Standard Zoom Lenses You Can Trust In Your Event Photography Kit

So far in our journey to help you fill out the ultimate party and event kits we have discussed cameras and prime lenses that would be great options for any photographer to consider. But as you are probably aware if you are reading this, a single standard zoom lens is a much more common option that event photographers choose due to its versatility.

This, of course, comes at the expense of some light gathering capability – but for many photographers, this is a slight compromise they are willing to make, especially with cameras these days producing such good image quality even at higher ISO values.

So here are our picks for high-end and budget zoom lenses for party and event photographers to consider adding to their kits.

Canon Shooters

Canon obviously has a ton of great lens options out there for party and event photographers thanks to its EF/EF-S mount having one of the most extensive lens selections on the market. Here are our picks for Canon party and event photographers looking at standard zoom lenses:

  • High End Choice: Canon 24-70mm F2.8L USM II – Read Our Review (Buy One: [amazon_textlink asin=’B0076BNK30′ text=’Canon 24-70mm F2.8L USM II’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’75415b5e-6035-11e7-86ec-1557e237e6e1′])
  • Budget Choice: Tokina 24-70mm F2.8 – Read Our Review (Buy One: [amazon_textlink asin=’B012UEVVUG’ text=’Tokina 24-70mm F2.8′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’bd128534-6035-11e7-a948-d3e22f0d8d4b’])

Nikon Shooters

Nikon may be struggling lately with their camera business, but in terms of lenses, besides Canon they have without a doubt one of the most vast catalogs of natively compatible lenses, and of course the standard zoom segment is no different:

  • High End Choice: Nikon 24-70mm F2.8 ED VR II – Read Our Review (Buy One: [amazon_textlink asin=’B013D1BMFE’ text=’Nikon 24-70mm F2.8′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’8aa7e98e-6036-11e7-abf0-535003c61d78′])
  • Budget Choice: Tamron 24-70mm F2.8 USD G2 (Buy One: [amazon_textlink asin=’B073JCBMTL’ text=’Tamron 24-70mm F2.8 G2′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c888852a-6036-11e7-a185-572c8b3985e8′])

Pro Tip: Don’t rely solely on your camera’s ISO and lens speed, bring a speedlight with you to help you capture motion that just wouldn’t be possible using ambient light only.

Sony Shooters

Sony has a lot of catching up to do with their own lens lineup to even get in the same league as Canon or Nikon, not to mention promoting third-party lens makers to get on board. That said, there are some options to consider from Sony for a standard zoom lens at parties:

  • High End Choice: Sony 24-70mm F2.8 G-Master – Read Our Review (Buy One: [amazon_textlink asin=’B01BO6OMNO’ text=’Sony 24-70mm F2.8 G-Master’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’7d1efce5-6037-11e7-924c-e7c37f2df3e0′])
  • Budget Choice: Sony 24-70mm F4 OSS – Read Our Review (Buy One: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00FSB79FU’ text=’Sony 24-70mm F4 OSS’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’c13e422a-6037-11e7-bbdc-a3d4c517265c’])

Fujifilm Shooters

Fujifilm finds itself in a similar situation here to Sony, and unlike in the prime lens category where they have many options that could be considered ‘budget’, in the standard zoom category there is really only one option for Fujifilm shooters:

  • High End Choice: Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8 – Read Our Review (Buy One: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00RSQTDMA’ text=’Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’9e23a26e-6038-11e7-b191-154c2d2b2f26′])
  • Budget Option: Either go with one of Fujifilm’s stellar prime lens options or tough it out with the 18-55mm kit lens.

Pro Tip: Play with the high ISO settings on your camera and figure out what you are comfortable with in terms of noise. This will help you better understand what you need from the lenses in your kit. 

Micro Four Thirds Shooters

Olympus and Panasonic have managed to put together an impressive offering of micro four thirds lens options, and while we doubt many of you are considering micro four thirds for your party/events kit, if you are already invested in the system then one of the following lenses could make your kit party/event ready:

  • High End Choice: Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 – Read Our Review ( Buy: [amazon_textlink asin=’B01MY1ICID’ text=’Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8′ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’575b2f27-603b-11e7-980d-9d01eb2e2ad6′])
  • Budget Choice: Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro – Read Our Review (Buy: [amazon_textlink asin=’B00EY3YGBS’ text=’Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thephobl-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b9e60b37-603a-11e7-ba5f-27a1615d8033′])

Make sure and check back later for our look at our telephoto zoom lenses you should consider for your party and event photography kits.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.