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I'll soon be covering an event, and my existing lens set isn't necessarily ideal for low-light people photography.

As with many events, this may be both indoors and outside, and runs throughout the day, so need to be prepared for all sorts of lighting.

Of course, there are lots of non-equipment things to consider - such as scouting the venue in advance to get a better idea of potential conditions, and other possible pitfalls mentioned here.

Equipment-wise, I have a Nikon D300s and a D70.

My current lenses are:

The 30mm can do low light, and will be fine for general/scene shots, but not great for individual people/portrait style shots, since it requires getting in close.

The 70-300mm is bad in even a little dim light, and in general is slow and crappy.

So what would be a good lens to buy or rent for someone not yet an experience event photographer?

Is there any other equipment that would be useful to have? (for example, is a battery grip beneficial, or is a pair of charged spare batteries sufficient?)

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The LensRentals.com link is awesome. –  jfklein13 Jul 31 '10 at 22:33

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I would think at least one external flash that you will be able to bounce off of walls etc is not only a "nice to have" , but probably a requirement for event photography.

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For event, I would use both cameras in these setups:

  1. D300s with 70-200 (rent, Nikon or Sigma with VR/OS)
  2. D70 with 18-70 with an SB (flash)

So the D300s is for head shots, candid, and low light. Use the D70 for the wide angle, group shots, outdoors, and use flash for indoor.

If you can/have the budget, rent a 24-70 or 17-55 and put it on the D70.

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2  
As a pro event photographer, I wholly agree w/ this answer. A 70-200 f/2.8 along with a wide-angle zoom are what I would consider the standard set of lenses. –  ahockley Jul 29 '10 at 16:04

If you've got the strength and stamina, and believe me working an event requires both in spades, then a two camera setup, as Johannes suggests, where you can rapidly switch between them to get the vital shot now is the way to go. But a two camera setup requires a large bag, multiple batteries, keeping a close eye on swinging cameras in crowds and is very tiring. If you're not strong and fit you're going to be %^&*ed by the end of the day though, photography is hard work.

Assuming this is you're first event it's going to be a learning experience for you. If you've got a car or somewhere secure to store kit nearby, then start with one option and if you aren't getting the result you want swtich to another.

A lot of photography is not about the technicalities of lighting, lenses, and cameras but learning how to get the best photo from a situation with the kit you've got to hand.

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