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03-13-2013, 06:54 AM   #1
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FA31 or FA77 for wedding?

Another wedding thread. I asked my question in (one of) the other one but zero responses....

My cousin has asked me to photograph her wedding. It is her 3rd wedding so it will be a very casual affair. They both love horses and polocrosse so they are planning a jeans and boots type of occasion and can't see the value in the cost of a pro for what will be a very casual wedding.

So I have been lusting over some FA lenses and this is all the excuse I need to pick one up. I know the FA31 is probably the most versatile and over all useful lenses to buy. But I already have the DA35. I know the images aren't in the same ballpark, but none the less I have that focal range covered. My other thought was the price difference between the two lenses might allow me to pick up a flash (thinking Metz 52) to go along with the FA77.

My other lenses are: DA18-135, DA35, Sigma 10-20 and Helios 44M-6.

Which lens would be best in my situation? I have always loved the FA31 but a recent search on Flickr for FA77 show those photos to have a tonne of character. Now I am confused.

03-13-2013, 06:57 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Since you have the DA 35, I would just go with the FA77.
03-13-2013, 06:58 AM   #3
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Get a flash....Really, it makes a hell lot of difference. 31 and 77 are both great lenses, but for wedding I'd go for Tamron or Sigma 17-50 f2.8 for versatility, or if you want a bit more reach, Tamron 28-75 f2.8 or Sigma 24-70 f2.8.
03-13-2013, 07:34 AM   #4
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Both lenses are great and it depends on what focal length you prefer. As previously stated, the FA77 would be my choice since you already have the DA35 ... but the choice is yours. I also agree that (if you don't already have one) you need a good bounce flash even if you plan to shoot mostly available light stuff. A little bit of well-bounced flash will help you freeze movement and add that little extra pop to the photos from the wedding day.

03-13-2013, 07:37 AM   #5
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i like to switch between my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 and my Sigma 85mm f/1.4 -- ideally, I'd have them each on their own K-5iis.

The Tamron is so versatile. Wide-ish to portrait and pretty good in low light, nice and sharp. Its just great when you are not sure what is going to happen next. You have to be ready to zoom out or zoom in. I wish it went a bit wider. Maybe the 17-50mm f/2.8 is the better choice here. Either way, you need something versatile and fast.

The Sigma is my go to slow dance lens (the money maker). Sit back and get those happy slow dance couples. Open it up wide to get that beautiful bokeh. Its more of a lens for when you have time and planning on your side. You could substitute the FA 77mm here. Same ideas.

I'll often throw the da 15mm limited (in your case, the sigma 10-20) on during some crazy dancing. You get the wide angle to show the fun and chaos on the dance floor. It also is great to get the whole location in. For instance, capture the beautiful church or wherever the ceremony is before its full of people.
03-13-2013, 08:31 AM   #6
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The 77 is sharper than the 31 mm wide open, a characteristic that can be life saving for weddings. I did a wedding using the 77 mm @ ISO 10, 000 on my k-5 and they were useable files, I was pretty impressed. The 77 mm is also more flattering for close up portraits and is a focal length that you don't have covered (the 35mm is super close to 31mm).
03-13-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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FA77 because you have the other length covered and its a better portrait lens. A flash is an excellent suggestion too.
03-13-2013, 09:58 AM   #8
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You cousin must be courageous ...congrats for your first wedding shoot!!

If I were you, i'll go with a zoom (17-50-f2.8)+FA 77

03-13-2013, 10:06 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by elpolodiablo Quote
Get a flash....Really, it makes a hell lot of difference. 31 and 77 are both great lenses, but for wedding I'd go for Tamron or Sigma 17-50 f2.8 for versatility, or if you want a bit more reach, Tamron 28-75 f2.8 or Sigma 24-70 f2.8.
+1 regarding the flash...probably more important than lens selection really. And you will probably want some kind of diffuser.
03-13-2013, 10:33 AM   #10
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flashgun and the FA77 would be a good combo. Myself personally, for weddings my two goto lenses have been the DA*55 1.4, DA*50-13, Tamaron 90mm DI Macro. I never took out the 77. I found the depth of field too shallow for doing portraits of people, and why change from the f2.8 50-135 to the 77 when I can just lock it in with that lens and still get great results. I had the DA*16-50 in my bag for the weddings, but never took it out. I took the Fisheye out more
03-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by elpolodiablo Quote
Get a flash....Really, it makes a hell lot of difference. 31 and 77 are both great lenses, but for wedding I'd go for Tamron or Sigma 17-50 f2.8 for versatility, or if you want a bit more reach, Tamron 28-75 f2.8 or Sigma 24-70 f2.8.

I agree. A high quality zoom is useful for weddings because folks do not want to wait around for the photog to change lenses.
03-13-2013, 11:22 AM   #12
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A longer focal length [55mm-85mm] would be useful for single head shots, if you will be shooting them, but a 17-50/2.8 would be more generally useful.
03-13-2013, 02:59 PM   #13
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Maybe you could delay the wedding until the new limited zoom arrives.I've never shot a wedding but Bar Mitzvah's similar event, a flash is a must for the reception and a fast lens for the ceremony in the church is you are photographing there. Flash might not be allowed in the Church. I found during the reception I seldom took pics of just one person so the 77 might not be the lens unless you are shooting from distance. People dancing, table shots etc.

good luck
03-13-2013, 03:22 PM   #14
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Havnig a second body is more important than an extra lens.
03-13-2013, 03:55 PM   #15
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I shot my sister in law's reception earlier this year (my first venture into this sort of thing). I was surprised at how much I used the kit lens and my flash. I was cursing the kit lens because it wasn't fast enough. That experience has taught me that if I am going to do this in the future I will need a fast zoom. Zoom was absolutely critical because you don't have the luxery of zooming with your feet sometimes. So, with that said, after I get the DA*55, the Tamron 17-50 is in my sights! I do have to say, I my sister-in-law was pleased with the shots and the kit lens actually did a decent job!
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