Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

Started May 12, 2013 | Questions
Shop cameras & lenses ▾
Swiss L New Member • Posts: 24
Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

I am not obviously a professional but shall be going along with my D800 plus the wife and our baby. I need to travel light and will take just one lens. What do I have to choose from... ? Nikon 50mm 1.4, 24-120f4, 105 VR Micro 2.8 and probably 18-35G. I favour the 50mm as its light sharp and will be good in low light however I was wondering what experienced wedding photographers would choose?

ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Nikon D800
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
AdamT
AdamT Forum Pro • Posts: 58,425
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?
1

I`d take a zoom unless you plan on buying a 35mm anytime .

The prob with the 50 is it`s too tight for a lot of the shots , if the new 18-35 is a lot better than the 24-120 F4 (I should damn well hope it is) then I`d use that and if you need more reach, with 36Mp on tap you can shoot at 35mm and crop ..

I liked the old 28-105 F3.5-4.5D for a small everyday lens on Nikon full frame, it was sharp wideopen (a LOT better optically than any of the 24-120s) , reasonably fast aperture and compact . Of course the 24-70 F2.8 is THE lens to have for this

-- hide signature --

** Please ignore the Typos, I'm the world's worst Typist **

 AdamT's gear list:AdamT's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Nikon Coolpix P330 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
Swiss L OP New Member • Posts: 24
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

Thanks Adam. I am considering the Sigma 35mm although having just bought my 24-120 I feel I need to give it more time. So far so good although i decided against the 24-70 on the grounds of weight which I may live to regret.

Chas P Contributing Member • Posts: 814
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

AdamT wrote:

I liked the old 28-105 F3.5-4.5D for a small everyday lens on Nikon full frame, it was sharp wideopen (a LOT better optically than any of the 24-120s)

To clarify, the 28-105 is a lot better optically than the 24-120/4? Not in my experience, by a huge margin at wider apertures. No amount of processing can emulate Nano coating.

-- hide signature --

** Please ignore the Typos, I'm the world's worst Typist **

 Chas P's gear list:Chas P's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G +2 more
Chas P Contributing Member • Posts: 814
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?
1

the 24-120/4 and a 50 in yr pocket. What flash are you taking?

 Chas P's gear list:Chas P's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G +2 more
ofior Contributing Member • Posts: 581
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

+++ 1

 ofior's gear list:ofior's gear list
Nikon D800 Sony a6000 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +14 more
Ikeepem Senior Member • Posts: 1,393
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

+++2

-- hide signature --

'I am what I am and that's all I am' Popeye 1960. Favorite famous Hollywood celebrity. Don't have time for the rest.....

 Ikeepem's gear list:Ikeepem's gear list
Leica D-LUX 4 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR Samsung TL500 Canon PowerShot S95 +42 more
Swiss L OP New Member • Posts: 24
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

No room for flash in my morning suit!

PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 12,474
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

+3

As for flash, experiment with the built-in flash.   You need to find the focal lengths that work, in terms of the lens in use not shadowing the subject.    It would possibly be worth getting some sort of small diffuser that can attach directly to the flash.

If you do end up shooting with the flash, you'll probably not want to have a lens hood on as it just increases the possibility of shadowing part of the light.  I'd think it would work fine with the 50mm lens, perhaps dialed down by part of a stop.

-- hide signature --

Craig
www.cjcphoto.net

 PHXAZCRAIG's gear list:PHXAZCRAIG's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon D200 Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Nikon 1 V1 +35 more
hewhosculpts Contributing Member • Posts: 828
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

The 24-120 is the most versatile lens you mention and it's a good (but not great) lens for the D800. Of course, if money and convenience were not being considered then it would be a whole different ball game...

 hewhosculpts's gear list:hewhosculpts's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G ED VR
hajagosb Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?
1

I would surely take the 50 only. If it's not your job to take pictures, the prime will give you some nice candid pictures, that they will be happy to see.

A wedding photographer friend of mine once went for a wedding just as a guest. He only took his 50 1.4 and a D700, and the whole thing turned out to be an amazing album.

 hajagosb's gear list:hajagosb's gear list
Nikon D800E Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +3 more
slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 16,193
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?
1

Without even reading what lenses you had available my first thought was Nikon 24~120mm f4 VR.

Take the 50mm f1.4 in case you need the fast aperture. It will fit in your pocket surely?

-- hide signature --

www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

 slimandy's gear list:slimandy's gear list
Sony RX100 II Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T1
Charles Currey Contributing Member • Posts: 735
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?
2

slimandy wrote:

Without even reading what lenses you had available my first thought was Nikon 24~120mm f4 VR.

Take the 50mm f1.4 in case you need the fast aperture. It will fit in your pocket surely?

-- hide signature --

www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

I am always disturbed by this advice because it is true that the 50mm can go along in your pocket, but what do you do with your bigger zoom when the 50 is on the camera? What if the zoom will not fit so easily in your pocket?  I assume the pocket advice is because you are going light and not taking a camera bag. I wish someone would answer this question for me because I am always thinking that it would be handy to just slip the tiny 50/1.8 in my pocket, but my next thought is what do I do with the 70-200, lay it on a table, ask a friend to hold it, put it in the car, ask my wife to put it in her purse? All of these options seem to a greater or lesser degree to be less than realistic. So, what do I do with the 70-200 or the 24-70, should I be lucky enough to have one someday?

-- hide signature --

Chuck Currey

 Charles Currey's gear list:Charles Currey's gear list
Nikon D3S Sony a6000 +1 more
Chas P Contributing Member • Posts: 814
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

The 24-120/4 fits in a tiny belt pouch.

 Chas P's gear list:Chas P's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 II DG HSM Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G +2 more
Bouddha Regular Member • Posts: 300
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

50mm f1.4 for evening shoots IMHO.

Other than that, I think a zoom for outside photos with good daylight should be fine.

I just comeback from a trip to Venezia and used the following :

d600 body

- 24-70mm f2.8

- 50mm 1.4g

- SB-910

IMHO the 24-70 could be replaced by an other zoom and the 50mm 1.4g maybe by an other wide aperture fixed lens but both are IMHO necessary.

The SB-910 gave me interesting additionnal options but was not a must for me.

rgds

Gaspode1964
Gaspode1964 Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

I have to agree that convenience is the key thing (if you're hoping to enjoy the wedding as anything other than a chance to practice your photography).

I've recently been to a family wedding - after much deliberation, I ended up leaving the Nikon at home and going with a Leica D-Lux4. Tiny enough to slip in a jacket pocket, usable zoom range, in-built pop-up flash and Leica glass - I got some really pleasing shots and was able to join in with the occasion. With a DSLR, I think I'd have been more 'obvious' and missed a lot of the informal shots as people became concious of a larger camera being pointed at them....

 Gaspode1964's gear list:Gaspode1964's gear list
Leica D-LUX 4 Nikon D70 Sony Alpha NEX-5N Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D7100 +15 more
slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 16,193
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?
1

Charles Currey wrote:

slimandy wrote:

Without even reading what lenses you had available my first thought was Nikon 24~120mm f4 VR.

Take the 50mm f1.4 in case you need the fast aperture. It will fit in your pocket surely?

-- hide signature --

www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

I am always disturbed by this advice because it is true that the 50mm can go along in your pocket, but what do you do with your bigger zoom when the 50 is on the camera? What if the zoom will not fit so easily in your pocket?  I assume the pocket advice is because you are going light and not taking a camera bag. I wish someone would answer this question for me because I am always thinking that it would be handy to just slip the tiny 50/1.8 in my pocket, but my next thought is what do I do with the 70-200, lay it on a table, ask a friend to hold it, put it in the car, ask my wife to put it in her purse? All of these options seem to a greater or lesser degree to be less than realistic. So, what do I do with the 70-200 or the 24-70, should I be lucky enough to have one someday?

I always carry my camera in a shoulder bag such as a Lowepro TLZ mini. I don't like putting the camera in my car or anywhere else if it's not in the bag unless I'm actually using it. So if I am using the camera the lens goes in the empty bag. I always have a bag.

-- hide signature --

Chuck Currey

-- hide signature --

www.andrewsandersphotography.co.uk

 slimandy's gear list:slimandy's gear list
Sony RX100 II Nikon D200 Nikon D700 Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T1
joejack951 Senior Member • Posts: 2,682
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

Swiss L wrote:

I was wondering what experienced wedding photographers would choose?

You aren't going as the paid photographer so I'm not sure why the opinion of an experienced wedding photographer is relevant to you. In fact, any experienced wedding photographer would likely laugh at the idea of "traveling light" for a wedding. It's something they simply don't do.

My advice would be to take the lens that you find the most fun to use and get the pictures that you can get. You aren't being paid to take pictures so there's no reason to worry about missing something. The pro shooting the wedding will be the one concerned with getting all the shots and thus will likely be using some fairly boring zooms (relative to an ultra-fast prime at least).

I've had a lot of fun at a wedding with a 35/1.4 but I'm sure a 50/1.4 would be just as fun.

 joejack951's gear list:joejack951's gear list
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D300S Nikon D3S Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF +5 more
sachinn Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?
1

+1

I'm no pro, but as a guest at weddings I find it more fun to be in photos than taking them. I'd take the camera plus the 50/1.4 and have a good time.

AdamT
AdamT Forum Pro • Posts: 58,425
Re: Which single lens to take to a family wedding?

To clarify, the 28-105 is a lot better optically than the 24-120/4? Not in my experience, by a huge margin at wider apertures. No amount of processing can emulate Nano coating.

I was so unimpressed with that lens when I tried it, better than the awful original VR version, yes but it was stil poor at the edges, distorted heavily and was soft at the long end (only less so than the first VR version) . Maybe I tried a dud but what I saw wasn`t as good as the 28-105 across the frame or at the long end

-- hide signature --

** Please ignore the Typos, I'm the world's worst Typist **

 AdamT's gear list:AdamT's gear list
Canon PowerShot G1 X Nikon Coolpix P330 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads