Editorial/Reportage lens choices?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by roman_thorn|1, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Hi folks! Just want to know what your lens choices would be for this type of work. Lets assume you will be shooting two DX camera's. I'm asking because I want to re-align my current set up. I asked a related question a couple of day's ago and members on this forum thought I should really include a good wide angle zoom...I tend to agree. So now I think for this type of work my choices are:
    12 - 24 Nikon/Tokina ?
    35 1.8G
    50 1.8D
    60 micro
    85 1.8D
    By the way, when I say Editorial/reportage my subject matter would would be Environmental Portrait/Fashion/Product/Food/Architectural/Industrial/stock
    I'm sure it's a matter of preference, but I would love to here other peoples thoughts.
  2. By the way, when I say Editorial/reportage my subject matter would would be Environmental Portrait/Fashion/Product/Food/Architectural/Industrial/stock​
    So why confuse people with editorial/reportage? Your subjects are so different that you can have a whole lens kit for it. I would choose two zooms and two primes if you want the most in the least kit...How about a 12-24mm, 50-150mm, macro for food and a PC for architectural?
  3. Thanks! As far as I know, tilt shifts don't work so well on DX format...don't get wide enough and don't get full tilt shift. What's confusing...this is my subject matter and all that it includes. It can be "editorial/reportage" The 50-150 has more range than I need and is not subject specific. In my humble opinion I would be trading speed and quality for convenience...no thanks.
  4. In my humble opinion I would be trading speed and quality for convenience...no thanks.​
    Yes, you are trading for quality for convenience. Convenience is wanted (and often needed) for reportage...why do you think PJs carry two zooms? Because they are lightweight? Why don't they carry medium format and LF (especially for architectural) if all that matter is IQ? And if you are such a IQ/lens snob...why use the 85mm 1.8 or 35mm 1.8 when the f1.4 versions are much better?
  5. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    If you have the work and have no idea, then there's a real issue. If you don't have the work yet, then rent lenses and see what works. Buying lenses before you know what you need doesn't make a lot of sense.
  6. 1.8 smaller/lighter/cheaper and is some cases better IQ...zoom snob :)
  7. Roman,
    Zoom snob or not, there is a very valid point. Zooms deliver a convenience you may simply need. Personally I much favour working with primes, but when I shot weddings for friends, my standard zoom (at that time, the 18-70, nearly always at f/5.6) took the majority of work. Not my best lens, not the most creative-enabling lens, but the one that allowed me to react quick to changing situations and unexpected moments. That was more needed than the ultimate IQ - in many cases, you have one go and no time to change lenses. So, do consider that. In short, at a budget, something like a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 would be a good addition if you're doing anything resembling reportage.
    If you know you always have the time, then yes, the right primes will get the job done. Your list makes sense to me, though in my view, the 50 f/1.8 may be the weak choice. If you want that as a portrait lens, I'd seriously advice to look at the Sigma 50 f/1.4 - more expensive, but all the shots I've seen from it just show a much better out of focus rendering. The 50 f/1.8 does certainly not excel at that.
    For the wide angle, my choice would be the Tokina simply because of value for money. That said, mine is not utterly sharp at f/4, stopping down to f/5 is needed and from f/5.6 on it's plenty sharp. It's good value for money. The Nikkor is a lot more money - it can be worth it since it is supposed to be a better lens, but whether it's worth it to you, yours to decide.
  8. Also, zooms are no longer always worse than primes. Hasn't been that way for a while. You'll drive yourself crazy with primes while the guy next to you gets the shot.
    I only like using primes when I'm being artsy. I'd rather have a zoom just about any time other than that.
  9. 35 1.8G
    50 1.8D
    60 micro
    85 1.8D
    If I already owned the four lenses above like you do, the wide angles I would consider are:
    Option 1
    $450 Sigma 24mm f/1.8 or
    $365 Nikon 24mm f/2.8
    Option 2
    $500 Sigma 20mm f/1.8 or
    $550 Nikon 20mm f/2.8
    Option 3
    $1500 Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8* or
    $650 Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5
    The telephotos I would consider are:
    $700 Nikon 180mm f/2.8* or
    $1000 Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8*
    Of the lenses I listed, the ones marked with an asterisk are the ones I own and use for what you describe as “Editorial/reportage.” By the way, what you call “Editorial/reportage,” I call, “being prepared to shoot just about anything.”

  10. Hi! Thanks everyone. last night I was looking through all the photo"s I took from an event I just shot the other day. That said, what I noticied was that a good standard zoom, like the 17 - 55 would have been all I neeed for 90% of the images. So I guess, a standard zoom and a few specific primes would do the job nicely. I'm still on the fence about a long zoom or tele. I found the 85 to be plenty long, maybe a 105 would have been a touch better though? K, enough said, a standard it is and I will go from there as needed.
  11. hi roman, for PJ work w/ 2 DX bodies i use:
    • d90 w/tokina 12-24/4 or tamron 17-50/2.8
    • d300s w/sigma 50-150/2.8 or tamron 28-75/2.8.
    so i would go for a w/a or wide-mid zoom + a 2.8 telezoom as the basic kit. there's little need to spend the extra $$ for the nikon 12-24 over the tokina. if by architectural/industrial, you mean low-light interiors, then i would get the tokina 11-16/2.8 instead.
    the 60 micro would be good for food shots, but you don't realistically need the 35 and 50 except for low-light work. also, neither of those have great bokeh so for subject isolation shots, i would go with different lenses.i do find the 35/1.8 acceptable for street shooting and candids, but the tamron 17-50, sigma 30, and sigma 50-150 all have much better bokeh and in general, i prefer the 30 over the 35 at faster apertures.
    the 85/1.8's bokeh is ok if you mainly keep it to the background. if you need to do a lot of close-up shots with a wider view,i would consider adding the tokina 35/2.8 macro. sharper than any of the 30/35mm primes (except the nikon 35/1.4 AF-S) and better close-up performance than the sigma 30/1.4.
    but generally speaking, a prime-heavy kit isnt optimal for editorial/PJ work. most PJs i know rely on 2.8 zooms, usually a 17-xx and a 70- or 80-200. if you can cover the long end with an 85, that's great, but i find the 50-150 gives me much more versatility in terms of framing, also reacting to fast-moving situations.
  12. Thanks again, much to consider.
  13. btw, the tokina 12-24/4 is great on the d90 as well. it's best at f/8 so indoors, you do want to use an external flash with it (it will vignette w/ pop-up flash). i noticed you didnt list any flashes in your kit; for PJ/editorial, sb-600 is the minimum and a 900 if you can afford it.
  14. You also need to tell us what DX bodies you have or are planning on getting. Yes, its important to get good lenses, but there is a world of difference between an entry level DSLR and say a D300s or D7000. the D7000 just killed D90 resale value so you could get one of those pretty cheaply now.
    The cheaper models won't autofocus certain older, but very desirable lenses, so you need a body that has an internal focus motor for those.
    Are you buying used or new? That also limits your choices. There are some great deals out there and this is also pushing the price of used bodies down. With the uncertainty of resale value and new bodies coming out that smoke ones just a year old, its a difficult choice.
    Get on ebay and do some research and also look at new and used prices at Adorama and B&H. If you can't get a good used D300 with two good zooms for less than $2k, I be very surprised.
  15. Thanks! I shoot two 300's but thinking of replacing one with a D7000. I do use external flash...two SB800's and one 600. As far us ultra wides go, I would really like one thats good at F4. Now I'm considering the Tokina 11- 16 or Sigma 10 - 20 3.5. From what I read it's only soft in the far corners @ 10mm wide open? Best way to know is to test them both out. On that note, the new sigma 17 - 50 OS is looking mighty appealing.
  16. The 50-150 has more range than I need and is not subject specific. In my humble opinion I would be trading speed and quality for convenience...no thanks.
    "not subject specific"? actually, that's a plus for editorial assignments--you can pretty much do anything except food shots (which require a macro or good close-up focusing). i've shot sports, action, events, and portraits with the 50-150, which, unlike an 85mm lens, covers the entire portrait range and also starts 20 or 30mm earlier than FX telezooms on DX , which means it stays on the camera longer. i don't think personally you can ever have too much range for editorial work and for me an 85 would be too specialized. for instance, the shot posted above was taken in a theater and is at 150mm. in that situation, that shot may not have been possible with an 85.
    btw, with a 50-150, you're not really giving up that much speed. there have been many times when i've packed a 50/1.8 or a 30/1.4 and ended up not needing either, since the tamron 17-50 has comparable sharpness @2.8. i don't have a fast tele prime, but the 50-150 is pretty good at 2.8. so you're looking at the difference between maybe 1/100 and 1/125 in terms of shutter speed, which is almost negligible, compared to not being able to zoom in tight enough or zoom out wide enough. this gets frustrating real quick, if you're trying to compose a shot in a crowd and can't move up.
    and, since the 50-150 has a fast built-in motor, it's probably at least as fast as a screw-drive tele prime on a D90. you would be sacrificing 2/3rds of a stop of aperture which IMO isn't that big a deal compared to a 2.8 except in extreme low-light. and if you are shooting in extreme low-light, a d700 or d3s w/ 85/1.4 would be better anyway. also, in terms of IQ, the 50-150 is no slouch.
    i can understand not wanting to have to buy two 2.8 zooms, but for editorial/PJ work, that's pretty much a given.
  17. I will keep that in mind, but from what I can tell, the 50 - 150 is dicontinued,. My bet is an os version is not to far away. Sigma did just put out a 150 macro OS, so I will wait...cheers!
  18. Roman, regarding your question about the Tokina 12-24/4, I shoot mine wide open a lot and have been quite pleased with its performance. But if you can live with the narrower range of the 11-16/2.8, I'd give it more consideration simply because of its wider aperture which would make it even more useful for indoor shooting (where the wider field of view would often be useful).
    - larsbc
  19. Roman,
    Here's my kit with 2 DX cameras, both D300s
    99% of the time 1 has my 17-55mm f/2.8 on it (I'm a Nikon snob, so you won't find me touting Sigma lenses, although they do perform very well)
    My other D300s likely has either my 50mm f/1.4 or 70-200mm f/2.8 on it, depending on the situation.
    I have other lenses, but above is my most used kit.
  20. roman, the 50-150 can still be found new on ebay.
    as far as DX ultrawides go, the tokina 12-24/4 is really hard to beat, especially considering the price. it's good wide open--though sigma 15-30 is sharper--in situations where deep DoF isn't needed, such as people photography, where you're generally shooting at 18-24mm to minimize distortion. on a camera with good high -ISO performance at or above 1600, like the d300 or d90, this makes it usable in low-light situations. i don't doubt the 12-24/4 would be even better at high ISOs on a d7000.
    btw, i haven't been impressed enough with the 11-16's 2.8 shots i've seen to jump on that. in fact, i recently passed on a chance to buy one for $450, which is a good price. my rationale was that the limited range simply wasn't worth an extra stop for my purposes, even if the IQ is just a little better. i'm currently considering a jump to a d700 and perhaps a 17-35 which would make more sense for me. if i shot more landscape or interiors, a d7000/11-16 combo might be more appealing.
  21. Reportage requirements are at the oppostite end of the scale to say portraits.
    The current crop of news and doco guys carry one or maybe two bodies and team them with just two 2.8 zooms....24-80 and 80-200. At a pinch they might also carry a teleconverter. There is also a trend to go with top of the range DX bodies for that extra reach, so the wider zoom might need to get down to 18mm. But the essence of it is not having to think or adjust anything because while you are fiddling, the moment has gone. Also IQ is not a factor when you are only allowed to send in the smallest Jpeg file size anyway.
    The 17-55 is a great and inexpensive lens, so long as you have plenty of light.
  22. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Reportage requirements are at the oppostite end of the scale to say portraits.
    Nonsense. A lot of reportage is portraits. I carry the same equipment to a press conference or public event that I do to take a portrait, except that I take a tripod for a portrait, unless it's a studio type portrait.
  23. Obviously, it's a personal choice, depending on your style of photography. But on a DX format, I'd say the most critical lense to have is something around a 24mm.
    Beyond that, you might want something longer. Maybe a 35mm and or a 50mm. And something wider would be nice. Say a 14mm.
    But you can do an awful lot just with a 24mm (or a 35mm in full frame format).
    Zooms? It's a personal choice and you have to work out what works for you, and that comes with experience and experimenting. Personally I would avoid them, I don't like them. And by coincidence, every excellent/famous photographer I know uses primes either exclusively or predominantly (though I'm sure there must be some or even a lot using zooms, just I haven't met them). But you shouldn't copy everyone else, experiment and see what suits your own approach and make your own mind up.

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