Kit lens at a wedding?


TPF Noob!
Oct 26, 2007
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
I was at a wedding over the weekend and since i am getting into photography and have been on this site for a few months I went to see what kind of gear the photographer had only to be shocked to see she was using the same kit lens on her canon 20d as i had on my xti.

So i was wondering how many wedding photographers use a standards lens like that? I haven't gotten to see her pictures yet but the venue was very low light so i expected to see something much more advanced to accomidate it.
So i was wondering how many wedding photographers use a standards lens like that? I haven't gotten to see her pictures yet but the venue was very low light so i expected to see something much more advanced to accommodate it.
I would be equally as shocked (and appalled) to see a 'professional' wedding photographer using that lens. It's a decent enough lens when stopped down and used in good lighting...but it's a poor choice for wedding photography.

As for what you were seeing...maybe she was just a friend or family member that was asked to shoot the wedding...rather than a hired professional. As for how the photos turn out, hopefully good.

Given the choice, I'd rather have a cheap kit in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing...than an expensive kit in the hands of someone who doesn't know.
i use my kit lens at the weddings I shoot... but I also use my 50mm and zoom as well, they come out great as long as you know to stop it down and have good lighting
For years, we (photographers) put so much crap in front of lenses to soften images, create a vignette, soften contrast, etc., it sometimes made me wonder why I invested so much in my lenses.

I'd be shocked too. I don't let assistants work with kit lenses ('ll give them one of mine to use) .....Unless you are outdoors in daylight, a kit lens simply won't work well.
While we might be working with blurs, overlays, vignettes, etc., it's always best to start with a nice crisp image.
But also keep in mind, pretty much everyone with a camera is a wedding photog these days. LOL, exaggeration of course, but it's the bane of many a pro. But even the pros had to start somewhere.

You should reserve your shock, and your pity, for the bride and groom. After all, they are the person who probably spent more on the cake than the photog. When the cake is gone, they will have several blurry photos of it, to remember it by. Hopefully, for their sake, this photographer was the exclusion to the rule.......
One of the places I worked for sent me on a few weddings with a couple of people and the ones I did go with to a person carried slow lenses. I was totally surprised but those people were the best photoraphers they had and they were excellent photographers not beginners they just did not have the gear. Most of these people were at the time just transitioning from medium-format film to digital so they understood good gear but just did not have it with digital. I know fast lenses get bandied about here as the end all be all even by me but you can produce excellent images with lesser gear. I am a big proponent of getting the right gear for the job but the people I have worked with have proved the "it's not the ear it's the photographer" right every time.
The couple in question has committed a serious faux pas by having a photographer present who was using an unacceptable lens in full view of wedding patrons. Heloise recommends politely declining further wedding invitations from this couple.
I just shot a wedding for a family friend I only have my kit lens 18-55mm and my 55-200mm VR lens. Most of the pic's I got with my 55-200mm but I had to use the other lens with some. I thought they all turned out very beautiful and so did the bride and groom. I am learning and not a paid professional and they new that but they couldn't afford anything else (above free). So sometimes it does depend on the Bride and Groom's finance.
I'll just have to ask in general... why is there such a hang up for the kit lenses? I realize that the glass and aps are lesser quality but as was mentioned, we usually over process the prints anyway. But what's your take on it?

I think I just don't get the "appalled" comment. I have shot kit lenses with great product to show for it. I need the glass but I have to work myself into it. This "hobby of mine" is expencive.

(having said that, my kit lens broke. it hangs up zooming around 30mm)
The kit lenses gets a lot of bad run on the internet. I think that a lot of it has to do with how cheep it feels, rather than it's performance.

That being said, if you had the opportunity to shoot with a top quality lens and a kit lens, and compared the would probably be very easy to tell which one was better. Once you are opened up to the world of better don't ever want to go back.

One reason why people don't like the kit because they are slow. The max aperture is a limitation and they really are not at their best when used wide open anyway. So to get the most out of it, you need to shoot at F8 or F11 etc. In some situations, that's not a problem. Even for weddings, you can just use more flash power. Some people prefer to shoot this way because it gives them a deeper DOF.
On the other hand, shooting at smaller apertures in poor lighting, and using more flash...will give you less ambient (background) exposure.
With high quality lenses, you may have a larger aperture, which means you can use less flash power and create a better balance between ambient and flash exposure. Also, better quality lenses may not be as poor when wide you can shoot at F2.8 or F4 and still have great quality.

Also, there is build quality. As mentioned, someones kit lens broke...
A top quality lens can take a pretty good licking...and keep on ticking. This is important when you are responsible for shooting a once in a life time event, like a wedding.

I don't know if anyone asked...but did the photographer in question have a backup camera/lens? Shooting with a cheap lens is much less reprehensible than shooting without backup.
And just to add (I'm really not being a lens snob) :greenpbl:

I am the one who processes all the images that we shoot, which of course includes assistants.
When I open the photos in Light Room, I sort by capture time, and not by camera, so I see the photos side by side.

When we first started using assistants, they shot with what they brought. As they were just starting out, they often had kit lenses.

Now keep in mind, the kit lens photos were fine, as far as composition, emotion, and various other elements. Often though, they had to be cut.

The reason they were cut, was that they wouldn't "mesh" with the other photographs in terms of clarity, noise, sharpness etc. While they looked fine on their own, they could not stand up, and be cohesive with the faster lenses.

That is when I decided to pimp out my own lenses :lmao:. It wasn't that the camera or the photographer was having problems keeping up, it was the lenses. Once I started do that, the problems (clarity/sharpness/noise) totally disappeared.

So that is where I am coming a processor. The photograph's artistic merits were fine. That wasn't the point at all. Many were quite good in these aspects. It was the quality of the image (comparatively), not the image itself.

Most reactions