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07-24-2009, 05:23 PM   #16
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Sandrine (that's a lovely name BTW), I use the Tamron 17-50 f 2.8 for shooting corporate events, which from a photographer's perspective is pretty similar to a wedding.

It is cheaper than the Pentax 16-50mm and works just as well. Sharp lens for this kind of work. Your 50mm will serve you well in lower-light situations so bring that. 24mm is not wide enough. Your mission is to fit in as many happy faces as possible in the frame.

Just as an aside, I'll agree with axl, those pictures linked to earlier were OK but not exceptional.


07-24-2009, 05:36 PM   #17
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Thanks Miguel. Would that one work on my K10D?
07-24-2009, 06:33 PM   #18
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I shot my first wedding earlier this year with two lenses: FA 50/1.4 and a Sigma 17-70 Macro. I had the advantage of being able to borrow a second body, so I didn't have to change lenses, and I ended up taking roughly an equal amount of shots with each lens. I did have a Metz 48 AF-1 flash also, as well as a Lightsphere--I knew the church building I would be shooting in and the lighting was particularly difficult, not to mention that in many shots I was shooting a white bride on a black background (the back wall was black) as well as black bridesmaids on the same background! So the flash was VERY useful.

So, from one newbie wedding photographer to another, the above two lenses performed well for me. I love the Sigma because of the macro function--I was able to get some good detail shots--but the wide angle was also very useful for large group shots.

The macro advantage (at 70mm, with post-processing in Lightroom):

And just because the flower girls were so cute (50mm):

Good luck!
07-24-2009, 06:54 PM   #19
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I just love that 50!!! Was the best buy for me so far. But I am just LOVING the shot of the wedding ring!!! Awesome. Thank you for the pics!! It gives me a clear idea on what it does on the macro side. ANd I love shooting the details so this might just be the one for me!
Great feedback! THX!!

07-24-2009, 07:15 PM   #20
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Glad to help.

For your reference, here is the macro shot before processing:

EXIF: 70mm, 1/640 @ f6.3, ISO400, No flash.

I was using a directional light that I set up myself to get the reflection at the right point, but I was also near a large window. In post processing I added some brightness and took away a whole heap of clarity to get that dreamy feel. And the beauty of it was that for this shot, I was able to do quite a few test shots before the day, figuring out where I wanted the light and the framing. On the day I gave myself an hour to do details shots while the girls were getting ready (I was shooting from 9am to 11pm--crazy sometimes the things you do for friends!), so I could take my time to get it right. Whatever you decide to go with, have fun! Weddings are exhausting, but fun and rewarding (not to mention a learning curve).
07-24-2009, 07:18 PM   #21
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Oh, and if someone hasn't already mentioned this, shoot the wedding in RAW--I can't imagine what I'd do without it now. Lightroom is my friend.
07-24-2009, 07:40 PM   #22
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Okay just went ahead and ordered the sigma 17-70!! I am so excited! I can't wait to get it and test it out!!

And I know what you mean, I LOVE lightroom!!!

Thanks again, your message helped me make a final decision!! I could not decide for the life of me. And this one is so within my price range, I was very happy!!
07-24-2009, 07:49 PM   #23
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Good for you! That was one of the main factors for me too--the price of the 17-70 was so reasonable, I couldn't pass it up. One thing you will notice with the lens is that it gets very close to the subject. With a minimum focusing distance of 20cm, I find that at times I actually end up touching the subject with the end of the lens when I'm trying to get really close focus. Not that it's really a problem; just recompose slightly and take the shot. Enjoy playing with it!

07-24-2009, 08:20 PM   #24
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Whew. I would never discourage someone from getting into this, far from it. But you won't like my recommendations from what I've gathered from the thread.

A comment about your trolley shot. The idea is good but as you said, you lost her face. The flare would have had to be further away from her to not loose the face. Lens sharpness would have nothing to do with the grain you saw in the original file. The FA 50 is a very sharp lens from f2 up and quite usable even at f1.4 With a shot like this you really wouldn't want the sun flare. The main focus should be on the bride and not some more powerful element. We are naturally drawn to the white aspects of an image and the sun would be competing with the bride. Without the sun, that would have been a great shot.

Other experienced wedding shooters will use different gear than I do and we all have a different shooting style. But I feel all of them will agree with my comments on preparation, understanding gear, gear choices, backup equipment and experience. I don't mean this to be a rant or arrogant. Simply a reality check before jumping into this field.

First skip any variable zoom. It's often forgotten that if you set your flash for the lens at 17mm and f5.6 then you zoom in to 50mm and the lens jumps a stop, your flash settings will underexpose the shot. Variable aperture zooms are a PITA that will ruin a lot of shots or make your task harder.

Next you need a second body. No wiggle room on that. You may not shoot with it but you have to have one. And it needs to equal your primary camera. If the camera you have fails, you are in serious trouble and you've ruined one of the most important days of the couple's life. Harsh but true. It doesn't matter if you are doing it for $50 or $5000. A failed shoot will disappoint just as much. Gear fails. It's a fact of life. I've had equipment fail at the worst possible moment and the couple never knew, just grabbed the backup unit.

That goes for your lens selection. You need spares of your most important lenses and flash. Not necessarily the same lens but a good quality and competent lens that can do the job if the primary has a problem. Again I've had lenses jam, stop focusing correctly etc. This type of shooting is tough as heck on gear. The action moves fast and for those who shoot for fun and take the time to replace end caps, carefully place the lens in it's designated pouch etc would be appalled at how I handle my gear for a full wedding day. Now I do the best I can to not abuse the gear but you don't have time to fiddle around.

You need to have a solid contract that clearly states what you are doing, the maximum liability and the expectations. The contract must be done by a lawyer. Not having a proper contract correctly done is playing with fire.

You need backup flashes, cords, batteries and any other parts you will use. If you saw the back of my van on a shoot, you'd think I've lost my mind. There are spares of everything there. Preparation for everything that can happen is important and the DA*16-50mm is an important lens because of the weather sealed body. You have to have it if the weather is poor.

So my kit:
- K20D with DA*16-50mm (IMO a must have lens because of the weather seals)
- Off camera grip for the flash. With 5P cable and Hot shoe adapter. Flash Diffuser
- Battery grip with spare battery.
- AF540FGZ or AF400T and Quantum battery

- K10D with Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 (DA*50-135mm would be great as well)
- Off camera grip for the flash. With 4P cable. Flash diffuser
- Battery grip with spare battery.
- AF400T flash and quantum battery

FA50mm f1.4
Sigma 28 f1.8
FA* 85mm f1.4 (77mm Ltd would be perfect for this)
DA12-24mm f4

Now with that, I usually shoot with the DA*16-50mm for 75% of my shots. The other lenses are for special circumstances. For example I'll shoot the fast primes if it's a darker church. The Sigma 70-200mm gets a fair amount of use for candid shots and getting tight portraits.

As nice as the K10D is, it's not a great high ISO camera. I love mine and use it a lot but when the shooting comes indoors, it's not the right camera unless you are going to use a flash. To offset this, fast primes are important and will help. IMO a grip on the body with an extra battery is important as well. A dead battery in the middle of the ceremony is not something you need happening.

Practice with a flash is key. I'd love to be an available light shooter all the time but being able to use a flash in a hurry is key. Direct flash looks horrible and you need to be able to bounce and diffuse flash light. Understanding how to compensate for the loss of light from a diffuser and bounce. I always shoot flash in manual on the camera and manual on the flash. P-TTL is fine some of the time but to get consistent results, you have to shoot manually.

Memory cards. You should be using only the best. IMO that is Sandisk Ultra II or Extreme III's. You should have around 24-30 Gb for the day. I'd strongly recommend you shoot with a card no bigger than 4Gb. Because if a card has a problem, you've only lost some shots not the whole day. I'll shoot with 4Gb cards and half fill them. When things pause, I'll swap out cards. I carry 40Gb for a wedding. Shoot RAW.

You're in it now and I hope it goes well but if I were to advise you beforehand, I would have said shoot 10 weddings as a secondary shooter to get the feel for it. IMO this is the most challenging form of photography behind a war journalist. The day is long, you have to constantly anticipate what is going to happen, you have nearly no time to make a mistake. There is no substitute for experience. The formal shoot is usually 2-3 hours and although the waiting guests think it's long, you'll feel like you are racing the clock.

I have to be honest. When you said you just discovered the crop factor, it concerned me. You must know everything about the gear you use. How each lens will render an image and how every control on the camera works. I won't shoot with a new lens until I've tested it at least for a couple hundred shots. A complete understanding of High ISO shooting (It's not simply turning up the number) and the relationships between ISO, aperture and shutter speed. How those fundamentals will influence the shots.

Finally plan your day as much as you can. Prepare for bad weather. I just shot a wedding today that was an outdoor wedding. If you look at the weather the East Coast has gone through in July, you know I've been wet a lot. It's the toughest thing to deal with. The couple wants nice formals and they have certain ideas in their heads. Shots they have seen on the internet or in a friends album. It's why having the DA*16-50mm is so important. With the WS lens and body you can do things other kits can't. For example tonight I had the couple on the beach (in itself a bad spot for an SLR due to the sand and dust). It was raining lightly. So they stayed under an umbrella until I had the shot set up. When I was ready, they tossed the umbrella aside and I fired a quick 5-6 shots and they picked up the umbrella again. We did this for 2 hours. Got the shots they wanted and they didn't get wet. Me and my gear on the other hand were soaked by the end of it.

Just to give you an idea. The shot below is a flash shot taken with
K20D DR mode ISO 200
AF400T with diffuser and off camera 4P cord on lightstand (with protection cover for the rain)
DA*16-50mm at 26mm
f 11 1/125th
Locked the exposure and focus to recompose the shot.

It's raining and they got ready, I metered the scene and took a test shot, checked the histogram ( a key tool that needs to be used, never ever trust an exposure from what the LCD tells you) and then when I was ready, they passed the umbrella to the best man who was off camera. It's unprocessed other than to resize it to post here.Name:  IVP_6446.jpg
Views: 1570
Size:  99.5 KB

Last edited by Peter Zack; 07-24-2009 at 10:33 PM.
07-24-2009, 09:26 PM   #25
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Disclaimer first: I am not professional.

I find the best well rounded lens that does good and very dependable on sharpness is my Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. With exception on lacking on wide angle for group shot, the zoom range works quite well as I found the need to go beyond 50mm.

I also have the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 and I would pick the Tamron over the Sigma for speed. But the Sigma will have the benefit for 1:2.3 close up and the wider angle will serve you well for the group shot need in wedding.

For indoor and low night, I counted on my trusty Pentax FA 50 f/1.4

Last edited by hinman; 07-24-2009 at 09:43 PM.
07-25-2009, 01:53 AM   #26
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What would be a good lens to get for a wedding?
One that prevents you from doing
07-25-2009, 05:43 AM   #27
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I would take Peter's post regarding equipment and backups,print it out, and read it several times. He definitely speak from experience. I've picked his brain on more than a few occasions. I'm actually shooting my first solo wedding in about 3 weeks, so I'm sure I'll be bugging him again before then.

One thing I'm in disagreement with Peter is the trolley shot you took during the bridal session. Wow! I think that is a fabulous shot and one that you should definitely add to your blog. I feel that one of the things we must do in photography is take chances and you did just that.....and it worked out very well, IMO. Another thing we absolutely must do is put our own stamp on our work. After viewing the images in your blog, it's obvious that you have a great eye for composition and can handle your equipment very well. The flare in that shot adds an artistic quality that would not have been there otherwise. The shot would've looked fine without it, but the flare is what made it yours.

Keep shooting thigs through your own eye.....just make sure you get a backup body and some cheap MF primes to do it with!
07-25-2009, 06:53 AM   #28
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This thread title doesn't seem to be on point, but it turns into a fascinating discussion about shooting weddings. I highly recommend you read through it:
07-25-2009, 08:56 AM   #29
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Since you already have the FA50, If you want to stick to non-zoom, I would get either an FA20/24 or if you can swing it, the FA31.

When (hint....) I did weddings with my Hassy I only used a Semi Wide 60 (similar to 35mm), and portrait 150/180mm. I also brought along a Nikon with a 35-70 zoom to cover group/table shots and quick candids.

edit: oops looks like you already ordered the 17-70, but advise above still stands.

Non-lens topic, wedding related:
Pay heed to Peter's advice about 2nd body, and even a backup lens. You will want backups for the important equipment, including batteries and memory cards.

Another piece of equipment that is often overlooked is the flash and an incident light meter that can also meter flash. Get the most powerful and the fastest recycling flash you can find - if need be get an external power pack to supplement. I have a Metz 60ct4 and it recycles fast. Plus, I didn't have to worry about others' flash ruining the shot.

good luck....
07-25-2009, 09:27 AM   #30
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You've already gotten some good advice, but I thought I'd add a little more.

Since you said you like macro and were looking for something wider than 50 mm, you might want to try the DA35 f/2.8 Macro lens. You could use this for your macro shots in addition to the Sigma, and it would also do a good job of supplementing what you already have. A telephoto option would be the D-FA 100 mm f/2.8 macro that would give you a longer lens and another macro option.

Finally, I mostly shoot in the 16-77 mm range, but for a wedding in September I am considering renting a high quality telephoto lens so I can be more discrete during the ceremony. Finding places that rent out lenses isn't as easy for Pentax as it is for the big two, but I've heard positive feedback about this site: - Camera Lens Rental for Canon, Nikon, and PENTAX Cameras

You could also use renting to try out some of the more expensive lenses before taking the plunge.

I hope that helps. Good luck to you.

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