Documentary Photography Opportunity...

Which of these lenses would you choose?


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agape01

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If given a chance to really go to a foreign country like Peru or Chile in South America and you're asked to photograph a documentary (which can be anything)....

Which camera and what lenses would you bring?

I would also like to know reasons why for your selections.
 

agape01

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I guess I'll let everyone know why I'm conducting this poll.

I've been studying in the US for the last 2 years at a very prestigious photography school and I'm taking a class on documentary photography. This year the class is going to south america and being all photography crazed CS singaporeans, I just thought that I should just ask this question of my home countrymen and get their opinions.

Btw, you're not limited to one lens. Pick according to what would suit you.
 

Andrew Ng

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I guess I'll let everyone know why I'm conducting this poll.

I've been studying in the US for the last 2 years at a very prestigious photography school and I'm taking a class on documentary photography. This year the class is going to south america and being all photography crazed CS singaporeans, I just thought that I should just ask this question of my home countrymen and get their opinions.

Btw, you're not limited to one lens. Pick according to what would suit you.
I will Go for a D700 + 17~35mm + 50mm + 70~200mm. I shoot a lot of street and documentry type picture. I like Wide.

Cheers!
 

Reportage

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documentary on people- camcorder, digital tape recorder and AA battery compact camera.

documentary on environment- digital tape recorder, camcorder and AA battery compact camera.

documentary on anything- digital tape recorder, camcorder and AA battery compact camera.

A documentary is more on the content rather then on the photos. Are you are a good story teller?

the reasons, digital tape recorder to record your findings. camcorder in case need to conduct interviews. compact cameras since they are unobtrusive and being powered by AA means its a good backup for the camcorder in case the camcorder run out of battery or got problem. For this training, you have to be more of an journalist rather then photographer.
 

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agape01

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documentary on people- camcorder, digital tape recorder and AA battery compact camera.

documentary on environment- digital tape recorder, camcorder and AA battery compact camera.

documentary on anything- digital tape recorder, camcorder and AA battery compact camera.

A documentary is more on the content rather then on the photos. Are you are a good story teller?

the reasons, digital tape recorder to record your findings. camcorder in case need to conduct interviews. compact cameras since they are unobtrusive and being powered by AA means its a good backup for the camcorder in case the camcorder run out of battery or got problem. For this training, you have to be more of an journalist rather then photographer.
The class will be bringing 1080p digital high def video cams. But this is not about doing video.

This is about taking images.
 

sjackal

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Jul 9, 2008
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I guess I'll let everyone know why I'm conducting this poll.

I've been studying in the US for the last 2 years at a very prestigious photography school and I'm taking a class on documentary photography. This year the class is going to south america and being all photography crazed CS singaporeans, I just thought that I should just ask this question of my home countrymen and get their opinions.

Btw, you're not limited to one lens. Pick according to what would suit you.
Consider you have to travel, so weight and bulk is an issue.

Ideally is to have a full range to cover all bases and photography opportunities, so the trinity lens, 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 and a macro 60 or 105, plus a smaller DX backup, and a flashgun and a tripod.

But obviously its hard to carry so much.

My suggestion is to tag-team with your best and most reliable friend in the class and split the gear. This way both of you probably have the best and most comprehensive.

Sometime like you with 14-24 and 70-200 and tripod, him/her with 24-70 and macro lens and flash.

JMH2C
 

Reportage

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doesnt matter if they bring a 1000000p high def video recorder if the story they bring back is mediocre or sub par.

if your class trip is a guided lesson then more or less the trainer will give hints on what and when to take. How to take will depend on you.

since the documentary can be anything...i rather bring back a lot of material on the subject rather then just limited to images.
 

Benji77

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Lets assume you have a FX + DX with you, I would take -

- 35mm F2
- 20mm F2.8
- 105mm 2.8 (Micro)
- 80-200mm F2.8
- Tripod
 

wildstallion

Senior Member
I would take 2x D700's due to their superb quality for almost every condition in a small easy package.

The 14-24 for landscapes shots. Its not light but extremely versatile.

A 50mm for lightness whilst trekking or out in towns/villages. Its such a great lens and its so light, would always be in my bag.

The 70-200 for people and anything else you need the range for. One of Nikon's best lenses, its heavy but I wouldnt go anywhere without it.

A very lightweight tripod, you will hardly use it compared to the rest of the gear, but its always nice to have one around.

Depending on where I was staying id probably have 3-4 batteries and as many CF cards as I could get my hands on and several lens pens!
 

thenomad

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since you will be doing a lot of walking, i would prefer to bring a lightweight setup

maybe a d90 + 16-85VR + 70-300VR + flash

whole setup is light, 16-85 for the scenics to walkabout, 70-300 for portraits/candids, flash for low-light/indoor situations

an optional lens to bring will be the 50 prime, but since it's very light, may as well bring it along
useful for discreet candids or natural light shots
 

agape01

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Consider you have to travel, so weight and bulk is an issue.

Ideally is to have a full range to cover all bases and photography opportunities, so the trinity lens, 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 and a macro 60 or 105, plus a smaller DX backup, and a flashgun and a tripod.

But obviously its hard to carry so much.

My suggestion is to tag-team with your best and most reliable friend in the class and split the gear. This way both of you probably have the best and most comprehensive.

Sometime like you with 14-24 and 70-200 and tripod, him/her with 24-70 and macro lens and flash.

JMH2C
So if you were only allowed to shoot with only one lens, which lens would you choose?
 

agape01

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since you will be doing a lot of walking, i would prefer to bring a lightweight setup

maybe a d90 + 16-85VR + 70-300VR + flash

whole setup is light, 16-85 for the scenics to walkabout, 70-300 for portraits/candids, flash for low-light/indoor situations

an optional lens to bring will be the 50 prime, but since it's very light, may as well bring it along
useful for discreet candids or natural light shots
Your choices are not on my list in the poll.
 

Fotophilic

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Body: D300 and D700
Reason: Can share battery and grip and memory card. One is crop sensor, the other is full frame, gives the opportunity to play around with the 1.5x crop factor on 70-200. I know u can crop to get the "zoom" on a full frame sensor, but...

Lenses: 17-55 and 70-200.
Reason: 17-55 on D300 (DX). I am not the very wide kind of person. 70-200 on D700 (FF) or D300 (DX) as needed.

So only 2 lenses and 2 bodies, just nice. can cover ~26mm to 300mm. :)

I am not a pro, i'm just speaking on what comes first to my mind. Hope u don't mind. :)
 

PrimePhotog

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Your poll is not multi-option...My fav would be a 17-35,70-200 and a fast 50mm.The 70-200 is still an EXCELLENT lens on full frame despite the vignetting.
 

gymak90

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Jan 5, 2008
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I'll go for a wide and a 70-200.

Somehow I believe wide lenses show more and as a photographer, you can produce a better story with more things to see.

For DX, I will go with 17-55. FX I will take 24-70.

If you have space, why not also try something special, like fisheye. If all images are from tele and wide lenses, it might appear boring.
 

Cactus jACK

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If given a chance to really go to a foreign country like Peru or Chile in South America and you're asked to photograph a documentary (which can be anything)....
can be less specific or not?

if normal coverage, i would bring the regular zooms 14-24 and 24-70 for a D700, and a D300 with a 70-200... SB-800s as well. also, the 50f1.4 is always a welcomed addition to any cameraman's bag.

but for special purposes, you may need anything from a micro lens to a back breaking super tele. a couple of versitile lenses to consider could be the 105micro and the 200-400 or 300f2.8 with a 1.7x TC... don't forget the tripod, spare batts, CF cards, etc.
 

Red Dawn

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I know of people who will only shoot with one or two lenses.

What do you guys think?

35mm and a 50mm?
That is exactly what I m using with my D700 :)
About 80% of the time it's the 35mm! Really, I wouldn't need anything else except maybe a spare body.

But that's for me - you will have to ultimately make your own choices as your back allows. Remember that the more you carry, the more time you will spend thinking what to use rather than thinking about the picture and the story you are trying to tell.
 

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