Good Lens Package for Nikon F4

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by karl_borowski, May 30, 2007.

  1. Hi everyone. I have purchased a Nikon F4, more for snapshots than for
    weddings, as I've fallen in love with the Mamiya RB workflow, but this is
    certainly going to be my go-to camera for back-up-back-ups and candid
    photography at weddings. I may even try to get a 250 exp back to minimize
    reload time. I've gone to all 70mm on my RB stuff, and the 40-50 exp. loads I
    use certainly do help minimise the stress of constantly checking that either
    the main or backup shooter has enough shots for a certain moment before having
    to reload.

    While I hate shooting anything other than primes for controlled wedding
    portraiture, I think having a fast zoom would be a good idea. Is there a good
    all-around zoom for film-only that is significantly cheaper now that digital
    has destroyed the 35mm full-frame market? I'm looking for fast glass that is
    an "all-around" lens for wedding work. I don't mind shooting with fill flash,
    but it'd also be nice to have the option to have a lens that will work also in
    available light, such as F/2.8.

    Also, I would appreciate comments with regard to the pros and cons of primes
    and zooms for the candid area of photography, or at least what some of the
    ways are to get the best of both, through multiple bodies or what have you.
    I.e. what equipment would you have out in the church in terms of focal length
    as opposed to the reception and the posed pictures.

    If it's any help, I shoot Portra-II 160NC entirely in my 35mm bodies. Before
    I was going around with an old, all-manual Minolta with a 28mm F/2.8, 50mm
    F/1.8, 135mm F/3.5 and a 100-200 F/4.5-5.6 zoom, though I tended to usse the
    28- and 135mm lenses the most.


    ~Karl Borowski
  2. Wothout a doubt, 2 must-haves lenses for the F4 would be the 35-70 2.8 and the 80-200 2.8. The 35-70 AF is a push-pull design. Also has macro, but I think on the wide end. They have been making it for years. I think they started making around the time of the F4. Super sharp, and very compact for a 2.8. My 28-80 2.8 afs is about twice the weight, 3 times the cost. You can find one used for (guessing) $200-300.

    If you go push-pull, then find an older 80-200 AF. The older design was push-pull. That would be a good mate to it. The optics are just as good on the old ones as the new ones. No Vibration Reduction, but the lens is much shorter than the current one. Used $500 or so.

    Many good AF primes. I think if you go two primes, the best value is the 35mm F2 AF and the 85mm 1.8 AF. Both can be found used for $200 or so. If just one prime, the 50 1.4 or 50 1.8.

    Be sure to get the SB-24 flash for the F4. You need that flash to do rear curtain synch.

    The F4 is such a great camera. I used to shoot with those (use F6's now). I think I may pick one up used now- they are such a bargain. I love how simple and non-computer they are. Also love how you can attach the smaller battery pack for a travel camera, and also use a waist-level finder.
  3. During a wedding I like two primes (28 or 35, and 85mm) for the getting ready and reception shots, 35-70 and 80-200 for the group shots, Wedding Party, ceremony, Bride and Groom portraits.
  4. One more thing! Some lenses are designated as AF, some as AFD. Supposedly the AFD includes distance info for TTL flash. I have found no difference in the TTL performance between the two. The AF version might be cheaper.
  5. Portra 160NC and a nice lens is the quickest, easiest, most forgiving way to get beautiful colors, contrast, and skin tones. Love that stuff!
  6. I could keep going on this one. o.k., one last comment. Skip the 250 back by all means. The F4 with a fast lens is heavy enough. You will get used to knowing when to change rolls. The F4 rewind is so fast, you can (while sweating) rewind and load a new roll between people coming down the isle during the processional.
  7. Another vote for the 35-70 f/2.8. The workhorse lens for Nikon / film / wedding shooters. My buddy in the wedding shooting biz had three of them before he went digital (one for him, one for his wife/2nd shooter, one as a spare).

    On film, my 'prime pairs' (on two cameras) tend to run to either 35 and 105 or 24 and 85. I ran the fastest in the AIS glass for those focal lengths. I would choose 'which pair' based on the feel of the venue and shooting positions.
  8. Oops! Sorry guys! I must have wandered into 1992 by mistake. Watch out for those dinosaurs, now.
  9. I'd love to see you shooting vertical orientation at a wedding with that back in place! Your solution is for an imaginary problem. In real world wedding photography this issue is addressed by having a 2nd preloaded body, carefull shot count management, and the ability to rewind and reload a 35mm camera in under 30 seconds(practice,practice,practice).

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