Reader Question

A reader asks:

“Good Morning Michael. Been following your feeds about photography, incredibly awesome. I currently have a 70d w/ 18-135, 70-200, 50m, with the 600ex flash. I have a small wedding approaching and feel the need for another lens. What’s your take on the 17-55 IS 2.8 or the 24-105? Could you share some tips with me, I’d be grateful for that Thank you”

Good question. Equipment is important.

A standard “go-to” lens for pros is the 24-70 f/2.8 lens. For a crop camera like yours (a camera with a smaller sensor), the 17-55 ISD 2.8 is that lens. Great lens because it is a pro lens for your camera type. And it is stabilized (“IS”, or in Nikon terms “VR”, means Image Stabilization).

The problem is: once you go full frame. i.e. to a camera with a sensor the size of a negative—and one day you will—you will not be able to use this lens anymore (it is an AF-S lens, usable for small-sensor cameras only). And since lenses last basically forever (both in technical and in economic terms), this will bite you back.

It is for that reason I recommend the 24-105. And it has longer telephoto range, with is very useful for impromptu shots.

Other tips for shooting important events (and a wedding is as important as they get):

  • Bring spares for everything please!
  • Fast lenses are great when the light is low and the ceilings are high
  • Rechargeable batteries, more than you need and then double that.
  • Spare camera battery and CF cards.
  • As soon as you can, add a spare flash and also, learn to operate off-camera flash. It is easier than you think.
  • A wide angle fast prime lens (like a 24mm prime lens) would also be great for low-light situations.
  • A very wide lens (10-20mm range for crop) would be great as well.

And then practice. Learn how to bounce.

Here’s two wide angle shots from a recent wedding I photographed:

Finally, get, and read, and then re-read, my collection of five e-books from and schedule some one-on-one training: a short course will pay off incredibly quickly. See to reserve a session now, 24/7/365.


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