December 22, 2014, 03:38:18 PM

Author Topic: Lens setup for wedding photography  (Read 3384 times)

Helios68

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Lens setup for wedding photography
« on: August 05, 2014, 04:22:17 AM »
Hi,

I will attend to a wedding ceremony on the next weekend. However I'm an unofficial photographer I would like to use the right gear to optimize my work. I have the 700D body and the following equipment.

  • EF-S 10-22
  • EF 50 f/1.8
  • EF 70-200 f/2.8L
  • EF-S 18-55 IS STM
  • EF 100L macro
  • Speedlite 430 II

Considering I would like to spare weight, what combination would you use?

Thanks for advice

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Lens setup for wedding photography
« on: August 05, 2014, 04:22:17 AM »

Maximilian

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 05:05:45 AM »
Hi,

I will attend to a wedding ceremony on the next weekend. However I'm an unofficial photographer I would like to use the right gear to optimize my work. I have the 700D body and the following equipment.

  • EF-S 10-22
  • EF 50 f/1.8
  • EF 70-200 f/2.8L
  • EF-S 18-55 IS STM
  • EF 100L macro
  • Speedlite 430 II

Considering I would like to spare weight, what combination would you use?

Thanks for advice

Hi Helios and welcome to CR!

First of all I would think about this:
As an unofficial photographer you should think about what, where and when you want to take pictures.
Sometimes and in some situations it is disturbing, annoying or just not welcome or allowed to take pictures. For example during the wedding ceremony inside the church. Here I am always very sensitive.
If you are unsure about this, please just ask the bride and groom or the one that is doing the planning.
If all that is settled concentrate on what you want to achieve. For example taking pictures of the location or the guest having a good time, etc.
When it comes to “how to” and technique, I think there are a lot of threads here already and you only got to do some search.
Concerning gear, I would rely on what you know well, so you feel save. No need to rent or buy something. Looking at your list of gear I (and that’s only my humble opinion) would recommend the following: Less is better:

700D body      Of course! Don't forget spare batteries - loaded ;)
EF-S 10-22      Yes. You will need a wide angle lens.
EF 50 f/1.8      yes, maybe. Good for portraits with APS-C and good aperture for low light in the evening.
EF 70-200 f/2.8L   No. Really good lens, but too bulky/heavy and too conspicuous. No stealth mode possible.
EF-S 18-55 IS STM    No. Of course a good allrounder, but with a little moving around, you can do anything with the 10-22, 50 and 100L.
EF 100L macro      yes. Good lens for stealth portraits of the guests from a distance. And even with f2.8 quite okay in the evening as for the HIS. Don't forget to use the focus limiter at 0.5m - infinity, to have fast AF.
Speedlite 430 II      If flash is allowed, of course. But note, that the best pictures I took at weddings were at available light. So be careful with using flashlight.

And most important: have fun and don’t forget to party and dance ;)
sometimes you have to close your eyes to see properly.

tolusina

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 06:24:26 AM »
Not the official photographer?
Then just the 50, be everywhere while staying out of the way.
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LuCoOc

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 06:29:56 AM »
I shot my first wedding last April. I had a lot of stuff with me including a hole studio setup (3 flash-heads + modifiers) for pictures of all the guests and the couple. I used two 7Ds, a 17-55 2.8 and 85 1.2 for about 98% of the shots and a borrowed 10-22 only for a few group shots.

I recommend to keep it as simple as possible. You are not the official photographer so don't worry if you miss a shot or two. I'd say 18-55 + Flash for most of the shots. It's difficult to change lenses while walking around during the ceremony. Maybe keep the 50mm in a pocket of your suit. Take the 100mm for some headshots from a little distance. If you want to spare some weight, leave the 70-200 at home, unless you know you have the space to use it at >100mm. I had my 70-200 4 non IS with me and it stayed in the bag the hole evening.
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rs

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 07:15:11 AM »
When I'm the official photographer, I try to avoid using flash as much as possible - unless you gel it and have a perfect wall/ceiling to bounce off, or have the time to set up multiple lights, the results will look significantly worse than a bit of grain due to the higher ISO's (think rabbit in the headlights, or mismatched ambient/artificial colours for near/far objects).

And as a guest, I'd do my utmost to avoid using the flash. Bear in mind you're under no pressure or obligation to get the shots, so why go around drawing attention to you while you're at it? Also, it can create a minor situation if you 'outgun' the photographer by using a big white lens like your 70-200. Keep it subtle.

Don't feel like you have to run around everywhere getting to the best angle and cover every single moment. The photographer is paid to do that. Enjoy the day, pack very light (two lenses max, no flash) and aim to take a few photos, and if you come away with a handful of really magical keepers, that'd be all you could ask for.

For me that'd mean shooting mostly available light, shallow depth of field shots with your 50, and occasionally adding in some creative use of your wide angle lens. Or take the 100L as the second lens for some more subtle head shots or full body candids from a distance. Take your time and go for quality, not quantity. You have no pressure to deliver.
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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 08:28:58 AM »
If the wedding is in the evening and the reception at night, then a flash will be necessary.  Using gels is also preferable.

As an unofficial photographer, you won't get a prime shooting spot or have lights set up for you like the official photographer, so why bother trying to get similar shots when you're already at such a disadvantage.  Try to think of shots you'd like from a different vantage point and choose your lenses accordingly.  Or, if you know a lot of people attending the wedding, focus on those people instead.  The official photographers will usually only take 1-2 shots of everyone from each table, so use the additional time you have to your advantage.  When the bride and groom visit the table, use the opportunity to get candids of hugs and laughter and a few posed shots.

I attended a wedding last weekend, and found it hard to take pics of traditional moments (i.e. cake cutting) because the pros (1 main, 1 assistant and 1 videographer) crowd out a lot of space with those with cell phones stuck in between.  I ended up using two lenses:  24-70 and a 8-15 fisheye.  I had wanted to use the fisheye for the bride/groom walking down the aisle, but a 2.5 hour drive turned into a 5 hour drive and we barely made it for the ceremony.  The fisheye accounted for 20% of the keepers (out of about 80) and was used heavily on the dance floor with the camera often held up high and looking down.

From the set of equipment you listed, I'd bring the 10-22, 18-55, 50 and the 430.  The 18-55 would get the most use, then the 10-22 and then the 50.

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 09:37:14 AM »
Sigma 18-35/1.8 Art would be perfect, but ...
From what you've got, my main lens would be EF-S 18-55 IS STM, because there is no other standard zoom (or prime) in your collection. Versatility is very important in these situations. Carrying a full bag of gear and constantly changing lenses can be really frustrating (that's why we hire an official photographer, for money :) ).
Bringing a Speedlite may be a good idea, for "fixing" the bad and mixed lighting, just try not to interfere with the main photographer.
50/1.8 is great for some portraits and creative stuff, if you think you will have time for that.
Just have fun.
FF + primes !

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 09:37:14 AM »

Dylan777

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2014, 10:48:39 AM »
Not the official photographer?
Then just the 50, be everywhere while staying out of the way.

+1...let's the pro does his/her best.
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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2014, 01:03:19 PM »
Not the official photographer?
Then just the 50, be everywhere while staying out of the way.

+1...let's the pro does his/her best.

Although I would love to have a capable "photographer" at every table/group if possible.  There are many moments that are missed because there is only so much one or two pros can cover.

I remember placing those disposable 35mm film cameras at each table when my wife and I got married.  I was expecting a lot of shots to be bad, but I wasn't expecting THAT many shots to be bad.  I'm pretty sure it was not worth the cost of those disposable cameras and the cost of processing the film for what we got out of it.  Cell phone cameras are a lot better than those crappy disposable cameras, but a lot of those shots are still no better (as observed  from all the FB links from a recent wedding we attended).

tolusina

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2014, 02:54:36 PM »
...I remember placing those disposable 35mm film cameras at each table when my wife and I got married.  I was expecting a lot of shots to be bad, but I wasn't expecting THAT many shots to be bad.  I'm pretty sure it was not worth the cost of those disposable cameras and the cost of processing the film for what we got out of it. ....
Many years back at my Niece's wedding, my task was to walk my Sister down the aisle, sit in the front row with her. Had my Pentax LX with a Tokina 28-85, nothing else but a few rolls. Thanks to my front row seat, I did 'scoop' the pro on a few shots, but overall, I was there to party, not to shoot.
The pro did just fine.
My sister had done the same with disposables, the throw aways from my Pentax were better than anything and everything from the disposables.
The only thing we got from the disposables was the lesson to not do that again.
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mkabi

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2014, 04:29:10 PM »
First of all I would think about this:
As an unofficial photographer you should think about what, where and when you want to take pictures.
Sometimes and in some situations it is disturbing, annoying or just not welcome or allowed to take pictures.

+1

I fully agree on this, you are not the official photographer, thus either someone else (may be even the official photographer) asked you to do this, or you took it upon yourself to do this... in either case, you're still building your portfolio...

Watch the professional do his/her work, stay out of his/her way and do your thing when its not in the way of the professional photographer. Think of it another way... if you're still learning and you get in the way of the professional... you're ruining his/her shot and the bride/groom is paying the professional to do his/her job, they are obviously not paying you... and in the future, I'm sure... when you've become a professional, you don't want people ruining your shots. Even if the official photographer asked you to do the shots for him..

IMHO, take your pictures, from afar if not up close... try to do very artsy shots....
You just need 3 lenses, especially if you're doing it from afar....
-50mm
-100mm
and the 70-200mm
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cellomaster27

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2014, 04:35:41 PM »
Not the official photographer?
Then just the 50, be everywhere while staying out of the way.

+1...let's the pro does his/her best.

Although I would love to have a capable "photographer" at every table/group if possible.  There are many moments that are missed because there is only so much one or two pros can cover.

I remember placing those disposable 35mm film cameras at each table when my wife and I got married.  I was expecting a lot of shots to be bad, but I wasn't expecting THAT many shots to be bad.  I'm pretty sure it was not worth the cost of those disposable cameras and the cost of processing the film for what we got out of it.  Cell phone cameras are a lot better than those crappy disposable cameras, but a lot of those shots are still no better (as observed  from all the FB links from a recent wedding we attended).

I was attending a wedding recently.. did not take my camera but what I saw was disturbing.. 24-105, 24-70 F4, 16-35, on both wedding shooters.  Then I saw an audience attendee with a nikon D4s and a 70-200 2.8 (hopefully saved the day).  And just by observing the wedding photographers, no offense, made me very worried as to if they will get many usable shots.  The moments, which I would consider important (kissing, putting on the ring, etc), they were shooting at the sides or far down the aisle with those lenses.  yikes.   Since you're not the official photog, you don't need all that gear.  But if I were you, I would take the 50 and the 70-200.  The 70-200 is definitely a large lens but allows you to stay back and snap some shots.  Maybe take the wide angle?  Definitely not the flash if you take the 50.  Spare batteries and most importantly, enjoy the wedding.  cheers
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Dylan777

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2014, 07:25:49 PM »
Not the official photographer?
Then just the 50, be everywhere while staying out of the way.

+1...let's the pro does his/her best.

Although I would love to have a capable "photographer" at every table/group if possible.  There are many moments that are missed because there is only so much one or two pros can cover.

I remember placing those disposable 35mm film cameras at each table when my wife and I got married.  I was expecting a lot of shots to be bad, but I wasn't expecting THAT many shots to be bad.  I'm pretty sure it was not worth the cost of those disposable cameras and the cost of processing the film for what we got out of it.  Cell phone cameras are a lot better than those crappy disposable cameras, but a lot of those shots are still no better (as observed  from all the FB links from a recent wedding we attended).

I was attending a wedding recently.. did not take my camera but what I saw was disturbing.. 24-105, 24-70 F4, 16-35, on both wedding shooters.  Then I saw an audience attendee with a nikon D4s and a 70-200 2.8 (hopefully saved the day).  And just by observing the wedding photographers, no offense, made me very worried as to if they will get many usable shots.  The moments, which I would consider important (kissing, putting on the ring, etc), they were shooting at the sides or far down the aisle with those lenses.  yikes.   Since you're not the official photog, you don't need all that gear.  But if I were you, I would take the 50 and the 70-200.  The 70-200 is definitely a large lens but allows you to stay back and snap some shots.  Maybe take the wide angle?  Definitely not the flash if you take the 50.  Spare batteries and most importantly, enjoy the wedding.  cheers

The important thing is, did you see they carry any flashes?

To get sharper images, most wedding pros prefer to shoot with flashes indoor. 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 07:27:41 PM by Dylan777 »
Bodies: 1DX -- 5D III
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Primes: 40mm -- 85L II -- 135L -- 200L f2 IS -- 400L f2.8 IS II

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2014, 07:25:49 PM »

sagittariansrock

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2014, 09:24:06 PM »
Carry all your gear, ask the photographer if it is okay for you to shoot and if so what role would he/she prefer you to play (informing him/her that you'd share all your images, of course). Pick the lenses accordingly (he/she will most likely guide you far better). Be prepared to courteously back out without using any of your gear if the pro asks you to.
Enjoy the wedding!
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Tabor Warren Photography

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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2014, 11:09:39 PM »
First, I would ask the bride/groom. It will flow much more smoothly if they know you intend to shoot around.
Second, I would check in with the photographer. They *should* be more generous about allowing you to get in a few shots as well. As others have mentioned, I wouldn't plan on getting any of the shots that involve setup, such as the bridal party, family, or in the moment cake shots. As a pro, I don't mind if others are shooting, as long as they are not interfering with the shots I am being paid to take.

I would carry two lenses, the 50 and the 100. I would also keep the flash on the camera or in my pocket the entire time. I use the heck out of flash photography and finally am able to use it properly. From a pro's perspective, please do not use the flash during key moments such as the kiss, cake, champagne, or other moments that are there and gone. I have seen my fair share of photos ruined due to someone else's flash firing, rendering a blue hue, and casting horrendous shadows. I do firmly believe in learning flash, however, and would definitely use it for your detail shots taken with the 100L.

I would also focus on where you plan to be. The 100 will keep you at a good working distance if the area is large enough, the 50 will allow for your low light shooting.

As mentioned earlier, shoot for quality over quantity. Make each shot count, and the pro will should be there to care of everything else.

I hope this helps!

Cheers,
-Tabor
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Re: Lens setup for wedding photography
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2014, 11:09:39 PM »