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04-14-2011, 08:36 AM   #1
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Opinion on DA L 55-300mm indoor 2nd shooter wedding candids.

Shooting with a K-5 and Metz 48-AF1. Its the first time shooting a wedding for me and I ran some basic test in my house from about 20ft. away. 100mm-150mm was good from that range. I can spring for a new lens if I need it. I mainly shoot landscape but want some $$.
What is the typical distance shooting candids at a wedding. What fl range should I be concerned about? I was happy with the results with my tests but they are not real world tests. Also, Gary Fong diffuser Dome? useful at this distance?

04-14-2011, 10:19 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrjamesabels Quote
Shooting with a K-5 and Metz 48-AF1. Its the first time shooting a wedding for me and I ran some basic test in my house from about 20ft. away. 100mm-150mm was good from that range. I can spring for a new lens if I need it. I mainly shoot landscape but want some $$.
What is the typical distance shooting candids at a wedding. What fl range should I be concerned about? I was happy with the results with my tests but they are not real world tests. Also, Gary Fong diffuser Dome? useful at this distance?
I think the 55-300 is decent up to about 200mm if stopped down a stop. The biggest issues I have with it tend to be focus hunting. Not sure how good the K5 is with it, but the K7 frequently misses focus, even in decent lighting and then it has to run through the whole range and come back.

My personal favorite lens from a wedding stand point would be the DA *50-135 which is quite a bit sharper and has better contrast.
04-14-2011, 11:15 AM   #3
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I think you're going to find that the 55-300 is a pretty slow lens for indoor candids...
04-14-2011, 12:37 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
I think you're going to find that the 55-300 is a pretty slow lens for indoor candids...
I have to second that.

The manual focus may be of assistance when it comes to any major issues, but you probably don't want to have to deal with that.

04-14-2011, 02:41 PM   #5
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Can't advice on the lens; hope you have a proper flash and don't rely on the built-in one.
04-14-2011, 02:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
I think you're going to find that the 55-300 is a pretty slow lens for indoor candids...
QuoteOriginally posted by emalvick Quote
I have to second that.
I use the Pentax K-x with the 50-200 kit zoom - in very, very low light - in parts where it's actually below the spec'd metering and AF levels.

The 50-200 zoom is in a similar ballpark of wide open apertures as the 55-300.

Please see this thread:

Kx in Use ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page)

Posts #131 and #132

Yet I do not have that much difficulty focusing on musicians that move a lot when they play - this has got to be the equivalent to candids - but probably in more difficult lower light conditions.

Of course the ideal is if I can focus on the eye -
but often the face is deeper shade and it is almost impossible to focus.
I avoid/mitigate this by picking on a higher contrast target somewhere on their body - eg: t-shirt logo - junction between shirt and jacket - even hat peak and part of the face - ie: anywhere the contrast is better more distinct.

In other words under difficult conditions I know to pick alternate areas to focus on as opposed to persisting on focusing on the eye which may not be possible.

So it is entirely possible to shoot with the 55-300 to take candids during a wedding - where I think the lighting may well be streets better than the conditions I shoot in at the dark jazz club. If the 50-200 can do it I think the 55-300 would be just as capable -
plus the K-5 ought to be better than the humble K-x I am using.......
04-14-2011, 04:00 PM   #7
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I wouldn't be too worried about focus hunting from the Kx. I'd be more worried about movement blur due to the low light. Since you will be shooting wide open and the shutter speed may or may not be too slow to freeze any movement.

Only you can decide whether the picture is sharp or not. I'd do some test shooting and not wait till the day of. Nothing spells disaster like blurry photos of the bride and groom.
04-14-2011, 04:42 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrjamesabels Quote
Shooting with a K-5 and Metz 48-AF1. Its the first time shooting a wedding for me and I ran some basic test in my house from about 20ft. away. 100mm-150mm was good from that range. I can spring for a new lens if I need it. I mainly shoot landscape but want some $$.
What is the typical distance shooting candids at a wedding. What fl range should I be concerned about? I was happy with the results with my tests but they are not real world tests. Also, Gary Fong diffuser Dome? useful at this distance?
The 55-300 is not ideal due to it's aperture, but with a K-5 and a flash you should be fine. I'd be more worried about flash technique than lens. A 55-300 with flash and good technique is going to give very good results, a 50-135 with poor flash technique will look terrible.

04-14-2011, 06:38 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice. It seemed to focus reasonable well with poor lighting in my home from a 20ft distance. Im using the Metz 48af-1. I need to run more tests with the flash (bounced/diffused). I was looking at the Gary Fong Collapsable domes. It looks like Im gonna snag up one of those.
04-14-2011, 08:16 PM   #10
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The issue with the 55-300, it does not close focus. So it is great outdoors, but not ideal for shooting close up inside. If you will always be more than 2.5 ft from the subject, then that is not an issue. However, if you move around, and closer, then you will need to change lenses.

I find my 55-300 sharp almost up to 300mm, Eg. for a $300 lens.

Yes, it is will not work to well in even medium light unless you go high ISO.
04-14-2011, 09:08 PM   #11
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A 70-200mm f2.8 from tamron or sigma wouldn't possibly do a better job?
04-14-2011, 10:01 PM   #12
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its very very slow to focus imo.
04-14-2011, 10:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
its very very slow to focus imo.
You don't own a 50-135 do you
04-15-2011, 03:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by WerTicus Quote
its very very slow to focus imo.
I myself would probably end up using Catch in Focus anyways
04-15-2011, 04:26 PM   #15
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I don't think think the 55-300mm is the right lens for the job--too slow. I'd want at least f2.8 but a 70-200mm is too big. I'd use my Sigma 50-150mm or, if I had one, a DA*50-135mm.
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