Best lens for event photography


Hey there it’s Marlene Hielema. In this video I’m going to be talking about the best lens for event photography. Let’s go. [Music] If you’re corporate events or wedding receptions it’s great to have a small and simple set up So you cause less distraction. It’s even better if you don’t have to use a flash. Welcome back subscribers. And if this is your first time here hey thanks for checking me out. I teach photography, photo editing and I’m a huge fan of Lumix cameras. Now a few years back I shot tons of corporate events. In fact, corporate events were my bread and butter income. I’m going to share my best techniques with you. I mostly went for the 2 to 3 person group shot showing the social side of the event. Because let’s face it, no one cares what the room looked like, except the event planning company. People want to see themselves. I like to get close and engage with the people in my photos. Make them part of the shoot. I don’t just take overview shots or shots of people talking to each other. And no way do I shoot people eating. I want to see people smiling and showing the boss how much they’re enjoying themselves. My favourite kind of lens for shooting events is a wide but not “too” wide lens. My favourite is the Lumix 15mm f/1.7 lens And this is for a mirrorless M4/3 camera. It’s about a 30mm full frame equivalent. So why? Well this lens is fast! And if it’s fast, it will work well in low light. Especially with a camera like the Lumix G9 which you can boost the ISO up really high. And if you can shoot without flash, you’re going to cause way less distraction. And that will get you hired again. Because this is not about you the photographer and your BIG gear. This is about your client. In fact, I’ve shot many events with this small Lumix GM5. With this lens, really small, compact, easy, simple setup. You can blend right in with the crowd. When you blend in with the crowd, you’re one of them and people don’t think, you know, you’re not that scary photographer with the big gear. That’s really intimidating for people at events. Now I also have the Lumix 12-35mm f/2.8 lens And that’s also good for event photos. However, it’s not as bright as the 15mm f/1.7 So the 15mm can be used in lower light situations. And that can mean the difference between using a flash or not. So like I said 15mm is a 30mm (full frame) equivalent And at that focal length you’re not going to get the distortion that a super-wide angle lens has For example this 7-14mm I have. When I use this at 7mm man do I get distortion! You’re not going to want to give people at your events big distorted heads! So even though this 15mm isn’t super wide it still is considered a wide angle lens and there’s a couple extra things you have to keep in mind when shooting events with a wider angle lens. Of course, with a wider angle lens occasionally you get distortion especially the closer you go to your subject So what you want to avoid is placing the VIPs of your events in a part of the frame where they could be distorted like at the edges of the frame. So what you want to do is put them closer to the middle of the frame. And if you find that there is still some distortion just step back a step or two so that you’re farther away from them. And you’ll get less distortion. You can always crop your image after the fact. And usually with these sort of photos, you don’t actually have to worry about making poster sized prints Because what’s happening is they’re often used for social media or small prints in the company brochures and things like that. So don’t worry about having to crop. Because you can definitely take a larger image where you’re stepping back and crop to the middle and crop to the middle portion of the shot. And there will be less distortion in the middle. Okay so that’s and extra little tip — Don’t be afraid to crop. Now this lens has great focus. And if you have your subjects all in the same focal plane, you won’t have a problem But if you’re shooting wide open at f/1.7 and you find that the back row of people are not sharp, all you gotta do is take one step back and you’l instantly get better depth of field. So that whole second row will be in focus too. That’s just how optics work. If you want to learn more about that, check out this video I got for you. (See card) Now this lens has a similar field of view to what you’re used to seeing on your cell phone. So what does that mean? Well, you’ll be able to take arms-length selfies, just like you’re used to doing with your cell phone. So if you’re looking for a small, nimble setup for your next wedding reception or event, test out the Lumix 15mm f/1.7 lens for your M4/3 mirrorless camera. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Comments 43

  • Once again a very practical video…Thank you Marlene. I am considering either the Lumix 15mm 1.7 or Sigma 16 mm 1.4. Any suggestions on your part? I already own the Panasonic 25 mm 1.8 but is a bit too limited in some cases.

  • Cool little lens with decent pro's and cons, i am currently using the meike 12mm f2.8 ultra-wide and unless i am very close 2-3 feet the distortion isn't noticeable, for the price and what it does it's pretty hard to beat, even if i had the money i would still probably use this lens and put the 550 towards the olympus 60mm macro lens which i have wanted for forever, then again i mostly do landscapes and macro and such, it's great to see a fellow photographer using the g9, i think its pretty overlooked.

  • I just got that lens and did video at a Wedding. It came out amazing being my first video.

  • Thanks for – once again- a very informative video! Following our previous conversation here on YT, I purchased this lens and it should be delivered at my door tomorrow. Can’t wait to try it out.

  • Another great video – thanks Marlene. I agree with everything you present; particularly regarding using a small camera body. Now for my own prejudice – I use the 20mm pancake, because it is also f1.7 and half the price of the 15mm. True, it's not as wide or as fast focusing, but it is even smaller and just as sharp. Anyway, your perspective is always enlightening.

  • I have a 14mm f/2.5 lens already, I wish I know this one earlier, but since I have a 14mm, I will check into other lens. Thank you for sharing. Great video.

  • Dig what you saying Marlene, like your style. Fortunately or unfortunately I got my first event coming up and all I got is a nikon d750 full frame with a 35mm and 50mm.. And don't like using flash.. Should I be worried..? Especially the groups wish to exceed the 2-3 rules..

  • Hallo Marlene, is deze 15 mm, f 1.7 ook goed te gebruiken voor video?

  • I have the dji version. Optically the same just a little more plastic. But a wonderful lens.

  • Thanks for the advice and tips. Nice that the 15mm lens is a Panasonic Leica. I truly am in the market for a fast lens for low light situations. I'll keep this one in mind.

  • Thanks so much for the interesting video, Marlene! I have the Lumix Leica 12mm 1.4… I'm wondering: could the 15mm 1.7 give me something additional?

  • Thank so much for this insightful video, Marlene. I absolutely LOVE your channel. I think this is a great focal distance to put on the camera for walking around at a party. Right now, that's what I use the 14-42mm kit lens for. However, I think for a vlogging lens it is not quite as wide as I'd like. I have a 12mm F2 Rokinon for that. Keep the great content coming!!

  • Nowadays, I would say large gear gets the respect that photographers need. Some would say why hire you with your little camera, when cellphones cameras are just as good. I do love your tips.

  • We've sold a few of those and got good feedback. Personally tho, I prefer the Olympus 17mm F1.8, image quality is similar but the manual focus for me much more convenient.
    Also, when I did events (mostly sci-fi cons 🙂 my lens of choice was 28mm. This was before I went digital and was using Olympus an OM2sp. Then I got Canon EOS50e then an EOS3 and it all zooms, my fave being the 20-35mm used mostly at 20mm. I had to use flash tho cos 400iso film. How things have changed, now we can crank the iso upto 2000 and get a pretty good shot even on the micro 4/3rds sensor. Good times 😉

  • A bit irrelevant but what is the highest ISO you will go on your G9?
    I've found a maximum of 3200 is the limit when it comes to noise/image quality.

  • Great job as usual. I think my next lens will be a macro so not shopping for a 15mm right now, but still happy to learn your tips! I especially liked the one about taking a step back to get the 2nd row in focus. I don’t have any lenses wider than f2.8 and haven’t had to worry about shallow DOF, and I was wondering about how you would handle that type of situation with a fast lens.

  • Well, hard to argue against a lecia : )

  • Hallo Marlene, thought you also could read Dutch, but I will ask you in English 😉
    Is the 15 mm/f1.7 also usable for video in low light or would you recommend another lens ?

  • I totally agree. This lens is very good, light, very sharp and very nice to use with its aperture ring on it. A must to have that changes from heavy zooms.

  • Great lens for indoor use. I use it as a tourist inside churches and cathedrals, old manor houses, museums, staterooms, cruise ships, even bars, all places where use of a flash would not be welcome.

  • It's people like you who make photography more enjoyable – Easy to listen to and strait forward too! (…say, is that a Manfroto you use? … I can tell by the "quick release" gadget on the bottom of your camera! 🙂 )

  • You mentioned good iso performance, what's the highest you've taken your G9? I start having a green distortion at 6400 and I'm not sure if this is normal. My G7 didn't have that issue.

  • What's the best travel lens for my Lumix gx7. Asian travel . I have a 45-175 good or bad or so so.

  • Photography simplified

  • And Great Travel Lenses

  • Great Video Marlene, can you do a video on how to get the flash to work??? Thanks!

  • There will be the new 10-25mm f1.7 lens coming up. Can't wait for that one since it'll be the best lense for events.

  • Very good advice.. Thank you!!

  • Good information. 💖 Thank you, for a quick to the point very helpful list of suggestions.😃

  • hello Marlene, (you call me my wife) … I use the various 25mm f1.7 and in spite of not being sharp like the small 14mm f2.5 or the 12 60 f3.5 encounter that distorts too much the heads of people … a 17mm I think it would be worse! … then you would only use it for wide shots? … I do not know if you explain it (I do not speak English and the translator is not very correct) in any way for portraits I want the lumix 42.5mm, the Leica range is unattainable since I am not a professional (I do not live in photography ) Greetings from Chile … new sub

  • Do you know if there are any plans to update the FZ2500 any time soon?

  • Hello 🙂 Today I am using a dc-g9 with a Olympus M.Zuiko 75-300mm II MFT lens, mainly for bird animals and bird photographing. Pretty cheap but good lens. I'm currently thinking about buying a new and better quality lens, and wonder If you have any good recommendations for me?

  • Thanks for this video! I recently did an event using the Lumix G7 and Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 and it performed excellent! But sometimes I didn’t have the space to step back a little. I think you just gave me the next purchase on my list!

  • Hi, I have G9 and I would like to know what is the best lens for youTube video shooting.
    I'm sorry, I don't understand English very well, so please give me the name of the best lens, for YouTube video (reviews)
    I hope you answer and thank you 😊

  • Late but… I love the lens.

  • Hey lady just checking on you. Haven't received any notifications lately. I pray all is well. PEACE from ATL ✊🏾

  • Hi Marlene,
    Shooting with the G9 and the 12-35 lumix lens at 800 ISO and I notice too much noise, specially in the background and sometime all over the picture. Any tips?

  • Hi Marlene. I've done it. I've bought the G9. Colours and rendering are superb. I'm finding it complicated at the moment compared with my Canon 7d, but I'm sure it will come in time. Keep the content coming, I need it now more than ever 😁. Brilliant

  • Hey, Marlene, You haven't make a video for a while, hope all is well. Just want to stop by and say hi and hope to see your new videos soon! Take care.

  • Hi Marlene,
    Total fan of you as I now happen to own two GM5s and a G9. Why? My first MFT camera was GM1 and with that I realized that it was better than my much bigger DSLR. Had some problems in the sun so switched to GM5 and I was hooked! Used EM5II for a few years as the main camera nut found out that I really like the contrast and colour of the Lumix and especially the Leica lenses. So I sold my EM5 and got the G9. Totally happy with G9! Really appreciate your hands on tutoring as well.

  • [Off Topic] Hey Marlene, I wish you say something about the lens Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm F1.7 ASPH. I really want to listen from you about this lens.

  • Hi Hielena, for me, i suggest the Sigma 16mm f/1.4 – All my events covering are done with this lens with or without flash and the render are outstanding in my opinion. I also use the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 with speedbooster (f/1.1). Do you have tested the Sigma 16mm ? What do you think beside the 15mm ?

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