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12-01-2008, 02:28 PM   #1
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If you HAD to use ONE lens to shoot a wedding...

Okay, I've been reading the forums and so many of you are very knowledgeable about photography, that I know it will KILL you to actually answer this question, but straight answers will be very much appreciated.

My wife and I are wedding videographers, and she is going to start taking some entry level gigs as a photographer. I want to get her a good quality lens that she can use to get some great shots, but I can only afford one right now.

Right now she has the kit lens (18-55) and a Sigma 70-200 (f 4-???) - on a *istDL

We know that she needs something with a lower F stop, but what focal range does she need?

I know she'll eventually need two cameras, a few lenses, blah, blah, blah.

But for now, which one lens should I invest in?

I'm looking at a few:

SMCP-DA 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 ED AL (IF) Autofocus Lens for Digital SLR

50-135mm f/2.8 ED (IF) DA* SDM

16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL (IF) DA* SDM

Or if you know of any others, I'm all ears, but again, I can only get one!

Thanks

12-01-2008, 02:46 PM   #2
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16-50

You shouldn't even be thinking about the 18-250 for weddings...might as well use a P&S :-P
12-01-2008, 02:54 PM   #3
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Among the ones you list, I would certainly suggest a 16-50mm.

Among others (a long list, for sure!) the best price/performance ratio goes to Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8, I think. For about USD 200, it is hard to beat if price is a consideration...
12-01-2008, 03:04 PM   #4
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If I couldn't afford the DA*16-50, I'd probably go with the Pentax FA 50 F1.4.

I shot an entire wedding with only the DA 40 Ltd and, with the AF 540 FGZ flash, the pictures turned out pretty good. Most importantly, the bride and groom were very pleased with the results.

My point? I'd shoot a wedding with just a prime lens if the DA* zooms were out of my reach.

12-01-2008, 03:04 PM   #5
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Heh, I was just at a wedding and I brought my camera just because. I come to find out that the wedding photographer that hey asked to shoot the wedding DID have a P&S, albeit a zoom one, I think it was a Sony Cybershot or something. It was a real small scale low budget wedding so I was smart to bring my camera just in case, plus I never travel w/o it. I never shot a wedding or intend to ever again but this was a good experiance.

I mainly used the 16-50mm for all of the group shots and what not, but I did use the 50-135mm as well for some creative shooting and close-ups from a distance. Get the 16-50mm just to make sure that you can do all of the group shots and poses and get everyone in there, but I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND you also get a flash!

I used the AF540FGZ, the swivel head came in handy, but if you cant get that just yet, get the AF360FGZ and a swivel arm, even at f/2.8 you're gonna need it, but you are most likely NOT going to want to shoot at f/2.8, I think I did the whole thing at f/4 at ISO 200 or 400, cant remember.

And of course, PRACTICE!! I was being paid to do this shoot I would of been sued I am sure.
12-01-2008, 03:11 PM   #6
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I find Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 very dependable and I would use it again for wedding.

Though it is not as wide as 16mm, but the range is very useful to cover the wedding, portraits, candid, and close up. It has in between 1:3 to 1:4 close up magnification. I would prefer this lens as a single lens when compared to 16-50 or other variants. Its strength is on its sharpness, very reasonable bokeh and it is quite sharp in my books for wide open shots. I pretend to be a wedding photog in my friends' wedding using Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 along with Komine 135mm f/2.8 1:2 Macro & Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4



Tamron 28-75 f/2.8

#1


#2


#3


#4


#5
I have to chop off half body as I can't
interfere the main photog with a knelled down position
on the sideline


#6
the candid shot available only from amateur photog
the real photog are shooting the front, of course


More Wedding Shots with

Komine 135mm f/2.8 1:2 Macro &

Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4

The good copy of DA* 16-50 would be a better lens. But if I have to pick one lens to cover a broader range, I would pick the Tamron zoom again. If your emphasis is on group shot versus portraits, then I would pick the DA* 16-50 over the Tamron.

Thanks,
Hin

Last edited by hinman; 12-01-2008 at 03:25 PM.
12-01-2008, 03:14 PM   #7
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the 16-45mm would be my choice along with a good quality flash.
12-01-2008, 03:21 PM   #8
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The 16-50mm is an excellent choice and I know I could shoot an entire wedding with that lens. But you already have the 18-55 which is a decent lens for wider shots and in this case I would agree with Hin on the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 It's a great lens with prime like picture quality. A very good range for mid to mid-tele range on a DSLR.

When funds permit, I would then get the DA*50-135mm and the DA*16-50mm and keep the Tamron. Why?? The Tamron would be on one body and the 50-135 on the other. With the 16-50 and an FA50 f1.4 as the switch out lenses. That's basically the same as what I use now and it's the perfect setup IMO.

As BJ said get either an AF540 or AF360 flash. You'll need it.

12-01-2008, 03:21 PM   #9
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I agree... the Tamron 28-75mm is a great lens!
12-01-2008, 03:58 PM   #10
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I'd go with the 28-75 2.8 out of all that's mentioned, (in fact, that's what I plan to grab, myself, for that purpose, among others. At least till there's real pay involved.) A *little* wider would be nice, like a 24-something, but I favor the longer end somewhat, and using a true wide angle like a 16 would be on digital for group portraits is truly a measure of last resort for me... sometimes you just don't have the space or a group is just too large to interact with at the working distance a not-too-wide would require. (This interaction is important.)

Sticking this wide angle capability on a standard zoom means you have to watch out for *distortion,* as well, and when setting up for group shots, you have time for a lens change, anyway, so breaking up the jobs among a couple lenses is a pretty reasonable way to go.

Depends somewhat on your style, though.

Once it can be afforded, the two-bodies matter isn't to be overlooked. There's no second chances at a wedding if one goes down, anyway.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 12-01-2008 at 04:04 PM.
12-01-2008, 04:46 PM   #11
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You'll have a million people flogging zooms at you but...
I shot weddings very successfully for years with a 50mm lens.
31mm is the new 50, so I'd have to say the 31mm f/1.8LTD would be my choice.
12-01-2008, 05:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
You'll have a million people flogging zooms at you but...
I shot weddings very successfully for years with a 50mm lens.
31mm is the new 50, so I'd have to say the 31mm f/1.8LTD would be my choice.
Yeah, I'm all for primes too. Boo yah!
12-01-2008, 06:45 PM   #13
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I just shot a wedding for a friend using my 16-45 for 90% of the shots.
12-01-2008, 07:18 PM   #14
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For "fun" I recently took pictures at a wedding and reception (not as the official photographer) with a FA 50mm/1.4 with no flash, and the concensis was my photos were better than the "official" photographer...
12-01-2008, 08:27 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
You'll have a million people flogging zooms at you but...
I shot weddings very successfully for years with a 50mm lens.
31mm is the new 50, so I'd have to say the 31mm f/1.8LTD would be my choice.
I don't disagree that you can and I have. Any of these 28,31,40 or 43mm would work well for this. My only reason for going to zooms, is simply I don't want to be noticed during a wedding, if at all. So a zoom offers a lot of different framing when shooting from just one or 2 spots. With a prime only, you are going to zoom with your feet.

Some of today's zooms are o good that you can get the results you need with little quality issues. But a lens like the FA50 1.4 or other fast primes are required for speed. I know the limiteds are still the better lens but a couple DA*'s can do the job well also.
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