Nikon 17-55mm and night time photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by liljohnny51, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. liljohnny51 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #1
    I've been getting hired a lot now to do a lot of night life photography by bars, clubs, etc. So I was thinking of upgrading to more of professional lens. I was looking at the nikon 17-55 f2.8. The camera I have is the nikon d90. The lens that I have been using the 16-85mm. But I wanted to know if the 17-55mm with work out well with low light or would I be better with keeping the 16-85 or even getting the 24-70mm lens. But that lens is a little out of my budget.

    -thanks
     
  2. York-Diuck macrumors member

    York-Diuck

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    Why not consider a prime lens? A prime with a 1.4 or 1.8 aperture would do better than a 2.8 and be more versatile. Plus, cheaper in most cases, consider 50mm 1.4 or 35mm 1.8.
     
  3. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #3
    Definitely agree with the fast primes for nightclub shots... lighter and much faster aperture... you could get both the 35f/1.8 and 50f/1.4 for less than a 17-55 (which is a great lens, but the primes are just that much faster.) Maybe if budget allows, also consider a 24f/1.4, which on your D90 would give you a bit more wide angle, but it's fairly pricey.
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    If you're making money, then after insurance, I'd go with a D3s- no point in worrying about lens speed at that point.

    Paul
     
  5. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #5
    Well, there was the little issue of budget... otherwise, heck yeah, D3s and fast lenses to boot.
     
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #6
    It raises an interesting question though... is high ISO performance better bang for the buck than faster lenses?

    Also the problem with primes in a night club is that it's not always convenient or possible to zoom with your feet to catch the scene you're after.
     
  7. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #7
    Well, any way you look at it, the OP has a D90 right now, and for what it would cost to add a couple of primes (35 and 50) would be less than the amount he'd likely have to pay for a 17-55, which he mentioned as a possibility.

    Granted, high ISO performance can somewhat (in theory) offset fast glass, except where autofocusing is concerned. AF can be problematic at f-stops close to 5.6 in darker environments (which is where most cheaper variable aperture zooms are on the long end,) not to mention bad visibility in the viewfinder for manual focusing if need be. Also, to get that kind of high ISO performance you'd have to spend close to $5000 for the body alone... and then to pair it with cheap lenses would seem almost foolish, at least in my opinion. So, for the current situation, I still think fast primes and perhaps an 11-16f/2.8 zoom like Tokina's for wider, stylish stuff. The real problem is that f/2.8 isn't really fast enough for lots of these scenes in nightclubs unless using strobes, which wasn't discussed. It can be adequate, but f/1.4 is certainly going to up the "keeper" rate even at ISO 1600-3200. Perhaps the ideal prime might be the new 24mm f/1.4, but again, not cheap. Cheaper than a D3s, though, by a mile. And it would not depreciate nearly as fast.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #8
    AF assist is an option that works in S mode, and a D3s would be publishable at 9600, allowing f/4 where you've got f/1.4 as well as more depth of field which is probably better for club shots. At $500/wk, the body is paid for in ten weeks. There are lots of f/2.8 lens options that would give a stop more headroom for stopping movement too- f/2.8 is fast enough on a D3s.

    Paul
     
  9. liljohnny51 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #9
    I can't really afford a D3s right now, that will be an upgrade later down the line if i continue to book these bar/nightclub events. But the reason I'm thinking about getting the 17-55mm over the 35mm and 50mm is that I don't want to carry around 2 lens and those prime lenses can zoom. I find my self zooming in and out most of the time. Thanks for everyones input.
     
  10. georgemann macrumors regular

    georgemann

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington & Siem Reap, Cambodia
    #10
    I think you have made the right choice. I have been using the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 as my main lens for quite a few years. At night I will also put a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 in a pocket (mainly because it weighs almost nothing and can come in handy). One thing I would like to suggest though is that you might want to consider swapping that D90 for a D300s. The D300s is a lot easier to work with in the dark. Rent one for a few days and you will see what I mean.
     
  11. liljohnny51 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #11
    Thanks, i'll have to check out the d300s one time.
     
  12. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #12
    Either the 17-55mm ($800 used) or 24-70mm or 28-70mm ($1100 used) will work well with what you want. Both are great to have. Using a prime lens will limit you. The 17-55mm is wide enough for that type of photography. If you want more of a zoom, then go with 24-70mm/28-70mm. D90 is plenty for what you are shooting. Stay with that and invest in some glass.


    If you like the body size on the D90, look into the D7000. Same build as the D300s, and much improvements over the D90. The difference is that on the D300s you have a faster shutter and more AF points. You don't need faster shutter unless you are shooting sports. D90/300/7000 is fine. D300 used is another option. Anyone of these are great to use. But overall. I would invest in the lens first.


    idk if you have a flash? Pick up a flash too SB-900 or SB-600.

    Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 D90 outdoors at dusk
    [​IMG]


    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D90 at local club (note: surprised at on-board flash)

    [​IMG]
     

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