Shooting events with primes

Hi guys, just wanna know if anyone out there shoots events with primes? Personally I don't fancy the distortion of zoom lenses at it's widest (Tammy's 17-50), and was thinking of going all prime for events. What are your 2c about this?

And if there are people out there who shoots using primes, please share your story! Thanks!

Aug 10, 2007
Anticipate ur shot, then u wouldnt get caught in situation with wrong focal length len. Or best use 2 cam setup. U will be rewarded with great photo ..


Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
For me it depends. For fun (ie. not paid jobs), I'd shoot primes to satisfy interest. Typical 'normal' focal length will be either of these lenses : 24mm, 28mm, 35mm (K5; so its APS-C).
I prefer the 35mm for its FL,lack of distortion, sharpness, speed and DOF control. The 24mm is a bit short at times and so can be a bit (in your face), but at dinner tables, it is easier to take it all in.
All in all, you just need to be familiar enough with the FL you are using so that you can tackle the situation as best as possible if there is no chance to change lenses.

Switching lenses can be a pain in the middle of an event, so very often the longer FL lens like the 85mm will not be mounted until I know that the event is transitioning or has moved on to another pace or focal length need (eg. Move from Tea Ceremony to guest hosting; Move from dinner reception to individual portrait shots of each guest (DnD); etc)
That is why some photographers have a 2nd body.

My few cents


New Member
Feb 11, 2008
I ever shoot with 35mm and 85mm on crop body for events.

I think it's ok as long you have the freedom to roam about to get shots but may appear "haphazard" for paid events.

35mm is 'safer' esp to get group/full body shots.

Yup anticipation is key regardless of the type of lens.


Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
With primes, i would say you will get a different style of pics compared to using zooms. Just see what you get and whether you like the results.

Dec 12, 2009
Don't fancy distortion at 17mm then how about other focal length. You don't have to always use 17mm and even at super wide angle prime there's no confirmation that the distortion will be signficantly better.

Zoom is good if you are not sure of the situation then you have the versatility, without losing a moment due to changing lens (if 1 body). If you use primes then you have to scout the area properly and predict under different situation and your position which lens you are going to use.

I tried using 35mm & 135mm on crop for sports day. It is fine since I have lots of space to move around on the field. It all depends on the nature of the event and how much space you are given to move around.

Aug 10, 2007
I change len on my main cam and ready to shoot in less than 10sec, but i still miss the shot sometimes. So i always have my spare cam fix with a zoom len for situation i could not anticipte .. haha wonder if anyone change len in less and 5sec ?

Sep 15, 2008
wht kind of event?
outdoor? how big is the space?
indoor? how is the lighting?
how big is the room?
what is your preference (candid, group photo, etc) ?
that's some questions u have to answer...

i used to have siggy 30mm...but at the end i only use my canon 10 22 for indoor...or sigma 50 150 for outdoor...

so, it depends on your preference...
i use 50mm on FF for's a nice FL....
but i dnt like it if it's attached on APSC body...the crop factor is too tight.


Senior Member
Jun 18, 2009
if it's a sporting event... as a prime user (a 35 + 135 user) myself, i will advise u to get a telephoto zoom for more flexibility.

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