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07-15-2009, 01:30 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by lurchlarson Quote
I know this is another wedding photography/lens question...:ugh:

There is a good chance that I'm going to be shooting my sisters wedding in about 9 months and I thought that would be a wonderful excuse to buy a new lens. The thing is, I'm only going to have enough money to buy one of these lenses. I've got to save up for it.

I currently have the kit 18-55, a 50mm f/1.7 and my Quantaray 70-300.

I've never shot a wedding before and I was leaning towards the 16-50 because of the wide angle/ low light capability.

I was just wondering for those of you who have shot weddings and do have both lenses which one did you use more?
You'll need both. Weddings are not my main business, but I have shot quite a few and the next big one is scheduled, so I have some experience, both with film and with digital.

I would suggest to buy the 16-50, as it is the more versatile choice, which will open up many more opportunities during the wedding (going near the couple etc.) and after that. Then go and simply rent a fast long zoom for the occassion. As far as I can see/read from here (Germany) its getting easier to rent Pentax equipment in the US and that would sure be the route to go for me.

You also need(!) a backup camera. Things break and they usually break when you need them most. That's what I learned during the very first wedding shoot I had, when my Super A simply stopped working. Luckily my office was oly five minutes from the venue and I could fetch replacement bodies, so no disappointment for the bride and groom.

And don't forget about a good flash gun, loads of batteries (for cameras and flash) and more memory cards, than you ever anticipated. Form what I hear from other photogs (and that about meets my own experience) is, that will take between 600 and 1200 shots during the day - so be carefull about providing supplies.

You have lots of time left, so try to practice a bit, have a look at the church, search for good places for the bride and groom and family shots etc.

Ben

07-15-2009, 01:55 PM   #17
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One option would be to get the 16-50mm and then buy an 85mm, 100mm, 120mm, or 135mm prime to cover the longer focal lengths too. You can get a MF medium tele prime for a price that won't break the bank on ebay, or maybe at a local camera shop in their used section.

You could also try and find another pentaxian in the area with one of the lenses that would let you borrow it, and the purchase the other lens.
07-15-2009, 04:15 PM   #18
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Your lens selection depends on your style. I tend to stand way back and shoot more long lenses (50-135 or 200mm) during the ceremony for nice tight crops that eliminate clutter. I shoot the 16-50 for portraits after the ceremony. I've never seen the kit lens but people around here seem to think its pretty good so maybe you just need the 50-135?

Good luck. Practice outdoor pictures with your flash. You'll need to have that dialed before the event - especially if you're shooting a long lens under bright sun. Learn the limits of the flash with both HSS and x-sync. This is the number one issue that I see plaguing people shooting their first wedding.
07-15-2009, 04:47 PM   #19
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I get rather a kick with the posts that preface "I've never shot a wedding" that then go on to give advice. I've never flown a 747, and I have the good sense to not give advice on how to land one of the things.
Anyway, I've shot probably a thousand weddings over the years and if I liked zooms, I'd have a 16-50 for weddings, and that and something in the 70ishmm range would be the only lenses I'd take.
Because I don't like zooms, I take a 21, 31, 55 and 70ish mm focal lengths.
The 50-135 may be a good lens, but it is not suited to wedding photography.
The kit lens is a decent lens, but variable aperture zooms are not suited to wedding photography either.
If you really want to do yourself a favour, invest in a good off camera flash. A used Metz 60 series would be a very good investment, one that can probably be had fairly inexpensively because they don't talk to modern cameras and the wannabes don't like that they have to think a bit to use flash.
That'll give you a flash that will never run out of power in a normal wedding. Combine that with the 16-50 and a back-up body (with your kit lens in case the worst happens) and you should be set.


Last edited by Wheatfield; 07-15-2009 at 04:54 PM.
07-15-2009, 07:01 PM   #20
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I'm with Wheatfield on one point. The 16-50 (or Tammy 17-50mm/Sigma 18-50mm) is a must if you're a zoom shooter. I don't like switching primes when things are moving that quickly and a fast zoom suits the bill. 16-50 and DA70/FA77 should be enough to handle the average wedding.

I disagree that the 50-135 (or 70-200mm) is not suited for weddings. The longer zoom comes in handy if you're restricted to the back of the church during the ceremony (it happens) and it's also good for candids where you don't want to be in the action. Some of your best candids are shot from a distance.

If the ceremony is held in dark church and flash isn't allowed, you'll need a fast 50 of some sort (FA50/1.4 for me). I'm also considering a fast wide like the Sigma 24/1.8 or 20/1.8 to compliment the FA50 in low-light situations.

All of this lens talk is moot without having a 2nd body (and a 3rd if you're paranoid). 16-50 on one body and 50-135 on the other during the ceremony. 16-50 and 70/77 for the reception.

As for a direct comparison of the two DA* zooms, my guess is that the 16-50 would get used for 75% of your shots. If I had to choose one, I'd pick the 16-50 even though the 50-135 is a much better lens. I'd rather be too wide and crop than be too tight and cut something off...
07-15-2009, 07:13 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I get rather a kick with the posts that preface "I've never shot a wedding" that then go on to give advice. I've never flown a 747, and I have the good sense to not give advice on how to land one of the things.
Anyway, I've shot probably a thousand weddings over the years and if I liked zooms, I'd have a 16-50 for weddings, and that and something in the 70ishmm range would be the only lenses I'd take.
Because I don't like zooms, I take a 21, 31, 55 and 70ish mm focal lengths.
The 50-135 may be a good lens, but it is not suited to wedding photography.
The kit lens is a decent lens, but variable aperture zooms are not suited to wedding photography either.
If you really want to do yourself a favour, invest in a good off camera flash. A used Metz 60 series would be a very good investment, one that can probably be had fairly inexpensively because they don't talk to modern cameras and the wannabes don't like that they have to think a bit to use flash.
That'll give you a flash that will never run out of power in a normal wedding. Combine that with the 16-50 and a back-up body (with your kit lens in case the worst happens) and you should be set.
Of course, that is subjective. I used the 50-135mm on almost all my shots, but of course it varies to one's style.
But I do agree, a set of primes would probably be the BEST set up, although more expensive than the 16-50 50-135mm combo.
07-15-2009, 07:46 PM   #22
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Im havin a bash at it this weekend with the 50-135 and FA35. Two bodies. Hopefully not having to resort to flash.
07-15-2009, 09:03 PM   #23
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This advice is great! Thank you all.

07-15-2009, 10:34 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by bentax Quote
Im havin a bash at it this weekend with the 50-135 and FA35. Two bodies. Hopefully not having to resort to flash.
Why no flash?
07-15-2009, 11:23 PM   #25
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I just went to a wedding, and the pro photographer there used a full frame Canon body, a flash with a diffuser, a 16-35mm lens and a 70-200mm lens. The 16-35 was used for most of the shots. I guess the equivalent for an APS-C Pentax would be a Sigma 10-20mm and the 50-135mm.

I have looked at the shots he took, and the wide angle stuff was very cool. The 70-200 pictures were mostly head shots/half body shots. Anyways, what made his shots great was not just the equipment, but how he instructed the bride and groom, and how he used the lighting.
07-16-2009, 02:12 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by kunik Quote
Why no flash?
I want to stay as incognito as possible during the ceremony, hence the long focal length, and also i really suck at flash.
Might give flash a go during the reception if i can put down the beer.
07-16-2009, 07:38 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by bentax Quote
I want to stay as incognito as possible during the ceremony, hence the long focal length, and also i really suck at flash.
Might give flash a go during the reception if i can put down the beer.
LOL

Both excellent reasons
07-16-2009, 07:54 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I get rather a kick with the posts that preface "I've never shot a wedding" that then go on to give advice. I've never flown a 747, and I have the good sense to not give advice on how to land one of the things.
Anyway, I've shot probably a thousand weddings over the years and if I liked zooms, I'd have a 16-50 for weddings, and that and something in the 70ishmm range would be the only lenses I'd take.
Because I don't like zooms, I take a 21, 31, 55 and 70ish mm focal lengths.
The 50-135 may be a good lens, but it is not suited to wedding photography.
The kit lens is a decent lens, but variable aperture zooms are not suited to wedding photography either.
If you really want to do yourself a favour, invest in a good off camera flash. A used Metz 60 series would be a very good investment, one that can probably be had fairly inexpensively because they don't talk to modern cameras and the wannabes don't like that they have to think a bit to use flash.
That'll give you a flash that will never run out of power in a normal wedding. Combine that with the 16-50 and a back-up body (with your kit lens in case the worst happens) and you should be set.
Glad I could help with that kick there (assuming that its pretty much a jab at myself since I happened to read/respond first to the thread). I get it, you're a prime guy (I like them too!).

I love love love wide angles, but to me they are meant for the outdoors, and to exaggerate a given subject. Most (not all) people would probably want portraits and all the other usuals for their wedding memories. With that said, of course the location would play into the ops choice - a tight location would require a lens that will get the subject in, without question. And no, I have not shot a wedding, but a few portraits, yes. Welcome to the internets I guess.
07-16-2009, 11:02 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I get rather a kick with the posts that preface "I've never shot a wedding" that then go on to give advice. I've never flown a 747, and I have the good sense to not give advice on how to land one of the things.
I second - but that's the way internet discussions go...

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Anyway, I've shot probably a thousand weddings over the years and if I liked zooms, I'd have a 16-50 for weddings, and that and something in the 70ishmm range would be the only lenses I'd take.
Because I don't like zooms, I take a 21, 31, 55 and 70ish mm focal lengths.
The 50-135 may be a good lens, but it is not suited to wedding photography.
The kit lens is a decent lens, but variable aperture zooms are not suited to wedding photography either.
I prefer zooms to speed up things - that's an individual choice. I always have the 16-50/2.8 (in film days I used the 28-70/2.8) and the 70-200/2.8 (nice for candids and tight portraits). Nevertheless I always carry an assortment of fast primes, as inside churches I am usually not allowed to use flash and even if I am, I try to preserve the mood of the interior lighting. In my case that woiuld be the 50/1.4 and the 85/1.5 mostly. Outside the 24/2.0 also finds its uses.

QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
If you really want to do yourself a favour, invest in a good off camera flash. A used Metz 60 series would be a very good investment, one that can probably be had fairly inexpensively because they don't talk to modern cameras and the wannabes don't like that they have to think a bit to use flash.
That'll give you a flash that will never run out of power in a normal wedding. Combine that with the 16-50 and a back-up body (with your kit lens in case the worst happens) and you should be set.
Fully agreed, though the Metz 45 series, the MZ50 and MZ70 series would also be very good choices (the last twio much rarer on the used market, though). I find the Auto-thyristor control of the Metz flashes especially reliable and balancing ambient light and flash seems to me much easier than with any PTTL setting. Though this could also be simply, because I am used to work that way...

Ben
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