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02-24-2012, 01:29 AM   #1
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Event Photography Gear

I would like any recommedations for a versitle lens for my K-r.

I am an armature/hobbiest who would love to go back to school for Photography, but live in an area where that is not likely to happen. I often get asked to do events; graduations, weddings, award ceremony's, band concerts, etc. I also shoot at sporting events, mostly because I already have my camera out for my kids! and find myself in some pretty challenging lighting situations. I would love a wide-angle lens that shoots macro and a nice zoom. I try to use natural light as much as I can especially during sporting events, weddings and during speeches. There are times tho that I find myself needing a flash desperately and would also like some recommendations or opinions.

I am often stopped while shooting so I can change lens's. This concern's me because at an event you can't yell 'stop' and also I'm worried that changing the lens's (often outside) will eventually damage the internal components which are exposed when the lens is off.

Any info could be greatly appreciated. (My current budget for equipment is max $500)

02-24-2012, 02:17 AM   #2
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You don't say what equipment you have already, save for the K-r.

One quick suggestion re lens changing is to buy a second body?
02-24-2012, 03:10 AM   #3
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gonna have to hear more about what you got, but the general idea is: second body, something wide, something long and a flash
02-24-2012, 03:11 AM   #4
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Hello nleech, Welcome to the Forum!
Without knowing which lenses you already have, it's difficult to make recommendations. But if you have (at least) the kit 18-55mm zoom, you're going to find it hard to upgrade substantially for under $500.
My first instinct is to suggest a DA 16-45mm f/4.0 constant, used they're about $300-$350 and it would be slightly faster at most focal lengths. It is also much sharper than the kit zoom.
Add an AF360fgz autozoom flash (used, about $125-$150, new $230-$250) and you would have an upgrade near your budget.
That combo doesn't address focal lengths over 45mm and the macro need, however.
For an immediate "quick-fix" you could try an F 35-70 macro zoom. This little jewel is about $50 used and has a very useful macro mode at the 70mm end. It is also slightly faster within its FL range than the kit. But it's neither wide nor long enough for all your needs. You'd need a wider prime and a short tele zoom to round it out, but now you're changing lenses again!
You may as well get used to changing lenses anyway; That's what SLR's do. That's what makes them so versatile. A budget do-everything zoom isn't going to be much of an improvement over the kit lens and may even be a downgrade in some respects.
Good Luck!
Ron


Last edited by rbefly; 02-24-2012 at 08:13 AM.
02-24-2012, 02:27 PM - 1 Like   #5
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get a flash and a fast-zoom...
02-24-2012, 07:46 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hello nleech, Welcome to the Forum!
Without knowing which lenses you already have, it's difficult to make recommendations. But if you have (at least) the kit 18-55mm zoom, you're going to find it hard to upgrade substantially for under $500.
My first instinct is to suggest a DA 16-45mm f/4.0 constant, used they're about $300-$350 and it would be slightly faster at most focal lengths. It is also much sharper than the kit zoom.
Add an AF360fgz autozoom flash (used, about $125-$150, new $230-$250) and you would have an upgrade near your budget.
That combo doesn't address focal lengths over 45mm and the macro need, however.
For an immediate "quick-fix" you could try an F 35-70 macro zoom. This little jewel is about $50 used and has a very useful macro mode at the 70mm end. It is also slightly faster within its FL range than the kit. But it's neither wide nor long enough for all your needs. You'd need a wider prime and a short tele zoom to round it out, but now you're changing lenses again!
You may as well get used to changing lenses anyway; That's what SLR's do. That's what makes them so versatile. A budget do-everything zoom isn't going to be much of an improvement over the kit lens and may even be a downgrade in some respects.
Good Luck!
Ron
Couldn't agree more ... for $500 you are going to be very limited. Both of these choices (16-45 and the AF360) can be had used here and at the usual online sources like KEH, B&H and Adorama for decent prices. When you can afford to add I would look at the DA 55-300. It's reasonably sharp and and versatile ... again can be had for very reasonable price used.
I sure wouldn't try and fix all of your needs with the $500 ... your just going to end up with equipment your not happy with. Buy decent quality with what you have available and add as you can afford to.
02-26-2012, 04:07 AM   #7
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OP could get a tamron 17-50-2.8 and a manual flash (YN-560) for $500 couldn't they? (Not sure on exchange rate...)
02-26-2012, 04:14 AM   #8
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Flash is indeed indispensable but if just for natural light photography you'll need quite fast lenses. The fastest zoom will be f/2.8 but there may be times where even that won't be fast enough. But for zooms in your budget, I agree that the Tamron 17-50 and Sigma 17-50 options are as good as any for those focal ranges. Fast telezoom lenses are a lot more expensive although they are worth their cost on assignments with difficult lighting but relatively distant subjects. All the best in your choice. Faster prime lenses are great - I wouldn't be without them myself but then again I have no such fear of switching lenses.

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