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Author Topic: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.  (Read 25533 times)

EYEONE

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Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« on: February 21, 2011, 11:18:10 AM »
Ok, I have my first wedding booking in October. Luckily I have some time to second shoot some with a few pros in the area. But I need some new glass for it. Suppose I can spend $1,500 ($2000 if I sell one of my current lenses). What would you recommend?

I have a:
7D Body
EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6. (I hate this lens.)
Tamron 60mm F2.0 Macro (great lens, slow AF)

Lenses I was considering:
EF 50mm 1.4
EF 24-105mm L f4
EF 24-70mm L f2.8
EF 85mm 1.8
EF 70-200mm f4 IS
Sigma 30mm 1.4
Canon 5D Mark III w/BG-E11, Canon 7D w/BG-E7: EF 24-70mm f.2.8L, EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II, EF 40mm f2.8 Pancake STM, Speedlite 430EXII + 430EXI, Canon EOS 3

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Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« on: February 21, 2011, 11:18:10 AM »

Canon Rumors

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 11:23:21 AM »
When I shot weddings, it was 24L and 85L. I never used a flash.

I'd probably recommend a 24L version 1 used and an 85 f/1.8. You should be able to acquire both for under $1300. If you want version II, you can probably get both for $1800.

However, it's all about personal style. I am an available light person.
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kubelik

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2011, 11:51:24 AM »
I'm also into available light, as I've gotten a number of compliments from events I've shot where they really enjoyed not seeing the flash popping constantly.

CRguy's suggestions are fairly spot on; I might consider this:

28mm f/1.8
85mm f/1.8
135mm f/2
rent second 7D body

I'd consider renting the second body no matter what you do; it's really great to have backup and really critical not to lose time having to switch lenses off of bodies.  having different angles of scenes really gives the client much more to pick from and makes for a more vibrant album than seeing a whole stretch shot at 24mm, then a whole stretch shot at 85mm, and so on ...

f/2.8 just seems far too risky unless you know you're going to have great light at the venues, especially on an APS-C body.

another option is to just rent the following:

5D mark II
24-70 f/2.8 L
70-200 f/2.8 L II

which should run you out to about $500, the rest you can save for the future, and bring your 7D as a backup.

good luck with the wedding!

Freshprince08

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2011, 12:19:50 PM »
I'm in a similar position - I've got my first wedding coming up in March (having second shot a lot last summer).

It's an Asian (Indian) wedding with different events - some inside, some outside (weather permitting). I'm renting a 70-200 2.8 IS II (can't wait for that!!) for my 7D, and my partner will also be shooting primarily with the 17-55 on my 500D (T1i). I'll also have the Sigmas 30/1.4 and 50/1.4 as well as Canon 85/1.8 on hand. I'd love to shoot the whole 3 days with primes and no flash but I don't think that would be practical.

From your lens choices I'd be tempted to have at least one zoom on hand, and if you're indoors I would stay clear of the f4 options, especially if you plan to use available light only. But that's just my personal opinion.

Good luck with the wedding, would love to compare notes!!
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FatDaddyJones

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2011, 01:11:14 PM »
EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6. (I hate this lens.)

Hate is not a good word to describe my feelings for this particular lens. "Abhor" might be better. I posted these thoughts to the Canon website.

Vignetting is horrible, as is CA. If you love dark corners in your photos, as well as a purple fringe around your subjects, this is the lens for you! I can get the advertised 4 stops of image stabilization, which is a great plus, but the non-USM micro motor AF is very slow, and constantly searching in low light. As far as image quality, the word "disappointing" comes to mind.. I own several Canon lenses, and this one gets left at the bottom of the bag, unless I need quick access to a wide zoom. Build quality is, in a word, terrible. Focus and zoom is very loose. Tip it slightly and the barrel fully extends; no creep here... it flies out. The silver ring started peeling off the barrel, which gives a nice touch to the junky, plastic feel of this lens. If you compare price vs. quality, you would do better to look elsewhere. I am a Canon nut, and shoot with nothing but Canon glass. Canon makes extraordinary lenses. This, my friends, it not one of them.
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Fleetie

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2011, 01:47:48 PM »
EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6. (I hate this lens.)

Hate is not a good word to describe my feelings for this particular lens. "Abhor" might be better. I posted these thoughts to the Canon website.

Vignetting is horrible, as is CA. If you love dark corners in your photos, as well as a purple fringe around your subjects, this is the lens for you! I can get the advertised 4 stops of image stabilization, which is a great plus, but the non-USM micro motor AF is very slow, and constantly searching in low light. As far as image quality, the word "disappointing" comes to mind.. I own several Canon lenses, and this one gets left at the bottom of the bag, unless I need quick access to a wide zoom. Build quality is, in a word, terrible. Focus and zoom is very loose. Tip it slightly and the barrel fully extends; no creep here... it flies out. The silver ring started peeling off the barrel, which gives a nice touch to the junky, plastic feel of this lens. If you compare price vs. quality, you would do better to look elsewhere. I am a Canon nut, and shoot with nothing but Canon glass. Canon makes extraordinary lenses. This, my friends, it not one of them.

About 1 year ago, I got serious about the idea of buying a Canon DSLR, only having my OM40 film camera at the time. I went into Curry's (large chain electronic consumer goods relatailer in the UK) in Manchester and had a look at whichever xxxD was current at the time; ISTR it was the 500D.

The camera itself was pretty much as I expected. However, I concluded that the lens fitted to the store copy for customers to play with must have been a cheap mock-up "dummy" lens sufficent only to allow customers to see and shoot *something* through the camera.

It was the standard cheap kit lens for that camera; it turned out to be the real thng and not some cheap plastic shop-only prop. I was horrified at the build quality of it.

Luckily I ended up buying a 7D at the end of April, and no lens at all. I started off using my Olympus Zuiko 50mm f/1.2 lens on it with an adaptor.

Martin
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EYEONE

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 03:00:11 PM »
I would like to have a good zoom available to use. But I also would love to use available light and no flashes, so a good prime would be best. I love the idea of a 24mm f1.4, I've been eyeing that lens for a long time anyway. I think the 60mm f2.0 will work well enough too.

Given me a lot to think about, I really appreciate the insight. Keep the advice coming! :)

EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6. (I hate this lens.)

Hate is not a good word to describe my feelings for this particular lens. "Abhor" might be better. I posted these thoughts to the Canon website.

Vignetting is horrible, as is CA. If you love dark corners in your photos, as well as a purple fringe around your subjects, this is the lens for you! I can get the advertised 4 stops of image stabilization, which is a great plus, but the non-USM micro motor AF is very slow, and constantly searching in low light. As far as image quality, the word "disappointing" comes to mind.. I own several Canon lenses, and this one gets left at the bottom of the bag, unless I need quick access to a wide zoom. Build quality is, in a word, terrible. Focus and zoom is very loose. Tip it slightly and the barrel fully extends; no creep here... it flies out. The silver ring started peeling off the barrel, which gives a nice touch to the junky, plastic feel of this lens. If you compare price vs. quality, you would do better to look elsewhere. I am a Canon nut, and shoot with nothing but Canon glass. Canon makes extraordinary lenses. This, my friends, it not one of them.

Oh, I agree. The vingetting doesn't bother me as much but the CA is really really terrible at 18mm as is the zoom creep. It's an ok lens to get in a kit with a Rebel but I would dare think of shooting anything important with it. I used to like it, but the more I use it the more it pisses me off.
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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2011, 03:00:11 PM »

pjdavep

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2011, 03:06:02 PM »
I have a:
7D Body
EF-S 18-135mm f3.5-5.6. (I hate this lens.)
Tamron 60mm F2.0 Macro (great lens, slow AF)

Lenses I was considering:
EF 50mm 1.4
EF 24-105mm L f4
EF 24-70mm L f2.8
EF 85mm 1.8
EF 70-200mm f4 IS
Sigma 30mm 1.4

I help out my wife as a second shooter when she does weddings.  Although we have two flashes, we try to do most of the work using available light.  She uses a 5DmII and I recently upgraded from a 40D to the 7D.   The last wedding we did, I used the 24-70 most of the time and am now on the same page as the wife in regards to the lens - not good.  We may have a soft copy, because in my "studio" tests, I cannot get consistently sharp focus from the thing.  It's been to Canon twice in the last month, and may go again.   I'll probably start a separate thread about it.

Anyway, I found that the 24-70 range is not wide enough on the 1.6x crop of the 7D.  There were some instances where I couldn't get everything in the frame.   So today I ordered a 17-55 2.8 IS.  Supposedly it uses the same L glass, but it's not weather sealed.  That's a bummer, because i certainly don't want the thing filling up with dust, so it may just be my wedding lens.  It also sucks that since it is an EF-S lens, my wife can't use it on her 5D.

Bottom line is that you may want to incorporate at least one wide lens.  Something like:
Canon EF-S 17-55 2.8 IS
Tamron 60mm F2.0 Macro
Canon 85mm 1.8

You may have some money left over if you go the used route!

Later,
  pjdavep

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2011, 03:24:58 PM »

another option is to just rent the following:

5D mark II
24-70 f/2.8 L
70-200 f/2.8 L II

which should run you out to about $500, the rest you can save for the future, and bring your 7D as a backup.

I highly recommend this option. I've seen a lot of photographers get really good results with this combo. And it's simple and cheap.

I have the 24L II and the 85L and both are amazingly sharp and fast in low light, but they are not as versatile as a zoom. Primes are awesome, but then you'll really want two bodies to avoid all the switching back and forth.

EYEONE

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 03:28:35 PM »
Hm, It's true that I didn't have a good wide angle lens on that list. I like to use some wide angle shots in my work. And I really do like the 17-55mm but I'm trying to stay away from buy to many more EF-S lenses as my goal is to go FF at some point.

What about the 16-35mm L or 17-40mm L?
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pjdavep

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 03:42:22 PM »
Hm, It's true that I didn't have a good wide angle lens on that list. I like to use some wide angle shots in my work. And I really do like the 17-55mm but I'm trying to stay away from buy to many more EF-S lenses as my goal is to go FF at some point.

What about the 16-35mm L or 17-40mm L?

I was in the same boat in regards to the EF-S thing, but I didn't really have any other choice.  I shunned the 16-35 because of no image stabilization (I must have shaky hands), and the 17-40 f/4L is not fast enough.  If you ever have to shoot a wedding in a dark church that doesn't allow flash, you'll understand  ;)

Later,
   pjdavep

tomscott

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 04:06:55 PM »
Well the best lenses in my eyes are ones that you use all available light, under the huge situations you will face. If you are shooting morning till late at night you need lenses to deal with these situations. If you are being serious about wedding photography you cannot not use a flash. Even if you are in good light you still get shadows casting around the eyes and face and they need to be filled with a little flash. A 580 with a gary fong light sphere does an amazing job (like having a studio! it bounces off the ceiling and has a cap which bounces back into the 360deg bowl giving extremely flattering light. As a wedding photographer you cannot choose the time, light and type of day unfortunately they are all abnormalities. Obviously you wont use flash all the time but it is a must in a wedding kit.

Basically you need to think of the type of situations you will face, your camera and your budget.

Wide angle for large groupes, tight venues etc
standard lens to be suit many situations
prime for those beautiful portraits and small details
telephoto to pick out people, for those journalistic shots

If you had a 5D or a 1 series i would say yes go for your choices but seen as tho you are using a crop camera all of the lenses you are specifying you have to add the 1.6x crop factor and tbh the high end EF-S lenses will be just as good a and cheaper just without the weather sealing.

Also the widest lens you have is 40mm (24-70) on a crop camera and believe me, you will fit nothing in the frame with that, you need something alot wider like 17-24mm to fit the group shots or if you are in a confined venue where space isnt abundant.

The kit i would buy is :-

EF-S 10-22mm
EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS
EF 24mm (because it works out about 40mm) if not then the 50mm F1.4
EF 70-200mm F2.8 IS (not the brand new one but the first IS version to save money) The 2.8 rather than the F4 because it picks up people out of crowds beautifully and also is suitable for lower light conditions
580EX with a gary fong light sphere

I would also have a second body always one with a standard lens and the second body with the 70-200mm or one of the other lenses.

Ive been shooting weddings for 5 years now and this kit has always come up top trumps for me. You are effectively covering 10mm-320mm (with the crop) and if thats not enough i also carry a 2x extender. Also i disagree about the flash, yes its nice not to shoot with it but you will never see a professional wedding photographer without one, and the results show. Most of the time if you learn how to use it properly its almost unrecognisable.

Hope this helps

Tom Scott

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ronderick

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 08:21:51 PM »
I'm just echoing everyone else's suggestions... but I think the most important thing is to have two camera bodies (at least). Even if you have the entire schedule printed out beforehand, you'll find that things are going on too fast, and it could be challenging to even find time to switch lenses.

Beside that, you'll probably want one body with a flexible zoom and another one with a fast prime attached - the zoom to get past all those anxious family friends with compact cameras blocking the aisle and the prime to make up for the overall bad lighting at the dinner banquet. :'(
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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 08:21:51 PM »

distant.star

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2011, 12:01:40 AM »
Commendations to Mr. Scott -- he's spot on from my experience.

It's been years since I did weddings (pre-digital and none of that autofocus stuff!). But I'm sure the expectations of clients have not changed -- probably just more demanding and passionate.

I can't emphasize strongly enough taking two cameras for the job (at least the wedding day part of it). I'd rather ride a bicycle in the Indy 500 than have only one camera at a wedding! Beg, borrow or rent another camera. Also, since you don't have substantial experience, take more lenses than you think you'll need. I'd rent one or two extras. Better to have things covered than to be sitting there thinking you could really get the shot if you had a wider, longer, sharper, etc. lens. No two wedding are the same, and you can rarely be sure exactly what you'll come up against. I used to do some site scouting in advance to plan and prepare as best I could.

With that said, I'll just leave you with -- when it comes to shooting weddings, better you than me!
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EYEONE

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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2011, 01:58:19 PM »
Ok, so everyone has said to get a second body. I'll either rent a 5D mark II or another 7D. I'm tempted to get another 7D because I could design my kit around a focal length multiplier. Or would the extra low light performance be more useful

Rent:
7D (or 5D Mark II)
EF 24mm L

Buy:
EF-S 10-22mm
EF 85mm 1.8
EF 70-200 f2.8 USM IS (Mark I if I can find it, I can't afford the Mark II)

Sell:
EF-S 18-135mm
Tamron 60mm f2.0 (maybe)
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Re: Lens Recommendation for Weddings.
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2011, 01:58:19 PM »