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10-28-2011, 07:16 AM   #1
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Need to rent a workhorse lens for a wedding

Hello all. I am buried under a mountain of work for the next several months, otherwise I'd pour some time into researching this myself... but instead I'm hoping some of you pentax-o-philes can just serve up some good answers.

First, please keep in mind that I don't know much about cameras.

I bought my wife a K20-D last year and she's just using an old manual lens from her 20-year-old 35mm SLR and the stock lens that came with the kit.... far from spectacular. But she's shooting a wedding for a cousin in the spring and I wanted to see if I could rent a really nice, all-around lens for her. I'm thinking like a 1.4 that will offer enough versatility that I can just get 'one' and it will have her covered. My only stipulations are that it have a decent zoom range and autofocus capability. I'm assuming there are some lenses in the $2,000 - $3,000 range that I could rent for a week since I definitely can't afford to buy anything like that right now...

So, any recommendations for lenses and where to rent them from? Any help would receive my eternal gratitude.

10-28-2011, 07:19 AM   #2
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Well if you can afford to buy DA*50-135mm/f2.8 then you would a very good lens that is versatile to use.
10-28-2011, 07:26 AM   #3
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if you're fine with renting out equipment and it's a one-time only affair, i would personally choose to rent out a nikon d700, sb900 flash and nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 to use as the primary camera. The k20d would hang around as a second body and for that, i'd rent the DA*50-135 and your choice of flash.

if you just want to use one camera, one lens, then i'd get a DA17-70mm f/4 and flash.
10-28-2011, 07:32 AM   #4
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I rented that lens(50-135 2.8) for a wedding I shot in September & it is Fabulous! You will not be disappointed! &, I just bought it...so excited This is a must have with your gear..IMO

Happy Shooting

10-28-2011, 08:05 AM   #5
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I 'thought' I was looking for something with a better max aperture... Does 2.8 really get the job done? Her little 20-year-old 50mm lens is a 1.8 but it's all manual and the focus ring has so much travel that it takes ages to focus. Great for portraits but it would never fly at a wedding.

She wants to nail some really good artistic stuff.
10-28-2011, 08:06 AM   #6
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+1 on renting. i rented the 50-135 before but actually like the Tamron 70-200/2.8 better. However, when you say all around wedding lens, i immediately think of the FA*28-70/2.8, definitely my vote. good luck
10-28-2011, 08:10 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bingostew Quote
I 'thought' I was looking for something with a better max aperture... Does 2.8 really get the job done? Her little 20-year-old 50mm lens is a 1.8 but it's all manual and the focus ring has so much travel that it takes ages to focus. Great for portraits but it would never fly at a wedding.

She wants to nail some really good artistic stuff.
well its hard to find zooms faster than 2.8 so you're pretty much stuck there-should be fine for most shooting, especially at 50mm and up where you'll get more subject isolation at 2.8.
For some artsy bokeh shots, you can use a very inexpensive manual lens because unlike the grab shots where you need quick framing and AF, you have more time to set them up. i'd do S-M-C Takumar 50/1.4, etc, etc...$50-$80 lens and you'll get nicer results than from most any zoom, IMO.
10-28-2011, 08:16 AM   #8
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it's not just hard to find faster than 2.8 zooms it is impossible. they just aren't made (even in old stuff the fastest i've ever seen is 2.5 not a significant difference)

the recommendation of renting a 50-135 is really the right one. If you want to avoid using flash for whatever reason then rent a k5 as well and a 50 1.4 prime for the K20. there would be no need for flash in most cases with that pairing

10-28-2011, 08:16 AM   #9
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For a wedding, unless you have a whole kit of prime lenses and a spare body to mount em on, you're better off not looking at f/1.4 glass. Reason being that:
1. Its not terribly versatile for a fast moving environment like a wedding (or any event for that matter). Think of all the missed moments due to having a lens that's too wide or too long to get the shot.
2. Unless you're shooting in the dark with no flash, I find f/1.4 to be overkill. f/2.8 is definitely enough, especially with a flash
Just a concern, but should your wife really be shooting a high-stress/high-speed like a wedding? Its not something where you can really take your time on, you've got one chance to nail each and every moment perfectly and limited time to do so.
10-28-2011, 08:36 AM   #10
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There f2 zooms but not for Pentax. I believe Oly made two f2 zooms for they pro 4/3 line up.

Anyway, back to topic.
If you are running 1 camera set up only, I'll second Mike's opinion on renting FA*28-70. It's a big and heavy lens and shame it's not 24-70 but the last mini wedding I shot, I shot almost exclusively on that lens. Bear in mind I'm no pro, and I know some of the shots could have been better, but clients were happy and that's what counts.
I had wider end covered with K-x + FA*24 and for the the shallow DOF I had DA*55 in the bag, but from the 90 shots I ended up giving to the clients only one was with 55 and about 15 were with the 24. All the rest was with the 28-70. It's very nice lens, very good IQ and fast AF.
For me personally best zoom setup for wedding, on APSC sensor, would be 20-35/2.8 + 24-70/2.8 + 50-135/2.8. But since pentax doesn't do the first two and I'm reluctant to go with Tokina or Sigma, I'm sticking to my guns.

My 2p
10-28-2011, 08:39 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
There f2 zooms but not for Pentax. I believe Oly made two f2 zooms for they pro 4/3 line up.

Anyway, back to topic.
If you are running 1 camera set up only, I'll second Mike's opinion on renting FA*28-70. It's a big and heavy lens and shame it's not 24-70 but the last mini wedding I shot, I shot almost exclusively on that lens. Bear in mind I'm no pro, and I know some of the shots could have been better, but clients were happy and that's what counts.
I had wider end covered with K-x + FA*24 and for the the shallow DOF I had DA*55 in the bag, but from the 90 shots I ended up giving to the clients only one was with 55 and about 15 were with the 24. All the rest was with the 28-70. It's very nice lens, very good IQ and fast AF.
For me personally best zoom setup for wedding, on APSC sensor, would be 20-35/2.8 + 24-70/2.8 + 50-135/2.8. But since pentax doesn't do the first two and I'm reluctant to go with Tokina or Sigma, I'm sticking to my guns.

My 2p
Forgot about the oly's (and I own and Oly as well) they were/are damn expensive and I imagine also hard to rent. not to mention that any speed gain is lost in the crap high iso performance on the E5
10-28-2011, 11:28 AM   #12
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Shooting a wedding with a lens you are not familiar with is not a good idea.
Speaking as a guy who has shot a lot of weddings way back in the days of film I would recommend your wife buy a 35mm f2.4 for less than $200 a few weeks before the wedding and then spend some time getting used to shooting with it. It's a pretty darn good lens, especially for the money, with a focal length suitable for pretty well anything you'd encounter on the big day. Just my 2 cents.
10-28-2011, 11:46 AM   #13
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Just for me to understand those who advise on the 50-135.

Would that really be the only lens that you would use on a wedding? Because that is how I understand the opening question and the reply actually surprises me. Remember that OP is not that impressed with the quality of the 18-55.
10-28-2011, 12:18 PM   #14
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the 50-135 will cover 85-90% of wedding shots the group shots being the most difficult with 50 at the wide end. but in most wedding shooting situations you will have the ability to back up
of course adding a 16-50 to the rental wouldn't hurt

the advice on knowing the lens above is very good though

It may pay to rent both 16-50 + 50-135 and a k5 and run with 2 bodies. rent the lenses for a longer period (like a week if she has the time off before hand) and get out and shoot a fair bit for practice before the big day. You really only get one shot at it on the day
any concerns with low light performance is covered by the K5
As for DOF performance if you really need the razor thing DOF of a fast lens then either rent the FA50 or pick up a good used A50 1.4 or 1.7 but bear in mind nailing focus wide open on a 1.4 lens is a difficult task and takes lots of practice (given how useful a lens like this is though picking her up an A 50 for Christmas gives her loads of practice time
10-28-2011, 12:21 PM   #15
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sterretje,

I agree that 50mm doesn't sound wide enough for a wedding.
If they use the 50-135 zoom then they should also have a 2nd camera with some lens that gives them wide angle coverage.

Good luck!
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