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10-01-2012, 01:28 PM   #1
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Choosing the right lens.

I am new to photography. I have taken pictures for years but with a small personal camera. I now have the Pentax kx and I love it. I have the 18-55 and the 55-200 for lenses. I am wanting buy a lens that will allow more light being that I take photos at Wedding Receptions. So I am trying to figure out what would be the best choice.

10-01-2012, 01:36 PM   #2
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Do you plan to take photos at weddings as a guest? Or are people asking you to help take pictures?

Do you know where you can take pictures from at the wedding? For example, will you get to choose your seat?
10-01-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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Hot-shoe mounted flash will help a lot. It can be quite dim at wedding receptions and even with a 50/1.4 shooting without a flash can be difficult. For fast lenses, check out the DA50, DA35/2.4 and the FA Limiteds ($$$).
10-01-2012, 03:17 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by L33tGreg Quote
For fast lenses, check out the DA50, DA35/2.4 and the FA Limiteds ($$$).
Good advice. Also, if you're on a really limited budget, pick up an (used) A50/1.7 first. You'll have to deal with manual focus, but it'll show you just how much difference a "brighter" lens makes, and it has very nice image quality.

10-01-2012, 03:22 PM   #5
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How deep and filled are your pockets? I've heard that the 16-50 and the 50-135 are THE wedding lens duo for Pentax, but I have no personal experience with the two.
10-02-2012, 09:33 AM   #6
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I'll add the DA*55 and then the non-pentax fast primes: Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 50/1.4, Sigma 28/1.8, Sigma 24/1.8. There are more if you want to go wider or longer, or don't care about AF. If $$$ isn't an issue, I'd go with the FA31. If that is too pricey, try to splurge for the FA43 or one of the Sigma lenses.
10-02-2012, 09:50 AM   #7
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I recommend a flash. People at a reception won't mind. Shooting at wide apertures without flash poses severe challenges:
  • low shutter speeds can be compromised by hand shake and subject motion
  • very shallow depth of field (difficult to get one subject in focus, more than one is unlikely)
  • high ISO noise is unavoidable
  • compromised lens performance wide open

Fast lenses are great and I highly recommend you get one, but a flash will provide superior results for what you're trying to do. A flash bracket is great for this purpose, but only if you don't mind looking like a pro. I've done three weddings as the main (only) photographer, but I'm no pro, and I can assure you, looking like a pro can be a bit uncomfortable.

Last edited by audiobomber; 10-02-2012 at 10:01 AM.
10-02-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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audiobomber has the right idea.

a flash may be less expensive as well., compared to a super fast lens, AND since you specifically mention pictures at receptions, and not the actual wedding (or as a wedding photographer) needing an ultra fast lens for artistic purposes is not required.

one additional point to mention about trying to get away with a fast lens and no flash is the white balance. receptions will be poorly lit, with different color balance bulbs, possibly odd colored spot lights for dances etc. a flash can help keep colors natural.

look for one that has a cable connection for the shoe as this can get the flash off the axis of the lens and reduce or eliminate red eye
10-04-2012, 04:07 PM   #9
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Flash is good... Total game changer...
But glass can change the game too... Personally the move into prime lenses was the best thing for my photography...

My first prime was a fast fifty - But I'd go with a 35mm (FA35 f2 being my most used lens) DA35 2.4 gives more than enough speed with the K-x's sensor in my opinion...
10-04-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by randyofsa Quote
I am new to photography............ I am wanting buy a lens that will allow more light being that I take photos at Wedding Receptions. So I am trying to figure out what would be the best choice.
Assuming that you are not the official wedding photographer, using a flash will get the official photographer upset and using a prime lens will be awkward as you will need to be somewhat candid.

The Tamron 28-75 f2.8 lens is sometimes called 'the wedding photographers lens'. Its reasonably fast, constant aperture and relatively inexpensive. If I were new to photography, its what I would get.

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