photog, and asked me to supplement the professional photographer she had hired.
    I used a Leica M6TTL with a 50/2.0 Summicron. I shot one roll of Delta 400, which I pushed to ISO 800.
    It was a Saturday wedding, and when I got home that evening, I developed the roll of film. And on Sunday evening, I selected my favorite shots and printed them at 8x10 on Ilford satin finish Warmtome paper. They were a little grainy because I had to crop them a fair bit.
    On Monday I took them to my favorite frame shop and had them matted to 11x14, but not framed.
    I got them back on Wednesday, which was nice because the bride, groom, and I all had choir practice that evening. So, I gift wrapped the photographs and handed them to the bride after choir practice that night.
    She remarked how thick the package was, and asked, How many pictures did you take? I said go ahead an open it.
    Inside there are four matted prints. Two at the alter that were taken from the congregation perspective (bride receiving her ring and first kiss). There was one close up of their hands cutting the wedding cake, and one of their first dance, her head on the groom's shoulder.
    She was thrilled.
    Years later, the bride reminded me that these were her favorite memories from the wedding, which delights me every time I think about it.
    So, to answer your question: No.
     
  13. 2nd Body 1st. Lens 2nd when you have the funds.
    Although truly you would know best if you need the lens or not.
     
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Sometimes you don't know how important a 2nd body, 2nd lens is until your primary one is broken. With Murphy's Law, that tends to take place at the most critical moment of the wedding.
    When you are a paid, professional photographer who is expected to deliver, the requirements are higher than amateurs, second shooters just to assist, and student photographres who may charge $200 to shoot a casual wedding.
     
  15. If the straps of two bodies seem inconvenient, consider trying out the RapidStrap system, which also comes in a two-strap variant.
     
  16. @shun Cheung , like i stated in a previous post i ALWAYS use two bodies when i shoot weddings, i rent the second body, so purchasing one is not a priority right now, i understand the importance of backup gear. my original post was just asking about the different lenses. @Dan brown, that is a great story im glad she liked her photos, but i am not seeing what it has to do with my post/question, thanks for the input though. @james youngman, thanks for the info i will check that out, i have looked into things such as the spyder system but they are pricey and will be on my list of things to get after i collect all the lenses i need.
     
  17. No, I don't think you will miss the 24-70. I've shot weddings with a lot of PJ coverage using primes only and it works fine. For me it actually works much better with primes than a zoom. I mean it's more work with primes but when comparing the results I found that I produced better images with primes. I also use two cameras.


    Some people are under the impression that you need a zoom to quickly catch a moment but I find that is not the case. To make a good photo you need to physically be in the right spot and a zoom will not help you with that. You also need to observe the light, the composition and press the shutter at the right time. A zoom will not help you with that either.


    Then there is the advantage of large apertures when using primes that most zooms don't have. For low light situations of course but perhaps more importantly for the creative capability to isolate the subject.


    If you shoot with two cameras and spend some time practicing swapping lenses and also learn the coverage of your primes you'll be fine. If someone who never used a prime wanted to get lenses for wedding work I would be a little hesitant to recommend primes from the get go.
     
  18. "No, I don't think you will miss the 24-70. I've shot weddings with a lot of PJ coverage using primes only and it works fine. For me it actually works much better with primes than a zoom. I mean it's more work with primes but when comparing the results I found that I produced better images with primes. I use two cameras. Some people are under the impression that you need a zoom to quickly catch a moment but I find that is not the case. To make a good photo you need to physically be in the right spot and a zoom will not help you with that. You also need to observe the light, the framing and press the shutter at the right time. A zoom will not help you with that either. Then there is the advantage of large apertures when using primes that most zooms don't have. For low light situations of course but perhaps more importantly for the creative capability to isolate the subject. If you shoot with two cameras and spend some time practicing swapping lenses and also learn the coverage of your primes you'll be fine. If someone never used a prime and wanted to start out I would be a little hesitant to recommend primes from the get go."​

    Thanks Pete, that's what i was thinking, i like my results better with primes as well , if it weren't for tight spaces i wouldn't even mind using my 85 to shoot an entire wedding (the results would be amazing) since you are a prime shooter would you mind of i saw some of your wedding work ? do you have a website ?
     
  19. What do you find when you analyze your shots taken with the 24-70 - which focal lengths did you use most? If you are mostly at either end - then the zoom is mostly wasted on you and you likely will do as well (if not better) with primes. I realize that I am a "zoom person", primes don't suit me nearly as much. But that might be for a lack of trying.
     
  20. I would highly recommend getting the 24-70 for weddings even if you have a bunch of primes. You will need a backup lens (those can be the primes for the zoom and vice versa when one fails) and the 24-70 is just immeasurably useful for reducing stress and lens switching during time-critical parts of the ceremony and also for reducing the time needed to do the formals and giving more options at that stage. I don't see how it is obvious that you should use a tele for portraits. For full body shots, groups, interaction between bride and groom with some environment etc. the 24-70 can do it all, and excellently, I might say, too. I find that when I adjust lights anyway, I do not want to be switching cameras and lenses in the same session which everyone probably want to get over with, so for any kind of outdoor and environmental portraits, groups, at weddings or elsewhere, my go-to lens is the 24-70. For head shots a longer lens is useful also, but that's just one type of portrait.
     
  21. I like to use the 85 for portraits (even full body) I just have to be farther away but i find it worth it, here is an example of a full body formal shot i did with my 85, but you are probably right about having the 24-70 just in case, i will probably purchase it, and then just get the 24 1.4 another time when i have some more money to spend.[​IMG]
     
  22. i do have a 35 but i dont like the results with it on my d700 its a dx lens​
    Just to pick up on that, I presume everyone else is talking about a 35mm f/1.4 or similar (FX lens), though I suspect the new 28mm f/1.8 might be quite tempting on a budget.

    I've only ever shot as a guest, and deliberately very long (candid) or wide (group), so I've never wished I had a 24-70 at a wedding. A 28-200 has occasionally been useful outside, but I'd have lived quite well with my 14-24 and 80-200 (although I only got that after the last wedding I attended; well, strictly speaking I got it for the use of the person borrowing my camera at my wedding...) But because I've not been the official photographer, it's not mattered if I spent time switching lenses, and messing around with a manual-focus 85mm and my 200 f/2 has been acceptable.

    Before worrying too much about filling every gap in the focal range, I'd wonder how much you really need the full resolution at all of them. Sure, a D800 would have a lot more pixels to throw away, but you can chop a fair bit off a D700 and still have a decent album-sized print. I'd err on the side of slightly wide and trust to Photoshop (and zooming with my feet), to some extent.

    But then, mid-range zooms have never really appealed to me... and nor has the stress of shooting a wedding!
     
  23. The 24-70mm is a good lens by zoom standards, but it is an average performer, and slow, when compared to the nice primes you have. I
    see no reason whatever for you to buy the 24-70. You have two bodies, so use the 85 and the 24, keep the 50 in you pocket, and the 70-
    200 at home. Another option would be to replace the 24 and the 50 with a 35. Two lenses, will simplify your wedding day techniques,
    allowing you to concentrate more on composition, and getting in the right places, and shouldn't leave you wanting.
     
  24. and the 70-200 at home​
    just curios why you wouldn't want to use a 70-200 ?
     
  25. The 85 is nice and there's no reason not to use if for portraits. When doing the portraits you generally have time to change the lens. But the 24-70 is generally (at least, I've found) the single most useful lens at an event/wedding. Also the 70-200. I usually have the 24-70 on my D700, a end takes beautiful portraits especially when opened up. But it's up to you. You've used the lenses, its most important what you like. I would agree with those who say you should get another body for back-up. It could be a real nightmare if you don't have a back-up camera at an important event.
     
  26. If you got the second body then attach one with 24-70 and the other one with 70-200 so you have. Covered all focal lengths.
    That what most are working with.
     
  27. . . . but it is an average performer. . .​
    24-70 is a way, way above average performer. At 2.8 it's a medium fast, not that slow, especially on today's modern hi-iso cameras. You still have your other lenses if you need 1.4, of course the DOF is extremely short at 1.4.
     
  28. To really answer the question, here's something you could do.
    Rent a 24 - 70 for a wedding where you are confident you can get by without it... and leave it in the bag.
    If you get through the wedding and don't miss having the zoom, you're golden. If you go "Oh, darn, I need that zoom" and fish it out... you should have one.
    I personally would never shoot a wedding without a mid-range zoom.
     
  29. honestly, primes are nice but all you need for events on an FX body is 24-70+70-200. like Ilkka said,it's about not having to switch lenses. with the high-ISO capability on an FX camera, there's no need to shoot at 1.6 or 1.8. with two bodies, you can get away with a prime/zoom rotation or substituting an 85 for the 70-200. most pro shooters are in the same dilemma of wanting the 24-70 and the 24, but if you could only choose one, for events it would be the 24-70. boring choice, maybe, but solid as far as rationale. the 24-70 covers both 50 and 24mm focal lengths,obviously, so it's unclear why you are trying to "get by" with two primes and two bodies for shots you could get with just one lens and one body. does that make sense? not to me.
     
  30. yeah thats my dilemma pretty much, want versus need. and im not worried about low light or my cameras ISO, i pretty much shoot indoor photos with off camera flash the whole time anyways (unless its day time and there are lots of windows) i wouldn't try to shoot a reception at night indoors with high iso or available light (just not my thing) i will probably just stick with the 24-70 / 85 combo and then take it from there and see if i miss anything. but i will get that 24 someday (just for fun if not for weddings)
     
  31. It's somewhat ridiculous to hear someone saying that you must have this or that lens. There are many wedding shooters that uses primes for everything or almost everything just as there are those using only zooms. Use whatever suits your style!
    Below are two top wedding shooters that you might have heard of - Jasmine Star and Jessica Claire:
    http://www.jasminestarblog.com/index.cfm?postID=1233&jasmine-star-lenses-and-camera
    http://jessicaclaire.net/index.cfm/postID/554/photography-tips-and-questions-1
     
  32. Hi Britanny, I'm not a professional photographer; however I have shot a couple of weddings for friends. I have the 14-24, 85 1.4 and recently I also bought the 70-200. I've also got a 60 macro but otherwise have a big gap between 24 and 70. So I've been following this thread with interest. I can certainly see the merit of having the zoom; I'd love to have one. Personally though I'm leaning towards the 35 1.4. If I didn't have the 60 I'd probably get a 50 1.4 rather than the 35. I think you'd get better shots with the fast primes. Ideally you need an assistant to look after the second body and supplementary lenses, then lens changing is easy.
     
  33. Brittany, I'm just curious have you looked at your files to see how often you are shooting wider than 2.8? If you are seldom wider than 2.8 that would seem to add weight in favor of the 24-70.
    Ray
     
  34. Shun, camera rentals in San Francisco are *expensive* because there is no competition. In SF proper you've got Calumet, Pro Camera, and Adolph Gassers. All three have minimal inventory, and nothing terribly new (altho Gassers did get a D800). On the peninsula you've got borrowlenses.com, but they aren't exactly what most people would consider reputable.
    OTOH if you go online, you can rent a D800E for ten (10) days from lensrentals.com for $312.50 including round trip, FedEx 2nd day air shipping. Just be careful booking a reservation too far in advance or LR will ship your package out via FedEx ground... which means significantly reduced customer service from FedEx's end.
    Brittany, as far as I'm concerned, you are tempting fate renting from borrowlenses. I've *tried* three times to rent from them. Made a reservation, confirmed it, and then had them attempt to make inferior substitutions the day of the rental. After the first time I explained, over the phone, that I wanted to rent *specific* equipment to try it before buying it. They don't know their inventory, and judging by the substitutions they tried to make, they don't know a whole lot about photography. Ensuring that you've got a backup body of your own is very prudent, IMO, if your business is photographing events that you can't recreate.
    IMO the way to go would be a backup body w/ a 24-70 on it... and a prime of your choosing on your main body. This way you get the best of both worlds. The flexibility of a zoom, and the big aperture of a prime. Plus, if either of the bodies or lenses craps out, you can make a fully working camera out of the remainder. A zoom on a backup body is a great insurance policy.
    BTW, I shoot exclusively with primes (Sigma 30/1.4, Mir 24N 35/2, CV 58/1.4, Nikon 105/2.5 Ai-S)... often people... but not professionally. When I look back on my pictures, my favorite ones are often shot at an aperture that a zoom lens could achieve.
     
  35. Brittany, I shoot weddings with two FX bodies. At present I use a D800 with the 24-70 on it and a D3s with the 70-200 on it. I use a Black Rapid system so that I can quickly drop one camera to my side and instantly grab the other from my other side. I also bring another spare body just in case since, as Shun points out, when you are being paid to shoot an important event the client expects you to have all possible bases covered. I also have a flash bracket on each body with a Nikon flash attached as well as a back-up flash in the bag. I usually have a macro lens along (105mm) and sometimes the 85mm f/1.4. Having the 24-70 and 70-200 on the two working bodies takes care of most of my shots without any lens changes and the possibility of missing a shot. I realize my setup is probably overkill, but it makes me (and usually the bride and groom) feel better. I go over my setup and procedures during the initial meeting with the couple and use it as a selling point.
     
  36. I agree that your priority is a back up camera. Without it, you are shut down! A back up body is a very critical piece of gear if you are getting paid.
    Kent in SD
     
  37. Barry C., you are actually ballasted like a diver... :) The gear you mention is well over five kilos! I`m not that strong.
    Ceremonies around here last -a minimum- of one and a half hour, sometimes they run into two hours (ouch!). I hope in your surroundings they are shorter!
    ---
    Pete S. is right, "few" years ago nobody used zooms for weddings; I remember everybody using Bronica and Hasselblad with up to three primes, at best provided with two bodies. But there was also common to have an assistant, most photographers are steady workers and their routines were absolutely observed, priest included. Flash heads used to be placed on stands. -All- the pics had a "posed" look. Working this way, even a one camera/one lens setup will work.

    Looking at the link Pete provides, I see it is a very loose style, informal, posed shots, with lots of time to waste, lenses wide open, that is, a photographers` dream. This is quite different from being working in an unknown church where nobody cooperates with the photographer (priest included), without assistant, where the action run too fast because the next event will happen a few minutes later.
     
  38. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Shun, camera rentals in San Francisco are *expensive* because there is no competition. In SF proper you've got Calumet, Pro Camera, and Adolph Gassers. All three have minimal inventory, and nothing terribly new (altho Gassers did get a D800). On the peninsula you've got borrowlenses.com, but they aren't exactly what most people would consider reputable.
    OTOH if you go online, you can rent a D800E for ten (10) days from lensrentals.com for $312.50 including round trip, FedEx 2nd day air shipping. Just be careful booking a reservation too far in advance or LR will ship your package out via FedEx ground... which means significantly reduced customer service from FedEx's end.​
    Alex, I live in the South Bay Area so that I actually had Keeble and Shuchat in mind. Their lens rental rate is quite reasonable; previously I have rented medium-format film SLRs from them and it was also reasonable. For whatever reason, DSLR rental is very expensive.
    A few days ago, I met a person who works for Borrow Lens; he said that he is employee #5 and they now have 50 people working there. Apparently they have grown quite a bit in the last few years and is now a much larger operation than I thought.
    In any case, if the OP depends on remote rental and shipping of a D700, there are risks involved. When that D700 does not arrive on time, you will be left with just your own D700. I don't know how many weddings the OP shoots a year. If you don't shoot weddings that often, maybe it is hard to justify all that backup equipment, camera body and lens. If you are a more regular wedding photographer, those backup equipment is a must.
    Pete S., nobody says you must have a 24-70mm/f2.8 AF-S. Wedding photography certainly existed well before Nikon introduced that lens in 2007. I, in fact, don't have that lens (nor am I a regular professional wedding photographer), but I have the 28-70mm/f2.8 and 24-120mm/f4 VR. Looking at the OP's equipment list, I see only one lens shorter than 50mm, as the 35mm is a f1.8 DX and not a wide angle. To me, the 24mm/f1.4 is too wide to be the only wide-angle lens you have at a wedding. And if some day you drop it in the middle of a wedding, you'll be left without any wide lens at work.
     
  39. It's somewhat ridiculous to hear someone saying that you must have this or that lens. There are many wedding shooters that uses primes for everything or almost everything just as there are those using only zooms.
    I have shot a few weddings with primes only but normally would not do that. I think it can be done, but it causes unnecessary stress on the couple and guests as they have to see the photographer switch lenses and play with gear while the event is going on, and while the subjects are waiting for the photographer to be ready to shoot etc. Weddings are fast paced events and any decision which means there will be additional delays is in my opinion a bad one, and even inappropriate. Of course it is up to the photographer to decide what they will use but IMO it is only prudent to give this advice. I will use primes during events such as weddings, or other events in dark caves when the conditions are more relaxed e.g. at the reception and when there is almost no light to work with, but even then a case can be made for the 24-70 instead of the 24/1.4 which is really difficult to focus in the dark. The OP, from what I understood, doesn't yet have the 24/1.4. I love that lens for the look of the images it gives but have gotten many times burned by backfocused images that I didn't notice when shooting. It's not a focus fine tune issue but I believe something to do with the optics and the sensitivity of the AF sensor. I think this prime is not well suited for fast paced shooting, while the 24-70 is. That's one reason I recommend the 24-70 as a primary lens for weddings. The 24/1.4 or 35/1.4 can then be purchased as a second wide angle lens for effects and extreme low light. BTW I would advice for the 35/1.4 instead of the 24/1.4 as the fast wide angle prime as it is more generally useful for people photography.
    The 24-70mm is a good lens by zoom standards, but it is an average performer,
    I beg your pardon?! It is a very reliable and consistent lens with optical quality that makes it the reference against which all standard zooms are compared, until something better comes along, which so far hasn't.
     
  40. Yeah, pretty much what I said, perhaps I could have used the word "great" instead of "good".
     
  41. I would go for the 24-70. The 24 1.4 is one heck of a lens (I have one for shooting concerts) and I can see why you like it. It's sharper at f/2.0 than the 24-70 is wide open at f/2.8...just incredible optics. I've never seen any other Nikon lens like it. But for events like a wedding, I would want the convenience of the pro-level mid-range zoom. However, if you shoot weddings and rarely use the zoom, then I think you have the answer for your needs and what your clients like.
     
  42. i pretty much shoot indoor photos with off camera flash the whole time anyways​
    in which case, i see even less need for a 1.6 or 1.8 aperture. what do you gain there from not stopping down to at least 2.8? in which case, there's no need to use a prime, since the 24-70 is just as sharp at 2.8.
     
  43. I do agree that two bodies are a must have for weddings and I also fully agree that for this kind of photography, a middle zoom lens like the 24-70 mm f/2.8 is a must have lens, for all the reasons given above by the others participants in this forum.
     
  44. Eric, while I concur with the consensus which is that the op does indeed need the 24-70 - people who know a lot more about the exigencies of working as a pro wedding photographer than I do agree about this, nevertheless using off camera flash doesn't preclude the need for fast lenses. Shooting wide open is not only about light levels. Shallow dof can produce wonderful pictures.
     
  45. @Eric , I like the primes and the 1.4 because i like the DOF , I like the way the photos look, i was only stating that i use off camera flash because people who posted earlier thought that i was only interested in the primes for the speed and low light ability (which is not the case) I have many reasons for preferring them.
    Everyone who says i need a back up camera please read my earlier postings, I NEVER SHOOT WITHOUT AT LEAST 2 BACKUP CAMERAS, so that is not relevant to my original posting, i very much understand the importance of a second body, this posting was just about the lenses.
    After all of the posts i have read on here and some more thought i have given, i think i will purchase the 24-70 first along with a 70-200. I can afford to add one prime to that lineup and will probably get the 85 just because it is my favorite lens that ive ever used. the rest will come later if needed.
    THANK YOU ALL for your help on this !!!!!
     
  46. Alastair, Brittany... I was going to make the point about shallow depth of field still mattering for off-camera flash, but it occurred to me that I'm not sure how true that is, in a wedding setting. Often, if you're just trying to lose the background, you can simply not light it. That's not always going to be possible (if the background's in direct sunlight and the subject isn't - although then a small aperture is your friend anyway...), but I was curious how generally true that argument is. I guess if you want a soft background that's anything but black, aperture still applies.

    Please forgive my ignorance; I have limited flash experience, and relatively little at weddings because I try to be the unobtrusive guest complementing the official shooter. I'm usually at wide apertures, but mixing with flash is another matter.
     
  47. i think i will purchase the 24-70 first along with a 70-200​
    You have enough opinions I think. But FWIW you did the right thing IMO.
    I don't do a lot of weddings but I shoot with two lenses (they're not Nikkors though): 28-70/2.8 and 70-200/2.8. And virtually no flash. I prefer to stop down to f/4.0 if I can, mostly because the shorter zoom isn't that great wide-open, and partly because I would like some DOF. I don't understand the fad which prescribes zero DOF. I also rent a second body so I'm totally with you there.
    Isn't it amazing how well the D700 holds up, even today? It doesn't have the best picture quality overall, but my goodness, it manages ISO 6400 so well.
     
  48. @Eric , I like the primes and the 1.4 because i like the DOF , I like the way the photos look,​
    hey, i like fast primes and bokeh emphasis shots too. but i find that stopping down a bit reduces the chance of misfocus in critical situations, compared to wide open or close to it. when i shoot concerts with my 1.4 primes, i like to be around f/2. any wider than that and it's just not enough DoF to give me enough wiggle room. OTOH, if you're shooting a fast prime narrower than 2.8, it's hard to justify using that over either the 24-70 and 70-200.
    granted, wedding shots are generally less unpredictable in terms of people's movement than live music shows, so maybe it's easier to get away with 1.6 or 1.8. still, in direct comparison of my fast primes to my 24-70, i find that 2.8 is usually good enough for subject isolation, and that the zoom has excellent bokeh, enough to where i find i only use the primes for times when i absolutely need a wider aperture due to availability of light and/or i want to save weight. in other words,i have come to trust the 24-70 implicitly in its ability to deliver excellent results under pressure. and with an FX camera's hi-ISO capabilities, there's certainly less need to rely on a fast prime and a wide aperture than before.
    as far as brittany's lens strategy, i agree. get the absolute must-haves first, then cherry-pick primes at different focal lengths down the road. don't get me wrong, i would love to have the 24/1.4., but when i had the opportunity to get that or the 24-70, i chose the 24-70 and never regretted it.
     
  49. Brittany, I think the 24-70 is a great decision. Definitely keep that 24 f/1.4 in mind for the future and get it if you like the photos it allows to you produce. It is a bit of a specialty lens, but I cannot say enough about the clarity, color, and sharpness the 24 f/1.4 is at wide apertures. I've used pretty much every newer Nikon lens except for the exotic tele-primes, and the 24mm prime easily has better optical quality and all of them.
    There's a practical business side, but then we all do this because we enjoy the craft. Having the tools that allow you to enjoy the craft most is very important as well as the business side of things. Treat yourself when the time is right!
     
  50. I have 24-70. I also have the primes in that range (35,50,85). 24-70 is fabulous lens, sharp corner to corner wide open. But it is slow compared to the primes. I shoot mostly indoor, in low light situation where f/2.8 and f/1.8 make a difference between photos to keep vs photos to recycle bin.

    If I have to use one lens only, I definitely go for 24-70.

    If style matters, I work with the primes.
     

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