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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    19

    Lens for a Wedding

    Hi all

    First time poster, here.

    Just like to congratulate all contributors for such a great 'place of learning' specially to Don whom I have grown fond of

    I just purchase my new lens, based on this forum - a Sigma 50mm f/1.7 lens.

    I have read Don's sticky and is quite helpful.

    However, I am having this dillemma of what lens is best for wedding photos but not just limited to just weddings. I also want to use this lens for 'general' photography.

    Could someone direct me to an appropriate lens?

    I own a A300 (3 weeks old) and bought myself a Manfrotto Tripod 190ProB and an 804RC2 head.

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers

    Rel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Lightbulb Wedding shots ... wide to normal

    Then 17-50 f/2.8 range is very popular for the APS-C sensor cameras (α100, α200, α300, α350 & α700) for weddings.

    For SONY, the TAMRON SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD Aspherical (IF) lens comes to mind. It is lightweight (18 ounces) and relatively easy to get.

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    Speaking for a bargain, the 17-50mm f/2.8 performs quite well, overall and will only set you back ~$450.


    Another consideration, which is definitely a notch above, is the SONY 24-70mm f/2.8 CZ lens

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    and its wider companion, the 16-35mm f/2.8 CZ lens.

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    The two lenses both allow for a wide-angle shot and also for some distance, with amazing clarity. They are quite a bit more to lug around, though, at 33 oz and 30oz, respectively. They both have a price to match. The pair of SONYs ... $1599 and $1899, respectively.

    All three lenses have the widest aperture (f/2.8) available in zoom lenses, across their entire focal range.


    You also might consider an external flash (HVL-F58AM or HVL-F42AM) and diffuser, just in case things are a bit dark than even f/2.8 can handle, unless this is a daytime, outdoor wedding.

    I am certain the other wedding photographers might have some further insight on this.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-18-2009 at 04:33 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    19
    You also might consider an external flash (HVL-F58AM or HVL-F42AM) and diffuser, just in case things are a bit dark than even f/2.8 can handle, unless this is a daytime, outdoor wedding.

    I'm not quite that advance, Don. In fact, just starting out. Haven't really had a look at flash or diffusers nor have I an inkling idea of how it is to be used.

    But thanks for the input. Now the hard part......which one can I afford.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    bouncing a flash will make a whole lot of difference and even make a crappy lens half decent as long as you get enough light!
    but bouncing is kinda hard especially if the church has a high ceiling.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    basically you tilt the head upwards pointing to the ceiling or sideways pointing to the walls. you can do this only with external flashes like the Sony 42, 56 and the58. All of them offer tilt and swivel and the 36 will tilt only. Or you can get third-party flashes like the ones from Sigma or Metz.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Lightbulb A wedding shoot? Get ahead of it

    The SONY HVL-F42AM (<- click on link) is the probably all the flash you will need for an assignment like a wedding. The diffuser can be a number of things from a simple rubber band & placard to a modern-design flash fitting.

    Personally, I am quite happy with the Gary Fong Whale Tail (<- click on link). It comes in a kit and you basically place it over your flash head and it uniformly diffuses the light in a way that reduces "flash burn" (the unsightly white 'hot spot' your subjects can get by using an undiffused flash) and "hard-shadow" (a black outline around you subject created by the angle of the flash to the subject). The diffuser can save you a lot of "touch-up" time on your closer images.

    If you really are going to do the wedding, you need to practice with the flash and some dummy subjects, to understand the effects you are wanting to produce, eg "ceiling bounce" shots, table shots, group shots, etc. You need to purchase the flash right away and get start with that kind of thing and make notes on what work better than other positions. Also, a set of eight "AA" quickly rechargeable batteries (2400 mAh or better).

    The TAMRON lens I mentioned earlier is going to be key and the most affordable of these type of lenses. Just swallow hard and get one, to get started practicing. You do not want to be "unpracticed" when the main event takes place. It is far too easy to mess things up when you do not know how to properly use or gauge your equipment.

    Flash photography has a tendency to be hit or miss. The diffuser device will certainly help in that regard. The "Whale Tail" is designed to redirect flash angles, also, giving you powerful control of intensity and even color.

    You will often find that lamp color (light temperature) is going to play a role in your shots and affect the White Balance of the camera. Fluorescent lamps look kind of green, Tungsten lights look rather yellow. Being able either match it or dominate these colors will be the role of the flash "gel" (a small colored insert that slip in and out of the diffuser. It comes with the Whale Tail kit and can be a true asset when things get questionable looking. Like I said ... practice ... see the entire image, not just the pretty lady in the middle.

    Always take the BACKGROUND into consideration, because people see that too when they look at your work. Try and position yourself so there is nothing around the subject's head that looks like a "growing limb" or antennae. Stay away from mirrors anywhere behind or around the subject, as they can cause havoc with errant reflections splashing back on the subject or surroundings when the flash goes off. Best way to check is to set off a couple of casual practice shots to reveal this, but bear in mind, this can be annoying to your "subjects." People tend to have little tolerance for flash photography. Especially, a busy bride wanting to yuck it up with her well-paid for guests.

    Checkout the setting, beforehand, if at all possible. Take a friend (or two) with you and use them as the "positional dummy" to check lighting conditions and locations. Remember the time of day, because filtered sunlight dramatically affects rooms through windows and such. If the wedding is a 9AM ... be there @ 9AM ... not 3PM. Even though you are using flash, the "story of light" is completely different. Obviously, you cannot plan the weather ... but, try to get in both cloudy day & sunny day practice shots. Being new at flash mean you need some "time behind the gun" ... so get some.

    If you really want to be "anal" about it ... you stick around, not moving from your shooting spot and snap an additional couple of shots of each location with nobody in front of them. You then use these naked background shots for "cloning" corrections, later, when you post process. You would be amazed how those nasty shadows in the original just seem to "evaporate."

    Sorry for being long-winded, but you've got work to do.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-18-2009 at 09:08 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    788
    The 24-70 f/2.8 is a professional full frame wedding shooters main lens. That Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 is roughly equivalent on a crop camera such as the A300. It will be a great lens for weddings, and is going to be the cheapest zoom you can get that is useful inside. (Well, the Tamron or the Sigma)

    I highly suggest a flash. Don has listed some great advice above. You may also want to visit Strobist, and look at the strobist 101 series. They focus on off-camera flash, but there is a lot of info about flash use in general.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
    Nikon FE - Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI'd, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI, F to EF adapter, 2xVivitar 285, other lighting stuff
    Mamiya C220 - 80mm f/2.8

    Gear List flickr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    You would likely enjoy the Tamron 17-50mm.

    You will also definitely need a flash. Get a F42 or F58, pop it on, point it up, and start snapping away. Adjust the output of the flash if needed.

    Here's a shot bounced on a very tall ceiling. Flash was set to +0.7 EV


    Tamron 17-50mm with HVL-F58AM
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

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