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Archive 2012 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

Long story short, switched from Canon and I have an idea of what set-up I want to purchase but I want to get some new suggestions because I like refreshing ideas!

I'm planning to have my photography revolve around portrait and wedding photography. I will also do a little bit of landscapes, macro, street etc. as my lens line-up begins to grow.

As of now, I want to start out with spending around 2,000 dollars. As time goes on, I will invest more money as well so feel free to leave suggestions as to what lenses to get in the future.

This is my idea as of now:

Nikon D7000 used - $800
Grip used - $150
Nikon 35mm 1.8 - $200
Nikon 50mm 1.8 G (Sharper then the 1.4) - $200
Nikon 85mm 1.8 G - $500
...then miscellaneous accessories that I need to buy such as reflectors, flash accessories, more SD cards, etc.

then for the future...

Nikon 28mm 2.8 AIS (Video Lens)
Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR
Nikon 50mm 1.2 AIS
Nikon D700

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Sep 14, 2012 at 11:16 PM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

35mm on a crop sensor is not enough wide for weddings... I suggest to think at Tokina 11-16/2.8 as a solution for UWA. Or at least replace 35 with 28mm f/1.8 AF-S... it costs more but is a great lens for the money.

On full frame usually my three lens setup is depending the kind of the event looking like:

a) 28 - 50 - 85 f/1.8 or
b) 28 - 85 - 180 (the later at f/2.8)

Sep 14, 2012 at 11:26 PM

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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!


I'm more of a prime kind-of guy so I don't think I will invest in a wide angle zoom.

I do like the idea of getting the 28mm which isn't crazy wide either but I have legs for a reason

Thanks for your feedback

Sep 15, 2012 at 12:06 AM
ATL Jack

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

New D7000 - $1,000 (I'd rather buy a new body and used glass than used body and new glass)
3rd Party Grip - $40 (Neewer/Mieke)
Used Tamron 17-50 or 28-75 - $300
Used 40 2.8G or 35 1.8G - $250-$150
Used 85 1.8G - $400

I dont shoot weddings, but if I did I would think that I would want a little more flexibility than primes and would therefore use a normal zoom with fast primes for specific uses.

70-200 VR
105 VR or 60 2.8G
Tokina 11-16

Sep 15, 2012 at 02:34 AM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

If you're going to shoot with primes, you *need* two bodies. During weddings, you basically should have one wide prime and one portrait prime on two bodies for versatility. You don't want to miss shots while changing lenses.

The 35 1.8 is a great lens, but as someone said, it isn't wide enough. Part of a wedding photographer's responsibility is to provide context shots throughout the day, and a 35 just isn't wide enough for tight interior hotel rooms where people prepare.

A 28 1.8 may be enough, or Sigma's 30 1.4 (that's what I use).

A good kit might be:

Sigma 30 1.4
Nikon 50 1.8
A wide zoom, any (ideally, a Sigma 17-50 OS, or the Tamron version. If you need to cut costs, this is the place. Even a kit lens is ok in a pinch.)
A telephoto zoom, or the 85, 1.8. You need reach during the ceremony, and an 85 may not be enough.

'Zoom with your feet' doesn't apply too well in practice during weddings, because expressions happen in a split second and then they're gone. You have to be constantly positioning yourself, but you are rarely perfect with your positioning. I'm a prime person myself, but I carry 2 zooms with me... just for flexibility. You never know what will happen at a wedding.

Also, flash is essential... also just in case. It's all about versatility... you have to handle a wide range of situations that can occur at weddings.

Sep 15, 2012 at 08:41 AM

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

Ok thanks for the advice!

Maybe I just need to invest more money in this....

Sep 15, 2012 at 03:02 PM
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

Ok! You said you don't shoot weddings. All the wedding whiners ignored you, (as weddings are obviously the only reason to own a camera). You may notice, if you go to the wedding forum, that most of them don't like their job!
I love my job, and would offer the following:
If you could spend more, get a D3s, few things in the world will make you happier! Your lens choices are good, I have used all of them, happily. (I prefer fast zooms, because I do stage performance, and "zooming with your feet" will get you bounced out of the venue!).

If you shoot much over 20 feet away, rush to get the 70-200 2.8 , I could live with that one lens, (and make a good living).

Enjoy your photography

Sep 15, 2012 at 03:17 PM

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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!


He said he's planning on having his photography revolve around weddings and portraits. Where did you get the idea that he doesn't shoot or doesn't want to shoot weddings? And nice job recommending a body only that is twice as much as the full kit he was thinking of.

To the OP:

Even 28mm is not wide enough on a crop camera IMO. Works out to around 42mm on a full frame, that would feel cramped for me.

A 18mm or 20mm prime would be ideal, but I don't know of any of those.

I think the best solution to get the wide end, considering you don't want to do a zoom, is to get into a D600 instead. It will have more resolution, better low light capability (presumably) and a 28G, 50/1.8G, 85/1.8G would be right at home.

If you don't have a big enough budget to get a second full frame body in there, you could rent until you've got some extra coin to lay down on a D700/second D600.

Unfortunately, any way you slice it, I think it's going to end up costing you more than you originally anticipated.

Sep 15, 2012 at 03:32 PM
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

Well I am a canon shooter so not familiar with nikon lenses but I do shoot weddings
Depending on what you mean by "planning to have my photography revolve around portrait and wedding" I would recommend couple of different things...

If you are a serious amateur that is looking to start shooting for money - the kit you propose is fine for portrait and should get you by for second shooting...
To shoot weddings as a primary (forgetting the question of skill and experience for a moment) you absolutely need 2 bodies - you never want to find yourself with a single broken body in the middle of the ceremony or any other part of the wedding. Not only you will ruin someones wedding experience by not delivering photos you might find yourself in court... Secondary 35 on a crop is definitely too tight for weddings as your widest lens. On the telephoto end of things you might be ok with 85 if you scout your venues in advance and make sure you rent something longer when needed. A lot of catholic churches will not allow you past the last row of seat or at least past the middle of the church - if that happens 85 is just not enough...

Sep 15, 2012 at 03:52 PM
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

And as it was mentioned above knowing how to use flash properly is definitely essential for weddings - almost every reception I shoot requires flash and I do primarily use fast L primes...

Sep 15, 2012 at 03:58 PM

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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

Ok, I just learned a whole lot there.

Regarding body and lens suggestions, would it be a good idea just to invest the extra money and go straight to a full frame D700? Wide angles lenses are expensive and if I just save up the extra money for the D700, do you think it'll actually save me money in the long run?

I think it would be good tho to get perhaps a D3200 as a back-up body because I do realize at weddings you need two bodies. (Guess it's just hard to accept the fact)

Another quick question, does someone know where I can find a good tutorial on flashes? I do know the basics but there is definitely room for me to improve.

Finally, with the area of zooms, I think its proven that the 70-200 2.8 is a must. Would it be a good idea to have wide, medium, and telephoto primes and then wrap it all up with a 70-200? Say 28mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm, then 70-200 on a D700?

Sep 15, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Rob UK
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

Regarding your question about learning flash technique I found these resources very helpful

This blog has a huge amount of information about flash technique and he has 2 books out about the subject, which I would recommend.

This is another very good source of information about flash use


I would also recommend any of, or all 3 of Joe McNally's books on flash

And Lastly I thought Syl Arena's book on flash photography to be very good.

Hope these help


Sep 16, 2012 at 06:41 AM
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Need Advice on my FIRST Nikon Set-Up!

Personally speaking, I'd prefer not to go below the D90 level for weddings, even if it means moving away from full-frame for the 1st body. The D3200 is nice, but... well depending on how you shoot, the menu driven controls really slow you down. I suppose you could use P mode and auto everything, and it could be speedy. I just personally don't prefer it.

It may be possible to get a D700 and a 35 f/2, with a D90 and a 50 1.8. Even still, you'd want some kind of zoom to cover situations when the 35 isn't wide enough. The list I gave above is similar to what I shoot with... basically 2 bodies, a 28 1.8, and a 50 1.4. I spend most of the day with that set up. If I need wider, I swap out the 28 for a zoom, and if i need reach, I swap something for a telephoto (either a 70-200 or a 50-150).

Usually you need wide lenses during prep photos (people prepare in small rooms), and telephoto during the ceremony.

Sep 16, 2012 at 07:34 AM

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