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Lens for Nikon D5100

Q: I recently bought my first DSLR. It's a Nikon D5100 with two lenses. The first one is the 18-55mm (kit edition) while the second one is the Nikon 55-200mm Lens. By the way, I have also bought a new flashgun (Nissin ND622MKII-N Speedlite). I'm planning to enter the world of nightlife photography. However I am not sure if those two lens I have are recommended or even satisfactory. If not, what lens do you recommend? Bear in mind that I want to avoid something very expensive. A friend of mine who is actually a photographer told me that the 50mm portrait lens is a good solution. What do you think?


A: Prime lenses such as the 50mm lens are great, but I don't think they're versatile enough for nightclub and nightlife photography. I prefer not carrying a bunch of prime lenses and I also don't want to change lenses in a packed venue where a lot of drunk people can easily bump into me. If the lens is accidentally dropped, getting it repaired or replaced won't be cheap.

In a nightclub environment, the lens needs the flexibility to shoot wide shots of big groups and close up shots of one person. If you're using a prime lens, there might not be enough room to move around in if the club gets really packed. But then again, I'm not familiar with the venues where you're located. It's hard for me to say whether or not the 50mm lens is useful and if you're going actually use the Nikon 55-200mm lens.

To be quite honest, I think that the gear you have now is more than adequate for doing nightclub and nightlife photography. You have a DSLR, an 18-55mm zoom lens, and an external flash. That's pretty much all you really need especially if you're just starting out. Learn the techniques for shooting great nightclub and nightlife images and then decide if you need to upgrade any of the gear you have.

Once you can afford a more expensive lens (if you decide to upgrade), I recommend the following: