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Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: Rofflesaurrr on October 04, 2012, 04:13:39 PM

Title: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Rofflesaurrr on October 04, 2012, 04:13:39 PM
My friend is getting married on the 13th. He's having a girl with an entry level crop body do some photographs. I'm also going to be helping out. I'm interested in switching to Canon, so I figured it would be a good time to try out a body before purchasing. As I'm not the Primary photographer, there's isn't any pressure. I've used a Nikon D300s, D80, and D70 in the past.

I'm going to be renting a 5D Mark III, BG-E11, and a 600EX-RT.
The church is fairly big and well lit, so I was thinking of using a 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS for the ceremony, and a 35mm f/1.4L L for the reception.

The last reception I did, I used a 17-50 f/2.8 and I was wishing it was faster. I was thinking a 35mm on a full frame should be sufficiently wide.

Any suggestions or recommendations?

Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: beckstoy on October 04, 2012, 06:00:14 PM
I've been shooting weddings for several years now, and the lenses I end up using THE MOST, without question, are my f4 24-105mm and my f1.4 50mm. 

Fast focusing, wide working range (with the 24-105mm vs the 24-70mm, the additional reach is irreplaceable) and the DOF options provided by the 50mm.

I shoot on the 5DM3, and that camera works great in low light with those lenses.  I used to use the 24-70mm on my 40D in order to be able to shoot in the lower light that the f2.8 allows, but the f4 is plenty for the 5DM3.

Oh, and you might not find the 35mm wide enough, even on the FF which you'll be using.  The low end of the 24-105mm is plenty wide for those large family shots.  Much wider and you start to have to worry about distortions on the sides.  24mm on a FF will blow your mind!

...that's my two cents...  =)
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: SJTstudios on October 04, 2012, 06:03:55 PM
#1: a canon 24-70 mk ii, for the versatility and speed

#2: canon 85 1.2 L ii/my 100mm 2.8 L/canon 135 f2 for extra length, and the bokeh telephoto capabilities.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Cptn Rigo on October 04, 2012, 06:25:20 PM
#1: a canon 24-70 mk ii, for the versatility and speed

#2: canon 85 1.2 L ii/my 100mm 2.8 L/canon 135 f2 for extra length, and the bokeh telephoto capabilities.

I use exactly the same,  24-70 and 135  :)
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: CharlieB on October 04, 2012, 06:50:41 PM
Two bodies, FF, 5d2 or better (or 6D or better... when its finally out)

35/1.4L
50/1.4usm

thats it

All I need to do at a wedding, I can do with that.  Give me a good strobe with a small to medium softbox, I'm set
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Mooose on October 04, 2012, 07:13:53 PM
8-16mm fisheye and a 600 f4.   but that's just me.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: TrumpetPower! on October 04, 2012, 07:53:31 PM
If it's just two lenses, then a standard zoom (24-70 or 24-105, your preference) and a telephoto zoom (70-200) is going to be your best bet. That's especially true since you don't have enough experience to know what you're doing; the versatility of the zoom will probably be a blessing for you.

No matter what you do, it'd be silly to not have the Shorty McForty (or at least the Plastic Fantastic) in your pocket. It's just too good and too small a lens to not have as backup.

If you were going to do a wedding with just two primes, you'd want a 35 and an 85.

More commonly, you'd have one of the holy trinities. 35/50/85 is the classic. 24/50/100 can work well. Some might like 35/85/135.

(Of course, all these focal length suggestions assume full frame. Adjust accordingly for crop.)

However, I wouldn't at all recommend doing a wedding with only primes until after you've done enough weddings with zooms to know what you're doing.

The ideal setup for a novice wedding photographer would be the holy trinity of zooms (either 16-35 or 12-24, depending on availability, plus standard and telephoto) plus a holy trinity of primes (pick any) with two bodies. You'd keep the standard zoom on one body, the telephoto on the other body, and only swap those out with one of the other lenses when you had a specific need to do so. That'll give you enough backup equipment to laugh in the face of disaster; enough options to cover any unexpected situation you might run into; and only be moderately burdensome.

Of course, it'll set you back five figures....

Cheers,

b&
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: sovietdoc on October 04, 2012, 07:58:45 PM
24-70 ii f/2.8
70-200 ii f/2.8
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: bdunbar79 on October 04, 2012, 08:19:49 PM
If you could ONLY have two lenses, I've done enough events to go for the 24-70L II and the 70-200L II IS.  There's nothing I couldn't cover, and cover well.  I think bringing two cameras though, you could have two primes, but for flexibility these two zooms perform better than a lot of primes in those focal lengths. 

Only two primes?  Hmmm.  My shooting style would warrant a 50 and a 135.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Bob Howland on October 04, 2012, 08:54:24 PM
24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8

You stated that you last used a 17-50 f/2.8 and wished it was faster. That means you were using a crop body. The 5D3 yields amazingly good images at ISO 12800, so f/2.8 zooms will probably suffice this time.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: kev8d on October 04, 2012, 09:23:03 PM
Videographer here, but I work with dozens of photographers shooting weddings every year.

Lots of photographers get away with only two lenses: 24-70 and a 70-200 f/2.8 IS.

I've also seen a few shoot exclusively with primes: 35 f1/.4, 50 f/1.2, 135 f/2.

If had to do it with primes, I'd choose the 35 f/1.4 and the 135 f/2.

Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Nishi Drew on October 04, 2012, 10:36:23 PM
I've shot with a 70-200, 50 1.4 and 10-20 on a crop body. Decided I'll go FF so I was thinking a 70-200 and 35 prime would work well. I've read others referring to that set "the ultimate combo". Considering too that the 70-200 is both versatile, fast enough, and has stabilization that helps when you get tired after hours of running around with it~
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: dpollitt on October 04, 2012, 10:54:34 PM
You can't go wrong with a 70-200mm f/2.8 IS mkII at a wedding. It is one of the most used by far. Very versatile for the ceremony and reception. To pair with that, you either would want the 24-70mm as a zoom, or probably 2 primes like the 35L, 50L, 85L, or 135L.

So if you are really limited to 2 lenses, I would do:
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: sb on October 04, 2012, 10:59:20 PM
I'll do one better - if I only had 1 lens for a wedding it would be 35mm 1.4. In fact even if you give me all the lenses I can carry, I'll still use 35mm 85% of the time :-)

Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: rpt on October 04, 2012, 11:08:52 PM
If all you are going to do is center point AF and reframe I guess you may be ok. If you plan on using any other features, plan to rent it for a few days to get used to it. My 2c...
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Menace on October 05, 2012, 05:27:38 AM
Just shot a wedding last weekend; approx 80% of the shots were with 70-200 2.8 IS II, 15% with 50L 1.2 and 5% with 24-105.
Alo, Ex 580 II with external battery pack - worked like a charm  :)
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Quackator on October 05, 2012, 06:33:25 AM
The 24-105 is my major workhorse, and I love adding the 1.8/200 to that.
Two lenses, there.

As far as primes are considered, I don't like the bokeh of the 1.4/35mm, would either
recommend to wait what the MkII version will be like, or grab the 1.4/24mm MkII instead.
That's far more pleasing in it's bokeh.

I have the 1.2/85, and while this is a good lens, it is also a diva.
Buying again from scratch I'd rather buy the 1.8/85 AND the 2/135mm
instead. And still save money.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: UrbanVoyeur on October 05, 2012, 06:46:14 AM
16-35, 70-200.

You can go wide for large groups in tight spaces, and close for intimate portraits.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: jpollackphoto on October 05, 2012, 07:20:16 AM
I shoot weddings with two primary lenses, my 24-70 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8L IS II. I may use the 16-35 f/2.8 II if I need a wider group shot or if the space is extremely large, but I use that lens primarily for architectural photography. I've found that f/2.8 is plenty fast as long as I have - or create - sufficient light; I wouldn't want to attempt shooting a wedding without several flashes and lots of extra batteries.

Jonathan
jpollackphoto.com (http://jpollackphoto.com)
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: se_photo on October 05, 2012, 08:54:18 AM
This is second post I've read in as many days where a wedding guest/ friend/ relative is planning to show up and help photograph a wedding (sometimes with a bag full of pro gear)- and they aren't the official photographer. As a professional wedding photographer for 10 years, nothing makes me groan more. Please, please, please if you want to be the photographer for someone's event, ask them or if they ask you, take on the whole job. I feel badly already for the official photographer at this wedding- god forbid she only has a crop camera. If you perceive this photographer as less than 100%, it's not your job to show up and prove it with rented gear. Your friend hired her- period. They will live with the good, bad, and ugly of their choice. Do they have twenty pizzas showing up in case the prime rib sucks? I doubt it. I know people enjoy photography as a hobby and there are some very good hobbyists out there. It's fun to rent gear and it's fun to shoot when there's no pressure. The official photographer doesn't have these luxuries. Want to know a secret? Being a professional wedding photographer has little to do with cameras at all. It's smiling, putting a nervous bride at ease, coordinating a drunken bridal party of 14 into a photograph, taking photos with a dozen iphones over your shoulder competing for your subjects' attention, chatting gear with hobbyists without wasting time or missing shots, it's projecting confidence, being well groomed, being in the room when something happens, staying on your feet for 10 hours with two heavy cameras weighing you down, it's getting a club sandwich while guests get surf and turf. It's downloading, backing up, editing for hours, album design and redesign and redesign. it's paying an assistant, business insurance, marketing, payroll, taxes galore, equipment repairs and maybe myself. We do it all for that little rush of composing a photo and making people smile and swoon when they enjoy your artistry. We do it because we can't do anything else. So go, have fun, take photos, just show some respect and understanding for what the "official" photographer has on their plate. Sorry, I had to vent a little- or a lot. To play along nicely, I'll add that I use a 16-35 LII  and a 50 1.2 or 85 1.8. I really wish they made a 65 1.4 or a 50-80 1.8 zoom- that would be sweet.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: joshmurrah on October 05, 2012, 09:37:39 AM
24-70 f/2.8 II
70-200 f/2.8 II
two FF bodies with grips and spacious memory (5D2 or 5D3s)
at least one 580II or better for bounce/fill at the reception venue
Beyond that basic setup, add primes for those special shots... 35/50/85.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Dylan777 on October 05, 2012, 09:49:14 AM
I'm not a pro wedding, but I have 4 friends(PRO WEDDING) for 10-15yrs. They always carry 2 FF bodies.

Their current lenses to wedding are:
1. 24-70 f2.8 II
2. 70-200 f2.8 IS II
3. 35 L - when flash is not allowed
4. 50 L - when flash is not allowed
5. 3-4 flashes with EXTRA-EXRA-EXTRA batteries

6. one of them now carry 135L

Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Random Orbits on October 05, 2012, 10:23:17 AM
For a second shooter looking to try out a Canon system, use the stuff that you are interested in owning.  The 35L and 70-200L will be fine, but you might want to bring a flash for use during the reception anyway because the lighting can be really dim or you might be competing with sidelight/backlight if there is a wall of windows and the reception is during the day.

Also agree with se_photo on letting the primary photographer do her job.  Focus on the people that aren't working with the photographer at that moment.  While she is focusing on getting the list of family photos with the bride and groom, focus on the family/groups waiting their turn, esp. if there are young kids, who are good at getting people to let their guard down.  Focus on people sitting around you or those that you know.  You'll get more compelling pictures, and the bride and groom will thank you for it.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: crasher8 on October 05, 2012, 10:25:43 AM
This is second post I've read in as many days where a wedding guest/ friend/ relative is planning to show up and help photograph a wedding (sometimes with a bag full of pro gear)- and they aren't the official photographer. As a professional wedding photographer for 10 years, nothing makes me groan more. Please, please, please if you want to be the photographer for someone's event, ask them or if they ask you, take on the whole job. I feel badly already for the official photographer at this wedding- god forbid she only has a crop camera. If you perceive this photographer as less than 100%, it's not your job to show up and prove it with rented gear. Your friend hired her- period. They will live with the good, bad, and ugly of their choice. Do they have twenty pizzas showing up in case the prime rib sucks? I doubt it. I know people enjoy photography as a hobby and there are some very good hobbyists out there. It's fun to rent gear and it's fun to shoot when there's no pressure. The official photographer doesn't have these luxuries. Want to know a secret? Being a professional wedding photographer has little to do with cameras at all. It's smiling, putting a nervous bride at ease, coordinating a drunken bridal party of 14 into a photograph, taking photos with a dozen iphones over your shoulder competing for your subjects' attention, chatting gear with hobbyists without wasting time or missing shots, it's projecting confidence, being well groomed, being in the room when something happens, staying on your feet for 10 hours with two heavy cameras weighing you down, it's getting a club sandwich while guests get surf and turf. It's downloading, backing up, editing for hours, album design and redesign and redesign. it's paying an assistant, business insurance, marketing, payroll, taxes galore, equipment repairs and maybe myself. We do it all for that little rush of composing a photo and making people smile and swoon when they enjoy your artistry. We do it because we can't do anything else. So go, have fun, take photos, just show some respect and understanding for what the "official" photographer has on their plate. Sorry, I had to vent a little- or a lot. To play along nicely, I'll add that I use a 16-35 LII  and a 50 1.2 or 85 1.8. I really wish they made a 65 1.4 or a 50-80 1.8 zoom- that would be sweet.

Great post although it got rantish after the food comment. I agree, why not just attend the event and let the paid shooter deliver or not. Dance, drink and chat up the lovelies. We all talk about gear way too much as it is.

 I cannot imagine what it is like to shoot a gig and have a bunch of iPhones and kit lenses snapping away behind or in front of me. Segue-----I was on a portrait shoot last night and 4 other groups came along with paid photogs at the same location-golden hour/fall leaves etc. All of these had crop cameras/kit lenses in a low light scene with no flash minus onboard. I had a 5D3 and was at 4k iso maybe 30 keepers out of 100. I simply cannot imagine what those people will be paying for noisy and/or over-sharpened prints. Basically what I'm getting at is this is a tough era, where everyone is a photographer.I'm pretty good but be responsible for a wedding? No thanks!
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Quasimodo on October 05, 2012, 10:25:56 AM
Since you are renting and you don't have the pressure of being the first shooter, why not also have some fun while testing the gear? I would rent three lenses and not two... 24-105L, the 70-200L IS II, and the 85L II :)
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: PVS on October 05, 2012, 11:19:37 AM
I've shot few weddings with 5Dc, Smegma 24/1.8 and EF 85/1.8 - so that would be my 2 wedding lenses if I had to restrict myself, since they cover almost anything needed.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: jpollackphoto on October 05, 2012, 11:57:31 AM
Just because you have a DSLR doesn’t mean you’re a pro. It isn’t the gear that makes you great photographer it’s having ethics and understanding other human beings that’s makes you great.
That's precisely it. You can absolutely shoot a wedding with smaller sensor cameras as long as you have enough light. The same goes for narrower aperture lenses. If a photographer's particular artistic style and equipment she uses and is familiar with gets the job done, then there's nothing wrong with it!

Also, I'll add that as a wedding photographer it doesn't bother me if guests take pictures or if there are semi-professional guests around. Only in the event that they interfere with my job (i.e. standing up and blocking my shots) do I get agitated.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: rpt on October 05, 2012, 12:00:47 PM
24-70 II  and 70-200 2.8
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Marsu42 on October 05, 2012, 12:54:01 PM
Their current lenses to wedding are:
1. 24-70 f2.8 II

So you're saying they switched from the 24-70 mk1 to the mk2 asap - because they feel they have to have the latest gear, or does the mk2 really make a difference to them?
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Briand on October 05, 2012, 01:21:17 PM
Depends on which part of the wedding.

I use more lens during these parts but if I had a limit of two I would choose these based on my experience.

Brides House
85 f/1.8
35L f/1.4

Ceremony
70-200L f/2.8IS II
35L f/1.4

Outdoors Before Reception
24-105L f/4
70-200L f/2.8IS II

Reception
70-200L f/2.8IS II
35L f/1.4

If I had to only pick two for entire day.
I would have to choose.
70-200L f/2.8IS II
35L f/1.4
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: sb on October 05, 2012, 01:40:23 PM
As a professional wedding photographer for 10 years, nothing makes me groan more.

Your post is of course entirely true, but I don't understand why this makes you groan. You know, as well as any other pro, that even a guest with identical gear and even identical skill level will not have pictures on par with what you'll produce. This is of course true because you are working hard at being ready for that right shot, whereas,  the other person is merely snapping at whatever happens to come their way. It's impossible to work and be a guest at the same.

I've had guests with sometimes better equipment than me but I couldn't care less because:

1) I get the prime spots whereas  they get the leftovers. If I had to shoot from where they are standing, I wouldn't even bother taking any shots (I'm not even kidding - if I have a choice between crappy angle and no picture, I choose no picture. It saves me the effort of filtering it out later). AND

2) I'm the one getting paid, whereas, they get to compete with iPhone pictures on facebook

So what I'm saying is - bring on the Leicas and Medium formats for all I care :-)
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: kapanak on October 05, 2012, 01:44:15 PM
I've only done six weddings all my life, so my opinion may be limited.

If you are going to use a full frame body, it is best if you get used to all its functions and can call them up without even thinking.

A 5DII or III and a grip are recommended. More than two batteries fully charged are highly recommended.

A good quality Flash is essential. Extra lighting and perhaps a light meter would also be very useful. Take gels too, if you know how to use them.

A TRIPOD is absolutely VITAL in many situations.

As for lenses, a 70-200 f/2.8 or f/4 with IS (I used 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for all six) is THE must have lens, along with an 85mm f/1.2 II L or 135mm f/2.0 L are the basics that most wedding photographers take with them. A 24-70 is not necessarily essential, but it is recommended.

Some photographers like to take some wide angle primes or even a 50mm lens for the "crowd" shots and the group shots, especially during the reception, and also if space is limited.

Also, have patience, since you won't really enjoy the wedding yourself :P ... Be ready to receive some criticism for your photographs as well. And as a rule of thumb for me, ALWAYS shoot a photo twice ... at least twice.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: rhommel on October 05, 2012, 01:45:16 PM
90% of my weddings:

70-200 F2.8L IS II
24-70 F2.8L I

 
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: EYEONE on October 05, 2012, 01:59:15 PM
If the light was good my current setup would work fine:
24-70mm f2.8L
70-200mm f2.8L IS II

But ideally I'd like this:
35mm f1.4L
135mm f2L
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: wickidwombat on October 05, 2012, 08:27:30 PM
for me the 16-35 f2.8L II and sigma 85 f1.4

both on their own 5D bodies works brilliantly
quite light  and compact

double rapid strap and you can shoot anything
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Dylan777 on October 05, 2012, 08:49:12 PM
Their current lenses to wedding are:
1. 24-70 f2.8 II

So you're saying they switched from the 24-70 mk1 to the mk2 asap - because they feel they have to have the latest gear, or does the mk2 really make a difference to them?

They always want and need the latest gear to help their daily job a bit easier. Two of them are my best friends since high school. All four placed pre-order right after the annoucment. One of them tried the new Tamron, but returned the lens back to BH, due to the bad AF.

Most of them own 4-5 5D III bodies &  1-2 1D X bodies. They always paired up for wedding to cover end to end. Kinda fun to see them in action at wedding.
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Rofflesaurrr on October 08, 2012, 03:43:30 AM
So I took most of your advice and rented the 24-70 and 70-200. The gear should be here on Thursday. Wedding is on Saturday.

Also, I'm not just showing up as a guest with a camera. He specifically asked me if I could help. There's also some times when the other photographer won't be able to be in 2 places at once. I'm definitely not pro, or claiming to be. He can't afford to hire a real wedding photographer, so I'm doing what I can. I'm a fan of available light photographs, so we're hoping I can get some good shots that wouldn't be possible with her crop body, slow lenses, and flash.

I'll report back after the wedding with samples for you guys to critique lol. Thanks for the advice!
Title: Re: If you could only have 2 lenses for a wedding...
Post by: Dylan777 on October 08, 2012, 10:14:49 AM
So I took most of your advice and rented the 24-70 and 70-200. The gear should be here on Thursday. Wedding is on Saturday.

Also, I'm not just showing up as a guest with a camera. He specifically asked me if I could help. There's also some times when the other photographer won't be able to be in 2 places at once. I'm definitely not pro, or claiming to be. He can't afford to hire a real wedding photographer, so I'm doing what I can. I'm a fan of available light photographs, so we're hoping I can get some good shots that wouldn't be possible with her crop body, slow lenses, and flash.

I'll report back after the wedding with samples for you guys to critique lol. Thanks for the advice!

5D III + 24-70 II and 70-200 f2.8 IS II = "SUPER COMBO"

If the locations are well lit, the gear you rented will do just fine. I'm not sure you will need flash, but it's better to have one on hand.

Since you are Nikon shooter in the past, make sure you give yourself plenty of times to play with 5D III - get to know all settings and button locations.

Stay away from "Green" & "P" mode...have fun and post some pics ;)