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08-04-2013, 07:48 AM   #1
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Location: Gatineau, Quebec
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LENS choice to complement my Kit for new usage

Hi I am facing this problem here :

I do mostly landscape photography and found out i really like portraits, i would like to do weddings as well.
My choice of lens for portraits and general use + Wedding would be - Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and Pentax DA 50 f1.8

Right now i own a K5 with : Sigma 10-20, pentax kit lens 18-135 WR, Pentax DA 55-300, Pentax M50 1.7 and 2.0 aand lastly a Tokina M 28 f2.8
Flashes : Metz 50 and YN560 x2

I find manual lens hard to use for anything that moves so this is why i would like the 50 f1.8 (a fast prime for moving subjects)
And a fast zoom for weddings and portraits.

Budget wise well , i cant go over 1000$.
If anyone has better options i should investigate let me know please it would be very appreciated.

08-04-2013, 08:21 AM   #2
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You say you want to shoot weddings, so I would highly recommend a good psychiatrist. Unfortunately those can be expensive.

Other than that, things you might want to consider:

  • A good reliable set of radio triggers. Cactus V5s, Radio Poppers, or Pocket Wizards would be my recommendation in order from least to most expensive.
  • Light stands
  • A couple Lastolite or Lumiquest softboxes
  • A flash meter that will display flash to ambient percentage. The Sekonic 358, 758 or 478. Look for a used one if new it too expensive.
  • Maybe a second body, so you can quickly change lenses. Doesn't have to be a K5, the K30 is a good deal right now.
  • An X-rite Color Checker passport. It's mind-bogglingly useful.
Lens wise, I think you should have everything you need.
08-04-2013, 09:18 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
You say you want to shoot weddings, so I would highly recommend a good psychiatrist. Unfortunately those can be expensive.
I laughed haha :P , as for shooting weddings, events (local climbing competitions), parties etc... are also part of the curriculum.

Well, ill have a look at all those gears altho the question remains for the fast zoom/prime

28-75 tamron + 50 f1.8.... would it be redundant?
Is there better options than 28-75 tamron (the 24-70 wouldve been nice but not in K mount as of yet... :| )
08-04-2013, 10:09 AM   #4
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Oh, I misread, I thought you already owned those. Yes the Tamron 28-75 is a very nice lens for the money, and the difference between f/2.8 and f/1.8 is negligible with a K5, so you can probably get by with just the fast zoom. However, there may be times when you can't get as close as you'd like during the ceremony, and so something like a fast 135mm or 200mm might be good. I've got a 200mm f/4 Takumar that I like for this purpose, only set me back $87 US. For it's price point the image quality is beyond reproach.

Eventually if you start making some really money at it, an ultra fast portrait lens might be a good addition for bridal portraits with shallow DoF. I have the 77 limited, but f/1.8 isn't quite shallow enough for my tastes on APS-C, I use it on my PZ-1p quite a bit though. Maybe something like the Samyang 85mm 1.4 or even the FA* 85mm 1.4 if you really start to make some money at weddings.

08-04-2013, 10:56 AM   #5
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Oooh i guess youre right a very shallow DoF might be important ! after further reading im also thinking probably selling off my 18-135 and spend a little extra and get a DA* 16-50mm. and if money starts to flow follow up with 50-135mm DA* . I would love the 77mm and 85mm altho they are soooo expensive for a single focal lenght :|

My 55-300 can do most of the long range in very bright area.
And my 10-20 the wide end. As for the M50 1.7 and 2.0 and 28mm f 2.8 they are manual and practically useless in these situations since i cannot focus fast enough manually :|.
Hmm its soo hard to choose! Especially when i have no shops around to try or rent the lenses. I heard good things of the DA* but its always nice to try it haha.

Thanks a lot for all the infos, it sure made me and still makes me think a lot.... hamster's running!
08-04-2013, 01:21 PM   #6
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From my experience, the best solution is to shoot more, find what focal lengths are most comfortable for you and then buy the best for that range. Mostly, just shoot more, dissatisfaction with your own gear when you're not getting paid to shoot is typically self-induced more than anything. Ever since I stopped picking up gigs to focus on school, I've been perfectly happy (as has my wallet) to be able to get away with a kit lens and a fast fifty.

That being said, weddings are not something to be taken lightly. They're high-stress environments that combine the best and worst of many disciplines of shooting as well as demanding the absolute best etiquette, dress and communication skills you can muster. Couple that with the endless hours needed in PP, the once-in-a-lifetime factor of the event and the very high likelihood of things not going like how they were planned and you have one very demanding job. When it comes to just lenses, I seem to encounter two camps in regards to this: fast primes and fast zooms. In K-mount, this translates to using the DA*16-50 and DA*50-135 or their third party equivalents for the zoom crowd, whereas the prime crowds tend to have lenses within the various focal length "thresholds" of wide-normal-tele like a DA14-FA31-FA77 kit. In either case, you'll need at least two bodies since you will rarely have time to swap lenses.
08-04-2013, 01:31 PM   #7
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For portraits, you can get away with using almost any lens. A kit lens and a flash can go a long way Its more about interacting with your subject, finding/creating good light and composing in a pleasing manner. Peter Hurley, a highly successful headshot photographer, often jokes that his job is 90% therapist and 10% photographer...and he's right. If you ever get a chance to watch his tutorial videos, he really knows how to work his subject and often downplays the role of his gear. That said, he does use top-notch gear although I'm sure he can get similar results given any other gear to work with.
08-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #8
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thanks adpo for the eye opening comment
I think ill just shoot more with what I got right now and when money flow will be sufficient ill equip a 16-50 and 50-135.
as I want to travel and such as well I think having 2 WR lens will be much more beneficial to me then a bunch of primes.
I have taken your opinion on wedding seriously and decided to follow a friend photographer to a
few weddings before going solo I guess this will be great help.

thanks a lot guys!

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