Wedding lens question

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by stephen_hedley, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. Hi, Have upgraded to a D700 from DX camera previously. Need to buy new lens for D700 and mainly shoot weddings. I have the following prime lens 28mm, 50mm, 85mm and looking to eventually buy a 24-70mm and 70-200mm zoom as dont want to use DX zoom's.
    Due to expense was thinking of buying 1 lens now and another later in year. Which lens would be used more the 24-70 or 70-200mm?
    I was thinking of buying 24-70mm 2.8mm for D700 and then using D90 I have with 55-200mm DX lens.
    Or would I be better to use the prime lens I already have and then purchase 70-200mm 2.8?
    What do people think?
  2. D700+24-70/2,8G and D90+85mm .
  3. I`d buy the 24-70 first.
  4. Will the 24-70 give much more quality over the primes I currently have or will it just add flexability
  5. The quality of the shot you get because you didn't miss it while changing lenses is definitely superior to shot you miss while rooting in your bag for a wider lens. I'd go with the 24-70, too, and agree with Paul that the 85mm on the D90, ready to shoot, is likely a good move.
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Timing is critical for wedding photography. You tend to miss shots if you need to change lenses frequently. For a lot of wedding photographers, the 24-70 and 70-200 are the most useful lenses. Ideally, you have two FX bodies and attach those lenses on them at the same time.
    If you have to choose, I would get the 24-70 first, but you will end up without any good lens longer than 85mm for the time being, until you get the 70-200.
  7. i'd go with paul's suggestion. maybe after just two shoots (or three), you can get the 70-200mm.
  8. I think you will find that the 24-70mm is the most commonly used "Wedding" lens. It is generally wide enough for group shots and the tele end is long enough for most situations.
    Attach the 24-70mm to the D700
    For the time being, you should attach the 85mm to the D90 as it will function as a slightly longer tele with the crop sensor (127.5mm) which you may need at times.
    Hope this helps
  9. I've seen a few guys shoot weddings in my church with a 24 or 28 - 70 zoom and not use any other lens. That said, most have a 70-200 as well.
    I watch them work here and I have to say that even though I think it would be a great idea, I've seen NONE of them actually use any prime lens for anything.
  10. I use my D300+85mm all the time. It is easy to carry, light, and useful for portrets. My D3+24-70+SB900 is allready heavy enough, and will be difficult to handle both D3 and D300/D700+70-200. But it's just me...
  11. A little less expensive is the Nikon 24-85mm, some say the f2.8-4 version is better than the newer AF-S 3.5-4.5 version, but that is up for debate. But both are relatively inexpensive and a good focal range. Lighter weight as well. You'll use a lens like this for most of your photos. The 24-120mm VR Nikon zoom is also good, but some aren't too impressed with it.
  12. How would the 80-200mm 2.8 compare to the 70-200mm? Looks to be slightly cheaper?
  13. First, I would definitely get the 24-70 for a D700. That said, I have the 80-200 and I love it. The only time it gets brought out is when I need the reach at a wedding. And that isn't that often (I have the 84mm and the 105mm VR). 200mm isn't a focal length I personally really need a lot at a wedding. If I do bring out the 80-200, I simply out it on the tripod and use a remote release... the least expensive VR there is! And the real kicker is that most brides don't get prints of the actual ceremony! So I suppose it all depends on how you shoot. If you frequently need 200mm and want to shoot hand-held, then maybe the 70-200 should be your first lens (between the two).
  14. Depending on your style of shooting, anything longer than a 70MM lens might be irrelevant? I shot weddings for years, and the amount of times I needed anything longer than 100MM could be counted on one hand.
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Stephen, first of all I am not a full-time wedding photographer, but I have shot some weddings. Before my current 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR version 1, I had the 80-200mm/f2.8 AF-S. I upgraded precisely because I wanted to have VR for wedding and party type photography. In wedding photography, you frequently need to shoot indoors without flash; having VR for those 1/30 sec, 1/60 sec hand held images is a major plus.
    I have tested the new version 2 of the 70-200. Optically it is much improved and its VR can give you yet another stop. If you can save for that, I would get it. Keep in mind that VR for under 1/30 sec is largely meaningless because subject movement will be the main issue; in fact, it is a already big issue even at 1/30 sec. VR is helpful, but only to a certain point.
    If you cannot afford everything at once, getting the 80-200mm/f2.8 as an interum lens makes sense. BTW, the 70-200mm/f2.8 is the only lens I use VR on a regular basis. I only have two lenses with VR; the other one is the 200-400mm/f4 AF-S VR, on which I switch off VR almost 100% of the time since I use it on a tripod.
  16. I have the 24-70 2.8 and this lens is probably the best lens and the only lens you will want to have. I have shot 3 weddings and I would say it stayed on my camera about 97% of the time. If there is a lens to get this is the one. After 1 or 2 weddings and then you will have saved enough for the 70-200mm with VRII.
  17. Without a doubt the 24-70, you can probably shot an entire wedding with this lens alone and do a reasonable job!

    If I ever buy a 70-200 it will be kicking and screaming; it is just way too big and heavy to carry around and I like working light and quick. Some people love it because optical performance is great and it covers all the portrait lengths and the long end in one lens. It depends how you shoot, if you like sniping from a distance you may use the long end otherwise you may rarely use 150-200mm and it is just an expensive weight to carry.

    My setup on a tight budget with the D700 is:

    35-70mm f/2.8 (not mad on wide angles and saved about £1200 because of it! Great lens)
    85mm f/1.4
    105mm f/2.8 afd macro (double duty as a portrait and macro lens for details)
    Kenko 2x teleconverter (with the 85mm f/1.4 I get a 170mm f/2.8 so this covers me if I need a long lens in a pinch because I can't get close at the ceremony, *much* lighter than a 70-200 but obviously not as good quality)

    My shootsac with my 2 SB800s and this stuff is as heavy as I want to carry for 8hrs! I'd rather have my manfrotto nano and westcott umbrella for quick setup of off camera flash then lugging a huge zoom. If you have an assistant to packhorse this stuff then you priorities may be different!

    If you MUST have the 70-200 just rent it for a while.
  18. I find the responses here rather shocking I'd pick the 70-200 F2.8, it's my bread & butter and don't see much need for a 24-70 except for group shots.
    What kind of photographer are you? If you're a close & personal kind of person a 24-70 is nice because you get close to your subject and it isn't so scary as a 70-200 pointing at someone. However, where I live the "trend" is a wedding photographer that's not in the way and hardly seen (except for the group shots). That's pretty hard to do with a 24-70, and we have big churches where the people in the first pew are about 30 feet behind the bride & groom and weddings & receptions most often take place in very expansive areas. With a 24-70mm I'd have to be right up and personal and running around in these big areas and break the current trend here. With a D90 and D700, what would be more useful is a 17-35mm on the D90 and a 70-200mm on the D700 and shoot with both that way you can get those wide angle and group shots during the wedding, remain "hidden", and hey that wide angle on your D700 set at 17mm lets you take fun wide angle shots from above or below (though I do prefer fisheye).
    Maybe we're behind in the trends, or ahead I don't know. The trend here makes the 70-200 the easy win and the 17-35mm makes more sense on the D90. But I'm out-voted.
  19. Matt: I think it depends on how you shoot, anyone with a more PJ style is used to being close to the action and so favour shorter lenses. I shot for a while with only my 85mm at a friends wedding (I was just there as a guest) and even though it was outside in a big space I often found it much too long.
  20. I was at a wedding this weekend and had a chance there to chat with the photographer. He was a self described "Nikon Guy" shooting with a D-700 and 28-70 f2.8 lens. He told me that that was his bread and butter lens for shooting weddings... I only saw him switch it once; for an ultra wide for some dance floor shots, though he might have used a longer lens for some shots at the church.
    Back in the "Day" photographers often shot weddings with only one lens; a standard 50 for 35mm film or an 80mm on medium format. The 24,28- 70 covers enough room on either side of normal, that it should be the lens to get. (Though I have to say it is a big and heavy lens. A 50 1.4 would be so much smaller and ligther)
  21. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    On an FX body, the 24-70mm/f2.8 (or 28-70mm/f2.8) is a great lens during the reception when you can get closer to the guests; it is excellent for group shot.
    During the ceremony itself, I usually stay farther from the bride and groom so that the 70-200 is more useful. Sometimes you are not allowed to use any flash; that is why VR comes in handy.
    I have been to weddings where the photographer must stay behind the very last pew inside a church. In that occasion I used my 300mm/f2.8 on a tripod and shot from the very back of the church. I have also shot from the church balcony with my 200-400mm/f4. Of course I am more a wildlife photographer so that I have all sorts of long lenses that most wedding photographers don't have.
    And I occasionally use a super wide such as the 17-35 and sometimes a fisheye for the special effect.
    All in all, I would say the 24-70 and the 70-200 are the most useful lenses for wedding photographers. Stephen the OP clearly knows what he needs. It is merely a matter of time before he gets the right lenses.
  22. Ideally for FX format, you need 14-24mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 105mm Micro VR, 85mm f/1.4 or 105mm f/2 DC, and 24mm or 28mm f/1.4.
  23. Michael,
    You absolutely positively do not "need" a 14-24, a 101 micro or 24 or 28mm f1.4 for a wedding. (I think an 85 or a 105DC would be cool though.
    Again, I work at a church (AND I have a load of experience in photography, though I don't shoot weddings--that's by choice--)and have watched a LOT of wedding photogs do their work. Most of them use the equivalent of a 24-70 (17-55 on DX) on virtually all their shots, a few use a 70-200 or some such for long shots (but never the "majority" of the photos), and I can actually say that not one single wedding photographer who has worked in my church in the past five years has used ANY prime of any kind or ANY ultra-wide zoom of any kind... period...
    Please, folks, THINK about the advice you give folks here. When you say somebody "needs" an assortment of lenses like that you are definitely giving... well... not-so-great advice.

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