Best Canon lenses?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by brookie418, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. brookie418

    brookie418 TPF Noob!

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    I am looking for suggestions for the best Canon lens to use for a wedding. I am sure it is posted somewhere on this site, but I haven't seen it. I have my first wedding in Oct. so I need help!!!

    Since I have just been doing photography for a few months, I am still using an 18-35 mm lens for portraits. I know that is probably the lowest quality lens haha!! What are suggestions for better quality lenses for just portrait shoots? (family, children, seniors, etc.)

    THANKS!!
     
  2. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Well, first of all, if I were you I would be very cautious before doing a wedding with that little equipment. Generally you want at least two camera bodies, and a two lenses in each of a number of focal ranges and 2 flashes (basically in case something breaks you're still ok). However, if you're going to do the wedding anyway, I'll go ahead and try to answer your question.

    The answer to this question depends primarily on the church and the rules they hold about photography etc.

    If I had to choose one lens I would probably want the 17-55 2.8 IS from canon, or a more inexpensive 18-50 Sigma 2.8 or 17-50(or 55 can't remember) tamron 2.8, The Canon one will run you about 1000 versus about 300-400 for the other two.

    Another highly recommended lens is the 24-70 2.8 L (this also runs about 1k maybe more). Excellent piece of glass, though may not have quite the wide range you are looking for. You could probably use the 18-35(or whatever you have) for those wider shots in a pinch.

    Some people will use the 70-200 2.8, this is an excellent lens, but has a very small field of view and is thus virtually useless in group shots. You may be able to use this in conjunction with the lens you already have (though if you already don't like the lens you have that may be a problem). I would probably not recommend using much of anything slower than 2.8 in a wedding unless it is a early daytime outdoors wedding, and you're not going to do more weddings in the future.

    Hope this helps...

    Oh, as far as for portraits, if it's just a couple of people an 85 1.8 is an excellent lens, or a 70-200 can be great as well. For portraits where you want to get some more of the scenery in you may want the 18-50 ish range. All of the lenses I listed are good for portraits in my opinion
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    For weddings, it's greatly beneficial to have lenses with large maximum apertures. This allows you to get faster shutter speeds, capture more ambient light and get a shallower DOF to help isolate your subjects.

    I agree with Nate's suggestions. The EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS, is the "crop-body wedding photographer's" best friend. The 70-200mm F2.8 L IS, is also a great lens to have on hand but not for group shots.

    You could also consider a prime (non zoom) lens with an even bigger aperture. The 35mm F1.4 L is great and the image quality is extremely high. Also, check out the 50mm F1.4 or the 85mm F1.2.

    Most of the lenses I've listed are around or well over the $1000 mark. Professional Wedding photography isn't for those with a small budget.

    There are cheaper options but there is also some sacrifice. The Tamron 17-50 or the Sigma 18-50 are good options, considering the savings.

    What about a flash?

    What about back up gear? If you are responsible for documenting a wedding, it's important that you have a back up camera, flash, lens etc. Not to mention a handful of batteries & memory cards etc.
     
  4. brookie418

    brookie418 TPF Noob!

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    Well, I have a friend who does photography and she is going to come with me since it is my first wedding. She is also going to bring her camera so I will have a back-up. She has a 70-200 mm lens that she said I could borrow. I am also planning on buying a flash before the wedding.
    I am just asking to find out other opinions on lenses. I have seen the Sigma lenses but wasn't sure about buying them because the price was so much better than Canon's. I wasn't sure if they were good lenses or not??
     
  5. sperry

    sperry TPF Noob!

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    i will second the canon 17-55 2.8 IS option. you can't go wrong with this lens - if you're shooting with an EF-S mount body. it has a nice range that allows quite a bit of versatility. excellent image quality too.

    the large aperture and IS makes low light shooting a no-brainer.

    you can shoot the whole ceremony with this one lens - some 'two-foot zooming' might be required. it might not be the ideal textbook arsenal, but it is very effective.

    good luck.
     
  6. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    The Canon Ls have image stabilization, weather proofing, are more sturdily built, and are generally perceived as cooler. :) Sigmas and Tamrons with similar specs have similar image quality. I use Canons, Canon Ls, Sigmas, and Tamrons and it's impossible to tell the difference from the prints. If you are pixel peeping it just depends. For instance viewing at 100% magnification on a monitor at wide apertures my Tamron f/2.8 28-75 is slightly sharper than my Canon L f/2.8 24-70. In large prints, or when stopped down a few stops, I can't see any difference. I believe that often there's just as much variation within a single production line as there is between different brands. It's best to judge each lens individually; I've seen plenty of examples of 2 photogs owning the same lens, and one appears to be slightly better or worse than the other.
     
  7. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My ABSOLUTE favorite lens is my 100mm. I'm shooting with a D5, so I get full frame.

    When I shoot a wedding, it's my go-to lens. If I have room, I'm using the 100mm. ALL my portraits are shot with this lens.

    -Pete
     
  8. brookie418

    brookie418 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your help! I just see some photos that are so crystal clear and that is what I want!!
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Remember, it has more to do with the photographer than the gear.
     
  10. brookie418

    brookie418 TPF Noob!

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    Oh yeah...I know...but I know the best photographers don't use that 18-55 mm lens that comes with the camera LOL! That's what I'm using now and I am ready to upgrade!
     
  11. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Be careful. Give yourself enough time with the flash (and any rented/borrowed lenses) so you are comfortable with them before the big event. You don't want to be learning how to use that flash as you are trying to record the wedding!
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I absolutely love my Tamron 17-50 f2.8, but if I were a wedding photographer I'd probably drop some extra cash and buy a USM lens. The Tamron has great optics and the reach would probably be good for you, but it is a bit noisy without an ultrasonic motor.
     

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