What is a good lens for wedding photography?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by atseeyob, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. atseeyob

    atseeyob TPF Noob!

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    As usual it is time to spend a little on lens. I will be doing my first wedding event this May. I am a backup photographer; therefore, no risk involved. There is different light situation. There will be in door, church, park, and reception. Reading may advice, I came across this one.
    [​IMG]
    Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

    But the price seems a little out of reach ($1100). Is there any thing you can recommend that is comparable to this one. Meaning Sigma or other.
     
  2. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Don't scrimp on your lenses... better to "reach" to get a fast L lens than settle for anything less... especially if you plan to learn eventually become a wedding shooter.

    My only concern with that lens is that it isn't extremely wide.

    Still, L lenses are great lenses.

    BTW working as a backup with no pressure is the right way to start learning the wedding business.
     
  3. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    That's a great lens for a wedding. The 17-55 f/2.8 IS is a little cheaper, but still around $1000. You could consider renting it for $50-100 if you don't want to tie up a grand and wouldn't need something like this all that often. For inside the church, especially if it's not well lit and they're not allowing flash during the ceremony, even f/2.8 is slow. A longish prime like an 85mm f/1.8 (or even better the 1.4) is great. I shot a wedding also as a backup mostly with an 85/1.8 parked on my D80 and got a ton of great no-flash photos. Worked good at the reception afterwards too getting some candids.

    Since you're the backup, you don't need to worry yourself with getting all of the "primary" shots where this lens would be the most useful, but I don't know what the primary is expecting of you. Usually the backup will be the one off in the background or the corner somewhere getting alternative angle shots. That's where a longish fast prime will come in really handy, or a 70-200 f/2.8 zoom. From my own wedding, I actually liked a lot of the shots the backup got better than the primary's.
     
  4. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    I'm not as familiar with Canon obviously, but the 85mm f/1.2L would be a kickin lens for an indoor no flash wedding, although you'd need to practice with it a bit before going to a wedding. You can't just pickup an f/1.2 lens and expect to get top notch results right out of the bag. A bit less demanding skill wise, the 100mm f/2 would probably be good, along with the 135mm f/2L. If I recall, these are probably about the same price if not cheaper than the 24-70/2.8 and might be a little more appropriate for a backup photog, so I'd look into those too.
     
  5. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree that an 85 would be a nice lens to have but with a wedding you are going to need more flexibility so something like a 17-55 would be essential but the 24-70 might do. Another lens that could be considered at least needed if not essential would be something like a 70-200 2.8 . I do agree with the rental suggestion instead of spending $100+ right now why not spend a few bucks and rent a couple of lenses like a 17-55 2.8 and a 70-200 2.8 or whatever the Canon equivalent is as I see you are a Canon shooter and see wich one you find as "essential" to you as lenses and wich ones are "essential" is a matter of personal style and everyone shoots differently. Something like this might save you from making a purchase now that you might regret later.
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That is a surprisingly good range on a DX, not quite wide (36mm in the classic 35mm film or FX format) to short telephoto (105mm in the FX/film format). For someone who doesn't like to get in peoples faces but does want to be close it will capture full length couples in portrait or a good few mid length in landscape at a comfortable distance.

    You might look around for a Tokina 28-80mm f/2.8 280 AT-X. It's takes 77mm filters, and as far as I can tell is a Superb lens (I've only had mine for a short while). It's built like a top line Tokina -like a tank, and the last model they made- the 280- has a mechanical clutch which you can just grab and slide back to manually adjust and push right back to go auto again. There is no fiddling around with it, it works almost as well as the Nikon AF-S lenses. It has also been favorably compared with Canon L lenses and the Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8

    Tokina bought the design for this lens from a French Company called Angenieux which now concentrates on cinema and military applications
    ( http://www.mflenses.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=56 ).

    Leica fans will know the name. If you look around on the net you will
    notice that there was apparently a focusing problem with Nikon F100's on some models but unless you have one, I wouldn't worry too much about that. You also hear about their being soft at the wider apertures but I am seeing that it's more a matter of the focus needing to be right on than the lens being soft (some people pay a lot of money for portrait lenses that exhibit this behavior). I am having no problem with flare or CA's either. The color is rich, focus is fast, has great contrast and if you can find one (the 280) you will spend less than half of the price of an OEM.

    One note, Nikon types don't seem to be giving these up very much so if you shoot Nikon you may have to do quite a bit of looking. There are a few canon mounts out there (from what I've seen you can get a Canon mount for $350 and up and the Nikons go for $450 and up, as always if you are bidding YMMV).

    mike

    P.S. here is a Canon mount http://cgi.ebay.com/Tokina-AT-X-280...yZ152380QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    And here is one for a Nikon (see, they are around :)) http://cgi.ebay.com/TOKINA-AT-X-280...yZ152383QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    BTW, this lens is for FX/film and is Substantial. Read that heavy, so it's not for someone who just sorta wants one. If you take this lens along you need to want to. ;)
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know at this point saving money seems real tempting but if you are planning on pursuing professional wedding photography whatever you do, do not buy Sigma, Tamron, Tokina or any other generinc type lens no matter what company someone claims the lenses are made by. If you have Canon buy fast Canon lenses if you have nikon buy fast Nikon lenses if you have Pentax, Sony etc... buy a Nikon or Canon camera and get into a decent system.
     
  8. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    LOL, JIP has spoken. Yes boys and girls the man is made of money. He laughs at your paltry $500 and says you must spend $2000 if you are to be a real photographer. Says Fool to the poor noob that thinks that his photos being sharp at 100% is good enough and says that 400% is the standard. And has so much business that he can spare no expense on the least little gadget and still stay IN business.

    Look folks, trust your own eyes- even if you need a loop. If you can afford the best OEM lens then get it. But understand that you can find lenses that will do the same things elsewhere for prices that will allow you to still eat.

    You also need to understand that not everyone is going to print at 4X6 FEET and therefore doesn't need equipment that will do so (or the many thousands of dollars extra it will cost).

    For any of you that want to make a living or even part of a living at photography, you also need to take a long hard look at what it takes to show a profit. If you go bankrupt you won't be doing much photography with charcoal and a slate, will you. Can you be a blind brandphile and still start a business? Sure, You can also run a race with your legs tied together but why? Nikon engineers design Nikon lenses. Tokina was started and is still run by Nikon engineers who wanted to start their own company so that they could pursue their own dreams . Does it mean that Nikon lenses are no good if some of the same group of people are at Tokina now? Oh Hairy no! I have also heard that Tokina is making lenses for Pentax, does that mean that Pentax is no good? LOL Please!

    Look folks, do the best you can and go have fun with it. Don't worry about the name as long as it's working for YOU!!!


    BTW, I said that Tokina bought the Design not the lens. A design from a company that sold lenses for Leica cameras which Leica was happy enough with I've read. I guess that Leica isn't any good either, hmmm? :)
     
  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Listen Mike just to clear the air here I am FAAAAAAR from made of money. I shoot weddings part time as a third source of income (ie third job with 50-60 hour weeks) and with that I just barely get by for me my working wife and baby so please do not think otherwise. When I make a statement about gear it is from 6+years experience in the weding business (currently curtailed by a car accident that caused me a serious leg fracture for wich I have to date had 9 surgeries with more to come). The gear that I have I took out a loan to purchase because I feel like the people I shoot for deserve the best and part of doing the best possible job (regardless of what alot of people say) is having the right gear. I have been to a million different wedding venues with a billion diferent types of lighting and I know from experience that you need to be prepared for anything so if it takes signing my life away for a loan to buy the right gear so be it I am prepared. I know the gear that I have (since I bought the best) will last me loooong after the loan I had to get is paid off this is not the case with other off-brand gear that I have purchased. One last thing I am personally too poor to run out and but a relatively expensive Sigma lens now with the intent of buying a better Nikon later I would rather spend a little more now and buy ONE lens and leave it at that I know it will last me. Oh yeah and Tokina making lenses for Pentax gives me one more reason to not think Petax has any credibility as a professional brand.
     
  10. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    *Obliviously walks into thread*
    ....

    *Clears throat and tries to quietly back step out of thread*


    (Tokina lenses are very nice by the way!)
     
  11. STINKY PICTURES

    STINKY PICTURES TPF Noob!

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    I love this place!
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A professional should NOT skimp on good equipment. They make money with their stuff, and like in most all businesses, their equipment is merely a tool... a tool that gets upgraded regularly.

    I would say that if you are pro, get the best lens out there for your business, you will see the difference in your pics and in your client's level of satisfaction.

    HOWEVER, the OEM manufacturers are not *always* the best. I am not a Canon guy, but I can give you a perfect example from the Nikon world...

    In the 17-55 range, we have 3 main competitors, The Nikkor 17-55, the Tokina 17-50 and the Sigma 18-50 (there are 3 models of this lens out, and on that basis for this conversation, I am referring to the Sigma 18-50 EX DC HSM Macro F/2.8).

    Several leading photography magazines tested these lenses in a shootout and in ALL CASES, the Sigma was sharper, had less flare, lower CA than any of the others. It was also 1/3rd the price of the Nikkor, and offered a 3:1 macro... something none of the competition offered. In this case the "best" lens was not a Nikkor, nor was it the most expensive one either.

    To globally say that OEM lenses are aways better than aftermarket ones means that you are walking around with horse blinders onyour face and possibly missing out on some fantastic glass at affordable prices.

    I am not saying that this is always the case, but YOU, as a professional, need to do this very homework and find out what is the best for your needs and the needs of your clients.

    You can play safe and always go for Canon "L" glass, it is known good... and as a pro, I think it should be your FIRST consideration, but certainly NOT your only consideration.

    If you cannot afford the best lens now... rent it, and purchase it when you can, or take out a business loan if possible.

    I do not think you will find anyone argue the fact that using the best lens possible is always preferable to using the #2 option. Your pride and desire to be the best you can be as a professional should demand no less.

    In the end, you will decide how serious you are and how far you want to take your photography, and your choice of equipmentwill reflect this.

    Good luck in your choice. :)
     

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