My Wedding Setup - Your Opinion?


TPF Noob!
Aug 18, 2013
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Dear everyone,

I have been shooting travel and street photography for the main part over the last four years and next month my friend has asked me to cover his wedding.

This will be my first formal event so i am keen to do it right and do it to the best of my ability.

My camera and lens set up will be:

5D mk iii and 450D
35mm 1.4 (canon)
85mm 1.4 (sigma)

possibly also a 24-70 (canon) ???

a 600 ex flash on my 5D

Please can you advise if the lens range and combination is sufficient for end to end coverage including group shots involving up to 10 people standing in a horizontal row?

Secondly, what value will the 24-70 add if any? I was initially planning on hiring this lens but i'm not sure if it will be of any use, or just a waste of money since I already own the 35 and 85.

Thanking you :)

There are two main schools of thought on "wedding lenses"; the "Primes rule" school and the "I love the convenience of my zooms" school. I am firmly in the latter camp. I don't shoot a lot of weddings, but I couldn't imagine having to do it without my 24-70 & 70-200, especially if this is a church ceremony where you are not allowed to get too close to the ceremony so that you 'don't distract'. You can certainly shoot a wedding with the gear you've got as long as you know how to use it, but it's not what I would choose. A couple of our full-time wedding shooters are prime fans and Canon shooters and can likely give you better advice.
Honestly, your primes are fine, but I'd also have the 24-70, as well as a 70-200. A macro lens, say around 85mm could be invaluable as well, particularly if the clients want pictures of their rings. Or, since I currently don't have a macro, you can do what I do...improvise! See below...
$Rings sm.jpg
24-70 would be my main lens, without a doubt. It has great macro capabilities too. The 85 and 35 you can switch between your back up body. I know several wedding photogs, and all of them use the 24-70 almost exclusively.

I think I read where Sigma is coming out with a 24-70 f2. If it tests well, that would be even better.
From what I gather you ware wanting to shoot a wedding with one body and two prime lenses a 35mm and a 85mm.

Now I don't photograph wedding myself but I used to do wedding videos so I'm familiar with the the conditions you would be shooting under.

At weddings you will have little control over where you can position yourself and because of this I would not choose prime lenses to photograph a wedding, you are going to want zoom lenses.

Also you don't want to be changing lenses all the time. You may miss the moment if you have to change lenses.

I would take two bodies one with a 24-70 and the other with a 70-200.
I would take two bodies one with a 24-70 and the other with a 70-200.

This is the best combo IMO for doing weddings as far as glass.

I have not actually photographed a wedding but have done wedding size events but those two lenses make a great combo.

The two prime are nice to have for when you do misc stuff around the room and take some portraits around the room. But or the ceremony, first dance, father daughter dance, mother son dance, cake cutting, etc I would have the 24-70 and 70-200 to capture the moments the best as possible.
24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8 on two separate bodies, preferably two full frames. And a crap ton of other stuff (batteries, memory cards, etc)
Brilliant feedback guys, thanks.

I take your point about the zoom advantage.

I think going with just primes or just zooms would not suit me. I would need to have a mix of the two.

In browsing the 24-70 galleries on flickr, it does seem like a versatile lens with the ability to capture a variety of more 'general shots'. The only downside i see is the lack of a beautiful bokeh effect but i guess that can be achieved with my 85mm prime on my second body.

On the 24-70, have you experienced a significant increase in quality from the original to the mkii lens? there is a substantial cost difference between the two, and even though i'll be hiring anyway, i'm curious to know if the price hike is justified?

Most reactions