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Author Topic: Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?  (Read 4138 times)

Marsu42

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Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?
« on: April 07, 2012, 07:13:32 AM »
I'm wondering about a good lens combination for your average "there's a meeting, get some pictures of everyone and everything" jobs. Recently I saw a pro use a 5d2 with a 24-70/2.8 lens & single bounce flash which seemed to have worked just fine looking at his pictures.

If anyone has some experience or even does this for a living, I'd like to know what gets you the best pictures, i.e. something that does have some "wow!" effect and does not receive the comment "hey, why pay the guy, I could have done this with my compact camera". Here's what I could imagine would work:

* 24-70/2.8 - seems to be the standard lens for these types of shots. Of course f/2.8 is not "shoot in the dark" but might be easier to af. I'm always reading about people using 70-200, but that seems a little on the long side to me - you can crop later, but cannot add border later on?

* two bodies (i.e. no lens changes) with faster primes for better bokeh effect: 35L for scenes/groups and some longer lens like 85L or 135L for portraits. Is such a thin dof even practical for live shots, or are there too many misses?

* flashes: do you use just one bounce flash, or a fill/bounce flash combination for these shots?
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 03:33:42 PM by Marsu42 »

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Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?
« on: April 07, 2012, 07:13:32 AM »

l0pht

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for gathering & wedding situations?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 12:10:08 PM »
35 and 100 or 135.

This is assuming you have a full frame camera...


Marsu42

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for gathering & wedding situations?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 12:12:12 PM »
35 and 100 or 135.

So you actually have practice with these shots and juggling with two bodies is no problem for you, or do you even only use one body and magically know in advance what prime lens you'll need?

l0pht

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for gathering & wedding situations?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 12:43:53 PM »
I use 1 body and just swap lenses. It really only takes a couple seconds to swap a lens onto a camera.

Plus you can carry 3-5 prime lenses and it would weigh the same as a zoom along with giving you better IQ and low light capabilities without bringing out a flash.

YMMV though.

nikkito

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for gathering & wedding situations?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 01:17:43 PM »
i usually shoot with the 24-70 and a 5D Mk II.
Some other times with my 16-35.

about the flash, when i have to take fast casual portraits of visitors, i sometimes shoot it pointed straight to the people, other times i shoot it bounced on that white thing of the flash (i do not know how is it called), sometimes bounced on the roof and lately i'm mostly using it with the wide angle difusser that comes with the flash.
I have tried many different flash technics, but i find none of them to be "perfect"  ::) :D
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 01:23:44 PM by nikkito »
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1D X, 5D Mk III, 5D Mk II, 16-35L, 24-70L, 70-200L IS, 85 f1.2, 40 f2.8, 50 f1.4, Sigma 10-20 and many other toy cameras.

dmj

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for gathering & wedding situations?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 02:30:54 PM »
For me the 35L is the first choice. The image quality it provides are superb, and it's actually pretty good wide open. I choose it over the 50L for 2 reasons, I don't think the 50L is an amazing lens compared to the 35L and also the 35L allows you to come closer to your subject hence avoiding people getting in between you and your subject(s).

Then I'd go with either an 85L or a 135L based on the layour of the premises. If you're to do a lot of portraits, the 85L is superb, but what I like about the 135L is that you can frame the shots from far away and your model won't even know you took the picture. Both lenses are great, but which you prefer is up to your shooting style and how cramped the place is.

I really don't think the 24-70 measures up to two good primes, it get's the job done and your clients would probably be happy with the results, but the primes give you an extra edge and also gives you better bokeh and more possibilities with shallow DOF.

I always run two bodies, partly because sometimes you simply don't have 5-10 seconds to change the lens and partly because I need to have backup gear with me anyway, so why not use it.

Edit: for bodies I'd say 5DII are great, very good low light capabilities and the center focus point are not bad for these kinds of photos. Sure, if you can afford 5DIII's you'll probably gain a little bit but not worth the difference in price for this kind of shooting (in my opinion). I got one 5DIII and even though I love it and it opens up some new possibilities for shooting other things, I don't think it will be a major breakthrough for my weddings and events shootings.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 02:35:57 PM by dmj »

Janco

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for gathering & wedding situations?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 04:20:49 PM »

I always run two bodies, partly because sometimes you simply don't have 5-10 seconds to change the lens and partly because I need to have backup gear with me anyway, so why not use it.


How do you handle the two bodies? Black rapid double strap? :-D Assistant? And also the lenses, how are they ready for you? I'd prefer L Zooms I guess..... Still I'm really wondering how all the gear is managed/ taken care of... Thanks for some insight :-)

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for gathering & wedding situations?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 04:20:49 PM »

Marsu42

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for gathering & wedding situations?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 05:04:43 PM »
How do you handle the two bodies?

I'd like to know a working technique for this, too - and how do you change lenses in mid-air (you have 2 hands, but 3 objects - 2x lens + 1x body)?

Concerning prime vs. zoom (there is another thread on this): The guy I saw with the 24-70 had to postprocess-crop every shot, too, because he had no time for the correct framing while shooting. That's why I thought using a prime wouldn't be that much of a difference at least for the workload after shooting and before passing the pictures on.

prestonpalmer

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 05:28:13 PM »
I always carry  and use 2 camera bodies at the same time for wedding photography.  Its actually very easy to manage.  I also carry a Domke bag on my side, so everything I need is with me at all times.

takoman46

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 05:32:00 PM »
I always run 2 camera bodies when doing on-location events and weddings. Most of time I'll have a 24-70 f/2.8L on one body and a 70-200 f/2.8L IS on the other. For weddings, especially for the formal shoot, I'll switch to the 24 f/1.4L II on one body and the 50 f/1.2L or 85 f/1.2L on the other body. So basically, for formal shoots, where you are in complete control of positioning the subject(s) and positioning yourself, I prefer to employ prime lenses. For shooting situations where you have to work under restrictions due to the program and your environment, then zooms will be easier to work with. Then I'll also employ the use of specialized lenses such as the 100 f/2.8L macro and the 14mm f/2.8L (things like shooting peripherals such as the cake, rings, bouquet, or fun stuff like drunken after party group pics).

Running 2 cameras on traditional straps can be cumbersome though. My carrying set up is one body on a rs-7 black rapid strap and the other body on a spider pro holster kit for the lowepro street & field belt. I also added an extra pouch for batteries and memory and a lens exchange pouch for convenient swapping of lenses.

Oh and specific bodies are one 5DmkII and one 5DmkIII for now.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 05:34:13 PM by takoman46 »

cpsico

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2012, 06:48:47 PM »
24-70 2.8 good for entire wedding
70-200 f4is or 2.8 II is for church early, and early in reception
50 1.4 mm for reception 
One alien bee for reception 400 is fine and recycles fast ( not a lens just tossed it in)

Ps a cute girl working the crowd for couples shots with the 50 1.4 works very well. It's razor sharp at 5.0 - 5.6
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 06:52:53 PM by cpsico »

Stephen Melvin

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2012, 07:35:53 PM »
I have two "kits," so to speak.

1. Core zooms.
24-105 f/4L IS USM
70-200 f/2.8 IS USM II
17-40 f/4L

Last wedding I did, the 24-104 was used for about 75% of the shots.

2. Low light fixed lenses.
24mm f/1.4L II
50mm f/1.4
85 f/1.8

I've actually stopped bringing the 85, because I wasn't using it much. I use the other two a lot, usually about evenly divided. I'm considering replacing the 85 with the 85 f/1.2L, but I don't know whether I'll use it any more than I used the 1.8.

I use one camera, leaving my backup somewhere handy, though usually not in the bag I'm carrying. The bag is extremely useful for lens changes, essentially providing me a portable "table" to hold things.

An assistant is very useful as well. I bring one to more expensive weddings, and leave her at home for the shorter affairs.

KreutzerPhotography

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2012, 08:59:08 PM »
I use two cameras for ceremonies and one for receptions/portraits.

During the ceremony I have a 70-200 on one camera and switch between a 16-35 II and a 28-135 on the other. For portraits and reception I drop the backup camera and grab a waste bag for the second lens. I then use a 70-200 and the 16-35 for the rest of the day. Saves time and I get most of the focal range out of the two lenses. 35mm on crop body is wonderful for most interior receptions and 16 is plenty wide...

I will eventually get a full frame camera and then use the same two lens system but then I can use 16-35 on FF for ultrawide and 70-200 for additional zoom (16-35 & 112-320 effective focal range ). Then swap the lenses and basically get (26-56 and 70-200 effective range)... I figured this would give me a good start and the nI could start filling in with some good fast primes. I am thinking of the 24L and the 135L as my first 2 primes.

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2012, 08:59:08 PM »

Marsu42

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2012, 03:01:04 AM »
I am thinking of the 24L and the 135L as my first 2 primes.

2. Low light fixed lenses.
24mm f/1.4L II
50mm f/1.4

Thank you very much for your input - this is really valuable to me. One question: Why the 24L and not the 35L (which might substitute the 24L and 50L since its range is in the middle)? Because you actually need 24mm often - but then why not use a real ultrawide - or for safety because the 35L might be to narrow in some rare cases?

I'm asking because I'd like the get the highly regarded 35L as my first low light L prime - but I would reconsider if everybody thinks this range is half-baked and I'd be better off the 24L in real world situations.


briansquibb

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2012, 03:17:25 AM »

1. Core zooms.
24-105 f/4L IS USM
70-200 f/2.8 IS USM II
17-40 f/4L

Last wedding I did, the 24-104 was used for about 75% of the shots.


Same with me

Usually have the 50 1.4 as well
2 bodies

4 flash stands and brellas
6 flash + pw

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Re: Which lens (combinations) for event & wedding situations?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2012, 03:17:25 AM »