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Which lens for weddings and portraits?

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rhj77  1 Wales
19 Nov 2012 - 11:57 AM

I need advice !! I have a canon 1000d and currently using the standard 55-18 lens.
I have saved and want to get a new lens that gives me optimal zoom keeping a nice clean sharp shot. I did a wedding for a friend with my current equipment and she was elated with the results , I however was frustrated that moments were missed.
What i need is a lens that wont bankrupt me and will do for weddings and portraits ..... I will admit to not being the best when it comes to "technical" talk . I know a god picture when I see one and have done well with what I have so far . I just want to improve my photos !!

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Pete Site Moderator 1318443 forum postsPete vcard ePz Advertiser England96 Constructive Critique Points
19 Nov 2012 - 12:06 PM

I've changed the title be gentle Im new to this as you're more likely to get response from a title that asks the question you want the answer to.

18-55mm is a decent range for many wedding photos. What were the missed moments that frustrated you?
A faster aperture lens (f/2.8 throughout) can be useful but they are not budget lenses.

mikehit  56474 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
19 Nov 2012 - 12:07 PM

How much money do you have available?

rhj77  1 Wales
19 Nov 2012 - 12:18 PM

Thanks Pete. Any tips welcome Wink

The moments im refering to are interaction between bride and groom and family members ... crowd shots , getting reactions etc .... I find that the if I hang hang back and shoot froom afar I get a more natural picture , as we all know people change and tend to pose more times than not in an un-natural way when they know a camera is near .

Mikehit, max 300.

Ive been offered a second hand 55-250 and a 400d body for 600 (although the lens in my priority , I will be looking at getting a second body and no doubt be needing advice with this too !! )

puertouk  21072 forum posts United Kingdom17 Constructive Critique Points
19 Nov 2012 - 12:21 PM

70-200mm for a full frame camera for portraits

cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
19 Nov 2012 - 12:31 PM

Generally your going to need more than one lens, The most common in Canon terms is the popular 24-105mm f/4 L IS, In all probability and combined with your current lens, You could get away just those two, However many wedding shooters also like to have a 70-200mm lens available, The extra reach keeps you out of the subjects faces, This is a good choice for the more candid/reportage style also.

Sigma make a half decent 70-200mm f/2.8 that is cheaper than the Canon option....!!!

However good fast lens that should be on your shopping list for wedding work, Do not come cheap.....Sad

If you have had some success with your customer using the standard 18-55mm, Then you might want to check out a good used 28-135mm IS, Ok, Its not an " L" lens, But it produces quite pleasing results for today's budget orientated wedding images, ie: Good enough for the price most people want to spend on a pro photographer, To shoot their weddings.

Last Modified By cameracat at 19 Nov 2012 - 12:32 PM
19 Nov 2012 - 1:23 PM

I don't know the Canon 18-55 but the Nikon equivalent is actually an excellent lens and we'd have to spend a lot to get something that's significantly better.

As staffer Pete suggests, you need to think through your needs before you buy anything.

Review pix from the wedding that you did in something like Lightroom that allows you to easily see the metadata. Look at the lens data and imagine what could have been better. In many cases success is a matter of using your existing kit more effectively..

llareggub  4698 forum posts United Kingdom
19 Nov 2012 - 1:49 PM

A fixde and faster aperture will help you out a lot, the 18-55 range is good on a crop body for portraits (not that I do many of them), for your budget you could pick up a used Tamron 17-50 f2.8 and still leave you a few quid left over to pick up a third party flash and some odds and sods to get it off camera. The lens is an absolute corker I upgraded from the kit lens to one and the results are wonderful Smile

Going from the 1000D to a 400D will be a retrograde step in my opinion, although there really is not a great deal to choose between them. I used to own the 55-250mm lens and it is great at what it does but I rarely used it as it was not long enough for what I wanted but you can pick up a used one of these for about 100GBP although it does struggle in low light.

In all honesty the deal you have been offered on these 2 bits of kit is defiitely not in your favour and you can probably do an awful lot better by shopping around.

I would vote for a Tamron 17-50 nonVC lens at about 220 gbp and chuck another 60-70 quid in to getting a yongnuo ETTL flash, happy days.

rhj77  1 Wales
19 Nov 2012 - 3:17 PM

Thankyou all for your advice, its a great help. I will be using this site on a very regular basis !!

I think you have all made some very helpful coments and I will look in to all sugestions.

Focus_Man  4481 forum posts United Kingdom631 Constructive Critique Points
19 Nov 2012 - 3:28 PM

If you are not happy with the kit lens and want a faster one at a budget price there is a Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f2.8 XR Di II LC lens at valuebasket.com at a price reduced from 345 to 290. for Nikon fit.

Tamron SP lenses are the top of the range as opposed to just the Tamron lenses. I have just ordered one for myself. there may well be a slight price difference for canon fit, worth a look.

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315367 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
19 Nov 2012 - 3:31 PM

The Tamron 18-270mm gets talked about a lot, its not partically fast though the IS is good up to about four stops, and most camera`s these days make a pretty good job of controlling noise at 1600 iso or bellow.


19 Nov 2012 - 7:05 PM

Quote: Ive been offered a second hand 55-250 and a 400d body for 600

Definitely not a good deal! You can buy that combo (used) right now from MPB for literally half the price.

rhj77  1 Wales
19 Nov 2012 - 7:28 PM

I have been doing my research today and came to the same conclusion bainsybike . This is why I joined here, I do not want to be taken advantage of ! Thanks for the advice Smile

Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315367 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
19 Nov 2012 - 7:48 PM

Other than what I`ve already mentioned a cheap and cheerful 50mm is always worth having in the bag.

miptog  83532 forum posts United Kingdom61 Constructive Critique Points
19 Nov 2012 - 7:51 PM

Quote: I however was frustrated that moments were missed.

Some good advice and suggestions already given above. Weddings tend to happy so fast, that its likely that with just one shooter you will always miss moments. There is a well know husband and wife team, in which the husband acts as the main shooter with something like a 24-70 on a FX body, and the wife uses a 70-200 for the close ups as a second shooter. Of course you may not be able to have a second shooter. Often wedding photograhers will carry two cameras, on with something like an 18-55 and the other with a 70-200, so that they can swap quickly. An 18-200 or equivaleny may also be an option, but generally you will need fast glass. Hope it helps.

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