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Thread: 18-200 for a wedding

  1. #1
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    18-200 for a wedding

    Hi all

    Although I have some other cameras, I'm looking to try out a Nikon DX format DSLR and have a wedding to photograph for a friend next year.

    I'm looking at a couple of bodies (D90 or D300s) but am not sure about which lens to opt for - the 18-105 or the new 18-200 VR. I'm experienced enough to understand that the 18-200 will be soft(ish) at the long end and exhibit some distortion at the wide end. For the wedding I'll use a separate wide-angle as well and probably won't be shooting longer than about 80mm (120mm 35mm equivalent) so either lens would give me the reach. I'd hope as well to shoot between f5.6 and f11 so I'll be avoiding any extremes.

    Given these shooting parameters, I'd like to ask experienced Nikon users whether they think the 18-200 would give good enough IQ for decent size prints (up to 18" x 12" say). I've always wanted a good walk-around lens and would like the 18-200 for use after the wedding but don't want to risk ruining my friend's big day by lower quality images that he can only print out at small sizes.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated

    Thanks

    John
    Sony Nex 7, 18-55, 50mm + Tamron 18-200, plus Sony R1

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: 18-200 for a wedding

    I don't shoot many weddings, but here's my take:

    You need two bodies. There's always a chance that something breaks or doesn't work properly. Rather two D90 than one D300s, but a D300s with a used D200 (or a D90 or even D80) as backup would be perfect. There will also be situations when you need to change lens faster and more often than what you would want to live with.

    Although the 18-200 is a nice walk around lens, it doesn't give you the possibility of large apertures. I would go for at least one fast prime. My preference would be an 85mm, but 50 or 105 are nice alternatives too.

    Have you considered the 16-85mm? It's a better (and more expensive?) lens than the two you mention, and it probably gives you enough wide angle for a wedding. 16-85, 50 and 105mm would be a workable combo. Another option could be the Tamron 17-50 plus an 85mm, or something really wide (Tokina 12-24?) plus the Tamron 28-75 and a 105mm. I don't think I would take the chance on less than three lenses for a wedding.

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    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: 18-200 for a wedding

    Jorgen makes some excellent points. But, if you're still interested in the 18-200 VR for whatever reason, it produces excellent 12"x18" prints. That's my usual lens (on a D300), and I regularly make excellent 12"x18" prints from it. As you said, it's a bit soft at the long end, but only at the long end. Also as you said, there's distortion at the wide end, but I generally find that the Lens Correction filter in CS is good at fixing that (though you may need to include somewhat more in the frame when you take the picture than you otherwise would).

    Lisa

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    Re: 18-200 for a wedding

    Thanks for the comments so far.

    Jorgen - I have my Sony R1 as as back-up/spare and it has a super Zeiss 24-120 f2.8 (at the wide end) which I will use as appropriate with flash where needed. I appreciate all your points though and will take them all into consideration.

    Lisa - thanks also for your reply. I'm looking beyond the wedding when I want to be able to get out with, hopefully, just one lens which may not be absolutely perfect but which will let me take most of the shots I need on a day's walk.

    If I go the Nikon route, I intend to get the newish 10-24 as well so initially I would have at least 2 Nikon lenses plus the Sony when needed. I do get great shots from the Sony but it's restrictive as no real long end although the wide end is usually fine for 90% of what I need, which is why I'm hoping the 18-200 would give me enough quality.

    Longer term I would of course add other lenses if I'm happy with Nikon (which I certainly hope will be the case).

    Thanks for the replies so far and if anyone else has a take on this, I would welcome any comments.

    John
    Sony Nex 7, 18-55, 50mm + Tamron 18-200, plus Sony R1

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    Senior Member Jason Muelver's Avatar
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    Re: 18-200 for a wedding

    I have taken some great shots with my D200 and an 18-200 as a guest, and the couple liked my pictures better than the hired photographers.

    That being said, I would rent the 24-80 2.8 for the shoot. Its fast and sharp across the entire focal range.

    Be careful. Once you have a taste of pro glass, you wont look back.

    FYI, I'm second shooting this weekend. D700, D200, 50 1.4, 28-80 2.8, 105 DC, 70-200 2.8 and a Zeiss 21 with sb-800 strobes. Most the heavy lifting will be done with the 28-80 and 70-200. The others are for different special situations.

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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: 18-200 for a wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Muelver View Post
    I have taken some great shots with my D200 and an 18-200 as a guest, and the couple liked my pictures better than the hired photographers.

    That being said, I would rent the 24-80 2.8 for the shoot. Its fast and sharp across the entire focal range.

    Be careful. Once you have a taste of pro glass, you wont look back.

    FYI, I'm second shooting this weekend. D700, D200, 50 1.4, 28-80 2.8, 105 DC, 70-200 2.8 and a Zeiss 21 with sb-800 strobes. Most the heavy lifting will be done with the 28-80 and 70-200. The others are for different special situations.
    Jason, if you have the 21mm handy for the occasion, as said in the other thread don't forget to try it up close (i mean really close).
    It's not how most people usually think about unsing it, but IMHO it's maybe where it really shines. You don't want to miss the opportunity!
    And might get surprised...

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    Member cmcmillan's Avatar
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    Re: 18-200 for a wedding

    John,

    I've shot a few weddings before, usually as second shooter. I have had good experience with my own 18-200 on my D200 body when I first bought it for a trip to the Caribbean. I only carried that lens and a 10-20mm Sigma and a Nikon 50mm 1.4 for my whole trip. It was great stopped down a bit and in good light. I would say as long as you're using flash of some kind while you're shooting, it could work for you. But the ability to use flashes can be venue specific or only at certain parts of the ceremony.

    To play devil's advocate, I also own and use much more than the 18-200 the 17-55mm f2.8 DX for my D200/D300 and the 28-70mm f2.8 Full Frame lens for my D700. I enjoy shooting available light and being able to have sharp prints wide open with either of those lenses (and the 70-200mm f2.8VR as well). I usually leave the 28-70 on my D700 and have a D300 as the second body with the 70-200 on it or a wide fast prime or sometimes the 10.5 fisheye for random special shots.

    I can't agree more with needing a second body just in case something goes wrong. It's hard to get a couple or their family to understand the equipment failure aspect of not getting the shot or any shots for that matter. Also, it would be hard to be fully paid too.

    I've brought third bodies before when I knew I was going to be really far out of town or without any easy access to rental gear or driving home to get some of my own. Sometimes I have left the extra extra body mounted up somewhere with a wide angle lens and triggered it with a pocket wizard or left it setup with a pclix intervalometer shooting timelapse of the entire ceremony or dinner reception.

    Chris

  8. #8
    Kevin_b1
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    Re: 18-200 for a wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnNewman View Post
    Hi all

    Although I have some other cameras, I'm looking to try out a Nikon DX format DSLR and have a wedding to photograph for a friend next year.

    I'm looking at a couple of bodies (D90 or D300s) but am not sure about which lens to opt for - the 18-105 or the new 18-200 VR. I'm experienced enough to understand that the 18-200 will be soft(ish) at the long end and exhibit some distortion at the wide end. For the wedding I'll use a separate wide-angle as well and probably won't be shooting longer than about 80mm (120mm 35mm equivalent) so either lens would give me the reach. I'd hope as well to shoot between f5.6 and f11 so I'll be avoiding any extremes.

    Given these shooting parameters, I'd like to ask experienced Nikon users whether they think the 18-200 would give good enough IQ for decent size prints (up to 18" x 12" say). I've always wanted a good walk-around lens and would like the 18-200 for use after the wedding but don't want to risk ruining my friend's big day by lower quality images that he can only print out at small sizes.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated

    Thanks

    John
    Hi John
    If your intrested I have a Nikon 17-55 F2.8 up for sale in the buy and sell board looking for 700 and I am based in the UK.
    PM if intrested.

    Regards

    Kevin

  9. #9
    RRRoger
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    Re: 18-200 for a wedding

    My choice for weddings is two D3s.
    One with a Nikkor 28-70
    Second with 70-200

    The D90 with 18-200 will only work with good lighting.

  10. #10
    aprillove20
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    Re: 18-200 for a wedding

    I agree with Jorgen Udvang ideas.

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    Re: 18-200 for a wedding

    Quote Originally Posted by aprillove20 View Post
    I agree with Jorgen Udvang ideas.
    So do I. The Tamron 28-75/2.8 has great price/performance and is a very nice lens for most of the wedding work. Having a 12-24 would give you the wide end, preferably on a separate camera, but I'd rather have those two lenses on one camera than a "super-zoom". A Nikkor 85/1.8 would also be a nice addition.

    I do recommend testing the lenses before buying, since sample variation always is a problem (even with Nikkor lenses).

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    Re: 18-200 for a wedding

    Thanks for the more recent comments. I did end up using the D90 with 18-105 and 10-24 with the Sony R1 as a backup. My wife also used a Panasonic G1 to double back-up and the well-lit shots were of very good quality. I took a SB-900 speedlite which worked well and my friends were very pleased with the results.

    I've now added a Nikon 70-300 with which I'm very pleased on the D90 but I also tried this on a D3 last weekend with quite astounding results. I can't really figure out why the results on the D3 (same pixel count, same lens) were so much sharper apart from the fact that higher sharpening may have been programmed in by the owner. They were both shot on jpeg so I shall be repeating the exercise shortly to try and work out what's making the difference.

    So, thanks again for the comments folks. I'm a happy Nikon shooter from now on!

    John
    Sony Nex 7, 18-55, 50mm + Tamron 18-200, plus Sony R1

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