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Thread: Which lens? Candid anniversary shoot

  1. #1
    realdereal's Avatar
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    Which lens? Candid anniversary shoot

    I have a Nikon D5200 with a Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens, the kit lens 18-55mm, and a tamron 18-300 lens. Not sure if i can just use the 50mm the whole time or not.
    I'm shooting a anniversary party at an upscale grille for friends in a banquet room with nice ambient lighting.
    They just want some candid shots of the party.

  2. #2
    Adrian's Avatar
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    Re: Which lens? Candid anniversary shoot

    I am not familiar with Nikon, but of my own (Canon) lenses I would be aiming for fast glass in order to avoid or minimise flash. "Candid" and flash might work for the first hot or two, but after that you will stick out like a sore thumb. Hence I would avoid flash if I can.

    Check your light balance at the venue (maybe tungsten lights?) and do some test shots to check out your ISO range and push the ISO up to ensure you get sufficient shutter speed for the aperture you require. If you are looking for candid shots you may be seeking to separate the in focus subjects from a more blurred background, so you may well be opting for wide apertures to achieve shallow depth of field.

    My favourite portrait lens is a 70-200 f2.8, as it separates subject and background like nothing else, and you can adopt discreet positioning. But with your choices my decision may well be driven by the available maximum aperture and the room dimensions. Why not have all of your lenses to hand on the day and experiment? You may find you use the long lens much more than you expect.

  3. #3
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Which lens? Candid anniversary shoot

    If you have an external flash and know how to use it, I'd say just be sure to gel it to match the ambient, and consider the Black Foamie Thing if the venue's suitable for bouncing, so you aren't blasting people in the face. If you don't have a flash, then the 50 and high ISO settings are probably your go-to. The 18-xxx lenses may be too slow, maximum aperture wise, depending on the lighting conditions. But given that the 18-55 and 18-300 probably duplicate each other and aren't that far apart in image quality, the superzoom may be the better choice.

    The long end could be good for headshots, but (watch 1/focal_length shutter speed), and the wide end is probably going to be more useful to capture the context of the venue and group shots.
    Last edited by inkista; 6th July 2013 at 11:59 PM.

  4. #4
    realdereal's Avatar
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    Re: Which lens? Candid anniversary shoot

    Thanks guys! I ended up using the 50mm on aperture priority pretty much the whole time. {what is a black foamie thing?? lol}
    I also forgot I had the newest Nikon speedlight that I finally broke in about a minute before the party. Pics turned out great!

  5. #5
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Which lens? Candid anniversary shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by realdereal View Post
    . . .{what is a black foamie thing?? lol} . . .
    Roll your computer's curser over those words, in Kathy's post: they contain a link, (as do the words 'gel it to match the ambient' contain another link)


    WW

  6. #6
    inkista's Avatar
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    Re: Which lens? Candid anniversary shoot

    Quote Originally Posted by realdereal View Post
    ... {what is a black foamie thing?? lol}...
    In case you didn't want to hit the neilvn.com website, the BFT is a sheet of black "craft foam" that you can get for about $1 at a Michael's or other craft stores and two black hair (rubber) bands, that's used as a half "snoot" (a snoot is a tube of some black/opaque material you attach to the front of a light to channel/block the light from spilling out the front/sides of the flash). You want to block the light off so only the bounced light off the wall/ceiling is in the image, rather than light coming directly from the on-camera flash (that's also why you use a black piece of foam, not a white one). That way, you control the direction of the light more cleanly. A nice side benefit is that anybody standing in the path of the light in the direction you're gonna bounce it won't get blasted in the face with direct light from the flash--the BFT will shade them from it.

    Here's Neil van Niekerk's video about using his invention:
    Last edited by inkista; 9th July 2013 at 12:36 AM.

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