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Which lens for Event Photography ?

Chimera H , Nov 12, 2006; 12:30 a.m.


I have the opportunity to do an event and I need to know which lens would be best. I realize I should have several lenses to work with, but I can only get one. I am currently using a 50mm 1.8 and I do have an 18-55mm. lens as well. I know these won't work, so let me tell you about the setting and maybe you can give me an idea as to what lens would be most useful.

It will be indoors (evening) and probably low lighting. There will be a stage and stage lighting. I will photograph speakers and entertainers as well as people as dinner tables.

This is for free and they know I've not done this sort of thing before. However, I want to do really well.

So...I've heard a little about the 24-70 2.8lens and the and the Tamron 17-50 2.8. Do you recommend either one of these and why? I really need to do what is the most affordable and versatile.

Also, would either one of the above lenses work well for beach photography?

I use the Rebel XT. Thanks!


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Chimera H , Nov 12, 2006; 12:41 a.m.

Ok, I suspect I'm going to get bagged on for asking this question. So I'll just go do some more research.

Bob Donlon - Albany, NY , Nov 12, 2006; 12:52 a.m.

The 50 is a nice lens, but you can't zoom with it. The 18-55 is also nice, but not fast enough.

If you can swing it, get the 24-70/2.8 lens, you won't regret it for now, or future shoots. It's a fast lens, it's sharp and will help in low light situations.

The ont thing I did notice that you did NOT mention is a flash. You really need a good flash, I would look into the 550/580 or Metz 54Mz4 flash units. That in itself will help you with what you have now, and will help if you get a 2.8 lens. The lens may be 2.8, but it still needs some kind of lighting should the lights be not bright enough for you.

Also, shoot at 400 or 800 ISO you should be ok.

The 2.8 lens' will give you nice bokeh (background blur) on the beach scenes, so yet another reason to get one.

Now for the bagging. If you don't already have one, get a good camera bag to carry this stuff!

Ana Garcia , Nov 12, 2006; 12:55 a.m.

hi Paige, I like the Fred Miranda Forums for comparing the lenses because it has reviews of all the canon lenses - and the reviews are from a bunch of different people. I'm sorry can't help you much with specific recommendation, but good luck!

André McNichols , Nov 12, 2006; 01:07 a.m.

Are you sure the lenses you have won't do the trick? If you can shoot from the right distance from the stage, the 50 will do a nice job in those situations even without flash. For the tables, a good external flash with the kit lens will probably do better than no flash with a f2.8 zoom so if you're on a tight budget think about the flash first.

I got the tamron 17-50 2.8 and it's a huge improvement from the kit lens.


Michael Madio , Nov 12, 2006; 01:10 a.m.

The 18-55mm will be okay if you use a decent flash (cheaper than a new fast zoom).

Don W , Nov 12, 2006; 01:28 a.m.

Get yourself a Tamrom 28-75 f/2.8 for $300. I use one of those on my 20D and 5D and the image quality is just as good as my "L" glass.

Keith Van Hulle , Nov 12, 2006; 01:50 a.m.

I have the Tamrom 17-50 as a walk-around lens. Yes, the 24-xx and 28-xx will probably be better overall but won't go as wide on a 1.6 body. Even with the barrel distortion at 17-20mm, it's a decent enough lens for grip&grin type of events and will get the job done.

M Barbu , Nov 12, 2006; 02:25 a.m.

My vote would be for the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. It's a high-quality lens that is also fast, and offers a good deal of the focal lengths you'll likely need. Since you already have the 50mm f/1.8, bring it along "just in case". I doubt the 18-55 you have will do you much good indoors.

Daniel Cheung , Nov 12, 2006; 02:48 a.m.

Don >> I can agree that the 28-75 is sharp and compared to 24-70 2.8, it might be as sharp wide open, but only at the very center of the image. Once you move off of center, the 24-70 kills it in terms of sharpness.

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