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07-24-2009, 09:54 AM   #1
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What would be a good lens to get for a wedding?

Okay I have a few weddings coming up and have decided that I have to get that one good lens for those. However I don't know which one to get. I am looking at the 16-50 mm and was wondering if that was a good one for weddings? Can I get good portrait shots with this lens too? I already have a 50 mm 1.4 and my kit lens 18-55 (which I just don't like)!!! I am looking at something sharper.
What about a 24-70 mm, anybody using that one?
Anyway, I am kind of stuck and would really appreciate your feedback. Any Pentax wedding photographers out there?

07-24-2009, 10:28 AM   #2
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I would advise you to not limit yourself specifically to a "wedding" lens. Consider a lens that you think you'll use regardless. For portraits I like the 70mm range, but plenty others like a longer lens. The important thing is that you buy what will work best for YOU. The DA* 16-50 would be sharper than the kit lens and not as sharp as your 50/1.4 (generally). You can look up lens tests at photozone.de to see the breakdown of all the stats for each lens.

I'm curious: have you shot many weddings before? Are you going to be the primary shooter? I ask because I've shot a few weddings, but it's really not my cup of tea. But the thing I found most useful was having more than one body (at least two, with the backup shooter having two as well).

I'm not going to offer broader advice because you didn't ask for it, but I'll be happy to discuss the pros and cons of shooting weddings. I know that MJB Digital for sure is a wedding photographer, so he'll have more expertise on the matter.
07-24-2009, 11:30 AM   #3
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Are you limiting it to Pentax lenses? 17-70 is a good wedding range, imo, but the Sigma's a good bit cheaper than the Pentax.

I have a friend who's a deaf pro photographer, and I recently attended a wedding he shot. I was surprised to see his limited gear: 5D with a 24-105, 580EX and a LightSphere. Never changed lenses, never did any off-camera lighting, but wow.

Kelly & Matt Landry : MARRIED! tate tullier photography
07-24-2009, 11:57 AM   #4
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Well there you go, Sandrine, all you need is a 5D with a 24-105, 580EX and a LightSphere

May I ask if you're getting paid for these weddings, or are you just a guest who wants to have fun with her camera?

Our own Peter Zack is writing a series of articles on wedding photography. You might like Shooting Weddings Part 2: Equipment.

07-24-2009, 12:16 PM   #5
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I only shot one wedding and not as a main photog so please take my advice with reservation.

If you want to use 1 camera+lens set up, then I'd recommend either 24-70 or 28-75.
Not that I have nor have used anything like that but I think it's the best range for 1 lens setup.

The wedding I did, I wasn't alone. My wife was my partner in crime.
She used 70-200/2.8 for most shots and 50/1.7 for some, while I shot mostly with 31ltd resorting to Sigma 24/2.8 for some group shots. I never felt I needed anything wider and even 24 took maybe 35 shots out of over 600.

But as I said, my experience in this field is very limited...

BR
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07-24-2009, 01:17 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your feedback.

K McCall I sure don't mind broader advice, I can use all the help I can get!!

I love my 50 for sharpness, I was just looking for something similar in a wider angle.
And yes I am getting paid so I am doing as much homework as I possibly can. I am going to go with a friend photographer on a wedding shoot before my first one, so hopefully I will be able to get a feel for it.
Ideally I would like to have one lens that I would be able to use most of time without having to switch back and forth. Would a 24-70 do that and still give me a wide enough angle for group shots?

I am inviting a friend to be the second photographer and he has shot a wedding before so I will probably learn from him too!
Good thing I am not charging too much for those first ones, but I am confident enough that I can make it work.
07-24-2009, 01:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lavascript Quote
Are you limiting it to Pentax lenses? 17-70 is a good wedding range, imo, but the Sigma's a good bit cheaper than the Pentax.

I have a friend who's a deaf pro photographer, and I recently attended a wedding he shot. I was surprised to see his limited gear: 5D with a 24-105, 580EX and a LightSphere. Never changed lenses, never did any off-camera lighting, but wow.

Kelly & Matt Landry : MARRIED! tate tullier photography

Thanks for the link! Wow that is pretty cool!!!
07-24-2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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A 24-70/2.8 is a decent lens, alothough you may struggle to get a wide enough FOV to capture larger group shots due to the digital crop factor - that's where a 16-50 would be handy, coupled with a telephoto like a 50-135/2.8, FA 77 ltd or even 100 macro lens.

There's a lot to it, but you should look into how close you'll be to the action, what gear your other photog will be using and what lenses you want/can afford...

All the best in that.

07-24-2009, 02:12 PM   #9
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Thanks Ash!
Yes I have just found out about the digital crop factor!!! There is so much I don't know!! lol!!! The 16-50 is a little out of my price range but I figured I'd better suck it up and invest in good equipment instead of going cheap and pay for it later in the quality of my pictures!!

There is also the Sigma 17-70 that I was just looking at, and that one is within my price range. Would it perform well in weddings though? I don't know!!
07-24-2009, 02:15 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by creoleart Quote
Would a 24-70 do that and still give me a wide enough angle for group shots?
A 16-50 would cover most shots if you're primary (it's a 24-70 on FF). If you do more of a photojournalist style or if you're shooting as a second, you might like the 50-135 better...

A 24-70 isn't wide enough if you're in cramped quarters. I found that even my 17-70 isn't wide enough for totally cramped areas and the sigma 10-20 works for those.
07-24-2009, 03:03 PM   #11
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I've been doing weddings with Pentax for about 2 years now.

My personal go-to lens is the FA 35/2.0. If I had to shoot with just one lens, I might pick this one.

I find the 18-250 to be supremely versatile if you're shooting in good light - an outdoor wedding during the day, for instance.

The FA 50/1.4 will get you great portraits, but I find it has limited application in low light. Focus speed and accuracy mean I usually go with other lenses when things get really dark.


If you can't find the FA35 (I've heard many places aren't stocking it) you might try the 31/1.8 if you have the cash, or maybe one of the Sigma equivalents - my wife uses a Sigma 28/1.8 that is consistently good, and I've heard good things about the 30/1.4 as well.

Best of luck! If you're charging a reasonable price and have a backup photographer, I'm sure things will go great. Just relax and take pictures - people respond best when you stay calm, and it's good to take time to think. Post some pics here when you're done!
07-24-2009, 03:07 PM   #12
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Sandrine, a belated welcome to the forums! I didn't realize this was the beginning of your stay with us.

You've gotten some excellent advice already, and the link that Miserere provided is incredible. I wish I had read something like that before I did my first wedding! I think all the things you need to know are there; the only things left to decide are the parts that are going to determine your style so you can leave your own mark.

You see, I don't feel comfortable with zooms, so I usually shot with prime lenses, including (gulp!) at weddings. That's why it makes sense for me to have multiple bodies. My most successful wedding to date - the one that had the shots I was happiest with - were taken with two K100Ds and one K200D (I'm all about the AA batteries) and the FA 31, FA 43, DA 70, and the D-FA 100 macro. I knew that the bride didn't want any group shots (make sure to get a list of all the shots they want - in fact, communication in all respects is key to making sure it goes smoothly and everyone ends up happy), so I didn't bother bringing anything wider. I do 95% of all my shooting between 31mm and 100mm, so this worked out perfectly for my style.

The last wedding I shot was in this fantastic tiny church with no natural light at all. I'd scouted it out beforehand, so I knew to bring my widest rectilinear lens - the 12-24 - but even then it was almost impossible to get the huge groups that the bride wanted.

Good luck, and let us know if you have more questions!
07-24-2009, 03:21 PM   #13
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here are some of the results from my sis's wedding:
Zuzka & Marek Photo Gallery by Peter at pbase.com
07-24-2009, 03:22 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lavascript Quote
Are you limiting it to Pentax lenses? 17-70 is a good wedding range, imo, but the Sigma's a good bit cheaper than the Pentax.

I have a friend who's a deaf pro photographer, and I recently attended a wedding he shot. I was surprised to see his limited gear: 5D with a 24-105, 580EX and a LightSphere. Never changed lenses, never did any off-camera lighting, but wow.

Kelly & Matt Landry : MARRIED! tate tullier photography
sorry to say so, but for better part I wasn't too impressed by those shots.
But, everybody has different tastes...

BR
Peter
07-24-2009, 04:34 PM   #15
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Axl those are pretty good shots you got!!! Great job!!!

Man that 31 mm 1.8 must be a darn good lens for how much they are asking for it!!! From the reviews that I have read it is worth every penny! I also looked for a 35 mm 2.0 and those are out of stock or backordered in most places.

See I don't like zooms either, so I think I would use primarily my 50 for portraits and that prime lens for the rest. After reading all of your feedbacks I am less and less inclined to buy that 16-50 mm!!

See what I got at this bridal session. I was just fooling around with my camera. My friend was the main photographer on that shoot. I love these shots:


With this one, I was trying to use the flare from the sun but must have got it wrong because I lost her face (was so grainy). And I would have liked to get more of the back of the trolley, that is where I think a wider lens would have been best. Maybe a sharper lens would have done better than my 50 in this one when it came to her face. I don't know. It would have been pretty cool had I got it right!!
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