Photography/Prime Lens


Hi Lawrence

I have a Nikon D3100 with standard 18-55mm lens kit. I need to photograph wedding dresses (for sale on a web site) with as much natural light as possible. The 18-55mm lens is not sharp enough so I want to get a prime lens as I feel this will give better results at low light. Bear in mind that the images I will shoot need to capture the fine detail of the fabrics (mostly white) and that in many cases, the dress could be quite wide, I need to be able to take in an area 6 - 9 feet wide. It has been suggested that I should consider a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 but would appreciate your opinion on this. Would 50mm be OK or should I go for a wider lens?

Thanks in advance.


Hi Michael,

Thanks for your question.If the D3100 is a full frame digital, the 50mm lens should be enough.Remember that wide angle lenses will distort when used close up.

You are between two extremes with this work: either capturing detail or covering space.It would seem to me that capturing the texture of the fabric is the more important.You might want to explain this to the customer. If you want to use natural light, I'm assuming you don't want to do a lot of computer enhancements afterward.

It may be possible to lift areas of the dresses so light passes through the material ie from behind. This is possible with lace and similar materials.

Can you take a sample of the material (or similar texture) into the place where you are testing the 50mm lens?

For other tips on Photography, see my website;


Lawrence Marshall


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Lawrence Marshall


Can answer questions about many areas.Portaiture,Glamour,Landscapes,Live rock bands, Publicty, Editorial and Fine Art Photography. B&W exposure,processing and printing and the materials involved.Toning and dying B&W materials,especially the Colorvir process.Using High contrast ortho film.Intaglio printmaking.Presentation of Photographs.Exhibiting Photography.Photographing Paintings and other two dimensional Art.


Thirty years experience. Freelance work in Editorial,Publicity, Portraiture,Landscape,Rock and Roll, Weddings in 6x6 and 35mm. Black and white processing, printing and toning.Intaglio printing and the Colorvir system of toners and dyes for B&W prints.

Western Australian College of Teaching. Saatchi Gallery (London). Art Gallery Australia.

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Certificate in Photography. Bachelor of Arts Degree,Diploma in Education.Giving regular One day Workshops in Photography in Western Australia. Various seminars in film-based Photography.Registered and practising Secondary teacher

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