Wedding Lenses

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by Xmetal, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. Xmetal

    Xmetal TPF Noob!

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    Wedding Gurus!

    I've been asked to shoot a wedding - in 2007. :lol:

    So i'm drawing up a basic list of what i'll need to pull the gig off. :)

    The list goes...

    Canon EOS 350D (buying at the end of the year)
    Canon 580EX Speedlite
    Canon Battery Grip for 350D
    A stack of CF Flashcards!! :lol:

    I've already got a tripod

    My question now is what Lenses should I be using?

    Prime Lenses? Zoom Lenses?...The girl in the local camera shop suggested I get a portrait lens but i'm still baffled about what exactly it is! :meh:

    Please help....or i'll cry :(
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    There are usually no 'must have' lenses...because it really depends on your style and the situations you will be in.

    If you are doing a more 'photojournalist' style, documenting the events, a longer lens might help you get the shots while staying out of the way. A more traditional style of getting mostly posed shots would not require a longer lens.
    If the group is large, a wide lens would help for group shots...especially in a tight space...but wide angle lenses are typically not too flattering to the subjects....especially the closer you get.

    From what I have done (not too much) and what I've heard from others...a standard range zoom is usually the best. Something like 24-70mm...on a 35mm camera. So that would require a 15-43 on the 350D. The 18-55 EF-S kit lens would fit that rainge...although the Canon EF-S 17-85MM f4-5.6 IS USM might be a better choice if you can afford it.

    You should also be concerned about back up...you weren't planning on shooting a wedding with only one camera and one flash were you? What if something happened and you didn't have a back-up? A lot of pros don't go anywhere without backup and backup for their backups. It may not be possible for you to buy two of everything...so come up with a plan. Maybe borrow or rent extra equipment for the day. You have lots of time till then so I'm sure you can come up with something.

    My suggestion would be to get your gear and practice. You should have ample opportunity to attend weddings/birthdays/functions and to shoot lots of people shots before the wedding. I get most of my practice at family weddings where I'm not hired or am hired but not the official pro photogs.

    b.t.w. Typically a when someone refers to a portrait lens, it's around 100mm and might have a large aperture to be able to blur out the background.
     
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  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As usual, words of wisdom from Mike.

    Becoming familiar with your gear is task #1. Every button... every dial... and what sort of results to expect. Get to the point where you KNOW exactly what is happening when you trip the shutter. This will allow you to put more thought into composing your image.

    Good luck!

    -Pete
     
  4. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Mike has some great suggestion! The back up equipment is key, but it doesn't have to be digital. We have several backups just in case, some digital and some film.

    One of my favorite lenses is the prime 50mm/1.8. It's very sharp and handles well in low light situations, such as most receptions. During the ceremony I use a 70-200 and also my 20mm to get more wide angles.

    Like Mike and Pete said, get to know your gear. Practice with it and try to simulate some of the situations you might face (i.e couple walking down the aisle, dancing, etc). You've got a lot of time to prepare which is great!
     
  5. Xmetal

    Xmetal TPF Noob!

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    I'm aiming for a mixture of both 'fly on the wall' and posed shots so no doubt i'll need a long lens...was thinking an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM (expensive option and faster, AUS$1899) or a 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 II USM (cheap, AUS$379)


    EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Zoom would fit the bill? If not i'll go with the 18-55 if i can't find something else I can afford. :)

    Go without backup you say? that'd be like leaving home without your wallet, keys and mobile phone!! :shock: I'd have my 350D plus a good friend of mine said I can borrow his 350D if I need to and if worse comes to worse I can pinch my parents Powershot S45 - but that would be if both the DSLR's snuffed it on the night...i'd be slitting my wrists before using the S45. :lol:
    Plus I might take my dads old Metz "paparazzi flash" down to the camera shop and see if it's compatible with the 350D, if it is i'm up for a sh!tload of dosh because the battery packs are rare as hens teeth. :shock:

    Noted, might try and get in with a wedding shooter and do the assistant thing.

    prime 100mm? or zoom lens that floats around 100mm? (i'm new to the whole portrait lens thing) and when you say large appeture you would be meaning F2.8 or maybe F1.8?


    Thanks heaps for the assistance, Mike! :D :hail:
     
  6. Xmetal

    Xmetal TPF Noob!

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    I was pondering a 50mm F1.4 because I knew it would be excellent for low light but then I was worried the lens might be too short to reach - in other words I was afraid i'd be in their faces trying to get good shots. :lol:

    How far away are you when shooting the wedding ceremony in the church with the 70-200? Half way down the isle or still towards the back of the church? I should've mentioned that the ceremony i'll be shooting is outdoors... :???:
     
  7. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    It all depends on the church/wedding site. There are some that will let me get as close as I want and others who say no photographers past the last row of seated guests. I usually have Aubrey shooting with me as well so we can get several different angles. But, I'd say you can get pretty darn close with that lens, from the back of a pretty large church I was able to get a close up of the exchange of the rings.

    As for the 50, I don't feel like I'm too close (because of the digital magnification factor it's more in the 70 range). It's my favorite for posed portraits as well as for the first dance and cake cutting.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    The 70-200 F2.8 is supposed to be a great lens...Sigma has one that is cheaper than the Canon but supposedly still very good. Big Heavy lens though. The 70-200 F4 is smaller and a lot less expensive...but obviously not as fast. I would think that 200mm on a 350D would be long enough for most wedding shooting.

    The 28-135 IS is supposed to be a good all-around lens...for film or full frame cameras. I think it would be a bit too long/tight for use on a 350D. That's why I recommended the EF-S 17-85 IS...it's pretty much the same lens...just an EF-S version.

    It would be nice to have a fast prime....the 50mm F1.8 is great because it's so cheap...the 1.4 is supposed to be fantastic but 4 times more expensive than the 1.8

    If the wedding will be outdoors, practice your fill flash. Dim churches can be a problem...but so can bright mid-day sun. It may even be necessary to recreate some of the wedding shots in a better location shortly after the ceremony...if the sun so too bright that it creates harsh shadows.

    One photographer told me that his most used lens was the 24-70 F2.8 L This was with film cameras so it might be too long on a 1.6 DSLR.

    Don't worry too much about the 'portrait' lens thing. That's like saying a landscape lens...it's just silly. You can use any lens for landscape and you can use any lens for portrait. There are a few lenses that have a 'soft focus' feature for portraits but in the digital era...that is pretty much obsolete.
     
  9. Xmetal

    Xmetal TPF Noob!

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    I went and priced a Sigma 70-200 F2.8 and it came up around $400 cheaper than the Canon so I think i've found a winner there. :)

    Did the same thing for the 50mm and came up with AUS$139 for the F1.8 and AUS$519 for the F1.4 with USM....should I bite the bullet and get the extra appeture? :???:

    I'll probably have more questions tomorow - it's 3am here and i'm struggling to stay awake so nite nite everyone and thank you sooooo much for the assistance! :D
     
  10. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Great advice thus far. My two cents:

    1. I love fast lenses (atleast 2.8 ). You may not want to always rely on the flash and you defenitely dont want your lense hunt during crucial shots. Flash is good but try to get most of the shots with the available light. Bounce the flash whever possible.
    2. It has been mentioned before - pactice. Rest is secondary. Practice with all the probable lighting conditions that you will face that day - with/without the flash. Let your family and friends be the models. The coolest toys alone does not make one a strong photographer.
    3. Another vote for backup equipment and a 50mm lense.
    4. Get a bunch of batteries for the flash. It has a fiery appetite if you are constantly firing away.
    5. Try as much as possible to not delete a frame while previewing. You dont want to accidentally press the 'Delete All', do you? :)
    6. Back up the images to a CD or DVD before you start post processing. Don't delete the images off your card unless you have it saved on the HD and a backup on CD/DVD.
    7. I derive inspiration from watching other work. Check out 'Site Suggestions'.
     
  11. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    I shoot the sigma 70-200 f/2.8 and it's a fantastic lens. Heavy as hell, but tack-sharp.

    I also have the nice cheap 50mm f/1.8 and it is by far my favorite lens. Takes some geting used to to not have that zoom ability, but it's great in low light and very sharp for an inexpensive piece of glass.
     

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