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Old Sep 26, 2004, 10:30 AM   #1
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Dear Forum,

I looked at all the lens questions and answers on the forum and researched theinternet, however I am totally confused as to what I need. :sad:

I have the D70 with the 18-70mm lens.I would like to go to the next step. I am not a professional but take a lot of pictures at friend/family weddings and work functions. What should I be considering, wide angle or zoom? In time I would like to have both but for now what do you think would fill my needs. I read aabout the Nikon or Sigma 70-200, 2.8 (zoom)Also, Nikkor 12-24 mm f/4G (wide angle).While cost is a consideration I want the best quality. I am on vacation so I am going to hit the camera stores, I just don't want to go into this totally ignorant.:?

Thanks,

Nadia
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Old Sep 26, 2004, 12:37 PM   #2
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When it comes to weddings, being able to switch quickly is the main concern. You may shoot a closeup of the bride & turn around to 5 people wanting their picture made together. The best choice would be to have one camera with a good quality zoom like the one you have. I wouldn't shoot a wedding with single focal length lenses unless I had two cameras with a wide lens on one and a normal lens on the other.

Same with things like work functions. I do a lot of pictures at the office when we have events & the zoom allows for getting around in a crowd & taking both closeups and groups much easier without having to carry a small bag with extra lenses to have to deal with.

You already have a decent wide angle at the end of your 18-70. I'd get a tele zoom next. You don't have to go really expensive. A nice second-hand lens like a 70-200 f4-5.6D AF Nikkor would be a nice, lightweight choice. It's darn sharp too. I used one of those with my Nikon F4 film camera. It's also a lens you'll be more likely to carry around due to the shear weight of the bigger lenses. At the same time I owned an 80-200 f2.8. When I travelled the 70-200 was the one I took.
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Old Sep 27, 2004, 8:33 PM   #3
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Dear Greg,

You were very helpful. Thank you very much you cleared up my dilema as to what to do. I am going to look into the70-200 f4-5.6D AFzoom.

Thanks,

Nadia
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Old Oct 1, 2004, 2:12 PM   #4
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Hi Nadia,
I did My first wedding using only A Nikon D100 with My 24/120 "VR" zoom Nikon lens and a SB28DX flash. I never Had reason to change to a diffrent Lens. For Wide shots I just backed up away from the groups. With The "VR" lens I shot at 1/30th at times with flash always at ttl. Perfect photo's every shot. I do put the flash on My Strobframe bracket and connect it with A Nikon SC-19 Multi-Flash Sync Cord. It allows the flash to be above the lens and flips for vertical shots still keeping the flash above the lens. I carried around over 50 pounds of Hasselblad equipment for years and now I do just as good if not really much better with just this little bit of equipment. I love the Digital age.
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Old Oct 1, 2004, 3:16 PM   #5
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Interesting question, but IMHO it depends if you are the "professional" photographer taking the official photos or just taking fly on the wall ones to give to the happy couple. I have done both, and I use a Nikon D70 with 17/55 F2.8 and SB800 flash for the official photos and for the unofficial too. It is amazing how natural people are when you stick a lens about 12ins from their nose - they don't think you can possibly be going to take a photo! A telephoto is useful later on of course, because you can get some lovely portraits from afar, but I no longer bother, because the lens is so sharp that I can crop and the prints still come out fine. Ah, the beauty of digital - review the shot straight away and bin it! Incidentally, Ronnie has the new 24/120 but I have the old steam version from my F90 days, and that works as a 36/180 which is also a useful lens, but the17/55 lens is better because of F2.8 throughout. I do have the 70/200VRIFED lens too, and that is simply magnificent, but as a thought a teleconverter might do the trick just as well? Both those lenses are expensive. Greg's comment brought something to mind so I dug out the old 75/300 4.5/5.6 but it is a bit too long I would think for wedding purposes, but can be bought for a song second hand.

Finally,two things that hasn't been mentioned. Have you a big enough memory card, and have you remembered to take the back up battery cage with some AA's as spares? Nothing more frustrating than a camera that won't work or worse one that will with no memory left.
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Old Oct 2, 2004, 3:40 AM   #6
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I agree with Greg. I am no professional, but after taking a couple of dozens wedding for friends, I find myself using a zoom more than wide angel.

I am using a 24-120mm lens now, but would recommend the 28-105mm Nikkor if you are looking for a good lens. A lot of great review on this particular one. The 70-200mm is nice too, as it gives you that extra distance.

When taking shot in environment like a wedding, you usually want to focus on the bride and groom and there will be often time you are taking shot of them kissing, putting on the ring, saying their vals, etc. These shots tend to be upper 1/2 of the body. With that, you would like to be where you are not interferring with the wedding and still be able to take the shot.

If you got the cash, look for the lens that deal with 2.8 or 3.5 appeture on the zoom, as that gives you more light. The cheaper model usually deal with over 4 - 5.6. While it serves the purpose, often time I find myself wanting to take the natural lighting of the church or whatever environment I am in, thus needing to open it up all the way.

On a digital, keep your ISO to around 200. Some camera will show noise at 400 ISO. If you have a good lens, you could bring it down to 100 ISO or 50 ISO and still take some nice shot.

Carry a few filters with you as well. Recommended filters are

1) Soft filter - to take that nice moment with a soft touch

2) Polorize / Neutral Density filter, when you need it outdoor on a nice clear day, it will enhance the sky and surrounding color a bit

3) not needed, but a macro filter is nice. A good shot would be a macro shot of the wedding cake with the champaign bottle and glass blur in the background.

KN
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Old Oct 2, 2004, 9:04 PM   #7
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Ronnie948 wrote:
Quote:
Hi Nadia,
I did My first wedding using only A Nikon D100 with My 24/120 "VR" zoom Nikon lens and a SB28DX flash. I never Had reason to change to a diffrent Lens. For Wide shots I just backed up away from the groups. With The "VR" lens I shot at 1/30th at times with flash always at ttl. Perfect photo's every shot. I do put the flash on My Strobframe bracket and connect it with A Nikon SC-19 Multi-Flash Sync Cord. It allows the flash to be above the lens and flips for vertical shots still keeping the flash above the lens. I carried around over 50 pounds of Hasselblad equipment for years and now I do just as good if not really much better with just this little bit of equipment. I love the Digital age.
Hi Ronnie,

Thank you for your advice. I think I made my decision with all the forum help. I have a D70 and SB 800 flash. I am considering the Nikon 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 ED-IF autofocus. You mentioned VR so I am going to look into that option. And it is good to know that you did not have to changeyour lens.Take Care,

Nadia
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Old Oct 2, 2004, 9:28 PM   #8
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cameranserai wrote:
Quote:
Interesting question, but IMHO it depends if you are the "professional" photographer taking the official photos or just taking fly on the wall ones to give to the happy couple. I have done both, and I use a Nikon D70 with 17/55 F2.8 and SB800 flash for the official photos and for the unofficial too. It is amazing how natural people are when you stick a lens about 12ins from their nose - they don't think you can possibly be going to take a photo! A telephoto is useful later on of course, because you can get some lovely portraits from afar, but I no longer bother, because the lens is so sharp that I can crop and the prints still come out fine. Ah, the beauty of digital - review the shot straight away and bin it! Incidentally, Ronnie has the new 24/120 but I have the old steam version from my F90 days, and that works as a 36/180 which is also a useful lens, but the17/55 lens is better because of F2.8 throughout. I do have the 70/200VRIFED lens too, and that is simply magnificent, but as a thought a teleconverter might do the trick just as well? Both those lenses are expensive. Greg's comment brought something to mind so I dug out the old 75/300 4.5/5.6 but it is a bit too long I would think for wedding purposes, but can be bought for a song second hand.

Finally,two things that hasn't been mentioned. Have you a big enough memory card, and have you remembered to take the back up battery cage with some AA's as spares? Nothing more frustrating than a camera that won't work or worse one that will with no memory left.
Dear Cameranserai,

Thank you very much for your help. I usually act as a fly on the wall because I am not a professional.I was asked to take photo's at a friends friendswedding, I made it clear that I am not a professional. Either way, it is abig responsibility when you think about it.:roll: The wedding is not until June. You are right, the problem with the 70/200 is theF3.5, aF2.8 would be nice. Both you and Ronnie mentioned VR, I am investigating thisoption. I know it will be more expensive.I just now got theUltra 512 memory card, even that may not be enough, but I also have a256 and 128. You are right about the batteries because I have not been carrying spares and with my luck the worse will happen. Take Care,

Nadia


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Old Oct 2, 2004, 9:41 PM   #9
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smilepak wrote:
Quote:
I agree with Greg. I am no professional, but after taking a couple of dozens wedding for friends, I find myself using a zoom more than wide angel.

I am using a 24-120mm lens now, but would recommend the 28-105mm Nikkor if you are looking for a good lens. A lot of great review on this particular one. The 70-200mm is nice too, as it gives you that extra distance.

When taking shot in environment like a wedding, you usually want to focus on the bride and groom and there will be often time you are taking shot of them kissing, putting on the ring, saying their vals, etc. These shots tend to be upper 1/2 of the body. With that, you would like to be where you are not interferring with the wedding and still be able to take the shot.

If you got the cash, look for the lens that deal with 2.8 or 3.5 appeture on the zoom, as that gives you more light. The cheaper model usually deal with over 4 - 5.6. While it serves the purpose, often time I find myself wanting to take the natural lighting of the church or whatever environment I am in, thus needing to open it up all the way.

On a digital, keep your ISO to around 200. Some camera will show noise at 400 ISO. If you have a good lens, you could bring it down to 100 ISO or 50 ISO and still take some nice shot.

Carry a few filters with you as well. Recommended filters are

1) Soft filter - to take that nice moment with a soft touch

2) Polorize / Neutral Density filter, when you need it outdoor on a nice clear day, it will enhance the sky and surrounding color a bit

3) not needed, but a macro filter is nice. A good shot would be a macro shot of the wedding cake with the champaign bottle and glass blur in the background.

KN
Dear KN,

Thank you for all your help. I agree with you, I think the zoom lens would be more advantageous. AndI did not even think of the filters. I have a skylight filterwhich did not work very well when I took outside pictures recently. I think I need to invest in a polorizer filter for the bright days. A soft filteris another excellent idea. I enjoy taking pictures, I think the pressure of doing italmost prefect takes the fun out of it.aranoid:

Take Care,

Nadia
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Old Oct 3, 2004, 8:48 AM   #10
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Ah Nadia, "a fly on the wall" is it then! Now one great advantage is to have a lens with an F2.8 aperture throughout, and the new 70/200 VRIFED lens is great, but expensive! If funds are limited (and who's isn't?) then an idea might be to look around for the old 80/200 F2.8Nikkor lens which isn't designed for the digital camera, but which works just fine and can be found second hand for a relative song. In digital terms it is 120/300 of course, but I still have one and tried it today - it works just dandy. VR is of course a new thing, very useful when taking motor racing shots - panning etc. but for wedding - unless the bridegroom has changed his mind at the last minute lol - won't really help you at all. The lens I mention is 2.8 throughout, allowing you to take shots in medium lighting without a flash even at 200mm setting, and with the zoom capability get some great portraits of people relaxed, because they don't know you are taking the shot from afar. I know, I used this lens at weddings and functionsfor 10 years. Just set the camera to aperture priority f2.8 and there you will have some great shots with the background all blurred and the subject in sharp focus. I looked on Ebay and such lenses are selling as low as $150 so get to it! Best of luck
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