I am starting out and would appreciate advice on what lenses are ideal for families/kids/events in mostly natural settings with some indoor for events and such. The plan is to purchase a Canon 7D (even though I'd love a full frame camera since I'm still shooting film) simply because I'm starting out and can't afford the 5D Mark III. And I keep reading the lens is more important than the camera.

  • \$\begingroup\$ What is your current equipment? This will help in providing advice on what would be best for your needs. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 21, 2012 at 4:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ What does "natural situations" mean? What are the end use requirements? I.e., do you expect to have adequate lighting? Will high-ISO exposures be acceptable to you even with some added noise? Will it be possible to bring in reflectors and/or lights at all? How close to your subjects to you expect to be (closest/average/furthest)? \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve Ross
    Oct 21, 2012 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you invested in Canon? If not, I strongly suggest you look at the Nikon D600 which is a low-cost full-frame DSLR with a complete and professional feature set. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Oct 22, 2012 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


You should also consider the Canon 5DmkII. I know several who have both and find the mkII to be the better choice at half the price. Sure the mkIII is better, but worth 2x as much? Only for some, and probably not someone like yourself (new to the business).

As for lenses, if you are shooting in low light you will need good AF. A 24-70L is a great lens. I had the Tamron 28-75 and it is a great lens, but the AF was not great in low light. The 24-70 was significantly better.

The 70-200 2.8 is another must for event shooters. I use the non-IS lens and don't wish I had the IS very often.

A 50 1.8 ($80) is a must for any bag. The 1.8 85mm is also a good standby for a decent price ($300).

Look at fredmiranda.com for great deals on Canon gear. Many pros who sell their gear, or amateurs who are always swapping out gear. Great prices and very reputable sellers.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I second getting the 5DII (or maybe the 6D). The Mk III improves most importantly in ISO- and AF-Performance. ISO is already pretty good on the Mk II. Low light AF on the MkII is indeed a pain (only middle sensor useful for me if at all), but if you know you'll usually have plenty of light (or are good at manual focussing) it shouldn't be an issue. And yes the lens is more important so better put your money in that. \$\endgroup\$
    – mivilar
    Oct 21, 2012 at 22:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ 5D II is probably the sweet spot for your needs, but also consider older used 1Ds II...better built and better AF than the 5D II, though smaller viewfinder and not as good high ISO. fredmiranda.com, keh.com and adorama.com are all excellent places to look for good used gear. \$\endgroup\$
    – djangodude
    Oct 22, 2012 at 0:27

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