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Which lens for weddings and portraits?

Paul_Anthony 6 442 4 Wales
19 Nov 2012 8:07PM

Quote: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.

If you work alone then carrying two camera bodies is a must, I use a short zoom on one body (24-120 f/4 or a 18-50 f/2.8) and a long zoom on a second (70-200 f/2.8). The only hurdle to get over is carrying the two bodies easily, comfortably and conveniently. I use one of these , you may think they make you look a little daft and they don't work with suit jackets, but I find wearing a black shirt helps take the attention away from your unusual strap.

(edit: proper link to strap )

Back to the lenses though, save up and shop around for good second hand deals on some good quality ones, the 24-105 f/4 L and 70-200 f/4 L would be a great pairing. And a second body, not only for your second lens but also handy if your main body packs in.



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Paul Morgan 16 19.1k 6 England
19 Nov 2012 8:11PM
If I ever went back to weddings I would`nt use a second dslr, I`d use an x100 or something similar Smile
Any lenses are 24 to 85 or 24 to 100 unless good wide open due to no flash inner church.
rhj77 5 5 Wales
4 Dec 2012 12:40AM
Thankyou all for your help and comments, I am going to look for a 70-200 and should my budget allow then an additional body .
rhj77 5 5 Wales
4 Dec 2012 12:43AM
Paul , Thanks for the 'strap' tip ..... It does look like a very handy bit of kit Smile
peterjones Plus
16 4.7k 1 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2012 7:51AM
Your question is almost equivalent to how long is a piece of string? There are many answers all right and wrong if you know what I mean Grin

However I would probably be lost without a lens covering the almost essential focal lengths of 24-70; if you are using a smaller sensor then 18-55 would fit the bill; my next priority would be some kind of telephoto zoom: 70-200; back those two up with a fast prime e.g. 50mm f1.8 and your lenses are ready to go after testing them outside a wedding.

FYI I use one camera (full size sensor) with a 16-35 and another with a 24-120; there is enough of an overlap between the two that one backs the other is case of failure; in the bag is a 70-200; I also one two or three primes from my collection of 15, 24, 35, 85 & 105mm.

Speaking of primes I wouldn't feel at a disadvantage if I went to photograph a wedding with just 24, 35, and 85mm prime lenses.

G'luck, Peter.
collywobles 14 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
4 Dec 2012 8:24AM
From my point of view for portraits is a 135mm (35mm film standard) . This is the old fashioned standard for portraiture work as it compresses the DOF avoiding distortion of the facial features. I use a 28-200 zoom but keep it well above the 100 mark.
8 Dec 2012 6:09PM
For me first thing at all, whatever lens it would be, it has to be fast lens. At last f2.8 is a must. Now I work with Nikkor 24-70/2.8 on the first body, on the second one I have different lenses - 20, 50, 180... It depends. I hope to buy 70-200, but not now - it is too expensive for me now. And, what is worse, 24-70 started to work not as perfectly as it used to when it was new... Well, optically this is a good lens, but still a "plastic-fantastic"...

So, I also have another idea - a couple of foxed focal lenses - 20, 35, 50, 80, 135... Well we all know, what happens next in a ceremony, and we can be prepared for this - two bodies with fixed lenses, IMHO, give us all that we need Smile

From my knowledge, optical stabilisation never gives you 100% chances for a good shot. Not even almost 100%. That's why I strongly preffer higher ISO,even with noise, than stabilisation. Maybe I'm too old, but I don't belive in it Smile

rhj77 - you are right, if you are further from your object (family member for example), it will reduce the chance to get reaction like "Oh, photo! Smile no. 17!". I really don't like these.

I should be careful with slow lens, or lens like 18-200 (picture quality!). Of course there is possibility to take good pictures, but your work will be harder and more unpredictable. Maybe it's cruel, but my experience suggests me these adviceSmile
See my album for Test nikon 17-35 F2.8 normal and crop
collywobles 14 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2013 10:06PM
From my point of view a Zoom lens 28-200 in my case covers Weddings and Portraits perfectly. I do use a 17-40 but find the bigger zoom more flexible. As for image quality its not an issue.
Hi Collywobles, years ago I use canon eos 1d mark 2 with 17-40 F4 L , 24-105 F4 L, and 70-200 F4 IS L, all I use for weddings and all clients were happy with my images. However if you use non professional lenses I find canon non professional lenses are not good as non professional nikon lenses. I wont recommenced use canon 28-200 but perhaps 28 to 300 L canon professional lens

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